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antigonus

Starting my very first saltwater aquarium

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antigonus

Hello everyone, having kept various planted freshwater tanks for several years I decided it is finally time to try to keep the beauty of a coral reef in my living room, and am in the process of setting up a Biocube 32. Already I've asked around this site for suggestions on equipment, process and stocking, and have appreciated everyone's advice and support thus far.

 

To start off, this is the equipment I will be working with.

1. Biocube 32

2. Red sea refractometer 

2.Instant ocean salt mix 

3.Aqueon heater 

4. Red sea test kit for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, Ph, and calcium hardness 

5. Powerhead

6. Digital Thermometer 

7. RO/DI unit 

8. c 23 Lbs of dry rock (I'm not using all of it, but it was pretty cheap and I wanted to make sure I had enough to give myself some flexibility)

9. Purfiltrum

 

Stuff I still need  

1. Large bucket for mixing saltwater (I have a few smaller ones but they don't really seem suitable)

2. Auxiliary heater for mixing saltwater 

3. MAYBE a protein skimmer, I know these are considered essential to many people but the guy at my LFS said the smaller ones compatible with my Biocube aren't really very effective, so for now  Iwill be going with the Purflitrum in the filter and frequent water changes. I might get on in the future though, i'll have to see how everything progresses. 

4. Live rock

5.Live sand 

 

I do have a stocking plan, but as this is obviously still a very early stage, there is a good chance it will change completely by the time i'll actually be ready to add animals.

 

Fish

1. One Purple firefish

1. One Banggai cardinalfish

1. One ocellaris clownfish

1. One starry blenny

 

Corals

1.     Mushroom coral

2.     Green star polyps

3.     Xenia

4.     Button polyp

5.     Yellow colony polyp

 

Invertebrates

1. Two skunk cleaner shrimp

2. Several trochus snails 

3. Possibly four or five smaller hermit crabs

4. One porcelain crab (eventually)

5.Possibly one emerald crab 

 

This is my tentative dry scape, I had to remove a lot of the rock I had in my initial plan to make sure it wasn't too crowded. I still plan on adding a few small to medium pieces of live rock, and my goal is to create "courtyard" area with a few cave formations. I hope to actually have the remaining items I need and start cycling by this weekend, and will continue to update this thread as I continue.

 

IMG_1967.JPG

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specore

Awesome, these are great tanks.  I personally like a second heater as a fail safe in case the first fails.  And as far as the skimmer I totally agree with the LFS guy, not necessary on a 30 gallon.  On larger tanks they are essential, however, doing a 20% weekly water change on a 180g isn't as easy or practical as changing a bucket full of water each week on a tank this size.  I ran one of these cubes skimmer less for 3 years with tremendous success.  Just have to be committed to 10 minutes for weekly water changes

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antigonus

Thanks, that's a good point about getting a second heater, it would be pretty risky to let everything hinge on one 30$ piece of equipment. 

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specore

Here's my old Nanocube.  Miss this tank

 

One other thing you may want to do down the road is upgrade the stock lights with a Steve's LED or Nanobox retrofit.  

 

DSC01887640x425_zps4059d1bc.jpg

Just now, antigonus said:

Thanks, that's a good point about getting a second heater, it would be pretty risky to let everything hinge on one 30$ piece of equipment. 

lol...probably responsible for more crashes than any other piece of equipment. 

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antigonus

Awesome tank! What did you have in there when it was running?, I see two clownfish and lots of corals but i'm just curious what else. 

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specore
6 minutes ago, antigonus said:

Awesome tank! What did you have in there when it was running?, I see two clownfish and lots of corals but i'm just curious what else. 

Lets see...I know I had an atlantic pygmy angel, yasha gody, and I think a royal gramma.  

 

This was probably 2011 or 2012.  The green anemone and frogspawn are still with me today. 

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antigonus

Very cool, I have also considered a royal gramma. 

 

Any other inverts? 

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specore
1 minute ago, antigonus said:

Very cool, I have also considered a royal gramma. 

 

Any other inverts? 

There is a skunk cleaner you can see hanging out in the picture.  I also had a candy cane pistol, along with astrea snails and a couple of emerald crabs.  Bought a tuxedo urchin to appease my wife, only for her to come home one day and find it being devoured by the anemone 🙂

 

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antigonus

Ah, too bad about the urchin. How were the emerald crabs with other tankmates? I like the way they look and kind of want to get one, it's just that i'm afraid they'd be too aggressive. 

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specore
5 minutes ago, antigonus said:

Ah, too bad about the urchin. How were the emerald crabs with other tankmates? I like the way they look and kind of want to get one, it's just that i'm afraid they'd be too aggressive. 

Other than occasionally hanging out on a coral and irritating it I've never had any serious issues with them.  I generally keep a couple only because they are the only nano inhabitant that will eat bubble algae.  They aren't 100% to have a taste for it, but probably half do go after it. 

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antigonus

That's good to know, i'll definitely consider getting one now. 

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antigonus

I finally got what I needed, water, live rock, and live sand, and started cycling my Biocube 32, obviously the water is still very cloudy and i'll need to wipe off the front of the glass.  I think the aquascaping looks okay, but I still wish  the "courtyard" could have been a bit bigger, and that I had been able to create more of a terraced appearance.I will probably end up breaking the big flat piece on top into smaller chunks and moving them around the tank  until I like the way it looks.  What does everyone else think? 

 

I spent...more money than i'd care to admit,  but at least the most costly part is arguably over, now its just a matter of waiting and performing regular water tests for at least the next few weeks. 

Biocube 32, 1.jpg

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antigonus

Here's a somewhat better picture now that the cloudiness had gone down and I have rearranged some of the live rock. 

 

So far these are the  things I've noticed,  some long hair like strings sticking out of the live rock which could possibly be spaghetti worms or some sort of hydroid, little trails of ooze which could be a vermetid snail, a tiny black "tentacle" sticking out of a hole which might be a micro brittle star, though I didn't get a good enough look to be sure by any means, a  four armed Asterina star by the looks of it, and sadly what appear to be a few small to medium polyps of Aiptasia, one of which is now on my dry rock!

 

Also attached in a picture of what I think is the star fish.

Nano tank. 1.JPG

Asterina star.jpg

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antigonus

Have the beginnings of a diatom bloom I think. 

Diatom.JPG

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antigonus

Got a clean up crew today. 

Emerald crab .jpg

Hermits .JPG

Cerith .JPG

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