Breaking the Bank with BioCube 32

lordthaxto

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Tank started Dec 31st 2020.

I would like to start out by saying I very recently started this hobby. I have two fresh water tanks that are about 3 months old now. I wanted more... and so here we are.

I went to my LFS ( Austin Aqua Dome ) :


And purchased a starter kit for 610$. The kit contained :

1 BioCube 32
20 lbs live rock
20 lbs live sand
35g of pre-mixed saltwater
6 five-gallon aquarium jugs

In addition to the above, I bought an extra 15lbs of live rock, a heater, and a nano power head ( dont recall brand, but cheapo, plan to replace eventually ).

*EDIT
I cycled the rock / sand for a day to let it clear up. Since this tank has live rock and live sand, I could add basically right away. I was told NOT to add them all at once. here is the timeline.

Added a shrimp and a hermit crab first, two days later the two clowns, two days after that 2 more peppermint shrimp, and finally two more days later that I added the firefish goby.

First arrangement with only clowns, shrimp, and hermit :

20210104_080111.jpg

Ammonia was being detected, but less than the first color zone of my API tester kit. So I assume it will just always show like that, nitrite never spiked. Only thing going up so far is nitrate, which I did my first 5 gallon change on sunday ( 1 change a week is the goal ). Nitrate currently shows between the 0ppm and 5.0ppm colors for my API test kit.

During all this I moved the rocks around a bit ( like a million times ), and also here is the goby :

20210106_085405.jpg


I cycled with fish for a bit, then... I started buying coral ( two leathers, two LPS, and I think a mushroom? ). In order to grow these amazing little creatures, I had to remove the lid on my BioCube and add a RedSea 90 LED : ;Greedy :

20210111_093543.jpg

The taped on stuff will be removed when my 3d printed shader arrives from Eel Rover Coral :


I am also having a mesh lid created because I have the goby ( currently it has a cave and feels safe there, so no jumping... hopefully ).

Lid is coming from Octo Lids :



Currently, I dont have any media outside the standard filter that comes with the biocube. The rocks / sand are keeping up with the biomass so far. I will turn off the pump when feeding to help reduce waste sucked into the back. I ordered an intank media trey to make room for either a HOB skimmer or something else in chamber two. So more upgrades in the works, and pictures of 3d printer add-ons later as well.

I will add my corals in a future edit, as I need to sort out names on a few. And also find a way to take a pic, as the current light wrecks my camera exposure.
 
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lordthaxto

lordthaxto

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Looks good so far just be very careful of adding too fast it will be a hard hit if you do. By the sounds of it you haven’t even cycled yet which can be very hard on fish and corals.

Thanks, you have a good point. I def ran into this issue with my fresh water tank, and learned the hard way.

I was told if I did it right with all this live rock / live sand I could add basically right away. I was told not to add them all at once like you mentioned, here is the timeline ( forgot to add to first post I started the tank on Dec 31st ).

I added 1 shrimp and the hermit crab first, two days later the two clowns, two days later 2 more peppermint shrimp, and finally two days after that I added the firefish goby. Only thing going up so far is nitrate, which I did my first 5 gallon change on sunday ( 1 a week is goal ). Nitrate currently shows between the 0ppm and 5.0ppm colors for my API test kit.
 

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Thanks, you have a good point. I def ran into this issue with my fresh water tank, and learned the hard way.

I was told if I did it right with all this live rock / live sand I could add basically right away. I was told not to add them all at once like you mentioned, here is the timeline ( forgot to add to first post I started the tank on Dec 31st ).

I added 1 shrimp and the hermit crab first, two days later the two clowns, two days later 2 more peppermint shrimp, and finally two days after that I added the firefish goby. Only thing going up so far is nitrate, which I did my first 5 gallon change on sunday ( 1 a week is goal ). Nitrate currently shows between the 0ppm and 5.0ppm colors for my API test kit.
Yes your doing everything right so far all the live rock is probably cycled but you can possibly get a mini cycle even with all live rock. Your probably close to past that though I would recommend no more fish for a while.
 
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lordthaxto

lordthaxto

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Yes your doing everything right so far all the live rock is probably cycled but you can possibly get a mini cycle even with all live rock. Your probably close to past that though I would recommend no more fish for a while.


Ahh ok, yeah that makes sense. Ill keep testing and monitor for one. I'll have prime on the back burner, and an air stone to counter the effects. From my understanding, prime should be reef safe. Just reduces O2 levels right?
 
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Swapped out the cheap power head with a MaxFlow wave maker ( 120$ ). I also added an ATO system ( Duetto ATO also 120$ ) to chamber 3 ( make sure to install siphen break!!! ) :
20210113_080500.jpg

With a 5g jug under the tank :

20210113_080518.jpg

And yes I have better frozen foods, but those clowns love the pellets :)
 
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lordthaxto

lordthaxto

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Awesome! I love a nice BioCube. Check your siphon break on the ATO. I believe you have it in the wrong place.
79174731-4163-4B0A-A3FF-DC5427872AA5.png

Thanks!

I'm not sure where else to put it that is the highest point, so when the ATO shuts off the line clears back into the reservoir. The siphon break let's thr air in and stops the tank water from returning. Though it does gurgle a bit, so a little salt might be jumping back down.
 
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Update on the tank, I used a dremel to remove the hinges on the back. This was needed to install my new octo classic 1000 HOB skimmer.

20210116_191835.jpg

20210117_113615.jpg


So far so good with the skimmer, its rated way more than I need. But it gives me an extra 1.5gallons of stability in addition to being a beast. I cut rubber bands for the lid to rest on so it would not rattle.

Already getting some really dry skim a couple hours in. Lots of coral now too, so skimmer was needed
 

reefiniteasy

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Thanks!

I'm not sure where else to put it that is the highest point, so when the ATO shuts off the line clears back into the reservoir. The siphon break let's thr air in and stops the tank water from returning. Though it does gurgle a bit, so a little salt might be jumping back down.

It’s supposed to go in your reservoir just above the water line.

Nice job with the hinges. I should have done at the beginning. Would make a few things easier later on. If you want to replace the caddy in the center chamber, InTank makes a nice one.
 
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lordthaxto

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It’s supposed to go in your reservoir just above the water line.

Nice job with the hinges. I should have done at the beginning. Would make a few things easier later on. If you want to replace the caddy in the center chamber, InTank makes a nice one.

I was under the impression that was when they were level, but maybe I was just thinking about it too much. I guess so long as its in the reservoir it would just drain out the break no problem.

It seems to function. Maybe just some contamination is my only by product? One more thing to fix :)

Also, I have the intank media tray. I actually needed it to fit the beast of a skimmer that I just posted about.
 

Brady4000

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Thanks!

I'm not sure where else to put it that is the highest point, so when the ATO shuts off the line clears back into the reservoir. The siphon break let's thr air in and stops the tank water from returning. Though it does gurgle a bit, so a little salt might be jumping back down.
Hey!
Thanks for sharing your Biocube!!. I also have my ATO reservoir under the stand.

I glued the hose clamp to the hose, to keep it out of the water in chamber 3, and to prevent it from coming out of the tank and onto my floor. This way there is no possible way for water to back track into my reservoir.

I keep the siphon break inside the reservoir, but not below the water line inside the reservoir.

994A1638-409C-4A28-9FCB-07274D3A32B4.jpeg 27D5598C-EDE9-4351-9264-A44126F57605.jpeg 5D587BDD-82CF-42A0-B126-B4E25228D863.jpeg 69648E65-479F-49F3-B20D-8DEEC651E5AC.jpeg
 

Brady4000

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Where you have it makes sense the more I think about it (In a high location). I think, I just haven’t had a problem with it, because I keep the hose out of the water.

I might copy you and just toss a 1/2” hose on the end of the siphon lol in the tank.

Thanks!

Edit: The more I think about it, the more I realize that won’t work either.. if the water line is over the siphon anyways it’s going to backflow...

So keeping the hose high is the only thing I can do... but this has made me realize the siphon break in my reservoir is pointless lol...
 
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lordthaxto

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Where you have it makes sense the more I think about it (In a high location). I think, I just haven’t had a problem with it, because I keep the hose out of the water.

I might copy you and just toss a 1/2” hose on the end of the siphon lol in the tank.

Thanks!

Edit: The more I think about it, the more I realize that won’t work either.. if the water line is over the siphon anyways it’s going to backflow...

So keeping the hose high is the only thing I can do... but this has made me realize the siphon break in my reservoir is pointless lol...
I wonder if multiple breaks in the line would help? My roommate just got back in town and works in HVAC, I'll ask him what would be best for this tonight.
 
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Whelp for about 3 days my tank was cloudy after the water change / skimmer was added. Skimmer was having trouble being so new and all, but still is managing to skim from time to time.

Last night I swapped out the sump pump with a MJ1200, note to others, the pump does not fit exactly. I found to reduce noise its best to just let it rest on the suction cups. Dont press them down ( if it will even let you space wise ).

I detected .25 ammonia last night as well, so reducing feeding and I dosed some prime.
 
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lordthaxto

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Somehow lost a big snail last night. Other snails and hermit were eating it. But here is a preview, still moving coral around until anemone decides its fav spot
 
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