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Old 02-16-2013, 2:58 PM   #1
JDavid JDavid is offline
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JDavid's 8 and 29g BioCube builds

Well, today I got home from work and found a spot for my 8g BioCube that I picked up from Dabo last week. Filled it with RO/DI water that my brother gave me, Topfin salt (was cheap and says it has trace elements for coral, might supplement or do WC with better salt down the road) and turned the pump on. I'm kind of getting used to it already, but I was surprised at how loud the tiny pump is.

Right as I was finishing adding the salt, FedEx dropped off my new 29g BioCube. I have yet to open it, I might wait to get a stand or might set it up on a table. I haven't decided yet. First, I'm going to focus on the 8g and I will post all of my updates for both tanks here.

Picked up some test strips just for the cycling process. I plan on investing in a test kit when I start adding livestock. And a sticker-thermometer, which I will be comparing with a real aquarium thermometer to see if it will give me an accurate reading.

Powerhead and heaters are around somewhere, going to soak them in the same container of vinegar water solution that I soaked the pump for the 8g in.

Any advice or criticism is welcome and appreciated, I'm going to post just about everything I do with the tanks here so hopefully I will get some good feedback and advice to help me along the way.

I think the pump became more quiet while I was typing this. Either that or I'm adjusting to it. It was pretty annoying at first

So heres a couple pictures. More soon to follow!



PS- Can the main post be edited after more than a few minutes later?

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Old 02-18-2013, 2:39 PM   #2
JDavid JDavid is offline
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Don't everyone give me advice all at once now
Okay so I added a pinch of marine flake after the salt finished dissolving Saturday night. It has all settled in a nice little clump on the middle bottom of the tank so hopefully I got a bit of ammonia out of that and it is ready to be fished out with a net. The tank came with some crushed coral that was still wet and I have just cleaned it by putting it in a pot, filling with water, stirring, and pouring off the water until it came out clear. Then I filled it again and boiled. Not sure if the is any chlorine left over, but I am hesitant to use any prime because it says it removes ammonia on the bottle (seachem prime)

I keep finding stuff that was abandoned by my brother after he stayed here in between the time when he moved out of his old apartment and into his new one. Just now I found an unopened bottle of Red Sea Coral Buff. This might come in handy eventually for maintaining PH in the small biocube.

I have three small pieces of very porous rock that have been sitting around in different places. I'm us they have collected dust and other unwanted stuff. I'm going to boil them as well, and hopefully the crushed coral, and the small pieces of rock will allow some bacteria to accumulate. However I do not know if this is pointless because I will be picking up one large peice of rock at the same time I pick up the clownfish who will be the first inhabitant. As of right now, the rock and the clown are happily living in a 15 gal at my brothers. Although I hear he spends all his time with a peice of PVC. Maybe he will like his rock better when I get him a nem .

The test strips I have do not test for ammonia, so I will be watching for nitrites and nitrates but I don't know when to test. I have 25 strips. Maybe in a couple days after adding the rocks and coral?

Nothing that deserves any pictures now. Lights are being kept off in the cube. Gonna do some more reading through the new member stickies again and see if I can retain more now that I've had time to process things a little more. Concerned about maintaining PH. This is my first attempt at a reef tank and I know I am starting off the hardest way possible, but investing in lights and a new large tank and stand and then salt for WC and everything else just is not an option right now. And I have hit another financial road block last week. I just couldn't stay away, my friend on FB kept posting Pics of her reef tank and I kind of relapsed into the salt water addiction

I'm happy about it though and feel good about the challenge ahead. You never know, this might turn out to be a pretty good thread! From knowing nothing to nano reef. We'll see. That's all for now, folks

Edit/ Almost forgot to mention, I'm worried that I'll end up starting another cycle when I bring the new rock home, at the same time as the clownfish.

Last edited by JDavid; 02-18-2013 at 2:50 PM.

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Old 02-18-2013, 2:53 PM   #3
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Are you adding some dry or live rock to it? You need something for the bacteria to grow on.

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Old 02-18-2013, 3:13 PM   #4
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I have three small peices of dry rock and the crushed coral, but the rock that will be staying in here is one large peice of LR that is being kept with the fish that is going in here in a 15g at my brother's. I will be picking up the rock and the fish at the same time so this is kind of a dilemma. I could get more dry rock, but it wouldn't be staying in the tank, it would be swapped out with the large peice of LR. the small peices that I have could stay in. I also have some barnacle peices that I might want to add in as well, and they have a kind of porous base

Edit: It is only a 15 min drive so the rock wouldn't really have time for die off if I kept it in a bucket with SW would it? Because I'm worried about starting another cycle. The obvious solution is to get the rock and then come back for the fish later, but he has been really busy.

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Old 02-18-2013, 9:51 PM   #5
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Ok so today:
Added the crushed coral. Boiled the rocks (coral skeleton?) and added them as well. And just added a peice of shrimp. It was frozen but the ingredients list is "farm raised shrimp, salt" so I think I'm good lol. Added a small heater. Added thermometer sticker, gonna check it with a real thermometer and make sure it is accurate. And hooked up all the lights and everything. Looks like the actinics might need a new bulb, they work but are not very bright. I practically stole this setup at $50 so I'm not worried about it. Wondering if replacing the pump might be a good idea too. Sometimes I don't notice it at all, but it seems whenever I mess with the tank it gets really loud for a little while. It could just be me adjusting to it each time idk. Added a sponge to collect all the little hairs and stuff I got in the tank. Think they came in on the net I used to remove the flake food, even though I washed it good. Gonna get a new net and keep it in a bag and make sure to wash my arms off better and not touch anything before I go in.

There is five small peices of rock and three of them are extremely porous, and easy to break. I think they might be coral skeletons. They will end up in the middle compartment of the filtration in the back, where you see the sponge. All five peices exempt the one sitting on top on the smallest two will fit, that one needs to be broken up. One large rock will go in the display area.

Gonna test for nitrites and nitrates again, got a zero reading on both today, wondering how long I should wait to detect them. Don't have a test for ammonia, but I know I am still at the beginning of my cycle.

The cords are really messy. I think I will build a triangle shaped shelf into the corner just below the tank where it will be hidden from most viewing angles. This will give me something to do while I wait. I understand this may be boring so far but I will be able to look back at all this down the road , it will get better though.
Edit w pics
porous rock


sponge

shrimp

messy cords

boring display

s'all for now

Last edited by JDavid; 02-18-2013 at 10:00 PM.

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Old 02-18-2013, 10:49 PM   #6
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Too soon to test for nitrite or nitrate, I would wait at least a week but first go get some decent test kits. I have never been comfortable with the test strips.

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Old 02-18-2013, 11:25 PM   #7
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I have used them in the past and while I agree with you, and plan on picking up a real test kit, I feel like the nitrite nitrate readings from the strips are going to be good enough for now. I'm kinda broke, but things will be looking up in about a month.

Its either white or tan for 0 or pink to dark pink for a higher reading. I used to have a master test kit for my FOWLR and it matched up pretty good with these strips (same brand my brother used to have)

But I would not trust them with livestock. I'm still hoping I find my API kit, but I did give a box of stuff away last year and I think it might have been in it. Still, not sure

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Old 02-19-2013, 7:26 AM   #8
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I may have an extra kit for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. Still unpacking so let me see what I have, they are yours if I can find them.

Your tank looks good, I have 3 that look almost the same that I just started up and going through the cycling process.

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Old 02-19-2013, 6:26 PM   #9
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hmm I bet it would be cheaper to mail, unless you would want to meet up in duluth or somewhere where there is a LFS. If we meet up I have a cool barnacle piece with really nice colors you could have. possibly a rock with green buttons too Glenn @ spike's corals gave me a huge rock with about 150 polyps today lol I think I'm gonna break it up.
I could prb get a kit for less than the cost of gas in my truck to marietta. It eats gas.

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Old 02-19-2013, 6:52 PM   #10
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So I met up with Glenn today and he gave me a huge rock with tons of green palys on it in a bucket with about 3 gallons of saltwater. I took it to my brothers about two minutes from where we met and put it in one of his tanks for now, but brought the water home and tested it and dropped in a powerhead. the SG is 1.025-1.026 and everything else is in range (according to the strips)

so then I started thinking.. If I just replace about half my water with his water and the rock, wouldn't I be cycled?

I think he said the rock is about 8 years old. Seems like it would have plenty of bacteria on it lol
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Need to make room..Have a large man made live rock about (9" x 12"guessing) flat on the bottom with about 150 healthy(cannot kill them) green button polyps. Free to who wants, know that I am in Flowery Branch and you will have to meet up with me, close to my home. Also you will need a bucket large enough for the rock. It is a great looking piece of man made rock, full of purple coralline algae. The rock is about 7 years old.
7 years old. It's a nice rock. featherduster and what appears to be a small clam and several yellow sponges, and one bright bright prange polyp of coral hidden in roughly a billion mushrooms. Rock feels to be about 6-7 lbs or more

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Old 02-20-2013, 7:14 AM   #11
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hmm I bet it would be cheaper to mail, unless you would want to meet up in duluth or somewhere where there is a LFS. If we meet up I have a cool barnacle piece with really nice colors you could have. possibly a rock with green buttons too Glenn @ spike's corals gave me a huge rock with about 150 polyps today lol I think I'm gonna break it up.
I could prb get a kit for less than the cost of gas in my truck to marietta. It eats gas.
Yes mail would be best, I will PM you for the address. No need for any trade right now all my tanks are still cycling. Maybe a frag of some green buttons in the future...best of luck with the tanks.

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Old 02-20-2013, 4:14 PM   #12
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You are the man! I'll make sure to save a rock of the button polyps for ya.
Man this group is awesome. I will make sure to pay it forward when I find someone I can help out. Now I'm gonna check out your build

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Old 02-21-2013, 4:17 PM   #13
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Thanks a lot Dave!!
Tonight I will post the results I get

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Old 02-21-2013, 4:28 PM   #14
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So I met up with Glenn today and he gave me a huge rock with tons of green palys on it in a bucket with about 3 gallons of saltwater. I took it to my brothers about two minutes from where we met and put it in one of his tanks for now, but brought the water home and tested it and dropped in a powerhead. the SG is 1.025-1.026 and everything else is in range (according to the strips)

so then I started thinking.. If I just replace about half my water with his water and the rock, wouldn't I be cycled?

I think he said the rock is about 8 years old. Seems like it would have plenty of bacteria on it lol

7 years old. It's a nice rock. featherduster and what appears to be a small clam and several yellow sponges, and one bright bright prange polyp of coral hidden in roughly a billion mushrooms. Rock feels to be about 6-7 lbs or more
I forgot about that beautiful Zoanthid hitchhiker on that rock. At one point I was hoping it would multiply, then I forgot about it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 4:45 PM   #15
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I forgot about that beautiful Zoanthid hitchhiker on that rock. At one point I was hoping it would multiply, then I forgot about it.
I'm going to try to split the rock right next to it, if it does spread you can expect a frag
also, we discovered a tiny anemone (I think) near the featherduster. It has clear tentacles with white "bubble tips"

Did I mention there is a small clam on the rock? lol

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Old 02-21-2013, 5:01 PM   #16
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I'm going to try to split the rock right next to it, if it does spread you can expect a frag
also, we discovered a tiny anemone (I think) near the featherduster. It has clear tentacles with white "bubble tips"

Did I mention there is a small clam on the rock? lol
The anemone is probably an aiptasia. Just break that piece of rock off and pitch. It must have hid well because I have an bunches of peppermint shrimps. But how you describe it might be a majano anemone.
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Old 02-21-2013, 5:44 PM   #17
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Its not aptasia, I'm sure. When I researched it, I decided it was a majano nem but forgot the name
I know what aptasia looks like my brother used to get it when we lived together

I did have some bubble algae pop up, but I went in with a flathead screwdriver and some airline tubing for suction incase of spore release. I think I did pop it, but I had* the pump cut off and the airline tubing sucking water out right on top of it, I'm not worried about it at all. If anything it was good practice. I'm pretty sure I got the "root" of it scraped out too

From what I read they can pop up in perfect aquarium water any way

I have had the rock in my 8g biocube (fills up the whole thing) since last night. My brother said he was sure it would be okay. The buttons havent shown any signs of stress at all, and it seems to be plenty of LR for the 8 g tank (water tested 0 nitrite 0 nitrate before it went in)

I have your water in the salt bucket on standby with a powerhead, and the hinges taken out of the BC lid (havent put them back in since I cleaned the tank) so the plan is to pull the whole rock out and put it back in the bucket and set the BC lights on top if they start to show stress. also will be replacing the powerhead with a much lower flow tiny pump if I do that. Right now there is a whirlpool in the bucket.

There is def plenty of life on the rock, just now found a tiny hermit shell, waiting to see if it has a crab in it lol. But no aptasia

it seems that the rock already has enough bacteria for the 7ish gallons of water, but without introducing any ammonia I really won't know how the buttons are going to react right? what if it just goes to nitrite and then nitrate and all is well? I have plenty of carbon and seachem prime if there is an emergency

but seeing as how everything looks good, the plan is to wait a couple weeks before adding any livestock. Let me know what you think

Last edited by JDavid; 02-21-2013 at 5:54 PM. Reason: had* not have

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Old 02-22-2013, 7:26 PM   #18
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Got some pictures of my test results today. PH seems a bit low, and ammonia is high. The palys are doing good. No matter what light I photograph them in they won't show their green in the pictures. Tried combinations of ceiling light, daylight, and actinics on and off. The actinic only in a dark room colors reallly do not show in the pictures. They just look purple in the pics, but really, they have a nice green center. Soon I am going to split this rock into a bunch of pieces, but I don't know what to do if it splits right under a button. Peel it? The hermit turned out to be a snail. The unidentified creature that is probably a majano nem has been in his little hole, but I managed to snag a few pics when he was out earlier. The tentacles don't show, the camera on my iphone 4 is zoomed in so there is a lack of quality (which isn't that great already). But you can see the little white balls on the tips of the tentacles. When he comes all the way back out I will get more pics. Yes that is a test tube in my tank, lol. Whoops. Scared to touch the palys, I'll get it out later.

And yeah, I should probably clip my fingernails, lol.
Test results:
Ammonia

Nitrite

Nitrate

PH

Creature



Green buttons







orange zoa

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Old 02-25-2013, 12:49 AM   #19
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okay so ammonia is around 0.25 ppm and nitrates are up in between 10-15ppm. so about 15 ppm.
nitrates are not detectable.

can run carbon now?

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Old 02-25-2013, 2:46 AM   #20
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I am by no means an expert, but I've cycled a few tanks. I would hold off on the carbon and do a small water change and watch your numbers. Ammonia is decreasing, so your cycle is going along well. Adding the mature live rock will help a lot. Your creature definitely looks like a mojano, get rid of it, they can take over like an aiptasia. Looks like there's some blue clove polyps on the rock as well, pretty to look at, but I've heard horror stories about them becoming invasive as well. All in all, looks like you're off to a good start.

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