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Reef Rain - A Cube's Life [Bc14]


Rain24

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Reef Rain

BioCube 14
Inception: February 17, 2011
Reboot: December 15, 2012


"The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea." - Isak Dinesen


Full Tank Shot


8317974631_ac5a5dedcc.jpg
December 27, 2012
Added acan frag and duncan frag

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Full Tank Shot with my first corals and CUC
December 20, 2012

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February 18, 2011


A Cube's Life - The Beginning

I blame the Sea Monkeys. Looking for an air stone for them somehow led me here. Neither my husband nor I have any previous experience with aquariums. My dad has freshwater tanks, and yet they never inspired me to start one of my own. But I have a distinct love for the ocean. That little foray into an aquarium supply site reminded me of how I once toyed with the idea of having a coral reef tank. Once I got here on Nano-Reef, I read as much as I could and planned for a pico tank. Santa, however, decided that I had been good and got me a BioCube 14 instead.


Equipment

Tank: Oceanic BioCube 14
Lighting: Stock PC lights
Return Pump: Hydor Pico Evolution 1200
Powerhead: Koralia Nano 425
Heater: Hydor Theo 50w
Filtration: Drip Tray with Filter Floss
Thermometers: Coralife Digital and alcohol thermometer
Glass Cleaner: Two Little Fishies Nano-Mag

Live Rock: 12 pounds of Manado Cured Live Rock
Sand: 10 pounds of CaribSea Fiji Pink


Extras

Sybon Refractometer
Extra Hydor Theo 50w for water changes

Kept stock pump for water changes
Ground Probe
(3) Timers
(2) 5 gallon buckets
Measuring cup
Turkey Baster
API Saltwater Test Kit

Salifert Magnesium Test Kit

Salifert Phosphate Test Kit

Salifert Alkalinity Test Kit

Salifert Calcium Test Kit
Siphon
Forceps


Modifications

Removed false floor in Chamber 1
Cut tab between Chamber 1 and Chamber 2
Removed Bioballs, using Filter Floss with Drip Tray in Chamber 2
Upgraded return pump to Hydor Pico Evolution 1200 in Chamber 3
Removed elbow and used a 3/4" outer diameter and 5/8" inner diameter vinyl tubing for pump


Livestock

Actual:


1 Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs, Paguristes cadenati (Ruby and Meg, added 12/18/2012)
1 "Nassarius" snail, likely Ilyanassa obsoleta (Gonzalez, as in Speedy, added 12/20/2012)

2 small Nassarius snails, Nassarius sp. (Scarlett and Rhett, added 12/31/2012)
2 Cerith snails, Cerithium sp. (Frankie, added 12/20/2012; Perdita, added 12/31/2012)
1 Astrea snail, Astrea sp. (Tuttle, added 12/20/2012)

1 Pacific Nerite snail, Nerita sp. (Bonbon, added 12/31/2012)


Stocking Plans:


Hi-Fin Goby, Stonogobiops nematodes
Candy Stripe Pistol Shrimp, Alpheus randalli
Tail Spot Blenny, Ecsenius stigmatura or Dusky Yellow Streak Blenny, Ecsenius lividanalis
Sexy Shrimp, Thor amboinensis
(Possibly) Pom Pom Crab, Lybia tessellata
Softies and LPS corals


Corals

Frogspawn, Euphyllia divisa (added 12/20/2012)
Zoanthids, Zoanthus sp. (added 12/20/2012)

Acanthastrea, Acanthastrea sp. (added 12/24/2012)

Duncan, Duncanopsammia axifuga (added 12/24/2012)


Tank Journal Entries

Removing False Floor in Chamber 1 and Hydor Pico vs. Stock Pump photos
Cutting Tab Between Chamber 1 and 2, Manado Rock photos
Ruby and Meg, scarlet reef hermit crab photos
My first corals...finally!!!

Birthday corals and tank's first holiday photos - NEW 1/10/2013

Edited by Rain24
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I like your rockwork!

 

Thank you so much, Sac_State! :happy:

 

 

Love it..where did you get the live rock?

 

Oooh, you're fast, Hype! :lol: I got my rock from Premium Aquatics. I was a little nervous about getting rock sight unseen, but I think it turned out okay. :)

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I have been waiting for you to start a build thread. Looking forward to watching it grow!

 

You have? :happy: Well, I was supposed to start much sooner, but that blizzard and a week's worth of really cold temps put my plans on hold. Luckily there was a really warm day last week for shipping live rock. :D

 

Thanks for visiting, qwiksilver. I learned from your tank thread to wash my hands before I stick them into my tank. We love lotion over here, so it's best to get that off first before it gets into the tank.

 

Nice tank. I'm jackin your quote :)

 

Thank you, and feel free. I really thought the quote was appropriate for people in our hobby. :)

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Tank Journal Entry


 

The Cube's Prehistory

December 25, 2010 - Received the BioCube 14 and the matching stand for Christmas. (Thrown off by origami fish wrapped in a box.) After a moment of "WTH???", much squealing and excitement ensued once I figured out that I got an AQUARIUM. Yay, hubby! Thank you!!!
:wub:

 

December 28, 2010 - Had to buy something for the tank, came away with a siphon. Believe it or not, I was happy about that purchase. Meanwhile, a lot of research was being done for this new project.

 

December 29, 2010 - Tank checked for leaks, all the lights tested. Took out bioballs and false floors in Chamber 2.

 

December 31, 2010 - After a successful leak check, tank was drained. Cabinet assembly starts. (YAY!) Then we find out that 3 cams were missing. (BOO!)

 

January 3, 2011 - Holidays are over, got to finally call Oceanic to get cams. Customer service was really nice and got the parts out in the mail that same day.

 

January 6, 2011 - Cams for the stand arrive - that was really fast!

 

January 8, 2011 - Stand assembly finished. (Thanks to the hubby!)

 

January 22, 2011 - First major shopping trip for the tank. Who knew that would involve a trip to a fabric store for the filter floss and Target for a measuring cup and a turkey baster? Of course, there was Home Depot for buckets, tubing, and a powerstrip.

 

January 24, 2011 - Placed orders for equipment at Premium Aquatics and at Foster and Smith Aquatics.

 

January 25, 2011 - Received Premium Aquatics order! Yanked out the return pump to celebrate since its replacement arrived, amidst a ton of other things.

 

January 27, 2011 - Received Foster and Smith Aquatics order. Oooo...even more stuff to play with!

 

Ready, Set...GO! (Or so I thought.)

January 30, 2011 - Visited a LFS for inspiration. Having seen some really nice pieces, and having most of the equipment already at hand, we decided to tackle the mods on the tank. First, a final inspection:

 
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The tank was closely inspected by a fish professional and received high marks.

 

Removing the False Floor in Chamber 1

We all read about this, right? It should be easy. Push down hard on one corner and it should pop up. Riiiiiiiiight.

 
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Chamber 3 on the left, return pump taken out.


Chamber 1 on the right with false floor still in.

 

Well, my husband wanted to make sure that I noted that it took quite a bit of effort to get that little floor out. Our BioCube had a good amount of silicone holding it in place. We had to scrape the excess off. PLUS, there are actually two little ledges that hold the false floor up, thereby making it even more difficult to push down as you'll see in this photo on the left and right side of Chamber 1, towards the bottom:

 

5465412933_649834cf94.jpg

Look, Ma...we got the *($@* thing out, finally.

 

So, it took quite a bit of banging with a chisel, a screwdriver and a broom handle. Despite our best efforts, the floor cracked in the middle but it finally came out. This is where my small hands came in um...handy. I get to fish stuff out of the back chambers without too many scrapes.

 

While all this was going on, I was trying to get the new return pump installed.

 

The Hydor Pico Evo 1200 vs. The Stock Pump

Aww, look at how cute the Hydor pump is next to the stock pump. And only 8 watts! By the way, that reddish flow regulator? We pried it off for better flow.

 
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Hydor Pico Evolution 1200 on the left, Stock BioCube pump on the right

.

 

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Stock pump on the left, Hydor Pico on the right. Note the red flow regulator (remove).

 

Time to install the Pico. I removed the elbow, cut a length of tubing and attached it to the pump. Pump goes into Chamber 3, and the hose goes where the elbow used to be. Easier said than done. I got the wrong sized tubing. That 5/8"? Well, that's the INNER DIAMETER. I got one where it was the outer diameter. This is what I got:

 

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See that pinched tubing?


This is why you need 5/8" INNER DIAMETER and 3/4" OUTER DIAMETER!

 

Well, after all that, I got frustrated. I needed new tubing and the modding came to a screeching halt. And you know what else happened? The great Snowpocalypse of 2011. So, even the blizzard threw a wrench into my plans to get moving on the tank.
:angry:
Edited by Rain24
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Love your fish professional :)

 

I am sitting here next to a Nano-cube 12 that has been cycling since Feb. 8th. I started with dry rock so our cycles may complete at the same time. Looks like we have a very similar stocking plan too. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with yours. BTW...what an awesome hubby you have. Buying you that tank for Christmas. Any spouse that encourages this hobby is definitely a keeper. Mine builds reef things for me so he's a keeper too :)

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Looking good! Will be following along....

 

Thanks, Maddevil. I often go to your tank thread to see what you're up to. I get good ideas from what I have come to know as the Texas Cubers. :D

 

 

Love your fish professional :)

 

I am sitting here next to a Nano-cube 12 that has been cycling since Feb. 8th. I started with dry rock so our cycles may complete at the same time. Looks like we have a very similar stocking plan too. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with yours. BTW...what an awesome hubby you have. Buying you that tank for Christmas. Any spouse that encourages this hobby is definitely a keeper. Mine builds reef things for me so he's a keeper too :)

 

Our fish professional is the best! She likes keeping the tank company. We find her napping at the base of the stand pretty often these days.

 

It would be neat to have our cycles complete at the same time. I need a tank buddy! And thanks...my hubby really is pretty awesome. He's totally behind this reefing hobby. Sounds like you're just as lucky! Are you starting a tank thread for the Nano-cube?

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I do plan to start a tank thread. Maybe today???? Or at least soon. I've been dragging my feet since this cycle seems like it's going to take a while. I'm 2 weeks in right now. I'll be testing my water again on Friday. In the meantime...it's fun to surf the reef sites for ideas. I'll let you know when I get my tank thread going :)

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Oooh, you're fast, Hype! :lol: I got my rock from Premium Aquatics. I was a little nervous about getting rock sight unseen, but I think it turned out okay. :)

 

 

I got some of my rock from them as well. Nothing but good things to say about those guys..Ive ordered lr from them on 3 separate occasions and ive been nothing but satisfied.

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I do plan to start a tank thread. Maybe today???? Or at least soon. I've been dragging my feet since this cycle seems like it's going to take a while. I'm 2 weeks in right now. I'll be testing my water again on Friday. In the meantime...it's fun to surf the reef sites for ideas. I'll let you know when I get my tank thread going :)

 

Definitely let me know when your tank thread is up! :) I just tested my water for the first time. Now I'm pondering how often I should do it during the cycle.

 

I got some of my rock from them as well. Nothing but good things to say about those guys..Ive ordered lr from them on 3 separate occasions and ive been nothing but satisfied.

 

I'm happy with my rocks. I'm watching these little purple nodules that are on them, wondering what they are. The rocks are getting a little fuzzy too in places. Every little tiny thing that shows up on the tank is a source of fascination. (Yeah, I know...total noob syndrome here. :lol: )

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My husband keeps asking if I should be doing anything to sort of "kick start" the cycle. I told him that I read that with live rock you just stick it in the tank. I hope that was right. :o I bought cured Manado rock online and it was here the very next day.

 

Yesterday was Day 5 of my cycle. I already have pods (if that even means anything). Here are my parameters:

 

pH: 8.0 or 8.2 (darn these are hard to distinguish)

Ammonia: 0.25

Nitrites: 0

Nitrates: 0

SG: 1.026

 

And I found your thread too!

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My husband keeps asking if I should be doing anything to sort of "kick start" the cycle. I told him that I read that with live rock you just stick it in the tank. I hope that was right. :o I bought cured Manado rock online and it was here the very next day.

 

Yesterday was Day 5 of my cycle. I already have pods (if that even means anything). Here are my parameters:

 

pH: 8.0 or 8.2 (darn these are hard to distinguish)

Ammonia: 0.25

Nitrites: 0

Nitrates: 0

SG: 1.026

 

And I found your thread too!

 

In the past I've always used cured live rock. You don't need to add anything to kick start the cycle. You're doing great! You'll see your nitrites climb, ammonia will drop, and nitrates will start to rise. I would probably test daily or every other day, in your situation, because you will probably have a fast cycle and may miss some readings if you wait a few days in between tests.

 

I'm glad you found it! It's in the boring stages right now...LOL :)

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In the past I've always used cured live rock. You don't need to add anything to kick start the cycle. You're doing great! You'll see your nitrites climb, ammonia will drop, and nitrates will start to rise. I would probably test daily or every other day, in your situation, because you will probably have a fast cycle and may miss some readings if you wait a few days in between tests.

 

I'm glad you found it! It's in the boring stages right now...LOL :)

 

Oh good, good, good. I didn't mess up. Sometimes the more I read, the more confused I get. LOL I'll be testing again soon just to see where I'm at. Hopefully I'll get faster at this testing thing. Goodness - 5 drops, then 10, then shake, then wait...ARGH! Plus I think I'm too blind for my refractometer. :P

 

Your tanks isn't boring to me. You're having measurable results in your cycle. :lol:

 

I like your tank alot!!!

 

Thanks, brando. Don't you have a BC14 too though? :D I'm going to be posting some more pictures later, some better shots of the Manado rock that I got.

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Ahhhh so I didnt know that you made a tank thread. been checking the plotting one and didnt see anything

 

I like the rock and aquascape you have going in the tank.

 

Pretty cat toooo

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Ahhhh so I didnt know that you made a tank thread. been checking the plotting one and didnt see anything

 

I like the rock and aquascape you have going in the tank.

 

Pretty cat toooo

 

Thanks, jojoe! I keep wanting to move the rocks juuuuuust a tad. It's resting against the back wall and it's driving me kinda nuts. I want to get some epoxy and stack them properly.

 

I waited until the tank was actually wet before starting my thread. Now I'm staring at every little thing that pops up in that tank.

 

This cat is a first for me. I was always a dog person before. We got her from a shelter and she is ever so sweet. I seem to be her preferred couch this winter.

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Tank Journal Entry


 

Snowpocalypse 2011

Well, the first week of February dumped 18 inches of snow on us. Let me tell you, Josh from Premium Aquatics is a saint. He gladly answered all of my questions about live rock while I was waiting for the weather to clear up.

 

February 7, 2011 - My husband came home with the right tubing for the Hydor Pico, some superglue gel and most importantly - the GFCI outlet.

 

February 16, 2011 - After waiting out the snow and the freezing temperatures, we got a nice break in the weather. Ordered the live rock and the GFCI was installed.

Finally, Tank Setup Day!

February 17, 2011 - Live rock arrived. Lots of things to do. The new hose went in, so did the heater and thermometers. I had to wrestle 5 gallons of water into a bucket to heat and aerate it. Then there was the sand washing, reconnecting the ballasts, putting in the drip tray in Chamber 2 with filter floss and all that.

 
5466010724_e63ed103da.jpg

Mix, rinse, wait...and wait some more until the water goes DING!

And just as we were getting ready to put the rock in, we realized we forgot to cut the tab. BLAH. So...

 

Removing the Tab Between Chamber 1 and Chamber 2

In case anyone has wondered how people got rid of the tab, we snapped photos of how we did it. We wanted as clean of a cut as possible, so our tool of choice was a hacksaw. It also helps to stick a wet paper towel down in the bottom of Chamber 1 and Chamber 2 to catch any little plastic particles that happen to fall in while cutting.

 
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"Cuts through it like butter," said the husband.

 

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Vertical cut done, working on the horizontal one.

 

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Yup, that's a hacksaw.

 

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Tab no more!

 

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See how nice and even that cut was?


Note the new hose in Chamber 3, 3/4" outer and 5/8" inner diameter!

 

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A little sanding makes everything smooth!

 

Manado Cured Live Rock

FINALLY, we're ready to get some rock in! I figured twelve pounds of Manado Cured Live Rock from Premium Aquatics was good enough.

 
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Still warm. Nicely packed too!

 

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After a few tries, the rock stacked into this.

 

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From the left.

 

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From the right.

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Carefully adding in the sand. Fiji Pink!

 

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Filling it up. Note the plate at the bottom for anti-sandstorm purposes.

 

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And here again is our Day 1 FTS - February 18, 2011.

We have a tank!
omgomgomg
And in the meantime, I'm going to learn how to use this camera of mine properly.
:P

 
Edited by Rain24
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Yes I do, I like ur scape alot!! I like ur stocking plans, although later you may find u want more swimming fishies, I have the candy cane pistol and it made my ywg so much more active but he is tiny, like the size of a dime!!

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