ok, SPS dedicated reef tank from beginning, how long to cycle and what to add to water from day 1 ?

deansreef

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Hello, I am setting up a new 225 gallon that will be all SPS and nothing else except for a few fish... tank is acrylic 60" x 36" x 24" high. Flow will consist of 3 x apex wav and 1 x ecotech MP60. Return from sump will be 1 x ecotech Vectra M2 thru 2 returns. Lighting will be metal halide with Led supplement. tank will be barebottom using real reef rock ( dry ) . Skimmer is RLSS 8 and sump will have refugium as well.

How long should I cycle the tank with the rock in it and no livestock before adding any coral or fish? I am in no rush to add any livestock as I want this system to sustain SPS when its ready.. I have heard the longer you wait to add any livestock the greater the success in the long run.

everyones thoughts?
 
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C. Eymann

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Get some Dr. Gs ammonia chloride OR ghost feed.

Either get a few pieces of rubble or some (clean )macro or a bottled bacteria to inoculate.

I personally just ghost feed > ammonia chloride and monitor throughout the cycle, I only run actinic or no lights at all during and a few weeks after the cycle, bring halides online only a few hours a day, gradually ramping up until you run into your initial algea bloom, add some CUC as needed. After you are over that hump and mineral levels are good, add a few easy sps, Pavona, sytlopora, M. digitata, sertiopora etc etc. ? Id avoid poccilopora IMO, spits out polyps and spreads around the tank, becomes a pest!
Once they start showing new growth you can start with easier acropora, A. yongei, A. loisettae and A. micropathalma (Scripps) are a few stags that are easy and yet fast growers, after they show they are thriving, go wild!


Thats just the way I like to establish an SPS tank, there is more than one way to skin a cat, great topic btw! following for sure!
 
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deansreef

deansreef

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Get some Dr. Gs ammonia chloride OR ghost feed.

Either get a few pieces of rubble or some (clean )macro or a bottled bacteria to inoculate.

I personally just ghost feed > ammonia chloride and monitor throughout the cycle, I only run actinic or no lights at all during and a few weeks after the cycle, bring halides online only a few hours a day, gradually ramping up until you run into your initial algea bloom, add some CUC as needed. After you are over that hump and mineral levels are good, add a few easy sps, Pavona, sytlopora, M. digitata, sertiopora etc etc. ? Id avoid poccilopora IMO, spits out polyps and spreads around the tank, becomes a pest!
Once they start showing new growth you can start with easier acropora, A. yongei, A. loisettae and A. micropathalma (Scripps) are a few stags that are easy and yet fast growers, after they show they are thriving, go wild!


Thats just the way I like to establish an SPS tank, there is more than one way to skin a cat, great topic btw! following for sure!
Thanks for the reply, good advice.
 

drawman

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I will say in my experience keeping a lower and of course stable alk (ie 6-7dKh) helps to keep acros happy early on. I think you have more room for error at lower Alk personally.

Bottled bacteria have allowed me to place acros very early on the first month or two. I think you can add your first fish very early on. However, nothing wrong with taking it slow.
 

Pdash

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I'm no expert but from my experience, direct and indirect, with dry rock it's a balance between going to slow and too fast, you need to stock so that you can balance nutrient levels well above zero to keep your acros healthy, but also not get over run by nuisance algae.
 
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ycnibrc

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U still have to go through the regular cycle but if you start with all dry rock then recommended to add bacteria source like zeobak to seed your dry rock with different strand of bacteria. Normally tank will be good enough to keep Sps in 1 year.
 

hotdrop

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Honestly for my second tank I would add liquid ammonia some bacteria and let it cycle for 6 weeks. Then add some really fresh liquid Coraline and let it cover your rocks with no competition so maybe 6 months. Only then would I add anything else
 
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deansreef

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Honestly for my second tank I would add liquid ammonia some bacteria and let it cycle for 6 weeks. Then add some really fresh liquid Coraline and let it cover your rocks with no competition so maybe 6 months. Only then would I add anything else
thank you for the input, makes good sense
 

hotdrop

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thank you for the input, makes good sense
For my first tank I didn’t do that and added frags at 6 weeks so I had a bunch of nussance alge take over and cover the dry rock. Then I had to battle everything and had green rocks diatoms and now even 8 months in the green Algee on the rocks is reducing Coraline growth. Not ideal
 
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piranhaman00

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Why would you recommend a product you’ve never used? Makes your recommendation a bit less valid
Not really my point.
people parroting everything they read online without any experience doesn’t really do much to help anyone.
Woah! I actually started typing my reply before you responded so I didnt read what you said before posting, I agree with you, I was just stating I can vouch it works for that other guy :)
 
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Honestly for my second tank I would add liquid ammonia some bacteria and let it cycle for 6 weeks. Then add some really fresh liquid Coraline and let it cover your rocks with no competition so maybe 6 months. Only then would I add anything else
I’m ghost feeding my 2nd tank now. Been dark for 8 weeks. My refugium is running and I seeded with copepods. Skimmer runs about 12 hours a day. I’m dying to get lights on it to add the liquid coraline algae, but I told my wife it would be the end of November before I mounted the lights. Of course the tank cycled very quickly(3days). Maybe I can convince her there are only 15 days in November.
 

Justfebreezeit

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You need some nutrients for the corralline to grow though. So adding a couple fish early is beneficial imo
 
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