The Reef Tank banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 180gallon system with a wet/dry and coralife 220 protein skimmer. This is my first saltwater/reef tank. I started out with my sand bed adding about 240 Lbs of fine Bermuda sand (forget the brand name, maybe araglive or something) and 5 Lbs of Live sand. When that settled I added my 160 LBs of live rock. I have had my lighting running 10 hours a day and everything else running as well. Dont know the exact size of my wet/dry filter but it is overkill (big enough for 300g tank. Im 2 1/2 weeks in to cycling the tank and have a full on diatom bloom going on. My tank just started running hot today at 86 degrees but i added fans and took off 1 glass lid for cooling. Ive been testing the water the past few days and im at 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, 20 Nitrates, 500 calcium, 11 or 196.9 alkalinity. I wanted some input from experience people whether they think the cycle is finished and it is safe to start with a cleaning crew? I know every1 stresses patience but i would like to get them in there to take away some of the mess. And im just excited to get it going. Or should i just wait it off?
 

·
Hydro-Dynamic
Joined
·
13,149 Posts
http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/f6/removing-all-the-bio-balls-at-once-167117.html
Are you going to running a reef? If so, you might want to check out
this thread. Post #7 Geoff explains that bio balls are not a wise choice
for a reef. For a FOWLR tank, the nitrates they support, should be ok.

It's just that at this point, it would be a fantastic time to remove them
if you have the desire to reef. I'm assuming being a wet/dry you have
bio-balls.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I did not test the first week or so, but there was a slight sign of ammonia in the 2nd week. I did not see a spike in either. Is it possible that i missed it? or will it last a few days?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I plan on waiting another week or so anyway, but thanks for the reassurance. I just don't want it to be too soon and have to start over or something along that line. I like the idea of replacing the bioballs with a small load of liverock. Thanks for the idea. It is no rush for me though, I will see how it goes 1st then eventually take it out if needed. My bioballs are easily reachable so it will not be a inconvenience. Plus i already have some small pieces of LR in with my return pump
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
34,435 Posts
Welcome to TRT!!

:wavey:

i would read through the entire thread linked by Japonicus in post #3. or here it is again. :D

it will explain a lot of what is going on and what is needed to keep a system long term. what are the plans for the system critter wise?

i would not put a clean up crew in the system until around month 2. it is just as important for the aquarist to learn the system than it is for the tank to mature. you should be performing water changes, feeding the tank, checking the levels, learning how to read the skimmer and where it likes to be run, and generally watching the system to make sure everything makes sense on where it is and where it needs to be. you do not want to be doing this when there are critters in the tank. the more stable the system is the better it is for all involved. i would not start getting corals and fish until after the uglies have passed.

you will quickly realize that the nitrogen cycle is not the problem, it is keeping control of the phosphates that cause the most people to leave this hobby. better to learn and understand them from the beginning and get the system running right before adding something whose life depends on it.

G~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I chose to remove my bio-balls based on most of the threads I have read. I do not have anything in the tank besides liverock and livesand so removing them all at once was OK. I do have a phosban reactor on standby just have to go pick up some tubing and waiting on the pump. I replaced the bio-balls with a few pounds of liverock at the bottom.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
34,435 Posts
no real reason to replace the bioballs with live rock. you should have plenty of filtration with the LR you have now.

as long as you keep siphoning up the detritus the phosphates will be kept under control.

i know it is very difficult, but taking your time is the best thing you can do.

G~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Added my CUC today. I had 2 or 3 DOA snails but besides that everything seems to be doing great. The porcelain and emerald crabs are moving around doing alot of work and the 4 turbo snails as well. Added 1 serpent sea start. He was very energetic and tucked behind some rocks and disappeared within 5 minutes. Gonna see how they all react 1st before adding anything else. I do plan on waiting a while before fish and even longer for corals with the exception of maybe 1 or 2 gobies or blennies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have 1 dead hermit in the tank (very small). He was the DOA. I have 2 peppermint shrimp in there too live and doing great. Do you think they will take care of the dead hermit or should i remove it? I could use the extra shells for the others. Also does any1 have a good place to get extra shells in various sizes?
 

·
Hydro-Dynamic
Joined
·
13,149 Posts
Yes get anything dead out. It putrifies and causes cyano bacteria.
Normally when dead, the crab is seperate from the shell. Snails are the worst culprit at dying and smell like 5 day old road kill! Not diggin the turbos without a large amount of hair algae to graze on.

I'm backwards of alot of people, adding cuc after initial fish load.
The fewer the fish the better the reef IMO. Less feeding/waste/PO4 ect...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I do have a good amount of algae already with a small load of hair algae. When my tank ran hot the one day it helped with putting on a load of algae. Im sure the turbos will have no problem thriving. Plus there is also only 3 mexican turbos and 3 astraea turbos to the whole 180g tank.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top