Starting up a 29 Gallon Bio Cube Cycle
I currently have a 14 gallon bio cube that was set up for me by my dad as a birthday gift about 3 years ago, I received the tank once the cycle was completed and the fish and live rock were already inside of the tank, meaning I never got to learn about the cycle process and other necessary information. I now want to jump into a 29 gallon fish tank seeing that my 14 gallon has gone so well. I am extremely dedicated to my tank and want to know more about how to successfully cycle a tank and exactly what I need to get that going. I've been doing my research and every website forum seems to be a little different then the next. Some say there is a specific way to do it (put the sand in before the rock or rock in before the sand) and to be honest I'm quite confused. I have the tank, now what do I need to get it started and how.
1. Do you recommend I just leave the chambers exactly how they come?
2. I noticed everyone has a protein skimmer and fan, should I purchase these?
3. How much sand should I purchase?
4. Does the sand going in before the rock really matter?
That's all the questions I can think of right now, I'll keep posting as I go because I'm sure there will be more.
#2- You can use a Protein Skimmer, always a good thing to have, and to run. But in a 29g tank, its not always a necessity. As long as you do 10-15% water changes weekly to keep up with nutrient export, you will be fine. You must watch your water parameters for this, making sure your Nitrates stay under 40. then again, this number will be different for the different types of coral you plan on keeping.
#3- Enough to cover 2-3" of the bottom. Sand Bed Calculator
#4- you want the Rock on the bottom of the tank, so its best to set up your aquascape first, then fill in with sand.
The Live Rock and substrate will start your cycle.
Also, in your #2 question, what are you referring to when you say fan?
What exactly would the protein skimmer help? Just lengthen the time between water changes?
Is there a certain sand brand or type that you might recommend?
By fan I meant like a powerhead.
For powerheads, water flow, yoiu will need a minimum of 10x your water volume for a FOWLR, and for a Reef yoiu would need at least 20x+ your water volume.
Skimmers remove garbage from the water column before they become an issue.
Aquarium Filtration & Water Quality: Maintaining a Healthy Saltwater Aquarium with Protein Skimmers
Fish & Aquarium Supplies: Marine Substrates, Sand, Crushed Coral, Live Sand
#1-Dry Rock, there are a few hitchhikers on Live Rock that people want to stay away from, so they opt for using Dry Rock, or Dead Rock. Macro Rock is a good place to start looking for that. Either way you go you will need a minimum of 1lb per gallon.
#2-Replacement filter media like filter floss and activated carbon (if you get a filter) Which is really not necessary.
#3-Multiple Power heads (2 or 3) 10x your water volume for just a Fish Only With Live Rock, and at least 20x your water volume for a Reef Tank. So lets say your going reef, and you have a 100g tank, you would need flow in that tank at minimum of 2000gph, or 2 1000gph power heads.
#4-Protein Skimmer, rated at 2 times your water volume
#5-Saltwater Test Kits. Reef Test Kit. Test for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, PH, Phosphates, Calcium, ALK and Magnesium.
#6-Saltwater fish food. Mysis Shrimp, Squid, Cyclopease, Algae Sheets, Romaine . Flake food is not really a good food to feed your marine fish.
#7-Aquarium vacuum. This one is iffy. Most don't use one, if you have enough flow in the tank you won’t need one
#8-Rubber kitchen gloves
#10-Two, clean, never used before, 5-gallon buckets
#11-Aquarium thermometer, digital being the best.
#12-Brush with plastic bristles (old tooth brush) - needed for cleaning the live rock if you don't get Fully Cured Live Rock.
#13-Power Strip, possibly GFCI outlets by the tank.
#14-Optional but definitely recommend getting a Reverse Osmosis or RO/Deionization filter for the make-up water, and a barrel for storing the water.
#15-Possibly a Quarantine Tank for your new fish. They sit in here for a few weeks to kill off parasites and bacteria, to keep it from getting in your main tank
#16-Heater rated for your size tank.
#17-Saltwater Mix. Marine Salt. Instant Ocean is the cheap Salt that beginners and Advanced use alike.
#18-Saltwater Hydrometer or even better a Refractometer, which is more accurate. There is also a Digital Meter that is way advanced if you have the cash.
#19-Aquarium filter (not absolutely necessary if running with adequate amounts of live rock, but nice to have if you need to use a mechanical filter or activated carbon, or GFO and such)
#20-Aquarium substrate such as live sand or crushed coral. Some go bare Bottom, others choose the 2-3" bottom, others, more advanced will try the Deep Sand Bed, which is over 6" deep.
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