Cycling with Sand??

ReeferMadness99

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I just started my new tank about 2 weeks ago. I put in 22lbs. of Pre-cured Fiji Live Rock and about 20 lbs. of Uncured Vanuaatu Live Rock on top of 35lbs. of live sand. I'm not sure if I should have waited to put the sand in, I've read mixed opinions. About 1 week into the cycle, I added some bottled nitrifying bacteria that claims you can add livestock immediately. I don't know if I believe this. Should I still wait 8 weeks before doing anything?
 

juiceguy

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there are different schools on this, from my experience, i would have put the rock in first without the sand. live rock curing releases a lot of die off and is much easier to clean on a bare bottom tank.
 

ReeferMadness99

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Yeah, I read that I may be able to culture enough denitrifying bacteria in the anaerobic parts of the sand bed that will convert the nitrates into O and N which would fully complete the natural cycle in the tank. But I thought it may take a long time to develop these guys I figured I get a head start.
 

juiceguy

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you also get a head start on a detritus trap, the sand bed will establish the correct bacteria in no time once the rock is settled. if the sand bed is not established before hand, it becomes a nutrient sink and bacteria has to play catch up to handle the excess nutrients resulting in algae blooms.
 

Pinkheine

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You posed the question should you still wait.. I'd say yes. We took things very slow, it pains me to think about it now... but happy to say that the patience has paid off. We encountered much less problems than when we first started with fish only and just dropped in a bunch of this and that because we weren't patient.

Sand or no sand.. well the sand is there now so not much to do about it. Will it hurt? Probably not. Can you do it both ways? Of course.
We added the sand during the curing process... haven't done it bare bottom so have nothing to compare it to personally. Either way you have to wait until all the levels get to where they should be right? So no harm no foul.
I think everyone has a bit of a different way of getting to the same result. So putting weight on what is right or wrong in reef keeping... well you really can't to an extent. Are there better ways than others? Of course, depending on who you talk to situations and variables change.

Good luck with the cycle.
 

juiceguy

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as you stated....the sand is already in the tank so it doesn't make sense to take it out now, all it means that after your tank cycles you will probably go through some algae blooms that are usually encountered on new tanks.
 

juggernaut

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I just started my new tank about 2 weeks ago. I put in 22lbs. of Pre-cured Fiji Live Rock and about 20 lbs. of Uncured Vanuaatu Live Rock on top of 35lbs. of live sand. I'm not sure if I should have waited to put the sand in, I've read mixed opinions. About 1 week into the cycle, I added some bottled nitrifying bacteria that claims you can add livestock immediately. I don't know if I believe this. Should I still wait 8 weeks before doing anything?
IMO it's fine to add sand first then live rock at the same time when cycling out a tank, Let the tank run its course as the bottle is a lot of propaganda! In fact I'm also willing to bet that you will cycle out in under 8 weeks due to the rock and sand....However, my question is why would you want to cure 20lbs of Vanuaatu in the house as it can get a little ripe from the die off?

again just IMO
 

ReeferMadness99

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Well, the smell actually isn't that bad unless your sitting right next to the tank like I am right now. I chose to mix precured fiji and totally uncured vanuaatu so I can have a full spectrum of possible life on my rocks. I did actually cure the first week in my basement. In the first week, the water was thick yellow and smelled like hell. I did 2 water changes the first week before I moved the rocks into my solana after about 10 days. I'm also running the protein skimmer in the Solana so that removes much of the sticky dead matter. Here's a pic after I scaped it this week:







 

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