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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so I have had my tank running with the 80lbs of partially cured LR. I have been running my skimmer almost full time, and running the lights for about 1-2 hours daily. I can still see some dieoff type stuff on the rocks, but the water is becoming clearer everday. So when should I add some clean crew, and starting running my lights in more of a normal light cycle.
 

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You can add the cleanup crew pretty much as soon as the cycle is over.

You should be testing either daily or every other day for the first few weeks.

You should first see the ammonia test spike, then the nitrite test should spike, and once the nitrates start coming up (and the others read '0' mg/L) you can do a 20% water change and then add the cleanup crew.

I'd start out with not too large of a crew, and add more as you need them... there really won't be too much for them to eat until the algae's really start blooming.

I started off my crew with 10 hermits and 10 Astrea snails.

My cleanup crew now consists of 16 hermits, 8 Astreas, 2 Mexican Turbo snails, 1 Turbo snail, 1 cerith snail, 9 Nassarius snails, 2 Queen Conch's, 2 Fromia stars, 2 tiny brittle stars (hitchhikers), a 1/2" crab (another hitchhiker), and an Algae Blenny.
 

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I'd go ahead and increase your lighting to at least 5 hours a day. Keep your skimmer going full time during the cycle to help avoid a stinky tank. You should definately be testing for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate as mentioned above. Once your tank turns brown with diatoms (usually the first of the algae blooms) ammonia and nitrite are usually 0 and it will be time to order a clean up crew.

Test the water to be sure. Inverts are very sensitive to ammonia and nitrite.

Brooke
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks -
Its been years since i cycled a big tank, I have been stuck in Nano-Land for so long. Things have changed so much, so I just wanted to get some advice on when to start with some inverts. I have beenlucky in the past and have not had any major algae outbreaks and wanted to keep it this way for this tank. :)

I figured I would test tommarrow which will be a week since i added the LR. I am goign to start running a 5 hour LC like you said Brooke. the skimmer will run as normal. I may add some Macro to the refuge to get that going once I see the ammonia levels dropping. I figure I will have an idea of where teh cycle is at then, and can add the macro to sustain Nitrate levels..
 
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