Haggisman14's Oceanic Biocube 29

Haggisman14

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
1,227
Reaction score
1,349
Location
North Carolina
Hello everyone, this is my second post. Quick introduction, about 15 years ago I start off in the hobby with a 20 gallon high reef tank in my college dorm room, then upgraded to a 50 gallon reef tank after college, had that for about 2-3 years, then moved, and have been out of the hobby ever since. Fast forward to now, I"m married, have some kids, and the wife suggested I get back into the hobby again (if she only knew what she started ;-)

Long story short, easiest way for me to get back into the hobby, as well as ease my wife into it, was an all in one unit. My LFS had a killer deal on a "used" Oceanic BioCube 29 gallon (never seen water) with stand, Kessil 160WE light, live sand, live rock, water for a steal of a price. I got it set up two weeks ago, and am currently cycling it. Plan on ordering my CUC this next week, and then slowly start figuring out the fish 1-2 weeks after that. I've never done a build thread before, but figured I'd start one here.

Looks like you guys have got a nice communnity here with some awesome sponsors and great topics.

Tank is a 29 Gallon Biocube, about 15lbs live sand, about 20lbs live rock, 100W heater, inTank media basket that i'll be using filter floss, purigen and chemipure blue in once the tank starts having fish in it, and a MJ1200 for the return pump.

My plan with this tank is to do mainly LPS and softies. My old 50 gallon was mainly SPS with some zoos and LPS mixed in, but I think my boys at this age will really appreciate the movement that a lot of the LPS corals will have.

Below are the first pictures I took of the tank, head on, and both sides.

Next big thing I want to do is buy a 5 gallon tank from petco, and an ATO from autotopoff.com (heard great reviews of them) to toss in the back of here. Down the road I'm contemplating a skimmer in chamber one, but I'm not sold on that just yet...I want to see if between water changes, and the media basket, I can keep the tank happy.

Enjoy!

IMG_9505.JPG


IMG_9506.JPG


IMG_9507.JPG
 

nautical_nathaniel

Indecision may or may not be my problem.
View Badges
Joined
Feb 19, 2014
Messages
4,864
Reaction score
12,102
Location
West Palm Beach, FL
Looks like a solid start! I think LPS and softies look best in small tanks where they have a better chance to stand out, so I'm sure this tank will look great once you get it going. What sort of fish are you thinking about?
 

ReefJCB

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 4, 2015
Messages
596
Reaction score
356
Location
Arizona
I love that aquascaping and the rock itself. Great little tank, excited to see its progress!
 
OP
Haggisman14

Haggisman14

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
1,227
Reaction score
1,349
Location
North Carolina
Since i've got two boys obsessed with Finding Nemo, Two clownfish, I'm thinking maybe some Picasso's or something a bit fancier than just standard percs. Other fish that I'm entertaining but have to see how everything will go together (believe me I won't be over stocking, and will make sure everything plays nice) flame angel, coral beauty, 6-line wrasse, mandarin/dragonnet (as tank matures).

Small CUC, an Emerald Crap, and either a skunk, blood, or coral banded shrimp.
 
OP
Haggisman14

Haggisman14

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
1,227
Reaction score
1,349
Location
North Carolina
I love that aquascaping and the rock itself. Great little tank, excited to see its progress!
Thanks! Since I know it will be some time until the corals start propagating in the tank, I wanted to make sure the fish had places to feel safe in it.
 

Susan Edwards

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
2,174
Reaction score
1,549
Location
Tracy, California
chiming in on the nice landscaping. Will be nice to see it come alive.
 
OP
Haggisman14

Haggisman14

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
1,227
Reaction score
1,349
Location
North Carolina
Added my first coral ;-)

Keeping the 3 and 6 year old happy until I can get the real corals added into the tank! Tested nitrates, ammonia, phosphates, and everything came back at zero. Going to introduce my CUC at the end of this week, and then hopefully first fish 1-2 weeks thereafter.

I also make a current cover for my tank with black egg crate from BRS. Serves 2 purposes, once fish start getting added to keep them from sky diving, but right now (and more importantly) keeps my boys from sticking their hands in the tank, and my 3 year old from making his toys go swimming. They're pretty good about it, but you can't be too safe!

I don't mind the black egg crate, but I would definitely like getting the custom top for my tank from Artfully Acrylic to remove all the new shadows that i introduced...just can't justify the $150 for that right now. An ATO is currently my priority for the tank. I also like the new random flow nozzle from one of the new sponsors on here...probably going to give that a shot as I"m not going to introduce any other power heads at the current time.

IMG_9709.JPG
 
Last edited:
OP
Haggisman14

Haggisman14

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
1,227
Reaction score
1,349
Location
North Carolina
Just ordred my first refractometer. When I was in the hobby years back I used the plastic Instant Ocean sailinity checker that just had the float lever. Figured it was time to get my numbers more on point....especially since I"ve got a lower water volume tank..I want to make sure everything is on point!

I really forgot how addicting this hobby is...

Need $$ for reefing :)
 
OP
Haggisman14

Haggisman14

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
1,227
Reaction score
1,349
Location
North Carolina
So just staring into the tank last night, I came across some small clear polyps on the live rock, I"ve have them in my last tank, and hoping these aren't them...but are these aiptasia's? To me they don't look like them at this point...but I could obviously be wrong.

Thanks!

IMG_9716.JPG


IMG_9715.JPG
 
OP
Haggisman14

Haggisman14

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
1,227
Reaction score
1,349
Location
North Carolina
Bonehead mistake #1. So I've never had a refractometer before...got mine last night, used the calibration fluid, and my reading came out to 1.032.....how is this possible?? I'll tell you how. When you calibrate the tool using calibration fluid that is set to 35 PPT, and you adjust the refractometer so that it is level to 1.035 (salinity) rather than 35PPT....I was up all night wondering what I did wrong!

Going to retest tonight, but I'm sure my numbers will be spot on!
 
OP
Haggisman14

Haggisman14

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
1,227
Reaction score
1,349
Location
North Carolina
Last night I retested for levels, and ammonia, nitrates and nitrites all came in at 0. Was hoping to order my Reefcleaners CUC today and have it delivered tomorrow (overnight) but it looks like it won't ship until Monday...trying to call them to see if I can get in on todays shipment.

I reworked my aquascape a bit...and don't think I like what I did...will probably end up reverting back to the old layout...nice thing is, no corals just yet, so i've got time to figure out the layout...however, i really do think I like the old one best. I also think i've got a bunch of aiptasia in the tank. There's one big one I wasn't able to get a picture of...but I also spent some time scouring the tank, and I found this baby on the sandbed....I'm hoping this isn't the case, but if not I will take action. I'll have to do some research, in the past I used a product called Joe's Juice to kill them. But I"ve also recently read of some nudibranchs that will feast on them...as well as peppermint shrimp.

End of the day it's not horrible, and I know I"ll be able to get it under control one way or another...it's just annoying!

Pics of new aqua scape...what do you guys think? Also just a disclaimer...as the corals start growing in the tank, I"ll be taking out the fake decoration...it's for my kids for the time being :)

IMG_9722.JPG


IMG_9723.JPG


IMG_9724.JPG
 
OP
Haggisman14

Haggisman14

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
1,227
Reaction score
1,349
Location
North Carolina
So the boys were happy! Introduced a cleaner ship, 8 small hermits (from my LFS), and did my first water change. I've got an order coming from ReefCleaners tomorrow with the remainder of my snails, a peppermint shrimp to take care of the aiptasia's I've got in the tank, and an Emerald Crab for my wife (the only thing she really really wanted!).

Changed out about 5 gallons of water last night, also put my purigen and chemi-pure to work yesterday in my inTank basket. Going to keep an eye on levels this week, and if everything is okay, will be getting our first with in 7 days there after.

Love how everything's coming together. My boys went nuts when they saw the cleanner shrimp cleaning my fingers!

Cleaner shrimp has been named "Cleaney" and all the hermit crabs are named "Pincheys"

When I get my ReefCleaners order, I'm going to try and pull the rock away from the back wall a little bit to give some extra swimming room around the tank, but going to keep everything in the same orientation.

IMG_9744.JPG


IMG_9747.JPG
 
OP
Haggisman14

Haggisman14

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
1,227
Reaction score
1,349
Location
North Carolina
Being away from the hobby, you forget how impatient you get when you order livestock and you have to wait for it!! Have a CUC and some other goodies coming from ReefCleaners tomorrow...and it can't come soon enough!
 
OP
Haggisman14

Haggisman14

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
1,227
Reaction score
1,349
Location
North Carolina
CUC came! Can't wait to get home! Wahoo!!!!
 
OP
Haggisman14

Haggisman14

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
1,227
Reaction score
1,349
Location
North Carolina
So a quick update. Came home and opened my box of goodies from ReefCleaners. My little ones were just as excited as I was. Everything arrived in great shape from John, with the exception of my emerald crab...he was DOA, but everything else was perfect! (I actually reached out to John first thing this morning, and he refunded me for that little guy right away). Acclimated everything per ReefCleaners instructions, moved my rock work away from the back wall a bit so the cleaner shrimp I had couldn't hide anymore, and bingo bango, everyone's happy!

After I put my boys to sleep, I went to tackle the next big thing...my ATO. After some head scratching and fumbling around with egg crate, I got it all worked out and am pretty happy with what I accomplished. I"ll be taking some pictures tonight, and then posting in the AM.

I've only got one gripe with this tank...it's so dang tight underneath the tank! Obviously you expect that...but doesn't make it any easier. I've gotta find myself a better surge protector as well, as the current one I have is too small for everything.

Will post pics in the AM! Thanks for looking!
 
OP
Haggisman14

Haggisman14

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
1,227
Reaction score
1,349
Location
North Carolina
So here are some pictures from the update. My new peppermint shrimp, and thin striped hermit are doing great as well as everyone else. One of the small hermit crabs didn't make it, and was already being feasted on by the thin striped, peppermint and snails! Our skunk cleaner is also showing himself a bit more as he's getting more accustomed to the tank. There's also a picture of my ATO set up that i got from a fellow reefer here on R2R. I used a piece of egg crate to suspend the 2 floats, and added a zip tie onto the back overflow area so the egg crate would sit over chamber #3 without being on there permanently. So far so good!

Peppermint feasting on dead hermit...before the body floated over here the thin stripped hermit pulled off a leg or two! SAVAGE!
IMG_9907.JPG


Thin Striped hermit - this guy is SUPER FAST, MY WIFE AND BOYS love him!
IMG_9910.JPG


FTS - Front looks pretty much the same, just pulled forward a bit.
IMG_9911.JPG


Left side, you can see rock work has been pulled away from the rear wall a bit, allowing crabs to walk through the back, and also when the shrimp are on the back wall they aren't completely hidden.
IMG_9912.JPG


Close up of Right side, there's "Cleaney"
IMG_9914.JPG
 
OP
Haggisman14

Haggisman14

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
1,227
Reaction score
1,349
Location
North Carolina
So this weekend went really well! We got our first 3 fish. 2 clown fish, and 1 coral beauty. Originally we were going to go for the flame angel, but my oldest loved the coral beauty, so that's the route we took!

Everything is going really really well in the tank. Only thing I have noticed is that my large thing leg hermit crab is pretty dang aggressive towards the mid-size hermits in the tank. I'm not sure if one of them had already died, but I saw him rip its body from the shell, and then proceed to pull him limb from limb. I'm hoping that crab was already dead, and as my wife is saying...he didn't go all Jeffrey Dahmer on him!

Levels are all still reading great! If everything continues to stay stable, we might go back and start introducing some corals this weekend.

And now the pics:

IMG_0182.JPG


IMG_0280.JPG


IMG_0305.JPG


IMG_0378.JPG


IMG_0460.JPG
 
OP
Haggisman14

Haggisman14

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
1,227
Reaction score
1,349
Location
North Carolina
Cleaner shrimp molted on Saturday night too...my boys work up saying..."daddy look there's a baby shrimp in the tank" Interesting describing an exoskeleton to a 6 and 3 year old..I likened it to a Knight and his coat of armor!

Getting the iPhone X this weekend, and hopefully the new camera will help taking not as "blue" pictures"
 
Top