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My Biocube adventure


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#1
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Well I've been lurking around here long enough that I have read the Biocube Resource guide twice . There is a lot of great info in there! I started this project around the beginning of Dec. At that time I didn't even have a tank yet. I wasn't even sure I wanted a Biocube. After reading the BCRG the first time, I knew that was the tank I wanted. Lets fast forward one month. I have my 29 gallon Biocube and have the BC stand on order. When it arrived, I put it together immediately only to find the holes were drilled wrong and the stand was a defect. That was the week of Christmas. After talking to customer service (In India) of the big box store (ahem cough Petco) I got a conformation that they would send a replacement. The next day, they called to let me know the stand was out of stock :( . I finally got the stand on the fifth of Jan.

The following weekend I prepared the water and put it in the tank along with a power head and a 200 watt heater and waited for the tank parameters to stabilize. My original plan was to use about 35 lbs of old LR I had laying around for half a decade. I bleached it out and soaked it for multiple weeks in RO water.

I found a local online reef club and started looking at the classifieds. I found a local reefer that was tearing down a five-year old 65g reef tank and every thing was going. I got ~30lbs of live rock from marshal island and figi for $40. Awesome LR, Lots of sponge/tunicate stuff on it. It also came with four blue legs in it.

So, after I got all my LR cleaned up and in the tank, I threw a deli shrimp in to start the cycle. That was on the 10th. I tested for the essentials every other day and only saw a slight increase of ammonia three days after the shrimp was in. This morning, the 16th, my ammonia and nitrite are zero, my nitrate is up between 5-10 ppm. That's according to my API test kit.

I guess I can take that as a fast cycle! I found an exoskeleton of a copepod floating around and fished it out. I threw it on the microscope. If looking at that at 100x was not cool enough, I found a bunch of micro-organisms swimming around in the water.

The growth is good so far. The sponges seem to be growing and I notice new spots of coralline growth. One draw back of all the LR I got is that it came with a bunch of aiptasia omgomgomg . I used Aiptasia-X today and got rid of all the ones I could see. After I was done, I found 5-6 really small ones left. I'll get those SOB's soon enough! I did find something else growing that looks like some sort of flat anemone. If anyone could ID it and let me know if it is a nuisance would be appreciated.

My Mods thus far include:
Removed false bottoms in chamber 1 & 2
Opened up the flow all the way across between chamber 1 & 2
200 watt heater in chamber 1
Built fuge light with 12 watt 6500K Compact florescent
Chaeto on the way. Should be here in a few days
Koralia Nano 425
CUC: (Will be here in a few days. Big thanks goes to John at Reefcleaners.org highly recommend this site!!!)
-26 Dwarf Ceriths
-11 Florida Ceriths
-12 Nassarius
-6 Large & 5 Small to Medium Nerites
-4 Blue leg hermits (already in the tank)




Photo of tank one week after live rock was put in.
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Photo of unknown anemones in orange sponge
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Cool picture of yellow and pink sponges
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Nice piece of black sponge
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I got a bunch of purple sponge growing as well
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The skipper
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That's it for now. More to come once the CUC and chaeto arrive...

#2
msujeff

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:welcome: to N-R!

Looking good so far. My cuc order for John was about the same. Be prepared for way over a hundred dwarf ceriths. :)

Anyone have an id on picture #2?

#3
Formula462

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:welcome: to N-R!

Looking good so far. My cuc order for John was about the same. Be prepared for way over a hundred dwarf ceriths. :)

Anyone have an id on picture #2?


'
So what do they expect you to do with that many snails? I wanted to order a crew but I keep hearing all this "hundreds of snails" nonsense. I have a BC14. Wouldn't the mass die off of snail starvation cause problems?

And good lord! where do you get LR that is THAT hammered with sponges?! It looks like your rock is made of play-dough. And I mean that it looks cool btw.

Edited by Formula462, 17 January 2011 - 08:31 PM.


#4
qwiksilver711

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'
So what do they expect you to do with that many snails? I wanted to order a crew but I keep hearing all this "hundreds of snails" nonsense. I have a BC14. Wouldn't the mass die off of snail starvation cause problems?

And good lord! where do you get LR that is THAT hammered with sponges?! It looks like your rock is made of play-dough. And I mean that it looks cool btw.

i think that most of my snails were empty shells, i still have probably 50-60 live dwarf ceriths though i got for my bc from reefcleaners. i tool some in and gave them to my lfs for store credit

Edit: By saying that most of my snails were empty i meant that the dwarf ceriths which i recieved 200 of were empty, the nerites and the regular ceriths were alive

Edited by qwiksilver711, 17 January 2011 - 09:33 PM.

My BC14, The Lazarus Project, now with MH lighting
Maxi Jet 900, with hydor flo on the return
150 watt 20'' sunpod
Koralia Nano 240 gph
CUC from www.reefcleaners.org
inTank media basket, with filter floss, and chemi pure
Two Clownfish

I thoight that if you didnt keep chaeto lit it would go sexual and take over your tank?

lol reefing is like meth....

nothing a little cocain cant fix


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'

And good lord! where do you get LR that is THAT hammered with sponges?! It looks like your rock is made of play-dough. And I mean that it looks cool btw.


I found it on a local online reef club! Just looking through the clasifieds and found a guy tearing down a 65G reef that was 5-6 years old. I am really excited about the LR. It pretty much went through a mini cycle in about 1 week.

#6
uwwmatt

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Looks like you are off to a good start! You have some nice looking liverock there. Those sponges are awesome. Be cautious when doing water changes though because exposure to air can cause them to die off (or so I have heard).



If you have not already you should check out http://www.madisonreef.com/forum/ We are having our annual fragswap at the end of this month. Its the best place to get coral in Southern Wisconsin. It might be worth the drive for you. There are tons of vendors and locals with tanks set up and cheap frags to purchase. This year it will be held at the Cottage Grove VFW.

I think there is another frag swap by a different group in Janesville in a few months too.

Edited by uwwmatt, 21 January 2011 - 06:22 AM.

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#7
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Looks like you are off to a good start! You have some nice looking liverock there. Those sponges are awesome. Be cautious when doing water changes though because exposure to air can cause them to die off (or so I have heard).


Thanks, That means a lot coming from a TOTM! :happy: Unfortunately, I did not know that about sponges before I transported the rock home. About 45 min out of water. Most of the sponges are doing well, But I am noticing die-off. :( Not sure if the die-off is due to being out of water or lighting change. I wish I would have kept it in water. Hind sight...


If you have not already you should check out http://www.madisonreef.com/forum/ We are having our annual fragswap at the end of this month. Its the best place to get coral in Southern Wisconsin. It might be worth the drive for you. There are tons of vendors and locals with tanks set up and cheap frags to purchase. This year it will be held at the Cottage Grove VFW.



I already found MARS! That is where I found the LR. One of the members was tearing down his 65G. Looks great but it came with a bunch of aiptasia though. I just put a peppermint in two days ago to combat them SOBs :angry: . I had plans on going to the swap today but want to wait a little longer before adding corals.

I think there is another frag swap by a different group in Janesville in a few months too.

I will look for the swap in Janesville though. Thanks for the heads up. I am 45 min east of there.

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Well, my tank has been up for three weeks now! My tank is through the first three stages of the cycle. the tank is looking great! Thousands of Copepods, huge Amphipods, all sorts of sponges/ tunicates, and now I have Neomris annulata sprouting in multiple rocks! Those are the plus'. Now the negs. I have a bunch of red hair algae growing all over. I here it tough to get rid of. The aiptasia are still prevalent. I used Aiptasia-X and most came back. Not sure if I am applying it right. I am doing what the instructions say. Anyways, I put a peppermint shrimp in to see if heshe will will make a difference. fingerscrossed

My CUC seems to be doing a fine job. I am not noticing a real big algae bloom. I have some cyano here and there but not too unsightly. Thr LR is going through phases of color changes. It started looking like a light covering of algae to now it is clearing and the LR is turning to a smoother surface and the color is lime green to purple. Fun to watch over a period of a couple days.

Right now, I am just having fun watching the system stabilize. The fan worms are growing and the number of amphipods and copepods are increasing. Just doing water changes and watching water parameters.

Speaking of which, I took my hydrometer to my LFS to verify the accuracy compared to their refractometer. I found out it is off by +.003. (Refractometer is my next purchase) That was two days ago. That night I did a ten gallon water change with water measuring 1.020 (1.023 on my swing arm. I adjusted up to compensate for my findings). That brought my SG to 1.027, down from 1.029. (I would prefer to adjust it slowly as not to mess up the balance I have thus far). My questions is, can I just add RO water directly to the tank? Or will that affect my PH?

While I brought it up, should I use some of the product on the market for RO water conditioning? Or is that stuff snake oil? I thought the purpose of RO was take out TDS, and that stuff claims to put TDS in the water. My assumption is that is more for FW since salt mixes add all the necessary traces.

Thanks,

GO PACKERS!!!

P.S. Steelers fans, please do not tell me any misleading info :rant: !

#9
bioload

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Speaking of which, I took my hydrometer to my LFS to verify the accuracy compared to their refractometer. I found out it is off by +.003. (Refractometer is my next purchase) That was two days ago. That night I did a ten gallon water change with water measuring 1.020 (1.023 on my swing arm. I adjusted up to compensate for my findings). That brought my SG to 1.027, down from 1.029. (I would prefer to adjust it slowly as not to mess up the balance I have thus far). My questions is, can I just add RO water directly to the tank? Or will that affect my PH?

While I brought it up, should I use some of the product on the market for RO water conditioning? Or is that stuff snake oil? I thought the purpose of RO was take out TDS, and that stuff claims to put TDS in the water. My assumption is that is more for FW since salt mixes add all the necessary traces.

Thanks,

GO PACKERS!!!

P.S. Steelers fans, please do not tell me any misleading info :rant: !



Yes you can add RO water directly to your tank to replace evaporated water. Just add slowly and have a fill line somewhere so you add only whats needed.If you don't use an ATO you should replace evaporated water every day so you keep salinity as stable possible as possible.Check salinity often to be sure.

No, you don't need to add anything but a good salt mix to your purified water.Add nothing to it for evaporation replacement, remember only water not salt evaporates.

Edited by bioload, 29 January 2011 - 12:55 PM.

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