new tank


New Member
I am starting a 72 bowfront saltwater marine tank. I was told many things and have read the books. I was told by the fish store if I set it up with live sand and 40-50 pounds live rock that the cycling will not long at all. Is this correct and they stated wait a couple months before appling the skimmer on the wet dry.


I don't think that 40 to 50 lbs of live rock is enough to run a reef, if you are just using it to start a cycle it very much depends on the rock. The live parts of live rock start dieing as soon as you take them out of the water, so if you are using rock that has been shipped to you then you will have much more die off than if you buy the generally overpriced yet fully cured rock from the tanks at the lfs. Also the cycle will be longer if the live sand is sand from a running tank or sand from bags of Live sand.
I really think its bad -very bad - to try to rush the cycle. You are building a little eco system - It took god himself 7 days! :D
Rather than rush the cycle, enjoy the process. take your time and wait for the pods and stuff to take a good hold before you buy fish and stuff. Get lots of rock, you can get about three times as much from an online vendor as you can from the lfs, and more if you go with an uncured variety.
First, if you go with an online vendor, do just the rocks and a lot of water flow, and lots of skimming. When the skimmer slows down add the sand, and move the powerheads away from the sand bed.
When I think my cycle is winding down after about 3 weeks I go buy a bag of calurpa from the local fish store. In this I usually get some mini-stars and pods and some small snails. I do small doses of DT's phytoplankton for them to eat. When I start to see algae I throw in the clean up crew, and when all the algae is gone I feed them a dark leaf lettuce that has been frozen so they have something to eat until I get fish and stuff. when you see pods crawling all over the rocks and have mini-stars in the sand bed and rock work then get a fish. I don't like damsels, but green chromis are hardy and less aggressive. But because you have taken your time you can go with a fish that is less boring if you want. I start with a small clown and a plastic anemone for him to cuddle up to and I haven't lost one yet. Rushing the cycle seems like the better way to go in the beginning, because you have already invested so much time and money and you're excited, but you build a stronger tank - more resistant to disease and better able to cope with the inevitable traumas of power outages and powerheads that fall into the sand bed and the like when you wait. It's not as boring as it sounds either. We happened to have a party while my tank was in cycle a few years ago. I was kind of embarassed about the huge glass box of rocks I had in my living room, but at three different times that evening my friends were all gatered arond the tank watching tiny pods and little stars and hermit crabs play out their little dramas. We ran out of flashlighs when the tank light went out. Its odd because these same people come to my home now and comment on how nice the tank looks with it's beautiful corals and colorful fish and they don't pay as much attention as they did when we were all just watching pods.
You are really missing something extrordinary when you don't give the life in your tank time to grow.


New Member
thanks for the info. any more would be great. I live in florida so there are many saltwater stores and I get a little different way of doing it by them the books too and it is a lot. I am doing live rock live sand, fish and some sponges only for now


I agree. 40-50lbs is not enough. The general rule is anywhere from 1-2lbs of LR per gallon depending on who's opinion it is. I have about 115lbs in my 72 bow. Also, I COMPLETELY disagree with your LFS. Get the skimmer up and running immediately!
Also, monitor the cycle. when the ammonia and nitrites are zero'd out, do a water change and you're ready to add the cleanup crew.
This hobby is a test of patience. Take your time and you will be rewarded!
just my .02. HTH