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XIII

XIII's Nano Cube - 28 Gallon LED

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XIII
XIII, very nice additions...FTS pls?

do you dose anything in your tank? how long do u run the lights?

Thanks.

 

I do dose occasionally; Iodine and Trace Elements, and Reef Fusion 2 Stage for Calcium and Carbonate Alkalynity. I dose maybe once a week or every other week depending. Neither is really needed with regular water changes which I do, but as I'm running a skimmer, ChemiPure, and PuriGen, I want to ensure that these elements are maintained in the tank just to be safe. It seems to be fine as the crabs and shrimp have all molted a few times, and the corals are showing a lot of growth.

 

My lighting schedule is listed in the original post to my thread.

Edited by XIII

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XIII

Been a little while since I posted an update, so here is a quick one.

 

Finally got a really good shot of the Liam's cloves:

4920765197_7b00a80032.jpg

 

And here are two updated FTS's:

4920767147_92451945d4.jpg

 

And at a slightly higher angle to better see some of the corals:

4920767165_00f1ed1561.jpg

 

Things are still going really well and everything continues to grow like crazy. It's amazing just how much everything has settled in after 3 months. The hermits have all exchanged shells a couple times now, and I regularly find new things here and there. I'm now running both main return pumps at the same time, as I seem to finally have found the balance to keep the water level maintained in the rear chambers where they aren't emptying them.

 

I'm planning to get a new fish soon, and probably a few more frags or other coral if I can find what I want.

Edited by XIII

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rb1685

I was recently bit by the nanoreef bug. I saw this same tank, and have decided that is what I'll likely get when I have the funds. I just read all 6 pages of your thread, and I really appreciate how thorough you are. You have a great looking tank, and I hope it continues to thrive. I look forward to your next update.

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XIII
I was recently bit by the nanoreef bug. I saw this same tank, and have decided that is what I'll likely get when I have the funds. I just read all 6 pages of your thread, and I really appreciate how thorough you are. You have a great looking tank, and I hope it continues to thrive. I look forward to your next update.

Thank you. Good luck on your tank startup.

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XIII

I'ts been about a month since my last update, so here's a big one.

 

Everything continues to thrive. The coraline has really started to cover the rocks, adding a lot of new color. I've seen a lot of growth in most of the corals, and some have begun to rapidly expand which is good. My Armageddon palys have doubled since they arrived, and my Eagle Eye zoas continue to double every other month. The Solomon Tree is twice as large as when I got it, with twice as many branches. The frogspawn has nearly doubled in size as well. My RBTA has been moving around recently, which is annoying as it had been quite happy for months. Now it is migrating up the rock work and has been irritating my Yuma Ric when it fully opens. I want to move it, but can't dislodge it from the hole it wedged itself into, and it's in a spot that will be hard to position a powerhead on to "encourage" it to move.

 

Only two corals have shown any kind of issues. The orange monti developed what I describe as an ulcer on it's underside, which caused some die back and bleaching. I removed that segment to prevent it from spreading and all seems fine now. And my Mellow Yellow goni has been showing signs of stress due to some sort of clear sponge that has been growing all over its base. I've tried removing them but they keep coming back. I don't want to lose my goni, and it is definitely unhappy at the moment. The sponge only grows on the rock around the base of this coral, and nowhere else in the tank thankfully. Any ideas on how to treat/prevent this?

 

My hermit crabs like to trade shells a lot, and I've placed a few extras in there for them to move into as well. I saw one crab change shells three times back and forth between two different ones in one day.

 

The clowns are being much more social, but still primarily hang out in the back of the tank. Nothing I do seems to encourage them to swim around more. Any suggestions on this?

 

Still haven't added a new fish, though that is next on the list.

 

I've received a large order of corals and frags yesterday from CultivatedReef.com, and will be my last significant order. After this, I only plan to add 2 or 3 "signature" pieces, such as a clam, toadstool, and either a hammer, torch, elegance, or cat's paw. Once all of this grows and fills in, my tank will be quite full; can't wait. My new corals include the following:

 

- Goniastrea

- Acans= Blue, and an Aussie Red & Yellow

-Zoas= Aussie Yellow center with red frill, Tri-Colors, Jokers, and an assorted frag

- Yellow Polyp with some bright yellow/orange zoas

- Pink Palys

- Duncans

- Miami Hurricane Echinophyllia

- Mushrooms= White & Green Frilly, and a Superman

- Smashmouth Micromusa

 

I'll try to get some new pictures up of each of the new additions, along with some updated FTS and other pics, in the next few days, once everything has had time to acclimate and adjust to its new setting. I plan on moving a few things around the tank as well to better show off some of the more interesting pieces, and to ensure that there is a lot of variety in all areas of the tank. For now, I'll leave you with this:

 

4995899389_0a90a0a7a9.jpg

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nortac

Been following this thread from the beginning. You've really made great progress. i really like your coral selection and the way things have been growing in.

 

I also started a 28g LED Nano Cube this past spring, and i have a question about your skimmer setup. i am currently running Urbanek's modified media basket with quilt batting in the top, chaeto in the middle, and purigen/chemipure in the bottom. i have been going skimmerless, but have recently seen a bit of a hair algae bloom, which i think is due to a spike in phosphate, which i'm detecting with a test kit. NO3 = 0. So, i went ahead and bought the AquaC Remora with maxijet 1200. You are the only one i can find who is running both skimmer and media basket, but i can't seem to figure out exactly how you have it set up. you mentioned in one of your posts that you run it in chambers 2 and 4, but i'm not sure i understand. any chance you could post a more detailed picture/explanation? are you using the stock tubing or did you modify it in some way to increase the distance between the pump and skimmer? i can just barely get the pump into chamber 2, but then the output of the skimmer is kind of split between chamber 2 and 3 (center), with most of it going into 3. but this prevents me from being able to pull out the media basket. any guidance you could provide would be much appreciated.

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XIII
Been following this thread from the beginning. You've really made great progress. i really like your coral selection and the way things have been growing in.

 

I also started a 28g LED Nano Cube this past spring, and i have a question about your skimmer setup. i am currently running Urbanek's modified media basket with quilt batting in the top, chaeto in the middle, and purigen/chemipure in the bottom. i have been going skimmerless, but have recently seen a bit of a hair algae bloom, which i think is due to a spike in phosphate, which i'm detecting with a test kit. NO3 = 0. So, i went ahead and bought the AquaC Remora with maxijet 1200. You are the only one i can find who is running both skimmer and media basket, but i can't seem to figure out exactly how you have it set up. you mentioned in one of your posts that you run it in chambers 2 and 4, but i'm not sure i understand. any chance you could post a more detailed picture/explanation? are you using the stock tubing or did you modify it in some way to increase the distance between the pump and skimmer? i can just barely get the pump into chamber 2, but then the output of the skimmer is kind of split between chamber 2 and 3 (center), with most of it going into 3. but this prevents me from being able to pull out the media basket. any guidance you could provide would be much appreciated.

 

I'd be glad to help. To get the terms straight, when looking at the tank from the front, the rear chambers are labeled, from left to right, 4, 2, 1, 3, 4. I did not modify or add to the pump, tubing or skimmer, and just used what came with it. What you need to do is place the pump in the left side chamber 4, so that the skimmer return flows into chamber 2 with some overlap into 4. To do this, you first need to disconnect the main pump return elbow from the false wall and push it and the tubing to the side so that the skimmer pump and intake can be slid into the chamber. You should also remove the black coarse filter pad from that chamber as it doesn't have a purpose any more. There are a couple really good pictures of how this sits in the chambers in the first page of my thread, the best of which is an overhead shot that clearly shows the skimmer intake position in relation to the main pump return, and the skimmer return across the two chambers. Hope this helps.

 

As for those promised pictures, they are coming. Haven't been getting very good shots of them (only a couple decent ones), but I'll be trying again tonight.

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nortac
I'd be glad to help. To get the terms straight, when looking at the tank from the front, the rear chambers are labeled, from left to right, 4, 2, 1, 3, 4. I did not modify or add to the pump, tubing or skimmer, and just used what came with it. What you need to do is place the pump in the left side chamber 4, so that the skimmer return flows into chamber 2 with some overlap into 4. To do this, you first need to disconnect the main pump return elbow from the false wall and push it and the tubing to the side so that the skimmer pump and intake can be slid into the chamber. You should also remove the black coarse filter pad from that chamber as it doesn't have a purpose any more. There are a couple really good pictures of how this sits in the chambers in the first page of my thread, the best of which is an overhead shot that clearly shows the skimmer intake position in relation to the main pump return, and the skimmer return across the two chambers. Hope this helps.

 

As for those promised pictures, they are coming. Haven't been getting very good shots of them (only a couple decent ones), but I'll be trying again tonight.

 

Ah, ok, the chamber labels help. I did install it the way I saw it in your picture, but then realized that since the pump is rather close to the top of the chamber the variable water level in chamber 4 really threatens to drop below the pump unless you constantly add water. do you have an autotop off device to prevent this problem? or do you just add water frequently?

 

thanks for the help.

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XIII
Ah, ok, the chamber labels help. I did install it the way I saw it in your picture, but then realized that since the pump is rather close to the top of the chamber the variable water level in chamber 4 really threatens to drop below the pump unless you constantly add water. do you have an autotop off device to prevent this problem? or do you just add water frequently?

 

thanks for the help.

 

I only add water when needed, which is maybe once a week if it is hot in the room increasing the evaporation, but more often than not I just replenish it when I do my weekly water changes. I only see maybe 1/3 of a gallon of water loss during that time period, and only in the rear chambers. Having an ATO for such minimal water evaporation is overkill and unnecessary in my opinion (others may disagree).

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nortac
I only add water when needed, which is maybe once a week if it is hot in the room increasing the evaporation, but more often than not I just replenish it when I do my weekly water changes. I only see maybe 1/3 of a gallon of water loss during that time period, and only in the rear chambers. Having an ATO for such minimal water evaporation is overkill and unnecessary in my opinion (others may disagree).

 

i completely agree about the ATO--i was just worried about how close the pump was to the top of the chamber (due to the short hose extension). if you can go a week without concern that the skimmer pump intake is exposed to air due to evaporation in chamber 4, then that sounds very reasonable. i see about 1/2 gallon evaporation per week, so i'll give it a try. i wonder also if i could just buy a slightly longer hose to allow the pump to sit lower in chamber 4--so it rests on top of the stock return pump.

 

thanks for the advice. sorry to temporarily highjack your tank thread.

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XIII

Here are some of the new additions. Still trying to get better pictures of some of them, and a good FTS. The pictures were taken under different lighting.

 

Aussie Red Acan:

5015412624_4f5af56a03.jpg

 

Miami Hurricane Echinophyllia:

5014804601_c54c549b40.jpg

 

Smashmouth Micromussa:

5015412606_23e94dd223.jpg

 

Tri-Color Zoas:

5015412564_99ca8a5b2e.jpg

 

Aussie Yellow Center Zoas:

5014804579_de4067c9be.jpg

 

Goniastrea:

5015412554_0873eb8198.jpg

 

Yellow Polyps w/ green and orange zoas:

5015412538_db58fc05ba.jpg

 

Blue Acan:

5015412524_3c97e5fb9b.jpg

 

Superman Mushroom:

5015412506_fbfeac3977.jpg

 

and the Duncans:

5014804507_8660e8697b.jpg

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XIII

So I've finally had the chance to bring some additional fish into my aquarium, and have selected a Red Firefish and Hector's Goby as the new tankmates. Hopefully they will make the clowns feel more safe and be more social, as I was told that they could have been shy due to thinking there was a predator nearby from the lack of other fish in my tank.

 

The Hector's Goby is a little different than what I had originally planned to get (a Yellow Watchman Goby), but it was interesting and i don't see too many of them in other reef setups, so thought I'd take a chance. It seems to be doing very well and has chose to make a small, low overhang right in the front center part of the tank as his home, so it is always visible. It comes out every now and then to swim around and explore, which is good.

5078750443_b161924dbc.jpg

 

The Red Firefish is a little more common, but I thought that it would make a nice addition as they typically have a lot of character and tend to stay around the middle of the tank. Mine seems to be quite shy, as after the first day it has since found a small crevice in the very back of the tank that it likes to hide/sleep in, and is very difficult to coax out. I'm hoping that it adjusts soon, as it does eat when it is out and about, but has spent the better part of the last two days in hiding and I really don't want to repeat the issues I had with the Sixline Wrasses.

5079344104_e7a5a544b9.jpg

 

In other happenings in my tank:

 

~ The RBTA decided to migrate a bit, and moved right next to my Red Yuma Ric proceeding to sting the crap out of it. Before the Yuma shriveled up, it detached itself and started free floating around the tank. After a couple days of searching, I managed to find it and tried attaching it to a rock chip, and again a day later it took up free floating again and was lost. A week after that, it turned up yet again, and this time I tried gluing it to a rock chip, and did a cross tie on it for good measure. Well that didn't work and it has now disappeared somewhere in the tank once more. If I manage to find it again, I plan to try using mesh to attach it to a rock, but we will see. In the mean time, the part that it left in its original spot is now regenerating and hopefully I will have another one at some point.

 

~ My Miami Hurricane Echinophyllia is doing well, and is forming a second "eye"

 

~ The Armageddon Palys are prospering so well that the original 4 polyps are now a colony of 19, and is currently my best candidate for fragging someday.

 

~ The orange/pink monti has been doing a lot better. I had to remove a large piece of it that bleached due to the "ulcer" it had, and attached all of the remaining pieces to a frag disc and moved it to a different part of the tank. It is now flourishing and has a lot of new growth on it, so the bad led to a good outcome.

 

~ The Mellow Yellow Goni has been doing better, but I'm still plagued by these clear sponges. They have started to appear in other parts of the tank and I really do not like them. I would appreciate any advice on how to get rid of or at least manage them better as they are very unattractive.

 

~ Several of my other corals continue to grow and thrive, including the Eagle Eye zoas, Ice Ice Favia, Independence Day Chalice, Blastomussas, Micromussas, Duncans, Blue Solomon Tree (which now has multiple branches), Xenia, and all of the Acans. The only thing that seems to be unhappy at the moment is the Superman Favia, which has turned brown in a few spots.

 

 

Here is an updated FTS, as of 10/12/2010.

5079344118_152f8b6a8a.jpg

 

As always, advice and feedback is greatly appreciated.

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XIII

I managed to get a good shot of the Hector's Goby last night while feeding, and thought I would share.

5084235894_b529881b50.jpg

 

Also, in the upcoming spirit of Halloween, this fun image of one of my hermits wearing his barnacle costume, complete with "feeler."

5084235918_d4b2d78878.jpg

Edited by XIII

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MrIcky

I want to echo what someone else said. I love how clear and detailed you are in your build thread. Nicely done thread and tank.

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XIII
I want to echo what someone else said. I love how clear and detailed you are in your build thread. Nicely done thread and tank.

 

 

Thank you. I've tried to be detailed and to cover as much of my learning process as possible, so that I had a record of what I did that worked well or didn't, and for others to be able to assist in identifying areas for feedback and advice.

 

I appreciate the kind words. I look forward to seeing your new tank build. So far the rock work is pretty interesting, and you've got some great corals in your other tank.

Edited by XIII

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JByer323

I just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed reading your tank journal. As a complete newbie to saltwater (and one who is about to get an LED NC), it was most helpful.

 

Best of luck to you, and thanks again.

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awcasper

Hector's gobies are tight!

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XIII
I just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed reading your tank journal. As a complete newbie to saltwater (and one who is about to get an LED NC), it was most helpful.

 

Best of luck to you, and thanks again.

 

Thank you. I was new to the hobby as well before starting this, so I'm glad that I was able to serve as a guide (this was part of the reason for doing this thread). I know I haven't been keeping up with the regular posts, as the tank doesn't go through as many transitions as it used to. I do plan on adding another fish and a couple of small corals or a clam within the next week or two though. The tank is flourishing though. Everything has grown quite a bit and the colors are really starting to dominate. Good luck with your tank and don't forget to create your own thread. It is not only a good way to get advice, but also to use as a personal reference for what has/hasn't worked for you so that you can learn from it. I know I have.

 

Hector's gobies are tight!

They definitely have a lot of character. Mine loves to borrow and has several openings to his main borrow, so that it can pop up just about anywhere in the tank.

Edited by XIII

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XIII

So, quite randomly my blue alveopora, which has been steadily growing from a small 1/8-inch size dot to over half an inch in the last six months, suddenly died yesterday. I can't tell if it caught a bad blast of current, or if it was attacked by a hermit crab, as the stalk of it was twisted and crimped. I'm very disappointed by this as it was a beautiful coral.

 

I've also lost my Tri-color zoas this week, as I had to move them due to my RBTA migrating over 6-inches again and stinging them; but they didn't survive the move I think due to a sudden change in lighting intensity.

 

The good news though is that whatever the plaque of clear tubule sponges that I had "infesting" my tank as all but been eradicated. There are only a few patches of it left and the tank hasn't looked better. The bug has crept back in to me to add a new fish and a few new corals, so I'll be making another set of additions soon.r

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Carmd1281

Just spent a couple hrs casually reading through this... Very nice journal. Thanks for creating it.

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rO.oster

tanks looking great XIII

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XIII
tanks looking great XIII

Thank you. It looks a lot better than any of these posted images, as they are now at least 2 months out of date. I really have been slacking in terms of taking pictures and making regular updates. There is so much color and growth now, it's amazing.

 

Just spent a couple hrs casually reading through this... Very nice journal. Thanks for creating it.

And I appreciate that others find it intersting and informative. Also, I see you are from the Boston area too, what shops have you been visiting (I stick to Jay's Aquatics up in NH or Skiptons in Boston)?

 

I finally broke down and did some major maintenance on my tank (I know, this was at least 2 months overdue...shame on me). That is one thing I definitely do not like about the NanoCube/all-in-one tanks, is that once you get all the equipment and everything setup in the rear chambers, they are a real pain to disassemble and clean properly. Made a big mess and it took a couple hours, and I still don't think it's as clean as it ought to be. Apart from the detritus that had settled, there were these little fuzzy pod-like sponges that wear all over the back areas, they took a while to get rid of. I did figure out that I could re-work some of my plumbing in a way that would potentially allow me to remove one of the pumps. This could be done by swapping the highest GPH pump from the skimmer (Maxi-Jet 1200, 295 GPH) with one of the main return pumps (266GPH), and running running that to my chiller and then directly back as a return pump into the tank. This would allow me to remove the chiller pump altogether, which would then leave me with 3 pumps instead of 4, and no loss of flowrate within the tank. This potentially would also allow me to run both main pumps in tandem instead of on a wave cycle, which overall would increase the flowrate within the tank. Best of all, there would be one less pump to clean. As I haven't been running my chiller lately due to the season, I didn't bother making the switch today, but on my next full servicing to the tank I will do this. I need to swap out the return lines for the chiller anyway, as one of them is starting to crimp, so will do everything then once I get the appropriate parts.

 

I really want a new fish and a clam now. I know I said this on my last update, but when I went to the LFS they didn't have a lot in stock for what I was looking for specifically, so I'll try again soon. I also really need to get a supporting clean-up crew as most of my original has "retired" and there are only a few nassus and cerith snails left. I need to pick up a couple emerald green crabs and Mexican Turbo snails to fight of some red macro algae, a few more cerith and nassus snails to do some general cleaning (and replace the ones whos shells the hermit crabs stole), and I still want to get a new Halloween Hermit. I also want to get something that will sift and burrow through the sand more, but I'm not sure what yet (though I really like the orange sand sifting snail I saw at the LFS recently). For a fish, I plan on finally getting my mandarin dragonet, and a purple firefish or two. I'd expect I'll be picking all of this up sometime within the next month, and I promise to have more image updates then.

 

Happy New Year!

Edited by XIII

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geezers11

Been enjoying the postings. In the midst of starting a 28g LED as well. Have had a 12g DX for about 5 years. Very easy to operate and modify. When checking out the 28g I did notice its a tighter fit to get your hand in the back chambers. And I also don't understand the reasoning to attach those sponges on the side of the chambers. What is the purpose? Looks like a b**ch to clean.

 

Also, regarding the mandarin, have you checked out the news from ORA? [url="http://http://reefbuilders.com/2010/05/11/will-2010-mark-the-marine-hobbys-shift-to-captive-breeding/[/url]

 

They are breeding mandarins that supposedly will eat prepared foods. Kinda pricey $50-90 but sounds like they have a much better shot of surviving. Saw some spotted mandarins at a local lfs. The blue mandarins are a tough get right now but put in a request.

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XIII
Been enjoying the postings. In the midst of starting a 28g LED as well. Have had a 12g DX for about 5 years. Very easy to operate and modify. When checking out the 28g I did notice its a tighter fit to get your hand in the back chambers. And I also don't understand the reasoning to attach those sponges on the side of the chambers. What is the purpose? Looks like a b**ch to clean.

 

Also, regarding the mandarin, have you checked out the news from ORA? [url="http://http://reefbuilders.com/2010/05/11/will-2010-mark-the-marine-hobbys-shift-to-captive-breeding/[/url]

 

They are breeding mandarins that supposedly will eat prepared foods. Kinda pricey $50-90 but sounds like they have a much better shot of surviving. Saw some spotted mandarins at a local lfs. The blue mandarins are a tough get right now but put in a request.

 

Yeah, it is a tight squeeze in the back areas, real pain. As for the black sponges that came stock, those were pulled immediately. My goal is to eventually move to a 150+ gallon tank, and use the NanoCube for a specialty tank, such as for a dwarf lionfish. I really needed something "simple" to learn from and break into the hobby, and I certainly have done that with this project. So now I just need to the funding and space for a bigger tank - now accepting donations ;) .

 

I've looked around at different mandarins, and definitely plan on getting one that is trained to eat other foods, and I do prefer the blue's over the spotted's.

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AlexfromSATX

Any updates? Thanks! :D

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