Setting up a Frag Tank - How long should I wait before adding the Corals?

that Fish Guy

Frag Swap Crusader!
So I am Setting up a Frag Tank.

How long should I wait before adding the Corals?

Once the Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate are at 0 can I add them?

Or do I have to wait untill the Frag Tank is "Established" (Up and Running for a Certain Period of Time regardless of Water Perameters)?

Theoretically, could I put the COral Frags in right away if my Tank does not go through a Cycle?
 

Mark Bianco

New member
Steve before anyone can really answer you question correctly please answer the following questions. Is this tank a stand alone or is it tied into an exsisting system? What are you using for bioloical filtration, how much and how long has it been in the tank.

Mark
 

tkeracer619

Premium Member
A frag tank is no different then a display tank.

If it is connected to the main display its ready for corals on day one but I rarely do that. I try to let the different stages of algae and diatoms do their thing before I put corals in the tank.

Often times people jump into it headfirst and do not realize that it requires just as much if not more maintenance than their display.
 

that Fish Guy

Frag Swap Crusader!
Steve before anyone can really answer you question correctly please answer the following questions. Is this tank a stand alone or is it tied into an exsisting system? What are you using for bioloical filtration, how much and how long has it been in the tank.

Mark

It will be a Stand Alone Bare Bottom 20 Gallon Long (24 X 12 X 12)

I am going to use Live Rock and a Tetra "Hang on the Back" Whisper Filter for Filtration.
 

tkeracer619

Premium Member
It will likely be like any other tank and will take some time. Stocking it too quickly will cause nutrient problems and likely a crash. Nobody wants frags covered in algae ;). Take your time like you would with any other system.

I would get a fish and a small CUC.

IMHO the best frag tank is one that is plumbed into the display, empty, has the same light on it, and is used to heal the corals after you frag out the display tank. 2 weeks tops, then take it to the lfs or sell them.

I find it kind of tedious to have a tank specifically for frags to grow in especially if its not tied to the main system but it is super helpful to have a place to put the corals once your display is so full it requires fraging.
 

brandon429

In Memoriam
The origin of the live rock completely determines the answer. If the live rock is known in its origin completely, and that comes from being submerged in another aquarium for months or years, then yes there is not really a wait for a bare bottom tanks.

rocks removed from one tank and placed in a bb tank that is then filled with water aren't acting differently than the original tank. no, the act of moving rocks breifly doesnt kill or recycle them, the organisms are better adapted than that. low tide doesnt kill corals, coralline, much of anything on real lr either. cycling due to a brief move in between tanks only happens on web threads, not in real life :) (enter 25 testimonies stage left...details that wont apply here etc)

for the purposes of this tank, whether or not you wait weeks, months, or days doesnt really change the dynamics of your tank. your corals and associated feed will generate x raw nitrogen to be odixized and your rocks either have all the bacteria for that or they do not. take the path you believe and post pics a month from now.

any invaders that show up in a tank should be dealt with accordingly regardless of the tanks age. People accepting the notion that new tanks are 'hands off' and must go through algae, diatom, etc phases are some of the best reasons my peroxide threads are huge. by all means proceed using tried and true methods.
 

Reefa25

New member
It'll cycle just like any other tank. Due to an emergency tank crash I put my corals in a fresh frag tank a day after it was set up lol. I used some of that dr tims stuff. Cycled in 4 days no joke. I know that some oppose of speeding up the cycle ( i do too) but this was a must when you have 3 grand in coral in a crashed tank.......Everything survived and is thriving now btw.
 

Reel North

New King of Quarantine
I set up a 36x60" frag system with a huge sump about a month ago. Ive been holding 3 tangs for a friend for that time in a big Rubbermaid lol. I added biospira and then dosed it with some ammonia up to 2 ppm. Once the ammonia went down to .25 I dosed it again. Now it's zero, nitrites zero, so I added the fish.

My DT tank is covered in Gelidium on all the rocks, so I'm tearing it down, and starting with new rocks and less fish. The frag tank is absolutely massive, but my last frag system was tiny and it was always full of coral and full of problems.

I cycled about 80-100 lbs of live rock in the sump, and I expect it to be really stable.

Going to turn the skimmer on today, and maybe do a wc tomorrow.

I'm going to light it like my DT, with an ATI 8x54. Same bulbs.

I think that the above are correct. It's a totally new system, and patience is the key to running it long term, and successfully.
 
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