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Innovative Marine Aquariums

Yury's First SW Tank


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Hello All,


I have been prowling these forum for a few months now and 3 weeks ago I finally purchased a Coralife BioCube 29. I wanted to show this bad boy off and keep a nice little log of the progress.


Currently this is my equipment


Coralife Biocube 29G

Skimmer in Compartment 1

Jager 125W heater in Compartment 1 - Upgrade

Intank Media basket and Cheato Basket in chamber 2

LR, Cheato, purigen ChemiPure Elite in Chamber 2

Sump in Chamber 3



For lighting I have the stock lighting that came with the tank plus 3 Blue LED bars for night viewing.

Refugium Light


DEBATING ON IF I SHOULD GET STEVES LED UPGRADE. Hoping to maybe get it for Christmas!


33Lbs of live rock and about 25lbs of live sand


The tank has been up for about 3 weeks now and its only inhabitents are the CUC I purchased a few days ago. They made short work of the algae bloom I was experiencing.


Below is right after I set the tank up...still a little messy, but it is getting there!




After some fine tuning of LR this is the final setup I am currently using. The water is actually very clear, it is just a crappy picture with my phone camera. I will try to get some better pics up with my SLR this weekend!




I have added a clean up crew just this last week






The pH is currently hover at about 8.2, Ammonia is at 0, nitrite is at 0 and nitrates are around 5-10ppm.

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Currently I only have one mod done to my tank. My tank was getting a little warm....During the day it was getting up to 82 with the front and back lips of the hood open. With the hood fully closed I was getting much higher. Since I want my tank to look fairly stock and pretty I installed some fans into the back compartment of the hood.


I used 4 60MM fans I had laying around that were made by corsair.




I dont think I would recommend using these just because of price, but they do push a good amount of air and are very quiet. The nice thing with these is that I just took the housing they were in off and use it as a template to cut all the holes. Below are the pictures of the final assembled product. This took about 3 hours to complete.






I know what you are thinking...you said you want it to look clean and you didnt use black screws??? I know, I know, but it is all I had. Pluse I am ordering black metal mesh to put over the top so that none of the fans will be seen.


I installed them last night and they work like a charm...actually they work a little to well. I went from 82 degrees with the flaps open down to 74 degrees with all the flaps closed and the fans on, but with no lights on. I will monitor through out the day today what the temperature rises to with the actinic and main light on.


If 4 fans are to much, I may either turn two of them off, purchase a heater or just get some kind of temperature control unit to only turn the fans on when the temp gets above a certain point.


Does anyone know of a good, not to expensive, temp control unit?


I hope I am on the right track to a successful Reef tank!

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This is currently the Roommate to my CUC...



Yuri, love the tortoise. We have one too but he is half the size. He was a rescue.


Your fan mod looks really great. Good luck.

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Thank You! She is probably about 4-5 years old. She had a growth spurt about a year ago and is still growing.


For the fans I have installed they are currently blowing air out. Does anyone have any suggestions on if I should leave them blowing Air out or have them blowing Air onto the water?





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  • 2 weeks later...

First fish in the tank!


Fili and Kili! The picture isnt the best, but the video is not to shabby!





The tank has been stable lately with 0ammonia, 0nitrites and 0-5nitrates. I keep the temperature at a constant 79 degrees with my fans and heater. The heater is almost never used.


My recent purchases for the tank since the last update are:

intank mediabasket and refugium addon


jager heater

RKL with an SL1 + pH probe and 2 PC4 units


The only thing I am worried about is the pH in the tank. Before the lights go out the pH is around 8.15, but in the morning before I go to work the pH is at 7.98, then it rises again throughout the day. The guy at the LFS recmommended I use seachem 84 soultion to help get my pH and alkalinity up. Any thoughts on that?





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Hey, :welcome: to NR.


I wouldn't be worried about the pH of the tank. Chasing pH by adding buffers is a quick route to disaster. The pH changes with the light cycle of your tank as photosynthesis occurs durring the day consuming CO2 and adding oxygen to the water, driving the pH up to what it is before the lights go out. At night with the lights off there is no photosynthesis happening so the pH falls again. Its nothing to worry about, its a natural cycle. Sometimes tanks have chronically low pH and that can be a problem, sometimes the solution to that issue is as simple as opening a window near the tank or driving oxygen into the water column with a skimmer, or even running a refugium with an opposite light cycle to the tank so that there is some form of photosynthesis happening all the time in the aquarium.


The best thing for your tank right now with only fish and very few corals is to stick to a water change schedule. Keep it up, it looks like you are heading in the right direction with your equipment, selections.

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I do currently have a refugium with cheato that has a light on at night and off during the day. Would blowing air onto the water from one of the 4 fans help with o2 in the water?


One more thing, nano-reef is probably the best forum of people I have ever used. It is a pleasure to be a part of this community.

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I really wouldnt worry too much about it. It's not dropping below 7.8. Turning the fans to blow onto the water could help, making sure you have enough surface agitation will also help. These things are also goon to drive your evaporation up that will mess with your salinity. Sounds like you want to try turning the fans around so do it and see how it goes. Tanks are like one big science experiment. Gotta try things to figure out what works for you.

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Currently I have about 1/8 of a gallon of evaporation a day. The fans are hooked up to the RKL and only turn on if the temperature gets above 79. I did order some float switches to make my own ATO to help with keeping salinity constant. They should be arriving this weekend.

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  • 4 weeks later...



Since my last update I have done a few upgrades!


I have bought a RKL with, ph and temp probe

I have bought the intank upgrade.

The ATO is up and running and working great.




Also have some livestock upgrades...


Below is a fts...As you can see i ordered a CUC from Reefcleaners and they sent me a few to many...:)






To the left you can see the laptop I have hooked up to the RKL unit that I have connected at all times. It is an old laptop that I was not using. I use it to track all the parameters and graph everything. I can also control it from outside the house to turn stuff on and off. Basically I am using an old laptop instead of spending money on the Digital Aquatics Net unit.


So far everything has been going well except for one small issue....my refractometer was busted. I noticed some of my corals were not opening up as much as they used to and my duncan completely closed up :(. I brought my water to the LFS (Old Orchard Aquarium, Highly recommended in the Chicagoland area) and they said everything looked great in water:


pH 8.25

Ammonia = 0

nitrites = 0

nitrates = 0

Calcium around 450


Finally they tested the salinity....1.028...


I then brought my refractometer and it showed 1.025. They tested that my refractometer and theirs were perfectly calibrated, but mine just showed .03 less with my water and theirs.


Since then I bought a new refractometer and have been slowly bringing down the salinity and the corals seem to be doing better except for my Duncan :(. I have a picture below in another post. Not sure if the little bugger is still alive or not.

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My Critters:










Blastomussa - If anyone know what kind please let me know!




Open Brain




Torch and Cardinal



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Candy Cane




The candy cane were one of the corals I noticed were affected most by the salinity. They lost a little color and deflated a lot. They are getting a lot better. The big one up front has puffed up and gotten most of its color back. The back two are a little slower in the return, but they are getting there.


Zoas - There seems to be 3 different types. The left ones are a purple color under blue lights. The right are a bright red and the middle are blue.




My two O. Clowns - Fili and Kili - They have been hovering around the frogspawn lately. Hoping they may want to host it!




Bicolor Blenny - Scooter - Peeking his head out of his home




Cardinal - Benji




I also have a fireshrimp, but was unable to get a good picture today.




And finally my Duncan....


Here is what he looked like a little bit after he was purchased and opened up




Here is how he looks like now...





You guys think he is a gonner or just needs more time to get back from the salt trauma?

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looks awesome!! I love the setup of the tank. I wish I had a RKL system but I dont have ATO or anything of that sort hah. How much was the shipping for your CUC? I'm not sure if I should order from reefcleaner or from my LFS. I'll be setting up a 7.5gal cube.

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I think shipping was like 20-30 bucks. Even with shipping it was cheaper to get it through reefcleaners than through the LFS. You also get a ton more than what you order :)

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I think shipping was like 20-30 bucks. Even with shipping it was cheaper to get it through reefcleaners than through the LFS. You also get a ton more than what you order :)


that would be awesome if my tank is bigger haha. For a 7.5gal I'll probably just get ~10 from my LFS.

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Big day yesterday.


I installed the MP10. I must say the corals seemed to have loved it. Other than my poor duncan which wont open, the rest of the corals opened up wider than I have ever seen in a matter of hours after installing the MP10 in Reef mode.


My clowns also love the MP10. They will just sure the current created by the MP10. Reminds me of a certain movie that involved clownfish...


Also, I started using Rods fish food yesterday and my tank went completely crazy.

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