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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello folks! Been lurking anonymously until now. Learned a lot already... much thanks. Just started my nano tank 4th of July weekend:

20 gallon glass tank
2 x 65 watt Power Compact lighting
Prizm skimmer
2 Aquaclear 301 powerheads
100 W heater
glass thermometer
Saltwater Master Test Kit

25 lbs cured live rock
40 lbs live sand (ave 3-4 in depth)

Keeping the light on 4 hrs/d
Temp 78

pH SG ammonia nitrite nitrate
day#2 8 1.023 0.25 mg/L 0 10
day#4 8 1.023 0.25 0 10

I was going to leave it and let it cycle on its own, checking every 2-3 days. Skimmer's already on.

Couple of Q's:
1) LFS told me to start adding calcium while cycling - good/bad advice? Should any other additive be going in (they were trying to sell me Kent Essential Elements and Iodine)?
2) When should I expect an ammonia spike? Any other advice on getting the tank to cycle?
3) Anthing else I should monitor?

Will send pics down the road.

Thanks a bunch!




:beer:
 

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1. Get a calcium test kit, don't add what you haven't tested for.

2. I would imagine the ammonia will start climbing within a day or so, maybe 4-5 days before it actually 'spikes'.

3. Your credit card statements :p
 
G

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i have a seperate file for my cc statements, needless to say i throw em in and not look at em,
but test fpr phosphates as well, cal alk trites trates
 
G

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i have a seperate file for my cc statements, needless to say i throw em in and not look at em,
but test fpr phosphates as well, cal alk trites trates amonia
 

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Howdy bearpaw...

Welcome to TRT! :beer:

Looks like you've covered all the bases and are well on your way.

As far as your questions are concerned:

1. Unless you have massive coralline growth I wouldn't dose calcium (or any other trace elements). As was previously suggested, don't add anything to the tank that you can't test for. Iodine is the one exception since most iodine tests are worthless. I dose iodine occassionally, but I do a half-dose at twice the recommended timeframe (1/2 capful every two weeks rather than 1 capful every week). You shouldn't need to worry about trace elements if you do regular water changes. You'll only need to worry about dosing calcium if you get a lot of calcium-depleting organisms (clams, SPS corals, LPS corals, large patches of coralline algae, etc).

2. Since you have cured live rock and live sand, you'll probably need to add something like a store-bought prawn or shrimp to kick-start the cycle. Most people use semi-cured live rock to do the cycling for them when they first start out their tank, but with fully cured you need to add in an ammonia-producing element (the shrimp). You should see the ammonia coming up on the test reading within a couple days of adding it. I also use the Saltwater master test kit. It'll do well enough for now but it's probably a good idea to look into higher-quality test kits once it needs replacing.

3. Like was also suggested, you'll need to monitor your pH, nitrite and nitrate (all included tests with the kit you have). A couple other test kits you'll need are Alkalinity, Calcium and Phosphate. These extra tests will only really be needed once you start adding corals (or when the coralline really takes off), but they are good to have nonetheless.
I don't know if I recommend monitoring your CC statements... unless you have a couple brewski's beforehand... :D
I created a separate account in Quicken to keep track of my reef tank receipts... I set it up as an 'asset' rather than a 'liability'... :D

Hope that helps, and once again, welcome to the club. :)
 

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Welcome to TRT! I would not add anything into your tank other than your daily topoff water to keep your SG constant. Check you Ammonia, Nitrates, and Nitrites when they are at zero for over a week then you can start adding a clean up crew.

Earl
 

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no advice needed at this point, everyone has already given the right stuff. and it looks as the though you got some good advice, or did some good lurking before purchasing.. sounds like a good setup.

WELCOME TO TRT, great t have you onboard!!

PICS PICS PICS.. we LOOOOOOOVE pics.. but, from lurking you already know that :)
 

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Ditto on all the above, and Welcome to TRT :dance: :dance: :dance:

This is a great place to be, and we're glad you posted!!
 

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WELCOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Only advice that nobody gave you so far is PATIENCE!!!!!!!!
We all want to stock our tanks the minute we get them....but if you can wait AS LONG AS YOU CAN and take it SLOW.

Good Luck and welcome to the TRT.
 

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Hey Bearpaw! Welcome to TRT and looks like you have a nice set-up going! Any plans for a bigger tank? We have some great people here and we do have to mention Jay and Casey because we have to be nice and Jay has a snail technique he may want to share with you and casey is the clam man of TRT! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the advice folks! I'll send a pic when I get my digicam from my bro.

As for my credit card bills, all I can say is I'm off to Vegas this weekend to hopefully make up some of the $$$ that's gone to the fish tank! :D

Peace!:beer:
 

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Ughhh.. Dinoflagelettes..
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WOOHOO!!!!!!! Welcome aoard..... If ya been lurking and we haven't chased you away already, ya must be a TRT Keeper.... Welcome aboard and glad to have ya... :)
 
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