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Another "newbie" question :)


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Ive read through some of the threads and still dont have a clear answer to my question..



I just set up a 6 gallon eclipse tank .... I asked my LFS how many pounds of live rock to start out with.. he suggested 5lbs... so right now I have about 5lbs of live rock ... is this enough? Should I add a few more lbs or will this come later? The 5lbs really doesnt take up to much of the tank, its all 1 chunk.


Also... I found a few hitchhikers in the rock, I was trying to find out how many hours of lighting a day I need with live rock... due to the

hitchhikers should I be keeping it on a good 10 or so hours a day?


Sorry about all the questions.. I just want to make sure I do everything correctly!!!! :)


ohhh... 1 more question!!! Once my tank is cycled... what are some good (more on the hardy side) corals to start off with? Thanks again!!!

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I'm also new (tanks been up 6 weeks now: http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/showthread...&threadid=41618), but I believe that there is no such thing as too much live rock. I think people suggest a minimum of about 1lb/gallon, but after that it's purely asthetics.


You can add more now or later as you choose. If you add more after you have other stuff going, you will want to add it slowly and/or cure it some in a separate tank, since the initial live rock die off can be hard on everyone else in the tank. So from that standpoint it is easier to add it early, before you have anything in the tank to stress from the die off.


Probably any hitchikers you have on your LR don't require any light at all since whatever is alive still has survived the horrendous journey from Fiji or wherever. Also, at my LFS they break off anything interesting and sell it as a more expensive frag, so the only hitchhikers left on the LR from my LFS are algaes, some apatasia, some feather duster worms, and a few other nearly indestructable filter feeders. None of those things really require much, if any, light. Still, you're eventually going to have to put the tank on a light cycle, so I see no reason not to go ahead and start now.


I don't know if it's technically a coral, but green star polyps are supposedly very hardy. I've had mine for about four weeks now and it seems to be doing OK, and I've only got 30W of lighting over my tank at the moment.


I didn't wait too long before adding things. I added the LR, waited a week, added a damsel fish, waited a week, added the star polyps, some snails, and the hermit crabs, waited a week, added the urchin and the tang. I've been monitoring all the nitrogen compounds carefully, expecting a big spike and switchover from one kind to another indicative of cycling, but it hasn't happened. Most everything hovers near zero. I'm not sure what to make of that really.

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>If you add more after you have other stuff going, you will want to add it >slowly and/or cure it some in a separate tank


Actually, this may not be necessary. If your LFS is anything like mine,

they extensively cure the LR there, so there is very little die off

after your bring it home. My LFS also almost always has a supply of LR

from some long running tank they will sell you too.

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I will check on how well my LFS cure's the live rock.... I will also probably add a few more lbs this weekend... I was hesitant to add a lot at first since my salinity level was bouncing...but now I have it where it needs to be and the PH is correct.


I was also wondering about when water evaporates... should I just replace the lost water with reverse osmosis water ? I wouldnt need to add more salt correct?

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No, don't top off with saltwater. As for the live rock just do what looks good. Kolo is right from a filtration point you can't have too much, but remember that good flow is needed in the tank as well so a wall of rock is not necessarily good either.

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Yeah, use fresh water for topoff. The water that evaporates leaves all it's

salt behind. As water evaporates, your salinity will rise. I just use

distilled water that I buy in 1 gallon jugs from the grocery store for top off.


A tiny bit of salt might splatter out of the tank over time, but it'll take

a long time before that loss of salt will add up to enough to lower your salinity noticably.


Where you have to mess with salt again is when you do water changes. You'll siphon off a gallon of salt water, and will then need to replace that with pre-mixed saltwater of the correct salinity. I suspect frequent (weekly/ bi-weekly, at worst monthly) partial water changes are big key to success with a tiny tank. When you remove some of the water you are removing some of the nitrogen compounds, some of the dissolved proteins, and other bad things in the water that otherwise just build up over time.

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I plan on doing a gallon water change/ week. I currently change out my cichlid tanks bi weekly but these are much larger tanks then my nano-reef. As far as water.. my LFS sells reverse osmosis water for 50 cents/ gallon. They informed me that reverse osmosis water is better then distilled? Is there any truth to this?

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I've read somewhere that someone thinks RO water is better than

distilled, but I don't recall why. I think the main thing is

to avoid adding any harmful stuff from your local tap, especially

copper. So probably anything that doesn't have lots of extra

metals or whatever in it is going to be OK.


Fifty cents a gallon is cheap, so I think you should go ahead and

use that.

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