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09-21-2006, 08:57 PM
You must have gotten live sand from somewhere for starting out your tank, because you are a little bit ahead of the game by having live sand. Is there any other reef life like coral or fish in the tanks at all? The reason I'm asking is that cycling a tank generally begins with white play sand or reef sand from your LFS, that has never had salt water touch it. It's dead sand at first! It starts with a tank, the brand new sand, and a big raw shrimp out of either your grocer's deli, or if you want to eat the rest of the bag, you can buy raw frozen shrimp. That one shrimp, with absolutely no other life in the tank will start to rot, causing the bacteria needed to begin your cycle. Some people put in a live fish like a blue damsel or blue/green chromis to start their cycle. I am in favor of the big dead raw shrimp because the live fish doesn't have to go through any stress through the cycle. I don't know how much you know about cycling, so if you would give the folks here the lion share of the knowledge you have, it will be so helpful for all of us to help you through a successful cycle. Right now, you shouldn't need to feed the tank anything at all even though you have life in the sand as they are living off the bacteria that is already in the live sand you have in your tanks. As a tank cycles, life begins without you putting anything in it but the sand, rock, water & the dead shrimp. You'd actually see copepods develop in that environment after awhile, first so tiny you can barely see them, but as the tank cycles and the bacterias develop, the pods grow, and you can watch them march in lines like ant colonies. This always amazes me when starting a fresh saltwater tank with absolutely no life in it.
With the live sand you already have, you will see pods already established in your tanks. The best time to view them is at night in the darkness by using a flashlight with a red lense. You'll really come to enjoy watching all these little critters work around in your tank while it continues to cycle. I'm assuming you have a good test kit to test your water keeping an eye on all your parameters until the day comes where the cycle is complete and you can start adding the cool stuff, right? Fill in all the details for us, and we'll be more than happy to help you out with 2 successful beautiful reef tanks! Welcome aboard! .......Angel :angel1:
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