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I used to go into more than one way to do something when someone asked a question.
There is more than one way to do most things in this hobby and it boils down to what works best for the individual. I have gotten away from that it takes too long to post. And there is the chance someone could get confused.
We can try to explain the nitrogen cycle to newcomers. It might be a good idea to do a simplified write up on it and sticky it at the top of a topic. I am sure the nitrogen cycle is explained in several places here but is not easily found.
There is the reef keeping made easy thread but it is rather long making it kind of intimidating. It might be helpful if besides it current configuration it was also broken down in components. Such as, set up and cycling, algae control, etc….
 

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Just some guy, you know?
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I think that the recent adoption of dry rock for everything has lengthened the timeframe and totally changed the dynamic of a cycle. Back in the day we had an issue with die-off from live rock coming in, that created tons of ammonia, and took a while for everything to rot and get the garbage out before fish went in, but we had lots of bacteria and the tank was seeded with a huge number of beneficial organisms.

Now,.. we start with clean rock, and a sterile tank that we need to seed with all this stuff.

I had my new tank running for 4 months without anything in it sitting on an old sewing table as I built the stand, and the first month it was connected to my 135G. Now that tank is just over 6 months from seeing water for the first time and it's stable enough for coral, but it still hasn't "Locked" in to the point where it's super stable. I'm probably at least 6 months from it really hitting it's stride.

Whiskey
 

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Just some guy, you know?
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I'm a huge fan of trace elements BTW, and I think they can go a long way to reducing water changes like Glenn is talking about. I personally use the Triton Core 7 supplements on my 135, and I have done and ICP test from another vendor which showed that things were in pretty good shape. I'm not gutsy enough to stop water changes completely, but right now I'm doing a small amount monthly and the old water goes into my QT and Nano. My biggest issue with Triton is the cost, as my growth is going up I'm dosing more and more per day which is having a huge impact on cost. We are up to 70ML on each of the 4 parts per day now, and that means that the Core 7 4x4 lasts about 60 days and those cost $150. In the beginning I was spending $300 per year, now I'm up to $900 and the amount I need to dose increases every day. I'm planning to start looking into Kalk or something to offset that a little bit and bring that cost down.

On the nano I'm a huge fan of the Tropic Marine All For Reef. It's doing a good job keeping things stable for me, and I only need one dosing pump! It gets expensive as the system gets bigger, but for a nano it's doing really good.

Whiskey
 

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Fry Daddy! Multiple tanks, reef, seahorse
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Live rock is still my preference when it comes to setting up a reef tank. The money spent on nice live rock is no different then spending big bucks in lights skimmer and other thing we purchase. I have only set up one reef with dry rock. It took longer to establish but turned out beautiful. But even as nice as it was, I told myself I would never do it again.
now I do use dry rock that I cure in my sump for the seahorses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Seems there was a time there when 'ULN' were all the rage, and think dry rock became a thing then.....people were so afraid of getting 'stuff' in their system, they went around the bend.
I love the diversity of natural stuff being introduced into our systems......BUT I do remember some particularly vicious crabs popping their pointy claws out of some rocks on occasion.

THIS is probably a great starting point when a new member asks for advice.....'What are you looking for in this hobby......more natural vs more controlled?'.

I suppose that the DSR (Dutch synthetic reefing) that glennf uses would be one of the latest methods. I don’t know enough about it to talk it though.
I'm too low tech, and too lazy to change, but I am udderly shocked that no one on here has given this a go.
At first it seems there was difficulty in getting the correct chemicals over here, as a lot of stuff was sold/packaged differently....and now I see Glenn lists 'packages' for this system for sale.
At face value you can't argue with the results he displays.

Hack
 
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