do i need to do a 25% water change while i cycle for the next 4 weeks or do i just need to top of with ro/di? i currently have 75 pounds of base rock in the tank....which if bought "live" would be around 100 to 110 pounds of rock.
yes it was totally dead...marco rock....i have nothing except aragonite and base rock in the tank now. it's been circulating with my tunze and asm for three day's now...what do you suggest to start the cycle?
Get your hands on a few pieces of "real" live rock.
Besides establishing your base of nitrifying bacteria, the cycle is important to allow the spread of other beneficial organisms in the tank. The only way to get those critters in there is to add them, and putting "real" live rock in is by far the best/cheapest way to do that.
Whenever you want, as long as important parameters are stable and in the right range.
Without a HUGE bioload (i.e. a billion pounds of fresh love rock covered in rotting decay), you won't see much of a cycle at all. That's good news from a nutrient loading perspective, but bad news from the perspective that your tank won't have a huge biological buffer when you do start adding livestock, so you'll want to take that stage slowly.
Some people throw in a piece of raw shrimp to help decompose in the water and help the cycle process. But i would totally go with the LIVE rock it seems that the bioload off the live rock works wonders!