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Old 03/14/2018, 07:53 AM   #1
campo21
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Quick cycling with dry rock and dr tims?

I realize this subject is in alot of places but there still some questions I dont have answered. Back when i first started this hobby everyone was using live rock. However now a days im really interested in starting with dry rock and dry sand, starting sterile and not dealing with the pests!

I've seen enough videos proving that you can cycle a tank in like 6 or so days with dr. tims, (yes i will test and make sure it cycled) so that's my plan on this 120. Heres my question. Does dr. Tims provide all the bacteria needed for good long term live rock or is there more i should be adding? I wanted to stay away from seeding with a little piece of rock from another aquarium because of the pest thing and starting sterile thing (you never know and frankly I don't know anyone in my vicinity that i trust that much). Should I be using dry sand? Is that safer as far as pests or no? I really wanted to try starting completely fresh and sterile.

Also do you have to add copapods and amphipods separately like from a bottle? What about coralline algae? I know it can come from a sdnail but is there a better way? What are the downsides to this? What might i be missing in my tank? Is there anything else you all suggest adding to the tank to make the bacteria and live rock more efficient for a reef?

Thanks so much for taking the time!


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Old 03/14/2018, 08:00 AM   #2
RobZilla04
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Absolutely can start with nothing but dry rock, substrate, and a quick cycle product. Keep in mind your tank will go through several stages of algae, "the uglies", due to rock work leaching phosphates in most cases.

You will develop over time a substantial and diverse beneficial bacteria population. Down the road you can add pods from a bottle or set up a refugium with macro which will likely introduce them into the system.


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Old 03/14/2018, 08:32 AM   #3
campo21
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Ok so you're referring to using dried reef rock that still has dead organics in it and curring it in the tank correct? I debated doing this, i also debated using like a BRS reef saver with no organics. Is it a pain to go through the real dry rock curing in the tank?


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Old 03/14/2018, 08:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campo21 View Post
Ok so you're referring to using dried reef rock that still has dead organics in it and curring it in the tank correct? I debated doing this, i also debated using like a BRS reef saver with no organics. Is it a pain to go through the real dry rock curing in the tank?
Rock which was previously used in a system for a significant period of time and been allowed to fully dry will not leach phosphates back into a tank.

Dry base rock, particularly pukani and limestone will leach tons!

Depending on when you will set up the tank you can begin curing dry, new, base rock now. Typically three to six months and many water changes during that time is recommended to allow the rock to become fully live (and most/all of the leaching nutrients gone).

If I were to start over again with a large tank (>75g) I'd go to a LFS I trust and start with live rock. I'd try using brute containers, fresh salt water, and a coral dip or Bayer to rid the rock of pests before putting it into my tank. Cost would be associated with that obviously.


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Old 03/14/2018, 09:10 AM   #5
Dmorty217
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I setup my 625g with all dry rock and TLC Startsmart complete (cycles a tank immediately). To add the life that you miss out on with dry rock (copepods, amphipods, ect) I will buy a few pieces of live rock from Richard at TBS, best rock you can purchase hands down and absolutely full of life. If anyone wants to try the TLC startsmart or uses it religiously, frag20 gets you 20% off your order, I use the stuff all the time when setting up QT's too.
https://www.tlc-products.com/startsm...w-tank-set-up/


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Old 03/14/2018, 09:13 AM   #6
campo21
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Yeah i really want to start completely sterile, I like the idea of watching the rock come alive. So Maybe Pukani isnt my best choice.

So if i used brs reef saver (never had anything living on it) and dry sand, would I have to seed this with more than just dr tims to get a good colony of bacteria? Any other bottled products to consider?


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Old 03/14/2018, 09:15 AM   #7
campo21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmorty217 View Post
I setup my 625g with all dry rock and TLC Startsmart complete (cycles a tank immediately). To add the life that you miss out on with dry rock (copepods, amphipods, ect) I will buy a few pieces of live rock from Richard at TBS, best rock you can purchase hands down and absolutely full of life. If anyone wants to try the TLC startsmart or uses it religiously, frag20 gets you 20% off your order, I use the stuff all the time when setting up QT's too.
https://www.tlc-products.com/startsm...w-tank-set-up/

When you say you started with live rock, do you mean rock that has been in the ocean and dried such as pukani? Did you cure it in like a brute first or did you put it right into the aquarium? If so did you have that phosphate problem and algae blooms?


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Old 03/14/2018, 09:21 AM   #8
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dry rock sorry!


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Old 03/14/2018, 09:32 AM   #9
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IMO starting out planning to have a quick cycle is a mistake..
Unless you have a very darn good reason in general the slower you go in this hobby the better..

Its great to want to start with dry rock to potentially avoid pests,etc... so thats fine..
But to allow that tank to cycle naturally over a 4-6 week period and then to allow it to continue to mature over the next few months will in general be "better"...

Forcing nature to do something is never a good idea...


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Old 03/14/2018, 09:43 AM   #10
campo21
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The point really isnt to cycle faster, im not in a huge hurry to stock the tank or anything. Im actually looking forward to watching the bacteria inhabbit the rock. That being said science has progressed and you dont really have to do it the long way anymore. Dr Tim has gigantic clients such as the Georgia aquarium etc. he has cycled 200,000 gallon aquarium in a week. I've done it the long wat several times. Now many experienced aquarist are doing it this way. I don't see the benefit of letting the bacteria grow naturally when the science is there to just add it right away. It's proven to work by hundreds if not thousands.

I do respect your opinion though, dont get me wrong, im just going to go about it a bit differently and am looking for experiences from others.


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Old 03/14/2018, 10:36 AM   #11
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Good luck..


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Old 03/14/2018, 06:20 PM   #12
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I have used dt. Toms multiple times & each time it still took a month or so to fully cycle the tank. The higher u let the ammonia get at the beginning will affect how long it takes.

What I did notice each time is the ammonia would zero out in less then a week. After 4 or 5 days ammonia would be zero. Nitrite lasted for weeks until it would zero out though. In my experience with it that is how it worked for me. I assume that is why it is ok to add fish after a week or so. Nitrite isn’t toxic in saltwater unless it gets extremely high, so the fish end up making it ok.

So basically it converts the ammonia to nitrite quickly, but in my experiences nitrite lasts longer then just letting it naturally cycle. So I don’t think it really sped up the overall cycle in my experiences. I will add that I have never tried the StartSmart that dmorty linked.


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Old 03/14/2018, 08:08 PM   #13
Dmorty217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campo21 View Post
When you say you started with live rock, do you mean rock that has been in the ocean and dried such as pukani? Did you cure it in like a brute first or did you put it right into the aquarium? If so did you have that phosphate problem and algae blooms?
It was a mix of rock, probably 150lbs of the 500 or so is pukani, most came out of another members tank but it was purchased by me dry. I didnít do anything to the rock, my phosphates are still high and the tank was resetup in September. The tank is a FO so the phosphates donít bother me. Diatom issue


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Current Tank Info: 625g, 200g sump, RD3 230w, Vectra L1 on a closed loop, 3 MP60s, MP40. Several QTs
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Old 03/14/2018, 10:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmorty217 View Post
I setup my 625g with all dry rock and TLC Startsmart complete (cycles a tank immediately). To add the life that you miss out on with dry rock (copepods, amphipods, ect) I will buy a few pieces of live rock from Richard at TBS, best rock you can purchase hands down and absolutely full of life. If anyone wants to try the TLC startsmart or uses it religiously, frag20 gets you 20% off your order, I use the stuff all the time when setting up QT's too.
https://www.tlc-products.com/startsm...w-tank-set-up/
Would have been interesting to try. I started a new tank cycle back in February with 150 lbs of dry Pukani. I used Dr. Tim's One and Only. I've read it works, others that it doesn't. In this particular case I would say it didn't add any value nor reduced cycle time so it was a waste of 100 bucks.

My work flow for the rock was: Order rock, unbox, pressure wash, place in 4 17 gallon tubs, fill with tap water, add power head, add a cup and a half bleach, sit 24 hours, drain, add water, more bleach, sit another 24 hours, drain again, add more water, bleach, another 24 hours, empty, refill with tap water, add lanthanum chloride, sit 24 hours, empty, more water, more lanthanum chloride, repeat another day. Empty, pressure wash again, sit 24 hours, then aquascape the tank, add sand, glue janky pieces that seemed they may fall, fill with ri/ro water, sit overnight. Then dose Ammonia to 2ppm with return pump, sea swirls, and gyre. Let sit over night, measure Ammonia to validate 2ppm, start cycle check.

I personally didn't see Ammonia drop until about the 10th day. Once that happened, I think the reading was 0.4 and Nitrites shot up to 1. So I knew it started anyway. I let it ride to watch Nitrites process and do their job once they hit 0 and dosed Ammonia back to 2ppm and tested 24 hours later to make sure it went to 0. It did. All in all I would say the process was a bit over 30 days.

Would have been interesting to see how this product worked. Maybe another tank or QT has you suggest. Thanks for the link - I've bookmarked it


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Old 03/14/2018, 10:42 PM   #15
rffanat1c
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Timís has worked for me. Reef cleaners rock is the best. Never leached phosphate for me.


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Old 03/15/2018, 07:27 AM   #16
campo21
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I've heard good things about reef cleaners and reef saver rock from brs, I think im going to go with one of them. What kind of sand did you use? Live or dead? Does live sand have the same potential for pests as live rock?

Also when using dry rock and sand, is there anything in your experiences that was not present that I should be adding besides copapods, amphipods and a little seed or carolline?


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Old 03/15/2018, 09:11 AM   #17
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IMO avoid "live sand"..
Its just sand that was at one time wet/populated with bacteria and now is at some point in between that and totally dead as its mostly just been sitting on a shelf in some warehouse for who knows how long..
My experience is that it causes more problems that it will ever solve as its quite filled with a lot of dead organic matter that tends to cause excessive algae/diatom/cyano,etc... issues..


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Old 03/15/2018, 12:26 PM   #18
campo21
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That was my feeling. Is there a brand and type of sand that everyone likes to use? That doesnt get thrown around by flow but is still good for sand sifting gobies? Does the araganite dry sand from red see still have all the dead organics in it? If so what kind can you use to avoid that?

thanks again this thread has been very interesting.


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Old 03/15/2018, 12:27 PM   #19
campo21
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Carib sea, sorry


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Old 03/15/2018, 02:35 PM   #20
rffanat1c
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Carib sea has worked well for me. Always had oolite. No experiences with other types. Never had any issues with it and I run two MP40ís on a 180.


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Old 03/15/2018, 04:31 PM   #21
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I mixed two this go around in my 210. 4 x 40lbs of Aragonite Special Grade and 2 x 40 lbs Aragonite Fiji Pink. The Fiji ping seemed a bit finer than the standard aragonite and was used to form a channel look off the side of the tank. I have two 1" sea swirls running off a Cor 15 running at 80%. I also have a XF 250 Gyre that maxes out around 80% when peak. No blowing around but I can see patterns in the sand which is what I wanted.


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Old 03/15/2018, 04:41 PM   #22
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I've used Fiji Pink a couple of times. I really like the color but it is a bit light. If you're wanting an SPS tank with a ton of flow, you might look at something a bit larger in grain size. With that said, I have 3 MP10's close to maxed out in my 38G in reef crest mode and don't get any sand storms. My biggest annoyance with the Fiji Pink is that I got spots where it blows the sand along the bottom over time and creates bare spots. Again though, I love the look of Fiji Pink. Probably the nicest looking sand I've seen.

EDIT: Oh yeah, I've done the quick cycle thing many times. I've used Dr Tims ammonia but have always used IO bio-spira. It works great. Yeah, I still go through all the ugly phases, but at least I can add a small fish or two sooner that'll give me something to look at. Keep in mind, this is using dry rock. If I bought some NICE LIVE rock I would probably let it cycle on it's own and just look for new critters on the LR.


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Old 03/15/2018, 09:37 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campo21 View Post
The point really isnt to cycle faster, im not in a huge hurry to stock the tank or anything. Im actually looking forward to watching the bacteria inhabbit the rock. That being said science has progressed and you dont really have to do it the long way anymore. Dr Tim has gigantic clients such as the Georgia aquarium etc. he has cycled 200,000 gallon aquarium in a week. I've done it the long wat several times. Now many experienced aquarist are doing it this way. I don't see the benefit of letting the bacteria grow naturally when the science is there to just add it right away. It's proven to work by hundreds if not thousands.

I do respect your opinion though, dont get me wrong, im just going to go about it a bit differently and am looking for experiences from others.
Keep in mind nitrifying bacteria are not free floating in the water, very little is. It lives on surfaces like inside the pores of sand and rock. It takes time to grow and colonize the rock and thats just nature. It does not matter what you add from a bottle. I have cycle tank with bacterial products and without and it takes the same time either way. I just feel products like BM7 and Biospira increase diversity.


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