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Old 01/30/2012, 10:59 AM   #1
ssminnow81
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starting a reef with no live rock?

im starting a 125 gallon reef i only have about 20lbs of live rock from my nano tank and i bought 120 lbs of live sand. would this be enough to cycle my tank? whats the downfall from not starting with live rock?


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Old 01/30/2012, 11:03 AM   #2
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I started my tank with dead rock and sand. About 160 of sand and 130 of rock. I have a 180 gallon. I used Toms One and Only and tank cycled fine after about 3 weeks. Added fish 2 days into it.


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Old 01/30/2012, 11:19 AM   #3
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It's kinda like going on a road trip with no gas money and 5 gallons of gas. You will be better off waiting until you can fill up the car and have some extra gas money.

You can cycle the tank with sand and a little rock but the problem is that it's not going to support much or a bioload unless you have additonal biofiltration somewhere else. Adding all the rockwork upfront is the way to go.


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Old 01/30/2012, 11:53 AM   #4
ssminnow81
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the 120 lbs of live sand wont be good enough?


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Old 01/30/2012, 12:04 PM   #5
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your live sand will provide some bacteria but no where near enough to maintain the cycle once you do add rock and fish and whatever you are adding. you will most likely get another cycle.


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Old 01/30/2012, 12:04 PM   #6
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You'll be fine just be patient. I just started a 120g with 75. lbs. of MarcoRock only and my tank cycled fine. 6 weeks in and I have some fish and coral. I had nothing live in my tank at first, I wanted to start disease and pest free and I plan on keeping it that way.


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Old 01/30/2012, 12:08 PM   #7
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Totally disagree with Playa-1, but I think he misunderstood...or I do. You plan on adding all 120 lbs of dry right away with the 20 lbs of live right? You should. If you're talking about cycling with the 20lbs of live and adding 120 lbs of dry after the cycle...then I think you should wait until you have the dry rock before trying to cycle.

I think your tank will cycle just fine with what you describe. The good thing is you have some established live rock. This contains all the life you want in your new tank.

The only restriction is time...you need to wait for the life on that 20 lbs of rock to reproduce and populate the other 120 lbs. Your "bio load" will not be that of a 120g tank for quite a long time (weeks/months), so wait for the cycle, stock slowly and you will be fine!

The more live rock you add, the faster the cycle "should" be, but there are no absolutes.


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Old 01/30/2012, 12:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssminnow81 View Post
the 120 lbs of live sand wont be good enough?
Good enough for what? What plans to you have for this tank. What type of livestock and quantities do you expect to support in this tank?


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Old 01/30/2012, 12:15 PM   #9
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I would add the dry rock and the 20lbs of live. You have enough bio-filtration in that to support the life from your 20g tank. Just let the tank mature for a few months before trying to add more life to it.


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Old 01/30/2012, 02:10 PM   #10
IridescentLily
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I have no live rock, i bought all BRS 'reefsaver' rock.
I have an excellent pod population which my goby has eaten exclusively for the past year
Here's the rock, and then the tank when we first set it up (took 6-8 weeks to cycle this non live rock with 4ppm of ammonia (the non-surfecant kind).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78e9c...e_gdata_player
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRBuc...e_gdata_player

Here it is a year later
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzcDz...e_gdata_player


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Old 01/30/2012, 03:28 PM   #11
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lps, softies,inverts, and a few fish on the smaller side


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Old 01/30/2012, 03:44 PM   #12
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Thanks Irridecent liliy, I imagine there is little to no phosphate in that LR, sometimes its scary getting older rocks and having the "Cooking" debate. I am really flirting with the idea of doing this as well, and then slowly adding in corals that are attached to LR vs frag plugs.


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Old 01/30/2012, 03:49 PM   #13
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I think the 20lbs of LR and the 120lb of LS will support that assuming that you're planning to add more base rock or cured liverock later should you decide to expand on the bioload. If you're planning that in the long run, then I would recommend that you do all the dry rock up front. It's not going to be very practical to add a bunch of rock to an established ecosystem later. Just my 4 cents


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Old 01/31/2012, 07:48 PM   #14
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i have about 100lbs of base rock, so im adding that and whatever live rock plus the live sand all at the same time.


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