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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I'm new to this site and I'm very happy i found it.
I'm starting a new 58 gallon reef tank and can use all the help i can get. I have a maxi reef 200, 150 watt titanium heater, a rio 2100 pump , and an excalibur protein skimmer. i just filled the tank with Ro water and added 5 bags of live sand , my water temp is at about 79 degrees, my salt is between 1.021 and 1.022
I was told to start with damsels so i have 6 yellowtail damsels.
i was told to keep the bio balls in for now but should take them out when I'm ready to start adding live rock and inverts. I was also told to keep the skimmer off while cycling the tank. I am open to any suggestions from the reef "vets" on this site. i just purchaced my lights from a user on here "which is how i found out about this site" i got custom sealife 36" power compact/moonlite. from "wasabi" august's tank of the month.:beer:
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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Hi Mabblizzard! Welcome to TRT!

58 is a sweet sized tank. :D I am partial to Amiracle sumps too - you've got a nice one. They are well built and user friendly.

While the way you are proceeding *is* one way of getting there, it's a method that's a bit dated.

I would recommend returning the damsels. You do not need them, chances are you do not want them, and it's rather cruel and inhumane to subject *even* damsels to the ammonia and nitrite spike associated with a new cycle.

Rather, remove the damsels, and get your live rock. If you cannot get all the live rock at once, no worries, just get what you can. You can add cured pieces one at a time later if need be. I cycled my 55 with just 8 lbs of live rock and an equal amount of "base rock" and worked my way up to about 75 lbs of rock over time, once cured piece at a time.

Do turn on your skimmer. It will pull gunk as soon as there is enough gunk to pull, and in turn that will speed up the cycle.

As to the bio-balls - if you don't have any or much live rock, you NEED the bio balls in the beginning. Once you have a sufficient quantity of live rock, proportionate to your biological load, you may opt to remove the bio balls incrementally. Some people have nitrate issues that can be attributed in part to (dirty) bio-balls, yet I've seen some systems run textbook perfect even with bio balls - it all depends on the balance of aerobic/anaerobic and anoxic surface area, for all the steps of denitrification to take place. If there is a disproportionate amount of aerobic area, and not enough anaerobic, nitrates can build up. Each system is different, so monitor yours and adjust accordingly.

Rio 2100 hmmm I'd exchange that too - if you use the "seach" feature on this board, look for my thread called "Another Rio Meltdown" The story and the pictures are there, you'll see why I and others do not endorse this pump. They are known to fail. Luckily, 18 months after the meltdown, that tank is looking awesome, but we ended up losing all the fish. Ironically the corals and amenone survived... go figure.

Enjoy your reefing journey - it's a wonderful addiction!

Cheers,

Jenn
 

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Pretty In Pink
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As Jenn mentioned - return the damsels and get your LR now and let it cycle. You can use ammonium nitrate to help get the cylce started, got that from my LFS - he's a chemist.

The same on the RIO. Not dependable and a hazard to the aquarium. I was at a LFS and they just got ina fish order. The gal put some fish in a holding tank and just grabbed a PH to use cause of the the temporary overcrowding. In less than an hour, the tank started to flash and spark, just like ET was coming in for a landing. Lost all 30 fish. She just grabbed a PH but got a RIO instead of the Maxi-jets. :rolleyes:

All depending on the type of corals that you will be keeping - you might need to add or upgrade them to MH's. Hopefully, you didn't pay too much for the LS. Once you are cycling, you can get a cup of sand form fellow reefers to add to the sand bed.

Good luck with the addiction err hobby
 

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wecolem to TRT

i agree with everyone..
lose the damsels.. they will be a headace later on..
if you are going with LR then get it all now.. and send your bio balls to jenn:D
you are most likly going to "lose" your live sand for now.. but i am not a sand person..

you might want to raise the SG a little and the temp.. but that is always a big and i mean big discussion here....

just keep asking and looking around.. we will always help...
:D

remember slow is good and fast is usally very very bad..

the damsel thing has been the staple for a lot of LFS for us to start the tank cycle..they are trying to make money and start you off.. once the cycle starts you will lose a few and they will get bigger and meaner.... as you put my tings in the tank (ie other fish you want witha reef) they will pick at the other fishand cause fights , which could lead to sick fish...


again welcome to your home away form home:beer:
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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Well before LFS are tarred and feathered - back in the day when I got into the hobby, there was no such thing as Live Rock - one used damsels to cycle. Some still insist on doing it today, and some books still in print recommend it.

The live sand will stay live - it's "live" with bacteria - since there are damsels, there is waste, so the sand will stay live.

For worms, pods, and other sand fauna, a cup from an established (trusted) tank and/or live rock will accomplish this.

Beware if getting sand from another tank, you can also get bad with good - beware the red planarian!

Jenn
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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None taken. :D

I don't encourage the purchase/sale of damsels - in fact I don't bring them in! I do bring in chromis, they are more sociable, and I take in "damnsels" from people who bought them from whence they may not be returned.... those are the "out to make money" type of LFS you described. I know they are out there.... but we aren't *all* bad ;)

Jenn
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, thanks everyone for all your help. oh put the word out that i have a rio 2100 pump for sale lol. well today i will get rid of the fish and buy some rock I was going to buy the rock at the end of jan. here is where i was looking to get my rock from. what do you guys think? http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/scatesiteid=24&pCatId=393g.cfm?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i was thinking of getting Kaelini Live Rock
how many lbs should i get? the tank is 58 gallons the tank messures 36" long 18" wide and 22" tall
 

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http://atlanta-smas.org/
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hello, mabblizard. the amount of rock is entirely up to you. i would think 75-100 pounds would be perfect.. but as jenn said you could start off with a lesser amount and add a little at a time. a great pump at a great price would be a mag drive pump made by danner. they are available from a sponsor on this board. i would check the sponsors on this board for liverock also...www.premiumaquatics.com is great for drygoods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok i checked out the mag drives on the link you gave me . are those outside or inside the sump? and what size should i get for my tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
i went with the power compacts because i was told the mh would be way to much for my tank and would actually burn the corals
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've had the tank set up for one week today, what should i do next? do i need to do any water changes?
 

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Do you have test kits? if not, pH, alkalinity, calcium and nitrates are good for monitoring your tank long term. Ammonia, nitrite are great to have when you're cycling a tank. Zero reading on the last two will tell you when you're tank has cycled.

I agree with everybody else. Live rock is the best investment to make for a new tank. The number of pounds you need will depend on how dense the rock is, just get enough to aquascape your tank nicely.

Good luck and have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
no i don't have any test kits yet but I'm getting them on fri. i was going to buy reef lab test kit and marine lab test kit. if you guys could recomend any I'm open to any suggestions. thanks
 

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as far as test kits go i would stay away from the dip stick type, and only get what you need. pay for a good test .. the cheap ones never work . right now for the next few months i would only worry about amonia, nitrite, nitrate, maybe ph and alkalynity a little further down the road.
 

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Little fish in a big pond
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Mabblizzard, the kids you are considering are from Red Sea - they are OK, a bit tricky to read, but the results I've obtained with them are consistent with results that I've obtained with a more sophisticated kit. I'd just get the Marine Lab - the Reef Lab might be more "necessary" later, but you might find that just a calcium and phosphate test are all you want to add to your basic kit.

Check the expiration date on a Red Sea kit before you buy it - give yourself at least a year with it. The expiration date is stamped on the bottom of the box.

If you haven't already committed to that purchase, you may wish to consider Seachem or Salifert tests. Not sure about in your market, but in mine, Seachem is more economical, and Salifert is competitive too. These are higher quality test kits, IMO.
 

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Help

i went with the power compacts because I was told the mh would be way to much for my tank and would actually burn the corals
No way. I have a 40 gal breeder with a 175 MH light. I have a Coralvue bulb that I am trying out and I like it so far. One thing I would suggest though is to make a couple of overhangs with the LR. That will give refuge to those corals that do not require as much light and it will give kind of a table for those which love the light. :D
I would thing that with your tank you could even go wit a 250 MH light. Depends on what you are going to put into he tank. Just remember If you are excited about your first beautiful clam like I was you NEED the MH.

Ok I checked out the mag drives on the link you gave me . are those outside or inside the sump? and what size should I get for my tank?
I have a Mag 12 on my tank and it works well. I also have a SCWD to change the water flow from left to right. I have had it running for about 5 months now and it is great. These pumps are in sump pumps. I also have one power head going across the front of the tank. The two together seem to be a good amount of flow and it turns over the water in my tank about 20 times per hour.
 
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