Starting up nano reef

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Starting up nano reef

Postby prestonv44 on Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:50 pm

Hey, just wondering how long it would take (under normal circumstances) to bring dry rock to "live rock". My temperature is 80 on the dot and sg is 1.024 and I have a lot of water movement and have already thrown some food in the tank to get the cycling started (about 2 weeks ago i did this). Any hints to speeding the process or any big "do's" or "don'ts"?? Im pretty new to the reef world, I'm switching over from fresh/planted, so any good advice or hints would be greatly appreciated :) thanks. I'm mainly trying to educate myself on the "live rock/sand" aspect of the reef world.
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Re: Starting up nano reef

Postby Mpiv on Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:40 pm

Without getting into too many details you need a test kit. ( the basic one to test for ammonia, nitrite). You want ammonia and nitrite at 0.

It takes about a month, maybe more to establish bacteria, but the process can be sped up by getting a scoop of sand from an existing reef and adding to your sand bed. A couple good pieces of live rock works too. The big thing is add fish SLOWLY. Like a fish every few weeks. Nothing happens fast in this hobby, so even by speeding up the process you likely should still be waiting about a month total.

The cycle takes well over a year, you will get diatoms (brown dusty algae) then you will get green algae, then likely hair algae. Cyano or "red slime" may even show up.

All of these things eventually should clear up on their own as the excess nutrients are consumed, after about a year you will have a really nice healthy tank. That first year though is full of ups and downs, just when the tank looks good and you think you are in the clear, the next part of the process will begin to show up.

As each new part of the cycle arrives, internet searches will give many ways to help clear each up, in my experience they all go away on their own, with hair algae being the exception. Manually removing it from the rocks is key when it starts to die, otherwise it decomposes and releases all the nutrients it consumed back into the tank. Just my 2 cents, I'm sure others can offer other opinions.

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