Cycling with corals, opinions?

yanni

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Hey all!!

so I’ve reached wits end battling lobophora algae in my nano tank, so I’ve decided to completely restart, well almost. I’m keeping my livestock in a quarantine tank (glorified bucket on the floor) while I completely sterilise my tank, and add fresh rock and sand. I’m going to cycle it again, before adding my clowns and shrimp.

I’ve read some articles and watched on YouTube, as well as some friends, who recommend you can cycle a tank with corals in it. I wouldn’t want to risk some of my gonis and monti, but would consider cycling with some of my hardier corals, like my xenia, my zoas, maybe my morphs/rics.

I’m open to suggestions, but just wonder what the opinions are on this method
 

sixty_reefer

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I wouldn’t add any coral to the tank until you have a steady nitrates and phosphates showing, introducing any coral before that would stress the coral and probably starve them.
in addition you should keep your lights off wile cycling the tank (dead rock) to ensure that photosynthetic organism are not competing with nitrifying bacteria messing up the cycling process.
Your best option is to leave them in a temporary container with your old rock wile you set up the new rock, alternatively you could also cycle your rock and sand in a separate container and wend all good do the swap.
 
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yanni

yanni

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I wouldn’t add any coral to the tank until you have a steady nitrates and phosphates showing, introducing any coral before that would stress the coral and probably starve them.
in addition you should keep your lights off wile cycling the tank (dead rock) to ensure that photosynthetic organism are not competing with nitrifying bacteria messing up the cycling process.
Your best option is to leave them in a temporary container with your old rock wile you set up the new rock, alternatively you could also cycle your rock and sand in a separate container and wend all good do the swap.
That’s a pretty good point. I didn’t really consider that until just then. Would cycling the sand pose any worries upon transfer?
 

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Some Coral if not like a good 80% of it is Wild Caught. I would pick up any easy soft coral or two that are growing on live rock to be my first introductory Corals. There's a good chance your tank blooms in some form of undesirable life when adding live rock, but you would be introducing a myriad of biodiversity that will spread throughout your tank creating a more mature Reef aquarium. My recommendation would be GSP, Green Star Polyps, they're super tolerable and would make a great indicator Coral to start with, they propagate and grow super fast so you'll know if something is wrong.
 

livinlifeinBKK

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It’s on the other side of Australia to me, unsure what cost would be. Having trouble navigating their website right now, can’t find any pricing haha
I'd give them a call still just to get a feel for your options since there's not really a substitute for real live rock imo especially if you're trying to accelerate the cycle and i imagine you don't want your nicer corals in a bucket on the floor for any longer than absolutely necessary
 

sixty_reefer

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That’s a pretty good point. I didn’t really consider that until just then. Would cycling the sand pose any worries upon transfer?
Not really, you’ll have the benefit of using dry materials and transforming them into live sand and live rock, if done correctly you could minimise the ugly stage. If you were to allocate a vat with heating and flow. I would prefer to use a shrimp over ammonium chloride. The benefits of using a shrimp piece is that it will provide food (and a seed) for 3 groups of bacteria in comparison to ammonium chloride and bottled bacteria that just promote nitrifying bacteria.
 
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yanni

yanni

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Some Coral if not like a good 80% of it is Wild Caught. I would pick up any easy soft coral or two that are growing on live rock to be my first introductory Corals. There's a good chance your tank blooms in some form of undesirable life when adding live rock, but you would be introducing a myriad of biodiversity that will spread throughout your tank creating a more mature Reef aquarium. My recommendation would be GSP, Green Star Polyps, they're super tolerable and would make a great indicator Coral to start with, they propagate and grow super fast so you'll know if something is wrong.
Yeah I’ve got GSP, will definitely chuck it in I think. Will glue a tile to the back wall and watch it take off
 

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