BioCube 16: Schitt’s Reef

ZzyzxRiver

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 11, 2024
Messages
198
Reaction score
232
Location
Orange County, CA
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Tank: BioCube 16
DOB: 5/1/24
First inhabitants: 6/4/24
About me: Absolute first timer who had a beta 30 years ago as a kid and nothing since.

Current stock:
2 percula clownfish, named Moira and Johnny.
1 Trochus snail, named Ray
1 Tiger conch snail, named Roland
1 Bubble tip anemone, named Sideshow Bob.

Current situation:
First off, I am now aware that it is way too early for that anemone, and I’m annoyed that the employee at the dish store sold it to me- they were very young and either made a mistake or else just wanted the sale. Either way, I guess I should do my research before buying *anything*! The anemone has moved around three times and has taken every shape from limp and saggy to completely closed off to full and bubbly and beautiful.

I probably didn’t help matters by adding dry rock to my tank a couple days ago. I wasn’t happy with the aquascape and now I am! The clownfish immediately seemed to appreciate having more structure to swim around, but the anemone definitely reacted negatively. He seems to have stabilized! Thankfully I didn’t kick off another cycle, since I have been using the Stability supplement daily.

I’m a couple days in to the diatom bloom that is apparently to be expected at this point! It’s fun watching the snails go at it— especially watching the Tiger conch clean his own shell like he’s annoyed about them.

I might be getting ahead of myself, but I have the following arriving in the coming days:
- 5280 pods and Ocean Magik from Algae Barn
- String-of-Pearls Algae | Coelarthrum
- Branching Hex Algae | Rhodopeltis
- Cactus Halimeda | Halimeda monile
- Red Fern Algae | Haliptilon
- Blue Hypnea | Hypnea pannosa
(All the algae is from Mosaic Macros)

I haven’t seen a lot of in-tank macroalgae in the photos on this forum, but I find them fascinating and I love to fiddle so I don’t think I’ll get tired of pruning them. My main reason for getting them beside liking the look of them is that I’m concerned I’m going to over feed and I wanted a way to export nitrates. I have no clue yet how long it will take before I’m ready for coral and I didn’t want bare rock for months!

I could use advice on the copepods: I’m aware 5k pods is probably too much for a nano tank. How much should I put in when they arrive? I was thinking I add 1/3 of the jar, wait to see how the water parameters react for a week, and repeat (and repeat?). But I’d love to hear your thoughts!

IMG_8589.jpeg IMG_8558.jpeg
 

kevgib67

10K Club member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 16, 2022
Messages
11,678
Reaction score
63,406
Location
Canfield, Ohio
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Tank: BioCube 16
DOB: 5/1/24
First inhabitants: 6/4/24
About me: Absolute first timer who had a beta 30 years ago as a kid and nothing since.

Current stock:
2 percula clownfish, named Moira and Johnny.
1 Trochus snail, named Ray
1 Tiger conch snail, named Roland
1 Bubble tip anemone, named Sideshow Bob.

Current situation:
First off, I am now aware that it is way too early for that anemone, and I’m annoyed that the employee at the dish store sold it to me- they were very young and either made a mistake or else just wanted the sale. Either way, I guess I should do my research before buying *anything*! The anemone has moved around three times and has taken every shape from limp and saggy to completely closed off to full and bubbly and beautiful.

I probably didn’t help matters by adding dry rock to my tank a couple days ago. I wasn’t happy with the aquascape and now I am! The clownfish immediately seemed to appreciate having more structure to swim around, but the anemone definitely reacted negatively. He seems to have stabilized! Thankfully I didn’t kick off another cycle, since I have been using the Stability supplement daily.

I’m a couple days in to the diatom bloom that is apparently to be expected at this point! It’s fun watching the snails go at it— especially watching the Tiger conch clean his own shell like he’s annoyed about them.

I might be getting ahead of myself, but I have the following arriving in the coming days:
- 5280 pods and Ocean Magik from Algae Barn
- String-of-Pearls Algae | Coelarthrum
- Branching Hex Algae | Rhodopeltis
- Cactus Halimeda | Halimeda monile
- Red Fern Algae | Haliptilon
- Blue Hypnea | Hypnea pannosa
(All the algae is from Mosaic Macros)

I haven’t seen a lot of in-tank macroalgae in the photos on this forum, but I find them fascinating and I love to fiddle so I don’t think I’ll get tired of pruning them. My main reason for getting them beside liking the look of them is that I’m concerned I’m going to over feed and I wanted a way to export nitrates. I have no clue yet how long it will take before I’m ready for coral and I didn’t want bare rock for months!

I could use advice on the copepods: I’m aware 5k pods is probably too much for a nano tank. How much should I put in when they arrive? I was thinking I add 1/3 of the jar, wait to see how the water parameters react for a week, and repeat (and repeat?). But I’d love to hear your thoughts!

IMG_8589.jpeg IMG_8558.jpeg
Beautiful @ZzyzxRiver !
 

strich

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 28, 2024
Messages
275
Reaction score
398
Location
Queensland, Australia
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I almost jumped at seeing someone actually plan to have macroalgae in their tank! I think so many do a huge disservice to their ecosystem and looks when skipping on those algaes - The greens make all the other colors pop so much more.

No idea on the pods dosing levels, but you might want to consider buying phyto too since they're a good source of food for the pods and will compete with the diatoms and dinos for nutrients. And if you're bored when waiting for the cycle you can look into phyto/pod breeding systems.
 

aztoza

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 17, 2024
Messages
114
Reaction score
108
Location
Johannesburg, South Africa
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Tank: BioCube 16
DOB: 5/1/24
First inhabitants: 6/4/24
About me: Absolute first timer who had a beta 30 years ago as a kid and nothing since.

Current stock:
2 percula clownfish, named Moira and Johnny.
1 Trochus snail, named Ray
1 Tiger conch snail, named Roland
1 Bubble tip anemone, named Sideshow Bob.

Current situation:
First off, I am now aware that it is way too early for that anemone, and I’m annoyed that the employee at the dish store sold it to me- they were very young and either made a mistake or else just wanted the sale. Either way, I guess I should do my research before buying *anything*! The anemone has moved around three times and has taken every shape from limp and saggy to completely closed off to full and bubbly and beautiful.

I probably didn’t help matters by adding dry rock to my tank a couple days ago. I wasn’t happy with the aquascape and now I am! The clownfish immediately seemed to appreciate having more structure to swim around, but the anemone definitely reacted negatively. He seems to have stabilized! Thankfully I didn’t kick off another cycle, since I have been using the Stability supplement daily.

I’m a couple days in to the diatom bloom that is apparently to be expected at this point! It’s fun watching the snails go at it— especially watching the Tiger conch clean his own shell like he’s annoyed about them.

I might be getting ahead of myself, but I have the following arriving in the coming days:
- 5280 pods and Ocean Magik from Algae Barn
- String-of-Pearls Algae | Coelarthrum
- Branching Hex Algae | Rhodopeltis
- Cactus Halimeda | Halimeda monile
- Red Fern Algae | Haliptilon
- Blue Hypnea | Hypnea pannosa
(All the algae is from Mosaic Macros)

I haven’t seen a lot of in-tank macroalgae in the photos on this forum, but I find them fascinating and I love to fiddle so I don’t think I’ll get tired of pruning them. My main reason for getting them beside liking the look of them is that I’m concerned I’m going to over feed and I wanted a way to export nitrates. I have no clue yet how long it will take before I’m ready for coral and I didn’t want bare rock for months!

I could use advice on the copepods: I’m aware 5k pods is probably too much for a nano tank. How much should I put in when they arrive? I was thinking I add 1/3 of the jar, wait to see how the water parameters react for a week, and repeat (and repeat?). But I’d love to hear your thoughts!

IMG_8589.jpeg IMG_8558.jpeg
Awesome scape! I never thought about macro algae in the display…I’ll be checking back to see how it goes! Great option for us nanos with no refugium.
 

AlyciaMarie

Where's my anemone?
View Badges
Joined
Feb 12, 2024
Messages
920
Reaction score
2,217
Location
Georgia, USA
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Great looking set up! I love the aqauscape.

Anemones can be tricky little boogers at any stage in your tank, but I'm glad it's stabilizing! Mine is currently taking a stroll around the tank after being stationary for a month. Do you know what kind of BTA?
 
OP
OP
ZzyzxRiver

ZzyzxRiver

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 11, 2024
Messages
198
Reaction score
232
Location
Orange County, CA
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
@strich OceanMagik is the phyto brand name! My goal is to keep the pods reproducing without needing to add more, but so far I’m not sure what’s possible in a nano tank.

Sideshow Bob status update: dead! His mouth started gaping yesterday, and I caught him sliding through the intake in the middle of the night (honorable mention: my baby’s ear infection for ensuring I’d be awake to catch him before he started decomposing!).

Until now one of the main activities had been looking at the anemone to figure out what on earth is wrong with it, LOL. Gonna be slow today- but the copes arrive tomorrow.

The diatoms continue to grow, but Ray (Trochus) and Roland (Tiger conch) are doing an impressive job keeping those in check.

The dry rock I introduced late is starting to grow diatoms on the lower levels, but the ones closer to the top of the tank have a pale yellow film starting. Cyano? Hopefully they don’t get far before my phyto arrives. I’ll add a picture in about an hour once the lights are all the way on!
 
OP
OP
ZzyzxRiver

ZzyzxRiver

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 11, 2024
Messages
198
Reaction score
232
Location
Orange County, CA
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
IMG_8724.jpeg


I’m amazed with Ray the Trochus Snail: he seems to have wiped every last diatom off of my rocks overnight! Roland the Tiger conch is similarly doing heavy lifting keeping the sand pretty clean. I did scrape off some green algae on the glass today (before taking my photos, of course).

UPS shipping update! My pods and phyto are arriving in the next few hours. Whee!

IMG_8720.jpeg

So, am I the only weirdo who‘s ever put his tank at ground level? It was important to me that it be crawl-up accessible for the baby (and the cat)! And at 16 gallons I figure if I ever want to move it up higher a couple strong dudes can manage it during a water change.
 

strich

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 28, 2024
Messages
275
Reaction score
398
Location
Queensland, Australia
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Looking good and love that the little one can keep an eye on things for you too hah.

Keep the updates coming.
 

aztoza

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 17, 2024
Messages
114
Reaction score
108
Location
Johannesburg, South Africa
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
IMG_8724.jpeg


I’m amazed with Ray the Trochus Snail: he seems to have wiped every last diatom off of my rocks overnight! Roland the Tiger conch is similarly doing heavy lifting keeping the sand pretty clean. I did scrape off some green algae on the glass today (before taking my photos, of course).

UPS shipping update! My pods and phyto are arriving in the next few hours. Whee!

IMG_8720.jpeg

So, am I the only weirdo who‘s ever put his tank at ground level? It was important to me that it be crawl-up accessible for the baby (and the cat)! And at 16 gallons I figure if I ever want to move it up higher a couple strong dudes can manage it during a water change.
Ooh you're brave! I barely trust my 7 year old around the tank haha. I think these can be really good for kids though; yours is a lucky baby!
 

Nano_Man

Anemone L
View Badges
Joined
Jan 7, 2023
Messages
5,677
Reaction score
24,386
Location
Usa
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Good too see the younger generation looking interested
They are the next Reefers
 
OP
OP
ZzyzxRiver

ZzyzxRiver

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 11, 2024
Messages
198
Reaction score
232
Location
Orange County, CA
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I’m so happy that this over the top investment I made based on my baby’s interest in a goldfish he saw at the pet store is paying off. If I weren’t trying to protect his privacy online I’d definitely be showing off the adorable video of him scraping algae last night. Instead, here’s an adorable snail trail (bottom right):
IMG_8732.jpeg

Not half bad! I’d prefer some lawnmower style lines to the idle zig zag, but that may be asking too much from a Trochus snail.

The tank has 5280 new inhabitants today, courtesy @AlgaeBarn. Can you spot them?
IMG_8731.jpeg


I was impatient (you’ll find this a recurring theme in my current and future failures in reefing) and poured the copepods in while the clownfish were still awake, and based on their frenzy I’m pretty sure all the pregnant mommapods are a write-off. However, I have seen a couple skittering on the rocks, so we’ll see what happens. 5ml daily phyto dosing is now underway as well. The water is very slightly cloudy, not sure if that’s related?

I see very, very little in the way of diatoms today—I expected a lot worse! The film on the glass is green now, vs. the brown patches a few days ago. Is that cyano or something else?

Honorable mention to Roland the tiger conch—I accidentally fed way too many mysis shrimp yesterday and he found his way to the pile where everything settles in the tank and cleared the entire area. Is it inevitable that my tank will have one particular spot where everything ends up landing? Or is that something I need to fix somehow?

I checked on my ornamental macroalgae order and it’ll be midweek next week before they get here. So hopefully I don’t lose my mind before then? Wish me luck!
 

strich

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 28, 2024
Messages
275
Reaction score
398
Location
Queensland, Australia
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I'm sure the cloudy water is the pods and phyto. Dinos should be getting out competed for nutrients by the good guys, so that's a win too. Looking forward to seeing your upcoming shipment arrive!
 
OP
OP
ZzyzxRiver

ZzyzxRiver

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 11, 2024
Messages
198
Reaction score
232
Location
Orange County, CA
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I wasn’t planning on making any changes before the macros got here, but I was having trouble getting my son down for his nap, so I decided to take a trip ‘just to see’ a LFS about a half hour away I haven’t been to yet.

So anyway, here’s the list of corals I bought:
- Mandarin Orange Zoanthus
- Fiji Bambam Zoanthus
- Pipe Cleaners
- Toadstool Leather (I think, I’ll be posting in the ID thread next)
- Green Star Polyp
- Xenia

IMG_8754.jpeg IMG_8760.jpeg IMG_8753.jpeg IMG_8758.jpeg

I isolated the GSP on a smaller rock surrounded by sand, but the xenia is going to be on my main structure, though, because I love their pulsing and as a beginner I’m having a hard time believing I’m gonna succeed enough to make anything invasive.

No sign of my copepods anywhere.

I’m definitely having a tiny bit of a phyto bloom, which is ugly and annoying but hopefully going to end sooner or later. I reduced the photoperiod by a couple of hours and am going to stop dosing until it equalizes. On the positive side, there’s almost no diatom activity and I’m hoping my invisible copepods are having a field day.

Despite that it’s ugly, I suppose for verisimilitude’s sake I’m obligated to pose my cloudy tank:

IMG_8762.jpeg


Nitrates are currently at 20. I may do a small water change later just to test out this hose thing I bought that attaches to the kitchen sink.

Please pray for me to stop buying things before my tank is definitely stabilized.
 

strich

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 28, 2024
Messages
275
Reaction score
398
Location
Queensland, Australia
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Looks great mate. Keep it up.

FYI I believe copepods generally hide when there is light, so if you come out at night with a flashlight you might catch em swimming about.
 
OP
OP
ZzyzxRiver

ZzyzxRiver

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 11, 2024
Messages
198
Reaction score
232
Location
Orange County, CA
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I may not have updated my tank thread in 9 days, but don't let that fool you into thinking I haven't been messing with the tank so much that pro reefers would yell at me. I was, and finally cooled off after getting my wiggles out. Only problem is, my macroalgae order comes later today. After that though, I swear I will leave things alone for a while.

Current tank shot:
IMG_8893.JPG

We moved some rock around to give the top rocks a little bit more room below the water line, and added an island for the GSP. I also relocated the pipe organ and mushroom. The rocks and corals are officially glued down now, so I really cannot mess with them anymore.

Last night my tiger conch laid what I'm assuming is another egg sack in a different location in the tank. The previous one just... disappeared one day. I'll remember to note how long this one lasts before it's gone.
IMG_8894.JPG

Time for coral close-ups!
On the left, bambam zoas. On the right, mandarin orange zoas and xenia. The xenia has been a bit of a drama queen but it seems to have stabilized and is pulsing nicely. Nobody nag me about them growing like weeds and taking over the rockwork! I think it's beautiful and as a total newbie I'd think of it spreading like wildfire as a success. Later, if I'm wrong, I'll admit it :p
IMG_8895.JPG IMG_8901.JPG

I mounted the toadstool on the top right of my rockwork.I sort of wish the frag didn't come with two of them, though. I'm worried they'll either compete or simply take up too much space, and I'm a little concerned about it shading the lower areas. But when it was mounted lower, it looked really sad. Now the polyps are way out, and unless I'm imagining it there's already new growth. See that cleft on the middle of the bottom one, with the tiny polyps? I think that's where it grows from? Bonus clown cameo:
IMG_8896.JPG IMG_8903.JPG

I wedged the pipe organ in sideways because of the way the rock it's on fit best, but I'm assuming the new growth will orient itself correctly. Looks like three new nodes coming in?

IMG_8897.JPG

And last but not least for the corals, my GSP! Safe and sound on its little island, and the purple goo is making its way down the plug to start filling my rock.

IMG_8900.JPG

I got my first hitchhikers, as well! One asterina and one brittle star. The asterina is hanging out in full view, but the brittle star only popped out during a water change and scurried away immediately.

IMG_8856.JPG IMG_8802.JPG

Finally, the problem algae. These little dots are popping up all over my rocks. This one is the most affected, but they're everywhere else too. Elsewhere on the forum I'm told this is the normal next step in the cycle after diatoms. I'm a bit confused because the snails don't seem to be picking it up off the rock despite having a go at it.

IMG_8899.JPG

Got myself a new toy: a Hanna nitrate checker. Look at that, it's too high, because I feed the fish too much every time, even though I know I'm feeding them too much.
IMG_8887.JPG

Status report complete! I'll be posting again with pictures of my new macroalgae once they are placed, and then I won't be touching anything until a week passes and I check my nitrates again.

Cheers!
 
OP
OP
ZzyzxRiver

ZzyzxRiver

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 11, 2024
Messages
198
Reaction score
232
Location
Orange County, CA
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Ok, last update for a week!

Blue Hypnea and Cactus Halimeda look a little worse for wear during transit, but everyone else seems to have made the journey fully intact.

IMG_8909.jpeg

I’m excited to see what everyone looks like in the days to come!
 

aztoza

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 17, 2024
Messages
114
Reaction score
108
Location
Johannesburg, South Africa
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Ok, last update for a week!

Blue Hypnea and Cactus Halimeda look a little worse for wear during transit, but everyone else seems to have made the journey fully intact.

IMG_8909.jpeg

I’m excited to see what everyone looks like in the days to come!
Grow macros, grow! I agree, I’d be happy with a tank full of Xenia lol! This is gonna look awesome. Totally jealous of what you’ve added haha. My LFS just got a bunch of goodies in stock too, but have to wait for the water to stabilize.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_4806.jpeg
    IMG_4806.jpeg
    62.1 KB · Views: 17
OP
OP
ZzyzxRiver

ZzyzxRiver

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 11, 2024
Messages
198
Reaction score
232
Location
Orange County, CA
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Grow macros, grow! I agree, I’d be happy with a tank full of Xenia lol! This is gonna look awesome. Totally jealous of what you’ve added haha. My LFS just got a bunch of goodies in stock too, but have to wait for the water to stabilize.

I have never felt that meme as intensely as since getting this tank, LOL.

You know how I promised I wasn't going to mess with it for a week? Well... is it really my fault that I saw a really cool zoa when I went to the LFS to buy water? I don't think it is.
 
OP
OP
ZzyzxRiver

ZzyzxRiver

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 11, 2024
Messages
198
Reaction score
232
Location
Orange County, CA
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Happy week for the tank: nitrates are down to 8 in the week since adding the macroalgea- and that's including the new livestock! Meet Stevie the red scooter blenny:

IMG_9095.JPG

I've spotted her pecking at the rocks, so I hope she's finding enough copepods to satisfy her hunger. I still haven't directly observed her eating any of the mysis shrimp I drop in.

I've also added two cerith snails and a nassarius snail, and the sand and rock are looking a lot cleaner- which is great, because scooter blennies apparently poop a lot. I guess as long as I keep seeing poo, I know it's eating!

I see now why they tell you not to count on snails to keep your glass clean of algae. I'm loving the artwork, but it isn't exactly clean, is it?
: IMG_9092.JPG

I also picked another couple hitchhikers (not pictured because they're too small): a spionid worm and what I think is a collonista snail (or else a tiny baby version of another snail). I've read so many mixed things about spionid worms, but because they seem relatively easy to remove and that I don't have any SPS or LPS anyway, I'm going to let it hang out and sip on my water column.

I'm having trouble with my trochus snail knocking things over (sorry, red fern, I'll work on it), but my macroalgaes are all doing really well. Considering how fast they grow, I'm not at all surprised they were able to clear as many nitrates as they did in one week. The halimeda grows a segment taller every single day- and each segment grows between 1-4 new segments. The string of pearls has added a zillion little bubbles, but they aren't full size yet. And the hex algae has shown a bit of new growth, but no branches yet.

IMG_9097.JPG IMG_9096.JPG

Not pictured is my blue hypnea. It was doing well except for the dead bits from the last time I messed with it. So I tried to tug out the dead bits, but then the whole clump detached, and in the process of putting it back where it was I messed with it more and a whole bunch more of it died. I resolve not to try to remove any of the dead bits and let them just dissolve away.

I also added some zoa frags, but I don't have their IDs locked down yet. I'm clumsy and have injured quite a few polyps when I drop them during placement. And, finally, I added a neon green rhodactus. I have no idea what to expect from it! But it's a cool color, especially under the blue light.

IMG_9098.JPG

Finally, instead of a full tank shot because I'm too lazy to clean off the algae on the glass right now, here's Moira the Clownfish saying hi:

IMG_9100.JPG

This time I swear not to add anything until next time. Except that I have plans on Saturday at a park that is next to a LFS we haven't checked out yet. So, I'm probably lying.
 

ARE YOU USING LIVE FOOD TO NOURISH YOUR TANK? (TELL US WHY OR WHY NOT IN THE COMMENTS!)

  • Yes, I'm using live food.

    Votes: 96 50.8%
  • No, I'm not using live food.

    Votes: 50 26.5%
  • Not yet, but I want to.

    Votes: 24 12.7%
  • No, and I don't have plans to use it.

    Votes: 17 9.0%
  • Other (please explain!)

    Votes: 2 1.1%
Back
Top