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Hello,

I'm almost finished with my aquarium build. I am new to cycling and have a few questions. My sump has the following chambers: mechanical with sponge, biological with 2 cubic feet of K2, fish isolation area, and the last chamber is for mechanicals such as return pump and heaters. Question 1: should I have the k2 media installed during the entire cycling process? Question 2: should I have the sponge installed during the entire cycling process? Question 3: how long should I cycle? Question 4: do I need to put any additives in the tank? Question 5: should I fill with hard water, soft water, or a combination of both?

Thanks in advance!
 

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You will have to use a dechlorinator unless you have a private well with no chlorine or chloramines. Shoot for pH of 8 and KH of 7 drops or higher.

Something close to 8 works as well, such has 7.8. What are the test results for your tap water?
 
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