Need help on starting my cycle!

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by reefstarter, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. reefstarter

    reefstarter Active Member

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    I recently decided to start my own reef tank, but am still a little bit unsure on all the specifics of doing so. I have a 60g tank filled with water (1.024 spec. grav. and 78dF). First, are these numbers good for the water?

    Second, what must be added before I add my live rock and start cycling. I have a heater already, but have not decided on what lights to use. Dont have a super-high budget, so do you have any suggestions for the most cost-effective lighting that I can buy? If you could post a link or search term for the lights for me, that would be great!

    Finally, once I get the lights, am I good to go for the live rock?

    Thanks for the help, really excited to start this tank!
     
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  2. reefstarter

    reefstarter Active Member

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  3. stunreefer

    stunreefer Reef Hugger R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award

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    Yes, those numbers are good for the water.

    You can add Live Rock without a light, unless you specifically want to keep certain macro algae or corals that came in on the Live Rock alive. Many people (me included) these days start with dry rock, as it's much cheaper, and then "seed" the rock with beneficial bacteria in numerous ways: bottled bacteria product, tiny pieces of Live Rock from local reefers or a LFS, or simply waiting and adding some nutrient source (like food) for bacteria to grow naturally. Personally I use a bottled bacteria source (check out Prodibio, Microbe Lift, etc.). With that said some beneficial bacteria is photosynthetic and will benefit from a light, but it's certainly not necessary initially.

    The type of light you will want to purchase directly correlates with the type of coral you wish to keep, so let us know the latter, and we'll go from there.
     
  4. Dwr

    Dwr Well-Known Member

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    First spec. grav. is good and temp is good. But you still need to check the PH you should keep it between 8.2 and 8.4. But even before this are you getting this water from the faucet or filtered RO-DI water. You need to start with clean water. This will solve a lot of problems before they start.

    Second- you want to make sure your Calcium level. I use purple up to start.
     
  5. Dwr

    Dwr Well-Known Member

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  6. reefstarter

    reefstarter Active Member

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    My tank is 36" long x 18"wide x 24" tall, and since it is my first reef tank I was thinking of doing mainly soft corals. I don't want to spend $300 on an RO system, so I put in tap water, dechlorinated it, and waited 3 days. Will this be okay? If not, is there anything I can add to it to make it okay without having to get all new water? Thanks for the help
     
  7. reefstarter

    reefstarter Active Member

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    I have a 36" x 18" (wide) x 24" (tall), 60g tank. I am looking to mainly grow soft corals since it is my first reef tank. I did not want to pay the $300 for an RO system, so I used tap water, dechlorinated it, and waited 3 days. Will this be OK? And if not, is there anything I can do to it to make it better so I do not have to get all new water? Thanks for the help!
     
  8. SeymourDuncan

    SeymourDuncan Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    :violin: I will play for you now before your algae goes nuts, so you will be ready.

    I dont know what Maine's tap water is registered, but my TDS meter reads 190 from the sink. Now with my spectra pure RO it reads 001 to 002, depending on which jug I am testing from. One is culligan, the other generic. 001 difference on a tds meter is not much, but 190 is alot more junk than I am happy with mixing with my corals.

    I use pure RO and my water is always like glass. My stubborn friend across town used tap, but claimed to use the brita water pitcher to filter when his girlfriend was looking at me from the other room shaking her head "NO HE DIDNT" lol.

    At first it looked good. day 3 came after he added salt and he woke up to 55 gallons of green water!!! It was harder for him to lie to me when you could not even see his rocks from the algae bloom.

    SO I tested his tap water, brita pitcher filter water, and a cup of my RO water next to some from the Grocery as well.
    Tap was 187
    Brita was 170
    Grocery RO 006
    SpectraPure 002

    I would highly advise a complete water change, as bad as it sounds, it will be the only way to actually be in control of your water parameters. Unless you have complete data of what is in your tap water than you have no clue what comes out of your sink.

    MY unit was nowhere near 300. Maybe like 175 after tax. You do not have to have one made by a fish related company if those are all you have seen. Plus the waste water can be used for ALL types of stuff. Out door dog dishes, watering plants, storing for toilet flushes if your water lines get turned off for any reason, store it to drink even...some people say it tastes better than what comes from the tap...basically the waste water is tapwater minus 1 gallon of H2O/13 gallons tap (use each units specific waste ration, but you get the idea).

    There are thousands of uses for the waste online...i personally use it for my dogs, garden, and pond (seasonally of course).
     
  9. Dwr

    Dwr Well-Known Member

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    it may be ok for now to cycle the tank but later it will be a problem with water changes. usually the local marine supply store will sell it. you might check . also with soft corals some take more light than others. here is a sight that might help there are many others just check around but lighting should be around 4+ watts per gallon.

    What Your Coral Needs | Successful Reef Keeping
     
  10. Dwr

    Dwr Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with Warlock RO water is definitely worth it.
     
  11. planereefer

    planereefer Reefin' Addict

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    I agree, RO/DI is definitely worth it. Without it you have dissolved solids in your water like lead for example.
     

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