first timer here

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by Jhoek18, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. Jhoek18

    Jhoek18

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    Hello everyone. I am new to the saltwater world. I bought a 55 gallon tank and dry rock. I set it up this past weekend. I used 40 pounds of CaribSea live sand and Instant Ocean salt. Im running a sunsun canister filter and about to buy a coralife super skimmer (not sure if its good but has good reviews)... My mind is in a million different directions on this cycling process. Everywhere i look everyone has different opinions on what to do. So im probably about to ask some stupid questions.

    Water change:
    some people say 50% weekly some people say 20% week and some say dont do any water change. so what is the correct procedure here? If no water change then do i do a water change before i add fish? after tank is established i was reading 15% water change monthly?

    Lighting:
    Im not that it really matters to much but i know some people say no lights on and some even say cover the tank.

    After the cycling process i add some sails and hermit crabs and shrimp to clean the tank from the cycle (im assuming the tank will be pretty nasty?) how long after i add the CUC can i add fish and does it matter if i fish or coral first? Sorry to a bunch of dumb questions i just want to make sure i do it right and not someone shortcut way. I mean fill the tank up with water and wait 4-6 weeks for everything to read zero sounds to easy. Thanks in advance. Im sure ill have some more questions after the cycle lol.
     
    Jhoek18, Feb 2, 2016
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  2. Jhoek18

    Becky Administrator

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    Hello and welcome aboard! :)
     
    Becky, Feb 2, 2016
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    Tifoez and Jhoek18 like this.
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  3. Jhoek18

    Jhoek18

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    well why thank you!
     
    Jhoek18, Feb 2, 2016
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  4. Jhoek18

    salt_for_brains Alabama Reefer VIP Member

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    Hi and Welcome to Living Reefs! Let me see if I can help you out with these questions.

    Everyone's tank cycles at different rates. After your cycle you should be reading 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and elevated nitrates. You will want to do a water change to get the nitrates back down to as close to zero as you can. I would do a 20-30% water changed and then test the nitrates and see where they are at. As far routine maintenance (after the cycle) once you get the tank going with live stock I would recommend 10% weekly water changes but if you see that isn't enough to keep your nitrates at or close to zero then I would step it up to 15-20%. A lot of variables when it comes to saltwater tanks (i.e. fish load, how well your skimmer is working, your live rock filtration, etc..). You can run with or without lighting during the cycle it really doesn't matter.
    After the cycle which means you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and as close to 0 as you can get on nitrates you can add a small clean up crew. It is up to you if you want to put fish in first or corals or you can add both. Just remember to take it nice and slow on fish---one or two if you want a pair of clowns at a time then wait a couple weeks and make sure your tank can handle the new bioloads.

    I hope this answers your questions. Don't hesitate to ask more.

    Nick
     
    salt_for_brains, Feb 3, 2016
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  5. Jhoek18

    IraqVeteran HOOAH

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    After you cycle it is entirely dependent on your bioload on % and how often for water changes. My tanks never register anything for ammonia, nitrite, nitrates, or even phosphates. I have a 90 gal reef tank with a 36 gallon sump. I have a larger skinmer in the sump. You will have to find out what works for you. I do 20 gallons every two weeks on my 90 gal and 3 gallons on my 14 gallon biocube. Never have problems. But, I am lightly stocked. The 90 gal has only 3 b/g vhromis, 2 clowns, diamond goby, and a neon pseudo. I will get one or 2 more fish at some point, but mine is mainly a reef tank. I feed them every other day frozen food that I thaw using tank water in a little cup and I use an eye dropper to spot feed them. This way I can be sure that most of the food gets eaten rather than just dumping it in the tank and 50% of it getting lost in the rocks and causing nitrate spikes.

    I left my lights, filters, pumps, etc..on just like normal operation mode during my cycling phase. You will get the nasty diatoms, but they go away...dont worry. Make sure you use the best wayer possible.

    I use a 32 gal Brute trash can for my RO/DI water. I have zero algae problems and perfect clarity in my tanks. I use Salinity by Seachem salt mix. I love it because it is a perfect batch everytime. It is always at 1.026 sg every time and the elements are the same each time too. You may have to dose calcium and other elements depending on what corals you keep and how much they use. Frewuent WC's help with this too.

    Good luck and as you will hear from others.....take your time and enjoy it.
     
    IraqVeteran, Feb 6, 2016
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  6. Jhoek18

    monique

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    the coralife skimmers are cheap and they dont work very well. your skimmer is one of the most important pieces of equipment you will buy. get the best you can afford. the coralife turbotwist sterilizers work good though
     
    monique, Feb 13, 2016
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  7. Jhoek18

    Tifoez

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    Welcome aboard, you have asked several great questions, and I'm sure you are in great hands around here..
    Good luck, and get plenty of pictures so next year you can look back on where you started..
     
    Tifoez, Feb 14, 2016
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  8. Jhoek18

    monique

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    go buy yourself one nice piece if live rock. it will steed your cycling up imensilly. also if you can geta cup or 2 of sand from the bottom of am established tank that will help too. probably cut your cycling by half as well as introducing lots of benificial little critters
     
    monique, Feb 14, 2016
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