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srpntmage's 29 Biocube Build


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Hey Everyone! Just got a Coralife 29 Biocube last week and I am currently buying equipment. This will be my first saltwater reef tank, so I am excited. Here is what I have and what I plan on getting. If you have suggestions, please share them.



  • Coralife Biocube 29 gallon
  • Coralife Biocube 29 Stand
  • Kessil a360n e series LED light
  • Eheim 100w heater
  • InTank Media Rack
  • Jaebo wp 10 powerhead
  • purigen, filter floss, chemi pure elite


Need to buy

  • A protien skimmer ( still trying to figure out the best one for my situation)
  • ATO system ( still trying to figure out the best one for my situation)
  • Cobalt mj1200 (may not need it)
  • RO/DI system (want badly, but expensive)
  • InTank Fuge rack (not sure if i am going to do a fuge)
  • Water testing kit (which one is best?)
  • Refractometer
  • Additive chemicals (Do I need them?)
  • Live sand and rock (friend is supplying free of charge)
  • Custom built mesh top


LIvestock plans

  • Clean up crew
  1. hermit crabs
  2. smails (suggestions?)
  • Inverts I am considering
  1. Cleaner shrimp
  2. coral banded shrimp (agressive?)
  3. fire shrimp
  4. pistol shrimp
  5. emerald crab (eats coral?)
  • Fish I am considerting (suggestions please, I'm thinking 2 clowns and maybe 2 more fish)
  1. 2 Clown Fish (snowflake maybe)
  2. Watchman goby
  3. Firefish
  4. Midas Blenny
  5. bangaii cardinal
  • Coral
  1. frogspawn
  2. bubble
  3. mushroom
  4. polyps
  5. leather


So, how does this sound? Once the tank is established I am thinking of getting more advanced corals and maybe a clam, since I have the light. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!







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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey how's it going? Thought I'd post some things just in case you need some advice still.


-Protein skimmer isn't needed for a biocube but it doesn't hurt.

-I would HIGHLY recommend getting an RO/DI system, it's expensive at first but well well well well worth it and saves your trips to the store and money in the long run.

-I like the Red Sea test kits myself but Salifert are also very good from what I hear.

-I would not recommend any additives, unless your talking about dosing calcium, all, etc.. but you won't need to do that for some time as long as you keep up with water changes using a good salt mix.

-You would have too many fish in that tank with 6 but I would recommend getting 2 clowns, watchman goby, and the Midas blenny, that is a good list for the 29 gallon biocube.


Hope that helps. Just let me know if you have anymore questions about anything!

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Tanks for the tips. I will definately be getting a RODI setup soon. I am already sick of carting 5 gallon containers of water around. I was only considering 3-4 of those fish, just not sure which ones I wanted yet. DO you know if the Red Sea kits are easy to use? RIght now I have API, and it is easy, but the readings are hard to interpret.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I know its been 3 weeks, and hopefully you got your answer, but for what it's worth.., I've got the Elos kits for mag/cal/alk/po4... API for the rest. The Elos are a HUGE step above the API... And from the people I've talked to that use them, the Red Sea pro kits are even easier to use than the Elos. I plan on switching over as soon as these run out. They both work similarly... You add drops to a solution until it changes color... Count drops, multiple/add/subtract, and that's your number . No guessing or interpreting 14 shades of pink or blue. The color changes from orange to green, or magenta pink to blue... Pop... Very obvious.


I also agree on the RO/DI being a necessity. My old biocube 14 I had to buy water until I got the RO/DI... And I'll never go back to that crap again. especially since I upgraded to the Biocube 29 and will by going through water quicker!!


Good luck with the tank!!!

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Thanks for the info guys. My tank is moving along pretty well. Added 22lbs dry rock (pukani and fiji) with a little live rock, Arag alive sand, and Dr. Tim's One and Only bacteria. Tank cycled down to 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite within 10 days. Nitrate is at 20ppm now, but was a lot higher until I did a big water change.


I got a Smart ATO which is awesome. Keeps water level perfectly stable and is very accurate. No other new equipment so far. Looking at a Tunze 9001 skimmer soon.


I also added a clean up crew of a few assorted snails and 4 scarlet hermits. They are all doing well so far. Tons of diatoms and algse to keep them fed at the moment. Have a green star polyp cluster and a few zoas now too. Everything is doing well.

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  • 1 month later...

Tank Update


Water parameters are getting better. Got nitrate down to 4ppm or lower. I started dosing NoPox and it seems to be helping, along with weekly 40% water changes. I hope to get down to 20% water changes once I reach a lower level of nutrients.


I added a Tunze 9001 skimmer to chamber two and it works pretty well so far. Very touchy about water level, so I am happy I got the ATO. Produces good skimate and is reasonably quiet.


I also added my first fish. A pair of carmel clowns about a month back and more recently a yellow watchman goby and candy cane pistol shrimp. They are all happy and doing well. The pistol shrimp does like to occasionally adventure into the media basket in chamber two. I have no idea how he gets there, but retreiving him is interesting.


Also got a candy cane coral which is doing well. Likes to eat mysis and seems to be prospering. It does have a very very tiny aptasia growing on it stalk. I will try to kill it once it grows a bit.


More recently I got a 4 headed duncan coral too. It's very pretty and seems to be quite happy. I also feed it mysis a couple times a week and it is already growing.


Only problem area is the diatoms are still there. No matter what I do they wont go away.

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Sounds like a pretty awesome start so far. Are you using RO/DI water in this build? I knew you mentioned wanting to get one, just not sure if you did, or if you are getting RO/DI water from some one else.


When I was first starting out with my tank I thought the diatoms would never go away, but they did eventually.

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Yeah, I get RODI from my local reef store. I'll be getting my own unit soon, since I want to make my own salt water and dribing aroung to get water is getting old.

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