Freshwater Guy Does a Mixed Reef Biocube 32

Zerodameaon

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So after about six years of maintaining planted and brackish tanks I feel it is time to now step into the world of reefing.

About three years ago I picked up a Biocube 32 during Black Friday and it sat in my basement until Black Friday of 2020. Now it is time to actually use it.

It has been setup for 23 days at this point and is mostly cycled using Fritz 900 and some Rephashys food cubes which take a long time to fully break down.
It is a pretty standard setup with the following.

Coralife Stand
Stock Light
Eheim Heater
InTank Media Basket
15lbs Real Reef Rock
15lbs live sand, mix of pink and aragonite
Seachem Matrix to up "live rock" weight
Fritz RPM because the LFS suggested it and people seem to really like it

A RODI setup and a QT tank and a bunch of other tools and such.



As for the rock work, it isn't a traditional formation style, but it reminds me a lot of something I saw when snorkeling in Mexico.

A day or so after I set it up.
20201130_150211.jpg


After cleaning up some of the wiring with a proper individually switched surge protector. Starting to look a bit ugly.
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And its current state, getting uglier.
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I have some corals coming from the recent live sale at Zoanthids.com which will be spending a bit of time in the QT tank before going in and that will be my next update more than likely.

I look forward to being a part of this forum and the knowledge I will gain here.
 
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Zerodameaon

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Thanks, I want room for fish to swim when I eventually get to that stage but I also want some hiding spots. The dish shape of the bottom rock spoke to me. I may add some branches at a later point but I'm envisioning using the back wall as a extension of the rock work once Coraline algae moves in.
 
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Zerodameaon

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I am starting to feel that the brown ugly carpet may be dinos, the way its sticking to the rocks and sand don't look like the diatoms I saw in freshwater. I have no idea what the phosphate level is but nitrate is around 7ppm.

I think I will give turning up the heater a try like recommended here on R2R since the tank is empty.
 
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Zerodameaon

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So its likely dinos. Nitrate is at 0 because I put Chemipure elite in the tank to try to get a head start on the silicates. Live and learn I guess.

On a lighter note I got in my first corals from Zoanthids.com and they are happily chilling in the QT tank. Here are some pictures under the daylight LEDs on my basement ceiling.

20201223_1845333.jpg


20201223_1710311.jpg
 
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Bribo12

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That looks like diatoms to me. Especially with how young the tank is. Dino’s are usually snotty looking and have lots of air bubbles. Good start though! Corals look good, zoas, Ricordea and a Blasto? I’d definitely try to get nitrate up some as you already know though.

I’ve learned trying to be proactive sometimes can cause massive headache. I crashed my old 40 breeder by trying to chase low phosphate and nitrate numbers when the tank was already thriving... :( lesson learned
 
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That looks like diatoms to me. Especially with how young the tank is. Dino’s are usually snotty looking and have lots of air bubbles. Good start though! Corals look good, zoas, Ricordea and a Blasto? I’d definitely try to get nitrate up some as you already know though.

I’ve learned trying to be proactive sometimes can cause massive headache. I crashed my old 40 breeder by trying to chase low phosphate and nitrate numbers when the tank was already thriving... :( lesson learned
They might be, they were there a little bit after a few days when I put the Chemi Pure in and nitrates started to fall then just took off and are now in the water column now. I am taking the CPE out until I have fish as the corals likely won't need it. I learned to be patient in the freshwater side of things, now I need to learn the same all over again in the reef.
I have been throwing some of my pleco food in as it takes a while to dissolve. I plan to get some of the Repashy foods when I get fish because it took a good 10 days to dissolve a 1x1 square.

You are correct on the corals. The Zoas are in no particular order Bloomers, Mohawk, Psychosis, and Daisy Cutters. The Rics are Mixed Ric Fl and Mango Peach Ric Fl. The Blasto is Ruby Red. These names are possibly the in house names for these corals, I am not sure which ones are common names. These guys are all open now and this is even with shipping, dipping, and a QT tank change because I chipped the glass ever so slightly and a few hours later I came down to a hairline crack the length of one side. Thankfully I have a few spare tanks kicking around that could be pressed into service in short notice.

 
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About a week into QT on my first corals and I may have messed up. I don't have a extra heater to warm water change water so I pulled it out of the QT tank to heat the bucket. In about 4 hours the water temp dropped 12F, the corals are not happy, though I suspect they will live.
 

hds4216

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About a week into QT on my first corals and I may have messed up. I don't have a extra heater to warm water change water so I pulled it out of the QT tank to heat the bucket. In about 4 hours the water temp dropped 12F, the corals are not happy, though I suspect they will live.
That is a mistake, but the corals you have are hardy and should be okay. Small volumes of water fluctuate in temperature (and other parameters) very rapidly, despite water's high specific heat capacity. I personally bought a cheap $10 heater for my mixing station.
 
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Zerodameaon

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Thanks for the reassurance. I just bought one so this isn't a repeat situation, I knew I needed it but didn't expect such a swing. Lesson learned.

One thing I have discovered, at least in freshwater, is fish and plants can handle pretty wide ranges, at least when going down in tempature. It seems corals can handle short bursts of cooler water, otherwise they couldn't handle storm surges. Still not something I want to do again.

The real crazyness is brackish though, those fish and organisms are tanks since they deal with ever changing salinity and tempatures.
 
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hds4216

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Thanks for the reassurance. I just bought one so this isn't a repeat situation, I knew I needed it but didn't expect such a swing. Lesson learned.

One thing I have discovered, at least in freshwater, is fish and plants can handle pretty wide ranges, at least when going down in tempature. It seems corals can handle short bursts of cooler water, otherwise they couldn't handle storm surges. Still not something I want to do again.

The real crazyness is brackish though, those fish and organisms are tanks since they deal with ever changing salinity and temperatures.
True! The real key to a successful reef is stability. Unlike brackish or freshwater biomes, reefs are extraordinarily stable - it takes huge changes to modify trillions upon trillions of gallons of water. Basically all reef life does better with stable conditions. Good luck! :)
 
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Well everyone is back open and the tank is nearly back up to temp, the colors under blue light look more vibrant today so it seems my little oversight did not hurt anyone.
 
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Just got my Nero 3 in and my BRS 4 stage which is a major upgrade over my Costco RODI system. Down from 3 PPM to 0 finally in a much cheaper to maintain system.

I think I am past the diatom stage (thanks Bribo12 you were right) and am going to see the rest of the uglies show up soon. My CUC shows up tomorrow and I think the corals will transfer to the DT as well. I am not seeing any hitch hikers on them.
 
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I haven't updated in a while. The Ugly Phase is in full swing, so much algae. Sadly I think one of my mushrooms has died, I had Nitrate bottom out and it had a hard time recovering. The other mushroom was impacted but it seems it is recovering. I also added a top to the canyon area to give future livestock and corals that don't like direct light a better place to hide.
 
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Oh man, the hair algae. Its like a meadow now.

The mushrooms died but the Zoa's and the blasto is doing well. I also got a hammer and it is doing alright. I also got my first salt fish, a Lawnmower blenny, who despite the name doesn't care too much about cutting the grass. I am alright with that though, he gets fed some algae sheet from time to time since it seems the hair algae has out competed everything else now. The coraline is filling in good and I have been using H202 to keep the hair algae off of the Zoas. I am a bit hesitant to do much about the algae yet as some of the solutions short of manual removal seem to have questionable side effects.


20210520_121304.jpg

20210520_121319.jpg
 
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Oh man, the hair algae. Its like a meadow now.

The mushrooms died but the Zoa's and the blasto is doing well. I also got a hammer and it is doing alright. I also got my first salt fish, a Lawnmower blenny, who despite the name doesn't care too much about cutting the grass. I am alright with that though, he gets fed some algae sheet from time to time since it seems the hair algae has out competed everything else now. The coraline is filling in good and I have been using H202 to keep the hair algae off of the Zoas. I am a bit hesitant to do much about the algae yet as some of the solutions short of manual removal seem to have questionable side effects.


20210520_121304.jpg

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What do you have for a CUC?
 

What percentage of blue versus white lighting do you think makes the best coral growth combo?

  • All Blue

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  • Mostly Blue

    Votes: 286 62.7%
  • Even Balance

    Votes: 111 24.3%
  • Mostly White

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  • All White

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  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 8 1.8%

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