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banasophia

Banasophia’s Biocube 32 - DragonReef 🐉

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banasophia

Hey friends, I would like to present the beginnings of my new magical realm:  DragonReef 🐉


Picked up the tank on a whim a few weeks ago when Amazon had it listed at only $192. Also got a great deal on Caribsea Liferock - 40 lbs for $83 - and picked up a couple of their arches from my LFS. I’ve been a bit delayed by the stand, but getting there... initially had to make a repair and add some polycrylic to protect the top... and a local reefing friend came by this evening to install some reinforcements since it’s a kitchen island and wasn’t constructed quite as I had anticipated. I’m hoping to get it going in the next few days. Planning to *try* to do an SPS dominant mixed reef under stock Biocube 32 lights.🤞

 

Special thanks to all my friends giving me feedback/inspiration/guidance on my new build. When I started my Biocube 16, I was new to the hobby... so awesome this time around to have so many experienced and supportive friends to help!! So thankful for the community! 💛💛💛 

 

Keeping this initial post brief cuz it’s late; I’ll come back to add details, but just want to get it started. 
 

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Ratvan

Looks really cool and I like the stocking plans. That is a hell of a good deal on the Biocube

Wonder how Dragon-y this will end up being

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debbeach13

Nice start. That scape is great. Definitely following along. How many tanks now?

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Sancho

Can’t wait to see this tank up and running!!

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banasophia
6 hours ago, Ratvan said:

Looks really cool and I like the stocking plans. That is a hell of a good deal on the Biocube

Wonder how Dragon-y this will end up being

Thanks! Yes, I really lucked out on this deal!! It was a good enough price that I took action on it quickly, and the price went up almost immediately after I placed my order, though a few other people were able to get them for around $200 before they went back to full price. 
 

There probably won’t be any dragonets in this tank, but I’m hoping to keep this guy, which is from Penn-Plax, along with the castle. Penn-Plax assured me they are reef safe, and they will be loose in my scape so I can take them out for cleaning, or remove them if there’s any concern in the future.

 

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4 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

Nice start. That scape is great. Definitely following along. How many tanks now?

Thanks so much! I’m excited to incorporate the castle and dragon into my scape, inspired by Game of Thrones along with the miniature realms in Storybook Land at Disneyland. 
 

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I’m breaking down the Nuvo 10, and putting this new tank in its place... My hubs is pretty supportive of the time I spend on the hobby, but I do have a two tank limit haha. I gave most of the Nuvo 10 corals away last night, to my friend that did the work on my stand.

 

3 hours ago, Sancho said:

Can’t wait to see this tank up and running!!


Thanks so much, my friend! It’s taking a bit longer than expected to get it up and running, but hopefully very soon now!! I appreciate all your help during this planning stage!

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banasophia

Here are my ideas so far for fish for this tank; I would love feedback/other suggestions. My goal is to stock some working fish, and others that are fun to watch and will photograph well under the three different lighting phases of the Biocube stock lights. 

 

Clownfish pair:  I really love my standard clownfish in my 16, but I will probably choose a pair of fancy captive bred clownfish for the new tank, mainly for the purpose of differentiating my two tanks. Leaning toward Snowflakes or DaVincis.

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Pest eater (nudibranchs/flatworms):  White Banded Possum Wrasse

 

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Algae Eater:  Lawnmower Blenny —> nope, may nip SPS, and hopefully won’t be needed 

 

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Sand Sifter:  Two Spot Goby —> nope, two spot gobies are difficult to keep, and nixing any sand sifting fish... bummer cuz they are so cool to watch, but seems that this tank may not be big enough for them, and it may not be a good fit for an SPS dominant tank to have a fish that may need frequent feeding

 

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Fun to Watch/Photograph:  Black Axil Chromis (probably a trio) —> nope, risk for infecting tank with uronema is not good 

 

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Edited by banasophia
Updated list of fish based on feedback - thanks guys! 😊
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NaturallyKait

I can’t wait to see this unfold! 

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billygoat

This is very exciting. Another BioCube in the hands of the BioCube Queen herself! I can't wait to see where it goes. 😁

 

I really like your fish selection too. We have some of those Salarias blennies at work and I have to say they are hilarious to watch. It looks like they just slam their face against the rocks when they are grazing.

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Amphrites

I absolutely adore that rockwork, can't wait to see this, although stock biocube sps sound like a trip haha.

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banasophia
9 hours ago, Ratvan said:

Looks really cool and I like the stocking plans. That is a hell of a good deal on the Biocube

Wonder how Dragon-y this will end up being

Oh yeah, and my LFS got a blue ribbon eel in while I was there recently and it looked so dragon-like I was a bit tempted to keep it as a single fish in the tank, but I think they are quite difficult to keep, need a larger tank, and would likely prevent keeping any other fish in the tank, so I ruled it out... would have been very dragony though! 🙂

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Ratvan
5 minutes ago, banasophia said:

Oh yeah, and my LFS got a blue ribbon eel in while I was there recently and it looked so dragon-like I was a bit tempted to keep it as a single fish in the tank, but I think they are quite difficult to keep, need a larger tank, and would likely prevent keeping any other fish in the tank, so I ruled it out... would have been very dragony though! 🙂

Or leafy sea dragons, hell could do seahorses (dragons illegitimate offspring - japanese translation) but yeah ribbon eel would be awesome

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tofer

Looks Great!  Cant wait to see the progression.

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Tamberav

Blennies can nip at corals so just watch for that.

 

The two spot really isn't appropriate for almost any tank... their survival rate is abysmal... they rarely take any prepared foods... will look as they are sifting it only to shoot it out of their gills. I would think a SPS tank + small size would make it extremely challenging to keep them long term.

 

Watch the chromis carefully to be sure it doesn't have uronema. They may fight and slowly kill each other, they don't always school well in captivity. 

 

Otherwise the stock looks good to me.

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banasophia
2 hours ago, Tamberav said:

Blennies can nip at corals so just watch for that.

 

The two spot really isn't appropriate for almost any tank... their survival rate is abysmal... they rarely take any prepared foods... will look as they are sifting it only to shoot it out of their gills. I would think a SPS tank + small size would make it extremely challenging to keep them long term.

 

Watch the chromis carefully to be sure it doesn't have uronema. They may fight and slowly kill each other, they don't always school well in captivity. 

 

Otherwise the stock looks good to me.

Thanks, yes I’m glad you brought that up about the two spots... I was hoping people would chime in with feedback on this very thing... that had been my understanding about them as well, and I actually had heard they are even harder to keep than mandarins. But as of late I’ve been getting lots of contradictory guidance on sand bed sifting fish options, with people telling me two spots aren’t particularly difficult and would be a much better choice than the other sand sifting fish I was considering... I will definitely research further. Any suggestions on a better sand sifter choice?
 

I may end up not needing a sand sifter anyway, since this will be a lower nutrient tank than my 16, but just trying to save “room” for one in my stocking plan for the future... I regretted adding fish to my 16 without planning out the addition of “working” fish down the road, so I’m trying to plan ahead this time. 🙂 

 

As for the chromis, I have a friend keeping 4 blue green chromis successfully in his Biocube 32, which was what led me to that choice, hopefully I will be able to keep them successfully. 

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Tamberav

Who is telling you they are a good choice? I would love to see an example of them being kept alive in a nano for several straight years. I have never seen it. 

 

I tried them before in a dirty 40 breeder with 6 fat mandarins and it was exceptionally difficult. 

 

Just feeding them would be a contradiction to keeping SPS and even the they are likely to refuse a lot of foods. I got them to eat ova but nothing else and they need food all the time. Live white worms would be what I would try with them. 

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banasophia
28 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

Who is telling you they are a good choice? I would love to see an example of them being kept alive in a nano for several straight years. I have never seen it. 

 

I tried them before in a dirty 40 breeder with 6 fat mandarins and it was exceptionally difficult. 

 

Just feeding them would be a contradiction to keeping SPS and even the they are likely to refuse a lot of foods. I got them to eat ova but nothing else and they need food all the time. Live white worms would be what I would try with them. 

My heart’s definitely not set on a two spot, so I’ll take your word for it... I’d just seen some info on both live aquaria and saltwaterfish.com and also gotten feedback from two or three different reefing friends in the last couple weeks that it might actually be a good option. I’m still early in the planning phase and the tank’s not even wet yet so it will be a while before I add my fish.
 

Any sand sifter that you think would be a good choice, or do you think maybe just skip the idea of adding a sand sifter for an SPS dominant tank? I just think sand sifting fish like diamond watchmen gobies are really interesting fish that could be beneficial, but maybe this won’t be a good setup for one?

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billygoat
37 minutes ago, banasophia said:

Any suggestions on a better sand sifter choice?

I know it's not a fish, but if it were me I'd get a Florida fighting conch. Super cool animals that do a great job of cleaning up the sandbed. 👌

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banasophia
5 minutes ago, billygoat said:

I know it's not a fish, but if it were me I'd get a Florida fighting conch. Super cool animals that do a great job of cleaning up the sandbed. 👌

Thanks, yes, love nassarius snails and conches for sure! But I especially love sand sifting fish, as does my kiddo, so it would be great to keep one if I could. 🤗

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Tamberav

I think the diamond and yellowhead are easier since they accept prepared. They do grow fairly large though and can swim into the water anywhere to drop sand including into powerheads but this behavior is generally just luck of what personality you pick. 

 

I like them too as they have a ton of personality and have been thinking about adding one to my 80g but brushing off my corals may get annoying so i haven't decided yet. 

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banasophia
2 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

I think the diamond and yellowhead are easier since they accept prepared. They do grow fairly large though and can swim into the water anywhere to drop sand including into powerheads but this behavior is generally just luck of what personality you pick. 

 

I like them too as they have a ton of personality and have been thinking about adding one to my 80g but brushing off my corals may get annoying so i haven't decided yet. 

Yeah originally I was planning to get a diamond watchman, those are my favorite fish to watch in my LFS display tanks, but the people I mentioned them to said they would get too big, so I think that’s why they were steering me toward the two spot... it can be such a challenge figuring out how to stock a tank with so much contradictory info. 😅 Keep the ideas coming though, it’s still early and nothing is set in stone. 😊

 

I’m planning to use an icecap gyre in the very top right side of the tank so hopefully that powerhead will work out, and it would also decrease the chance of sand getting dumped in it from the mischievous fish.

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Tamberav

Ya, unfortunately there isn't a sand sifting fish I can think of that is 100% appropriate for a nano. I think if there was, they would be very popular. 

 

Court jester gobies stay small and you can get them capitve bred but they don't sift sand in the same capacity that gobies do. 

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banasophia
4 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

Ya, unfortunately there isn't a sand sifting fish I can think of that is 100% appropriate for a nano. 

 

Court jester gobies stay small and you can get them capitve bred but they don't sift sand in the same capacity that gobies do. 

Oh... yeah... I was looking at those too and some sources were saying they are super hard to keep and my fish book says that if kept in a tank without algae they need to be fed at least twice a day... maybe captive bred would work though... this planning sure isn’t easy 😅 I really appreciate your help. 

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banasophia

Well uronema sounds horrible, so the chromis are out... that leaves the clownfish pair and the white banded possum wrasse. I think that’s a good start anyway... I can take my time to think about other good fish for my setup. Maybe captive bred bangaii cardinals, but not sure about those. Let me know, guys, if you have any suggestions. 🤗

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Amphrites

They don't sift sand, but if you're looking for fairly-easy, bottom-dwelling fish with personality you could go for greenbanded gobies. Yashsa + shrimp are also a tried-favorite of the hobby. I was also considering chromis for my own tank, but too many are sick these days.

If you want a dragon-like fish you could try to find a Pike-Blenny or gudgeons.

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banasophia
2 minutes ago, Amphrites said:

They don't sift sand, but if you're looking for fairly-easy, bottom-dwelling fish with personality you could go for greenbanded gobies. Yashsa + shrimp are also a tried-favorite of the hobby.

Ah, thanks! That greenbanded goby is a cool looking fish, as are yasha gobies... and yasha gobies and pistol shrimp might look really nice under the Biocube beauty lights too since a lot of oranges and reds really glow with that lighting. Will definitely consider those!!

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