[Note: this thread started as "msscha's 14 gallon biocube" -- I've changed the name to reflect the recent upgrade! FTS of the JBJ24 (purchased used)]
Since I'm clearly obsessing over my excursion into the world of marine aquariums, I decided to start a thread -- it is easier than writing things down in a tiny notebook and more productive than talking to myself .
Full Tank Shot -- day two
My 14 gallon oceanic biocube was born on 9/04/11, constructed with no tank modifications, 20 pounds arag-nite fiji pink live sand, 15 pounds freshly harvested Florida live rock, and a dose of micro-bacter. My LFS, Ocean Exotics, runs weekly specials -- I got lucky and began my tank as they offered a killer deal on new LR (6.99 USD/pound). The "catch" is you have to order the rock sight unseen, provide a general description of what you're looking for, and pay up front before the day is out. Given the cost of premium live rock and my utter n00b status, I went for it. I wanted rock pieces that would let me create caves for visual interest and fun for critters.
The tank cycled quickly -- went from a nitrate reading of 5.0 ppm on day 3 to nitrate 0 on day 5. Ammonia and nitrite have measured 0 on all 3 days I took readings. Ph is holding at 8.0, specific grav at 1.025, and temperature between 74.5 and 75.9 from when I get in at 7:45 a.m. to when I leave at 2:30 p.m. Light cycles automated by a simple Zoomed timer; I leave the moonlight LEDs on all the time b/c the timer cannot be set for multiple tasks. This morning (9/12/11), diatom and green slimy-looking algae strings are abundant; all readings are at 0, so I'll be adding critters tomorrow. I'm rather fond of the underwater garden look, so I'll be adding a snail or two for algae control, a peppermint shrimp, and probably an ocellaris clownfish, and something that likes cave life. I would like to add Xenia and calerpa, too, though will not likely do all of this in one day. Tomorrow, I'll add whatever the LFS recommends to start with. The halimeda discoides is adding lots of new green growth, and both reddish and green macro algas of various kinds are growing. Not sure what they are! The green has two varieties: a thin stemmed kind and a fuzzier looking one, so there should be food for grazers.
The life on the rock is coming along nicely!
I am still in the process of identifying most of what is in the tank -- awaiting 2 books that should arrive this week, Reef Coral Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas (Deloach and Humann) and Reef Creature Identification: Florida Caribbean Bahamas (Humann). From some other websites, here is what I think I've ID-ed so far.
Yellow Ball Sponge
Light Bulb Anemone
That's it for today
UPDATE: FTS, One Year Later!!
Edited by msscha, 30 August 2013 - 09:06 AM.