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Thread: Research: New tank build

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Research: New tank build

    I'm just starting to build my first salt setup. I've got a 38 gallon display drilled for 2 standpipes and 1 return. I plan on a 3 chamber sump with an ATS as my primary, possibly only, means of filtration.

    Current questions are:

    1. Are there any differences in performing the initial cycle on a tank with ATS only filtration vs. a more traditional setup?
    2. Will live rock provide adequate source material for initial algae growth, or do I need to worry about seeding my screen?
    3. What should ideally be in the fuge portion of my sump?

    Any input will be greatly appreciated! I'm sure my question list will grow from here.


    Eric

  2. #2
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    Re: Research: New tank build

    Cycling your tank with your scrubber running is fine. The favorite food of algae is ammonia, and next comes nitrite, and then nitrate. So since the ammonia will be kept low during cycling, more of the natural inhabitants in the rock will survive because they are not being poisoned. Also, this extra time that the algae gets to develop during the cycling will allow it to be more ready for when you start stocking. You can then start feeding your tank heavier, sooner, since the algae will already be available to absorb a lot of nitrate and phosphate. Growth will be limited until you start feeding, because there is just not that much to filter. After you stock and start feeding, then it will have much more growth.

    The "traditional" cycling of just using a skimmer causes a large spike in ammonia, which kills much of the wanted stuff in the rock.

    No seeding is needed.

    As for the "fuge portion", I'm not sure what you are asking. The less you have in your sump, the better, since there will be less settling of food particles in the sump. The best setup (from a nutrient point of view) is no sump at all, and thus no settling. Settling only causes food particles to rot.

  3. #3

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    Re: Research: New tank build

    The main difference cycling with an ATS is your nitrates will end up zero at the end of the cycle and your I find your system will be more forgiving when you finally add bio load(fish etc). I have a 33 gallon I just started up with a single sided screen just slightly over reccomended size. After 3 weeks It was fish ready at which point I added a 2" clarkii clown and a 6" TakiFugu puffer fish. at week 4 nitrates were zero and I added a dwarf lion.
    In hind sight a 3" clarkii would have been better but after a week the puffer stopped chasing him and they all swim around together and are happy.

    Hey Santamonica. Do you have any recorded start up data on the nitrogen cycle with a good ATS? The ATS on my 33g isn't exactly on the up and up(not enough light yet) and I finished my cycle in a short time with zero nitrates at week 4 after adding a healthy bio load at week 3 with about only 10lbs of live rock.

  4. #4
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    Re: Research: New tank build

    I don't, sorry.

  5. #5

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    Mar 2010
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    Re: Research: New tank build

    Gigaah,

    That's encouraging to hear. I'll be ordering the first bits for my scrubber this week and I'm looking forward to the process. The engineer in me doesn't get a chance to come out and play much any more, lol. I'll try and post some info as I go.


    Eric

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