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Hello, I plan on setting up my first salt water tank hopefully this coming weekend, and just wanted some advice. First of all, obviously i'll have to have all the equipment assembled and in place first, the main thing i'm unsure about is what order to add the rock, sand and water. My plan is to put a few pieces of dry rock down first to act as a base layer, then add live rock stacked on top, then live sand around it, and then the water. Would this work? I'm curious how other people have done it. 

Also, I had a few more miscellaneous questions. 

1. Are there any general tips of aquascaping for a beginner? 

2. I plan on adding corals eventually, so is there a specific way to arrange the rock to make that easier?

3. What is the best way to start the cycling process? Iv'e heard that some people put part of a raw shrimp in the tank, or is ghost feeding enough? 

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For safety it's best to places rocks in then sand. Some like to put eggcrate under the rocks so there are no pressure points from the rock on the glass.

 

Aquascaping is dependent on personal preferance. Try keeping room open around the rocks from glass for ease of cleaning.

 

Looking through galleries can help give you an idea of what most do for aquascaping.

 

 

Cycling depends on the rocks you use. If its liverock, no ammonia source needs to be added. If its dry rock, the best is ammonia dosing and bacteria. Dr Tim's products are highly recommended.

 

Using a shrimp adds unwanted nutrients to the tank.

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That's what I thought, i'll certainly consider using eggcrate. 

 

My tentative plan is to create sort of a three sided "courtyard" in the center, with a smaller cave off to one side. 

 

That's good to know, I plan on using live rock. 

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1 hour ago, antigonus said:

That's what I thought, i'll certainly consider using eggcrate. 

 

My tentative plan is to create sort of a three sided "courtyard" in the center, with a smaller cave off to one side. 

 

That's good to know, I plan on using live rock. 

I like to use eggcrate. I often cut it to size and place it under the rock rather than a full sheet.

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