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Dear Fellow-Reefers,

 

Greetings to all! Hope this post finds everyone well.

 

First and foremost, I would like to give a shout out to @Jackal227, whose post on the BioCube 16 was tremendously helpful as I went through it before I setup mine. On the same lines, I also thank @Cpl_Wiggles for sharing valuable information on his tank and experience with the BioCube. Thank you so much! And I very well agree - "There are many posts regarding the BioCube 14 but very less information related to the Coralife BioCube 16 LED." That being said, I would also be sharing my journey with all of you and thanks to this platform, it will help me with my continual learning in the Magical World of Reefing!

 

I've kept aquariums from the past 6 years but all of them were freshwater only. It is very recently I got hands-on with saltwater tanks. I've friends who have kept saltwater tanks for a long time and that helped with the familiarity around operations, but it took some time for me to convince myself that I can pull it through with full dedication and give my best to help thrive a healthy reef aquarium. Since this was my debut with saltwater, I wanted to keep it compact, space saving and easy to care for. That was when I started researching and reading a lot about Nano-Reefs. It was indeed very intriguing and thus a BioCube. I fortunately stumbled upon a great deal for this AIO aquarium + add-ons, that I couldn't resist and it was a no-brainer after some of my reefer friends told me to grab it without hesitations.

 

TANK HIGH LEVEL CHARACTERISTICS

 

Aquascape : 10 lb. of Live Rock

Sand : 10 lb. of CaribSea Fiji Pink Arag-Alive! Live Reef Sand

Heater : Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater, 75 Watt

Lighting : Coralife Stock LED

⇨ Powerhead : 2 x Hydor Koralia Nano 240 GPH controlled by a Hydor Smart Wave Circulation Pump Controller (15 seconds interval)

Pump : Coralife S-700 Stock Return Pump / Cobalt MJ900 (I swap them during my 60 days full tank maintenance)

Skimmer : Coralife BioCube Protein Skimmer (was bundled with the BioCube package)

 

SUMP DETAILS

 

Chamber 1

In the first chamber, I've the heater. I usually swap it with my skimmer as and when I need it. (Otherwise regular water changes and maintenance reduces the dire need for a skimmer.)

 

Chamber 2

I upgraded the stock media rack with the InTank Media Basket which was worth all the $. The InTank filtration basket is really well built and does the job very well. In the top section, I have a double-bonded filter floss (by InTank). The second section has Seachem Purigen and the lowest/bottom section has Chemipure Elite.

 

Chamber 3

This just has the return pump. As mentioned above, its the stock pump Coralife S-700 (185 GPH) or Cobalt MJ900 (215 GPH).

 

LIVESTOCK

 

❃ 1 x Ocellaris Clownfish

❃ 1 x Purple Firefish Goby

❃ 1 x Red Blood Fire Shrimp

❃ 2 x Trochus Snail

❃ 2 x Astrea Snail

❃ 3 x Nassarius Snail

 

CORALS

 

LPS

◕ Metallic Green Wall Hammer

◕ Golden Branching Frogspawn

◕ Purple Tip Hammer

◕ Indo Peach Tip Torch

◕ Aussie Teal Duncan

◕ Neon Green Trumpet

◕ Brain Coral

◕ Rainbow Acans


SOFT

◕ Green Star Polyps

◕ Green Tip Clove Polyps

◕ Armor of God Zoas

◕ Brownish Blue Zoanthids

 

SPS

◕ Green Pocillopora

◕ Brown Pocillopora

◕ Purple Stylophora

 

I'm close to 5 months in with my tank and its indeed been an amazing journey. Currently we have 4 tanks - 1 Saltwater and 3 Freshwater (Glofish tank and 2 Betta tanks w/ some live plants).

 

Looking forward to share my experience and knowledge with everyone here. Thanks in advance!

 

Cheers,

Krish

 

And here are some pictures.

 

FIRST WEEK

1248080774_Month1.thumb.jpg.8229a047590f7492f50cfcea535db97f.jpg

 

MONTH # 2 Progress...

1454626953_Month2.thumb.jpg.d4715621000c9424ba74cfd10b6f2ae8.jpg

 

MONTH # 3 Progress...

1406649773_Month3.thumb.jpg.2b2a46572fc325925208d61264d16980.jpg

 

SPECIAL APPEARANCE

675755428_SpecialAppearance.thumb.jpg.c1b4f62881c8d72489f4fbfb7a5ca0ad.jpg

 

A Recent Capture

1629532047_GSPProgress.thumb.jpg.dd1e4a4e2f6ab0cff8bb726b24228100.jpg

The log of live rock is almost covered with GSP now. Looks really beautiful when it sways with flow!

 

A PHOTO clicked TODAY

1368660429_SunsetCapture.thumb.jpg.5cbb483c964e7342a6fc99a24af7f728.jpg

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The tank looks great.  I look forward to seeing the corals grow in. 

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Beautifully done. I really love how you did your aquascape. Looking forward to following your progress!!!

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Thank you so much @banasophia. Really appreciate the encouraging words. I will ensure to keep posting pictures at regular intervals 🙂 Thanks again.

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Here is my BioCube LED Schedule that I've in place currently (forgot to mention in the original post)

 

TOTAL (COMBINED) LIGHT TIME :- 12 HOURS

 

Following is the per channel program,

 

LC1 (DAYLIGHT) : 11:00 a.m. TO 5:00 p.m.

LC2 (BEAUTYMAX) : 9:30 a.m. TO 6:30 p.m.

LC3 (BLUE LEDs) : 8:00 a.m. TO 7:00 p.m.

 

This schedule has worked pretty good for me so far. I'm seeing a healthy ecosystem and all corals are showing growth and are happy.

 

These clove polyps were one of my first 5 corals. When I bought it, there were 3 polyps, and now there are around 10.

 

1083853617_ClovePolyps.thumb.jpg.d41c4e9751968cfb0ecc974a774124de.jpg

 

And here is a side view of the tank... I've placed my Duncans behind. There are now 2 new heads growing! I'm indeed a happy camper 🙂

 

1154231148_SideView.thumb.jpg.92980a15035301d37a91ae4fb9ed4267.jpg

 

Thanks!

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Nice. Looks like you have your blue lights on 23 hours per day... mine were like that in the beginning but I had the impression from some of the more experienced folks it would be better to have them totally off for longer during the night. Hopefully someone will chime in with more info on this. 

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Beautiful tank. The corals have been filling out so nicely. I'm loving all the LPS and softies.

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@banasophia : holy crap! That was a typo. My apologies. 

 

Posting the corrected schedule here.

 

LC1 (DAYLIGHT) : 11:00 a.m. TO 5:00 p.m.

LC2 (BEAUTYMAX) : 9:30 a.m. TO 6:30 p.m. (30 minutes ramp-up/down)

LC3 (BLUE LEDs) : 8:00 a.m. TO 7:00 p.m. (60 minutes ramp-up/down)

 

TOTAL COMBINED LIGHT TIME : 12 HOURS

 

Now that fixes it 🙂 (Also corrected the original post so that it doesn't seem misleading). My lights are on only for 12-hours.

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12 hours ago, Reef Diver said:

Beautiful tank. The corals have been filling out so nicely. I'm loving all the LPS and softies.

Thank you so much. Hoping that I can get a beautiful and healthy eco-system thriving! 

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3 hours ago, kattick87 said:

@banasophia : holy crap! That was a typo. My apologies. 

 

Posting the corrected schedule here.

 

LC1 (DAYLIGHT) : 11:00 a.m. TO 5:00 p.m.

LC2 (BEAUTYMAX) : 9:30 a.m. TO 6:30 p.m. (30 minutes ramp-up/down)

LC3 (BLUE LEDs) : 8:00 a.m. TO 7:00 p.m. (60 minutes ramp-up/down)

 

TOTAL COMBINED LIGHT TIME : 12 HOURS

 

Now that fixes it 🙂 (Also corrected the original post so that it doesn't seem misleading). My lights are on only for 12-hours.

Ah haha got it... 

 

Do you feel like that gives you enough time to see your beautiful tank? I do have my lights on much longer, and seems to be working well so far:

 

LC1: 11am to 7:30pm

LC2: 10:30am to 7:30pm

LC3: 6am to 11pm

 

 

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A happy TORCH coral just makes your day 🙂 One of my all-time favorite corals. This has been showing consistent growth, looks really beautiful when it sways all its tentacles with the flow.

 

Torch.thumb.jpg.536fef81a704c94f24ed42ed6b0621c6.jpg

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Here is a close-up of one Happy Duncan coral!

 

Duncan.thumb.jpg.2319f80b28e3ccae09e0c02a3a1ecf58.jpg

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21 hours ago, banasophia said:

Ah haha got it... 

 

Do you feel like that gives you enough time to see your beautiful tank? I do have my lights on much longer, and seems to be working well so far:

 

LC1: 11am to 7:30pm

LC2: 10:30am to 7:30pm

LC3: 6am to 11pm

 

 

Hi @banasophia, yes I think its good enough so far. My corals are showing good growth. They are well acclimatized to the timing. That being said, I'll increase the duration of the lighting gradually.

 

Out of curiosity - do you see a lot of algae given the longer light time? 

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5 hours ago, kattick87 said:

Hi @banasophia, yes I think its good enough so far. My corals are showing good growth. They are well acclimatized to the timing. That being said, I'll increase the duration of the lighting gradually.

 

Out of curiosity - do you see a lot of algae given the longer light time? 

No major algae. I feed really heavily due to my sun corals and my mandarin, but I do a 2 gallon water change once or twice a week, have a great snail only cleanup crew from Reef Cleaners, have chaeto in the middle chamber per Jackal227’s method with filter floss/Chemipure Blue/matrix media and pods, and I have the Coralife skimmer. Here’s my tank right now:

D4F9871E-C540-42C3-8E1A-BB4498BA7111.jpeg

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44 minutes ago, banasophia said:

No major algae. I feed really heavily due to my sun corals and my mandarin, but I do a 2 gallon water change once or twice a week, have a great snail only cleanup crew from Reef Cleaners, have chaeto in the middle chamber per Jackal227’s method with filter floss/Chemipure Blue/matrix media and pods, and I have the Coralife skimmer. Here’s my tank right now:

D4F9871E-C540-42C3-8E1A-BB4498BA7111.jpeg

Firstly, that's an amazing looking tank. *Jaw-Drop*. Corals are looking really amazing! Kudos!

 

My maintenance is on close lines with yours.

  • Weekly filter floss change
  • Weekly water change - 1.5 to 2 Gallons
  • I also clean out any remains (sand or anything else) that is stuck in the first chamber

How long has your tank been running? 

 

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52 minutes ago, kattick87 said:

Firstly, that's an amazing looking tank. *Jaw-Drop*. Corals are looking really amazing! Kudos!

 

My maintenance is on close lines with yours.

  • Weekly filter floss change
  • Weekly water change - 1.5 to 2 Gallons
  • I also clean out any remains (sand or anything else) that is stuck in the first chamber

How long has your tank been running? 

 

Thanks so much. 🙂 My tank has been up and running about the same amount of time as yours, got it wet 3/3. Looks like you’re doing well with algae control too. I do have to add in a second water change midweek sometimes due to heavy feeding... I get some small strands of GHA, an occasional algae bubble, and a bit of cyano growth but so far I’ve been able to manage with manual removal. I do have a big problem with hydroids though probably because I frequently feed fresh hatched baby brine shrimp and apparently that can lead to hydroid growth. 

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8 hours ago, banasophia said:

Thanks so much. 🙂 My tank has been up and running about the same amount of time as yours, got it wet 3/3. Looks like you’re doing well with algae control too. I do have to add in a second water change midweek sometimes due to heavy feeding... I get some small strands of GHA, an occasional algae bubble, and a bit of cyano growth but so far I’ve been able to manage with manual removal. I do have a big problem with hydroids though probably because I frequently feed fresh hatched baby brine shrimp and apparently that can lead to hydroid growth. 

Hmm... I understand that! Sun Corals require dedicated feeding.

 

All of my corals are photosynthetic and I don't go out of the way to feed them. But I do feed them Reef-Roids 2-3 times a month. They show a good response. As for the fishes, I feed every other day. Give them a variety of food and all of them love it! 

 

A few questions for you :-

 

  1. What is your current livestock?
  2. When you say heavy feeding, what does your feeding schedule look like?
  3. Also, how do you find the stock LEDs?

 

Given we have the same tank, its easy and good to discuss these points 🙂 

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1 hour ago, kattick87 said:

Hmm... I understand that! Sun Corals require dedicated feeding.

 

All of my corals are photosynthetic and I don't go out of the way to feed them. But I do feed them Reef-Roids 2-3 times a month. They show a good response. As for the fishes, I feed every other day. Give them a variety of food and all of them love it! 

 

A few questions for you :-

 

  1. What is your current livestock?
  2. When you say heavy feeding, what does your feeding schedule look like?
  3. Also, how do you find the stock LEDs?

 

Given we have the same tank, its easy and good to discuss these points 🙂 

I have a clownfish pair, a biota mandarin, and a purple firefish.

 

I feed Sustainable Aquatics pellets as the staple (a couple of sprinkles whole and a couple of sprinkles crushed with my fingers) twice a day, and in addition I feed something else with the evening feeding - mostly baby brine shrimp (fresh hatched or frozen), phytoplankton, zooplankton, reef roids, coral frenzy, coral gumbo, marine cuisine, or reef frenzy. My mandarin swims up to the surface to eat, so if he isn’t enticed by the pellet food alone I add something else to the mix. And the sun corals I monitor closely for growth or retraction to adjust what/how much I feed them. When I feed, I turn the pump and power head off for the first 15-30 minutes, then I turn on the power head only for an additional 15-30 minutes to allow the food to circulate around to all the filter feeders and polyps before turning the pump back on. 

 

The stock LEDs seem great to me so far, and I love how programmable they are. 

 

I think it’s great to compare notes with other Biocube 16 owners, and really cool to see the similarities and differences in how we build our ecosystems. 

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@banasophia Absolutely. It is so helpful when we are having the same tank. It becomes easy to bring up points and steer together in the reefing journey. That's a great feeding schedule and I believe its rigorous because you've the sun coral as well. I also kill all the flow before feeding and turn it on only to circulate the left over food. I feed carefully though so there is nothing left around.


Currently, I'm fighting the summer temperature spikes up here in Seattle. Will setup my ATO tomorrow so that should help a bit with the top-off. Phew!

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37 minutes ago, kattick87 said:

@banasophia Absolutely. It is so helpful when we are having the same tank. It becomes easy to bring up points and steer together in the reefing journey. That's a great feeding schedule and I believe its rigorous because you've the sun coral as well. I also kill all the flow before feeding and turn it on only to circulate the left over food. I feed carefully though so there is nothing left around.


Currently, I'm fighting the summer temperature spikes up here in Seattle. Will setup my ATO tomorrow so that should help a bit with the top-off. Phew!

Yeah my tank’s a food flurry when I’m feeding. 😯😯😯 I’m working on cutting back but it’s really a balancing act. I used to feed heavily for both my daily feedings, pellets only in the morning is my compromise. 

 

I don’t get any significant evaporation... do you have your lid on?  I have temps that are sitting at 80 - 83 with the warmer summer weather. Have to be careful to keep the curtains closed in the afternoon so the room doesn’t heat up. 

 

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12 hours ago, banasophia said:

Yeah my tank’s a food flurry when I’m feeding. 😯😯😯 I’m working on cutting back but it’s really a balancing act. I used to feed heavily for both my daily feedings, pellets only in the morning is my compromise. 

 

I don’t get any significant evaporation... do you have your lid on?  I have temps that are sitting at 80 - 83 with the warmer summer weather. Have to be careful to keep the curtains closed in the afternoon so the room doesn’t heat up. 

 

So here is what happened once. I had gone to work, when I got back in the afternoon, my tank temperature was 84.7. I panicked a little but thank God, everyone in the tank was safe. I open the lid a little (fold a napkin and place it on the lid's ledge to keep it open) and I run a fan near it. This keeps the temp around 76 to 78, which is really perfect, as I noticed immediate changes in the corals. More puffy, more coloration and happier. But this technique also causes the evaporation rate to be higher.

 

I really love the tank design as its truly an AIO because it comes with programmable LEDs and which are pretty good in quality as well. But the only challenge we deal with is the internal tank temp due to the lights and a closed lid. I love the hood and I've no plans to kill the hood and have an external light like AI or Kessil. I might as well do that when I build my next tank in the future as those are heavy investments.

 

I actually had another question for you. To ensure that our Coralife Skimmer works the best, did you do any specific modifications? Reason I ask is, I don't see the bubbles coming up to the rim of the cup or the air-flow control knob making any difference when I try to adjust it. I suspect it might be the pump and/or the air tubing. But do let me know your thoughts. Thanks again for the support!

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4 hours ago, Krish87 said:

I actually had another question for you. To ensure that our Coralife Skimmer works the best, did you do any specific modifications? Reason I ask is, I don't see the bubbles coming up to the rim of the cup or the air-flow control knob making any difference when I try to adjust it. I suspect it might be the pump and/or the air tubing. But do let me know your thoughts. Thanks again for the support!

Ah good idea about the napkin when it’s overheating... I wouldn’t want to do that unless I had to though because firefish are jumpers.

 

How do you have your skimmer set up? Here’s mine:

CC93FE74-FE5D-4644-894A-D7B342A7D87D.jpeg

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@banasophia : Exactly the same! (image below)

 

But do the bubbles make it up to the rim? I don't see enough consistency. What about yours?

 

2147270697_ProteinSkimmer.thumb.jpg.eb480eed1726e61c15a9b0b38751fd7d.jpg

 

 

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