Filtration needs during initial setup cycling process?

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by Joshua Jordan, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Joshua Jordan

    Joshua Jordan Member

    Jul 16, 2017
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    Fayetteville, AR
    I have a 32 g Coralife Biocube which I was generously given a few weeks ago. I have been in the freshwater/planted tank hobby for a little while, so I understand the nitrogen cycle but this will be my first foray into reef keeping. I understand that with reef keeping that for first-timers, the bigger the tank, the better; unfortunately I live in a rather small condo and space is at a premium so this is what I've got, for now.

    Here is what I am dealing with and why I am writing this post:

    I decided to go with some Nature's Ocean dry-rock and some Carib-Sea Arag-Alive Live Sand. I replaced the second chamber of the back and added an In-Tank brand Media Rack. The plan is to follow In-Tank's suggested setup where I have filter floss at the top level, 100mL Seachem Purigen at the second level and 6.5oz Boyd's ChemiPure Elite at the bottom.

    My question is this: During these first few weeks when I am cycling the tank, do I need to have all of these filtration processes in place, or is just filter floss enough? I ask because I filled up the tank last night and of course everything was cloudy because of the sand but by this morning everything was crystal clear and all I had in place was the filter floss. I have the Purigen and ChemiPure Elite, but didn't know if I should use it yet. Please let me know if I need to go ahead and start using the rest of my filtering processes. Another thought I was having is whether or not the live sand has enough beneficial bacteria in it or should I go ahead and dose the tank with Bio-Spira (or something similar) to get it going?

    Last question: Should I wait a week or two to start ammonia testing or start now?

    Thanks so much for all of your help,

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017

  2. dowsetts101

    dowsetts101 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

    Apr 21, 2017
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    Melbourne, Australia
    I'm in a similar position to you Josh, moving over from freshwater planted tanks. I'm still building my tank etc now but and starting to consider the needs for cycling.

    It seems to me from a lot of the reading and posts is that the cycle for a marine tank is a lot longer than the freshwater ones.

    I think that I will be going for a media lite approach for my cycle. I'm getting a protein skimmer but I don't think that I'll run it whilst I cycle.

    I suppose the dosing of bacteria will speed things up (which isn't a bad thing) but it will all happen eventually anyway.

    With regards to testing initially, I wasn't planning to for the first few weeks as there doesn't seem to be much point (apart from a purely academic interest perspective) to see the initial stages of the cycle.

    All that said, I'll be really interested in seeing what replies you get from people here who have actually done it...rather than my reading based comments!!!
  3. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

    Aug 14, 2016
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    Decatur, AL
    I would add Biospira. IMO live sand is overrated. Even if there are plenty of bacteria in the sand you won't get enough flow to those bacteria unless through it unless you run an undergravel filter.
    glb likes this.
  4. glb

    glb Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018

    May 12, 2013
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    Definitely add bacteria to help the cycle along. I've used both Biospira and Dr. Tim's One and Only and they both work. No need for a skimmer during the cycle. I'd also hold off on purigen during cycling. Any filter media like that could become home to the nitrifying bacteria and when you change it, you lose the bacteria too. On an established tank it doesn't matter, but with a brand new tank you don't want an ammonia spike. I'm probably being overly cautious but new systems are fragile and you don't want to disrupt them. Good luck!
    Reeferdave1960 and Brew12 like this.
  5. Reeferdave1960

    Reeferdave1960 Member

    Sep 29, 2017
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    Well the search paid off lol
    I'm starting a new Biocube 32 myself and was wondering the exact same thing.
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