Best way to setup new tank?

bassman

Blue Ring
Registered
#1
I am almost ready to plumb in my new octopus tank. I have the sump setup and 90% full of fresh R/O water with a gravity level of 1.026 at room temperature.

I also have all my live rock in a rubbermaid which has been "curing" for over a 1 month. I have a heater maintaining the temperature at 78 degrees and powerhead circulating the water. This rock also came pre-cured as well.

Within the next couple of days I will be ready to put the live rock into the main tank and I am just wondering what would be the best way of introducing it to the tank and how long I should let it cycle.

I will be putting in a large bag of fresh, never used crushed agronite as well.

I was thinking of putting the rock in the tank, pouring the sand in and flipping the pump on in my sump thus starting to fill the new tank with the new water. Once the sump is almost dry I will pump the water out of the rubbermaid into the sump. After that I would fill the remainder of the system with new, premixed saltwater.

This will put approx. 50 gallons of water into the main tank including 8-10 gallons of water that my live rock is curing in. The sump will hold another 30 gallons as well.

So I should end up with approx. 80 gallons of water in total, 8-10 gallons coming from the container the rock is curing in.

My questions are....

How long should I cycle the tank?

Should I keep the water that my rock has been curing in and mix it with my new water in the main tank or should I use all new water?
 

tonmo

Titanites
Staff member
Webmaster
Moderator
#3
I've added a question mark to the end of your subject title, in hopes that it will attract the right folks to help give you guidance... sounds like you're off to a great start -- good luck!
 

Nancy

Titanites
Staff member
Moderator
#4
I guess there are various ways to set up the tank. Some people start with the water, add the sand and then the rocks. Pouring the sand over the rocks would be messy. If you're not using live sand, you need to wash the sand to get rid of some of the dust.

You need to cycle the tank for a while - we've often recommended three months. Your tests for ammonian, nitrites and nitrates should be negative. Also, it would be beneficial for a new octopus to grow some amphiods and you'll eventually be adding some crabs and snails.

We're slow on answering because of Christmas - you should get more replies soon.

Nancy
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#5
The cycling of the tank is water chemistry dependent. The idea is to get it so that it is stable (especially for cephs, they produce mega waste and are water quality sensitive!) As Nancy says nitrate/nitrite, and ammonia should be 0 or less!!!!! and should STAY that way! Three months is usually enough time to cycle the tank but it can vary, if you can add nitrifying bacteria to your filters this can help, at the later stages adding some stock, snails, crabs and small fish (although these fish need to be removed before adding the ceph as either the fish will become dinner or they'll harass the octi!).

Sorry if you know this stuff but it's extra important with cephs and bears repeating!

Cheers

jean
 

bassman

Blue Ring
Registered
#6
Thanks everybody. I set up the tank today and decided to keep the water that the rock was curing in. I have the tank 80% full now and the sump 90%. Another 10-15 gallons should do it.

I will add some sand boost to start it cycling. Then i'll wait a month or so before adding some hermits and shrimp to help things along, after that I will begin testing the water regularly to see when everything stabilizes.


Thanks again
 

cthulhu77

Titanites
Supporter
#7
Just out of curiousity, how much of the water that your rock had cured in did you end up adding? The reason being that often this water is saturated with nasty elements...is it foaming at all? Not that it is any cause for alarm, but you might want to keep a weather eye on the particulates.
Greg
 

zyan silver

O. bimaculoides
Registered
#8
Bassman

I would have thrown out the water that you were curing the live rock in, it is going to be nasty stuff. Just put all the sand and the rocks in the tank and then I would start checking the ammonia level. If infact that live rock was indeed cured before you got it it might be pretty good and ready to go now. i would try to add something hardy like hermit crabs now because you will need a source of organic waste to produce new ammonia. just keep an eye on the ammonia level, if it is down near zero then check your nitrites. the ammonia level will spike first followed by the nitrite level,, that is what cycling your tank is all about. remember that you have to top off the tank with fresh water not salt water as the water evaporates. be sure to have some new salt water on hand for water changes. i find that the problem with ro/di systems is that you can't make very much water daily. i use Kold sterile system which is a lot cheaper and you can make 100's of gallons per day. in my current bimac system i'm actually just using tap water which is dechlorinated but our water is fortunately free of the contaminants which we try to avoid. fortune favors those who are patient! zyan
 

bassman

Blue Ring
Registered
#9
cthulhu77;85086 said:
Just out of curiousity, how much of the water that your rock had cured in did you end up adding? The reason being that often this water is saturated with nasty elements...is it foaming at all? Not that it is any cause for alarm, but you might want to keep a weather eye on the particulates.
Greg

I would say probably 3-5 gallons if that. I ran the water through a 200 micron sock b4 adding it as well. Hopefully all will be okay and there is no foam to be seen. As of today the entire system is full and running. I have my skimmer going now as well.
 

bassman

Blue Ring
Registered
#10
zyan silver;85103 said:
Bassman

I would have thrown out the water that you were curing the live rock in, it is going to be nasty stuff. Just put all the sand and the rocks in the tank and then I would start checking the ammonia level. If infact that live rock was indeed cured before you got it it might be pretty good and ready to go now. i would try to add something hardy like hermit crabs now because you will need a source of organic waste to produce new ammonia. just keep an eye on the ammonia level, if it is down near zero then check your nitrites. the ammonia level will spike first followed by the nitrite level,, that is what cycling your tank is all about. remember that you have to top off the tank with fresh water not salt water as the water evaporates. be sure to have some new salt water on hand for water changes. i find that the problem with ro/di systems is that you can't make very much water daily. i use Kold sterile system which is a lot cheaper and you can make 100's of gallons per day. in my current bimac system i'm actually just using tap water which is dechlorinated but our water is fortunately free of the contaminants which we try to avoid. fortune favors those who are patient! zyan
I guess it's too late to throw it away now :hmm: I am sure everything will be fine. There wasn't that much there anyhoo, probably 1/16 of my total water. My thinking was that it might help get my cycle going.

I have a make up bucket for water changes and a water top off system to replace evaporated water. I probably won't have too much evaporation to worry about on this tank as I am not running any lighting, just room light.

I have 5 other SW tanks as well so I am no stranger to water changes etc. Thanks for all the advice, I appreciate any and all help. :smile:
 

cthulhu77

Titanites
Supporter
#11
You are correct, that amount of water shouldn't do any damage at all, and you are also right that it may help speed up the cycle...but, keep an eye on the foam. I crashed a tank that way a few years ago, and now I am super paranoid about it (all my dead christmas worms!).

Greg
 

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