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Raheeeelio

Help me with my Nano Cube reef!!

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Raheeeelio

Hey all,

 

So here's the deal. I'm new this forum, and forums in general. I am asking for any help or advice that you guys may have for me to help me better my tank and get it running to top quality! I am desperate to successfully house a reef tank and definitely don't trust all the guys at my LFS. My background: I have attempted a reef tank back in 2013, but I unfortunately quickly succumbed to the many problems that come with reef tanks. I have always had a love for the ocean and reef tanks so I decided to why not give it another try and this time, do it right!

So now, I am currently running a 28 gallon JBJ Nano cube Intermediate LED. I will add pictures to show you how I have it set up. It is equipped with an Eshopps Nano Skimmer, heater, stock pumps, and stock lights in the hood. I put the skimmer in the back center compartment where the stock media basket would normally go. I would like to use the media basket, but don't think I have anywhere to put it since the skimmer is in the center and will not fit anywhere else. To make up for no media basket, I put a bag of Chemi-pure Blue in the compartment next to the skimmer, so it gets water flow and that way, I can still run carbon. I also put a little bit of filter floss right in front of the back overflow box so it can trap any unwanted particles. I do have an extra 250 Gph powerhead that is attached to the front left of the tank, but it is not on and running at the moment. Still trying to debate wether or not I actually NEED that much flow (maybe you guys can help me).

As far as live stock goes, I have as follows:

-20 pounds live rock

-10 pounds dry rock

-20 pounds live sand

-1 maroon clown

-1 firefish

-4 Astrae snails

-6 blue legged hermits

-1 peppermint shrimp

-1 palythoa frag plug (was given to me for free by my LFS)

 

This whole tank and set up has been up and running for about a month and a half now. I initially started with just the 20 pounds of live rock and 20 pounds of live sand to get my tank started. There was little to no die off, since everything was live and from my LFS that is less than 2 minutes away. So after 2 weeks of regularly checking the water, my levels never spiked. It all stayed at 0 and my nitrates never went past 1. I will add that I did not run my lights during this entire time. So after the 2 week point, I decided to add a maroon clown. I let the tank sit about another week and half with just the clown, still with no lights, until I realized I still had my dry rock from my previous tank in 2013. So I boiled and cleaned the living hell out of that dry rock, and added about 10 pounds of it to my tank (this was about 2 weeks ago). So after letting the dry rock settle for about 2 days, I performed my first water change. I did a 25% change, and then went and picked up my CUC. I got 6 Astrae snails, 6 blue legged hermits, and 1 peppermint shrimp for the small amount of aiptasia I was hoping he would get. He still hasn't. Anyways, after acclimating my CUC, I put them in the tank and only ended up losing 2 snails within the next 48 hours. Not too worried. It's just a snail.

So at this point after putting in my CUC, I let them do their work for about 2 days. Then I went to my LFS and picked up my Firefish, as well as the free Palythoa frag plug I was given. I acclimated them both, and are both doing well to this day. My current parameters are as follows:

Ammonia-0

Nitrite-0

Nitrates-<1

Ph-8

Alk-9

Ca-390

Phosphates- <.2

 

Now today, all my livestock seems to be doing well. My clown and firefish are alive and eating. My shrimp only comes out at night. Lost 2 snails, not sure why but will get more CUC as my tank matures. I have 3 very small aiptasia growing, and my peppermint doesn't seem to care about it. They never seem to open up, or grow too big so I'm not too worried about it right now, but I will definitely keep my eye on it. I also have some Caulerpa brachyus growing on 2 of my rocks. It seems to have seeded from the live rock. Again, not too worried about it since it is used as a nutrient export, but will definitely monitor it(what are your thoughts on Caulerpa?). The frag plug seems to be doing well to my knowledge! I expect to do another water change this upcoming Tuesday.

 

NOW, I know that is a lot and nobody may even reply, but it is still worth the try for me. So given everything I said, what are your guys' thoughts? Am I doing this right? Is there anything I'm forgetting or doing wrong? What are your opinions on my methods? If there's anything I'm forgetting to mention, please ask or let me know! ALL ADVICE IS GREATLY APPRECIATED! Thank you everyone!

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IMG_1905.JPG

This is my tank currently running

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Weetabix7

:welcome: to N-R!!

 

You're doing pretty ok so far. 

I will say that that looks like a LOT of rock, you could probably actually take some of the dry stuff you added in back out. 

(don't kill me, I know you went to all that trouble to clean it.)

I would honestly advise you to get rid of the Peppermint Shrimp, I've seen them go after LPS corals too many times. 

Yes, I know the literature says they don't, but I've caught them in the act, and other friends have had it happen too. 

Just kill the Aiptasia manually. You can use aiptasia-x, or I used to take the rock they were on out of the tank and smear a paste made of kalkwasser on them, or you can use a lighter and literally kill them with fire. Or, I also personally keep 35% food grade peroxide on hand, if you put some of that on them it'd kill them too. 

But kill 'em now, before they reproduce. 

I can't really advise you effectively on the skimmer since I don't use them, and I also haven't tried putting them in AIO compartments. 

Hopefully someone else will chime in on that. 

You're off to a good start though!!

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Raheeeelio
24 minutes ago, Weetabix7 said:

:welcome: to N-R!!

 

You're doing pretty ok so far. 

I will say that that looks like a LOT of rock, you could probably actually take some of the dry stuff you added in back out. 

(don't kill me, I know you went to all that trouble to clean it.)

I would honestly advise you to get rid of the Peppermint Shrimp, I've seen them go after LPS corals too many times. 

Yes, I know the literature says they don't, but I've caught them in the act, and other friends have had it happen too. 

Just kill the Aiptasia manually. You can use aiptasia-x, or I used to take the rock they were on out of the tank and smear a paste made of kalkwasser on them, or you can use a lighter and literally kill them with fire. Or, I also personally keep 35% food grade peroxide on hand, if you put some of that on them it'd kill them too. 

But kill 'em now, before they reproduce. 

I can't really advise you effectively on the skimmer since I don't use them, and I also haven't tried putting them in AIO compartments. 

Hopefully someone else will chime in on that. 

You're off to a good start though!!

Wow that was fast!! Thank you. Burning the aiptasia actually seems like a good idea. Will try that with peroxide when I do my upcoming water change. And I have too much rock?? How much should I have and why? As far as shrimp, what should I replace with him? Cleaner shrimp? Also, how can I help make my palythoa grow? I have buried the frag plug in my sandbed so that only the stem of the palys are out

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Weetabix7

You make the Paly grow by providing it with good water conditions and good light. 

Some people feed Palys, some don't. 

Cleaner shrimp are fine. 

As for the rock, I'd say you need 1/4 to 1/3 less. 

If you have too much, it impedes water flow and encourages detritus to accumulate in dead spots, plus you want leave enough room for coral to grow. 

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Raheeeelio

Okay cool. So the frag plug being buried in the sand won't hinder it from growing at all? And as far as flow, should I have the additional powerhead running or no?

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Clown79

You are off to a  very good start:)

 

I agree, you could take out the dry rock, 20-25 lbs is really enough.

 

I also second on not keeping peppermints. Mine never ate aiptasia but tore apart 3 brain corals. 

 

I would get aiptasia x and zap them now because they multiply and as they grow larger, they are harder to kill.

 

Aiptasia x is easy. Just turn off all pumps/powerheads, smother the aiptasia with the fluid, wait 15mins, turn powerheads/pumps back on. Sometimes it takes a few tried but it works.

 

Skunk Cleaner shrimp are great!

 

I don't use a skimmer either, not sure which chamber is best. Filter floss should be placed at the intake grill to collect particles(change it twice a week), carbon needs to be in a high flow area(which i think you have it in)

 

I recommend rinsing the media bag every week. Chemipure doesn't last 4 mnths.

 

Watch the maroon clown with the firefish, they can become very aggressive, especially as they mature.

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Raheeeelio
4 hours ago, Clown79 said:

You are off to a  very good start:)

 

I agree, you could take out the dry rock, 20-25 lbs is really enough.

 

I also second on not keeping peppermints. Mine never ate aiptasia but tore apart 3 brain corals. 

 

I would get aiptasia x and zap them now because they multiply and as they grow larger, they are harder to kill.

 

Aiptasia x is easy. Just turn off all pumps/powerheads, smother the aiptasia with the fluid, wait 15mins, turn powerheads/pumps back on. Sometimes it takes a few tried but it works.

 

Skunk Cleaner shrimp are great!

 

I don't use a skimmer either, not sure which chamber is best. Filter floss should be placed at the intake grill to collect particles(change it twice a week), carbon needs to be in a high flow area(which i think you have it in)

 

I recommend rinsing the media bag every week. Chemipure doesn't last 4 mnths.

 

Watch the maroon clown with the firefish, they can become very aggressive, especially as they mature.

So after some research and your guys' advice, I am definitely going to take out my peppermint shrimp and replace him with a cleaner shrimp. I already know getting him out is going to be a challenge. As far as the extra rock, going to take out some dry rock and see how it looks. And also definitely going to take out the rock with aiptasia on it, and burn it, scrub it with peroxide as well as use aiptasia x. Hopefully that takes care of the problem. Also, my maroon and firefish seem to get along great at the moment, but will keep my eye on them. Especially when I get an anemone for the maroon. Thanks a lot guys! I think after all this, my tank will be at its best possible condition. Anything else you guys think I'm missing?

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Clown79

You don't need to burn the aiptasia. Just using aiptasia x will work fine.

 

I had to remove my shrimp.

 

I tempted it with frozen food and used 2 nets. I had a large one placed behind it and went to him with one at the front. They jump backwards so it went right into the awaiting net.

 

There are homemade bottle traps you can try too

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Raheeeelio
14 hours ago, Clown79 said:

You don't need to burn the aiptasia. Just using aiptasia x will work fine.

 

I had to remove my shrimp.

 

I tempted it with frozen food and used 2 nets. I had a large one placed behind it and went to him with one at the front. They jump backwards so it went right into the awaiting net.

 

There are homemade bottle traps you can try too

Can I apply aiptasia x with the rock out of the water? Or does it need to be submerged so the aiptasia can "eat" it. In other words, can I just rub Aiptasia X all over the rock with aiptasia, or does it need to be applied with a syringe? Also, I realized I did not post my salinity, light cycle, and temperature.

Salinity-1.023

Light cycle- 8 hours a day: 2 hours blue, 6 hours white (dawn and dusk imitation)

Temperature- 78 degrees

 

what are your thoughts? Anything I should change?

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Clown79

I would apply it with syringe as the aiptasia needs to eat it.

 

I would slowly increase salinity to 1.025 if you plan on corals.

 

My lighting schedule is:

 

2 hrs blue only ramp up 11am-1pm

Full spectrum from 1-8 blues, v, uv@80%

White 30%, green 10%, red 15%

8pm ramp down blue only.

 

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