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Psychon's BC 14 photo journal


Psychon

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Current FTS - 5/31/2011

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Equipment:

Tank: Biocube 14 + stand

Lights: Lighting: Nanocustoms 3.6 LED Retro Kit with 2 RB and 1 CW + Option R2 Moonlight (currently being shipped)

Main Pump: Maxi Jet 900 + hydor flow attachment

Secondary Pump: Vortech MP10ES

Fuge: inTank Media Basket, Filter Floss, Chaeto, Chemipure Elite

Controller: ReefKeeper RKE + NET module

RO/DI: Air Water and Ice Mighty Mite

 

LifeForce

Salt: Oceanic Salt Mixed at 1.025

Sand: 10 pounds Caribsea Ocean Direct Live Sand

LiveRock: LFS 13 pounds Live Rock

 

Live Stock

2 Semi SnowFlake Clowns

1 Emerald Crab

1 Pom Pom Crab

CUC from www.reefcleaners.org

 

Coral

Purple Gorgonian

Green Candy Cane

Zoas

1 Hairy Shroom

1 Shroom

1 Toad Stool

 

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Original Message

 

Hey all,

 

I'm brand new to the SW scene and I've been lurking the forums for about a little over a month and reading up on BioCubes and all the cool things you guys are doing. After taking my gf to the LFS to check out the cool fish and coral, she fell in love with the idea of having one at home and bought me the BC 14 I wanted. So here is where I come to you guys for guidance.

 

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Along with my tank I bought the stand and have both the stand and tank up and running. The tank currently just has fresh water which I'm running for a few days to make sure everything is working and there are no leaks. I've already removed the bioballs and sponge and now I need some help stocking up on supplies.

 

So the first thing I want to do is come up with a list of upgrades that I need to do and then I want to have another list with the general supplies I need to run the tank. I feel like I have a general understanding of the things I need, but going to the store and even reading through the forums it can be a bit overwhelming with all the options and brands out there. What should I start out with?

 

Equiptment -

- Tank: Oceanic BioCube 14 ($199)

- Stand: Oceanic BioCube Stand ($100)

 

Upgrades - (These are some of the things I've been looking into)

- Lighting: Nanocustoms 3.6 LED Retro Kit with 2 50/50 and 1 CW

- Pump: Maxi Jet 900 should I get a hydor flo or Koralia Nano with it?

- Filter: Media Basket - with filter floss, chemi-pure elite and chaeto with light http://mediabaskets.com/

- Protein Skimmer: I know it's not needed but what could I get to fit my BC14?

- Heater: recommendations?

 

Supply List -

- Water: Are there good RODI kits that I can use in an apartment? I can't get anything that I would need to modify the sink for. If not, ill just buy the water until we move out to our own place.

- Salt Mix: Any specific Brand?

- Power: Do I need a fancy power strip?

- Water Test Kit: Brand?

- Thermometer: Brand/Type?

- Filter Floss

- Media Bags (size/brand?)

- acrylic algae scrubber

- Net

- Bucket

- Live Rock (14 pounds?) What kind? Should I just get this at the LFS?

- Live Sand (how much do I need and what kind?)

- Clean Up Crew: kit from www.reefcleaners.org

- Chaeto

- Gloves

- Water Siphon

 

That's my list so far. I appreciate any suggestions and advice. Feel free to let me know if I should swap something out for a better recommendation or if I missed anything. I don't want to rush in and buy a bunch of things that I'll need to upgrade later. I mostly want to keep some nice looking coral and a couple of clown fish and crabs but nothing too demanding for beginner like myself.

 

I'm hoping this thread can also become a source as a BC 14 starter guide for all people like myself. So I will try to keep track of all information I learn.

 

Thanks for the help!

 

Some other questions

Has anyone tried to keep a mangrove to cleanup nitrates in a BC 14 and if so was it worth it?

When I get to the live rock stage, do you guys glue the rocks together for stability or are they just stacked?

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- Pump: Maxi Jet 900 should I get a hydor flo or Koralia Nano with it?

- Protein Skimmer: I know it's not needed but what could I get to fit my BC14?

- Heater: recommendations?

 

Supply List -

- Water: Are there good RODI kits that I can use in an apartment? I can't get anything that I would need to modify the sink for. If not, ill just buy the water until we move out to our own place.

- Salt Mix: Any specific Brand?

- Power: Do I need a fancy power strip?

- Live Rock (14 pounds?) What kind? Should I just get this at the LFS?

- Live Sand (how much do I need and what kind?)

 

Some other questions

Has anyone tried to keep a mangrove to cleanup nitrates in a BC 14 and if so was it worth it?

When I get to the live rock stage, do you guys glue the rocks together for stability or are they just stacked?

 

:welcome:

 

-Along with the return pump you will want some sort of circulation in the tank. A koralia 1 or nano would work fine or if you have a bit more money you could get the Vortech MP10.

 

-Oceanic makes a specific biocube skimmer that will fit. It isn't very good though.

 

-A 50w heater will be fine

 

-For RO/DI look at the Air Water and Ice Mighty Mite. It has a faucet attachment. Mine sits under my sink and I just take it out when I need water.

 

-I use Instant Ocean salt mix, it's not the best but it works fine for me.

 

-You will want a power strip with a timer, otherwise you will be turning your things on and off by hand all the time.

 

-The weight of liverock sort of depends on how dense it is. You can just go to your LFS and pick out some pieces there. For the sand it depends on how deep you want your sand bed. The prepackaged stuff you get at the LFS is usually about 20lbs that would be more then enough for a 14G biocube.

 

-You can keep mangroves in a biocube, but they are kind of a pain because you have to keep spraying the leaves with fresh water to remove the salt build up.

 

-I just stacked my rocks but you can get reef cement stuff if you want. Its like clay.

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Best of luck! The nanocustoms LED products are top-notch! I have had my 5.6 upgrade for 6 months and it has helped all of my corals grow.

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Thanks guys! That's great information. I ordered my lights last night and have a pretty good Amazon shopping cart full of stuff that I'm getting ready to buy unless you guys have anymore suggestions. I did have a question about the Koralia nano...there's a 240 version and a 425. I'm guessing 240 is probably enough for the BC14? I'm really tempted to go all out and get the Vortech MP10 like uwwmatt suggested but $220 for those seems a bit high.

 

I also think I'm going to switch my pump choice to a hydor pico 1200 over the MJ 900. I noticed some people run a hydor flo and the koralia nano together. Is there an advantage to this?

 

Thanks for the help again and good recommendation on that ro/di system.

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The MP10 is is very cool and has a lot of features. By no means is it a necessity but it does give great random flow to the tank. You can also use it in a larger tank if/when you upgrade down the road. People that have them always recommend them because they are really cool. ;)

 

The hydor flo make the flow random instead of a direct flow coming from the pump. I would recommend the MJ900, I just think the MJ is a better pump.

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So I'm out of control and made a huge order last night...I originally had picked out most of these things on Amazon but I later decided to support forum members and got a few more things from In Tank. StevieT's prices are pretty good and he offers free shipping for orders over $140. I ended up switching back to a Maxi Jet 900 like msujeff suggested.

 

- Digital Aquatics ReefKeeper Lite Controller - Level 1 $113.95

- JAGER 50 WATT HEATER 9 INCH UL APPROVED - $23.99

- DA1315 DIGITAL AQUATICS RKM-PC4 - $89.99

- BioCube 14 Media Basket - $42.00

- JBJ Nano-Glo Led Fuge Light - $59.98

- Maxi Jet 900 Powerhead - $23.99

- NanoMag Magnetic Cleaner - $10.99

- 3PACK VALUE PACK - POLY FILTER FLOSS - $6.97

- Hydor Flo Rotating Water Deflector - $13.99

- Chemi-Pure Elite Aquarium Filter Media - 6.5 oz. - $6.45

- Digital Aquatics RKM-PC4 - $89.99

- VorTech MP10ES Propeller Pump - $219.99

- Nanocustoms 3.6 LED Retro Kit (For BC14, BC8, JBJ NC 6) (219) - $332.90

- Moonlight Option R2 Moonlight - $32.95

 

I clearly went overboard...what did i get myself into :o

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So I'm out of control and made a huge order last night...I originally had picked out most of these things on Amazon but I later decided to support forum members and got a few more things from In Tank. StevieT's prices are pretty good and he offers free shipping for orders over $140. I ended up switching back to a Maxi Jet 900 like msujeff suggested.

 

- Digital Aquatics ReefKeeper Lite Controller - Level 1 $113.95

- JAGER 50 WATT HEATER 9 INCH UL APPROVED - $23.99

- DA1315 DIGITAL AQUATICS RKM-PC4 - $89.99

- BioCube 14 Media Basket - $42.00

- JBJ Nano-Glo Led Fuge Light - $59.98

- Maxi Jet 900 Powerhead - $23.99

- NanoMag Magnetic Cleaner - $10.99

- 3PACK VALUE PACK - POLY FILTER FLOSS - $6.97

- Hydor Flo Rotating Water Deflector - $13.99

- Chemi-Pure Elite Aquarium Filter Media - 6.5 oz. - $6.45

- Digital Aquatics RKM-PC4 - $89.99

- VorTech MP10ES Propeller Pump - $219.99

- Nanocustoms 3.6 LED Retro Kit (For BC14, BC8, JBJ NC 6) (219) - $332.90

- Moonlight Option R2 Moonlight - $32.95

 

I clearly went overboard...what did i get myself into :o

since you are going all out i would of brought the alc also for the leds.

with the size tank you are getting i would skip the mp10 unless going with sps.

would also skip the skimmer and get the fuge light option from stevie. best investment i ever made for the tank was the media rack.

chemipure elite is definately a way to go for media

50w heater will be good

3.6 make sure its dimmable with the new drivers (personally like individual color control on my leds)

sweet choice on moon lights

tried the hydor 1200 and liked the maxi 900 alot better

rkl can only utilize 3 add ons. might want to return the 1 pc4 for the alc

if you are running the hydor i would also upgrade to the maxi 1200. steal alot of flow from the pump

 

if you have any questions i see there are a few mods that you should definately consider but were not listed.

i actually dremeled every other tooth of the overflow so that it surfaced skimmed better

removed the tab on the inside so that the flow was better

dont recommend covering the bottom grate(was a worthless mod)

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Hey all,

 

I've placed all my orders and stuff is starting to come in this week, so I'm pretty excited and will post some pictures when it's all here. I've been thinking about returning the ReefKeeper Lite, and going with either the RKE or the Neptune Apex. One thing that bothers me is that these controllers are pretty expensive but still require me to buy tons of addons? For example if I bought an RKE would I still need to buy the alc module to control my lights? I get having to buy the probes and what not but seems a little shady that everything you need is another extra module...Anyways maybe there's some better options than those controllers?

 

I like the fact that they track temp and ph, can also shut down heaters/lights if things are getting too hot and can automatically control lights. I'm also a big iphone/ipad user and love the idea of being able to use these devices to control my aquarium. I've been trying to research the two and it sounds like the apex is the better of the two? If so that's a little bit of a bummer, I really dig the RE design. Man you guys weren't kidding when you said this hobby is expensive...

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Ya it expensive especially when you go all out ;) I did the same time but I'm happy that I spent the money in the beginning rather then wasting it on a product that I upgraded later anyways.

 

I have the RKL and I really like it. What what i hear, the apex is also very nice. I did buy another PC4 since 4 plugs wasn't even close to enough I need/want. You may only need two PC4s total.

 

The hydor flo is not going to do much with the MP10 in there. I have mine set at 50% in my BC29. If i crank it up to 75-100 then it looks like a sandstorm hit.

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  • 1 month later...

I've done a ton of work on my tank these last couple of months but I'm completely behind on my thread. So here's me trying to catch up :)

 

 

 

First the Mods

 

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Removing Chamber 1

 

 

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I removed some of the silicone using a razor blade and then used my gf's dough roller to push the false floor down. The roller is pretty much just a thick wooden dowel and it made it pretty easy to break the floor off. I recommend people having something like this to prevent nasty cuts to your hands.

 

 

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Removing the Biocube hood. I did this so I could remove the false floors easier but also getting it ready for when I get my Nanotuners LED lighting.

 

 

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Pretty easy but requires a bit of pressure. Be careful not to break the clip.

 

 

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Hooking up the RO/DI (this is the mighty mite from air water and ice)

 

 

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Getting the first batch of water ready

 

Edit: Yikes is there forum code to resize images?

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Fresh salt water in the tank. I'm using Oceanic salt and mixing to 1.025 salinity

 

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Here's the storm cloud after adding in live sand. I'm using Caribsea Ocean Direct Live Sands...roughly around 10 pounds. I can't say I'm super happy with it because it has quite a drastic range of sizes and lots of shells. That's not always a bad thing but I would have preferred something a bit smother. Overall not bad though.

 

 

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After the sand storm died down, I went and bought about 13 pounds of live rock from my LFS. Not scaped yet since adding it in created another cloud storm.

 

 

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Bored and waiting for the tank to cycle. Hey check out the lights.

 

 

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A few weeks later doing my first water test

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Final scape design

 

 

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I have some little hitchhiker red dots that are growing on the live rock, not sure what they are?

 

 

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Algae was starting to grow pretty tall and the tank had gone through all the spikes, so I decided to buy this little one to start helping with the cleanup work while I ordered some CUC's from John (www.reefcleaners.org)

 

 

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As soon as I dropped her in the tank she went right to the big algae and attacked it. Started to wonder if I even needed a CUC with this vacuum around...and yes she's missing a claw but it gives her some personality :)

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Salt Water City one of my LFS was having a 20% off on livestock sale so I couldn't pass on a good deal. I came home with some coral frags, a pom pom crab and 2 semi snowflake clownfish. These little guys have really made the tank a lot more alive and fun

 

 

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Fishies in the tank

 

 

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Here's the little pom pom crab. He cracks me up. I heard they were pretty shy but when it comes to feeding time he's usually one of the first to run out and poke everyone else with his little anemone.

 

 

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This is one of ReefCleaners penny gorgonias. Pretty nice for a penny!

 

 

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I think these are called candy canes. Their neon green and have a nice glow when the moonlight is on. Very

cool.

 

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FTS - 4/2/2011 Not a great shot but I figured I had to post a more current FTS. I'll see if I can get a better one this weekend.

 

I have a few more frags which I'll post later but these are my favorite ones. Next on the list is my NanoTuners LED lights. Nick just let me know they were shipping out this week and I just got the tracking number and I can't wait wait! I'll probably be getting some more coral once those are in.

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Tank looks awesome. You have some really nice equipment. I'm lovin the mp10 in there.

 

Thanks Ulver! It's finally starting to look like something. I can't wait to see how the coral expands and grows in the next few months. I'm really love the MP10 as well. It's probably something that you don't really need but it's great to have.

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Special week this week. Wednesday I received my LED kit from nanotuners and have that all installed and running. For the most part I have very positive things to say about it. There are a few issues here and there but I'll post a more in-depth opinion when I upload some pictures. Today I get my frags from Mr.Coral. I'm excited and hopefully they all make it in ok. I'll post pictures of those as well. Anyone have advice on acclimating his corals? Drip or is temperature enough?

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Special week this week. Wednesday I received my LED kit from nanotuners and have that all installed and running. For the most part I have very positive things to say about it. There are a few issues here and there but I'll post a more in-depth opinion when I upload some pictures. Today I get my frags from Mr.Coral. I'm excited and hopefully they all make it in ok. I'll post pictures of those as well. Anyone have advice on acclimating his corals? Drip or is temperature enough?

 

Not just his corals, but good practice would be for any shipped corals: float(do not open bag) for 30mins with lights off, dip, then into tank near bottom. Acclimating them to your water isnt neccessary since the shipping bag water wil most likely be toxic once exposed to air.

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Thanks maddevil. I didn't think drip would be a good idea for them and you confirmed that. The corals made it in, most seem to be doing ok. One acan didn't make it at all. Another was smelling a little funky but I think I got to him quick enough that he might survive. Well see how they do in the next few days. Pictures to come when I get a chance.

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  • 1 month later...

I should have mentioned I've added some new coral since my last post. Some frags from Mr.Coral and some bigger pieces I've picked up while checking out some of my LFS. During the process of adding in the new coral I changed the scape a bit to get a bit more room on the bottom. I think the scape looks a lot better now and honestly I would say probably better in person than in the picture. Sadly it almost made for some more caves and hiding spots so now I never get to see my pom pom :( . These images are also rocking the 3.6 nanotuners upgraded lighting. Those guys did a great job. My only complaint is that their power adapters are too bulky and the leds plus the moonlighting are eating up 4 power plugs which is precious space on my RKE. Hope you guys like it, let me know what you think.

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