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Starting my tank build

josephw

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So I went to petsmart an picked up a 75 gallon top fin tank lid light combo after work along with a 20 gallon for the sump an a little 5 gallon critter cage for crabs an whatever I might try to keep for live food. The tank came with a decent hinged glass lid I might be able to make use of but what I thought was a plugin for the light bar turned out to be just a little blue led light. Not sure what that's for but ill have to contact petsmart or the manufacturer to get one. So far I'm down $300
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josephw

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Sorry about the pics. Its actually an aqueon tank I got a little mixed up on that. So today I went out and bought an adapter for the light and an air pump and stone for some o2 in the sump. Next in the coming weeks ill be purchasing my protein skimmer, rodi filter, return pump, overflow box and a hob canister to exclusively run carbon. On the 55 gallon Oscar tank i used to have, I ran a fluval and marineland external canister filter at the same time so I know all about what's involved with canisters, I like the thought of using an hob can for carbon on this setup. Also plan on filter bags with carbon for the outlet from the overflow. I had a thought on incorporating a remote deep sand bed in a 5 gallon bucket Between the overflow outlet and the sump, any thoughts?
 

DWhatley

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I have an old Marineland filter box that I keep thinking I will set up in one of my sumps as a DSB but have never motivated myself to set it up. I do have a semi-remote DSB in my other octo tank (converted filter chamber of an ancient all in one type set up that now has an overflow). I really don't know how much the DSB helps though.
 

josephw

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Something else I was curious about, in an effort to prevent pests like bristle worms can I start this tank with dry rock and allow time to mature or will live rock be an absolute necessity to get it going?
 

DWhatley

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You can use any method of cycling that has been proven to grow bacteria but you will need a longer active cycle, ie actively feeding (adding an ammonia creator) the tank and pushing the bacteria growth well after it has cleared the initial ammonia>nitrite->nitrate testing. For a tank started with decent live rock, we recommend 3 months. I am not sure how much longer it would take starting with dead rock but if you do mature it this way, be sure to mention the time. Basically, you want the tank to handle the bio load of a very large fish (larger than you would normally put into the tank) or messy eater like an eel.
 

josephw

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Ive been watching a lot of videos on starting a reef tank from dry rock that were made by bulk reef supply, and it kinda seems like the same rule of thumb about 3 months but it all depends. I figure my sand bed bucket will take time to establish as well so once its actually up and running I figure ill dump some bacteria culture in it and start the process and then just let it run and watch it for awhile. I'm hoping to get an octopus in their around October so I'm in no rush
 

DWhatley

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Be sure you are actively cycling. You will need to continue to add a source of ammonia to grow the bacteria or it will die or stabilize too low to handle the waste of an octopus.
 

josephw

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What do you mean actively cycling, like the adding of shrimp or something to create a source of ammonia until it reads 0 and continue doing so until I add life to the tank?
 

DWhatley

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No, once you reach 0 nitrite, add more ammonia creating substance to continue to grow the bacteria. If you do not add ammonia, the bacteria will die back and you need enough to process left over food from a messy eater in addition to urine and solid waste.
 

josephw

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No, once you reach 0 nitrite, add more ammonia creating substance to continue to grow the bacteria. If you do not add ammonia, the bacteria will die back and you need enough to process left over food from a messy eater in addition to urine and solid waste.
So get the cycle going and continue to add that ammonia source until the livestock enters the tank, otherwise the system will crash because your not giving the bacteria a food source
 

Squiderp 12

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Something else I was curious about, in an effort to prevent pests like bristle worms can I start this tank with dry rock and allow time to mature or will live rock be an absolute necessity to get it going?
Technically, bristleworms aren't what you should be worried about. You should be worried about fireworms.
Bristleworms are just detrivores. Fireworms, meanwhile, sting and are predatory to invertebrates.
 

josephw

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Another update. I filed my taxes yesterday and should be getting around $1,300 back. Once I do ill be ordering the rest of my equipment and supplies and then getting things in motion. Decided to try diy rock so while I do that and begin the curing processes for it I figure ill start cycling my tank too. Started looking at skimmers again I'm kinda stuck between a reef octopus or a skimz model I saw. Also I was wanting to ask would it be a good investment to get a DC return pump so I can set the flow rate? I plan on just running with an hob siphon overflow.
 
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