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Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Buzzbomb, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Buzzbomb

    Buzzbomb

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    Kirk from Atlanta, GA here. First, let me say that in searching these forums it seems like a very valuable resource for both the beginner and experienced marine enthusiast, for that thank you to the admins, moderators, and users on this board.

    Before I start asking questions that I've been unable to find the answers to with some searches, I want to make sure I'm at the right place. Is this forum dedicated to those with reef aquariums only? I am just starting, and my thinking is that I should start with live rock before I go with a reef setup. In short, do I belong here, or perhaps I should be on different forums that are less advanced?

    Thanks!
    Kirk


    *edit*
    Let me give my basic setup for the marine aquarium:

    75 Gallon non-drilled tank. Two large powerheads, about 20 - 25 lbs of live rock (doesn't look like much in the aquarium at all) with about a 5 gallon bucket and a half of live sand. The rock and sand have sat almost dry for about a month after being used before, so the rock and sand may no longer be "live". I have a sump setup with about 8 lbs of live (maybe dead) rock in it, a protein skimmer, and when the water is filled to the "water level" line in the sump, I guess it's about 3 or 4 gallons of water in there. I also have a 9 watt UV sterilizer. I replaced all the tubing with black vinyl, and set everything up about a week ago. Tested the water, apparently it is still cycling as the nitrites are kind of high.

    My main two questions to start were:

    How much live rock would be advisable for this setup? What I have in there does not seem like much at all, not even enough to go across the tank (4 feet) sitting side-by-side.

    I've noticed I have considerable evaporation. Should I be replacing the water with regular (non salted) RO water, or should there be salt in it? I know salt doesn't really evaporate - but I'm not really sure how to read the little salinity/specific gravity thingy to know what I should do.

    Thanks, guys.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2008
    Buzzbomb, Mar 6, 2008
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  2. Buzzbomb

    dustin_P74

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    let me be the first to welcome you here. its great to see another Georgian here at the reef. a basic rule is one to two pounds of live rock per gallon of water. and the evaporation is just freshwater so it should be replaced with RO freshwater.
     
    dustin_P74, Mar 6, 2008
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  3. Buzzbomb

    reeffreak

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    Welcome to Living Reefs.You've found the right place-this is all saltwater aquarium related site.Fishfan is right,1-2lbs of live rock and top off with RO water.Not all of it has to be live rock either.It can be mostly dry base and seeded with several pounds of live.Eventually the live rock will seed the dead rock.
     
    reeffreak, Mar 6, 2008
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  4. Buzzbomb

    Buzzbomb

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    You guys are great! I'm going to go ahead and get some new live rock - I'm guessing I should fill my sump with the new live rock, and put the old in the aquarium as "base"?

    I'll start checking around here for recomendations of good "first fish" to do, but if anyone has any pointers about that, I'm all ears. Me likey the bright colors, and really interesting fish, but I'm also thinking I need to get fish that are very forgiving of total noob owners.

    Thanks again.
     
    Buzzbomb, Mar 6, 2008
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  5. Buzzbomb

    reeffreak

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    I would let your tank cycle first before adding any fish including inverts as well.If you don't have enough uncured live rock to start the cycle than either drop a table shrimp in the tank or ''ghost feed'' fish food several times.The decaying food will start the cycle process.Once ammonia and nitrites are at zero do a water change than look at maybe clownfish,dartfish,blenny etc.

    How 'com you putting the live rock in the sump and not the display?
     
    reeffreak, Mar 6, 2008
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  6. Buzzbomb

    RyanG ^*Eternal Dumbass*^

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    Welcome to the Reef Buzz, Fishfan and Reef have your questions covered for now so welcome and have fun. This is a great forum with ultra-nice, knowledgable fast answering people, enjoy!
     
    RyanG, Mar 6, 2008
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  7. Buzzbomb

    Buzzbomb

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    I'm actually putting it in both. I bought the whole setup off of craigslist, and the guy suggested I do that. Is it a bad idea?

    I'm planning on getting about another 50 lbs of live rock (ouch) tonight on the way home from work. If there's anything I need to do other than put it in the tank, the advice would be appreciated.

    Ammonia spiked, nitrites spiked also, and have been dropping - but are not down to zero yet. I'll wait for that, then check back here just to make sure before I pick up fish. I'm probably getting repetitive with the "thank you" thing, but it's really appreciated, guys.

    Kirk
     
    Buzzbomb, Mar 6, 2008
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  8. Buzzbomb

    daugherty part time reefer

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    hi and welcome. were's the pics.
     
    daugherty, Mar 6, 2008
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  9. Buzzbomb

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Welcome to the reef.
    Sounds like you have sump/refugium system.Thats a plus.The live rock in the the sump will help keep your pods growing and that equates to a natural food source for fish and corals.
    Good luck with it,and dont be shy with the questions.
    All we ask in return for answers are pictures.
     
    yote, Mar 6, 2008
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  10. Buzzbomb

    Marke86 Coral Junkie

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    Be patient too! we all know it sucks looking at an empty tank and having to wait for the tank to cycle but an empty tank looks better than dead fishes.
    SO WELCOME TO THE REEF!!
    Mark
     
    Marke86, Mar 7, 2008
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  11. Buzzbomb

    reeffreak

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    Assuming you have a refugium then no,its good to have some live rock in it as well.I would put the ugliest dead rock in the fuge and put the good stuff in the display.Don't forget to save some space for macroalgae in the fuge.
     
    reeffreak, Mar 7, 2008
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  12. Buzzbomb

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Hi and welcome!

    Apparently I've come late to this thread and I feel as though all my thunder has been stolen :(.

    Like others have said, you are in the right place for anything having to do with saltwater tanks, 1 to 2 lbs of live rock per gallon, seed your dead "live" rock with real live rock, wait until ammonia and nitrites hit zero, then do water changes to bring nitrates close to zero. Don't add a fish until the cycle is complete.
     
    Bifferwine, Mar 7, 2008
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  13. Buzzbomb

    Altohombre The Tennis Pro Reefer

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    some good starter fish after you cycled is always clownfish. They have a lot of character and everyone knows what they are. I started my tank with two.
     
    Altohombre, Mar 7, 2008
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  14. Buzzbomb

    Buzzbomb

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    I'm sorry - what is macroalgae? Is that something that can be purchased?
     
    Buzzbomb, Mar 7, 2008
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    RyanG ^*Eternal Dumbass*^

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    RyanG, Mar 7, 2008
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  16. Buzzbomb

    fatman

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    Macro algae in appearance are the salt water equivalent of plants. Microalgae in salt water tanks are the green, brown and red growth that can appear anywhere in your tank and on your glass. Consider it like undesirable grass that is somewhat hard to keep away and even harder to get rid of. The amount of live rock needed depends on whether you have a sand bed of some depth, whether or not you have a skimmer or mechanical filtration and how heavily you stock your tank with fish, invertebrates and coral. Consider the live rock and live sand as sewage processing plants that turn undesirables organics into tolerable organics and a skimmer as a remover of organics. Plus people in general think a certain portion of a tanks volume filled with coral seems appropriate after it has become fashionable to create aquascapes with the live rock. There are no real magic formulas or percentages as it all depends mostly on your husbandry techniques and you ability to limit your tank occupants in number to what your ever growing and changing system can handle. In the beginning a lot of people do not have the large sums of money needed to buy a lot of rock and sand and therefore use less but do frequent partial water changes to keep there tank pollutants at acceptable levels for fish and or hardy corals.
     
    fatman, Mar 8, 2008
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    jhnrb

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    welcome to the site. I have live rock in both the main tank and in the refugium which is on a photoperiod opposite the main tank system. keep us posted and good luck with your system.
     
    jhnrb, Mar 15, 2008
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  18. Buzzbomb

    Keaton

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    Hey Buzz welcome to LR!! I've got a similar setup to yours...75g non-drilled. I've got 60lbs. of Austrailian spaghetti rock (clean) and 30 pounds of cured fiji live rock. I'm gonna basicly seed my clean rock and turn it into LR (or attempt to anyway) and cycle my tank all in one shot. You may want to consider that (if you have the patience) as it was much cheaper than 90lbs of LR. Anyway good luck with your tank!
     
    Keaton, Mar 16, 2008
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  19. Buzzbomb

    ravenfan8705

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    Hi Buzz and welcome to LR. It's very slow start before you can add fish, I'm going through it right now. But once everything is right and you add fish it will be so much better. It's worth the wait.
     
    ravenfan8705, Mar 16, 2008
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  20. Buzzbomb

    Buzzbomb

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    Just kind of an update - seems like cycling is complete (or close enough to add fish), my nitrates were the last part of that, and afer a couple of water changes, everything seems in balance. Got a LOT of that brown algae crap, but the "cleaning crew" took care of that. Added a foxface and a bar goby, the foxface is kind of skiddish, but the bar goby is having a blast.

    Lately I've noticed a lot more "life" out of my live rock. Last night I noticed multiple "tentacles" which I've looked up and appear to be very large bristleworms...I say large as in I saw easily more than 9 inches sticking out of one rock, and couldn't even see the other end. Are these guys anything to worry about?

    Also, any suggestions for my next fish? My kids won't stop harping on me about the stinking "Nemo and Dory fish" so I may do that - any warnings moving forward, or suggestions on very colorful, pretty, and non agressive fish that are easy for a noob like myself?

    PS - I took some pictures...will post when I get home tonight.
     
    Buzzbomb, Mar 17, 2008
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