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Be careful with a gramma in that size tank with other fish, even in my 30 gallon mine was pretty territorial with my clowns but mine was the first fish added so that could've been a factor.

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5 hours ago, Cpl_Wiggles said:

I'm interested in hearing about your fuge plan. I'd like to add some chaeto.

I had some extra time today so after the water change so I set up the refugium light.  When searching for a light most of the budget builds were using gooseneck lamps with an LED bulb pointed at the back of the tank.  To me these were bulky and an eye sore when looking from the side of the tank.  I also found some magnet LEDs that would stick directly on the back of a nano tank, but they were all $50 or more.  So while searching for a more economical option I built this for about $25.  Time will tell if it is successful at growing Chaeto.

 

Supplies:

Total Cost: ~$25 / Time: ~10 Minutes

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I wanted something slim that fits up against the glass and is cost effective.  The lights are in the 6500K spectrum which is supposed to be good for macro growth.  The light also has two screw holes on either end for mounting, which works out great with the 3M hooks to hold it in place.  This light can also be daisy-chained so that multiples could be used if more were needed.  It is also 12" long which for the biocube is the perfect size to cover chamber #2 from the top to the bottom of the tank with light.  And the last thing that stood out for me on the light is that it is waterproof.

 

I simply used the adhesive strips with the hooks one on the top rim and one on the bottom rim fit perfectly to keep the light centered with the glass.  With the outlet timer I can run this light at night when my main lights are off to help reduce PH swings in the display.  Currently have it set for 8 PM - 8 AM.  Once I get some Chaeto I'll post updates with how it grows and whether or not one of these lights are strong enough to run a refugium.  

 

Below are two pics of it mounted in the chamber.  One off and one on.

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Well done. I'm going to have to copy you. I have the same heater that needs to go into chamber one following your success removing the strips.

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8 hours ago, jesseatam said:

Be careful with a gramma in that size tank with other fish, even in my 30 gallon mine was pretty territorial with my clowns but mine was the first fish added so that could've been a factor.

I've seen reviews both ways on them, I guess it may depend on their personality.   I may opt for a Blenny or a Goby instead.  It depends what is available. 

 

2 hours ago, Cpl_Wiggles said:

Well done. I'm going to have to copy you. I have the same heater that needs to go into chamber one following your success removing the strips.

My hands didn't fit inside that chamber so I ended up having success with a long flat head screwdriver.  Take it slow prying and you'll realize which bottom corner is attached.

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Picked up some snails today and a small frag.  I have 4 Nassarius Snails and 4 Trochus Snails.   

 

The frag wasn't labeled but I'm fairly sure that it is Zoas.   It has 8 polyps and some nice colors.  I drip acclimated the snails and dipped the frag with CoralRX.  The frag has only been in the tank about an hour and it's started opening up.

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It's alive! Good choices, all. Be aware as you start to get copepods and anthropods, as their population blooms, they may go after your zoas.

 

Keep water quality up so they don't think of the zoas as a meal!

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55 minutes ago, Cpl_Wiggles said:

It's alive! Good choices, all. Be aware as you start to get copepods and anthropods, as their population blooms, they may go after your zoas.

 

Keep water quality up so they don't think of the zoas as a meal!

I didn't realize that pods could attack zoas, I'll have to look into it.   I forgot to mention that I picked up some Chaeto as well, so I'm sure there are probably pods in it.    

 

The Zoas really glow under the blue lights, I don't think that the pictures do them justice. 

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YMMV on the pods. There were only a couple others who had the same happen. Seems on the unlikely side. 

 

Snap a pic of the rear of your tank?

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33 minutes ago, Cpl_Wiggles said:

Snap a pic of the rear of your tank?

It's tough to get the whole thing because it's close to the wall but you can see all three chambers in this one.  1st chamber is the heater.   2nd is poly filter up top chaeto in the bottom (light is off) .   3rd is matrix and the return pump. 

 

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Tank Update @ 5 Weeks:

The snails are all still alive and continue to traverse every inch of the tank.  They seem to do a great job clearing any green specs that pop up.  The Nassarius are very interesting creatures to watch.   

 

The Zoas have also been glued down onto their own island that they will hopefully cover in time.  They are looking good though. 

 

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The sand turned brown this week.   I believe this is from Diatoms?  I'll include pictures of the sand before and after the water change.

 

Also the refugium has been up for a week now.  I've seen some growth on the Chaeto, about 25% roughly.  So far it appears to be working. 

 

Before water change: 

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After water change: 

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1 hour ago, Cpl_Wiggles said:

Perfect. When in doubt, water change. What's your process?

I blasted the rocks with a turkey baster, vacuumed the sand,  swapped 2.5 gallons of water, and changed the filter. 

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I have some new additions to the tank.   I've added a pair of Ocellaris Clownfish.  They are very active and have given the tank some much needed color and movement.   All parameters are still testing good after the additions.

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I also picked up a small Neon-green Trumpet coral frag.   It has 2 heads on it and is starting to open up now.   It is currently placed under the large overhang because I read that they do well in lower light.   

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Still have some Diatoms on the sand bed, but they appear to be getting lighter.  With the added livestock I've also started running the Chemipure (using 2 nano bags under my poly filter in chamber 2).

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Week 6 Update:

 

I'm happy to report that the Diatoms on the sandbed are nearly non-existent now.  However, the main rock structure has started to turn a very light lime green color.  Hopefully it doesn't turn into a large algae outbreak.  Will monitor and report. 

 

Completed my weekly water change today and all tests were good.  

 

On a good note the Zoas have sprouted a new polyp and the trumpets appear to be doing well too. 

 

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5 hours ago, Jackal227 said:

Week 6 Update:

 

I'm happy to report that the Diatoms on the sandbed are nearly non-existent now.  However, the main rock structure has started to turn a very light lime green color.  Hopefully it doesn't turn into a large algae outbreak.  Will monitor and report. 

 

Completed my weekly water change today and all tests were good.  

 

On a good note the Zoas have sprouted a new polyp and the trumpets appear to be doing well too. 

 

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That could be green coralline on the rocks. The same thing happened to my rocks.

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1 hour ago, Lugmos12 said:

That could be green coralline on the rocks. The same thing happened to my rocks.

I'm hoping so.  From what I've read it is either green coraline or the start of green hair algae.  I guess time will tell. 

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So, looking in the tank today I could only find 1 clown.  I searched high and low and ended up finding this: 

 

:eek::o

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Apparently one of my clowns decided to jump into the overflow in chamber 1.  The problem is this chamber is quite narrow and too small to get my hand down into.   I spent about an hour with a small mesh bag ziptied to a couple of chopsticks trying to net this guy :huh:.  He repeatedly refused and outsmarted me, but eventually jumped out of that chamber on top of the filter floss in chamber two.  From there it was easy to pick him up and plop him back into the tank.  He doesn't appear to be too stressed from the whole ordeal.   He's swimming like normal and ate right away. 

 

After all was done I decided to rig up a wall out of eggcrate to raise the height of the back wall and prevent future issues.  

 

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My dumb clown did the same only into chamber 3. I had a breeding net I was able to snag him with. Was pretty impressed he was able to get back there.

 

The Finding Nemo jokes went over my head the first 3-4 times people made them.

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Week 8 Update:

 

Not a lot has changed but things are staying stable so that seems like a good sign.   Still performing weekly water changes of 2.5 gallons, and changing the poly filter bi-weekly.

 

I purchased an itc-308 temperature controller to provide some peace of mind and an alarm in case of a heater failure.  It uses a metal probe so I coated it with silicone today to prevent corrosion.   I'll let it cure for 24 hrs before installing it.

 

The Clowns are still going strong.   They've put on a little thickness since I've gotten them, but are still pretty small.

 

The Zoas seem to be doing well.   They've grown 3 new polyps now so they are up to 10 heads (unfortunately 2 are hidden on the back side) .   Hopefully soon they will flow off the frag plug and onto the rock.

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The trumpet coral also appears to be doing well.  It's still 2 heads, but they have gotten fuller and there are a couple vine-like growths coming out of the sides of the skeleton (maybe new heads?).  It's neat to watch them when they're feeding tentacles are out.   If my nitrates continue to stay low I may look into feeding them periodically.

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Also the Chaeto in the refugium seems to be working well.  It started off around golf ball sized, and it is now probably a little bigger than a softball.  My nitrates have been near zero since running it. 

 

With things staying stable it may be time to look into a new addition.

 

FTS:

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Howdy! I'm a saltwater newby, however, I managed to get the Biocube 16 for about 130 dollars. I've been reading you and Wiggles'  journals on your own tanks. My biggest worry with the tanks is the LEDs because I really want the corals to flourish. But, your trumpets look really good so that's a pretty good sign. How do you feel about the amount of room you have? 

 

I'm glad your clown is doing good!

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48 minutes ago, slach2000 said:

Howdy! I'm a saltwater newby, however, I managed to get the Biocube 16 for about 130 dollars. I've been reading you and Wiggles'  journals on your own tanks. My biggest worry with the tanks is the LEDs because I really want the corals to flourish. But, your trumpets look really good so that's a pretty good sign. How do you feel about the amount of room you have? 

 

I'm glad your clown is doing good!

Water quality/parameters > LED brightness output for most non-SPS, I'm finding. $130 is a steal - would make purchasing an LED upgrade more palpable. But perhaps would suggest better pump, media basket, chaeto, livestock etc. 

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7 hours ago, slach2000 said:

Howdy! I'm a saltwater newby, however, I managed to get the Biocube 16 for about 130 dollars. I've been reading you and Wiggles'  journals on your own tanks. My biggest worry with the tanks is the LEDs because I really want the corals to flourish. But, your trumpets look really good so that's a pretty good sign. How do you feel about the amount of room you have? 

 

I'm glad your clown is doing good!

Wow, you got a great deal on that tank!  I've been very happy with it so far.   

 

I researched a lot of tanks in this size before buying it and settled on the biocube because of the higher output of the leds and the built in light timer.   They both are sufficient to grow corals.   I'll be adding some new corals soon to further test them out, but everything I have now is at the bottom of the tank in lower light areas and are growing.  

 

The space in the tank is deceiving from the front because it is a bow front which magnifies the view.  My rock work is only in the back half of the tank leaving plenty of swimming space in the front (viewable) areas.  There is also swim-thrus for the fish on the backside, underneath, and on the right side of the rock giving the fish caves to hide in if they need.  I also built the rock taller so that if I choose to add higher light corals I can mount them up high closer to the lights. 

 

Having high,  medium,  and low spots gives options to place corals in the areas that they prefer not only for lighting, but for flow (considered as important as lights) as well. 

 

I would suggest to try it as is, and if you feel that the light isn't strong enough you can always upgrade it later.

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Week 10 Update:

 

The good:

I'm starting to see some purple coraline algae growing on the power head and the back wall.   I look forward to seeing it spread onto the rocks.  The Zoas continue to grow new heads and are looking good.   The Clowns also seem to be growing a bit and are looking good. 

 

The bad:

So the tube-like growths that were coming out of the sides of the trumpet coral appear to have been vermetid snails.  I know that they were originally on the frag when I put it in the tank (did dip in coralRX),  but I thought it was part of the coral because they looked like they were growing out of the skeleton.   I removed the frag and scraped them off the sides.  I believe that I damaged the flesh a bit while removing the snail tubes but hopefully I got them all.  Also saw a couple on the rock next to where the frag was and I scraped those off as well.  The trumpets are now opening back up again but they aren't as full as they were before.  I'll monitor them over the next few weeks. 

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