Starting a Reef Tank - Order of Sand, Rock and Water


Reefer Always Learning
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Hey All,

This is a super rudimentary question, but finding a few conflicting ideas on the order one may add these 3 elements to a reef tank.
-Live Sand - caribsea
-Live Rock - cured
-Salt Water

I would imagine first Salt water about 3/4 the depth, sand then rock, then top up water and let cycle...but I'm not entirely sure and don't want to ruin my first tank from scratch. My biggest concern is killing the "live sand" (that I know can't be crazy live sitting in a bag) during the cycle maybe add sand after tank cycles?

Thanks all.


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Build your rock structure first, take your time - lay it out on board. Use a drill - dowels - e marco cement or epoxy to build your structures. Place the rock in the tank - add the sand to the tank after the rock is in. Water is last - Dont pump it right in to the sand let it splash off some rock.

Do some research there are a lot of good build threads here- also on you tube.