Substrate and start up questions

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by JohnVH, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. JohnVH

    JohnVH Reefer Madness VIP Member

    Oct 18, 2011
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    Winnipeg, MB Canada
    Please excuse my Noobiness, I have been wanting to do this for many years I am still planning my reef (eventually) tank.

    Equipment I have:
    6 Stage RO/DI 100G per day
    45g 36Lx12Wx24H Tank with built in overflow tank drilled in back
    Vertex N100 Skimmer
    36” Coralife 4x39W w/ Lunar Blue LED 10,000K and Actinic
    Saltwater Refractometer

    Equipment I need / am thinking of purchasing:
    2 - Hydor Koralia 750GPH Powerhead
    1 - Hydor Koralia 550GPH Powerhead
    1- 300W Titanium heater w/ remote stat (in sump)
    Test kits yet to be determined
    30g 3 chamber sump 1st chamber w/skimmer, 2nd chamber Live rock w/ Live sand (is there any benefit to adding live sand without doing a DSB w/ the LR in in sump), 3rd chamber w/bubble trap return to DT. Sump is being built by friend at work.
    1-Pump for return yet to be determined
    Salt (would love some input on what brand you guys would recommend)
    50 Pound box Key Largo Rock (dry) from

    Wish list:
    ATO, Controllers, Wave Makers, Chiller, blah blah blah in time patience is key.

    Once I complete my need list can I start up my tank in the following way:

    Tank and sump in stand w/skimmer plumbed and ready to go. Add premixed saltwater to tank w/approx. 40 -50 lbs Live Sand for roughly a 2in depth and 50 - 60 lbs dry Marco Rock with 5 -10 lbs Live Rock to seed dry rock. Powerheads in place.
    Is it possible to put all this into place and let the dry rock cure in the tank and will the tank eventually cycle to the point where I can add livestock. If I have Live rock in the sump w/Live Sand if beneficial do I need a light for the sump. 300W heater will be in sump.

    I am very patient and am in no way in a rush to add livestock to the tank I want the rock to cure properly and the tank to fully cycle.

    I am looking to use Caribsea Arag-Alive Bahamas Oolite Substrate for my 2” bed

    Also I was wondering about covering the tank is it a good idea I have heard differing opinions on the subject. I will have a canopy on top as well.

    I am aware of livestock limitations due to the size of my tank, I will not be overcrowding it with large fish such as blue tangs and large angels and such.
    I will be adding livestock very slowly and not in many numbers at once.
    Eventually I would like to add some hardy corals suitable for a beginner.

    Thanks for any input
    JohnVH, Dec 1, 2011
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  2. JohnVH


    Mar 26, 2011
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    you have been doing some research I can see..:D
    Everything I see on there will be fine to get up and going.. The rock will become live and cycle over a short period just throw a couple live pieces in to help the process..
    One thing I would reccommendis I would run the sump barebottom , it will save you headaches later , the liverock in it will be fine but I would not throw the sand in the sump..the only cover if you want one would be one of netting to keep anything from jumping out no glass tops..
    good luck and yes patience is the key
    marcah, Dec 1, 2011
    JohnVH likes this.
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  3. JohnVH


    Jan 3, 2009
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    Chicago/Oaklawn IL
    +1 Marcah
    Smitty, Dec 1, 2011
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  4. JohnVH


    Oct 3, 2011
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    +1 on Bare bottom sump, makes it very easy to clean.

    just check measurements on your cabinet if you can fit that 30g under your DT. make sure you have enough height to clean.

    2 suggestions:

    - Pick up a spare Heater

    - Think about using a small personal clip fan rather than the chiller you have listed.

    Good Luck!!! sounds like you have a great plan in place.
    Old_Moe, Dec 1, 2011
    JohnVH likes this.
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