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I am a reef tank owner with a 180-gallon tank with a 60-gallon refugium. I've been raising saltwater fish for 15 years. I am always learning new stuff about this hobby and these sites are great for questions. I mainly raise just fish but am thinking about adding corals.
Can I cycle a saltwater tank with live sand only and base rock?
Yes, but it will take longer. Honestly i wouldn't even use live stand. Just use dry and base rock. Ghost feed the tank, and monitor for the cycle
Been there done that, will not do that again with live sand and dead rock.