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jzp456

JZP's Biocube 16

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jzp456

Recently started a biocube 16 after a long long time out of the hobby.  As of now I am using the stock LED lighting and fan. I did remove the baffle in the first chamber and have my heater located there. In chamber 2 I have the stock filter rack with floss and carbon on the top rack. I have the middle and lower racks removed and will grow cheato in the rest of the chamber. The 3rd chamber has the return pump and matrix media. The ideas for the setup of my tank are from Jackals biocube as well as others with similar setups. I used one piece of live rock ( about a 2 pound piece) to "seed" the tank. I also added Seachem stability as per the instructions to help with the cycle. Using Ace Hardware brand ammonia and stability, it took 3 weeks 2 days to cycle.

 

75w neotherm heater

sicce syncra silent 1.0 return pump

hydor koralia nano 425gph

factory LED lights 

factory media basket

about 12 pounds of caibsea flamingo reef dry sand

16 pounds of rock (14 pounds of dry and about 2 pounds of live rock)

LED light strip for chamber 2 "refugium"

BRS ROX .8 carbon

3/4 of a liter of Seachem Matrix media

plain filter floss for mechanical filtration

 

As of now clean up crew consists of:

3 small hermits

3 trochus snails

1 nassarius snail

1 emerald crab (he was a hitchhiker)

1 cerith snail 

1 small nerite snail

1 conch

 

Fish:

1 McCoskers Wrasse

2 phantom snowflake clowns

 

Corals:

zoanthids

palys

acans

ducan

xenia

blasto

hammer coral

sympodiums

green star polyps

 

 

Tank cycling and settled on this scape. 

20180506_213117.thumb.jpg.0aeca8f2fcb8bbbee019668d18f87375.jpg

 

 

After the cycle ended I added CUC and first fish along with Palys and first colony of Zoas. That was the first time I glued frags to rocks and used a bit too much epoxy. The following pictures are from about 2 weeks ago.

20180529_213819.thumb.jpg.c114c9954638d49f46b1471b10ee5daa.jpg

 

 

Some close ups with cell phone camera.

20180525_231505.thumb.jpg.913f482e879ea1d28c6d08850a325793.jpg20180527_152641.thumb.jpg.ad8f82d2af9b361d69c7577e9a8311ea.jpg

 

 

The wrasse flashing at me. I could not get the shot timed right and this was the best pic I got with his fins out. He is eating mysis and new life marine pellets.

20180528_144534.thumb.jpg.d94a78591f07cde8a8d1c025c05caffc.jpg

 

 

Last week more corals were added. The pic was just taken after they were put in so they are not open fully.  Ordered online from Unique Corals during their Memorial Day sale. The green algae growth really took off that week, so I reduced the lighting period from 8 hours to 6 hours and did a water change.

20180530_204034.thumb.jpg.c46bfc33b6aa6598b2d47e7c0702cabd.jpg

 

 

After a day or so I decided to move the xenia and the duncan around. The water change reduced a lot of the green algae growth. Thankfully haven't really had much of a problem with diatoms yet. Maybe the conch and snails have helped along with weekly water changes. The green star polyps took about 2 days to start opening but everything is coming along smoothly.  This picture is from late last week. 

20180602_182620.thumb.jpg.b80b27e65fdc7d6a1085aaa0efda1940.jpg

 

 

I have started using BRS reef chili and pohl's coral vitalizer a couple times a week to start off with. For the wrasse I feed mysis and new life spectrum marine 1mm pellets.

 

Wife wants to add a pair of clowns but, I am not sure with the wrasse in there, it is already small for him. Would like to add a shrimp to the tank, but haven't decided on which one yet. I had a skunk cleaner in my salt tank years ago and I enjoyed how he set up a "cleaning shelf" for the fish. 

 

With weekly water changes nitrates stay below 5ppm. I am using the API kit. Will be adding cheato hopefully in a few days to help with nutrients also.

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coryscritch
2 minutes ago, jzp456 said:

Recently started a biocube 16 after a long long time out of the hobby.  As of now I am using the stock LED lighting and fan. I did remove the baffle in the first chamber and have my heater located there. In chamber 2 I have the stock filter rack with floss and carbon on the top rack. I have the middle and lower racks removed and will grow cheato in the rest of the chamber. The 3rd chamber has the return pump and matrix media. The ideas for the setup of my tank are from Jackals biocube as well as others with similar setups. I used one piece of live rock ( about a 2 pound piece) to "seed" the tank. I also added Seachem stability as per the instructions to help with the cycle. Using Ace Hardware brand ammonia and stability, it took 3 weeks 2 days to cycle.

 

75w neotherm heater

sicce syncra silent 1.0 return pump

hydor koralia nano 425gph

factory LED lights 

factory media basket

about 12 pounds of caibsea flamingo reef dry sand

16 pounds of rock (14 pounds of dry and about 2 pounds of live rock)

LED light strip for chamber 2 "refugium"

BRS ROX .8 carbon

3/4 of a liter of Seachem Matrix media

plain filter floss for mechanical filtration

 

As of now clean up crew consists of:

3 small hermits

3 trochus snails

1 nassarius snail

1 emerald crab (he was a hitchhiker)

1 cerith snail 

1 small nerite snail

1 conch

 

Fish:

1 McCoskers Wrasse

 

Corals:

zoanthids

palys

acans

ducan

xenia

blasto

hammer coral

sympodiums

green star polyps

 

 

Tank cycling and settled on this scape. 

20180506_213117.thumb.jpg.0aeca8f2fcb8bbbee019668d18f87375.jpg

 

 

After the cycle ended I added CUC and first fish along with Palys and first colony of Zoas. That was the first time I glued frags to rocks and used a bit too much epoxy. The following pictures are from about 2 weeks ago.

20180529_213819.thumb.jpg.c114c9954638d49f46b1471b10ee5daa.jpg

 

 

Some close ups with cell phone camera.

20180525_231505.thumb.jpg.913f482e879ea1d28c6d08850a325793.jpg20180527_152641.thumb.jpg.ad8f82d2af9b361d69c7577e9a8311ea.jpg

 

 

The wrasse flashing at me. I could not get the shot timed right and this was the best pic I got with his fins out. He is eating mysis and new life marine pellets.

20180528_144534.thumb.jpg.d94a78591f07cde8a8d1c025c05caffc.jpg

 

 

Last week more corals were added. The pic was just taken after they were put in so they are not open fully.  Ordered online from Unique Corals during their Memorial Day sale. The green algae growth really took off that week, so I reduced the lighting period from 8 hours to 6 hours and did a water change.

20180530_204034.thumb.jpg.c46bfc33b6aa6598b2d47e7c0702cabd.jpg

 

 

After a day or so I decided to move the xenia and the duncan around. The water change reduced a lot of the green algae growth. Thankfully haven't really had much of a problem with diatoms yet. Maybe the conch and snails have helped along with weekly water changes. The green star polyps took about 2 days to start opening but everything is coming along smoothly.  This picture is from late last week. 

20180602_182620.thumb.jpg.b80b27e65fdc7d6a1085aaa0efda1940.jpg

 

 

I have started using BRS reef chili and pohl's coral vitalizer a couple times a week to start off with. For the wrasse I feed mysis and new life spectrum marine 1mm pellets.

 

Wife wants to add a pair of clowns but, I am not sure with the wrasse in there, it is already small for him. Would like to add a shrimp to the tank, but haven't decided on which one yet. I had a skunk cleaner in my salt tank years ago and I enjoyed how he set up a "cleaning shelf" for the fish. 

 

With weekly water changes the nitrate stays below 5ppm with the API kit. Will be adding cheato hopefully in a few days to help with nutrients also.

i loved my skunk cleaner in my 65 gallon. i left the hobby for a long time and just got back into it a few months ago. my cleaner shrimp (because i had to have one) is a little shit. he runs all over the corals all day and tries to setup a station to clean the fish but my clowns/wrasse are not having it. he also steals all the food from the corals. my tank is 14 gallons and i wish he was not in it. 

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MSunkin23

Looks really good JZP, following the progress.

 

Really like the aquascape.

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jzp456

I wonder if a fire shrimp would be more reserved and not try to take over?

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jzp456
1 minute ago, MSunkin23 said:

Looks really good JZP, following the progress.

 

Really like the aquascape.

Thanks! I will try to keep pics up to date. I will also try and get some better pics with a dslr camera that my wife had have a few years back but never used...lol.

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banasophia

Looking good!!! I love your aquascape. Keep the pictures coming! I‚Äôm just a couple months ahead of you with my Biocube 16 and looking forward to following your progress. ūüėä

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Aurortpa

Very nice aquascaping!

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Jackal227
7 hours ago, jzp456 said:

I wonder if a fire shrimp would be more reserved and not try to take over?

My fire shrimp walks all over the corals but they don't seem to mind it much.  However, whenever I feed the corals with reef roids he goes nuts and tries to dig it out of the coral's mouths.  

 

Your tank is looking good.   I really like the colors on the wrasse.  How long has it been set up?

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jzp456
3 minutes ago, Jackal227 said:

My fire shrimp walks all over the corals but they don't seem to mind it much.  However, whenever I feed the corals with reef roids he goes nuts and tries to dig it out of the coral's mouths.  

 

Your tank is looking good.   I really like the colors on the wrasse.  How long has it been set up?

Tank has been up for about 5 weeks. 

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jzp456

Blue light FTS20180606_230022.thumb.jpg.bdd0e7444eda04226b8cbd03829cbb35.jpg

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jzp456

Went ahead and added 2 small snowflake clowns from the LFS. They are very small the biggest one might barely be an inch long. 20180609_162521.thumb.jpg.56fcfd007ef816759dff398b2d242c0a.jpg

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SingingSiren
On 6/5/2018 at 8:45 AM, MSunkin23 said:

Is there any way you can get rid of the two side pieces and end up with a "T"?

 

That would be pretty cool, and leave the sandbed for a bunch of corals!

I like you tank! I have a Biocube 16 with LED's as well, fun little set upūüėĀ

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banasophia

Congrats on your new additions - nice looking fish!

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jzp456

Have any of you biocube owners removed the foam at the bottom of the second chamber going to the third or are you just running it? Curious because mine seems to collect stuff and I do not want a nitrate factory as it is kinda hard to clean out the foam without removing it. I am thinking about removing it and placing my bag of matrix on top of the opening in chamber 3.

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MSunkin23

Hey JZP, I left mine and it remains pretty clean. I have cleaned it once since I started the tank in March 2018.

 

Are you using filter floss at the top of chamber 2?

 

I put filter floss on the top of the media rack, right underneath the plastic flow director. I replace the floss every 3-5 days. By doing this, the sponge at the bottom should remain fairly clean. But its a good guarantee to prevent any other media, chaeto, fish, or invert from going into the pump. I got a massive bag of filter floss for $3 at walmart and it will probably last another year.

 

I dont think this is a nitrate factory really as long as you clean it every month or so. Unfortunately I can't get my hand down chamber 3, so I have to find my wife to pull the sponge every couple of months.

 

Hope this helps, but I would leave it in my opinion. Others may do differently.

 

**I attached an image. Sorry for the bad angle but my tank is close to wall. You can see the floss on top, I put a couple of rocks on top of the water deflector to compress the floss down a bit.

 

Under that I usually have chemipure blue. but I am just running phosguard now as I am treating with Fluconazole.  I plan to run chaeto eventually, but no need yet. Sponge is left in.

IMG_3223.JPG

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jzp456

When I got home today the corals looked rough. They were not open and some were actually closed all the way up. So i started to do some investigating and found chamber 2 really dirty and nitrates higher than normal. I did about a 10 gallon water change and cleaned out the back chambers.

 

I took the sponge out also to check it and it did have some junk, but I think it is coming from my chaeto. My chaeto seems to be dying back. There were loose strands of it and some brownish half decomposed pieces all over the sponge. I am accusing the thick coat of algae on the back glass preventing light from reaching the macro. I will keep a check on the chaeto but I may end up removing it.

 

I usually only do about 5 gallons a week with barely noticeable nitrates (API kit), but not sure if it is the clown addition or the decomposing chaeto that had my nitrates about 10-20 ppm.

 

So far the corals have not opened back up, but the lights are going off for the night. Hopefully tomorrow things will be better.

 

Also I do run floss on top of the media rack and change it out twice a week.

 

 

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MSunkin23

Yes, so if the chaeto is decomposing after the filter floss in the process flow you would definitely want to keep the sponge. Otherwise your gonna clog up that pump.

 

I also started with dry-rock, and although your cycle was 'complete', an unestablished tank is bound to run into issues like this. I would water change (like you did) and let it stabilize if it were me.

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jzp456

Did another water change yesterday since corals still looked a little rough. Also wanted to get my water change schedule on Saturday instead of during the week. Today everything is looking better. Acans and hammer corals are not back to where they were before, but they are looking better day by day. 

 

I checked the readings this morning (about 14 hours after water change) and got all normal readings.

Ammonia: 0

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: 0-5 ppm

KH: 9-10

Calcium: 470

pH: 8.0

 

I will check again around Wednesday to get an idea of what is going on and then again just before the next water change. Don't plan on doing this forever, just for now to get a feeling of what is going on in the tank. 

 

Green algae is coming back even after 2 water changes a few days apart so I reduced the lighting schedule by 1 hour. All lights are for 7 hours now plus ramp up and down times.

 

 

20180616_175106.thumb.jpg.875cbb02adf086d6dcab10378b4dd0fe.jpg

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jzp456

I reduced the light schedule to 6 hours on Tuesday. Checked nitrates today and still holding 0 ppm. Cant really tell if the chaeto is growing keeping them down or the green algae, but time will tell.

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Aurortpa
30 minutes ago, jzp456 said:

I reduced the light schedule to 6 hours on Tuesday. Checked nitrates today and still holding 0 ppm. Cant really tell if the chaeto is growing keeping them down or the green algae, but time will tell.

Just advising based on my own mistakes, you aren’t leaving actinic lights on all night are you?  Or is it just moonlights?  

 

So you have a mexican turbo? They eat algae up quickly in my tank.  

 

IMO doesn’t look that bad actually, it should wane in time if your parameters stay optimal.

 

 

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sadie

Nice tank!  I love your wrasse.

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Jackal227
On 6/17/2018 at 9:43 PM, jzp456 said:

Green algae is coming back even after 2 water changes a few days apart so I reduced the lighting schedule by 1 hour. All lights are for 7 hours now plus ramp up and down times.

 

 

20180616_175106.thumb.jpg.875cbb02adf086d6dcab10378b4dd0fe.jpg

I'm really not seeing much algae in the picture.  Are you referring to the bright lime green color on the rocks? 

 

My rocks turned the same color and after a few weeks it got darker and then the coraline started growing.  I've seen other tanks follow the same progression.  It's just the rocks going from "dry" to "live".

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jzp456

I do have tiny dots of purple and pink forming on the rocks. The green is a little bit more now than in that pic, but I'm not worried about it too much. Like you said I believe it is just progressing along. 

 

I did find this light purple creature the other day. I'm not sure what it is and couldn't get a good picture of it. It moves like a snail but has a flatter "shell". I will try and get a better pic when I see it again. Any ideas?20180618_212619.thumb.jpg.18fd4fc52e29ec44b2ebc5a3f64d440c.jpg

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jzp456

Did a water change today. Coralline algae is popping up up everywhere. 

 

Readings were:

Nitrate: 0ppm

KH: 7-8

Calcium: 440

 

After water change KH came back up to 9-10. Looks like the tank is using up alkalinity pretty good. My guess would be from the coraline growth. Chaeto in the back chamber is doing good and looking dark green.  

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jzp456

Found a few of these on the back wall of the display. They look like some type of nudibranch. Any ideas? Hopefully they are reef safe.

 

20180625_173101.thumb.jpg.166cd358ae4d7b72a8eb5ab2f1270656.jpg

 

20180625_173049.thumb.jpg.297e59e319ac05e8a9420f7acbc9ae02.jpg

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