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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning everyone. I am about ready to start the conversion of my 120g Cichlid tank over to a reef tank. I am in NO hurry and have been researching and planning so there are as few mistakes as possible.

I will be selling off the Cichlids this weekend. And picking up some rock and salt mix. The rock has been in an aquarium but has been stored dry for two years.

The current plan is to clean the rock thoroughly with a brush then to mix water and let it start doing its thing with a couple power heads running. I may or may not be sending it with a couple pieces of live rock.

The end goal: A reef tank with soft corals, fish and invertebrates.

100lbs rock - eventually Live
Live sand.

2 Ocelarus clown fish
2 Tomato clown fish
1 Yellow Tang
1 Blue Tang
1 Watchman Goby
5 Cardinals.

10 Emerald crabs
10 Hermit crabs
Turbo snails
2 Anemone
Dwarf Feather duster
Pincushion Sea Urchin

2 leathers
Biota Toadstool
Armour of God Zoanthid
Pulsing Zenia
Waving Hand An
 

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Red Tiger Oscars and Cichlids
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Now the questions.

If I buy the dry rock am
Nd put it on a bed of live sand will it culture? I am good with the extra time if it saves me $800.00.

Should I be buying some crabs to put in at the start to help clean up and provide ammonia?

Any criticism is welcome here. Let’s get the bad parts of the plan out of my head before I spend money on them.
 

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Are you talking about adding sand during the curing process, no-just the rock in a tub of salt water . And with good water circulation. If you could also get a piece of actual live rock from LFS to add to the rock for bacteria to start to populate all the rock. There are so many ideas on what’s best.
It takes time.
As far as good reading I would start here on TRT, find threads by Geoff, search live rock, sand or no sand , look at threads by wiskey , Jerry and so many others. Gain as much information as you can.
BRS does have some good videos, no one source has all the answers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Vinnie. I was talking about putting the live sand in the aquarium then dry rock on top during the process. Would the bacteria migrate to the rock from the sand.

Does the volume of water play any role in the effectiveness or time required to cure? I am looking at either a new 45 gallon garbage pail or using the 120 gallon tank that will be sitting empty any way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies Vinnie. Much appreciated. What do you think of the livestock list? I know that is months away but is there anything on there I shouldn’t be looking at?
 

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The two pairs of clowns, I would only put a pair in a 120. The clowns can get aggressive and especially the tomato clowns. Tangs are another fish to consider, blue tang in a 4 ft tank is tight as it matures. Just my opinion. Tangs are active swimmers and grazers. The yellow tang would probably be good and there are a few other tangs like the yellow eye tang.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The tank is 60x18x24 tall. Would that be better suited to the tangs? I had reservations with them being reef safe as well. Don’t they occasionally graze on coral?

I wondered about the clowns. I had the impression they had a smaller territory and had hoped a 60” tank would be enough to give them each a price of real estate. I’ll scratch the tomatoes from the shopping list.
 

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I never had a tang pick at a coral, at least not harm one. The 60 inch is better then a 4 footer for sure. The thing with tangs is they get stressed in smaller tanks. A good site to give you info of the ideal tank size for fish is liveaquaria.com. Now it just s reference to help. Not 100 % set in stone. It also give ideas on habitat that makes the fish comfortable.
Over the years I have broken the rule like almost everyone when it comes to livestock, but sometimes if cost you, not to mention the life of the fish.

I’m sure there will be more input from others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes. A 30 gallon sump with mechanical filtration. I have not yet determined if I need to run a skimmer in it. Likely two return pumps for redundancy.
 

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Although many clowns are listed as peaceful, they are damsel fish. I have a pair of occ clowns and every time I put my hand in the tank the female takes a bite at the soft skin between my fingers. It has drawn blood on occasion.
No livestock in the tank while cycling, a raw table shrimp will provide all the ammonia you need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I knew they were feisty! I do have table shrimp. Does that go I right away or do I wait for the ammonia to start dipping?
 

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The “live” sand sold bagged in stores is a waste of money in my opinion. There is not a lot of diversity in it. You can buy real live sand from the ocean floor.
the used rock you have will be live rock by the time it is cured.
live rock really just means that the rock is coated in the beneficial bacteria that breaks down waste. There are different levels of live rock. From rock with just the bacteria to rock with bacteria, sponges, clams, pods, etc…
 

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Oh yes, you will want to introduce pods at some point. Great cleaners and food source.
 
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