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Biocube 14 FOWLR - First SW tank


Kairus

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Hey everyone, so I just set up my first SW tank, a Biocube 14g. It's going to be a FOWLR, I'd love to do a reef tank, but as a broke college senior with 2 largeish FW tanks, that may have to wait! The tank was free (from a friend), and I got a great deal on Caribbean Sea live sand (40 lbs for $25) so I think I can do this on a relatively small budget! I've already upgraded the pump to a MJ900 as I had one in one of my other tanks, and the flow is great! I also threw out the bio balls, and removed the Biocube filter pad + sponge.

 

I've been learning some of the design flaws/quirks on the Biocube and have been trying to work around them. So far I've noticed how horrible the chamber design is. Like the false door in the 1st chamber that's pretty deep and hard to clean. Also with enough water movement, water can get underneath the top rim of the Biocube and drip down the sides. I've put clear silicone all around the inside and outside around the top rim, which so far didn't solve the problem, so I took a razor blade and did the outside once again, putting a real nice bead under the rim. I figure I can keep doing this and pushing the silicone up underneath the rim until the drips stop. I saw a few other people have had this problem, so if you found a solution, I'd love to hear it!

 

The amount of conflicting information on SW tanks out there is astounding! Especially regarding nano tanks. So I have a few questions I hope you nano experts can help me with.

 

1) Skimmer on a nano FOWLR, yay or nay? I have the Oceanic skimmer, and a Tetra Whisper 10 and 40 on hand. Which pump would be better - I've read having too much bubbling is wet skimming and can be effective, at the expense of lost water. The alternative is I throw some purigen in there and call it a day!

 

2) FOWLR lighting. Right now I have the standard PC lighting on there and I'm only running the 10k bulb at the moment. Do I really need to run the actinic bulb if I don't have any corals? I'd rather run just one light so it doesn't generate a lot of heat, and I can keep the fans off. I will probably replace the fans in the future, they're louder than my gaming desktop!

 

3) Curing live rock. So I've got 8lbs of live rock currently in the tank (I'm going to buy more once I know everything's going well), it's only been in for about 30 hours, should I be seeing an ammonia or nitrite spike yet? Both readings are 0, I was under the assumption there would be die-offs immediately, and I would see a spike. Do I need to put an ammonia source in there (dump some fish food in?).

 

4) Media. Right now I have some polyfil in chamber two to clear up all the small particles from the sand as it wasn't settling on its own. I plan on putting purigen in the tank, and maybe keeping some floss in there - I don't mind changing it out frequently. I'm thinking of putting some macro algae in chamber 2 if I can find a nice light for it. Although I do like the look of Red Gracilaria and think it would look nice in the display tank!

 

Here's a picture of the tank:

 

6qm1OMZ.jpg

 

I just cleaned out the polyfil I put in there and it's super cloudy again. I guess this is normal though from live sand? I've never had an issue with other types of sand, they normally clear up and everything is set. I've been squeezing some white cloudy water out of the polyfil. It won't settle without the polyfil.

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MyLiquidBlue29BC

I'm going to attempt to answer some of your questions :)

 

1.) You don't need a skimmer. There are lots of great tanks with all kinds of coral that don't run skimmers.

 

2.) You don't need the other light, but it does make the tank look nicer IMO. Those fans are terrible and easy to replace. I'd upgrade them when you can and then run both lights.

 

3.) I would add an ammonia source.

 

4.) I have filter floss and ClearFxPro in my second chamber. I have some pretty nice sponges that made their way into chamber 2 from my LR, so I figure the sponges are doing some filtering too. I have Red Gracilaria in my display. :)

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I'm going to attempt to answer some of your questions :)

 

1.) You don't need a skimmer. There are lots of great tanks with all kinds of coral that don't run skimmers.

 

2.) You don't need the other light, but it does make the tank look nicer IMO. Those fans are terrible and easy to replace. I'd upgrade them when you can and then run both lights.

 

3.) I would add an ammonia source.

 

4.) I have filter floss and ClearFxPro in my second chamber. I have some pretty nice sponges that made their way into chamber 2 from my LR, so I figure the sponges are doing some filtering too. I have Red Gracilaria in my display. :)

Thanks! Yeah, I think the skimmer is going to end up being a hassle anyway, Water changes should be easy on a small tank like this.

I dropped in some NLS pellets and I'll see what the ammonia levels are in a few days.

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