I have a new Biocube 29:
-upgraded water pump to a RIO HF 6
-Removed blue sponge
-Stuffed filter floss into the top overflow from chamber two to chamber three
-Opened up the overflow from chamber one to chamber two
-50 Watt heater in chamber one
-DIY media rack in chamber two with filter floss, purigen, and chemi pure; I might add cheato later on if nitrates become a problem- the new biocube has a clear window to let in light
-Added the Aquaticlife 115 skimmer in chamber two next to the media rack
-Added a Hydor Coralia evolution 425 powerhead
The skimmer works well, but as I understand it all skimmers are tempermental. It produces a yellow/brown fluid in the cup, so I guess it's doing it's job. Takes a few days to get going.
So here's my experience:
Day 1- added tap water, appropriate quantities of salt and live sand to the tank
At this point I didn't even dechlorinate my water, and I'm on a municipality. I'm sure people are going to say I wasted money on live sand to kill it with chlorinated water, but my cycle went so quick I would beg to differ.
Day 3- Added 35 lbs of live rock, adjusted salinity, pH, added tap water conditioner, and tested for ammonia, nitrite and nitrates
I seemed to have low level ammonia, nitrites and nitrates from the very beginning; 0.25-0.50 ppm and around 5-10 ppm for nitrates.
I purchased the live rock from Petco, Fiji premium on sale, and its good stuff, tons of little nooks and crannies. 2 day shipping. I also got about 1 pound of live rock from my local LFS, to help seed the tank
Day 5- No changes with ammonia or anything else. Added the first Aquabella saltwater treatement.
Day 6- Added second Aquabella treatement. Ammonia up to 1-1.5 ppm. Added a little fish food.
Day 7- More aquabella and more fish food. Ammonia is down to 0.25-0.50 ppm. Nitrites are up to 1-1.5 ppm.
Day 8- More Aquabella and more fish food. Nitries are 3-4 ppm. Ammonia down to 0.25 ppm.
Day 9- Added last Aquabella treatment until the 90 day dose. Stopped adding fish food. Ammonia 0.25 ppm. Nitrites 3-4 ppm still.
Day 10- This afternoon the nitrates dropped to around 1 ppm, and the ammonia is getting closer to 0 ppm.
Day 11- Nitrites about 0.50 ppm. and are dropping rapidly. Nitrates at 15-20 ppm. Did a 10% water change. Added 10 of the dwarf hermit crabs and a turbo snail.
Day 12- Nitrites below 0.25 ppm and ammonia very close to zero. Nitrates at 10-15 ppm.
Day 13- Brown algae (diatom) bloom!!! And I even noticed a little green hair algae starting to grow. Added two small clown fish.
Day 14- Nitrites and ammonia very close to zero, nitrates at 10-15 ppm.
Day 15- Added two small radioactive zoas on a plug, two small eagle eye zoas, and a tiny little colony of xenia; all bought for $10, and I get to watch them grow!
Day 16- Added another turbo snail, a small (3 1/2 inch) red/orange star fish, and a small colony of green star polyps.
Day 17- Today, everything is still doing very well, fish are hungry and eat well, snails and starfish roaming around eating things up, and the coral all looks good.
I noticed a few little arm like things coming out of a tiny little hole in one of my rocks today. I saw three skinny tentacles with little hair like things sticking off them, maybe an inch long, and sort of has a black and white stripes on the arms. I can't see what's inside the rock or what these appendages may be attached too. Very exciting! Anyone have any ideas? I hope it's not bad.
I'll post some pictures soon.
I ordered a 50 watt LED upgrade I'll be hooking up in the next few weeks too.
Thanks for looking,