Our Complete Setup comes with the Live Sand, Live Rock and a small Clean Up Crew and instructions for putting it all together and have a beautiful tank in no time! This is the time tested, Quick and Easy way to set up a new Saltwater Aquarium or Reef Tank.
What is included in the 20 gallon Complete Setup?
1 Seachem Ammonia Alert
20 pounds Live Sand
30 pounds Live Rock
13 Hermits Crabs
5 Astraea Snails
1 Serpent or Brittle Star
1 Peppermint Shrimp
1 Emerald Crabs
Why does this work?
Live sand and Live Rock are the water filtering backbone of a well-functioning Saltwater Aquarium. The surface area of the Live Sand and Live Rock get coated with Bacteria that breaks down the harmful Ammonia created by living organisms and even food. This is known as the Nitrogen Cycle.
Our Live Rock and Live Sand are also very different than what you would get at your local pet store. Our Sand is collected from the Gulf of Mexico in 30 to 50 feet of water and contain not only the nitrifying bacteria needed but also so many other tiny animals both seen and unseen, that clean and filter the Aquarium. The Live Rock is also covered with organisms from simple biofilm to Clams and Oysters and even Plants or Crabs.
Can I have this come in 2 parts?
Sure, that is no problem at all, just make a comment in the order notes and we will send you all the sand and half the rock, then when you give the green light we will ship the remaining portion of rock along with the critters.
How is the Setup Shipped?
Though it says Free Shipping, that is not the case, you will be paying the shipping to the airlines directly and no shipping fees to us. The Set Up is shipped via Airlines (expect about $1 to $1.50 per pound), UPS Shipping is possible, however it is very expensive. After ordering we will contact you to schedule the best pick up date and explain the pickup process if needed, it is very easy. The cost of shipping is not included in the price.
You should have a tank ready to go, filled with water or plenty of saltwater available. Once you receive your boxes please open them all and inspect the contents.
If your tank is full and running, turn off all pumps and lights, drain approximately 1/3 of the water, preferably into a can or bucket for later use.
Find the box or boxes of sand, stir with your hand, and pour off the excess water into a bucket, this removes a lot of the silt and will help your tank clarify faster. Check the bucket for any critters that may have been pored off before discarding the water. Pick up the entire bag of sand and gently place it in the tank, slowly rotate the bag, pouring out the sand, spread evenly on the bottom of the tank.
Next inspect the rock, we highly suggest wearing gloves at this point we use Latex coated cotton gloves, but most sturdy gloves will work. Pick up each rock and visually inspect it for anything loose or undesirable, also use your nose at this point, if it smells bad, it probably is. Now is the time to remove anything that may not have made the trip, as leaving dead things on the rock will extend your cycle and possibly jeopardize your entire tank. We suggest having a bucket of clean water handy to swish the rock in, this will clean off some of the sediment. Once you are satisfied that your rock is ready, place it in the tank, you will be able to tell which side goes down.
Once your rocks are in your tank it is time to aquascape, this is simply stacking the rock in a visually appealing way. We would suggest doing this underwater as much as you can.
Once all the sand and rock are in the tank check out the bags and buckets closely for anything that may have slipped off. This is a good time to identify the critters before adding them or discarding them.
At this time you can acclimate and introduce your critters.
We suggest keeping your lights and skimmer off for at least 12 hours and then slowly ramping them up to no more than 5 hours a day until the cycle is complete.
In order to be successful, you must be ready for water changes during the first couple of weeks. Keeping premixed saltwater ready to go and using the Ammonia Alert, monitor the ammonia levels has proven to be the single most effective way to cycle a tank. If your ammonia rises to 0.2 ppm (light blue) or more do a minimum of 25% water change. You want to keep the Ammonia level as low as possible, in the green and yellow areas.
The beauty of this system is there is not much ongoing maintenance. In just a few days your cycle should be complete and ammonia at zero, we suggest getting into a routine to test other parameters including Salinity, Nitrates, Phosphates, pH, Alkalinity, Calcium and Magnesium.
Since most of the hitchhikers on the rock are filter feeders, so they will need food of some type of food broadcast to them as most aquarium systems used today try to filter out all organics in the water. We suggest feeding by dosing your tank with our Live Rock and Coral Powder.