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Odobenus rosmarus

Advice needed on 4 gallon cube tank

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This was an eventful weekend for the tank! I really need to take some pictures but anyways heres whats been going on, I got 9 zoanthid frags from a local dealer, 2 pom pom crabs, 3 sexy shrimp, 2 green bubble tip anemones, and a cleaner shrimp (named jacque). I also got some food and additives for the tank. I got kent marine microvert, kent marine phytomax (I've been diluting it to a 1:10 ratio since the tank is so small), coralup for calcium and trace, fluval biological enhancer (for post water changes and because I've been stocking this tank so fast), and I already had red sea's NO3-PO4:X so I am using that as well. I'm going to start feeding some mysis tomorrow, see how that goes.

 

My nitrates were around 16-20ppm the day before adding the zoanthids (thursday) so I did a bunch of 50% water changes and after each one I added the bioenhancer and a drop of NO3-PO4:X. They stayed around 8-12ppm when I added the zoanthids so I've been doing 50% water changes everyday and they are dropping down to 4ppm and below. I haven't checked them today because I've been busy adding the pom pom crabs, anemones, and shrimps but I did a 30% water change before adding them and the nitrates were around 4, phew. I'll be doing smaller water changes everyday until I see all my params hit 1-2 and remain stable.

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I don't mind doing water changes but In the long run I don't know if doing daily/every other day water changes is a liable or stable filtration option. I would like the tank to be stable enough that it can go close to a month without needing to do a water change. I should have started a poll, what kind of filtration do the pico experts out there use?? Refugium only? Refugium and chemical media? Pico skimmers? HOB, canister, sump, or filterless?

 

Also, this light lol... This Chinese led is also not a long term option. There are too many variables with led that affect results and I don't have any controlability with this light. I don't know what kind of par I'm getting, what kind of spectrum, I don't even know if this light is fit to grow corals so I'm considering metal halide. People say to go with a 150watt fixture for small tanks and just use a 70 watt bulb which is what I will probably end up doing. Any input on this would be helpful!

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I don't mind doing water changes but In the long run I don't know if doing daily/every other day water changes is a liable or stable filtration option. I would like the tank to be stable enough that it can go close to a month without needing to do a water change. I should have started a poll, what kind of filtration do the pico experts out there use?? Refugium only? Refugium and chemical media? Pico skimmers? HOB, canister, sump, or filterless?

 

Also, this light lol... This Chinese led is also not a long term option. There are too many variables with led that affect results and I don't have any controlability with this light. I don't know what kind of par I'm getting, what kind of spectrum, I don't even know if this light is fit to grow corals so I'm considering metal halide. People say to go with a 150watt fixture for small tanks and just use a 70 watt bulb which is what I will probably end up doing. Any input on this would be helpful!

 

Well I'm not an expert, my pico is only 2 months old. But I upgraded my JBJ 3 gallon with an AQ70 HOB filter. I did the mod in the sticky here and turned it into a refugium, but I have a small section before the refugium where I run filter floss, some carbon and some phosguard(I think, one of the phos).

 

 

As for your lighting, I think you are extremely over-thinking it. You don't need to know PAR. This is my 3rd overall reef tank and I've never once knew what my PAR ratings were. All you need to do is look and see if your zoas are reaching. If they aren't, they won't.

 

I am using that same LED light and I had 13 zoa frags in my tank at the bottom and none of them were stretching for light. And I have the bulb a good 18 inches above the tank.

 

With the type of lighting you are talking about putting on, you will minimum have problems with evaporation and salinity spikes. They also put off a TON of heat, so you might be forced into finding ways to cool off your tank as well. I had MH across my 75 Gallon and I would have loved to have had LED bulbs instead. I had well over 1 gallon of evap a day on that tank and constant troubles keeping it cool in the middle of the day.

 

 

But there are some pretty nice LED lights out there if you want to spend the cash on them. I have the LED bulb because I'm staying cheap. If I wasn't worried about the money, I'd probably do this:

 

http://www.rapidled.com/nano-box-reef-mini-tide/

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I don't mind doing water changes but In the long run I don't know if doing daily/every other day water changes is a liable or stable filtration option. I would like the tank to be stable enough that it can go close to a month without needing to do a water change. I should have started a poll, what kind of filtration do the pico experts out there use?? Refugium only? Refugium and chemical media? Pico skimmers? HOB, canister, sump, or filterless?

 

Also, this light lol... This Chinese led is also not a long term option. There are too many variables with led that affect results and I don't have any controlability with this light. I don't know what kind of par I'm getting, what kind of spectrum, I don't even know if this light is fit to grow corals so I'm considering metal halide. People say to go with a 150watt fixture for small tanks and just use a 70 watt bulb which is what I will probably end up doing. Any input on this would be helpful!

 

Hi Odobenus.

I am a novice reefer, but have had tremendous success in the 4 weeks I've had my 2.6 gal fluval spec 3. The amount of water changes you're doing seems a lot and it may have to do with the water you are using. I buy RODI water from my local fish store and will only use this for top off and water change. In the 4 weeks I've had my tank up and running, my nitrates have been 0. The chamber in the back of the tank is filled with Seachem biomatrix and phosgaurd.

 

I've done 2 water changes (1 every 2 weeks) at 20%. The salinity i monitor closely, but overall it's been smooth running. As for lights, there are so many options out there. My latest light fixture is from Fluval and it's fantastic. Another really nice light fixture is the nanobox mini tide. Your livestock should determine what light you buy. I don't keep up with PAR levels much, as I just simply read people's experiences that they've documented online :) I didn't go with the LED bulb because they're not dimmable.

 

Anyways, best of luck. Here's a link to my latest post with the light fixture i just bought.

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Hi Odobenus.

I am a novice reefer, but have had tremendous success in the 4 weeks I've had my 2.6 gal fluval spec 3. The amount of water changes you're doing seems a lot and it may have to do with the water you are using. I buy RODI water from my local fish store and will only use this for top off and water change. In the 4 weeks I've had my tank up and running, my nitrates have been 0. The chamber in the back of the tank is filled with Seachem biomatrix and phosgaurd.

 

I've done 2 water changes (1 every 2 weeks) at 20%. The salinity i monitor closely, but overall it's been smooth running. As for lights, there are so many options out there. My latest light fixture is from Fluval and it's fantastic. Another really nice light fixture is the nanobox mini tide. Your livestock should determine what light you buy. I don't keep up with PAR levels much, as I just simply read people's experiences that they've documented online :) I didn't go with the LED bulb because they're not dimmable.

 

Anyways, best of luck. Here's a link to my latest post with the light fixture i just bought.

I have an RO/DI filter that makes all the water for this tank which makes it very convenient and easy to do water changes. You're right that I've been doing too many changes though, it was mostly to dilute the nitrates because my cycle wasn't completely finished when I added everything to the tank. I think the excessive water changes actually pissed off the corals more than the nitrates would have lol.

 

Thank you for the lighting suggestions! The nano box would be a great light for this sized tank, it would definitely be a future buy though $$$.

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Well I'm not an expert, my pico is only 2 months old. But I upgraded my JBJ 3 gallon with an AQ70 HOB filter. I did the mod in the sticky here and turned it into a refugium, but I have a small section before the refugium where I run filter floss, some carbon and some phosguard(I think, one of the phos).

 

 

As for your lighting, I think you are extremely over-thinking it. You don't need to know PAR. This is my 3rd overall reef tank and I've never once knew what my PAR ratings were. All you need to do is look and see if your zoas are reaching. If they aren't, they won't.

 

I am using that same LED light and I had 13 zoa frags in my tank at the bottom and none of them were stretching for light. And I have the bulb a good 18 inches above the tank.

 

 

I will take a look at your AC70 mod, I'm planning on turning the one on this tank into a refugium. For your jbj 3 gallon, how much phosguard and carbon do you use? Would you recommend purigen or chemi-pure? I've heard of people having good results with all these chemical filtration options, I guess it all depends on what you're looking to achieve with the chemical media.

 

I probably am overthinking the lighting for this tank, maybe on my next nano cube I will try metal halide.

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I actually use chemipure blue the little nano packets on my picotope. I love my nanobox tide over it also. It provides a great amount of light, can be dimmed, can be set up to ramp up and down how you like it.

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Well I'm not an expert, my pico is only 2 months old. But I upgraded my JBJ 3 gallon with an AQ70 HOB filter. I did the mod in the sticky here and turned it into a refugium, but I have a small section before the refugium where I run filter floss, some carbon and some phosguard(I think, one of the phos).

 

 

As for your lighting, I think you are extremely over-thinking it. You don't need to know PAR. This is my 3rd overall reef tank and I've never once knew what my PAR ratings were. All you need to do is look and see if your zoas are reaching. If they aren't, they won't.

 

I am using that same LED light and I had 13 zoa frags in my tank at the bottom and none of them were stretching for light. And I have the bulb a good 18 inches above the tank.

 

With the type of lighting you are talking about putting on, you will minimum have problems with evaporation and salinity spikes. They also put off a TON of heat, so you might be forced into finding ways to cool off your tank as well. I had MH across my 75 Gallon and I would have loved to have had LED bulbs instead. I had well over 1 gallon of evap a day on that tank and constant troubles keeping it cool in the middle of the day.

 

 

But there are some pretty nice LED lights out there if you want to spend the cash on them. I have the LED bulb because I'm staying cheap. If I wasn't worried about the money, I'd probably do this:

 

http://www.rapidled.com/nano-box-reef-mini-tide/

man if you willing to drop that kinda doe get an a.i. prime

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I will take a look at your AC70 mod, I'm planning on turning the one on this tank into a refugium. For your jbj 3 gallon, how much phosguard and carbon do you use? Would you recommend purigen or chemi-pure? I've heard of people having good results with all these chemical filtration options, I guess it all depends on what you're looking to achieve with the chemical media.

 

I probably am overthinking the lighting for this tank, maybe on my next nano cube I will try metal halide.

 

I can't recommend any of them as I'm still finding out myself. My last tank was a 75 gallon and it used reactors, so this is my first experience trying the bag method.

 

Currently I am using phosguard and carbon. Calculators for usage are pretty much useless on such low volume. So I put about 1/4 of each in the bag. I keep 1 bag on each side of the intake on the AQ70 and then filter floss behind them and before the refugium part of the mod. The section for those 3 things is rather small.

 

I hated having MH over my 75 gallon and wanted LED lights badly. I only had MH because it was cheaper initial cost and was at the time saving to upgrade ASAP. They use a ton of electricty, they put off a ton of heat which cases high evaporation and also heats up the tank. I was having to freeze 2 liter bottles of water and then put them in my sump to try and keep my tank cooled during the day. I could only keep them on for about 4 hours a day and the rest of the day it was T5's only.

man if you willing to drop that kinda doe get an a.i. prime

 

I'm honestly thrilled to have the chinese LED light. I went ahead and ordered the one that was bluer as well. Tracking shows it's already in the states and left San Fran this morning for me. I'm guessing I'll have it by the middle of next week.

 

$20 on the clamp on fixture, and $25 for the light. Probably the best deal/break I've ever had in this hobby equipment wise.

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Okay so I have an update already. I bought a "54W E27 18LED Coral Reef Grow Light 12White+6Blue PAR38" off of ebay for a whopping $19!!! I trust this light because I have bought other Chinese LED's off of ebay and had success with them. What do you guys think of this light, do you think it will produce results?

 

As you can probably tell this is a bit of a budget build so what do you guys think of running this system filterless? The idea would be to have adequate flow and do frequent water changes to keep everything under control.

 

Be careful with this light. That's probably going to be a lot for a 4 gallon tank. I used a 12 watt Par30 over a 5 gallon and it was more than enough

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I got the other LED with the 12 blue, 6 white today.

 

Can't tell much difference to be honest. The greens pop a tiny bit more, but overall wasn't worth the $25. Probably end up buying an all blue one.

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You will probably want a light that covers a bit more of the spectrum than just an all blue one (even if blue spectrum is generally accepted as the most useful for coral growth).

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You will probably want a light that covers a bit more of the spectrum than just an all blue one (even if blue spectrum is generally accepted as the most useful for coral growth).

 

Once I have enough money I'd like to buy the rapidLED par38, its got more than just blue and white. For now I think this light is doing fine, I've seen some new polyps popping up and all the corals have been extending more (is this them adjusting to the light?).

 

Few new ideas I'd like to apply on this tank. I'm going to mod the AC70 to be an algae scrubber, I read a great thread where someone modded their AC70 into an algae scrubber and a fuge and thought it was a cool idea, it would definitely eliminate my nitrate problem. I'm also in the process of building a DIY auto top off, in total this ATO has costed $12.06 DIRT CHEAP!

Auto top off.tiff

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Once I have enough money I'd like to buy the rapidLED par38, its got more than just blue and white. For now I think this light is doing fine, I've seen some new polyps popping up and all the corals have been extending more (is this them adjusting to the light?).

 

Few new ideas I'd like to apply on this tank. I'm going to mod the AC70 to be an algae scrubber, I read a great thread where someone modded their AC70 into an algae scrubber and a fuge and thought it was a cool idea, it would definitely eliminate my nitrate problem. I'm also in the process of building a DIY auto top off, in total this ATO has costed $12.06 DIRT CHEAP!

attachicon.gifAuto top off.tiff

 

I'd love to see how you are going to mod your AC70 to be an algae scrubber. Got a link to that thread?

 

I just tried a new little thing last night. I don't know if it's going to work, so I'd like to see ideas.

 

I went out and bought that plastic canvas squares stuff at Walmart yesterday like they use in other algae scrubbers. Then I just cut a small piece off it that fits into the exit lip of the AC70.

 

I was thinking I'd have to find a way to get the thing to stay, but I just bent the thing by hand to fit the curve and put it in there, and for whatever reason the thing just sticks there without anything holding it. I've taken it out and put it back multiple times and it stays there every single time.

 

If it works, I'll be pretty happy because it's the easiest DIY project in the world. Only other thing I bought was a little sandpaper to rough the plastic square thing up.

 

Downside is there is only 1 side going to get light.

 

So I'd love to see a link to whatever you read. I took a picture of what I did last night as I was going to document the progress in case it works. I'll see if I can get it off my phone into my PC in a few minutes.

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Here's what I've done so far. 24 hours later and I don't see any algae on it yet.

 

post-89368-0-96239100-1449623105_thumb.jpg

 

Like I said, nothing is keeping it attached. I'm guessing it's just a water pressure thing keeping it there. I'll update and/or make a thread if it works.

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I got the other LED with the 12 blue, 6 white today.

 

Can't tell much difference to be honest. The greens pop a tiny bit more, but overall wasn't worth the $25. Probably end up buying an all blue one.

 

I think I'm going to have to take this back a little. I'm seeing more and more little tiny differences with the light the deeper I look. I had some zoa's with white in them previously, but those places have turned purple. So my orange and white zoa has turned into an orange and purple zoa. And I had another zoa that was similiar in color, but had a bit of a redish/orange center and it looks nothing at all the same.

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Here's whats been going on with the tank: a whole lot of nothing lately lol. The corals have been growing well, and all the inverts are doing well. Although the 2 pom pom crabs fought to the death so now I only have one and one of the sexies decided to jump ship so now I have 2 sexy shrimp. But other than that, everything is good in the tank.

 

I have some future plans for this tank! I'm going to be moving soon and I am going to downsize (lol) to a 2.5 gal DIY AIO. Heres what I am planing on doing: buy a 2.5 gal and de rim it ---> build the AIO filter with black acrylic ---> build an LED fixture (should be fun) ---> build a pico airstone skimmer and biopellet reactor --> move other equipment (heater, ATO, power head) to new tank --> move live rock, inverts, and coral to new tank and sell the old one!

 

I did some designs of the tank on sketchup: tank design 1.tifftank design 2.tifftank design 3.tifftank design 4.tifftank design 5.tiff

 

I'm going to try biopellets and a skimmer because I'm interested in trying these technologies in a tank this size. I plan on building both of these out of clear PVC pipe, the skimmer will be airstone driven and the reactor will be run with a small ehiem pump. For the biopellet reactor I would like to try to make a recirculating reactor but I don't even think the recirculation would make a difference because of the tank size.

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