My 1st Saltwater Journey (29 gallon) Now 40g AIO

JL15219

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Link to my new AIO thread build:

Hello Hello!

Finally after months of research and gathering equipment, I was finally able to setup my 29 gallon tank yesterday evening. Please excuse the heater and the huge powerhead. I haven't had a chance to hide the heater(Eheim Jagar 150w) and this is just a temporary powerhead for cycling. And I need to work on my cord management hopefully this weekend.
CFC19EDE-3091-4114-9819-27B4ED2140C9.jpeg


This are the dry rocks I am using :

So decided to cure/cycle my dry rock in the tank with no sand in case the rocks begin to release phosphates. This is my attempt to block out as much light as possible:
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Well I added Dr. Tim's One & Only and used the Dr. Tim's ammonia as well at 4 drops per gallon. After 24 hours I have taken my first ammonia and nitrite readings using Salifert test kits and my numbers are as follows: March 10 2021
Ammonia : 1.5
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Nitrite: seemed to be 0 to me but the wife said it had a slight pink hue.

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March 11: Ammonia 1.5 Nitrite 0 Phosphate 0.1
March 12: Ammonia 1.5 Nitrite 0
March 13: Ammonia 0.25 Nitrite 0.1 Nitrate 2

I will using Caribsea Agra-Alive! Fiji pink: 1 20lb bag I hope it will be enough if not I will just go buy a second bag no biggie.
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Lighting will be a: Reef Breeders Photon 24-V2+ but won't be used till after the cure/cycle.
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RODI 6 stage from BRS:
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Finally filtration is a simple HOB filter: Seachem Tidal 55.

These are some of the threads I started to get more information to get me to this point:
 
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Zoanthids

TexanCanuck

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Welcome to the family and congrats on your first tank!

Don't worry too much about blocking all light from getting at it. The idea is to simply not make algae worse by adding more light.

Also, your sand will significantly HELP you cycle this tank, as the water it's packed in contain bacteria that you are trying to grow in the tank.

What is your longer-term plan for this tank? Fish only? Corals?
 
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JL15219

JL15219

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I seriously question your decision to place the tank up close and personal at your desk because now you will get no work/play done and your wallet will steadily drain from the hypnotic effect.

I bet you watch it even with nothing in it, don't you? :)

Humour Waiting GIF by France tv
Lol Yes!!! It's weird because nothing is in it...
 
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JL15219

JL15219

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Welcome to the family and congrats on your first tank!

Don't worry too much about blocking all light from getting at it. The idea is to simply not make algae worse by adding more light.

Also, your sand will significantly HELP you cycle this tank, as the water it's packed in contain bacteria that you are trying to grow in the tank.

What is your longer-term plan for this tank? Fish only? Corals?
That's the thing I get told different things like to not let any light in and don't use the sand till I know that the rocks are not releasing any phosphates that might stick to the sand and make it hard to get rid of...I was told to do it in a Brute trash can which in essence blocks the light and allows for 100% water changes to rid nitrate and phosphate...But my long-term is definitely corals.
 

TexanCanuck

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Welcome to the joy of reefing ... where managing disinformation is as big a problem for us as watching Fox News.

Don't over-rotate on eliminating all light. Ambient light from the room is not going to make a huge difference.

Phosphates don't "stick" to sand ... and you are going to get them anyway, so learning to manage them is part of the "art" of reef-keeping.

And you need as much biodiversity in the bacteria colony as you can to help you get through the cycle process ... and the live sand is your friend at this point.
 
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JL15219

JL15219

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Yea like right out of the ocean. Gulf live rock and the like. Not sure how small a package you can get, but it's fascinating to use it and your system is small enough to react to any craziness introduced.
Oh okay I initially avoided it because how everyone made it seem like it wasn't a good idea due to unwanted algae and pest but now I really thing I should have gone with live instead of dry....maybe I can get some small pieces that I can incorporate with what I already have....don't want to just get rid of the dry rock I already paid for....do you have any suggestions for the live stuff?
 
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I love my 29 gallon. I also use a Tidal 55 which I love as well. I also run a protein skimmer. I have a 150w heater and a 100w preset in the tank as a backup and when I do waterchanges I take the 150w out and heat up water. I think you'll enjoy this tank quite a bit.
 

CrimsonTide

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I would definitely put your sand in as well. Bacteria will stick to it and the rock. Plus the carib sea has a little bit of beneficial bacteria in it as well so it can help you with cycling and begin to establish its self. I have 20lbs in mine and it is definitely enough. Too much sand and your powerheads will create sand tornadoes.
 

zukihara

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Oh okay I initially avoided it because how everyone made it seem like it wasn't a good idea due to unwanted algae and pest but now I really thing I should have gone with live instead of dry....maybe I can get some small pieces that I can incorporate with what I already have....don't want to just get rid of the dry rock I already paid for....do you have any suggestions for the live stuff?
I looked at gulfliverock.com and they have packages as low as $70. You don't have to purge your dry rock at all. As small as your system is, I honestly think you would love the diversity it provides (including bacteria) and it's entertaining as can be.

I know it seems like rush, rush, rush and get cycling so you can get at the fun (I'm there myself), but it's a long race and I you seem like you would like seeing all the crazy stuff emerging from that live gulf rock.
 

zukihara

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I would definitely put your sand in as well. Bacteria will stick to it and the rock. Plus the carib sea has a little bit of beneficial bacteria in it as well so it can help you with cycling and begin to establish its self. I have 20lbs in mine and it is definitely enough. Too much sand and your powerheads will create sand tornadoes.
And Roll Tide!
 
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JL15219

JL15219

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Welcome to the joy of reefing ... where managing disinformation is as big a problem for us as watching Fox News.

Don't over-rotate on eliminating all light. Ambient light from the room is not going to make a huge difference.

Phosphates don't "stick" to sand ... and you are going to get them anyway, so learning to manage them is part of the "art" of reef-keeping.

And you need as much biodiversity in the bacteria colony as you can to help you get through the cycle process ... and the live sand is your friend at this point.
Oh Okay that's what I figured after cycling several freshwater tanks over 20 years but since I'm new to the salt game this is different I didn't want to apply my freshwater knowledge too much to this.....
 
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JL15219

JL15219

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I love my 29 gallon. I also use a Tidal 55 which I love as well. I also run a protein skimmer. I have a 150w heater and a 100w preset in the tank as a backup and when I do waterchanges I take the 150w out and heat up water. I think you'll enjoy this tank quite a bit.
Which do you use? That Ehiem is big and ugly lol
 

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I concur with @zukihara - no need to get rid of your current dry rock. You can proceed with your cycle just fine with everything you've already got, and add some "aquaculture live rock" when you get a chance.

Here's what I'd recommend:

1) Drain all the water out of the tank that you can (it makes working with the sand much easier) ... don't throw the water away ... just drain it into a clean trash can as a temporary holding place

2) remove all of the rock EXCEPT for the pieces you want on the very bottom (i.e. the rocks that will touch the glass on the bottom) - you want your rock touching the glass, not sitting on top of the sand

3) with the water out and the bottom-most rocks in, now add your sand ... try and spread it evenly over the bottom and "tuck it in" around the rocks. Make sure to add all the water that is in the bag of sand (that's where all the good bacteria is!). When the bag is completely empty, partially fill the bag back up with a little water you stored in step (1) and swish it around in the bag to make sure you got all the bacteria that was in the bag, then dump it in the aquarium

4) now put the rest of your rocks back in. make sure the pile is sturdy, because some livestock like to brush stuff around and you don't want your stack tubing over in the future and squishing a pet. If necessary, use aquarium-grade silicone or SuplerGlue to glue the rocks to each other

5) now SLOWLY put the water back ... don't let the water fall directly into the sand ... let the water trickle down slowly over the rock until the tank is full

6) try adding the Dr. Tim's again, making sure you follow the instructions on the bottle TO THE LETTER

Relax and enjoy your favorite cocktail ... its the start of a wonderful journey.

Key for the next few weeks is to GO SLOW, don't rush the process, and follow the guidelines on the Dr Tim bottle exactly!

If you have any questions about anything, post them here!
 
Lazys Coral House

Would you consider your tank to be balanced or lopsided when it comes to coral?

  • Balanced Mixed Reef

    Votes: 98 32.7%
  • Lopsided SPS

    Votes: 58 19.3%
  • Lopsided LPS

    Votes: 69 23.0%
  • Lopsided Zoanthids

    Votes: 20 6.7%
  • Lopdsided Soft Corals

    Votes: 43 14.3%
  • Lopsided NPS

    Votes: 1 0.3%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 11 3.7%
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