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S.Harper

Bio Cube 32 Aquarium Journal

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S.Harper

Setting up a new saltwater tank and thought I would create a journal for everyone to follow.

 

Setup:

i stared with a Corallife LED Bio Cube 32. I used dry rock that I had from a previous tank and dry sand. To get the cycle started I added a bottle of Purple Helix and something the LFS gave me to increase the ammonia. I purchases a couple items from InTank Aquatics. A upgraded media basket and refugium for the 2nd camber. In the Media basket I added filter media at the top, Seachem Purigen and Boyd Chemi Pure Blue 5.5oz. I also bought a Finnex HMX 150w digital Heater which I placed into the first camber. The tank cycled after about 13 days. I added saltwater from LFS, Seascape Studio, which is also where I bought the tank.

 

After 2 weeks:

i had a small diatom bloom that I clean up and it didn’t come back during this time. My Nitrates have been around 5ppm.

  • first fish a pair of Snowflake Clown Fish
  • Added Electric Blue Daisy Zoathids
  • Added Orange Delight Zoathids

 

Afrter 3 weeks:

i have seen very little algae and diatoms so far tank was looking great. Doing weekly water changes of around 10%. I get the water from LFS. pH was low around 7.4. I moved my pump outlet to point more at the surface of the water. I also put the refugium light on a reverse cycle.

  • Added a Emerald Crab
  • Added a Trumpet Coral frag which I got for $10
  • Added Neon Green Nephthya Leather Coral (Favorite Coral)
  • Started a refugium with chaeto and a Inovative Marine Refugium light
  • added copepods
  • added cleanup crew
    • 2 Trochus Snails
    • Nassurius Snail
    • Scarlet Hermit

 

 

After 4 Weeks:

The refugium is not doing well. My Chaeto isn’t growing Nitrates are still at 5ppm and I’m having problems getting it down any lower even with increased water changes. pH went to 7.8 then is now around 8

  • Added a Hydro FLO rotating Water Deflector
  • purchased a better test kit, Red Sea Marine Test kit
  • Added a Blue ricordea
  • added a green ricordea
  • added a candy cane coral
  • purchased a Hydor Slim-Skim Nano Protein Skimmer to maybe help with the nitrates

 

After 5 Weeks:

Snail died and I didn’t realize it until to late. Nitrates went to 20ppm and then I figured it out. Did a 50% water change and the Nitrates went to 10ppm. My calcium has been consistently around 450. PH still around 8. I have had a diatom bloom ever since the snail died. I have clean it multiple times and still comes back. I have decided to leave it be and wait it out.

  • i couldn’t get the skimmer to fit in chamber 1 so I moved rocks around and placed it into the tank. The top of the hood will need to be modified a little for a better fit this week.
  • i mounted corals to the rock.
  • i have been adding Phytoplankton every couple days
  • removed the chaeto since it has just been dying.
  • i have seen copepods occasionally but still would like to seed the tank with more from algae barn.

 

 

I wont be getting another fish until my diatom bloom is over and my can get my Nitrates closer to 0. I’m thinking I need better flow and might get a power head this week. I will upload picture of my fish and tank later this week. 

 

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banasophia

Welcome to the group! 🙂 I would love to see some pics once you have a chance. Great coral selection!! I don’t think you need your nitrates below 5 for the types of coral you have so far, what other corals are you planning for? I’m not sure the diatoms or nitrates have any relation to the snail dying, but I’m pretty new so let’s see what others say... I have a Coralife skimmer in my Biocube 16; it’s only $30 on Amazon, fits nicely in chamber 1, and works well in my tank.

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Pjanssen

Is it possible your tank wasn't actually cycled when you thought it was? You added quite a bit of livestock pretty rapidly. Usually we add a clean up crew before other livestock. Your fish may have added more bio load than the tank could handle. At this point, I'd say just wait it out, except to maybe add some more snails. Your diatoms will eventually die away as long as you are not adding too many nutrients to the tank. Continue with your frequent water changes and feed less. Your fish can go a couple of days without eating. Not sure why your chaeto died off, as its usually pretty hardy. Make sure you are using live phyto, but what are you trying to feed with it? Good luck.

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S.Harper
5 hours ago, Pjanssen said:

Is it possible your tank wasn't actually cycled when you thought it was? You added quite a bit of livestock pretty rapidly. Usually we add a clean up crew before other livestock. Your fish may have added more bio load than the tank could handle. At this point, I'd say just wait it out, except to maybe add some more snails. Your diatoms will eventually die away as long as you are not adding too many nutrients to the tank. Continue with your frequent water changes and feed less. Your fish can go a couple of days without eating. Not sure why your chaeto died off, as its usually pretty hardy. Make sure you are using live phyto, but what are you trying to feed with it? Good luck.

Im pretty sure the tank cycled because ammonia and nitrites where zero and Nitrates where 20 at the end of the cycle. I also had a small diatom bloom then cleaned it then added fish. The Live Phyto is for the copepods that I added.

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S.Harper

Here are some pictures of my fish and tank. Took the tank picture today. I also added a Hydor Korilia Nano Powerhead 240 today. I’m letting the diatoms go for now but it’s tough not to clean them. I didn’t really think I added that much live stock because it was only two fish, couple snails and two crabs. I didn’t think the corals would cause much change in the tank if I added 1 or 6, could be wrong though.

 

 I would like a brain coral for the middle of my tank. I won’t be adding anything else until the diatoms are gone. I need to move the blue ricordea to a new spot and the candy cane coral. They don’t seem to like where I placed them. I’m going to get more copepods at some point also so I can culture them in my tank to prepare for a mandarin later. My plan is to only have four fish. since I can’t get the Mandarin yet I think the next fish will be a goby maybe Yellow watchmen.

 

 

Dream Live Stock to add:

Coral beauty Angel 

Green Mandarin

Rose bubble tip anemone

 

 

 Nitrites, Ammonia and Phosphates are zero. Nitrate is at 10 still but I’m going to do a 6 gallon water change in a few minutes. Calcium is 450. Alk and pH are 8. Salinity is 1.026.

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Krish87

Welcome to the club! Looking forward to following you... 🙂 

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banasophia

Great pics, I love your fish! I think ceriths and nerites are good snails for eating diatoms.

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S.Harper

After week 7: Tank is looking much better. I believe the diatom blooms are finally past! Throughout this diatom boom the tank got pretty bad where I thought I was going to have to cut the lights. I ended up not having to. 

 

 

  • equipment: I made one change. I wanted a protein skimmer that fit into the first chamber so I purchased a AquaticLife Internal Marine Mini Skimmer. The Hydor Slim Skim nano that I previously purchased wouldn’t fit without modifications in the tank and it was in the tank not the first chamber. The hood wouldn’t allow for the Skimmer Cup to be adjusted or let the air hose adjuster be placed into the top of the cup. In order for the AquaticLife skimmer to fit I had to cut the top of the hood in the back right. I also modified it so a magnet held the skimmer in place. There is a Biocube 29 YouTube video that shows you how to modify the skimmer to accept the magnet and what magnet to order. The mod to the hood is different then in that video. I attacked a picture of what I cut out of the hood. You have to make the hole big enough to open without affecting the cup so it took a little bit to get it right. Seems like it will work pretty good. I like that this skimmer has an easy adjustment for the bubbles.
  • Fish: They are doing good. I’m actually going to get a new fish this coming week. I haven’t decided what yet but will update with a picture once I get one.
  • Corals: I moved some corals around. All of the ones I moved seem to like their new places better but I did have one problem. While moving my blue ricordea I think I might have killed it. Right now it’s not doing well and probably will die. I don’t have any plans to buy another coral but if I see something that I like i’ll Probably buy it.
  • Rocks: Really nice Purple and bright green Coralline algae has grown all over any rock that is in direct light. It looks really good. I did have to readjust some rocks after taking out the Hydor Skimmer. In the picture you can see those areas which don’t have direct light but now do because no coralline algae has grown on those spots.
  • Inverts: I added one more Trochus snail. My emerald crab disappeared for a while. To the point that I was wondering if it died. Over the last few days however it is coming out more. Sooner or later I will get a Scarlet cleaner shrimp but I want to add another fish or two first.
  • refugium: the chaeto is all removed it was just dying. I added rocks to the InTank brand refugium. My plan is to get two more orders of copepods place one in the tank and the other in the refugium. I want a green mandarin so that is why I’m so persistent at getting a copepods population in the tank. I’m also planning on ordering a phytoplankton concentrate from Canada Copepods that I can separate into ice cube trays and freeze. I want to have one dose per cube that I can just drop into the tank or refugium.

 

 

 

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Krish87

I'm in love with your Clownfish pair. They look so pretty! Best fish for a nano-reef 🙂 Great to see another fellow BioCube reefer!

 

@S.Harper I most certainly have to tell you that I'm intrigued with the protein skimmer mod. I also use the Coralife Protein Skimmer and as @banasophia mentioned, it fits in perfectly in the first chamber (even with the lid closed).

 

I've heard a lot about the AquaticLife Internal Marine Mini Skimmer. What do you think about its performance so far?

 

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S.Harper

Update:

 

I had a cyanobacteria breakout  last week. I used ChemiClean and it is already gone after 24 hours. 

 

I seem to continually have excess nutrients in the tank. I'm don't have any cyanobacteria or diatoms which have been the biggest problems that I have ran into so far. Plans to add a media reactor to help with nutrients removal.

 

I did get a new fish after the cyanobacteria was gone. Green Mandarin. I have a 3 gallon tank where I'm culturing copepods for him. I ordered a pod hotel to help me seed the tank periodically. Fish is doing really well but I just feel since my tank is only 32 gallons that he will eat all the copepods and they will not have time to culture in my main tank.

 

 

Next things that I'm doing.

Building a feeding station - to supplement my mandarins diet with brine shrimp. I'm going to make it out of acrylic with very small holes drilled all over the top.

Building a brine shrimp hatchery

Buying a innovative marine Minimax All-in-one desktop media reactor with biopellets. The 150ml size should be perfect for my size tank. I'm planning on putting it in chamber 3 but we will see how it fits once it arrives.

 

 

So Chambers should look somethin like this:

1 - protein skimmer

2 - media basket

2 - Fug basket

3 - return pump

3 - Media Reactor

 

 

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S.Harper

Okay, so my phytoplankton and copepod culturing hasn't been going well. So I'm scrapping everything and starting over, I received an award at work which came with a $500 gift card! So I decide to order a kit from Poseidon Reef System and do it right. I should have it sometime next week and I'll set everything up and give a review on this page.

 

 https://poseidonreefsystems.com/p/phytotank-x

 

I also built the feeding station out of acrylic and have it mounted in my tank. I should have baby brine shrimp hatching today so I'm going to test it out. Will put pictures and stuff up on that this coming week. 

 

The Minimax All-in-one desktop media reactor comes tomorrow and I will be hooking it up to the tank this weekend. I'll post some pictures of that as well. I haven't had any Diatoms or cyanobacteria but do seem be have to clean my glass pretty often. I'm thinking the media reactor will help with that.

 

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S.Harper
On 10/19/2018 at 12:29 PM, S.Harper said:

 

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S.Harper

Update:

 

i installed a smart ato that works great. I would recommend it to anyone. The protein skimmer is working wonderful. I started dosing phytoplankton every day when I feed my fish in the morning. It helps the breading of copepoda for my dragonet to eat.

 

I add a tiger conch as part of my cuc. I also added a royal gramma.  

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pinion3d

What’s the status on the phyto and pod culturing? Looking at that system as well...

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S.Harper

It really is the best system you can buy. Most expensive but best. I produce more phytoplankton then I can use. In the picture you can see how dark my phyto culture is. I will be adding more phyto to the copepod culture tomorrow.

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S.Harper

Couple more pictures. I won’t be adding anymore fish. I have my favorites now.

 

2x snowflake clownfish

royal gramma

green mandarin

coral beauty angel

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S.Harper

The top rock which doesn’t have anything on it is reserved for a bubble tip anemone that is supposed to arrive this week. Hopefully it likes the top, should. 

 

I’ll be adding a couple more orange Ricordea to the bottom right and a few more different zoas to the left bottom. 

 

The bottom middle of the sand is reserved for a open brain coral that also arrives this week. 

 

CUC:

tiger conch (sand bed)

emerald crab

2x large trochus snails

red leg hermit crab

peppermint shrimp

Black stomatella 

 

the stomatella was actually a hitchhiker that wasn’t harmful so I let stay. 

 

The peppermint shrimp helped with some small Aiptasia and I killed the big ones. I haven’t seen any in the take for a few days so I’m hoping they are all gone.

 

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reef r madness

No update...bummer

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S.Harper

Tank picture under blue lights

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Wonderboy

Very nice! Very colorful already and plenty room to grow in (or more coral lol)!  :]

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S.Harper

Last pictures of the BioCube. It was up for a year and I learned a lot. 

 

I found a very nice RedSea max S-500 that I couldn’t pass up. I’m looking to sell the BioCube and get a frag tank that I can hook into my main tank. 

 

 

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S.Harper

Setup a quarantine tank.

 

29 gallon

HydorSlim Protein Skimmer

Small Powerhead

Biomedia

Heater

 

I have to move it off of my desk. The top was because I had three wrasse in it. The top was actually for my new tank. I have a glass top for it now. The green glow is from my phytotank jar. 

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