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burnofvengeance

24 gallon JBJ Nano Cube DX First Saltwater Set-up

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burnofvengeance

So I recently ordered a 24 gallon JBJ from Drs Foster and Smith. I got it out of the box and set it up on the stand and everything with no problems, until I turned on the lights to make sure they worked. But I recieved the joy of getting a faulty bulb. Luckily the Drs were nice enough to send me out a replacement bulb. So after recieving the new bulb, I bought 15lbs live rock and 20lbs of live sand. After filling the tank and getting that set up, I figure out the "moonlights" dont work and neither do the 2 cooling fans. So another call to the Drs and they are sending me out a new hood to replace the defective one.

 

 

Luckily all this faulty equipment hasnt cost me any extra money, its just a real pain when things dont work the way they are supposed to.

 

So for now i have the tank cycling with the live sand and live rock with the hood propped open to help cool it down (the water temp is anywhere from 80-82) and I'll be installing the replacement hood when it gets here.

Edited by burnofvengeance

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davidr2340

I agree... waiting sucks! But luckily you ordered from the good DrF&S!!! They will take amazing care of you if a problem comes up!

 

I look forward to watching the progress of your tank!!!

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burnofvengeance

So I went to the lfs today and picked up 6 more lbs of rock ( 21lbs total in the tank). Heres a few pictures of my tank, its been up and running for 4 days now.

 

IMG_1082.jpg

IMG_1083.jpg

IMG_1086.jpg

Edited by burnofvengeance

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EvMiBo

Now that's some great customer service!

 

I'm totally new to this stuff as well but usually the general rule of thumb for LR is 1.5lbs/gallon. You might want to get 15lbs or so more.

 

What are you doing with your chambers?

Have any pictures?

 

Keep us updated!

 

edit: you posted your addition to your LR and pictures before I could get my word in!

Edited by EvMiBo

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burnofvengeance
Now that's some great customer service!

 

I'm totally new to this stuff as well but usually the general rule of thumb for LR is 1.5lbs/gallon. You might want to get 15lbs or so more.

 

What are you doing with your chambers?

Have any pictures?

 

Keep us updated!

 

edit: you posted your addition to your LR and pictures before I could get my word in!

 

 

Yeah they definately have great customer service. The two times I've called them they've given me no hassle whatsoever with replacement parts or anything. Besides that they have great deals.

 

I havent decided what I'm going to do with the chambers yet. I've heard read alot of mixed feelings about the bioballs and ceramic rings, for now I'm going to leave them in and see if they cause me any problems down the road.

 

I'll take more pictures when something a little more exciting is happening. It's hard to see, but in the picture of the side of the tank there are a lot of tunnels and caves.

Edited by burnofvengeance

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EvMiBo
I havent decided what I'm going to do with the chambers yet. I've heard read alot of mixed feelings about the bioballs and ceramic rings, for now I'm going to leave them in and see if they cause me any problems down the road.

 

Once again i'm new to this so hopefully someone else can confirm or back this up, but I've heard that bioballs and ceramic rings are pretty much storage areas for large amounts of nitrites and/or nitrates (not good if you let sit in your tank). Unless you were to clean them every time you did a water change (recommended once a week, 10%-15%) I would advise against them. I think the easier way to do this may be to use a fabric called filter floss you can find at walmart and some other places (once again, I need backup from more experienced ppls lol). Instead of cleaning bioballs each water change you could just simply replace the "filter floss." Supposedly it's super cheap so you can get it in large amounts and only use around a handful at a time.

 

Can someone help me out on this? As i'm not 100% sure about waht I've said, but more like75%. Trying to help!

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HankB
Once again i'm new to this so hopefully someone else can confirm or back this up, but I've heard that bioballs and ceramic rings are pretty much storage areas for large amounts of nitrites and/or nitrates (not good if you let sit in your tank). Unless you were to clean them every time you did a water change (recommended once a week, 10%-15%) I would advise against them. I think the easier way to do this may be to use a fabric called filter floss you can find at walmart and some other places (once again, I need backup from more experienced ppls lol). Instead of cleaning bioballs each water change you could just simply replace the "filter floss." Supposedly it's super cheap so you can get it in large amounts and only use around a handful at a time.

 

Can someone help me out on this? As i'm not 100% sure about waht I've said, but more like75%. Trying to help!

 

No, you're 100%

 

The floss is in the fabric section (at Wal-Mart) in a light green bag - 100% polyester with no flame retardants. In our RSM (Red Sea MAX) it goes in the chamber where water cascades into the rear section. There's a sponge at the bottom of the section that keeps the floss from getting to the pumps. The floss traps crap and gets replaced every 2-3 days. I thought 2-3 days was excessive, but by that point in time it starts to restrict flow enough to cause water level in the rear section to start to drop.

 

The point of this is to get that crap out of the tank rather than let it accumolate on permanent media where it will break down and contribute to nitrates.

 

Good luck with your tank - sounds like you're off to a good start.

 

-hank

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burnofvengeance
Once again i'm new to this so hopefully someone else can confirm or back this up, but I've heard that bioballs and ceramic rings are pretty much storage areas for large amounts of nitrites and/or nitrates (not good if you let sit in your tank). Unless you were to clean them every time you did a water change (recommended once a week, 10%-15%) I would advise against them. I think the easier way to do this may be to use a fabric called filter floss you can find at walmart and some other places (once again, I need backup from more experienced ppls lol). Instead of cleaning bioballs each water change you could just simply replace the "filter floss." Supposedly it's super cheap so you can get it in large amounts and only use around a handful at a time.

 

Can someone help me out on this? As i'm not 100% sure about waht I've said, but more like75%. Trying to help!

 

 

Sounds like everyone is highly against the bioballs and ceramic rings, so I think I'll take them out. But the thing I'm worried about is if my tank is going to have enough biological filtration with only 21lbs of rock. I don't really want to add anymore rock because I think it looks pretty full as is.

 

Also, the filter floss. Wouldnt that be just adding another mechanical filtration, which is already covered by the sponges in chamer 1?

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EvMiBo
Sounds like everyone is highly against the bioballs and ceramic rings, so I think I'll take them out. But the thing I'm worried about is if my tank is going to have enough biological filtration with only 21lbs of rock. I don't really want to add anymore rock because I think it looks pretty full as is.

 

Also, the filter floss. Wouldnt that be just adding another mechanical filtration, which is already covered by the sponges in chamer 1?

 

Do you have pictures of your tank with 21lbs of rock? I would put at least 24lbs total since you have a 24g. You can break them to make shapes so things can fit better as well. Sponges aren't that great of a thing either as they act just like the bioballs in a way where they accumulate a bunch of gunk and crap you'd probably rather not acting as a filter. I've seen sponges replaced by chemi-pure or something on those lines or filter floss etc. Look around at other people who have 24gNC's and see what they've replaced the stock bioballs and sponges with to get an idea.

Edited by EvMiBo

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burnofvengeance
Do you have pictures of your tank with 21lbs of rock? I would put at least 24lbs total since you have a 24g. You can break them to make shapes so things can fit better as well. Sponges aren't that great of a thing either as they act just like the bioballs in a way where they accumulate a bunch of gunk and crap you'd probably rather not acting as a filter. I've seen sponges replaced by chemi-pure or something on those lines or filter floss etc. Look around at other people who have 24gNC's and see what they've replaced the stock bioballs and sponges with to get an idea.

Yeah, the links that I posted earlier is 21lbs. So basically what I've gathered from everything--sponges suck, bioballs suck and ceramic rings suck. Just about all the filtration the NC came with is a trap for something it seems like.

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SPARTAN VI

Excellent pieces of rock! :)

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burnofvengeance
Excellent pieces of rock! :)

haha. well thanks. I did the best I could on the aquascaping. Hope it looks good, I like it anyways.

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burnofvengeance

Alright, so I expected to get some algae build up while my tank is cycling (its been about a week now) but I guess I didnt expect to get it so soon. Its covering a couple big pieces of my live rock and theres seems to be some on the live sand as well. I guess my question is: Is this normal? I have a feeling its perfectly fine and expected, but since this is my first SW tank I want to make sure its not something bad. ( I think its Dinoflagellates but thats just my guess, its brown and some of it has bubbles) If you need a picture of it, I'll upload one.

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SPARTAN VI
Alright, so I expected to get some algae build up while my tank is cycling (its been about a week now) but I guess I didnt expect to get it so soon. Its covering a couple big pieces of my live rock and theres seems to be some on the live sand as well. I guess my question is: Is this normal? I have a feeling its perfectly fine and expected, but since this is my first SW tank I want to make sure its not something bad. ( I think its Dinoflagellates but thats just my guess, its brown and some of it has bubbles) If you need a picture of it, I'll upload one.

 

Yes, sounds normal. I had my tank cycling for several months while I was waiting for a chiller and saw all sorts of diatomaceous growth on the sand bed, glass, then the typical green hairy algae on the rock and some macro algae. As soon as I dumped 2 turbo snails and 6 hermits as my CUC, they went right to work.

 

Also is that pump that you have set up right now for airation the same pump you are/will be using for your chiller? I had my pump sitting in my display for a few month, felt it was unsightly and found a way to squeeze it into the rear chambers. Just a thought. Tank looks much better with all that out of the way. :)

Edited by SPARTAN VI

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burnofvengeance
Yes, sounds normal. I had my tank cycling for several months while I was waiting for a chiller and saw all sorts of diatomaceous growth on the sand bed, glass, then the typical green hairy algae on the rock and some macro algae. As soon as I dumped 2 turbo snails and 6 hermits as my CUC, they went right to work.

 

Also is that pump that you have set up right now for airation the same pump you are/will be using for your chiller? I had my pump sitting in my display for a few month, felt it was unsightly and found a way to squeeze it into the rear chambers. Just a thought. Tank looks much better with all that out of the way. :)

Yeah I figured once I got my CUC in the algae would disappear. Yeah I'm using that pump for aeration and a bit of water movement because it rotates 60 degrees. Believe me I would much rather not have that sitting right in the middle of everything, but I can't seem to find anywhere else to put it. I tried it up against the back of the tank on the black plastic, but the suction cups don't want to stick to it. I've been thinking of maybe getting some epoxy and gluing the suction cups to the back but i'm not sure what i want to do with it yet.

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burnofvengeance

So, my tank has been cycling for almost 2 weeks now and I am getting a ton of algae growth on my live rock and sand bed. I assume its pretty normal and not just because my tank is running extremely hot (83-85 degrees, mostly due to a faulty hood, so that temp should be coming down after I install the new one.)

 

Here's what it looks like after a couple of weeks.

Front

IMG_0532.jpg

Right Side

IMG_0534.jpg

Left Side

IMG_0533.jpg

Top

IMG_0535.jpg

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HankB
Also, the filter floss. Wouldnt that be just adding another mechanical filtration, which is already covered by the sponges in chamer 1?

 

In my tank the water coming into the back chambers goes through the filter floss first. Floss sits on top of the sponge which keeps it out of the rest of the chambers and the pumps.

 

Floss gets pulled out every day or two or three when it starts to fill with crap. It surprises me how much stuff collects in a short time. Buy the cheap stuff at Wal-mart. A big bag was under $3. (Make sure you get the 100% polyester fill w/out flame retardant - it's in a light green bag in the fabrics.)

 

If the floss remained long, it too would become a nitrate factory.

 

Make sense?

 

Nice 'scape BTW, but IMO would look better with more rock. ;)

 

-hank

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burnofvengeance
In my tank the water coming into the back chambers goes through the filter floss first. Floss sits on top of the sponge which keeps it out of the rest of the chambers and the pumps.

 

Floss gets pulled out every day or two or three when it starts to fill with crap. It surprises me how much stuff collects in a short time. Buy the cheap stuff at Wal-mart. A big bag was under $3. (Make sure you get the 100% polyester fill w/out flame retardant - it's in a light green bag in the fabrics.)

 

If the floss remained long, it too would become a nitrate factory.

 

Make sense?

 

Nice 'scape BTW, but IMO would look better with more rock. ;)

 

-hank

Thanks for the tip. I went and got some a week or so ago, just forgot to update it. I figured $3 was alot better than getting a new sponge all the time. Yeah I think your right though, a bit more rock would look better but maybe I'll add that in the future. I'm on a bit of a budget so I'm doing what I can while trying not to sacrifice quality.

 

Tank Updates

Ammonia dropped to 0 so now we'll see what happens with the nitrite/nitrate levels. PH went up from 7.8 to 8.2. So we'll see what happens over the next couple weeks.

 

 

 

 

That much algae growth is normal right? It's not just due to excessive heat.

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HankB
That much algae growth is normal right? It's not just due to excessive heat.

 

Yup. Nope.

 

(Normal == what our tank did.)

 

-hank

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burnofvengeance

So for the last 5 days or so my water paramters have been:

Ammonia: 0 ppm

Nitrate: 5 ppm

Ph: 8.2

Nitrite: 0 ppm

 

 

I'll probably do a water change and let the tank run a few more days and test my water again.

 

I know I've seen a lot of people adding different things for the CUC for this tank but...does anyone have suggestions?

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burnofvengeance

Installed the new hood today. Fans and moonlights work, finally. Also did a 5 gallon water change. I'm going to let it run for a few days and then check my water paramters again to make sure they're in line. Then go to the lfs and pick up my CUC.

 

 

Anyone have suggestions on that?

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burnofvengeance

I added my clean up crew today.

 

5 reef hermits

2 scarlet reef hermits

4 margarite snails

3 nass snails

1 emerald crab

 

 

I'll get pictures when they're done acclimating.

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burnofvengeance

Alrighty. It's been a couple of months now and I've been neglecting my thread. Lets see whats new with the cube.

 

Mods: Not much under this section. Took out the stock pump and replaced it with a Maxi Jet 1200 and I took out the Powersweep and replaced it with a Koralia nano pump. Took out the stock sponge in the first chamber and cut it in half. The top half is filter floss which gets changed every 2 days and I switch the halves of the sponges out once a week. In the second chamber I have Chemi pure elite and purigen along with the stock sponge that gets rinsed out every water change.

 

Livestock: along with the CUC stated about, I added a skunk cleaner shrimp, percula clown. royal gramma, and 2 large turbo snails, and 1 smaller turbo.

 

Coral: green mushrooms, zoa colony, frogspawn, brain coral----and I did have a leather coral but it did not make it.

 

Problems: Temperature runs a bit high--usually between 80-82 but has gotten up to 84 before. Still have a bit of diatom algae on the sand that doesnt seem to want to go away. Any suggestions on how to get rid of it would be great.

 

Pics:

 

Frogspawn

IMG_0587.jpg

 

Brain

IMG_0590.jpg

 

Mushrooms

IMG_0591.jpg

 

Zoa Colony

IMG_0592.jpg

 

FTS: really blurry and with a lot more algae on the sand then there has been lately

IMG_0594.jpg

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wedgef5
Problems: Temperature runs a bit high--usually between 80-82 but has gotten up to 84 before. Still have a bit of diatom algae on the sand that doesnt seem to want to go away. Any suggestions on how to get rid of it would be great.

 

I've found that I need to open the lid on my 24DX when the lights are on, or the temperature starts running a bit high.

 

As far as the algae, how often are you feeding? I've been fighting this "gunk" on my sand as well. I feed every other day. Some might say that's too much, and every third day would be better. I just try and keep the amount I give every other day down to a minimum. You might also try taking out the sponge in chamber 2. My filter set up is: Chamber 1: Filter floss -> Chemi-pure -> Filter floss -> sponge. Nothing else. Those sponges are generally not good. I'm looking at removing the one I still have.

 

HTH

 

Matt

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burnofvengeance
I've found that I need to open the lid on my 24DX when the lights are on, or the temperature starts running a bit high.

 

As far as the algae, how often are you feeding? I've been fighting this "gunk" on my sand as well. I feed every other day. Some might say that's too much, and every third day would be better. I just try and keep the amount I give every other day down to a minimum. You might also try taking out the sponge in chamber 2. My filter set up is: Chamber 1: Filter floss -> Chemi-pure -> Filter floss -> sponge. Nothing else. Those sponges are generally not good. I'm looking at removing the one I still have.

 

HTH

 

Matt

Yeah, I too leave the lid of mine propped open and the feeding lid up as well. I also have a small fan that sits on top of it that blows across the lid, it seems to help a bit.

 

I feed every other day too. Just as much as they can eat in a few minutes and I take a fish net and get out the rest of it. Maybe I'll start trying every third day, who knows if it'll help.

 

So do you have nothing set up in chamber 2 at all?

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