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Phishin's 14G biocube (first tank)


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#1
G0nePhishin

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Hey everyone! Well I posted this to user tanks and pretty much got ignored, so I thought I would drop it here to see If I could get some help. I am new to the nano-reef forums and want to share my new tank with you gurus. I am a novice and am seeking advice, pointers, recommendations, anything you are willing to dish out. I am a newbie but very serious about this hobby and have done lots of research, the only thing I don't have is experience, and in this hobby that is what matters most.
here are the specs:
cycling stared 3/21/12
coralife biocube 14
Gear
1 10,000 PC light
1 PC actinic ligt
3 Blue moonglow LED's
Maxi-jet 600 pump
visitherm 25 watt heater
JBJ nano glow refugium LED light

Life
~15 lbs of live rock
~9 lbs of live sand
5 hermit crabs
2 peppermint shrimp
2 turbo snails
1 ball of Chaeto
1 booster bottle of Tigger pods


Here are some pictures of my tank
http://imgur.com/a/F63WZ#0
The blue one is most recent, the clear one is last week on day 2 of cycling. The water was so much clearer then. Is this normal? How can I fix it? My best guess is a bacteria bloom.

It is just completing week 1 of cycling. I added my inverts yesterday. They seem to have acclimated really well. The peppermint shrimp are doing great, one molted last night, so I think that is a sign that my water parameters are good. I have some hair algae growth, but the hermits have been going to town on it as well as some diatom growth. I started with sea-pure water, just to be safe, but I have bought some salt and I plan on mixing my own with RO/DI from now on (still got 2.5 gallons of sea-pure left.)

Parameters
pH 8.0
ammonia 0 ppm (several days)
nitrites 0 ppm (several days)
nitrates 0 ppm (past few days)
temp 78-81

I can't wait to get some corals and fish in there, but I know I have to be patient. I think my choice of first inhabitants is a nice pistol/goby combo. I really Like the orange stripe prawn goby (Amblyeleotris randalli) and I think my LFS has em. I really really want a Mandarin once the tank is well established. I started the refugium yesterday as well, got the JBJ nano glow powering a ball of chaeto and 2 pieces of live rock rubble(for the pods). I added the tigger pods to jump start the refugium so hopefully by the time I get a Mandarin the pod population with be huge.

As for corals I am thinking mostly soft, with a few SPS corals that can live in lower light. I absolutely want a duncan coral and plan on having mutiple species of zoanthids, also some star polyps. I want there to be good movement in the aquarium and I want things that flouresce under the actinic lights.

well that's what I got... I am happy to be here and be a member of the community. I hope to go from a novice to a proficient apprentice to the zen art of reefing.
Peace!
G0nePhishin ;)

#2
Enigma

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Welcome :)

I really like your scape!

#3
G0nePhishin

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Thanks! I tried to simulate a real reef shelf. Just did a 50% water change to try and fight the bacteria bloom. I think my post is too long and I am getting a lot of tl;dr 's because no one is responding :tears:

#4
2 f15hy 4u

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Welcome!

Your tank seems to be doing well so far. As for the tank cloudiness I would get some chemi pure elite in your back chambers as well. It helps A LOT!

The goby shrimp pair seems good, but idk if you have a deep enough sandbed. Hopefully someone who has experience with shrimp gobies will chime in.

I would definitley rethink the mandarin. Keeping a mandarin in that small of a tank is a feat for even experienced aquarists. Even if you let the pod population grow it won't last long in your tank, and it won't be sustained with just the refugium in the back chambers.

Just my .02! Best of luck, and looking good. :)

#5
G0nePhishin

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Hey f15hy!
I am planning on going to my LFS tomorrow because I think I gotta upgrade my pump from a maxi-jet 600 to a 900. I got the Y splitter for the return output and now the flow is a little weak. I will pick up some chemi pure elite while I am there too, the tank is so cloudy it looks pretty awful.

As for the dragonette that is going to be probably 8 months down the road so I have plenty of time to reconsider if I can handle the challenge, but thanks for the warning. once the water clears up I will post some more pictures.

#6
G0nePhishin

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I am about to go to my LFS to get things to tackle this bacteria bloom, it is only getting worse. Chemipure elite has been suggested, anything else I should look into while I am there?

#7
Enigma

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I am about to go to my LFS to get things to tackle this bacteria bloom, it is only getting worse. Chemipure elite has been suggested, anything else I should look into while I am there?


You might like to browse the UV sterilizers while you're there. I certainly wouldn't purchase one at this point ($$$$$), but if the Chemipure Elite doesn't do the job you're hoping it will a UV sterilizer might be an option for you. There are pros and cons to using them: they kill the good bacteria and plankton along with the bad.

#8
potato

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Welcome to N-R this forum is awesome! So much great info!!

If you can I would bring some water to the LFS for them to test as well. They will probably be more than willing. It just seems odd to me that it took your tank less than 9 days to cycle.. Not saying it's impossible.. I suppose anything is possible but 9 days would be super quick!!!!

Shrimp may molt early due to stress. I think mine usually end up molting a few days after introduction as well - they are just super sensitive and a molt is kind of expected no worries there.

Mandarins are REALLY hard to take care of and keep the little guy well fed. I never got one but I was set on having one when I first started. Do a ton of research on them. However your peppermint shrimp will also eat pods. I've seen my peppermints do it.. My pod population has just started to come back since the departure of my last pep - something to consider.

Edited by potato, 03 April 2012 - 09:03 AM.

Posted Image

#9
G0nePhishin

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Hey everyone!
So I just got back from my LFS, tested my water right before I went and got these resuts:
pH- 7.9-8.0
Ammonia- 0 ppm or .5 ppm (prob 0)
Nitrites- 0 ppm
Nitrates- 0 ppm
------They seem to be right on track.

I snapped some pics to show the dudes at the store I'll Post one. Posted Image

Here is the lo-down, a mix of a bacteria bloom and an algae bloom. Bummer :tears: . So Enigma you were definitely right in the UV suggestion. Unfortunately the inline one costs 90 $ and I am pretty far in the hole with the startup costs. So I purchased the Chemi-pure elite and will try a 2 week blackout :fingerscrossed: . If this fails then I guess I will have to pony up and get the sterilizer.

I did get the maxi-jet 900 and my flow is like 10x better! I just put the new pump in and stuffed the chemi-pure sack into chamber #1. so I guess it is lights out for now. Thanks for the help so far everyone! Let me know what you think of my most recent changes!

#10
2 f15hy 4u

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Hey Phishin!

Glad to hear you took the advise on the Chemi Pure, because i know it made my water crystal clear. Then again my tank wasn't as cloudy lol.

I'm no expert but since it has only been 9 days or so your cycle might just be starting. Just a suggestion, but if it were me i would wait it out a couple days before trying the black out.

You also dont have much of a clean up crew to keep up with that. On average you should have 1-2 snails for every gallon, and 1-2 crabs for every 3 to 5 gallons. the hermits will most likely try to kill the snails for their shells. c.u.c's usually consists of many snails to just a couple hermits.

:) good luck!

#11
G0nePhishin

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My cycle is definitely under way as I have had a diatom bloom on like day 5 or so. I agree on the CUC I messed up and got too many hermits, maybe my LFS will take a couple back. I really hope this works my water looks like straight garbage.

Edited by G0nePhishin, 03 April 2012 - 06:12 PM.


#12
G0nePhishin

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Update 4/4/12:

After a little more than a 24 hr blackout and adding chemi-pure elite the water is starting to clear! :scarry: fingerscrossed :)

#13
G0nePhishin

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Chemi-pure elite = AMAZING!

Thank you f15hy!!!!!

looking super clear now.

#14
tiggs

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Chemi-Pure Elite is an amazing product for sure. It doesn't cost much and will make your water look like it's not even there.

#15
G0nePhishin

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Chemi-Pure Elite is an amazing product for sure. It doesn't cost much and will make your water look like it's not even there.


sooo happy I didn't buy the UV sterilizer. way more cost effective to chemi-pure it

#16
G0nePhishin

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Posted Image

just took this, looking good fingerscrossed

#17
Pescar

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Looks great!

#18
G0nePhishin

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Looks great!


Thanks Pescar!

even clearer today! One of my peppermints is MIA though, even fed em and she was a no show. She had eggs though so maybe she is hiding in a cave and laid them. I hope she is ok.

#19
Enigma

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Posted Image

just took this, looking good fingerscrossed


Sweet! How long did that take?

I've had diatoms erupt in my 10 gallon very suddenly. It has been blacked out since this morning.

How much of a water change have you done if any). Are any of your parameters now out of whack?

#20
G0nePhishin

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That pic was taken after day 2 of the blackout. I ran the actinics for a bit and had the moonglows run but I had the tank dark today while I was at work. I will test my params right now and upload a new pic, its even clearer. Pods are everywhere too, but still no sign of pep #2

#21
2 f15hy 4u

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Sweet! Glad its clearing up for you!

#22
G0nePhishin

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Help!!! :o So I just caught one of my hermits about to murder my only pep left, I intervened and removed the hermit from the tank but he seemed to have hurt the pep. Now he looks pretty rough, not moving and out in the open. is this normal? what should I do?

#23
G0nePhishin

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He's dead. bristle worm is pulling him under. RIP peppermint shrimps

Edited by G0nePhishin, 09 April 2012 - 03:38 PM.


#24
2 f15hy 4u

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It might be too late, but idk. The only thing I could suggest is wait it out. :/ Sorry. Hopefully he'll be okay.

That's too bad. :'(

Edited by 2 f15hy 4u, 09 April 2012 - 03:38 PM.


#25
Flaming Reef

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I caught one of my hermits ripping of a baby porcelain crab's arm. They are nasty things. Sorry to hear about the peppermints. Are you going to get any more of them? Beautiful scape.