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#826 Godfather

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 03:12 PM

If they're getting on mate leave them to it - they'd have started fighting as soon as they met if they were going to. My yellow tang had a go at the angelfish when I first put him in, but after a day or so they are absolutely fine, and have been ever since.

All the info I've seen says that Turbo snails can't right themselves - I did leave two for 3 hours this morning, and they never moved. Because of the shape of their shell, when they fall the round base is pointing at 45 degrees to the top of the tank, so I can't see how they would right themselves.

I did give two the chance to this morning, but after 3 hours thought I better give them a helping hand! If I go away on holiday, they might be in trouble. So they have until August to sort out their recovery plan then they're on their own as I'm away for two weeks!

I'm chuffed to bits with the lights - I'll take some more photos later when it's dark, as it really doesn't do it justice with all the reflections and the fact the room is light already.



Ahh, I don't have turbos, I just assumed they could come far out of their shell and right themselves. Stupid things, you think they would learn! maybe you have the worlds most stupid turbos? :whistle:


Really worried where my nem is going, he is off round the tank, i have covered my powerheads intakes - just hoping it is strong enough to stop him going in :lol:

#827 Bas

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 03:15 PM

Ahh, I don't have turbos, I just assumed they could come far out of their shell and right themselves. Stupid things, you think they would learn! maybe you have the worlds most stupid turbos? :whistle:
Really worried where my nem is going, he is off round the tank, i have covered my powerheads intakes - just hoping it is strong enough to stop him going in :D

They don't really come out of their shell much - just the "foot" bit to suck onto wherever they are. There are two up on the glass, and they're doing fine. The rest are now all on the gravel, and not moving much (but then there is plenty of algae on there so they're probably just munching)

There is one on the rocks, who has managed to stay there for two days - so he clearly knows how to do it :lol:

Are you able to turn the powerheads off or down for a couple of days - just until the anemone has found a suitable place? Obviously the filter has to stay on, but the powerheads could go off just until it's found itself a nice spot.

#828 Bas

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 03:30 PM

I just found this web page which is very comprehensive, with everything on one page:

Keeping A Marine Tank

#829 Romeo99

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 04:14 PM

Having just read that article you posted LD, I see it is also mentioning "live sand". I've come across this a few times now but still don't know much about it. Is it better to just get play sand and how deep would you recommend it being layed?

#830 Bas

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 04:21 PM

Having just read that article you posted LD, I see it is also mentioning "live sand". I've come across this a few times now but still don't know much about it. Is it better to just get play sand and how deep would you recommend it being layed?

Live sand normally comes in bags, and is full of beneficial bacterias which every tank needs. Using live sand will significantly reduce the time it takes the tank to cycle and be ready for fish.

It's about £18 a bag I think, and I'd recommend a sand bed of at least 4 inches. Mine is 4 inches at the back, sloping to 2 inches at the front. Ideally that still isn't deep enough, but it's ok.

Play sand is fine for tropical tanks, but with marines you need all the help you can get, and I'd definitely recommend live sand. Mine was live sand (though I didn't realise at the time) and the benefits are huge, not least because it more or less acts as a second filter.

Quite a lot more info HERE

Edited by Little Devil, 27 April 2007 - 04:23 PM.


#831 Romeo99

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 04:35 PM

Definitely looking at getting live sand if it cycles the tank quicker.

I'm starting to get a grip of lighting requirements/powerheads etc. now, so many thanks to yourself and GF (that long post was great).

Had a good scout of eBay and I don't think I'm going to be able to get a tank from there unfortunately. I really want the Juwel Rio 180ltr but all the ones for sale are in locations like Essex and Hampshire and it's just too far to go. I'd be looking at 700-800 mile round trip!!!!

So, due to that I'm just going to have to pick up a new one. Will try and get some of the more "postable" kit second hand from eBay. Cheapest I've found the Rio 180 is £249 from Pets at Home but I'll keep looking. Incidentally, I went to an alarm activation a couple of weeks ago at what used to be an old camping store. Walked in and it was joiners that had set it off by accident. Noticed they were fixing loads of cabinets to the wall and saw a lot of what I thought were display cabinets on the floor. Was only when I was leaving that I saw a boxed marked "Juwel" and realised it's obviously a new fish shop that's going to open there. Must check it out, it looked like it had a lot of tanks.

#832 Bas

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 04:53 PM

Definitely looking at getting live sand if it cycles the tank quicker.

I'm starting to get a grip of lighting requirements/powerheads etc. now, so many thanks to yourself and GF (that long post was great).

Had a good scout of eBay and I don't think I'm going to be able to get a tank from there unfortunately. I really want the Juwel Rio 180ltr but all the ones for sale are in locations like Essex and Hampshire and it's just too far to go. I'd be looking at 700-800 mile round trip!!!!

So, due to that I'm just going to have to pick up a new one. Will try and get some of the more "postable" kit second hand from eBay. Cheapest I've found the Rio 180 is £249 from Pets at Home but I'll keep looking. Incidentally, I went to an alarm activation a couple of weeks ago at what used to be an old camping store. Walked in and it was joiners that had set it off by accident. Noticed they were fixing loads of cabinets to the wall and saw a lot of what I thought were display cabinets on the floor. Was only when I was leaving that I saw a boxed marked "Juwel" and realised it's obviously a new fish shop that's going to open there. Must check it out, it looked like it had a lot of tanks.

£249 is about the going rate looking at a few online stores.

Might be worth having a look at Aquarium Classifieds to see if there is anything local to you.

Bear in mind that if you use 100% live sand it will still be about 2 weeks before you can add fish. All depends on the results of the water tests which you will need to do to determine if the tank has cycled.

My mate used 100% live sand recently, and his cycled in a week, so it's possible. Cycling is a loose term there, because if you start from scratch, the wait is for nitrifying bacteria to multiply to consume the ammonia, and then nitrate bacteria to consume the nitrite.

When you add live sand it will already have all of those bacteria in, so the process is much quicker. It just needs to multiply enough for the volume of water you have.

Using RO water from the start will help too since there are no nitrites or nitrates to begin with, and also no ammonia.

For that size tank I'd guess you'll need around 4 bags, so it will cost a fair bit.

Edited by Little Devil, 27 April 2007 - 04:55 PM.


#833 Romeo99

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 06:23 PM

I don't mind waiting a bit longer with the live sand if it means I'm going to get another filtration device out of it. LD, can I ask what overhead unit you have for your tank and what controls it has? Does it allow you to switch off specific tubes or is it just a constant on?

I'll post a list at somepoint of all the equipment I think I need to get and it would be great if you and GF would just give it the once over to see if I've missed anything.

#834 Godfather

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 07:10 PM

Are you able to turn the powerheads off or down for a couple of days - just until the anemone has found a suitable place? Obviously the filter has to stay on, but the powerheads could go off just until it's found itself a nice spot.


Not really without risking the pH levels, I think he will be fine, jsut a worry.



Having just read that article you posted LD, I see it is also mentioning "live sand". I've come across this a few times now but still don't know much about it. Is it better to just get play sand and how deep would you recommend it being layed?


Live sand is all a bit rubbish to be honest. Sure some micro micro organisms may live in it, but it sits in an airtight bag on a hot shelf for months, so not much is alive! Just get some nice sand and ask your LFS or someone near you with a marine tank for a cup of their sand to seed yours, thats all you need.



It's about £18 a bag I think, and I'd recommend a sand bed of at least 4 inches. Mine is 4 inches at the back, sloping to 2 inches at the front. Ideally that still isn't deep enough, but it's ok.


Ohhh eck, i'm afraid we are going to disagree on a fair bit of stuff here. First off I wouldn't do a DSB (Deep Sand Bed) unless you are doing it properly, and there is a lot more to it than just deep sand. 2 inches is ample for a tank, anymore and you risk nitrate traps.



Definitely looking at getting live sand if it cycles the tank quicker.

I'm starting to get a grip of lighting requirements/powerheads etc. now, so many thanks to yourself and GF (that long post was great).

Had a good scout of eBay and I don't think I'm going to be able to get a tank from there unfortunately. I really want the Juwel Rio 180ltr but all the ones for sale are in locations like Essex and Hampshire and it's just too far to go. I'd be looking at 700-800 mile round trip!!!!

So, due to that I'm just going to have to pick up a new one. Will try and get some of the more "postable" kit second hand from eBay. Cheapest I've found the Rio 180 is £249 from Pets at Home but I'll keep looking. Incidentally, I went to an alarm activation a couple of weeks ago at what used to be an old camping store. Walked in and it was joiners that had set it off by accident. Noticed they were fixing loads of cabinets to the wall and saw a lot of what I thought were display cabinets on the floor. Was only when I was leaving that I saw a boxed marked "Juwel" and realised it's obviously a new fish shop that's going to open there. Must check it out, it looked like it had a lot of tanks.


Where abouts in the country are you? As for cycling the tank quicker, there isn't much you can do to help it cycle quicker - you can add a frozne prawn to give it a kick, but it will happen when it is ready.



Bear in mind that if you use 100% live sand it will still be about 2 weeks before you can add fish. All depends on the results of the water tests which you will need to do to determine if the tank has cycled.

My mate used 100% live sand recently, and his cycled in a week, so it's possible. Cycling is a loose term there, because if you start from scratch, the wait is for nitrifying bacteria to multiply to consume the ammonia, and then nitrate bacteria to consume the nitrite.

When you add live sand it will already have all of those bacteria in, so the process is much quicker. It just needs to multiply enough for the volume of water you have.

Using RO water from the start will help too since there are no nitrites or nitrates to begin with, and also no ammonia.

For that size tank I'd guess you'll need around 4 bags, so it will cost a fair bit.


Again I disagree I'm afraid, I wouldn't risk a fish anywhere near a tank two weeks old, unless it is fish only I suppose. Once you have live rock in you really need to let it cycle properly, 2 weeks is an absoloute minimum, 6 weeks is likely and 6 months is very possible. Once your readings are all zero you leave it a week, test again and then you can add a clean up crew - crabs and snails, a couple of shrimps. Leave it a week, test the water every couple of days, then if all is well add a fish, and then carry on like this.

I have done it all a bit wrong as I kind of kept inheritting stock, I keep expecting my tank to keel over and die - VERY likely, so I have a lot of water ready to go in case of an emergency.

I have set up a small Orca Nano (12 gallons) with 6 kg of live rock and a nice base of sand, extra powerhead. Been going two weeks tomorrow and it is cycling, bit algae bloom at the moment, that should go within the next week to 10 days. If I added anything now it would be dead come monday I'm sure. I think you were really lucky having your cycle so quick (if it did cycle, chances are it didn't as you didn't have live rock or sand). it's all complicated and I have a headache, so am now going to drive 250 mile round trip to collect a load of live rock :whistle:

#835 Romeo99

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 07:43 PM

Live sand is all a bit rubbish to be honest. Sure some micro micro organisms may live in it, but it sits in an airtight bag on a hot shelf for months, so not much is alive! Just get some nice sand and ask your LFS or someone near you with a marine tank for a cup of their sand to seed yours, thats all you need.

Play sand would be fine then?

Where abouts in the country are you? As for cycling the tank quicker, there isn't much you can do to help it cycle quicker - you can add a frozne prawn to give it a kick, but it will happen when it is ready.

Edinburgh. Doesn't matter to me too much if I can't get it cycling quicker. I know it's a slow process. Anyway, it'll give me time to scout out a good marine fish shop.

#836 Bas

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 09:45 PM

Christ GF - your posts are long today :whistle: Going to have to carve it up now to post replies!

Not really without risking the pH levels, I think he will be fine, jsut a worry.

Why is the pH going to change because the powerheads are off? I have no powerheads at all, and mine never fluctuates at all. Anything to do with the live rock or something?

Live sand is all a bit rubbish to be honest. Sure some micro micro organisms may live in it, but it sits in an airtight bag on a hot shelf for months, so not much is alive! Just get some nice sand and ask your LFS or someone near you with a marine tank for a cup of their sand to seed yours, thats all you need.

Only if it's a hot shop! Live sand is excellent stuff - because the bag is wet inside, and sealed, the bacteria stay in there. Exactly the same as the sand bed in a tank.

But yes - you would need to find a shop which sells a lot of it so that the organisms in the sand haven't started decomposing. Most decent fish shops which are busy wouldn't keep it on the shelves for long.

Mine was straight out of one of the shops fish tanks which they emptied to move it accross the shop - so it was as fresh as you could possibly get. £18 for the lot, and I still have a quarter of it in the bag - not live sand anymore of course, but there if I need it.

You can always mix 50% live sand with 50% normal sand to make it cheaper.

Ohhh eck, i'm afraid we are going to disagree on a fair bit of stuff here. First off I wouldn't do a DSB (Deep Sand Bed) unless you are doing it properly, and there is a lot more to it than just deep sand. 2 inches is ample for a tank, anymore and you risk nitrate traps.

Yes - true - but avoidable. I always poke my finger in the sand (did it with my tropicals too) for that very reason - even in a 2 inch sand bed you need to poke the sand now and again to let the air pockets (which can contain nitrates) out.

Where abouts in the country are you? As for cycling the tank quicker, there isn't much you can do to help it cycle quicker - you can add a frozne prawn to give it a kick, but it will happen when it is ready.
Exactly what the live sand is for - although may be not as good as sand straight from a working tank, it will be much more beneficial than dry sand


Adding the prawn (or anything which will rot down) will create the ammonia, and thus start the nitrogen cycle, but by introducing nitrifying bacteria from the off, via live sand, the ammonia turning into nitrite will take a couple of days instead of a couple of weeks. This is exactly what hapenned in my mates tank because he had live sand. After 5 days, his ammonia was zero, and his nitrite was only a very very slight trace. Another week, and it was at zero. Has been ever since.

Again I disagree I'm afraid, I wouldn't risk a fish anywhere near a tank two weeks old, unless it is fish only I suppose. Once you have live rock in you really need to let it cycle properly, 2 weeks is an absoloute minimum, 6 weeks is likely and 6 months is very possible. Once your readings are all zero you leave it a week, test again and then you can add a clean up crew - crabs and snails, a couple of shrimps. Leave it a week, test the water every couple of days, then if all is well add a fish, and then carry on like this.

It's a fish only he has with 100% ocean rock - no live rock at all, which is why the live sand did it's job. Then, once that's done, nothing wrong with introducing a small bit of live rock at a time, which is what I'm doing.

I have set up a small Orca Nano (12 gallons) with 6 kg of live rock and a nice base of sand, extra powerhead. Been going two weeks tomorrow and it is cycling, bit algae bloom at the moment, that should go within the next week to 10 days. If I added anything now it would be dead come monday I'm sure. I think you were really lucky having your cycle so quick (if it did cycle, chances are it didn't as you didn't have live rock or sand). it's all complicated and I have a headache, so am now going to drive 250 mile round trip to collect a load of live rock :lol:

I did have the live sand - that's what I'm saying - mine cycled in two weeks - with no live sand there would have been no bacteria at all, and I would have had to introduce the ammonia myself, either by some food and letting it rot, or with hardy fish (which isn't recommended). Or with chemicals, which I don't like anyway.

Play sand would be fine then?
Edinburgh. Doesn't matter to me too much if I can't get it cycling quicker. I know it's a slow process. Anyway, it'll give me time to scout out a good marine fish shop.

Entirely up to you mate - there you have two differing opinions - but that's what it's all about!

The very best way is if you can get a bit of sand from your local shops tank itself.

Here is an extract from THIS website about live sand:

Live sand, or LS is natural reef coral sand that is collected live from the ocean, or non-living coral sand that is cultured to make it live. What makes it live is the microscopic biological bacteria that grows on it, and the many tiny crustaceans and other micro and macro-organisms that reside in it. Live sand can serve as the main base for biological filtration in a saltwater aquarium, while the organisms help consume organic matter in the sand bed. Some of the organisms provide a natural food source for many aquarium inhabitants as well.

What Type to Use

There are many types of sand to choose from on the market, but sand of coral origin, such as coral sand, reef sand, crushed coral, or aragonite are best. One top choice of many expert aquarists is aragonite by CaribSea. Sand sources other than aragonite types will most likely have silicates in them, which is something you do not want in your aquarium. Silicates cause algae problems, and once introduced are next to impossible to remove.

There a three basic choices for starting an aquarium with live sand:

o You can use 100% LS, which can be very costly.
o You can use a 50/50 combination of LS (bought or used from an already established aquarium) with non-living sand. By mixing the two together (seeding) you save money, and the LS will convert the non-living portion of the sand into LS over a shortened period of time as the biological bacteria and the living organisms multiply and populate it.
o You can use nothing but non-living sand, as all sand eventually becomes live over time. However, starting from scratch does take much longer for the cylcing process to complete its task.

Whether you have a new aquarium just starting through the biological cycling process, or one still in the process of completing its cycle, the seeding method can be used to kick start or aid in the speeding up of this transition. For an aquarium that has been running for some time, seeding can also enhance the strength of its existing biological filter base.

One thing you have on your side is time - so get as much advice as you can (don't just listen to us) and decide from there.

Either way - it's a great ride to be on, with something hapenning all the time!

#837 Bas

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 10:49 PM

Well I just had a play with the light tubes, and the results are impressive.

I've put them all on timer switches, so the whites are on from 9am to 9pm, and the blues are on for an hour before, and 2 hours after the whites. Ideal for night time viewing.

Just the blues on (look how green that mushroom is!):

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A nice one of the Mandarin:

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And one of the Yellow Tang - as he's my favourite!

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#838 Romeo99

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 10:55 PM

Looks great. What is the brand of overhead unit you've got LD? Do the fish and mushrooms need a certain amount of time under white light and a certain amount under blue, or do you just simulate day and night with them?

#839 Bas

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 11:05 PM

Looks great. What is the brand of overhead unit you've got LD? Do the fish and mushrooms need a certain amount of time under white light and a certain amount under blue, or do you just simulate day and night with them?

The overhead is an Arcadia AF545M, with 4 T5 tubes - 2x 46 watt marine white and 2 x 46 watt Actinic Blue. I thought they were 48's but they aren't - 46's.

To simulate their natural environment on the world's reefs, the lights need to be on for 12 hours a day, and off for 12 hours too. Some say reduce the light to 10 hours to reduce algae growth - but only if it gets too much. For that I'll have to wait and see.

The blue is to enhance the colours in the tank, particularly the fish, whilst the white replicates sunlight (to a certain degree).

With just the blues on, it gives a whole new perception, and that's just out of choice for a couple of hours a night to see the fish and plants in a different light (quite literally!!). Very pleasing on the eye and you only have to look at that mushroom rock to see what having just the blues on does.

All the lights are off by 11pm by timer switches.

Edited by Little Devil, 27 April 2007 - 11:06 PM.





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