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steelhealr

24G Nano Cube DX Startup, Setup, Manual for newbies, in the works

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steelhealr

Hi..:

TO Gat...my submersible light, similarly to how you mounted yours...I initially mounted between the two fans in the back and held it in place with Velcro. Even at 10 watts, I was concerned about the heat and hood temp and then trialed it hanging in the water. I found my tank temps weren't going up and felt safer with the halogen being 'cooled' underwater. So...I leave mine in the submersible position. Make sure the silicone isn't affected by the heat.

 

To Esper...many people put their second powerhead in the 2nd chamber and use a bulkhead to direct circulation out into the tank. The only thing is that if you are using if for circulation within the chamber itself, will it be too much to put macroalgae in there? It certainly could keep detritus from settling in there and keep it suspended for removal with water changes.

 

To BurtBollinger...I now have removed ALL the original NC 'stuff' from the back. No charcoal, beads or bioballs. I have added ChemiPure and SeaGel in chamber one...although this may be witches brew. My sponges WERE getting dirty and I was concerned about them being traps. The more reading I'm doing, the more I am convinced that keeping excess nutrients in suspension for removal during water changes is more optimal( nutrient export) than getting trapped and retained. Just my opinion. Also...a refugium helps with regards to nutrient export in that macroalgae can help process these. It can also harbor copepods, etc. However, the fish you listed shouldn't necessarily need a refugium. As for Caulerpa, I was hesitant about using it since they can have a sexual phase release of spores and I have read some horror stories in the threads about this. I chose to go with chaeto and halimeda....it's your call. Most recommend NOT putting it in the main aquarium out of fear of it overrunning the tank. If you can keep up with pruning it, you could give it a try.

 

Finally to Genuck...thanks. I've tried to help people in the same position as I was a few months ago. As for the green clown goby...don't laugh..but...I haven't seen it since I put it in the tank. I have not seen it floating nor seen any spike in nitrates or ammonia...so...I have no clue. I've been told that they can initially be very shy..but...THIS SHY? Now you can see why a quarantine tank is a so important...once a fish gets sick..it can be nearly impossible to get it out of the tank without tearing the rock work apart. Too many nooks and crannies.

 

SH

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burtbollinger

Steel, how is your refugarium doing with the submerged light?

 

Thanks!

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steelhealr

My Halimeda is still green after more than 2 weeks and my NITRATES HAVE HIT ZERO!!!!!!!!. I think I can proceed with my corals. SH

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trumph

Steel...I started my 24g about the same time as you did (started 3 1/2 weeks ago) and have been reading your thread constantly, 100 of the views must be mine! Anyway I'm getting ready to order my clean-up crew and I would like to know what you would have done differently, if anything. I would rather have less snails and more other critters but that must be leftover angst from all the FW tanks I've had. And yes, I do take my time, as all the SW Gods have advised. I waited til Ammonia & Trites both spiked and are now at 0, Trates are ~40. Had the Diatom attack but weathered it and now I'm getting the hair algae. I'm ready to get started and would appreciate your input.

 

Thanks for the thread.

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steelhealr

Sure Trumph..glad you are along for the thread..I can use all the input I can get...I was away for the weekend and came back to a diatom attack..all over the glass. My other buddy says that you sometimes get a 'second wave'. Thank goodness I don't have aiptasia or hair algae yet. Fear not tho'....even a newbie can get 0 nitrates which I just tested for today (well, uh, at least for now). Here is my take on what I have:

1) I love the astrea snails...they are constantly scouring the LR and really vacuum it clean

2) the emeralds are out mostly at night. They use their claws like forks and knifes/scoops..I had one area of bubble algae that I pulled off and it seems not to be coming back...might be the emeralds are helping here

3) the Nassarius are total substrate submarines....I don't see them doing too much but I think they help aerate and move the substrate. They pop out like subs as soon as food hits the tank. I'm happy I got them. I also think they help keep the substrate from compacting.

4) Although the hermits started out doing a great job...I've cooled on them a bit...I think you need a horde of them to get the job done.

5) the margarita snails are on the glass...happy with that area....nassarius substrate, astrea rocks, maragaritas glass

6) cleaner shrimp is great..mine just molted...I think that's a good sign of water quality...gets any leftovers and adds color. A bit cheaper than the blood shrimp where I am.Blood shrimp have been running $49.

 

My only consideration would be to swap out the hermits for another type of snail..nerite or cerith. Cerith are supposed to be very good. Add a few crew members in stages and see how they do in your tank...then add more pending your needs and how they are doing. You don't want to add too many too quickly and starve them out.

 

As for my success with the nitrates, maybe beginners luck. I think the LR is coming into it's own and ditching the sponge contributed. I'm starting to see micro bubbles on the LR under the LEDs at night. I've just been reading that in good LR...deep inside some of the pores, denitrification can occur (which releases nitrogen gas). I think that is what those bubbles are. I've also been good with the water changes (man, what a chore making that RO and SW, but I got the rhythm down..and do it when the family is asleep or early..lol). SH

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woobycat

Hey SH,

 

Good to see you post again sir....Tank up for one week now and it is running fine, all parameters are PERFECT..... Purchased ultra cured LR with no ammonia spikes...LFS keeps a tank with cycled LR ready to go straight to tank.Refugium is up and running with both rubble and halimeda. Added 5#'s of established live sand to 17#'s of white sand and aggregate. Dosing water with Purple Up to pump up the coraline....Have not purchased the auto top off from Nannocustomes yet, but probably will this weekend. Will add Lawnmower Goby this weekend along with a Cleaner Shrimp. I will post a pic this weekend, I left my camera at the lake house. Thanks again old wise sage for your encouragement and sharing of knowledge.......

 

regards,

WDM

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gats

hey bogie,after i started the fuge,now running 2 weeks,trates are 0.

i could never get them below 10,maybe a good thing.fixing to add second pump

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steelhealr

Man...this is too good to be true..WTG Woobycat and Gats...FYI...I've been hearing mixed reviews about lawnmowers....some say no problem, others say may grow to 5 inches and either overload the tank or starve..just FYI...not my area of expertise as I don't have one. And, I'm with you Gats...I think the macro helps. I think you need as much bang for your buck that you can get re: keeping nitrates down. Water changes, good LR, macroalgae...and...some luck and witches brew (whatever filter media does it for you).

 

My next projects here ...toying around with my extra pump..may move it to the first chamber. I ordered a float valve just to look at it. LOLOL. I'm gonna figure out a topoff system when I get time and if successful, step by step it here for everyone. And, corals...now that my nitrates are zero, I'm comfortable to move forward. As noted in the beginning of this thread, this is a stock lighing system, so...soft corals, mushrooms, ricordia, leathers, etc are fair game. SPS and tridachna clams are not on the menu. Maybe an LPS if possible in the future but easy as we go. SH

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steelhealr

Dangers of Owning a Nano Reef (or Why the @#$#%^ is My Finger Swelling)

 

We've all gone down to the beach or ocean at one point in our lives and either stepped on something, brushed against something or went running out of the water after seeing something skitter by our foot in the water. Well, know we've brought a piece of the ocean home. When we put our limbs in the tank, we are now in THEIR environment. What are some of the hidden dangers now lurking behind the glass in our living rooms?

 

Stings/Nematocysts

 

Many invertebrates have developed methods of defending themselves from attack or encroachment or even to get food by ejecting nematocysts, small capsules that can inflict a nasty sting. These animals are in a class called Cnidarians...jellyfish, anemones, etc. Reactions can include stings, rashes or the extreme of anaphylaxix.

 

Envenomation/Bites

 

Certain fish contain poison in their bites or in specially designed spikes in their dorsal fines. The most classic example is the lionfish. There is also a poison fang blenny. Again, reactions can vary from a mild sting to anaphylactic shock.

 

Ingestion of Toxins

 

Many soft corals secrete a slime layer, which, if not washed off the hands and ingested of if enters a cut, can cause extreme illness. Zoanthids are one in particular. If handling them or 'fragging' them (breaking it into smaller pieces), make sure to wear gloves and wash your hands afterward.

 

Lacerations

 

Razor sharp dorsal fins near the caudal fin can cause nasty cuts. Surgeonfish and some tangs are good examples. Mantis shrimp can split your fingertip if not handled carefully. Their chelae can smash thru shells and in some cases, aquarium walls. Some people have had bones broken.

 

Splinters/Bristles

 

Not too difficult to figure out. Bristle worms, if grasped or if LR is handled indiscriminatly, can have their small bristles break off in finger tips and cause extreme pain. Handle with care.

 

The most important thing to remember is that any injury occurring in a marine environment can lead to infection...and the bacteria can be quite different from the regular bacteria we are used to in our normal lives. These wounds can also take MUCH longer to heal. Use some smarts when sticking the hand in the aquarium:

 

1) Use gloves if possible if you have livestock that requires it or you are going to handle LR

2) Avoid sticking digits into blind areas

3) Don't buy livestock that you have no experience with if they are dangerous or poisonous and certainly don't stock them if you have small children in the house

4) Wash your hands after handling marine animals and invertebrates

5)Avoid doing tank maintenance if you have open wounds on your arms or hands

6) Siphon carefully if your tank contains potentially toxic livestock....start the siphon with a pump or by filling the tubing first

6) If you see any signs of infection...swelling, redness, pain, heat, chills, fever, etc..don't wait...get to the ER right away. Here are links to 2 threads that will help persuade you from 'toughing it out'.

 

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/showthread...us&pagenumber=1

 

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthre...finger+hospital

 

SH

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burtbollinger

what sort of gloves do you recommend?

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trekbear

Hey SH, I told ya about that "damn" sponge didn't I... LOL

 

congratulations on the tank. Yes, I am in agreement with you about the hermits. I am going to be reducing my clan to about 5 and replace them w/ a couple of Ceriths and Nass snails.

 

Have a great day! Great thread still too!

Tom

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MadTownMax

you might get more bang for your buck from one of the new 10W T5 underwater flourescent lights being made by odyssea (only problem being is that they only come w/ colored bulbs, so you'll have to get a white bulb from your local hardware store and re-wire the fixture)

 

- they stretch from the top of the chamber to the bottom, so light is more evenly distributed - and the light is right next to the macro algae, so it gets plenty of light. Not to mention it's in the right spectrum (photosynthesis happens at 4.2K, not 3K) and you get more PAR/watt, so you won't be wasting electricity on heat.

 

I've been using mine on my 24DX for about a month now and have trimmed the cheato back to 1/2 the chamber twice.

 

 

I like the halimeda, I have two types (small and large leaves) in addition to the tube-calcifying macro algae; in my tank, and find it very pleasing to the eye.

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steelhealr

Hi MadTownMax....can you post a link where we can look at this light? Also...I had difficulty finding references to light spectrum and photosynthesis...do you have a link for this? Thanks. SH

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steelhealr

Hi MadTownMax....can you post a link where we can look at this light? Also...MTM looks correct on this...if Kelvin converts to wavelenght (nm):

 

wimgraph.gif

 

SH

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burtbollinger

I too would love to see a link where you can purchase it? do you just stick the light into the second chamber where your stuff is growing?

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steelhealr

Yes BurtB....all the lighting goes in the middle chamber. I think MadTownMax's observation about the spectrum of photosynthesis is interesting...in that...all of us using 10W halogen, if indeed as I read that it has a spectrum of 3200K, the macro may fail over time. Unfortunately, MMT's post states that he had to rewire it and this thread has been mostly about trying to do mods to help people keep it simple without rewiring, drilling, dremelling, etc. Still..it is worth a look. I'll see if I can find the link. SH

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burtbollinger

don't worry about that link, the last thing i want to do is be messing with wires...but hey Steel...is the light you bought an egglite...and if so, did you just buy the kit of one with the transformer? If so, I'm seeing it online for about 40 bux.

 

I'm torn now tho, cuase I was reading on another post, that nanocustoms is gonna be making a protein skimmer for the 2nd chamber...which is where the fuge was gonna go. What to do, skimmer or fuge? Or am I worrying too much?

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Billio

Great thread. I wish I would have found this a few weeks earlier! :o

 

I made the mistake of listening to the lfs recommendations and got a lot of incorrect information.

 

They had me cycle my new 24g dx with 4 damsels and I put in 2 bags of Arag-Alive live sand. I asked about LR but they told me to wait. Also, they said to remove the carbon but leave the bioballs and ceramic rings after the tank has cycled and recommended I get more bioballs.

 

As I've previously only had fish only sw tanks and I haven't had a tank in 7 years, it seemed reasonable. Plus, my I used bioballs in a 20g sump on my previous tank. With the live sand, the tank cycled in a little over 3 weeks, which I found surprising.

 

Then I had time to do a little more research. Whoops!

 

I have 4 damsels in the tank and bought a couple of snails for the green algae. Once again, the original store thought RO would be preferred but I would be fine with tap.

 

After having a few days with no travel for work, I've actually had time to find forums and found this excellent thread.

 

I went to a recommended dealer in my area, from another forum, and discovered a knowledgable staff and a fresh shipment of uncured LR. I picked up 2.5 lbs LS from one of their older existing tanks and picked out 13 lbs of fresh uncured LR.

 

I realize this is going to be a major shock to the damsels. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to try and net them out and take them back to a shop. If they survive the curing process or start looking very stressed, I'll try and net them out and return them to a store.

 

I realize that the recommendation is 1lb LR per gallon. Hopefully, with the LS, the 13+ lbs of LR will work well. I have a large piece of dead ornamental coral, blue wavy and delicate, that I love. I'm trying to decide if I should remove it and replace it with more LR.

 

I went ahead and bought the LR even though it was uncured because they were very cool pieces and I was one of the first people to get to go through it.

 

After everything cycles, I'm going to remove the bioballs and ceramic rings. Thanks for this thread as it's helping me correct the worthless advice I initially received.

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steelhealr

Billio...you don't have to risk the well being of the damsels...you can cycle that uncured rock separate from your tank in a cheap plastic bin from Target and just find a cheapie heater and powerhead. Otherwise, you could consider either returning the Damsels or asking the lfs to hold them for you while you cycle the LR. Truly uncured LR may have a really high ammonia spike which could be lethal to the Damsels, although, they are supposed to be super hardy fish. SH

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steelhealr

To Burt...the light I am using is an Egglite..they come singly or in packages of three. You might find them a little cheaper on EBay.

 

As for the protein skimmer....well..that is always a hot topic for discussion...put that in the search window and you'll get a gazillion matches. IMO..this is what I think is the popular consensus here:

1) Protein skimmers assist in removing dissolved organics and excess nutrients, ie, nutrient export

2) For the Nano Cube...there is none that fits well unless you DIY one or use an external one and run it periodically, thus, having to leave the hood open or plumb something

3)Using a protein skimmer not only removes the bad, but also removes the good...nutrients and minerals

4)In small systems like ours, consistent frequent water changes should be able to supplant a protein skimmer

5)Indications for using one might be signs of poor water quality, overfeeding, excess bioload, crashes...however, see 4 above. Unless I develop problems, it is not in my plan to buy or use one. SH

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trumph

Speaking of feeding..how 'bout adding a section on different foods available? I really enjoy your tutorial pictures w/descriptions. Guess I'm getting greedy!

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biffmcfly

wow guy, what a excellent thread. nice job

 

i have a question about the cleanup crew

 

after the tank is done cycling will i be able to add all the cleanup crew in at once? since i will be ordering the cleanup crew online i want to limit the amount of orders i make because of shipping costs.

 

here is what i have planned for cleanup crew

4 Nassarius Snails

4 Trochus Snails

3 Margarita Snails

1 Emerald Green Mythrix Crab

4 Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crabs

3 Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab

1 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp

extra shells

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RandyO

I personally would pass on the hermit crabs, the Mythrix is pretty cool but needs watched. The snail count seems high to me, I only have 6 astrea snails and unknown number of peppermint snails. Just hate to see you starve any of them. My tank stays crystal clear and I feed it pretty good just to keep the guys happy.

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Jestdave

Question:

 

Am I reading that you guys are feeding your clean up crews? If so, what and how much? Doesen't that defeat their purpose? My Nanocustoms 12g just cycled and I have been adding clean up crew, so i was curious. Thanks

 

Jest

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trekbear

I don't think they are actually feeding the crew per se. Instead the clean up crews eat the remaining food from the fish in the tank being fed.

 

And you are correct you wouldn't feed the clean up crew. Unless they have depleted the algae and things you got them for so they won't starve, you would supplement their diets somewhat.

 

HTH,

Tom

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