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Jackal227

Jackal's Biocube 16 LED - 3 Years In and Counting!

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Jackal227
7 hours ago, SingingSiren said:

I really enjoy watching your progress on your tank! 😊 I have a Biocube 16 LED that's a few months old. It's nice to see the same tank style and how it grows.

Very cool 😎, like yours a lot!

 

Thank you, I've enjoyed documenting the journey so far.  I think it's interesting to scroll back and look at how different the tank is from month to month. 

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jzp456

Nice tank! You changed my mind from a different setup to the Biocube. When it is convenient, maybe on your next maintenance day, can you take a good pic of the back of the tank. I would like to see the final filtration setup you have. Also do you think the amount of cheato you have will keep your nitrates down with your bioload? 

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Jackal227
13 hours ago, jzp456 said:

Nice tank! You changed my mind from a different setup to the Biocube. When it is convenient, maybe on your next maintenance day, can you take a good pic of the back of the tank. I would like to see the final filtration setup you have. Also do you think the amount of cheato you have will keep your nitrates down with your bioload? 

Here's the back of the tank.  It's close to the wall so it's hard to get good pictures of it. 

 

Here's the first two chambers, one with the light on and one without:

 

You can see the first chamber on the left with the false floor removed and the heater installed. 

y4mI7kkTqsK1OZcOf7Yoe2Wibo_8g-nhed3UpN2H

 

With the light on you can see the second chamber.  Top to bottom I have:

-The blue and white filter floss

-A media bag with Carbon and Phosguard

These two both sit ontop of the stock media basket (only has the top shelf and the two legs, all other shelves removed)

- under the media basket is all Chaeto.  The Chaeto was recently trimmed but it'll grow all the way to the top of the media rack about monthly. 

 

It's also interesting to see that my refugium light also grows coraline algae. 

y4mzyOtccffZMmWYH92Jc138Jj7EX-KstjIr77Gw

 

Here's the 3rd chamber.   In this chamber I have 1 liter of Seachem's Matrix inside media bags.  I have a bag of purigen.  I have the temperature probe from my temperature controller.   And lastly the stock return pump at the bottom. 

y4mr3fXicbksjl2nADe0mxt3_NsboCnPRMipQvMk

 

As for the nitrates, I've really never had them go above 2-5 ppm other than my cycle.  I attribute this to a combination of the Chaeto and the matrix media.   I also change the poly filter twice a week to help remove detritus before it breaks down (it collects a lot of nasty gunk).  As the fish continue to grow this may change, but for now the nitrates are well controlled. 

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Jackal227

I just wanted to update on the Goniopora.  It wasn't extending so I moved it higher up in the tank.  After a couple days it's finally started to extend out. 

y4mJ3US4Jys-JE0vcD4q6sbu8MNl-EnlYUCeJDBP

 

With the recent changes I've updated the 7 month FTS:

y4mKrslztRo8LGBywXtslsFrZpBfaoCr2Jd6eMa0

 

One under the blues: 

y4mLNwN5SYRCfXpASRmWmn3gOFtShpnK-4QoOsYZ

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banasophia

Hi Jackal, 

 

Your setup continues to be a big inspiration for me! Just wanted to find out what you do as far as maintenance/cleaning in your back chambers? I just took a peek at mine and the chaeto and pods are looking good, but it looks like I’m getting some other undesirable algae growth on the glass, directly behind the light. Also, there are a few roundworms crawling in my chemipure elite... maybe a sign it’s time to change it?!

 

Would love to hear what you do for maintenance in the back chambers. 

 

Thanks!

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Jackal227
5 hours ago, banasophia said:

Hi Jackal, 

 

Your setup continues to be a big inspiration for me! Just wanted to find out what you do as far as maintenance/cleaning in your back chambers? I just took a peek at mine and the chaeto and pods are looking good, but it looks like I’m getting some other undesirable algae growth on the glass, directly behind the light. Also, there are a few roundworms crawling in my chemipure elite... maybe a sign it’s time to change it?!

 

Would love to hear what you do for maintenance in the back chambers. 

 

Thanks!

I don't do much in the back chambers.  I also have the algae growth (and coraline) on the glass behind the refugium light that I will scrape off once or twice a month as needed.  Usually it's the same time as I trim the Chaeto. 

 

I've siphoned out the chambers maybe once or twice but the filter floss catches most of the detritus. 

 

I do change the floss twice a week and the chemical media every 4 weeks. 

 

 

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Brandon0921

Very cool idea with the fuge!  Do you find the light bothersome at night when the rest of the lights are off?  Ive been thinking about peeling the back vinyl of a Waterbox 10 to do the same, problem is tank is next to my bed.

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banasophia
1 hour ago, Jackal227 said:

I don't do much in the back chambers.  I also have the algae growth (and coraline) on the glass behind the refugium light that I will scrape off once or twice a month as needed.  Usually it's the same time as I trim the Chaeto. 

 

I've siphoned out the chambers maybe once or twice but the filter floss catches most of the detritus. 

 

I do change the floss twice a week and the chemical media every 4 weeks. 

 

 

Thanks so much for your quick reply! It has been about two weeks since I trimmed the chaeto, so maybe I’ll try to scrape and/or siphon the area when I do my weekend waterchange. And I think it’s been about 2 1/2 months since I added the Chemipure Elite, so its about time to change that out. I frequently change my filter floss too, maybe every 2-3 days, it does catch a lot.

 

1 hour ago, Brandon0921 said:

Very cool idea with the fuge!  Do you find the light bothersome at night when the rest of the lights are off?  Ive been thinking about peeling the back vinyl of a Waterbox 10 to do the same, problem is tank is next to my bed.

It lights up the wall directly behind it at night... seems like it could be an issue if it’s close to your bed. I’ll try to take a picture of mine tonight to post, because it’s a bit hard to tell in the pic I took just now:

image.jpg

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Brandon0921
2 hours ago, banasophia said:

Thanks so much for your quick reply! It has been about two weeks since I trimmed the chaeto, so maybe I’ll try to scrape and/or siphon the area when I do my weekend waterchange. And I think it’s been about 2 1/2 months since I added the Chemipure Elite, so its about time to change that out. I frequently change my filter floss too, maybe every 2-3 days, it does catch a lot.

 

It lights up the wall directly behind it at night... seems like it could be an issue if it’s close to your bed. I’ll try to take a picture of mine tonight to post, because it’s a bit hard to tell in the pic I took just now:

image.jpg

Thank you!  Beautiful tank by the way.  I have to ponder building a small plastic, external shroud for around the light or something to block the light.

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banasophia
3 hours ago, Brandon0921 said:

Thank you!  Beautiful tank by the way.  I have to ponder building a small plastic, external shroud for around the light or something to block the light.

Thanks! Yes, that’s what I was thinking too! You’ll have to post pictures of what you come up with. 🙂

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jzp456

Update?

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Jackal227

Sorry for the delay in updates.  Unfortunately the tank hasn't been looking good the last couple of weeks.   

 

I went on vacation and when I came home I had a few issues going on.   The first is that the tank has always stayed at 79 degrees and now it stays at 81.  I believe that the fan in the hood may be having issues causing an increase in temperature.  

 

I also noticed a lot of cyano when I got back.  I've gotten rid of most of it now.   Just a couple spots left. 

 

And lastly I had a spike in salinity.  I've corrected this with recent water changes to bring it back down to 1.026.

 

These issues have caused the corals to all be pissed off.  The birdsnests have all RTN'd.  Most of the other corals are at least partially closed. 

 

Currently I'm just working on getting everything stable again.  I haven't fed any reef roids for 3 weeks while getting rid of the cyano.  Maybe I'll try feeding the corals this weekend to see if that helps. 

 

The fish and inverts are all still doing well and growing. 

 

y4mbEwtR63c8QVJqapFHuQwn-3oj_5SAvyySgwRF

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banasophia
8 minutes ago, Jackal227 said:

Sorry for the delay in updates.  Unfortunately the tank hasn't been looking good the last couple of weeks.   

 

I went on vacation and when I came home I had a few issues going on.   The first is that the tank has always stayed at 79 degrees and now it stays at 81.  I believe that the fan in the hood may be having issues causing an increase in temperature.  

 

I also noticed a lot of cyano when I got back.  I've gotten rid of most of it now.   Just a couple spots left. 

 

And lastly I had a spike in salinity.  I've corrected this with recent water changes to bring it back down to 1.026.

 

These issues have caused the corals to all be pissed off.  The birdsnests have all RTN'd.  Most of the other corals are at least partially closed. 

 

Currently I'm just working on getting everything stable again.  I haven't fed any reef roids for 3 weeks while getting rid of the cyano.  Maybe I'll try feeding the corals this weekend to see if that helps. 

 

The fish and inverts are all still doing well and growing. 

 

y4mbEwtR63c8QVJqapFHuQwn-3oj_5SAvyySgwRF

Ah, I am so scared to go on vacation next month for this reason! Somehow just leaving my hubby in charge when I’ve travelled a couple of times for 2-3 days has led to cyano blooms, but luckily I’ve been able to get it back under control pretty quickly with water changes including siphoning the sandbed. 

 

My understanding is that a temp of 81 is totally fine; I’ve heard it’s only a concern if it gets up over 84, and some sources I saw said that even higher is okay, that’s its most important to avoid temp swings. You know I’m a total newbie though, so don’t take my word for it haha. My tank ranges from 78 - 82. 

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Jackal227
27 minutes ago, banasophia said:

My understanding is that a temp of 81 is totally fine; I’ve heard it’s only a concern if it gets up over 84, and some sources I saw said that even higher is okay, that’s its most important to avoid temp swings. You know I’m a total newbie though, so don’t take my word for it haha. My tank ranges from 78 - 82. 

I agree that 81 should be fine as long as it's stable.   I just think that the increase in temp along with the other issues combined are the cause for the unhappy corals.

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MSunkin23

Looking good Jackal. I have had similar experience in the past with my BC14 in the summer when temps would go up to 80-82F. I think overall its fine like Banasophia mentioned, but I always find cyano growth when temps go up.

 

I am seeing something similar now in my BC16 so just started to use Vibrant Reef. I will let you know how that goes if you like.

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Jackal227

Tank Crash Update:

 

Well, it's been almost a month since I started seeing issues and things haven't rebounded yet.  I'm not really sure what the cause is but my corals continue to decline.  Here's what has happened so far: 

 

- I came back from vacation to find my temperature alarm going off from a high temp.  It was reading 82 vs the normal 79.

- Salinity was a little high at 1.028 vs the normal 1.026.

- The tank was covered in Cyrano and the corals were all partially closed up. 

 

I figured that the corals were all upset due to the unstable temp and salinity.  I continued my normal maintenance and water changes hoping that things would level off.  

 

After 2 weeks the corals still were partially closed and the birdsnest was bleaching. 

 

y4md4EXMagyJhNVO3bhwx3_hWg0f7lB3rAf11DgT

 

Testing the normal parameters (alk,cal,mag,nitrate,ammonia) all were looking normal during this period.  So I figured it wasn't the stability that's causing the problem. 

 

The only thing left that I could think of is possibly a foreign contaminate or maybe my chemical media causing the issue.  After researching other threads on Phosguard I thought that it may be the issue.  So I removed all the Phosguard and carbon out of the tank.  It's now been 2 weeks since removing my chemical media and my corals are still declining.  I know there's nutrients in the water because algae is thriving now.  During these issues the fish and inverts seem to be completely normal.  I'm really stumped as to what the issue is, but I will continue my normal maintenance until things level out.  Then I will plot out a new vision for the tank. 

 

Here's the current status of the corals: 

 

Dead:

-birdsnest

-Montipora

-trumpets

-acans

 

On the way out: 

- Frogspawn

- Duncan

- Blastomussas

- Leptoseris 

- Leptastrea

-Goniopora 

 

Doing ok

-Zoas 

-Palys 

-blue sympodium

 

The last two days my Frogspawn has grown a whitish cocoon over the heads.  I've never seen anything like it but it looks like a goner.

 

y4m0zs3PJaGrazvOI-F8rbusaZGis490n0ZoQ1-e

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banasophia
6 hours ago, Jackal227 said:

Tank Crash Update:

 

Well, it's been almost a month since I started seeing issues and things haven't rebounded yet.  I'm not really sure what the cause is but my corals continue to decline.  Here's what has happened so far: 

 

- I came back from vacation to find my temperature alarm going off from a high temp.  It was reading 82 vs the normal 79.

- Salinity was a little high at 1.028 vs the normal 1.026.

- The tank was covered in Cyrano and the corals were all partially closed up. 

 

I figured that the corals were all upset due to the unstable temp and salinity.  I continued my normal maintenance and water changes hoping that things would level off.  

 

After 2 weeks the corals still were partially closed and the birdsnest was bleaching. 

 

y4md4EXMagyJhNVO3bhwx3_hWg0f7lB3rAf11DgT

 

Testing the normal parameters (alk,cal,mag,nitrate,ammonia) all were looking normal during this period.  So I figured it wasn't the stability that's causing the problem. 

 

The only thing left that I could think of is possibly a foreign contaminate or maybe my chemical media causing the issue.  After researching other threads on Phosguard I thought that it may be the issue.  So I removed all the Phosguard and carbon out of the tank.  It's now been 2 weeks since removing my chemical media and my corals are still declining.  I know there's nutrients in the water because algae is thriving now.  During these issues the fish and inverts seem to be completely normal.  I'm really stumped as to what the issue is, but I will continue my normal maintenance until things level out.  Then I will plot out a new vision for the tank. 

 

Here's the current status of the corals: 

 

Dead:

-birdsnest

-Montipora

-trumpets

-acans

 

On the way out: 

- Frogspawn

- Duncan

- Blastomussas

- Leptoseris 

- Leptastrea

-Goniopora 

 

Doing ok

-Zoas 

-Palys 

-blue sympodium

 

The last two days my Frogspawn has grown a whitish cocoon over the heads.  I've never seen anything like it but it looks like a goner.

 

y4m0zs3PJaGrazvOI-F8rbusaZGis490n0ZoQ1-e

Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear this. 😢 I wonder what that white stuff is... 

 

Your experience makes me want to get a chiller. I wonder if your temp went up really high while you were gone. 

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Cpl_Wiggles

I'm sorry to hear, my friend. Temp spikes for an extended time can cause a "bleaching event" due to the inability of the coral to feed and absorb nutrients. Especially for SPS in a BioCube, 82 degrees can be a death sentence, not to mention the increased evap/salinity. 

 

As I'm getting settled into Central California, where the temp is routinely over 100, I see little option but to invest in a chiller. 

 

Ebay Option for $50:

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Thermoelectric-Peltier-Refrigeration-Water-Chiller-Cooling-System-Cooler-120W-im/182762320442?hash=item2a8d7bb23a%3Am%3AmojawYFLgRI-xUTApj_WJQA&var=690080423474&_sacat=182022&_nkw=peltier+water+chiller&_from=R40&rt=nc&LH_TitleDesc=0

 

Either something like this for $120:

 

https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/iceprobe-thermoelectric-aquarium-chiller-nova-tec.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjMiz7-3R3AIVkTZpCh33wgqsEAEYAyAAEgLU9_D_BwE

 

Or a chiller like @banasophia got for $300

 

At this point in my life having ran a tank and shut it down successfully, I'm not interested in cutting corners resulting in a crash once I finally decide to start up. 

 

Best of luck to you.

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Jackal227

Tank update: 

So it's been a while since I've updated the tank.  I've continued to let things stabilize.  The only change that I've made to the tank is upgrading the powerhead to the icecap gyre 1k:

y4ms_w-kwLHKE7huJvUOBmkdCG1Wb1R-BilDz8vT

 

I've been running the 1k for about 4 weeks now and I like it.  It provides a more consistent flow across the entire aquarium and is programmable to produce some random patterns. 

 

I've also noticed that some of my cleanup crew had dwindled down causing the algae to start growing.  There was a good mix of cyano and hair algae throughout the tank.  The new pump has already shown a reduction in cyano.  

 

I ordered some new clean up crew members to battle the hair algae.  They arrived today and are acclimating now.  Since I was already paying for shipping I added a few replacement corals to see if they survive. 

 

I'll get some pictures once everything settles in. 

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banasophia

Good to hear an update. I’ll be curious to hear more about the your experience with the powerhead, and looking forward to seeing some pics of your new corals. 🙂

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Wyatt45

Intro:  I live just north of Sacramento. I’ve read this entire thread!  I just got a biocube 16.  I’m scared and excited at the same time.  Reading this thread was like reading a novel.  I was super into watching the growth and development.  Then the crash at the end was so sad.  Anyway, all I have is water in the tank with live rock and live sand.  Doing the cycling right now.  The picture is of my son smoothing out the sand. 

F0D5987A-2CA2-4BC8-839B-C82D36CE226E.jpeg

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Jackal227
10 hours ago, Wyatt45 said:

Intro:  I live just north of Sacramento. I’ve read this entire thread!  I just got a biocube 16.  I’m scared and excited at the same time.  Reading this thread was like reading a novel.  I was super into watching the growth and development.  Then the crash at the end was so sad.  Anyway, all I have is water in the tank with live rock and live sand.  Doing the cycling right now.  The picture is of my son smoothing out the sand. 

F0D5987A-2CA2-4BC8-839B-C82D36CE226E.jpeg

Thanks for posting.  I believe that the led biocube are great nano tanks.  There are quite a few build threads of these now so there are some great resources on this forum. 

 

Post pictures of your tank as it progresses.  I look forward to seeing it grow.  If you have any questions feel free to ask. 

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Wyatt45

Should I post on this thread?

Intro:  I live just north of Sacramento. I’ve read this entire thread!  I just got a biocube 16.  I’m scared and excited at the same time.  Reading this thread was like reading a novel.  I was super into watching the growth and development.  Then the crash at the end was so sad.  Anyway, all I have is water in the tank with live rock and live sand.  Doing the cycling right now.  The picture is of my son smoothing out the sand. 

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Jackal227
1 hour ago, Wyatt45 said:

Should I post on this thread?

You are welcome to post anything here that you'd like. 

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Wyatt45

Well ok!  Today Amazon brought my new therm 75 watt. Placed it into chamber one. I already removed the false floor in chamber 1. I placed the koralia 425 in the tank.  

 

So I tested the ammonia. It looks like I have .50 PPm 

 

biggest question I have is the copepods/ refugium/ chaeto thing.  Not quite sure what the pods are for..

 

looks like a protein skimmer on a 16 is not needed?  If it was recommended I would want something in a chamber where the lid could close if possible. 

 

Do do you run an ATO?  It gets hot here. 

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