Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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studman50 09-27-2009 03:05 PM

Max Allowable
Currently I am cycling my 125gal, i have a 55gal as a sump, and in the tank now is about 60lbs of base rock, 1in live sand and only 20lbs of live rock right now. It's been about 1wk and 1/2 since the sand been in the tank and 4days for the rock to be in the tank, right now the only test kit i have is ammonia since the shipping got messed up with my master test kit which should be here later this wk. but my ammonia tested about 1ppm. at what point should i do a water change?? i know i need the rest of the test but i don't want to buy another kit which will be more over priced at my LFS since i have one on the way.

Pasfur 09-27-2009 03:25 PM

You have no reason at all to do a water change at this point. The ammonia will naturally drop as the system matures. Obviously, you will need to allow more rock, needing to basically double the amount of rock you have currently. The amount of rock is more important in your system, because you are only using 1'' of sand, which means that the large majority of biological processing of organic waste note removed by your skimmer will occur within the live rock.

Having started a large system such as this with only 20 lbs of live rock, I am not surprised that it is taking a little time for your ammonia to drop. Don't worry about it. In fact, I would just put the test kits away for a couple of weeks and enjoy watching the critters in the sand bed and life on your rock sprout and spread!

studman50 09-27-2009 04:12 PM

im going to get more rock this pay check so about 1wk away. I've also read that lighting during the curing cycle will be a bad thing and cause algae to grow?? don't i want a little algae to grow? i love having the lights on. the rock that i got from my LFS was just fresh from the box, they got it in earlyer that day, it looked really fresh and heres a picture of something that came with it, i have searched everything and can't find out what it is.

Pasfur 09-27-2009 05:26 PM

Ahhhh.... if the rock was fresh from the box, then you are not cycling the tank, you are curing the rock! Big difference. This rock will take several weeks for life on the rock which is not capable of living out of the ocean to die off. What is left behind will be what we want in the aquarium. I would suggest that you not buy any more rock fresh out of the box. You really want to make sure rock that you purchase at the LFS has been there for a couple of weeks so that the initial die off has already occurred.

Are you using a protein skimmer? A skimmer will help tremendously during this curing process. If you are not using a skimmer, or even if you are, I would suggest a 5 gallon water change every few days for the first couple of weeks. Again, this is ONLY because you are CURING live rock.

studman50 09-27-2009 07:26 PM

i am using a skimmer, and the first day it was going strong and removed alot of stuff, but has slowed down now. i guess i will have to wait to buy from the LFS, because the rock i bought was also replenishing there stock too, so were in the same boat. but i have found a place thats 2hrs away that sells for $3 a lb which even with gas is a savings, and all of theres is pre-cured. so that would be fine to add to this setup?

Pasfur 09-27-2009 08:46 PM

a much better option.

Arkamaic 09-27-2009 09:58 PM

Damn, thats a good price for rock. Payed 7 a pound here where I live. I say go with the drive and pick up the rock. Maybe wait till you can afford a decent amount of rock, maybe even the rest of what you need.

I say make a build thread in the Saltwater Aquarium thread on this once you start gettin more rock and aquascaping. Always exciting to see other peoples progress. Welcome to the forums too!

studman50 09-28-2009 02:48 PM

so even a 5gal water change on what i predict is about 160gals overall water total will make a difference every few days? after i get this rock cured i will defiantly start a build thread, and include the few things that i've already done. also my skimmer is a "pro aquatic" MPS 150 and its "recommended" to use in sump, but my stand does not allow it to fit in the sump, so i have it sitting next to my tank, and then i added an extention to the provided plumbing making sure not to create any back-flow its at a slight decline, but included in this sump is an adjustable output and in this piping it slightly leaks? has anyone used this skimmer, i've contacted them with no joy.. i can include photo's if needed, also the skimmate bubbles push the lid off, so i had to use a small weight to keep it down, anyone had this problem?i have an overflow bottle which works great.

Pasfur 09-28-2009 06:02 PM

Pictures would help on the skimmer.

On the subject of water changes, sorry, I confused the tank size with another thread. Honestly, I would remove the rock and cure it in a separate container. You would really need water changes of 50 gallons or so to make a difference, and that is not necessary when you simply cure the rock in another container.

Check out the first page of my 180 build:

studman50 09-30-2009 05:40 PM


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