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SaltineSage

Saltine's BC29- First SW Tank.

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SaltineSage

So, it's due time I introduced myself, as I've been leaching off of the information here for a few weeks. I'm Saltine-Sage, which has nothing to do with salt water hobbying... it's a nickname from days past when I used to break dance. My bones/joints/muscles/ligaments/tendons/brain have gotten old... so I'm turning to a hobby more damaging to my wallet than my head.

 

So my story is I was looking for a cheap relaxing hobby to keep me company while I look for a job out here in Wisconsin. I nearly bought some pretty crappy fresh-water tanks... until someone offered me a Biocube 29 with stand for $100. Sure as hell beat the 20gal long tank with metal stand for $75... so I snatched it up right away. His story is that he sold it to upgrade to a Nano Cube 28g so he could continue on his coral addiction. The day after we made the deal, he emailed me and said he didn't feel like cleaning the tank, and that the silicon was a bit loose... so he'd give it to me the tank for free, and the stand and protein filter for $20. SOLD!

 

Pictures to follow.

Edited by SaltineSage

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googoomas

Looking good... You and i are at about the same point right now.

 

Cycle Away!

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SaltineSage

(Reposted pictures as a reply to keep the original post shorter)

So when I picked up the tank, it was full of coraline algae... and he had left some sand and water in the bottom. I nearly lost my lunch in the tank as I carried it to my car... needless to say the girlfriend forced me to dump the sand and water out immediately, or me and the fish tank were sleeping outside (I think it got to -5 that evening?)

BC29_Pic3.jpg

 

So I scrubbed for hours... and hours...

BC29_Pic4.jpg

 

So I changed up my tools...

BC29_Pic5.jpg

 

But then some helpful folks here at Nano-Reef told me to dump 7 gallons of vinegar into the tank! Things got better... but as I filled it with water, I got to see all the left over creatures. Lots of worms and star-fish look'n things.

BC29_Pic6.jpg

 

During this process, I noticed that the seal between the bottom of the tank and the display had captured some water... I needed to do some resealing, so I set to work.

BC29_Pic7.jpg

 

While I waited for the silicon to set... I made a home for the goby/jawfish that I won't have for a month+.

DIY1b.jpg

 

Bought some groovy live-rock from the LFS, most of it cured, but one chunk of fiji that was "almost cured"... figured it'd give me a great jump start to my cycle. Filtered the water with my Mighty Mite (putting out a stunning 1gallon per 45 minutes...) set the sand in (40 pounds), and threw my rock in (very delicately). Here is a few hours into the sand-storm.

BC29_Pic8.jpg

 

All of the placement for the rock, power head, and thermometer are temporary. I plan on spending a lot of time tomorrow aquascaping. The sand settled, and my parameters 5 hours after turning the pump on are:

 

Temp: 22c

Salinity: 1.023

PH: 8.2 (I think? the API PH test has a horrible spectrum.)

Ammonia: .50

Nitrate: 0

Nitrite: 0

 

When should I be seeing any sort of hitchhikers?

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vegas chad

Looks good! I dig the little goby home, I gotta jet to HD today for some stuff, ill pick up some parts for one of thems too. 1/2"?

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SaltineSage
Looks good! I dig the little goby home, I gotta jet to HD today for some stuff, ill pick up some parts for one of thems too. 1/2"?

 

Credit goes to: http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=172053

 

I used 3/4, I have a fairly deep sand bed. Still looking for a neat little "front door" for the guy. My total cost for that house was something like $3. With leftover PVC to decorate my quarantine tank.

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SaltineSage

So now all of my parameters are at zero... this is day 2 of my fish tank.

 

5 hours after setting the tank up my ammonia was at .5, nitrites/nitrates were zero. PH was 8.2

 

Now all parameters are zero and Ph is 8.4

 

Tested this stuff at 9:15pm. Is this normal?

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Pickle010

Absolutely normal - your cycle may take a week or two to really kick in. When I set up my BC29 - I started around Thanksgiving time and waited until I returned home from a Christmas trip to start my water changes and slowly adding live stock.

 

Depending on your rock - how cured it was and how long it was exposed to the air - your die off could be a lot or minimal.

 

During the next couple of weeks watch your parameters - pay attention to things like temps and do as much research as you can. The best advise I can give you is to take your time.

 

Welcome to the hobby.

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blister

nice signature ;]

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SaltineSage
nice signature ;]

Damn right it's a nice signature! Damn complicated if you ask me :-P

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SaltineSage

Here's my first go at aquascaping. I think I ended up having issues piecing the LR together since I had so many different types on hand. I had three different types of seeder rock, and then some Tonga branch LR, along with some fiji LR. So it was really one heck of a time getting them to mesh well together.

 

I'm also having trouble trying to figure out where my Koralia2 is going to go... seems a bit too big, and the flow it is producing is kicking up sand, no matter where I point it. I am considering downgrading to a 1, or nano.

 

Let me know what you think of my scaping! I really wanted a nice plot of open sand, and nice big shelf. But you an see the sand dune that my flow is kicking up right in the front center :o

 

bc29scape1.jpg

 

bc29scape2.jpg

Edited by SaltineSage

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Poodges

I have a Koralia 1 and I think it's the perfect size for the BC29. Aquascape looks cool. The top piece with the hole in it will be a fish favorite. Is the scape right up against the back wall? If not, I might move it to where it's touching the back wall. How about a side-view pic?

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SaltineSage
I have a Koralia 1 and I think it's the perfect size for the BC29. Aquascape looks cool. The top piece with the hole in it will be a fish favorite. Is the scape right up against the back wall? If not, I might move it to where it's touching the back wall. How about a side-view pic?

 

The scape is touching the back wall. I made sure to leave myself enough room around the glass to get my cleaning stuff through... the back wall will just have to fend for itself. I'll take some more pictures later today and post 'em.

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SaltineSage

As requested, a side shot of my aquarium.

 

I put my BC29 in a corner, as it was the only room I had in my apartment, so I sort of "blocked off" the left side, leaving enough room for flow and cleaning. I moved my Koralia 2 around the tank a few times, and just decided to take it out. I'll likely move the K2 to my salt-water bucket, and put a nano or K1 in... It was really doing a number on my substrate.

 

Here is the room shot:

 

BC29corner.jpg

 

Here is the side of the tank, facing the couch... I really wanted to make this just as key as the main display so I could lay on the couch and catch a nap watching the fish.

 

bc29side.jpg

Edited by SaltineSage

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howardchaz

Nice job cleaning up that tank - looks good!

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blister

nice... I'm diggin it..

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SaltineSage

So I am having two issues right now I'd like some help with.

 

1) This is my biggest concern right now: It appears even with my stock pump, that the flow is moving my substrate around... I am using argo-live pink fiji sand, 40 pounds. I took out my Koralia 2 because it was making massive holes in my substrate, even when being aimed up/sideways/longways... Now even with the Koralia 2 out, the stock pump is moving stuff around. I currently have it pointed up as to aerate the tank the best.

 

2) The evaporation is crazy! I put around half a gallon in a day to keep the water level at the "max" mark on Chamber 3. I'm going to have to invest in an ATO (they make me nervous as HELL! I live in an apartment on the second floor, last thing I need is a flood!). But, can I fill the water up beyond the max level, say to the top of the clear "water window" in chamber 3?

 

Thanks for your help!

Edited by SaltineSage

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blibo

1) You have to give your sand several weeks to finally settle down. During this time, the larger particles will come up to the top and the finer ones will fall to the bottom. Try to aim your pump from one side to the other will also help.

 

2) I fill my back chamber up till it touches the lip of the overflow. This will reduce splashing therefore reduces evaporation. Also, laying a piece of acrylic over the 2nd chamber will also help with evaporation. My bc14 will need about 1 gallon of refill water every 1.5 weeks :D

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SaltineSage

Blibo, thanks for the information, I'll top it off when I change my water, and throw something over my chamber for sure.

 

But now I have a new issue to worry about :-P I was originally going to post in the ID forum, but it didn't seem that vital... yet.

 

While I was aquascaping 2 days ago (3rd day of my cycle, Ph 8.2, 0 Ammonia/Nitrate/Nitrite), I noticed some white slippery stuff on one of my seeder rocks that is wedged between another rock. Didn't think much of it, figured it was something that came on the seeder rock that had just re-hydrated.

 

Today (5 days into the cycle), I notice that the bottom of that same rock has gotten big splotches of this white slime. The 1 spot I could reach with my cleaning tool scraped away and looked like the consistency of something you'd hack up while sick.

 

Did a search, and most of the "White slime" threads dealt with fish, corals, or dead corraline algae. So what is this stuff?

 

post-49397-1263840825_thumb.jpg

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blibo

I don't know the source of your rocks but it sounds like something used to live in those areas. It must have dried along with the rock and is rehydrated now as a lump of slime. Don't worry too much because this is normal during the cycling process. Anything dead and organic will dissolve away. If not then just get a toothbrush and brush it off after cycling.

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SaltineSage

So, it's now day 8 of my BC29.

 

My parameters have been running a steady

NO2= 0

NO3= 0

NH3= 0

PH= 8.2

 

I tossed some flake food in today at around 5. Completely dissolved by 9, and my NO3 got *slightly* darker, but on the scale I still consider it far more yellow (0) than orange (.25) on the API test.

 

I've got a bit of algae rolling, brown hair algae. It's only in a few spots here and there, but I am starting to see it spread as brown spots appear over some of my other LR.

 

Given these parameters, and the time, what's the estimate to getting the CUC started?

post-49397-1264133129_thumb.jpg

Edited by SaltineSage

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SaltineSage

Just got my inTank order. Huzzah for non-ghetto media racks! Great packing job, great products. I just need to super glue the flow-directors onto the bracket and I'm ready to rock!

Edited by SaltineSage

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SaltineSage

Update:

Parameters started to change today...

 

Ammonia: .25

Nitrate: 5

Nitrite: 0

Ph: 8.2

 

It'd been 10 days with hardly any chance what so ever... so I was going to grab 2 snails to work on the algae that's starting to take hold. But thankfully my parameters decided to change today, and I nixed that idea.

 

I've also decided to turn out the lights and just let the rest of the cycle go without the lights. When I see some solid parameters for 3ish days I'll turn the lights on and wait another 3-4 days and put my CUC in. Here are some pictures.

 

post-49397-1264397676_thumb.jpg

 

A bit closer.

post-49397-1264397700_thumb.jpg

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SaltineSage

Been running my tank with no lights for the past 2 days...

 

Ammonia: 0

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: 0-10?

Ph: 8.2

 

So, what's the deal with API's nitrate card? I can't for the life of me tell the difference between 5ppm and 10ppm. And the difference between yellow and a very light orange is also fairly hard to tell... I feel like I'm just guessing my nitrate levels right now.

 

Any suggestions?

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Billdemart

That's one of the coolest/cleanest aquascape jobs I've seen. Love it.

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SaltineSage
That's one of the coolest/cleanest aquascape jobs I've seen. Love it.

 

Thanks, it was my first go at aquascaping. Credit goes to my girlfriends countless hours playing Tetris as a child and watching HGTV as an adult.

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