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Newbi BIo Cube 14 Owner~ a few questions


sloo50

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I finally found a forum that is "new guy" friendly........ I have searched quite a bit, and I am now slightly overwhelmed.

 

I have a Bio Cube 14 and I am running it bone stock, with the exception of a potien skimmer in place of the filter bag that came w/ the unit.

 

I have 2 inches of Live Sand and a few large pieces of inert rock.

 

I set up my tank, allowed it to cyle for 2 weeks, taking water samples every day, to every few days.... All my reading were well w/in the acceptable ranges. I took a water sample to my local salt water establishment, and they also agreed, my water was looking good...... water temp 79.5

 

 

Over the next few weeks I added livestock. (please forgive my lack of proper terminology)

1. Small combo rock, 1 red musroom, 1 green trumpet, a few pipe organs

2. Small combo rock, green zoanthids, red zoanthids, and a soft leather pollip

 

Also added a DottyBack, and a Clown

 

Everything appears to be healthy, but I am anxious to see what the more experienced folks here have to say about my set up. Overstocked?

 

I have read numerous times, about removing the bio balls and running live rock, or SteveT's? (What exactly is this device) Some suggest fibre filler from Walmart?

With the protein skimmer, do I need to use the supplied filter bag?

 

How do I determine how much coral to add, and when? What would be considered too much coral?

how often, and how do I feed the corals?

 

Sorry for all the questions, and ramblings..... Any advice or encouragement is appreciated!

 

Wes

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Welcome ! Did you remove the bioballs from chamber 2 ? IMO this is very critical when keeping coral. This will help keep nitrates down. Your stocking sounds fine so far. Really do some research on the corals you plan to add, a 14 biocube can be somewhat limiting. Check out this link http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=180788 with a few simple mods you can keep healthy and happy corals. I use purigen and chemipure elite in mine and I dont skim, I do 2 water changes a week. IMO it seems to work better than skimming.

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Welcome ! Did you remove the bioballs from chamber 2 ? IMO this is very critical when keeping coral. This will help keep nitrates down. Your stocking sounds fine so far. Really do some research on the corals you plan to add, a 14 biocube can be somewhat limiting. Check out this link http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=180788 with a few simple mods you can keep healthy and happy corals. I use purigen and chemipure elite in mine and I dont skim, I do 2 water changes a week. IMO it seems to work better than skimming.

 

Thanks!

My Bio Balls are still in the enclosure..... If I choose to remove them, and add an alternative, should I expect any adverse effects? I do not want to stress or harm any of the living creatures.

 

Wes

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By "inert rock" do you mean Live Rock? Was this cured LR and how many lbs did you add? I would definitely remove the bioballs. Depending on how much LR you have and how long your tank has been running like this, I would start to remove the bioballs slowly. Your LR in your main display will take over the job that your bioballs were doing in the middle chamber. Then you can buy "StevieT's" media rack. It will allow you to run filter floss, carbon or chemipure elite, purigen, and a fuge. My personal opinion is that you do not need a protein skimmer on a tank this small as long as you do frequent water changes.

 

Your stocking so far is ok, you need a clean-up crew though. In this hobby though, take things slowly and be patient....so dont add anything else for a while, except a clean-up crew. Let your tank catch up to the new bioload. Two fish are good for a BC14, at max three, depending on the sizes of the fish (at adulthood).

 

If your BC14 is stock, meaning it has PC lighting, then you are limited to the type of corals you can keep. There are numerous lighting mods you can do or purchase that will allow you to get every single type of coral. As for how much coral, just remember to leave enough space for your corals to grow. Also know that some corals can sting other corals, so you'll have to leave space for this as well. You can feed them anything from phytoplankton, zooplankton (Roti-Feast), and Rod's Food.

 

Since you are new, be patient and take it slow. Research, research and read all that you can. Before you buy a coral/fish, know what its requirements are (lighting, flow, food, etc). Get the basics down, testing for (pH, S.G., temp, dKH, Cal, & Mag) and keeping them steady as possible. Dont shoot for perfect numbers, but rather in range and keeping them stable.

 

Also, when posting here, state your specific numbers for your parameters and pictures are worth their weight in gold. You can read through my thread to see the upgrades you can do. Use the search function on NR for anything you might want to know.

 

 

:welcome: to NR

 

 

Some links for you:

 

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=180788

 

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=105512

 

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=74703

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lakshwadeep

+1 to an explanation of inert rock. Where did you get the live sand? It is kind of a gamble to start with purely dry rock and seed it with bagged "live" sand (which has a limited diversity of organisms). However, buying your corals on rocks will help introduce things like coralline algae and small animals. Live rock is the basis of modern reef tank filtration, which makes bio balls and other biological filters unnecessary. Chemical and mechanical filtration are options.

 

What type of dottyback do you have? Most dottybacks are very aggressive.

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+1 to an explanation of inert rock. Where did you get the live sand? It is kind of a gamble to start with purely dry rock and seed it with bagged "live" sand (which has a limited diversity of organisms). However, buying your corals on rocks will help introduce things like coralline algae and small animals. Live rock is the basis of modern reef tank filtration, which makes bio balls and other biological filters unnecessary. Chemical and mechanical filtration are options.

 

What type of dottyback do you have? Most dottybacks are very aggressive.

 

My rock is not "live" rock...... It is nonliving (but not lava), the sand came "live" prebagged (wet)

 

The dottyback is a magenta dotty

 

Is the cleaning crew something to add without lots of live rock? Would I benefit from them w/ out live rock?

 

The combo rocks are more than likely "live" ` correct?

 

I am so pleased I found this site!!!! I have a new addiction!

 

Wes

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My rock is not "live" rock...... It is nonliving (but not lava), the sand came "live" prebagged (wet)

 

The dottyback is a magenta dotty

 

Is the cleaning crew something to add without lots of live rock? Would I benefit from them w/ out live rock?

 

The combo rocks are more than likely "live" ` correct?

 

I am so pleased I found this site!!!! I have a new addiction!

 

Wes

 

This nonliving rock, how many lbs do you have of it? I am not sure if this rock will become LR (just because I dont know what type of rock this is), but if it does not, then you need LR. Your CUC is the first thing you should have added. Depending on what you get in your CUC, they help take care of algae and left over food, etc. If coral were on the combo rock, then I will assume its LR. Pics would help. ;)

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+1 to lighting. On of the first things I did to my biocube was to upgrade to the nanotuners 72w kit. Also, As maddevil1 pointed out, transistion away from the bioballs slowly. Your rock will become your filtration. StevieT's media rack is the way to go, it will greatly increase your chemical filtration options.

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This nonliving rock, how many lbs do you have of it? I am not sure if this rock will become LR (just because I dont know what type of rock this is), but if it does not, then you need LR. Your CUC is the first thing you should have added. Depending on what you get in your CUC, they help take care of algae and left over food, etc. If coral were on the combo rock, then I will assume its LR. Pics would help. ;)

 

Roughly 4-5 lbs of rock.... Pics will follow this evening, when I return home

 

SO....... I need to start replacing my bio balls with live (cured) rock correct? Slowly.

 

Could someone let me know how many total lbs of live rock I need when replacing the bio balls.

 

Can I add live rock to the system itself? If so, should I proceede slowly? Maybe 1lb at a time?

 

Thanks for everyone's time....... I am learning! B)

 

 

Wes

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Roughly 4-5 lbs of rock.... Pics will follow this evening, when I return home

 

SO....... I need to start replacing my bio balls with live (cured) rock correct? Slowly.

 

Could someone let me know how many total lbs of live rock I need when replacing the bio balls.

 

Can I add live rock to the system itself? If so, should I proceede slowly? Maybe 1lb at a time?

 

Thanks for everyone's time....... I am learning! B)

 

 

Wes

 

Well, you are not replacing the bioballs with LR. Your cured LR will go in your main display area. Give it about a week and then start to slowly remove your bioballs, like maybe a 1/4 at a time..so over a months time, with each water change, you should be completely free of bioballs. Once you get all the bioballs out, put StevieT's media rack in there and start your chemical filtration.

 

You do not need to proceed slowly when adding the LR to your main display area. Minimum I would buy right now would be 10lbs. That would give you about 15lbs total. Use the rock thats in there now as your base, meaning it should be touching the bottom of your tank and not just placed on the sand. I have a total of 21lbs in my BC14. Typically they say 1-2 lbs per gallon. Your tank after its all setup will hold about 8-10 gallons of total water. There are different types of LR. Buy pieces that will go with your vision for your reef scape. Branch like LR is good for placing plugs that the your coral frags will come on and pieces that are kinda flat are good for the half dollar shaped frags.

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OK, cool........ So, I could go ahead and purchase the LR and put it in the tank this evening? Should I expect a "spike" of amonia? Is a water change necessary?

 

If I place the LR in the tank this evening, when should I add the CUC?

 

 

CUC= snails? crabs?

 

 

Thanks again folks!

 

 

 

Wes

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OK, cool........ So, I could go ahead and purchase the LR and put it in the tank this evening? Should I expect a "spike" of amonia? Is a water change necessary?

 

If I place the LR in the tank this evening, when should I add the CUC?

CUC= snails? crabs?

Thanks again folks!

Wes

 

Yes, you can purchase the LR today and put it in this evening. You might get some die off from the LR. You can run purigen to absorb any ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate if you are worried. You'll eventually want to run purigen in the media rack anyways. A water change is not neccessary.

 

This is what I have for a CUC that keeps my tank spotless:

2x Trochus Snails

2x Zebra Turbo Snails

2x Margarita Snails

1x Nassarius Snail

 

I would aviod hermit crabs. You can get an emerald crab, though I would go with the snails first. Also, determine how much algae you actually have. You dont want to buy too many snails and have them starve. So start low and then add as neccessary. As yes, you can add the CUC this evening as well if you run the purigen. Otherwise, wait a week.

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You may see a very small ammonia spike but I doubt it will be much. +1 to the purigen, great stuff. I would start running it now.

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You may see a very small ammonia spike but I doubt it will be much. +1 to the purigen, great stuff. I would start running it now.

Thank you. I just had my local shop place a bottle under the counter for me for tonights pick up!

 

 

Wes

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lakshwadeep

Rock itself is not live; it's the nitrifying bacteria and other things that make it live. Even if you only had dry rock in the water, the bacteria would literally fall from of the air; although, that would take many months to occur. So, for all intents and purposes, your present rock has probably turned into live rock by you introducing the coral-covered rocks. However, as I said previously, "higher" organisms like animals would have a hard time arriving in your tank without live rock or live sand.

 

Adding live sand can sometimes be enough to do this. The zero gas exchange and lack of water movement of bagged sand means few organisms can survive, but bacteria like the nitrifying bacteria (read the cycle article in the library section) will likely still be present. This would mean still a relatively low diversity of organisms in your tank.

 

Don't replace the bio balls with live rock inside the same compartment; you won't have enough room. Most tanks here have live rock of roughly 1-1.5 pounds per gallon. So, it sounds like you need more rock, even if you wanted to keep the rock you already have.

 

Curing is the same thing as cycling, so cured rock theoretically should not have a cycle. However, when you have livestock in your tank, it's important to check whether the rock really is cured/cycled. The whole point of the cycle is to deal with "imbalances" before you add the livestock. So, it's best to have something like a bucket of saltwater with a simple pump to first quarantine the live rock and test the water to see if there are detectable levels of ammonia and nitrite (signs of a cycle still going on) before you add the rock to the display tank.

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Curing is the same thing as cycling, so cured rock theoretically should not have a cycle. However, when you have livestock in your tank, it's important to check whether the rock really is cured/cycled. The whole point of the cycle is to deal with "imbalances" before you add the livestock. So, it's best to have something like a bucket of saltwater with a simple pump to first quarantine the live rock and test the water to see if there are detectable levels of ammonia and nitrite (signs of a cycle still going on) before you add the rock to the display tank.

 

Getting it.....Slowly

 

Thanks!

 

 

Wes

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Thank you. I just had my local shop place a bottle under the counter for me for tonights pick up!

 

 

Wes

 

Dont get the bottle. Get the 100ml mess bag and just put that in your tank. If you have that blue sponge in chamber 3, take it out and put the purigen in the same location.

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Dont get the bottle. Get the 100ml mess bag and just put that in your tank. If you have that blue sponge in chamber 3, take it out and put the purigen in the same location.

 

Wow........ Actually, I asked them to put "it" under the counter, just assumed it was a bottle..... Boy, am I glad I found this place.....

 

Very informative, friendly, and interesting!!

 

Please keep any advice coming as I clearly have a lot of learning to do!

 

 

Wes

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You will find that the folks here want you to succeed, without these guys on here, I would have a very expensive, toxic fishbowl on my hands !

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kmacattack13

glad to meet another BC14'er. tanks looking great. i know im gonna get crucified by other biocubers, but i left a majority of my bioballs in the second chamber and have had NO problem at all for well over a year. i certainly understand the benefit of adding LR to the chamber in place of the balls, but at the time, I was putting all my rock in the display area with the intent to replace the bioballs eventually.

 

you could say its laziness, but i never ended up doing that and now have no intention of switching either. to this day, i get nitrate readings that look like basically bottled water.

 

but to each his own i guess. each and every tank - and biocube14 - is different. just find something that works for you and stick with it. best of luck and its lookin awesome

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