CUC Crew Recommendations for New 310gal

CincyReefer07

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Hey guys! Well my 310gal has been up and running now since the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. I’ve had lights on it now for a couple of weeks. Just put my permanent light setup(coral cares) on it last weekend and have them on a 10 hour light schedule at only 20% intensity right now. I used 140lbs of Ocean Direct live sand and have 75lbs of fully cured Australian live rock in the tank along with 170-180lbs of what was dry fiji, pukani, and Marco rock.

Starting to show signs of algae in some places on the sand bed and on the Australian live rock, nothing really yet on what was the dry rock. I’ve noticed pods on the glass.

What would be some good CUC recommendations for a tank of my size at this stage. Just trying to get out ahead of the uglies just a little bit to keep it from exploding. Plan on adding first small group of fish in the next week or two, pair of captive bred clowns and 4 or 5 captive bred bangaii cardinals. Any advice and suggestions are greatly welcomed! Thanks guys!

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Lavey29

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300 gallons will require an army eventually but I would add in phases so you don't get die off. Nicely diverse eventually with critters that clean rocks, sand, under the sand, etc... it won't prevent ugly stages but makes them manageable. Your large tank gives you a lot of options but eventually you will want some turbos, conches, urchins. Scarlet hermits, tongan nacarius ,, Florida cerith, trochus snails, etc... but add as needed
 
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CincyReefer07

CincyReefer07

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300 gallons will require an army eventually but I would add in phases so you don't get die off. Nicely diverse eventually with critters that clean rocks, sand, under the sand, etc... it won't prevent ugly stages but makes them manageable. Your large tank gives you a lot of options but eventually you will want some turbos, conches, urchins. Scarlet hermits, tongan nacarius ,, Florida cerith, trochus snails, etc... but add as needed
Yeah I figured it will be a big army for sure. For the time being I’m just wondering what might be a good starting crew to keep a new-ish tank of this size manageable as it goes through it’s ugly stage.

Was thinking a few conches, handful of snails and handful of hermits. Exactly as far as how many, that I’m unsure of. Don’t want them to starve and have too much die off, but also again, don’t want the ugly stage to get too ugly and unbearable, I know it will happen either way, just like you said, manageable.
 

Lavey29

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Yeah I figured it will be a big army for sure. For the time being I’m just wondering what might be a good starting crew to keep a new-ish tank of this size manageable as it goes through it’s ugly stage.

Was thinking a few conches, handful of snails and handful of hermits. Exactly as far as how many, that I’m unsure of. Don’t want them to starve and have too much die off, but also again, don’t want the ugly stage to get too ugly and unbearable, I know it will happen either way, just like you said, manageable.
You just have diatoms for a few weeks. They go away on their own when silicate is gone so you have a month or more before any cleaners really needed. I would focus on fish initially now.
 

Uncle99

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Not much to clean yet, I’d go very small, a few Astrea for rocks, a few Nassarius to mix the sand.
Otherwise they die off and help fuel the pest stuff.
As it grows, you add more, you’ll know when.
 
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CincyReefer07

CincyReefer07

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You just have diatoms for a few weeks. They go away on their own when silicate is gone so you have a month or more before any cleaners really needed. I would focus on fish initially now.
Yeah that’s a good point too. I do think I have my first small group figured out that I was going to have my LFS order for me this weekend if I was going to go pick up a few snails and hermits. Was going to start with either a pair of clarkii’s or a pair of skunk clowns and really want a male/female pair of bangaii’s, but have no way of knowing who’s who, so I may get 4 or 5 and keep whichever ones pair up then return the others or wait until I see aggression between them arise then remove the ones that aren’t paired.
Not much to clean yet, I’d go very small, a few Astrea for rocks, a few Nassarius to mix the sand.
Otherwise they die off and help fuel the pest stuff.
As it grows, you add more, you’ll know when.
Yeah that’s very true. I might just pick up 3 or 4 red legged hermits and a mix of 6-8 snails for now and also order my first group of fish for the tank while I’m at the LFS
 

Lavey29

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Yeah that’s a good point too. I do think I have my first small group figured out that I was going to have my LFS order for me this weekend if I was going to go pick up a few snails and hermits. Was going to start with either a pair of clarkii’s or a pair of skunk clowns and really want a male/female pair of bangaii’s, but have no way of knowing who’s who, so I may get 4 or 5 and keep whichever ones pair up then return the others or wait until I see aggression between them arise then remove the ones that aren’t paired.

Yeah that’s very true. I might just pick up 3 or 4 red legged hermits and a mix of 6-8 snails for now and also order my first group of fish for the tank while I’m at the LFS
Just be sure you QT fish or buy from a trusted source that does QT especially with clowns which are prone to disease. This wiped out my tank early on.
 
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CincyReefer07

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Just be sure you QT fish or buy from a trusted source that does QT especially with clowns which are prone to disease. This wiped out my tank early on.
For the first batch I was going with captive bred to not have to worry as much about that. Then as I start getting into the fish that can’t be bought captive bred, I had planned on putting them into QT
 

Lavey29

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For the first batch I was going with captive bred to not have to worry as much about that. Then as I start getting into the fish that can’t be bought captive bred, I had planned on putting them into QT
Well I think that's still a gamble especially with clowns. I got mine from a place in business 45 years. Huge showroom of fish and tanks. Clean as could be. A month later and brook hits the tank. But I wish you much success.
 

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I would add some turbos, astraeas and a few tuxedo urchins. I would also turn off the lights unless you want a bigger problem on your hands? The reason we keep the lights off during the cycle is to keep algae at bay while N & P spike, then we reduce them to normal levels with water changes, protein skimming, etc... I think adding fish and a big CUC at this stage may only cause you more algae problems. Sorry, don't mean to be Danny Downer, but this is the reality of cycling a new tank. Just something to think about.
 
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CincyReefer07

CincyReefer07

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I would add some turbos, astraeas and a few tuxedo urchins. I would also turn off the lights unless you want a bigger problem on your hands? The reason we keep the lights off during the cycle is to keep algae at bay while N & P spike, then we reduce them to normal levels with water changes, protein skimming, etc... I think adding fish and a big CUC at this stage may only cause you more algae problems. Sorry, don't mean to be Danny Downer, but this is the reality of cycling a new tank. Just something to think about.
Should there really be a cycle though? Considering 75 pounds of Australian live rock was kept in a separate tank for 4 months with 40 pounds of ocean direct live sand? And the last month of it being in a separate tank also had snails and crabs in it and lights turned on that tank, and then all was transferred into this tank once it was set up and filled. Along with an additional 100 pounds of ocean direct live sand
 

minus9

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An actual cycle, probably not, but the dry rock is the catalyst for potential issues if it wasn’t cured properly? If the dry rock contains any organics, it will fuel algae growth, which is why dry rock needs to be bleached or acid washed, then bleached to remove these organics.
Again, I would add snails and urchins to hit the algae, while keeping the lights off to help them. If you’re going to add fish now, make them count and only add herbivores/Utility fish.
 

Jekyl

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I would start with the 120g package from reefcleaners.org
 

Uncle99

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Should there really be a cycle though? Considering 75 pounds of Australian live rock was kept in a separate tank for 4 months with 40 pounds of ocean direct live sand? And the last month of it being in a separate tank also had snails and crabs in it and lights turned on that tank, and then all was transferred into this tank once it was set up and filled. Along with an additional 100 pounds of ocean direct live sand
No cycle, as you point out, seasoned LR being used.
 

minus9

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Sorry, what I meant to say is cure. There is a difference between the two and the issues that arise from improperly cured dry rock. Either way, having the lights on during the early stages will cause issues like what your experiencing now. Adding herbivores will help, but I wouldn’t dump in a ton at first, just enough to knock back the algae growth. Their waste will contribute to the existing phosphates, so you need to keep that in mind going forward.
 
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CincyReefer07

CincyReefer07

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Sorry, what I meant to say is cure. There is a difference between the two and the issues that arise from improperly cured dry rock. Either way, having the lights on during the early stages will cause issues like what your experiencing now. Adding herbivores will help, but I wouldn’t dump in a ton at first, just enough to knock back the algae growth. Their waste will contribute to the existing phosphates, so you need to keep that in mind going forward.
As for the dry rock, I did bleach the pukani rock which was about 80 pounds worth. And then was rinsed in rodi and then kept dry for months. Then the last 80 pounds of dry rock which is 50 pounds of Marco rock from BRS and 30 pounds of old fiji rock that was in a relatives system a few years ago. But has been boxed up for at least a couple of years. That fiji and Marco, all I did with it was rinse it real good in rodi water and let it dry out for a few weeks and that was all I did with that. So 75lbs of cured Australian live rock, 80 pounds of bleached, rinsed in rodi and dried pukani rock, and 80 pounds of fiji and Marco dry rock just rinsed in rodi water and dried out. Then the 140lbs of ocean direct live sand.
 

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