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Biocubelife

Biocube 14 gallon. HELPPP

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I’m running into an issue with a few coral. I’m noticing the sun coral is beginning to bleach out and the acan is almost completely covered with algae. It used to be green but now it’s turning purplish.  I tried to put pictures showing before and after. Hopefully you guys can help. Parameters are all zeroed out. 8.4 PH. LEDs are truelumen. 

No clue what’s going on. 

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Few questions:

 

1. how old is the tank?

2. what parameters do you actually test?

3. what do you use for refill water and how often?

4. what is your filter media/method?

5. what is your light cycle and intensity (% of blue, white, etc.) as well as how long at they on?

6, Do you feed the tank/corals?

 

This should be enough to get started.  

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What @Duane Clark said.

 

We need some more info.

 

First. Sun corals need to be fed by hand a few times a week at least.

They are non photosynthetic corals.

 

The favia brain- they like low light and low to moderate flow. They also enjoy being fed.

 

Alkalinity issues could cause corals to decline, the water source, lack of maintenance, lack of nutrients....

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ok so heres what i got for params

 

Ammonia, Nitrates, Nitrites are all 0ppm

PH is 8.4

calcium .4mls=300ppm
mag .27mls=1110ppm
kh/alkalinity .48mls=8.0
phosphates 5.0ppm

 

Any red flags?

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1. how old is the tank? 6 months

2. what parameters do you actually test?

Ammonia, Nitrates, Nitrites are all 0ppm

PH is 8.4

calcium .4mls=300ppm
mag .27mls=1110ppm
kh/alkalinity .48mls=8.0
phosphates 5.0ppm

3. what do you use for refill water and how often?

RODI buddy and instant ocean salt

once a week(usually fridays)

4. what is your filter media/method?

A little new to this hobby so i think your asking about the 2nd chamber where i put crushed coral?

 

5. what is your light cycle and intensity (% of blue, white, etc.) as well as how long at they on?

When u say cycle???(sorry I'm new)

Intensity stays at 40% for both white and blue. On for 9hours a day.

6, Do you feed the tank/corals?

I feed the corals by turning off the pumps and Ive been using reef roids. As for the fish i have been using marine cuisine variety pack.

 

Side note: i have a dosing pump by Jebao that i have not set up yet. I can use recommendations for supplements if you got em.

 

 

Any red flags?

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Your mag and your ca are low. Your phosphates are quite high. Slow down on feeding. Reduce the amount. Give your fish only enough to eat and give small target feedings to your sun corals. I would perform several water changes over the next few days to get your mg and ca up and your phosphates down. 

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Your mag is low which can cause an imbalance in alk and ca.

 

Instant ocean doesn't usually have high numbers. When I used it, I always had ca 360 and alk 7. My mag was low too.

 

So it may be your salt. I'd test a  batch of newly mixed water. Also mix the salt in the bag before adding it. 

 

I would not suggest dosing. Dosing is to replenish what corals use not to achieve a number. You are new to reefing and don't have enough corals to need to dose.

 

If IO is low on Params, it's best to switch to a salt that is in the target you want to have. 

 

What do you keep your salinity at and do you top up daily to maintain it?

 

 

The filtration question refers to the back chamber and what you use.

 

Crushed coral in the back chamber is not beneficial. It will lead to trapped detritus, the inability to clean the back chamber and high nutrients. 

Unless you have built a refugium, the crushed coral is not needed.

 

You want to be able to scrub and siphon the back chambers at least every few weeks.

 

Most use a media basket (caddy ) in their Chamber with media for filtration

 

 

Filter floss- cut to size, changed twice a week.

This traps particles like access food, poop and particles 

 

Carbon- bag is rinsed weekly and carbon replaced every 2-3 weeks. Or you can buy preached chemipure products instead of bagging your own 

 

Carbon is used to remove toxins, some nutrients, and polish the water

 

Purigen is another media some like to use- I rinse my bag weekly and replace the media when it goes brown

 

Your p04 is high. This could be due to either a lack of maintenance or over feeding.

 

Reef roids should be used 1 time a week.

 

Favia like being fed at night when their tentacles are out, preferably meaty food like pellets or mysis.

 

Sun corals should be fed meaty food like mysis as well with a pipette.

 

https://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/features/articles/keeping-sun-corals-in-the-aquarium

 

 

 

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+1 on the media basket. StevieT’s inTank baskets are awesome. Perfect for what Clown79 was talking about. He is dead on about detritus in the back. I siphoned out my biocube every water change as it always accumulated back there.

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Your phosphates are way too high. Also remember that water evaporates not salt. Do not top off with salt water. You want to only use ro/di water only for your top offs. Do you have a refractometer to check your salinity? Also, crank your lights up. 

 

You should also switch the salt you use. I did not have success with instant ocean. I’m a fan of Kent. I do weekly 10% water changes and do not dose my tank with anything. 

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Ahhhh!!! Thank you guys!! I don’t know why I didn’t post something sooner. Huge help! I’ll post updates once a week once I’ve made the adjustments. 

Couple questions for clarification. 

-is there a percentage I should keep my LEDs at? I don’t want to turn em all the way up and roast my coral. Hahaha

-for the reef roids, should I spot feed still or just drop it in the tank?

-you guys are gonna shake your heads butttt I’m using a hydrometer not a refractometer. Don’t hate! Hahaha this hobby is expensive. 

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Also, I have the factory filters for a bio cube 14 which I have been using. I’ve been reading that a lot of people don’t use filters. They just use the media basket. Thoughts?

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Stock filter media especially bio balls and sponges are not recommended and yes replaced with media baskets with other media.

 

Hydrometers unless the glass ones are not reliable. An air bubble, uneven surface, salt buildup can effect the reading.

Refractometers are far better to use. You can get them for a reasonable price.

Once I got mine, I never looked back. I threw my hydrometer in the garbage.

 

Your at looks between 1.023 to 1.024. Ideally corals do better in 1.025 or 1.026 

 

The favia is pretty far gone. The purple area looks like skeleton with algae, the green part is the remaining flesh.

Favia respond better to mysis and pellets

 

Reef roids is more for sps and filter feeders like gorgs, etc.

 

 

 your sun corals need to be spot fed with mysis etc. Everyday preferably, or every other day.

 

There's a couple things needing work

 

Salinity- also needs to be stable

Alk, ca, mag - already listed how to correct

Lighting - slowly increase blues.

 

 

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Ok here’s a little update. Just installed the intank media basket with filter floss in the first compartment and carbon in the second compartment. I purchased chemi pure elite but need to go to the store to get some nylon bags to put it in. I also removed the sponge that’s down in between the second and third chamber. Any specific reason that sponge is there?

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32 minutes ago, Biocubelife said:

Ok here’s a little update. Just installed the intank media basket with filter floss in the first compartment and carbon in the second compartment. I purchased chemi pure elite but need to go to the store to get some nylon bags to put it in. I also removed the sponge that’s down in between the second and third chamber. Any specific reason that sponge is there?

It's to keep junk from clogging your return pump. Clean it very well and put it back.

 

Try and validate your hydrometer against fresh (ideally RODI water), a friend's aquarium, or your store's system. I've had those thing read as much as .003 off which could take a tank from the sweet spot to the danger zone. Once you have it "calibrated" in your head (i.e. you know it reads a little low) then you can somewhat reliably use it to monitor. (keep it clean)

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11 minutes ago, Nocturnal said:

It's to keep junk from clogging your return pump. Clean it very well and put it back.

 

Try and validate your hydrometer against fresh (ideally RODI water), a friend's aquarium, or your store's system. I've had those thing read as much as .003 off which could take a tank from the sweet spot to the danger zone. Once you have it "calibrated" in your head (i.e. you know it reads a little low) then you can somewhat reliably use it to monitor. (keep it clean)

You can leave that sponge out as well .. most people do. Yes there is a chance you could suck something into your pump but worth the risk imo. Fyi I have had mine out for a year with no pump problems..

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1 minute ago, Weikel said:

You can leave that sponge out as well .. most people do. Yes there is a chance you could suck something into your pump but worth the risk imo. Fyi I have had mine out for a year with no pump problems..

Fair. I had mine out for a long time but I got tired of getting chaeto stuck in my pump screen so I recently added it back. We will see if I find that easier to clean than my pump return.

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20 minutes ago, Nocturnal said:

Fair. I had mine out for a long time but I got tired of getting chaeto stuck in my pump screen so I recently added it back. We will see if I find that easier to clean than my pump return.

Cheato can be a pain . Mine doesn't effect my pump enough to worry about it though..  you could shove some of that in tank filter floss in there so you can just toss it once a week.. 

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2 hours ago, Biocubelife said:

I also removed the sponge that’s down in between the second and third chamber. Any specific reason that sponge is there?

That sponge is there to keep junk out of the return pump. It's secondary job is to get all clogged up with stuff and become a Super Dooper Nutrient Factory! I replaced mine with a cross stitch screen (plastic) from Walmart ($3.99 for 3 sheets) at the recommendation of another reefer on this forum. I cut it to the outside dimensions of the uncompressed sponge and it slid in as nice as you please. My nitrates/phosphates are down somewhat since I did that and it keeps my cheato out of the pump intake. Ya just can never clean the sponges thoroughly enough, IMHO.

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4 minutes ago, Oldsalt01 said:

That sponge is there to keep junk out of the return pump. It's secondary job is to get all clogged up with stuff and become a Super Dooper Nutrient Factory! I replaced mine with a cross stitch screen (plastic) from Walmart ($3.99 for 3 sheets) at the recommendation of another reefer on this forum. I cut it to the outside dimensions of the uncompressed sponge and it slid in as nice as you please. My nitrates/phosphates are down somewhat since I did that and it keeps my cheato out of the pump intake. Ya just can never clean the sponges thoroughly enough, IMHO.

I need to do something similar. I throw the things away after a few cleanings.

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5 hours ago, Oldsalt01 said:

That sponge is there to keep junk out of the return pump. It's secondary job is to get all clogged up with stuff and become a Super Dooper Nutrient Factory! I replaced mine with a cross stitch screen (plastic) from Walmart ($3.99 for 3 sheets) at the recommendation of another reefer on this forum. I cut it to the outside dimensions of the uncompressed sponge and it slid in as nice as you please. My nitrates/phosphates are down somewhat since I did that and it keeps my cheato out of the pump intake. Ya just can never clean the sponges thoroughly enough, IMHO.

Good call on the screen. I’ll put one in this weekend. Finally put the chemi pure in. Feels weird not having the stock filter or the sponge in the third chamber. Haha like I forgot to turn the iron off kinda feeling. 

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20 hours ago, Biocubelife said:

Good call on the screen. I’ll put one in this weekend. Finally put the chemi pure in. Feels weird not having the stock filter or the sponge in the third chamber. Haha like I forgot to turn the iron off kinda feeling. 

Once you have the uncompressed dimensions of the sponge you cancut the cross stitch screen with scissors and bend it to fit the slot in chamber 3. I simply used the edge of my kitchen counter to bend it 90 degrees initially. Then I bent it all the way over and creased it, bent it back to 90 degrees and it was done. I did have to do some final trimming and getting my hand into that chamber was a bit tight, but I got it done and didn't lose any skin in the process. The screen itself is called "Ultra Stiff Plastic Canvas", at Walmart in the sewing section and it's pretty easy to work with. I had to go to a "super store" to find it, but that may only be in my area. I used to toss the whole 6.5 oz Chemi Pure in after rinsing, but I've stopped using it since I built a mini-'fuge in chamber 2.

Don't necessarily toss that sponge. I kept mine and dropped it back into chamber 3 for 3 weeks to "seed" bacteria for my QT cycle. It seemed to help things along a bit, but then I've been known to kid myself occasionally. 

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Phos is going down! From 5.0 to 2.0!! I noticed the third chamber doesn’t have as much water. Should I be concerned? It’s still over the min fill line

 

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Well your pump is fine if it's over the fill line. You need to check salinity if water is evaporating quickly then you will see a spike in salinity which can make ca, alk, and mag go up as well.. check salinity and top off with plain rodi water no salt. Also you should see a drop in the second chamber as well if not then your sponge between the chambers is plugged.. you need to put a peice of tape on the back glass once the salinity is correct and top off with fresh rodi water to thay point to keep salinity in check

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