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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
New to saltwater reef and fish, but have spent a few months reading, watching youtube, hanging at the saltwater section of petco while the wife shops etc.
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I bought a used 29 gallon Biocube missing a hood and a Kessil a150w 15K from a friend's father that was in the hobbby a while back.
I also bought a heater, test kits from api and red sea, and box of salt.
I mixed the saltwater together with distilled water and filled the tank and let it run w/o any filter material. just let the heater run. that was 3 weeks ago. I also took some water from my friends fathers tank to "cycle" the tank and added new live sand. that was 2 weeks ago. I came home from work yesterday and suddenly the walls all have a brown algae on them and it looks like a cup of seltzer, little bubbles everywhere. do I clean this all up? Should I start with the filtering of water now? I dont trust my friends father, his stuff is always dying on him and he contradicts himself all the time.
 

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Wecome to TRT! Saltwater is different from fresh in many ways - one of which is the use of filters. In a salt tank live rock does most of your filtering. Cycling is the process in which the bacteria in your rock is growing and preparing for the bioload of your fish. Do you have any live rock in your tank?
 

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The bubbles you're seeing along with the algae sounds like cyano to me. When starting a new tank you will go through the stage called the uglies. You will see a lot of algae and bad looking stuff as the tank tries to balance everything out. I vote leave it alone it normally will sort itself out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you ChiWing! I don't have any live rock in there yet. Truthfully I'm still planning how I want my tank to look after all the frags I like grow out (hopefully). DMG, my test kits showed small ammonia and 16 +/- dkh on Sunday.
 

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Definitely good to go slow and plan out what you want! :) While there is some bacteria in your sand, there is very little in the water. The necessary bacteria for supporting your tank will mostly be in your rocks. You won't really start your true cycle until they're added. If you go with live rock it usually takes about a month give or take for you to be able to start adding livestock. Dry rock about 8 weeks or so.
 

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The bubbles you're seeing along with the algae sounds like cyano to me. When starting a new tank you will go through the stage called the uglies. You will see a lot of algae and bad looking stuff as the tank tries to balance everything out. I vote leave it alone it normally will sort itself out.
On the other hand, by cleaning the algae (or whatever you got goin on there) you will be removing excess nutrients. Nutrient control is a big factor in keeping our glass boxes happy. Some organisms like a little more nutrients like your softies and lps coral and some like a very low nutrient based system like your sps corals and algae love the excess nutrients. There is also the idea that if you let the algae just die out in the tank then those nutrients will just go twords more algae.

Have you a plan for the coming months? Routine maintenence will help to keep your tank clean and having a plan will help to keep the tank stable. Also check out they 'reefkeeping made easy' thread linked in my signature. And by all means ask as many questions as you want!

Welcome to trt!
 

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I'd say you're fine to clean your tank now. When you add your rock you're a little more limited on cleaning because of the cycle that needs to happen, but I'd say you're good to clean it up now. Like Phane said, never too early to put a good maintenance plan in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everybody that's responded so far. This is my next steps and since I won't be home for another 2 hours feel free to critique. ... I'll put a layer of filter Floss to catch everything I scrape off and let that run a little while. . Then tonight I'll test water parameters. If everything is ideal at that point I'll put an acan frag, a zoa frag and see what happens after that. I know I need to feed acans so maybe after a week I'll test again and do my first water change?
 

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I wouldn't add any corals yet. Depending on the rock you add later you'll either have a full cycle or a mini cycle, which could kill them. Zoa's are pretty tough, but I still wouldn't put them in a cycling tank. LPS are a little more touchy.
 
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