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Michael78

32g bio cube cycling

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Michael78

Hi. I am new to saltwater tanks. I Have f.w. Tanks and understand them and the nitrogen cycle pretty well.... but wanted something more challenging which I am finding s.w. Definitely is. My first question as I plan on fishless cycling is.. I am gonna use 20lbs of Caribsea arag alive sand.. I have some life rock coming as well which is obviously dry.. upon filling tank with sand, rock and water 1.) can I cycle with liquid ammonia the same as I do in a f.w. Tank? I’ve read that the sand helps with the cycle but I know it needs an ammonia source. Also # 2.) during the cycle what should I run in the filter? Just Floss and biological media?  Very confused.. seems like the more I read the less I know.. any help would be greatly appreciated.. thanks a lot look forward to learning a lot here!! 

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Steemax

After so many cycled tanks i've realized keeping it simple is the best recipe for success. Do not over think it. Just some filter floss in your filter chamber is enough. Your live rock will be enough to host the beneficial bacteria and will be majority of your filtration. 

 

Also yes you can cycle the tank that way but to speed things up you may add something like Bio-Spira or Dr. Tims one and only then feed the bacteria the liquid ammonia. 

 

One more advice from experience. Do not add fancy equipment without first having a need for it. I.e. no need to get a dosing pump until your tank demands it. The only piece of equipment I've deemed a necessity for myself is an Auto top off. It just makes a world of difference. 

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Picogoby
10 minutes ago, Steemax said:

After so many cycled tanks i've realized keeping it simple is the best recipe for success. Do not over think it. Just some filter floss in your filter chamber is enough. Your live rock will be enough to host the beneficial bacteria and will be majority of your filtration. 

 

Also yes you can cycle the tank that way but to speed things up you may add something like Bio-Spira or Dr. Tims one and only then feed the bacteria the liquid ammonia. 

 

One more advice from experience. Do not add fancy equipment without first having a need for it. I.e. no need to get a dosing pump until your tank demands it. The only piece of equipment I've deemed a necessity for myself is an Auto top off. It just makes a world of difference. 

Totally agree!

if using a culture (Dr tim’s etc) I would get 2 different brands to get the diversity and you can often get a duff bottle that has died in the supply chain somewhere!

i am cycling dry rock for the first time (have always used live rock in the past) and it is painfully slow! Added live sand to my second batch and it cut the cycle time in half!

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Michael78

Awesome.. thank you both so much.. appreciate the quick response.. I will start the cycle in the next few days when the dry rock comes in.. so I will just cycle like I would a f.w. Tank? Raise Ammonia to 2-3 p.p.m. And once ammonia and nitrites are 0 in 24 hrs do a 90% water change to get rid of nitrates? Does That sound good? Thanks again everyone

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Steemax
1 hour ago, Michael78 said:

Awesome.. thank you both so much.. appreciate the quick response.. I will start the cycle in the next few days when the dry rock comes in.. so I will just cycle like I would a f.w. Tank? Raise Ammonia to 2-3 p.p.m. And once ammonia and nitrites are 0 in 24 hrs do a 90% water change to get rid of nitrates? Does That sound good? Thanks again everyone

Sounds good to me, it will be a lengthy cycle with dry rock so patience is the only other thing needed. Good luck and consider making a build thread to document the process 😁

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Michael78

Great.. thanks!! I’ll have plenty more questions along the way. But I will have plenty of time as I know how long cycling can take.  I will post a build thread along the way. That’s a great idea.  Thanks again!

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Clown79
On 3/17/2020 at 2:44 PM, Michael78 said:

Hi. I am new to saltwater tanks. I Have f.w. Tanks and understand them and the nitrogen cycle pretty well.... but wanted something more challenging which I am finding s.w. Definitely is. My first question as I plan on fishless cycling is.. I am gonna use 20lbs of Caribsea arag alive sand.. I have some life rock coming as well which is obviously dry.. upon filling tank with sand, rock and water 1.) can I cycle with liquid ammonia the same as I do in a f.w. Tank? I’ve read that the sand helps with the cycle but I know it needs an ammonia source. Also # 2.) during the cycle what should I run in the filter? Just Floss and biological media?  Very confused.. seems like the more I read the less I know.. any help would be greatly appreciated.. thanks a lot look forward to learning a lot here!! 

Ammonia dosing and bacteria dosing is a good plan with dry rock. Biospira is a good product.

 

Sand really doesn't do much for cycling. Biological filtration is in the rocks. 

 

 

During cycling, especially with ammonia/bacteria dosing, just filter floss is best. You can add a good activated carbon after the cycle.

 

 

If you want to run a bio media like matrix you can but not really needed with liverock in the tank.

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Picogoby
On 3/17/2020 at 11:30 PM, Michael78 said:

Awesome.. thank you both so much.. appreciate the quick response.. I will start the cycle in the next few days when the dry rock comes in.. so I will just cycle like I would a f.w. Tank? Raise Ammonia to 2-3 p.p.m. And once ammonia and nitrites are 0 in 24 hrs do a 90% water change to get rid of nitrates? Does That sound good? Thanks again everyone

I personally tend to just do a 50% water change after readings are 0 ammonia and then introduce my first 1-2 fish. I then do another 50% 4–5 days later. 
I would just stick with floss and add act charcoal 3-4 weeks after cycle to clear up a bit of the yellowing.

2ppm ammonia is fine for cycling.

Whatever brand of bacteria culture you choose, try and add 2 different brands to get diversity.

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Michael78

Great.. sounds like solid advice.. as was said before Try to keep it simple.. simple is good..thank you both very much... hopefully the sand will help a bit.. and hopefully I get a good batch of bio-spora and that will help.. just got the get rocks so hopefully can set it up in the next couple of days..would like to get the cycle started!!  thanks!

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Michael78

I will also try just a 50% water change when cycle completes....now here’s a question... some people recommend easy corals first, some recommend fish first and some recommend c.u.c. First.. what do you all recommend?

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Steemax
31 minutes ago, Michael78 said:

I will also try just a 50% water change when cycle completes....now here’s a question... some people recommend easy corals first, some recommend fish first and some recommend c.u.c. First.. what do you all recommend?

I always start with minimal c.u.c so there's enough diatoms to sustain them. i.e. my 20 gallon is doing great with just two trochus snails, and 3 blue leg hermits even 3 months in. No need to get too much, they will just end up dying. If you do end up getting hermits buy them empty shells of various sizes so they don't go after your snails. 

 

Then add your first fish. Not all at once to give the bio filtration time to catch up. A pair of clowns is fine as well. 

 

Give it a couple weeks like this, if everything is going great start with some easy corals such as Zoa's or softies (non invasive sort) to test your ability to keep coral. 

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Clown79
46 minutes ago, Michael78 said:

I will also try just a 50% water change when cycle completes....now here’s a question... some people recommend easy corals first, some recommend fish first and some recommend c.u.c. First.. what do you all recommend?

Waterchange size should depend on final nitrate levels.

 

If very high, 80- 90% is common.

 

As for what to add first, it really depends.

 

If you have algae develop, a small cuc is recommended. If not add 1 fish, wait a few weeks then add another.

 

It's not necessary to add clowns together. If they like eachother, they will pair off regardless.

 

My first ever clowns yrs ago were added together. Immediately they paired off.

 

My second reef, the clown was so nasty I left it single.

 

The first pair I got for my current tank, had issues and 1 was returned. 7 mnths later I added another. Immediately they paired off.

 

My 10g when I started that, I added 2 clowns. 1 was returned because of aggression levels. I decided to keep just the 1 clown and have other fish.

 

No matter when they are added, same time, weeks apart, months apart- if they like each other they will pair off, if they don't, have a back up plan. Ensure your lfs will trade. 

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KCinNC

while we are on the cycling subject. what about light and is a wavemaker needed from the start ?

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Steemax
Just now, KCinNC said:

while we are on the cycling subject. what about light and is a wavemaker needed from the start ?

Recommended to not run your lights during cycling. You'll avoid unnecessary algae. I would run a power head or wave maker for flow. That's always a good idea.

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Michael78
1 hour ago, Steemax said:
1 hour ago, Steemax said:

Good to know so I should pick up a power head Or wavemaker as well.. was actually gonna ask the same question.  I’m hoping to put tank together and fill it up  tomorrow. I will order one.. any recommendations for the 32g?

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Michael78

Or is the stock return pump enough on a 32g bio cube?

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Steemax
53 minutes ago, Michael78 said:

Good to know so I should pick up a power head Or wavemaker as well.. was actually gonna ask the same question.  I’m hoping to put tank together and fill it up  tomorrow. I will order one.. any recommendations for the 32g?

 

18 minutes ago, Michael78 said:

Or is the stock return pump enough on a 32g bio cube?

 

I would definitely add a powerhead, stock return won't be enough. I know they get a lot of slack but I have no complaints with my Jebao SLW-10. It's plenty strong, only have mine on the 3rd setting. If you want something with a bit more quality but doesn't break the bank the Koralia's are not bad but they are AC pumps and not flexible like the Jebao. If you don't mind spending some money then there are the more expensive options that you can't go wrong with. 

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Michael78

Awesome.. as usual thanks a lot for the reply.. I was looking at the koralia would you recommend the 240 gph or the 425 gph? 

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Steemax
1 minute ago, Michael78 said:

Awesome.. as usual thanks a lot for the reply.. I was looking at the koralia would you recommend the 240 gph or the 425 gph? 

Get the 425... the 240 is comical. I made that mistake and had to get a second one and it barley cut it and that was in a 20g. 

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Clown79

Go for the 420. 

The 240 would be for a much smaller tank 

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Michael78

Thanks... honestly don’t really know what the difference between a wave maker and a power head... is a wave maker more like auto adjust with force or pressure? And a power head is constant with same flow? 

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Steemax
Just now, Michael78 said:

Thanks... honestly don’t really know what the difference between a wave maker and a power head... is a wave maker more like auto adjust with force or pressure? And a power head is constant with same flow? 

Yeah exactly, a power head is usually referring to a constant on flow that is non adjustable. Wave makers usually refer to pumps that have a controller where you can control the speed and flow pattern. 

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Michael78

Got it.. thanks.. last question for now.. I started putting the rock in. Would something as simple as this work? should I use more/less? Or should I spread it out more? I Don’t want to use to much rock. it looks a little better in person than these pictures..F33D9D11-3E3A-404A-8C66-3E1B12088B1F.thumb.jpeg.f3f6e26f9286f76b0059ce9a7017c658.jpeg

4AE4D490-57C5-49B7-9559-7CEEBF8268A0.jpeg

D55D4AB3-6F8D-4D99-9BDE-C35EA72F69AB.jpeg

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KCinNC

Me, I like that. I might spread the bottom rocks out just a bit to have a little gap.  where did you get the material the rock is sitting on ?  

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Michael78

Ok will do... just don’t want to over due the rock, but I agree a bigger gap would be nice!! I will work on that... I got it on amazon.. it is this 

E3D18B82-4DBE-4F99-AB4B-5A8E615BA457.png

Thanks for the reply!

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