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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just set up my first reef tank in 9 years and I could use some help!

SET UP
50 gallon Tank
Reef Octopus OCT BH-1000 HOB Skimmer
Maxspect 27" R420R 16K (Razor) LED Lighting
Theo UL Heater - 200 Watt
Ecotech Vortech MP10 Wavemaker

IN TANK (so far)
90lbs of Nature's Ocean Bio-Active Live Aragonite Reef Sand
20lbs of (was dry) Pukani rock - Will be putting in 15-20lbs more later

So this is my issue - I set up the tank by adding the water first and getting the salinityto a steady 1.025 and the temp to 79º. I have not taken any tests yet but will be doing so soon for PH, amonia, nitrate, nitrite, etc. Then I added the Sand (was just a timing issue). After adding the sand the tank became very cloudy and I figured it was just debris settling. After 24hrs the tank is still cloudy and I am beginning to think it is a bacteria bloom? I read a few forums on the topic and I am seeing everything from let it be to dose it with Chems.

What should I do?!?! NOTE: I have no fish, inverts, or corals in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you! That is what I thought but I was looking for confirmation. Should I be running the protein skimmer or wavemaker during the bloom or during cycling?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah! Today I can see most of the way throught the tank!!! I will let you know what the test readings are after it clears (hopefully tomorrow) and try to post a few pics after I get it all set up.
 

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My tank was cloudy for a week after I added sand. It's not bacteria. Run a HOB or Canister for about 5 days with only mechanical media. I have a used Fluval 204 that I keep laying around with filter floss and sponges for whenever the tank is cloudy. When running it, change the media every 2-3 days, or give it a long rinse to get rid of the crap that has accumulated. Also, when the tank clears, remove the filter. I put mine on the front of my tank for easy access. I kept circulation pumps running while filtering so that anything small enough to stay suspended was filtered out, and didn't settle on the rocks, but that is up to you.
 

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I used the same Bio-Active sand and it is very cloudy at first, but the sand is great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well I got the 25lbs of remaining rock in the tank and turned the skimmer on 36hrs ago. Tank is clean and clear. I have to say I am very impressed with the hon reef octopus bh-1000 I have!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
On another topic...

Today I bought a bunch of small pieces of live rock to seed the dry rock i used for my aquascape. I purposely picked pieces that were heavily covered in coralline algae of a few colors for the look I eventually want. Is there any proven way to get the coralline algae to spread quickly? What is a realistic time frame for the coralline algae to cover the once dry rock?

NOTE: 45lbs of dry rock seeded with 2-3lbs (10 or so smaller pieces) of heavily coralline covered live rock.
 

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it may take weeks or it may never cover. coralline is a curious beast. unless your Ca/alk/Mg levels are all within acceptable levels it may never get going. if your LR is heavily phosphate laden it may never get going.

do not be surprised if the coralline covered LR all turns white either. different species of coralline like different flow and light spectrums and intensities. where you like it may not be where it likes it. it will die off, but the spores will start populating elsewhere.

you may eventually find out that coralline is the most annoying stuff in the world, especially if you have an acrylic tank, and with you did not have it.

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I tested my water today and found the following.

Salinity - 1.025
Temp - 78-79º
PH - 7.8
Amonia - 0
Nitrite - 3ppm
Nitrate - 30ppm
Alkalinity 200ish

I am aware that nitrite and nitrate are high and I'm assuming that the nitrogen cycle is just not finished yet. But how do I raise the PH and why would it be so low?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok I just read if the aquarium is still cycling, and has excess acid being produced from the nitrogen cycle and degradation of organics to CO2 it will most often cause low PH so once again.....

Time is the answer!!! lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So my tank is nearing the end of its nitrogen cycle and I have been leaving the lights on 100% about 6hrs a day and at lesser % (dawn to dusk effect) another 5 or so hrs. Just today when I got home I noticed that there seems to be many peanut sized spots on the sand that look light brown/tan to me. I am guessing that it may be a start to an algae problem? I turned the lights out as I currently dont have anything in the tank but rock but obviously I will need to eventually turn them on again to keep fish/corals as the tanks cycle finishes. Any ideas what the spots may be? they are very light and seem to just be sand (meaning no substance to them, ie. fuzz). It could even just be playing tricks on my eyes I dont know,lol. If it is algae what should I do to keep it to a minumum? can I put inverts in while my nitrite is at 2ppm and nitrate is at 20ppm? I dont want to stress them out or kill them.
 
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