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Thread: Live sand

  1. #1
    Senior Member thien's Avatar
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    Live sand

    Hi,

    Wondering if it is a good idea to get a couple of pounds of live sand thrown in to the 2inch or so of Caribsea reef sand? If so, should it be done after my live rock cures? I got about 60 pounds of rock and it has been one week (still not registering any significant ammonia). Doesn't look like there's anything moving on those rocks.

    thanks.
    thien

  2. #2
    Senior Member mouse6196's Avatar
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    My personal opinion is....if you add enough Live rock, it will seed your sand in no time. Live sand is very expensive for something that will happen naturally anyways.

    See if someone will donate or sell you a cup of their sand from their tank to give you a boost. I have done this for many people as I love to help people get started in this hobby. If I lived closer I'd give ya a cup or two from my refugiums.

    : :

    Also, it'll take longer than a week to see critters moving. Give it a month. They are there just not in huge numbers. If you want to find the best time to look. Try in the dark after about 2 hours of total darkness. Use a small flashlight. You'll see stuff then.
    The only thing two reef keepers will agree on, is what the third reef keeper is doing wrong!

  3. #3
    Senior Member thien's Avatar
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    thanks mouse! I appreciate the offer nonetheless.

    speaking of live rock, like I said it's been one week and I get a reading of 0.25mg/L ammonia with my Hagen test. I got these Haiti rocks from a distributor and he said it's been in his tank for 2 weeks. It was packed in a box with wet newspaper for 30 hours before I got it home into the tank (is that bad?). Question: should it take this long for additional die off to happen and increase my ammonia? I hope it's not my test kit. I've been told they are no good and will be getting different test kits soon. Question: what do you guys think of the Sea-Test brand?

    Anyways, parts of the rocks are turning white. Stuff looks like it's starting to rot (filmy stuff swaying in the water). Is this normal? Can I be doing something to help the cycle? I haven't done any water changes. I've got a skimmer going full time (some brownish gunk, not much tho), salinity 1.023, temp 78

    thanks!

  4. #4
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    best test kits are the Salifert.
    Albert
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Zookeeper's Avatar
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    "should it take this long for additional die off to happen and increase my ammonia?"

    Yes.

    "parts of the rocks are turning white. Stuff looks like it's starting to rot (filmy stuff swaying in the water). Is this normal?"

    Yes.

    "Can I be doing something to help the cycle?"

    No. Excercise patience.


    "salinity 1.023"

    Slowly (over a day) raise your salinity to 1.025.


    "Wondering if it is a good idea to get a couple of pounds of live sand thrown in to the 2inch or so of Caribsea reef sand?"

    Yes, seeding your "dead" bed with some live sand will help speed up the process of making your entire bed live. Mouse is right though, don't waste your money buying live sand. Get a cup from someone else, but wait until your cycle is done.

    What part of Ottawa are you in?

  6. #6
    Senior Member thien's Avatar
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    I'm going to try what mouse said about checking with a flash light at night to see stuff. As it is, during the day, I see no signs whatsoever of anything "live" on these rocks.

    thanks bristleworm for some reassurance about what's going on. I will continue testing (perhaps get some new test kits), up my salinity and see what happens. I have some water made up ready for a water change when and if ammonia spikes.

    i'm in the south end...a few blocks east of Bank/HuntClub
    thanks.
    thien

  7. #7
    Senior Member mouse6196's Avatar
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    You are doing everything right. The wavey dead stuff is a good sign....there is only one thing you are doing wrong adn we have done this huge mistake.....

    you aren't being patient....hahahaha

    Keep it up and it will all be fine. 30 hours in wet newspapers is not too long for the rock to sit at all...I've had the rock totally dry for over 12 hours and it was still alive. Just be patient. Each night when you view with a flashlight you'll see more and more. It might be one critter one night, then two,,,,in a couple months, the rocks and sand will be buzzing with activity.
    The only thing two reef keepers will agree on, is what the third reef keeper is doing wrong!

  8. #8
    Senior Member thien's Avatar
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    so I checked out my rocks with a flashlight after dark and I see................NOTHING! oh well...I got all worked up. Guess I have to wait some more.

    So I slowly managed to raise salinity a bit. My ammonia is still around 0.1 to 0.2

    I did check my akalinity and it has dropped a bit since 1 week. It's now at 2.6meq/L. Should this be a concern yet? Calcium is still at 410.

    Some say additives from day 1, some say don't bother until tank is cycled. What do you guys say?
    thanks.
    thien

  9. #9
    ijo
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    I say.. no need until your tank is cycled and you actually have some corals that need whatever your adding.

    It might be a good idea to get your calcium/alk in line if you plan on holding a large numbers of sps.. other than that... if the basic nitrate, nitrite and ammonia are in line... i wouldn't worry about it until you get more corals in there.

    IJO

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