saltwater novice - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-08-2014, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: York, PA
Posts: 40
saltwater novice

I'm at the beginning stages of planning out my saltwater tank. I heard different story's about getting started. I don't want to spend a ton of money on the live rocks and live sand. Can I use regular sand and regular rocks and just cycle the tank until it all becomes living? If so want are the steps I need to take?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-08-2014, 07:20 PM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Dbq, IA
Posts: 141
yes, you can buy aragonite sand and base rock, cycle it, and go on that way. I've done several salt tanks this way. Or you can just through in two or three live rocks with your base rock to seed everything else.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-08-2014, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: York, PA
Posts: 40
Are rocks in the backyard considered basic rocks?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-08-2014, 08:20 PM
Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Bushkill, Pa
Posts: 2,577
Originally Posted by camiller27 View Post
Are rocks in the backyard considered basic rocks?
Not by a mile. Actually many miles.

The "rocks" that you'll see described are very porous hunks of coral reefs. Some break off naturally, some are excavated by locals. In addition to being porous (which enables it to maintain beneficial bacteria colonies), it's also largely calcified coral skeletons which help maintain Ca, and Kh at desired levels.

As suggested, seeding dead base rock with a few pieces of established "live rock" and a pound or so of similarly established "live sand" is enough to get the cycle started. But I'll just warn you that if you're at all concerned about the $ you need to invest, do a LOT of reading before you go any further.


"Why can't my wife see all of this stuff as an investment?"
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-08-2014, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: York, PA
Posts: 40
This is definitely a project for the future. I am just inquiring so I can plan and start to buy equipment. Thanks for the information!
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