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[biocube 29] my fist saltwater


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#1
jailhouse

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Ok. Let me start off by saying thank you for all the info that I have gotten from this sight prior to me taking on this obsession. So I started on this task with a friend telling me that the 14 biocube was on sale for $120. After looking at it and knowing that I'd regret it I looked at my wife (with a sad look) and told her I was going to get the 29. Once it arrived I was suprised at how big it was. So from there we found a nice end table to use as a stand (marble top, classy). Ok now to the good stuff. I went to my LFS and they hooked me up. I am currently 4 days into the build and I have 20 lbs live and 10 lbs base rock, 25 lbs live sand (5 of which came from their tanks), and filled it with water from their tanks. I just added a 100w heater, digital thermometer, and a Koralia 425 nano. Everything else is stock. The wife shut down the spending limit. So I'm hoping for a quick cycle and then I'm off to look for some coral. Any suggestions? BTW I have found two hitchikers so far. Both sand sifting stars that are about 1/2 inch from tip to tip. I hope they survive the cylce but I'm not counting on it. Also where is the best location for the power head? I currently have it located opposite of the return pump facing it.

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#2
randythefishdude

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HMMM..... SAND SHIFTING STARS WILL PROBALLY DIE FROM LACK OF FOOD AND CYCLE...I WOULD TAKE OOUT THE STUFF IN THE BACK BIO BALSS STOCK FILTER .. WHEN IT GETS DIRTY AND PUT UR OWN STUFF

#3
jailhouse

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HMMM..... SAND SHIFTING STARS WILL PROBALLY DIE FROM LACK OF FOOD AND CYCLE...I WOULD TAKE OOUT THE STUFF IN THE BACK BIO BALSS STOCK FILTER .. WHEN IT GETS DIRTY AND PUT UR OWN STUFF



I would love to do a bunch of mods but money is an object. I'm going to run with what I have for now. It will take a while to complete the cycle. Maybe when that happens I can remove the bio balls and do a cheto refuge. I saw that they make a led light with a magnet for the back of the biocube. Slow and steady wins the race. What is a good coral to start with?

#4
RedStang

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I would love to do a bunch of mods but money is an object. I'm going to run with what I have for now. It will take a while to complete the cycle. Maybe when that happens I can remove the bio balls and do a cheto refuge. I saw that they make a led light with a magnet for the back of the biocube. Slow and steady wins the race. What is a good coral to start with?


Start with some zoa's IMO. Give it at least a month total though. Even with LR and LS, you need to give it time. FWIW, you can build a media rack in the back for ~$10 using egg crate from HD/Lowes and zip ties. Pillow stuffing(non treated!) from Walmart or Michaels for a few more $'s. I'd do that before buying corals.

#5
jailhouse

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Start with some zoa's IMO. Give it at least a month total though. Even with LR and LS, you need to give it time. FWIW, you can build a media rack in the back for ~$10 using egg crate from HD/Lowes and zip ties. Pillow stuffing(non treated!) from Walmart or Michaels for a few more $'s. I'd do that before buying corals.



After doing some more research I was thinking about removing the bioballs and just leaving it empty until I'm ready to make it a refugium, maybe putting some filter floss on top. But should I do this after it cycles or should I do it now. I'm not sure of what the reaction to the cycle is, if any, to removing the bio balls after.

#6
swilbert76

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After doing some more research I was thinking about removing the bioballs and just leaving it empty until I'm ready to make it a refugium, maybe putting some filter floss on top. But should I do this after it cycles or should I do it now. I'm not sure of what the reaction to the cycle is, if any, to removing the bio balls after.


Ditch the Bioballs now, dont wait or you'll end up with another cycle. get some simple egg crate like Redstang said and build a little media rack for the time being. Then add Chemipure and Purigen to your media rack, that will be plenty for your tank until your ready to put the fuge in. Shoot over to www.mediabaskets.com and watch the videos for how they set up their media basket or buy their media basket ( I did...Love it!! ) Also while your at their site check out the submersible light for the refuge if your planning on going that direction. Its way cheaper and works alot better than the magnetic lights. Good Luck!!! You can also check my biocube14 thread and see how I set up my media basket. Its all detailed right there.

http://www.nano-reef...?...=295857&hl=

#7
rO.oster

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building a media rack is much much cheaper (much) and more rewarding. dont buy a submersible light, you will be fighting high temps as it is, and having a light in the water will only add to it. research mods that will increase air circulation, reduce temps in your hood. this will get you by stock for a good while. ditch the bio balls asap, cut the tab between chamber 1 and 2. keep reading!

#8
jailhouse

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Ok. You guys did it. Next Friday I'm ordering the media basket, refugium, and fish guard kit from mediabaskets.com. I can't beat the price. I will also be adding the filter floss and chemi pure.

I am starting to see some algae growth. I will test the water Monday and if it is good I will add the cleaner crew. Then I will wait until the media basket and refugium are insalled and aclimated before anything else goes in. I'm good with not rushing. My wife makes fun of me when she sees me stairing into the empty tank. She asked me if the lights were on a schedule (actic) to set the mood for the rocks.

I will update pictures when the clean up crew hits the water.

#9
jailhouse

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Exciting day today. While looking to see the algae growth I discoverd alot of different things growing. I noticed that I know have one zoa on the underside my small rock in the front of the tank. Should I turn the rock so it gets better light or if it's growing where it is it's fine? I also noticed that the purple thing with white spots that I assumed was a type of leather (based soley on appearence no data) has started to sprout growths from the spots. They look like a bunch of feather dusters but I don't think they are. I did notice on the other side of the tank a tiny 1/4" feather duster. Also I've noticed a few very thin, clear tenticles comeing out of the rock. I believe these are a type of snail if my detective work is correct. But I have also seen a couple of the same things except they are black and white banded. If anyone can help let me know if these creaters are ok or not I would greatly appreciate it. I would take pictures but my phone camera isn't the best and they are so small i don't think they would show up.

#10
RedStang

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Exciting day today. While looking to see the algae growth I discoverd alot of different things growing. I noticed that I know have one zoa on the underside my small rock in the front of the tank. Should I turn the rock so it gets better light or if it's growing where it is it's fine? I also noticed that the purple thing with white spots that I assumed was a type of leather (based soley on appearence no data) has started to sprout growths from the spots. They look like a bunch of feather dusters but I don't think they are. I did notice on the other side of the tank a tiny 1/4" feather duster. Also I've noticed a few very thin, clear tenticles comeing out of the rock. I believe these are a type of snail if my detective work is correct. But I have also seen a couple of the same things except they are black and white banded. If anyone can help let me know if these creaters are ok or not I would greatly appreciate it. I would take pictures but my phone camera isn't the best and they are so small i don't think they would show up.

Look up aptasia and majano to make sure that anything growing doesn't match these. If they do, look up how to hill them.

Black and white banded sounds like a star to me. Good hitch hiker if true. Without pics it's hard to tell though. Maybe find some pics online that are similar and post those?

#11
jailhouse

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Look up aptasia and majano to make sure that anything growing doesn't match these. If they do, look up how to hill them.

Black and white banded sounds like a star to me. Good hitch hiker if true. Without pics it's hard to tell though. Maybe find some pics online that are similar and post those?



It looks like I have aptasia. Luckily it looks like it is only on one rock. When I get home from work today I'm pullilling the rock and replacing it. Other than that everything else is what it appears. I think the banded beast is a star because I've witnessed more than one coming from the same hole.
I will add some pics tonight

#12
RedStang

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It looks like I have aptasia. Luckily it looks like it is only on one rock. When I get home from work today I'm pullilling the rock and replacing it. Other than that everything else is what it appears. I think the banded beast is a star because I've witnessed more than one coming from the same hole.
I will add some pics tonight


No need to replace the whole rock. Boil a large pot of water, take the rock out, and dip just the section tht has the aptasia. If it's really easy to get to you can just fill a large syringe with the boiling water and squirt it. Both methods have worked for me.

#13
czdiver

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Peppermint shrimp love aptasia. Mine ate all of the aptasia in the tank (about 6) in one day.

#14
jailhouse

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Took the rock to my LFS and he imediatly said it was a star polyp. I have since put it back in the tank and quarentined it all by itself. I will post pictures later this week. Thanks for all the advise. BTW they did the water check and everything is golden. Just got 10 hermits and 10 turbos to start the clean up.

#15
RedStang

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Took the rock to my LFS and he imediatly said it was a star polyp. I have since put it back in the tank and quarentined it all by itself. I will post pictures later this week. Thanks for all the advise. BTW they did the water check and everything is golden. Just got 10 hermits and 10 turbos to start the clean up.


Good deal! So what are your stocking plans? Usually a good idea to run them by the masses for us to nit pick it ;). In all seriousness, it gives us all chance to share what we've experienced or read about particular fish or combination of fish. Better than the "I just bought this uber cool fish!" only for all of us to tell you it's the wrong one for the tank etc... :D

#16
jailhouse

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Good deal! So what are your stocking plans? Usually a good idea to run them by the masses for us to nit pick it ;). In all seriousness, it gives us all chance to share what we've experienced or read about particular fish or combination of fish. Better than the "I just bought this uber cool fish!" only for all of us to tell you it's the wrong one for the tank etc... :D



So I'm looking for a nice combination. I really like to coral like frog spawn, polyps like zoa's, maybe some shrooms. I would love an animoni if I could keep one.
As far as fish I haven't really thought about it. Maybe one or two clowns (ocellaris), and a watchman goby. I would like 4 maybe 5 fish at the max. Any recomendations?

It will be a while. This week I'm putting in the media basket with refugium from mediabaskets.com, So I will watch the water perameters and see what happens and let the clean up crew do their thing. So I will probably looking to make more additions in about a month. Plus I'm excited to see what is growing in there already.

#17
RedStang

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So I'm looking for a nice combination. I really like to coral like frog spawn, polyps like zoa's, maybe some shrooms. I would love an animoni if I could keep one.
As far as fish I haven't really thought about it. Maybe one or two clowns (ocellaris), and a watchman goby. I would like 4 maybe 5 fish at the max. Any recomendations?

It will be a while. This week I'm putting in the media basket with refugium from mediabaskets.com, So I will watch the water perameters and see what happens and let the clean up crew do their thing. So I will probably looking to make more additions in about a month. Plus I'm excited to see what is growing in there already.

Go through other people's build threads. See what they have that you like. Pay close attention to what's died on them. Clowns are a great starter fish. They're colorful, hardy, easy to care for, and for the most part visible. Blenny's and gobies are good to but not all are compatible with each other. Add your most aggressive fish last.

#18
jailhouse

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Starting to see an outcrop of hiar algae. Should I worry or is this normal? I have 10 blue legged hermits and 10 turbo snails working in there now. Any suggestions?


Here are the pictures that I promised.

This I was told is a star polyp. These are growing all over the one rock.
20120319193622.jpg
If you look closely you can see a tiny feather duster
20120318193519.jpg
This was a good bonus.
20120319193747.jpg

This is just over 1 week in. I'm ordering the cemi pure along with media basket/refugium tonight. Any advise would be greatly apprecitated.

Edited by jailhouse, 21 March 2012 - 01:21 PM.


#19
RedStang

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Just take things slow. Best advice any of us can really give. Are you using RODI water? Hair algae means nitrates, phosphates, and light. Fairly normal for new tanks. 1 week in is a little early for the CUC. What are your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels?

#20
jailhouse

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Just take things slow. Best advice any of us can really give. Are you using RODI water? Hair algae means nitrates, phosphates, and light. Fairly normal for new tanks. 1 week in is a little early for the CUC. What are your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels?


I used salt water, rock, and some sand from my LFS's tanks. So I think that explains a quick cycle. I took them a water sample and it came back nitrite and ammonia was perfect. I order a reef test kit today and will be doing daily or at the very least bi-weekly water checks. I also ordered the media basket/refugium for my tank. I'm expecting a mini cycle when I make those additions. If my water levels are good this weekend I plan on doing a 10% water change. I am topping off with distilled water. I believe that is good practice, and so far I've only used 1/2 a gallon.

The hair algae isn't bad yet. There are just some long strands showing. I wanted it nipped before it got out of control. I think I'm still at least a month out before I buy anything other than a cleaner crew. Is there any additions I should make to the crew? Thankys for everyone's advice.

#21
swilbert76

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I used salt water, rock, and some sand from my LFS's tanks. So I think that explains a quick cycle. I took them a water sample and it came back nitrite and ammonia was perfect. I order a reef test kit today and will be doing daily or at the very least bi-weekly water checks. I also ordered the media basket/refugium for my tank. I'm expecting a mini cycle when I make those additions. If my water levels are good this weekend I plan on doing a 10% water change. I am topping off with distilled water. I believe that is good practice, and so far I've only used 1/2 a gallon.

The hair algae isn't bad yet. There are just some long strands showing. I wanted it nipped before it got out of control. I think I'm still at least a month out before I buy anything other than a cleaner crew. Is there any additions I should make to the crew? Thankys for everyone's advice.


I use distilled water for top offs and have done so since I started my tank. The water is crystal clear and theres no algae in my tank. For saltwater top offs I use Petco's premixed ocean water ( $11 for 5 gallons ). For nano's I really find its the easiest way to go after you have your tank full and only need to do water changes and top off's IMO. My water parameters are always perfect using their water, it comes with a perfect 8.0ph and the salinity is always 1.024. Also get yourself some Kent Nano Reef Buffer additive and it helps balance your calcium, PH, and other trace minerals.

#22
jailhouse

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Ok. So it isn't hair algae. If I had to describe it I would say it looks like some type of grain (wheat). But on the good side the snails love it. It's cool watching them eat away at it one rock at a time. Now if they get the glass next I will be a happy man.

#23
jailhouse

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Big upgrade today. Cut the flow tab, removed bio-balls, installed media basket and refugium with cheato. Did the first water change two days ago. I'm waiting for my reef master kit from amazon still. I ordered it wednesday and they took the money but still haven't shipped it :rant: I'm going to check the perameters for the next week before I toss the idea of adding some life in there.

I must say that I'm really impressed with the quality of the equipment I recieved from mediabaskets.com. Also I'm a sucker for stuff that says made in U.S.A. The only thing that I regret is that I can't use the fish saver as my biocube already has one in it. I still have an issue with the algae on the glass and sand. I will go out probably on wednesday and get some sand shifting snails. All in all I'm really glad that I purchased the biocube 29 and that I found this sight.

Edited by jailhouse, 26 March 2012 - 04:53 PM.


#24
jailhouse

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Ok so I did the tab modification while I was doing my water change. Now I'm not getting the cascade effect from chamber 1 to chamber 2 and chamber 3 seems to be level aslo. I removed the sponge in chamber three but still nothing. I also seem to be experiencing dust algae. My glass looks like it's frosted and after I clean it it's back to the same in about two hours. Any help or advice would be appreciated.

#25
swilbert76

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Ok so I did the tab modification while I was doing my water change. Now I'm not getting the cascade effect from chamber 1 to chamber 2 and chamber 3 seems to be level aslo. I removed the sponge in chamber three but still nothing. I also seem to be experiencing dust algae. My glass looks like it's frosted and after I clean it it's back to the same in about two hours. Any help or advice would be appreciated.


For one thing put the sponge in chamber 3 back in. If your worried about detritus build up just make it part of your weekly cleaning. When you run the media basket as a refuge in chamber 2 there is a high chance that some of the micro algae that your growing in there will break off and flow into chamber 3 which will then be sucked up by your pump. If your pump clogs up it will run hot and potentially overheat your tank. I'm running a very similar setup to you and the sponge will not hurt as long as you clean it once a week or every other week.

Also I'm not sure what question your asking when you say I removed the sponge in chamber 3 but still nothing. What was the effect you were looking for there?