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Tiggs' Biocube 14 (updated pics on last page! 5-22-2012)

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tiggs   

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05/01/2011 - Nanotuners 3.24 upgrade

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05/03/2011 - 2 x Ecoxotic Panorama modules

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02/09/2012 - UPDATED FTS

Since everyone else has a build thread, I figured it's time to join the party :) I've been reef keeping on and off since '03, but have just started (as in today) my first nano reef.

Biocube 14
1 x 50w heater
17lbs Fiji live rock (taken from a 16 year old established reef tank)
10lbs live sand
B-Ionic 4 part salt mix
Kent Marine A+B for nano reefs (dosed weekly)
Distilled Water
20% water changes weekly

Levels
SG - 1.025
Temp - 78-79 degrees
Ammonia - 0ppm
Nitrites - 0ppm
Nitrates - 15ppm
pH - 8.4
Alk - 300

Mods
All filter media removed
tab removed from wall between chamber 1 and 2
chamber 1 - heater
chamber 2 - inTank media basket (filter floss,chaeto w/LED on reverse lighting cycle, chemipure elite)
chamber 3 - return pump
Return pump replaced with Hydor Evolution 1200
Koralia nano (425)
Hydor Flo on return pump
1 x Ecoxotic Panorama module (453)
1 x Ecoxotic Panorama module (8k/453)
Vent holes drilled in feeder door
Back opened up for additional ventilation


Inverts
1 x indo hermits
TONS of various snails
1 x peppermint shrimp
1 x emerald crab


Fish
pair of snowflake clowns


Coral
white kenya tree
red mushrooms
aussie duncan
green star polyps
toadstool
lots of zoas/palys - too many to list

Edited by tiggs

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Hey Tiggs. I've got a very similiar setup save the skimmer. How does it fit in the first chamber? Once you get it going let us know how it does.

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:welcome: Yes, how did you fit the skimmer. I've ran out of things to buy for my biocube! ;)

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tiggs   

I used suction cups to stick it to the side wall (the opposite side of where the inTank piece snaps in). I have it in place, but not turned on yet. I'll let you know how it does once I fire it up :)

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I used suction cups to stick it to the side wall (the opposite side of where the inTank piece snaps in). I have it in place, but not turned on yet. I'll let you know how it does once I fire it up :)

 

Oh wait, is this the Oceanic BC14 skimmer? If so, its crap.....but I guess its better than nothing. You dont really need a skimmer for a tank this size. But if I were to use one, it would have to be better than one that could fit in the back chambers.

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tiggs   

Yup, the BC14 skimmer. It certainly looks pretty crappy. I got it for free, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to test out. If I don't notice it doing much, I'm going to remove it though.

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Yup, the BC14 skimmer. It certainly looks pretty crappy. I got it for free, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to test out. If I don't notice it doing much, I'm going to remove it though.

 

Yea, I got one for free but since my chamber 1 has my heater and pH probe, I couldnt put it there. I tested it out by just sticking it in the tank and I wasnt getting anything. I hear there are some HOB skimmers that uses a pump to get the water to it, but didnt think it was worth the hassle.

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tiggs   

DAY 2.. Things are starting off well. The Live Rock I used came with a TON of life on it. My tank is packed with asterina stars, micro brittle stars, and pods. Not to mention the hitchhiker astrea snails, button polyps, toadstool frag, and finger frag. I'm not sure how much of this stuff (if any) will survive my cycle, but I'm hoping to escape with at least a coral or two. Anyway, here are some pics. I'll post more when there's more excitement going on :)

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qbical   

looking good

i also found that extending the tube length of the biocube skimmer helped produce a bit better skimmate.

Edited by qbical

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tiggs   

Nothing special, but I figured a moonlight pic wouldn't hurt..

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tiggs   

I had a pretty serious heat fluctuation yesterday (78-84 degrees), so I'm attempting to regulate that today. I have upgraded fans (from Nanotuners 3.24) working 24/7 and the heater set to 80 (I plan on dropping it back to 77 once I stabilize things). With that being said, I'm leaving the feeder door open today and so far, the temperature hasn't changed at all. I don't want to remove the feeder door and would really like to avoid drilling vents into it. Has anyone had luck with cutting out sections of the back of the hood for increased flow? There appears to be two 4x4 square sections that can be taken out without damaging the structure of the hood. help :)

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tiggs   

Since keeping the feeder door open today had my tank keeping a steady temperature all day, I decided to add additional ventilation. I hate how it looks with the door open or removed, so this was my solution. I'm hoping this will vent it enough to keep the temperature at a steady 77-78. If this doesn't do it, I'll have to drill a few vent holes in the feeding door, which I'm trying to avoid at all cost.

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I drilled out extra holes in the existing vents to all more flow through the fans. This dropped my temp about one degree.

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tiggs   
I drilled out extra holes in the existing vents to all more flow through the fans. This dropped my temp about one degree.

 

Excellent. If I'm not happy with my temperature tomorrow, I'll do this before I attack the feeding door. Thanks!

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tiggs   

While looking over my tank last night, I decided to move forward with drilling the feeding door. Even with the back cut out, I had a feeling I was still going to need additional ventilation over the surface of the water. Here is what I came up with.

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I'm also happy to report that my tank stayed at 79 degrees all day without any fluctuation. It looks like this was the magic combo for me.

 

On a side note, I got a great deal on a Biocube UV sterilizer last night. It should be here in a few days, so I'll post more pics and give it a review after it gets here. In my previous reef keeping experience with large systems, I've personally never believed in UV sterilizers. My view on nano reefs though is that you have substantially less room for error. If nothing else, this will make a super fancy water clarification system. :)

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tiggs   

A few new pics..

 

The only one of my hitchhiker astrea snails to survive. He's doing a great job eating the algae in the corners :)

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Since I'm able to keep my temperature stable with zero fluctuations now (not even 1 degree!), I've lowered the temp back down to my original 77 degrees.

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I'm going to pick up my test kits tomorrow and begin tracking my levels.

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tiggs   

I'm on the other side of 37. Near the Vaughn avenue light.

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Nice dude who your lfs? You go to steve?

 

I hav a buddy of mine that used to live on vaughn and bay.

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tiggs   

Yup, I go to Steve and Tropiquarium. I used to go to Fishtails too, but I just came back into the hobby and they apparently closed up shop.

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You should check out my boy Greg across the street from trop. Reefs to reptiles. He's an awesome guy to deal with and has a great selection. Do you do any trading or buying off any locals?

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tiggs   
You should check out my boy Greg across the street from trop. Reefs to reptiles. He's an awesome guy to deal with and has a great selection. Do you do any trading or buying off any locals?

I haven't yet (tank is still cycling), but I found a couple of guys on Craigslist that have good prices on frags.

 

http://jerseyshore.craigslist.org/for/2212326056.html

 

http://jerseyshore.craigslist.org/for/2197658194.html

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tiggs   
lol the guy in the highlands is my boy.

 

Haha small world. I plan on using both of them to stock my tank in about a month. I'd rather buy from them than pay LFS markups.

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Good call. I've have a few pieces for cheap too. Mikes a good guy go see him first and you want cool smaller fish an inverts than Gregs the guy to see. He's always into neat nano critters.

Edited by 19jeffro83

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