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TKDScuba

Starting new biocube 16 gallon tank

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Hello, I’m new to the reef building community. I started scuba diving 14 years ago and love the the underwater reef world. I got certified as a Divemaster and began training others to dive.....and then my wife and I started our own family with two beautiful children. Now my time spent underwater on the reefs is limited. I thought if I can’t be on the reef diving maybe I can bring the reef home!! So I ordered a bio cube 16 gallon tank and will be ordering live rock package from Tampa Bay Salt water. Was looking for suggestions on best way to store salt water, heater to use, pump, etc. Also should I change pump on biocube? Also I know sometimes tinkering with things to much causes more problems. Open to any other suggestions. After looking at some tanks on this site I’m really excited about starting the reef building hobby. Also some suggestions on heater controller, tank cleaning supplies, etc...Thanks!!

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7 hours ago, TKDScuba said:

Hello, I’m new to the reef building community. I started scuba diving 14 years ago and love the the underwater reef world. I got certified as a Divemaster and began training others to dive.....and then my wife and I started our own family with two beautiful children. Now my time spent underwater on the reefs is limited. I thought if I can’t be on the reef diving maybe I can bring the reef home!! So I ordered a bio cube 16 gallon tank and will be ordering live rock package from Tampa Bay Salt water. Was looking for suggestions on best way to store salt water, heater to use, pump, etc. Also should I change pump on biocube? Also I know sometimes tinkering with things to much causes more problems. Open to any other suggestions. After looking at some tanks on this site I’m really excited about starting the reef building hobby. Also some suggestions on heater controller, tank cleaning supplies, etc...Thanks!!

Welcome, I'm currently running the same tank.  

 

For a heater, 100 watts is a good size for this tank.  Cobalt makes some nice ones that fit in the back chambers. 

 

I've been happy with the nano size flipper for cleaning the glass. 

 

I've seen some people upgrade the return pump but the stock one has been fine for me.

 

You'll need a powerhead for water movement.  What kind of corals were you wanting to keep?

 

Also what are your plans for fish that you want to keep?

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Hi, welcome, nice intro!

 

I also have a Biocube 16. Many of us with this tank based our setups on @Jackal227, his build thread has tons of great info for getting started, highly recommend checking it out!!!  Like Jackal, I also use the stock pump, a Cobalt Neo-Therm heater (though mine is only the 50 W), and the nano Flipper. In addition, I have a two little fishies nano mag cleaner that I find works well in addition to the Flipper to get to the rounded corners.

 

I use the Coralife skimmer in my tank, which hooks over the divider between the first and second back chambers, so although many people remove it, I would recommend leaving the tab between the first and second chambers in place just in case you want the skimmer in the future. 

 

I use filter floss, Chemipure Elite, Purigen, and Matrix Media (in a mesh sack) on the stock media rack. 

 

For a powerhead, I had a hydor koralia in the beginning (inexpensive, but no variable flow), switched to an MP 10 (very expensive, compact, variable flow, can’t change the angle), then switched to the Jebao OW-10 (reasonable price, variable flow, can change the angle). I would probably recommend the Jebao personally, at least to start out with, since it has variable flow, ability to aim it where you want, and a much better price point than the MP 10. 

 

You should start a build thread if you haven’t done so yet; looking forward to following along!

 

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Hello and welcome to Nano.

 

Biocubes are a popular tank and there are a lot of builds on here. Lots of great ideas.

 

Some like to upgrade the pump but it's not a must, something you can do in the future

The maxijets or sicce's are popular choices

 

A very common upgrade is the filtration. Most ditch the stock supply and order an intank media basket using carbon and filter floss in the basket. 

 

Another common thing is also doing a mini fuge. 

 

Eheim jagger or cobalt neotherm are both great heaters.

 

A good controller for a fair price is the Inkbird.

 

Powerheads. There are lots of options.

 

You can go for a regular powerhead that runs constantly or a wavemaker with controller.

 

Popular brands

 

Hydor Koralia

Sicce

Jebao

Aqamai

Tunze

Ecotech

 

 

Storing saltwater will depend on the salt you choose to use. Some brands can only be stored in a bucket for a week while others are longer/no limit. 

 

Most mix the salt with a heater and powerhead then store it.

 

I like to make mine every week and use it right away. I may store any extra for a week or so. 

 

 

Are you cycling with dry rock or liverock?

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For my powerheads I chose the Innovative Marine 1500 gph heads.  I started with one and just added a second.  They wirelessly link together and will wave back and forth.  They are quiet in all but the highest setting.  Seem to be working great so far.  I also have them on a battery back up in case power goes out for a few hours.  

     

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Welcome to the obsession! I have five recommendations:

1) Keep a written journal of your water parameters as the tank cycles, any livestock (fish, corals) you add,

2) highly recommend quarantining all livestock for at least 4 weeks before adding to the 16g (it will save you heartache, frustration, AND money in the long run),

3) in addition to the written journal, start a photo journal of the tank from day one, and post on this forum as it progresses. It will give you a solid visual history of the tank, AND give us reef junkies more eye candy,

4) TAKE YOUR TIME. Nothing good happens fast in this hobby. Research, read, then read some more. Pick our brains, ask what seem like silly questions. We were all new to this at one point, and we’re all still learning (at least I am),

5) Invest in quality water testing kits. Salifert, Red Sea, Hanna all come to mind. (I’ll probably catch flak for this, but it’s been my experience): API is cheap and good enough to get the tank cycled, but once you add coral/fish you are going to want to have reliable test kits to ensure you stay on top of water parameters.

There’s lots more i could say, but my finger is getting tired.

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Thanks for all the responses and helpful advice. I’m slow on response time due to small children, activities, work etc....I have been moving slow. Got salt, mixing equipment, refract meter, TDS meter to check water before salt, water test kit API, 50 watt neo therm and back up heater, got free protein skimmer form coarlife when I purchased tank. Will be ordering live rock from Tampa Bay saltwater soon. Will overnight air with live sand. Moving slow lots of reading and research at this point!

 
 
 
 
 
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Question? Is the media basket in biocube 16 sufficient for the tank? Or is the Intank media basket worth upgrade? Also suggestion on setup to use in media basket? Best setup for chambers. Any other must do mods before I add water and get started???? Thanks in advance!!

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I do not think you need to upgrade to the intank media basket, the one it comes with nowadays is perfectly fine in my opinion. I would recommend trying it out for a while and then upgrading later if need be.

 

Chamber 1 - skimmer and temperature probe (I wouldn’t add the skimmer in the beginning)

 

Chamber 2 - stock media rack, filter floss on top, Chemipure Elite next, a bag of matrix media on the bottom

 

Chamber 3 - Purigen, pump, Chill Solutions chiller pump, Cobalt Neotherm 50W heater

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This sounds like recommended setup of many. I’ll take advice on basket. I don’t want to tinker or change things that are unnecessary. That is the heater I ordered. Hopefully I’ll have water in by next week. Taking my time. I’m getting 5 gallon containers of distilled water. As many as I like for free. Friends with manager who runs local well known water company. He showed me tests at plant distilled water had less TDS than R/O water. Distilled ( not using copper) is purest form of water. Minerals are added to R/O for taste.... unless you make your own. Figured for a 16 gallon tank not necessary. 

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14 minutes ago, TKDScuba said:

This sounds like recommended setup of many. I’ll take advice on basket. I don’t want to tinker or change things that are unnecessary. That is the heater I ordered. Hopefully I’ll have water in by next week. Taking my time. I’m getting 5 gallon containers of distilled water. As many as I like for free. Friends with manager who runs local well known water company. He showed me tests at plant distilled water had less TDS than R/O water. Distilled ( not using copper) is purest form of water. Minerals are added to R/O for taste.... unless you make your own. Figured for a 16 gallon tank not necessary. 

Sounds like a great deal with the distilled, what salt are you thinking if going with... sorry if I just missed it.

 

I used Arrowhead distilled for a few months, purchased from my local grocery store, but once I added my second tank I was using so many one gallon jugs it ended up seeming too wasteful so I went back to purchasing premixed saltwater from my LFS, and just use distilled for top offs (on my other tank, the Biocube doesn’t need top offs). At least with 5 gallon jugs and only one tank you won’t need as many jugs, and awesome you have a good source!

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Bought Instant Ocean salt. Gonna keep 2-3 five gallon jugs on hand and couple 5 gallon buckets ready with salt mix. Got a refractometer and a TDS meter to check water source and salt mixes. I’m an OCD person so I’ll stay on top of cleaning, water changes, and other maintenance. 

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