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bpkenn

Bpkenn's BC 14

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bpkenn

MH would be nice, but i'm scare of what it will do the the temps. I would probalby need a chiller at that point right?

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subielover

I will be adding a sunpod to my Biocube 14, so I will let you know about the temp. If anything, a small clip-on fan should help to keep it down.

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bpkenn

i would like to keep the hood on my tank. Maybe i will think about MH if I ever upgrade to a BC29

Edited by bpkenn

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Gvtv44

As said above, mh with a med sized fan would be fine- just make sure you have an ATO. I wouldn't get the mh mod for the bc 14 though- I think it would be way too hot.

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subielover

What do you mean mh mod? Are you talking about a retro, or just saying you wouldn't put a sunpod, viper, etc. over the tank?

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Gvtv44

The nanocustoms 1.74 (?) mh retro fit mod.

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subielover

Oh, gotcha. Yeah, I would anticipate heating issues with that as well.

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bpkenn

Why if I might ask? Someone on here has a 12g NC with a 70W HQI in the hood. Qwank I think.

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bpkenn

My order from DFS has arrived!

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So I got right to work! I started setting up the pump and noticed that the tubing that comes with the BC will not be long enough. So I went to ACE hardware and bought 2 feet of 1/2" ID tubing for $1. I was originally going to attach the tubing, but apparently the size of the return nozzle is larger than 1/2" and I just wasn't feeling any urge to fight to get it on. So I cut the tubing down and connected the elbow (one elbow it really doesnt reduce that much flow) using zip ties to secure the tubing in place.

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Here is the pump installed:

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Apparently my maxijet 900 comes with a free t-shirt and cable organizer. The cable organize kind of sucks, but I did manage to find a use for it!

 

I'm sure all cube owners can relate to the issue of damaging cords when closing the hood. I've not even had this thing for a week and i've already run into problems.

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So I thought what could I do to keep the cables in place...TAPE! So I taped them down and it worked ok, but I still had to hold the wires in place as i closed the lid. Then I saw the cable organization kit had a couple of brackets that i could use. So I increased the size of the cable opening area in the hood to match the cable clip, and it works great! I dont have to touch a single cable as i'm closing the lid.

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So on to filling the cube!

 

I have had salt mixing since the other day, and I noticed some wierd crap floating on the top. so I ended up dumping that salt water and mixing some new stuff. If you don't already, I would recommend mixing your own. It will eventually pay for itself.

 

Heres my 5 stage Reverse Osmosis / De-Ionization filtration unit built by Mark Levenson (www.melevsreef.com) attached to my sink faucet head (I live in an apartment, otherwise i'd hook it straight to my cold water pipe.) I use the deionized water for making saltwater, and top-off water only. This ensures that i'm not introducing phosphates or other contaminants into my water. With this unit, I can also bypass the DI media and make extremely clean RO drinking water.

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I've read some threads where people are using swing arm hydrometers. Toss them in the garbage. You can buy the same refractometers they sell at DFS for 1/2 the price on ebay. I bought one for $35 that has an LED integrated which eliminates the need for an external light source to view levels.

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Thats it for now. Will hopefully go shopping for more liverock tomorrow.

Edited by bpkenn

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bpkenn

Picked up some more supplies today:

Pro Coral Cure (T=tropic marin)

ReVive Coral Cleaner (two little fishes)

Flat Worm Exit (salifert)

Milwaukee PH Monitor SMS 120

all for around $100, not a bad deal.

 

I plan to use the TMPCC, revive, and flat worm exit to dip all new coral additions to eliminate any pests. Here's a good article on pest control: http://www.melevsreef.com/pest_control.html

 

I also stopped and bought some live rock on the way home. I managed to squeeze about 20-25 lbs of live rock in there. the stuff on the bottom I pushed all the way down to the glass on the bottom of the tank so future gobies don't topply it. I didn't take pictures of the individual pieces as I was more concerned about getting it into SW.

 

I don't consider myself to be too good at aquascaping. The tank usually clouds up pretty fast and then its game over! I did manage to make a nice little cave, with a small back door entrance for a small fish like a goby or a shrimp. I'm happy with it for now, should be ample place to place corals also. Here are shots of the aquascape. Let me know what you all think.

 

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I drove the remainder of the Liverock I didn't use to my friends place and he put it in one of his tanks with a heater and PH. When I got home I found a couple of new friends that wanted to thank me for their new home.

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Didn't have to think twice on this one, loaded up the joes juice and zapped these bastards right away. Joes juice has never failed me yet. I would have taken pictures, but my crappy camera's batteries died and i don't have any extra.

 

I also noticed another hitch hiker: a brittlestar of unknown genus. According to WWM if its not a green brittlestar it should be safe for the reef. I can definately see that he is not a green brittlestar, so I am going to leave him be. Hopefully he comes out and I can get a good picture of him.

 

Other than that, I'm still awaiting my skimmer and nano reactor from sapphire aquatics. I'm not sure why they haven't shipped my nano reactor yet. I really hope they are not going to try and make me wait until the skimmers are finished and ship them both at the same time.

Edited by bpkenn

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Gvtv44

Everything looks pretty good! Yea, I hear you about the cords- I use tape, but it's still a pain. Is that net for the nano? It's HUGE! :eek::wacko:

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bpkenn

yeah, i ordered the smallest net they had lol, It was only like $1. I will have to find something smaller. I also need to find something to help me sift the larger rocks off the top layer of sand and leave the smaller stuff.

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bpkenn

what is the reasoning that people cut the plastic divider between chamber 1 and 2? Is it to lower the water level in the DT and chamber 1?

 

EDIT: I noticed a lot of stuff floating on the surface of the water, so I started cutting away at this divider and the surface skimmer started working a bit more effectively. it also lowered the water level in chamber 1 a bit, and raised chambers 2 and 3.

 

Did some tests today also;

Parameters are:

PH: 7.8

Ammonia: .50

NO2: .25

NO3: 10

dKH: 10

Cal: 460

Edited by bpkenn

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bpkenn

Added 2 blue leg hermits crabs, 1 turbo snail, and 1 pink/red mithrax crab on thursday night. The LFS was having a huge sale, so I decided to test and see how cured my rock really is. Everyone was workin really hard on cleaning things up, so I bought an electric blue hermit today also (another LFS having a sale). The electric blue hermit is going to town on what i think is some cyano that came on my rocks.

 

I'll post pics later.

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bpkenn

Just sent my Nikon digital camera in for extended warranty repairs today, should have it back in 1.5-2 weeks. Seems the CCD chips they were using for certain models were faulty and they issued a service advisory for quite a few of their products.

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Gvtv44

Noooooo!!!! No more pictures?! :(

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bpkenn

I still have my gf's crappy camera (the pictures youve been seeing). I'm working on increase the bacteria levels currently. dosing ammonia into the tank slowly (so i dont kill off my CuC). I want to put a pair of clowns in there this weekend, but I don't know if the tankw ill be ready. I'll take pics with whatever i can find when i get a free moment this weekend.

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bpkenn

OK, I snagged my girlfriends camera for a quick shot. Since I started this hobby, checking water params was always a mess. So I went to american science and surplus and bought a rack, test tubes, tube tops, and 5ml syringes for $10!

 

with a little help from my dremel, heres what i came up with. A portable all in one testing station :)

 

enjoy

 

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Edited by bpkenn

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Gvtv44

Looks sweet! :happy:

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subielover

Why are you adding ammonia?

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bpkenn

bacteria needs food also. By adding straight ammonia, i can supply that bacteria with the necessary requirements to keep itself alive (until i add fish). This keeps both ammonia to nitrite, and nitrite to nitrate bacterias going strong until fish are added. Google for fishless cycling and you can see how effective this really is.

 

I had little die-off on my rocks and started with fully cured rock and live sand. So for me i need something to keep that bacteria alive until i add my fish. Another reason i added the ammonia was to see how fast the tank can convert the ammonia into nitrite, and then nitrate.

 

I added 1ppm at 8am yesterday, and this morning at 8am it was at .5ppm. Tomorrow it will be gone at the same time. I probably should have been dosing the tank more to build up the bio, but i neglected to.

 

Other people use stuff like thawed shrimp from the seafood market, or fish food...or even urine. That just adds more organics into the tank water and makes a mess. The ammonia is nice and clean, and at the end of the cycle you can do a large water change to get rid of the high nitrate build up.

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subielover

I don't buy it. If you are adding ammonia, a lot of the beneficial bacteria would be dying off. If you already had your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate at 0 and added a clean-up crew, I see no reason to add ammonia. The tank is already cycled. You already have animals in there pooping all day long, that is all the waste you will need until you get your fish in. JMO

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bpkenn

beneficial bacteria that feeds on ammonia is dieing...? I'm not overdosing the ammonia. 1ppm is nothing. i cycled my qt starting with 5ppm, and the entire cycle took 2 weeks.

 

The ammonia from the decaying waste of the few CuC members i have isn't going to come close to comparing to the addition of two juvenile clownfish + the feeding they require to grow at a healthy rate. The bio bacteria will die off/reproduce to sustain the bio load being produced by the CuC. This means when I do add fish, there will need to be an increase in the bio bacteria in order to sustain the fish and feedings. By dosing the ammonia, I am ensuring there is no undue stress placed on any addition to the tank.

 

TBH, I should have done this before i added the CuC, but since i didnt, I wanted to dose up to 1ppm to see exactly how much bio bacteria was present, and if it would be enough to sustain the soon to be added clowns without causing them stress or ill effects. (im getting the clowns tomorrow most likely)

 

You don't have to buy it, i'm not trying to sell it. Ive used this method to cycle new tanks in 1-2 weeks to QT pufferfish in tanks w/no substrate (other than bio-wheels) and it has worked great.

Edited by bpkenn

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bpkenn

Been a while since i have updated this thread.

 

I bought a couple onyx clownfish, one up and vanished one day, still have the other.

I have moved to a new apartment, moving tanks is always fun.

I bought a gutatta goby (sp), and six line wrasese.

I have yet to put any corals in because i wanted to improve my lighting.

 

So now I am doing an LED retrofit for my BC14, following the leads of evil, waterproof, and the others who have laid it out very clearly on how to do something like this!

 

With the added lighting, I had to decide the new direction of my tank, more lighting means cooler stuff :)

 

Ive decided not to try and stick a Nem in there since it will kill all my corals and just grow too large. be a wast of my LED's tbh. So I will go with a mix of LPS, softies, clams, and maybe a piece of SPS or two.

 

The problem im facing now is my aquascape! I'm just not sure if it is going to give me the maximum amount of area to work with. I'm feeling as if i have a lot of wasted space in here. it definately looks cool, and gives my six line wrasse and goby tons of places to hide, but i'm more concerned with space to put corals.

 

Here are a couple of pictures of the current rock layout. Any idea's on what to do with it? Some of the rocks at the bottom are actually burried under the sand and you cant see their shape well.

 

Im estimating i have about 15-20 lbs of rock in here. I have been contemplating on taking some of it out and just smashing it into pieces, then tossing it back in and seeing how it fits together.

Any have suggestions?

 

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Edited by bpkenn

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bpkenn

Looks like the board rolled back posts that were made yesterday? wierd

 

Here is the biocube

total project cost: $250

w/moonlight, tools, wiring, & misc: ~ $320

 

Heres a pic of the cabinet:

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a picture of the power supplies:

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Power box/project box:

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Template to drill:

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new SILENT fan:

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LED Retro installed, w/moonlight:

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Blurry FTS (my cam sucks):

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Royal Blue Cree XRE's only:

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