About to start reef tank
Ok so I have everything but the live rock and stock so far and the sand should be here today. I am almost ready to start my tank but I just wanted to make sure that my plan is correct. these will be the steps I will be taking to setup my 46 gallon bow reef tank:
Day 1: Getting about 30-32 gallons DI water from the store and adding it to the tank. Let water sit in tank with a powerhead running for a day or so
Day 3: Add salt and let sit for another 2 days or so, then test salinity
Day 5: Buy live rock from LFS, add sand, dry and live rock to tank
then sit and wait haha.
Couple questions: should the live rock be placed under/on top/ or mixed in with the dry rock or does it not matter? also, when should I start running my skimmer and start a lighting cycle?
Please tell me if I have missed something or if you have any extra direction for me, it will be greatly appreciated.
I will also be starting my build thread soon, so watch for it!
Thanks in advance.
just wondering why you would let the water sit for a day or so with a power head?
sorry maybe I missed a post, but I haven't heard of this?
I filled my tank and added the salt right away, and then let it sit for about 2 days?
someone told me "to age the water." I dunno maybe its not necessary
well I'm not 100% sure, but I don't see the point if you are buying DI water, the whole tank will be sitting and aging for a while anyways? I am sure someone else can comment or maybe state the reason why this would be necessary.
You want to get the rocks in ASAP. That will start the cycle, and since your levels will get all out of wack during this time, it is pointless to test ANYTHING before they are in.
you dont need to let RO water sit and "age" but please note salt water can only be mixed in the tank the first time when there is absolutly nothing in the tank ( no sand, rock, livestock of any kind )
after sand and rock get added to the tank and water changes or any additional water must be made in a different container with a powerhead/heater atleast 24 hours in advance and SG tested prior adding to the tank.
You have things pretty well in place. I agree with the others here that there is no reason to allow water to age. Just put the RO in your tank, add salt, and allow power heads to run for a couple of days. On day 3 or so, assuming you have the correct salinity, I would add the rock and sand.
When you add rock, use some dry rock for the bottom pieces. Any areas of live rock that are under sand will have some die off, so you may as well prevent this by having dry rock as the base. Then build on top of this with your live rock and additional dry rock. When you create your live rock structure:
1) visualize areas where the corals will be placed.
2) allow for open space between rock for good water circulation.
3) try to minimize the contact points between rock and sand.
4) use cable ties to secure the rock when needed, to stabilize the entire structure.
As you have already pointed out, the biggest key is patient. Your ammonia and nitrite will go to zero very quickly, because of the live rock. This does not mean your system is mature. You will want to wait longer, watching for a few signs that the tank is stable:
1) the diatom bloom will have come and gone.
2) copepods and amphipods will flourish, and be visible on the glass and in the sand bed.
3) Nitrate will begin to DROP, approaching zero.
4) coraline algae will begin to spread.
As to your other questions. I personally run the protein skimmer from day 1. The same with the light cycle.
does anyone know anything about this live rock? I was originally going to just purchase from my LFS but my sand is "stuck in the mail" so I have some time. I can get 50 lbs of this shipped for $137.70 total. Has anyone heard anything about this rock or should i still just go to my LFS?
you can, but I can tell you it ain't going to look like that when it gets to your home --
you might as well get it from marco's rock (pasfur has recommended this place a lot) I don't have the exact site or spelling, but he'll get that to you
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