New member starting a salt water reef with a 29 Biocube

Mary Carmen

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Hi all!

I have been taking care of fish for several years now. I have a 5 gallon tank with a Betta fish, and a 10 gallon with 5 tiger barbs. Both tanks are planted and doing well. This year for my 40th birthday I told my family and friends that I wanted to start a salt water tank. Last weekend, I found that petco had a CORALIFE 29 biocube tank on clearance for 95$ so I took it as a sign that I should get started with my dream. So here I am. I decided to join this forum so I can read as much as I can before I start purchasing all the supplies I need. Suggestions are welcome.

Thank you for reading!

MC
 
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Chrisfish

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Welcome to R2R, do lots of reading, watch you tube videos, ask lots of questions and take it slow. There are lots of very knowledgeable and helpful members here so ask away:)
 
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Mary Carmen

Mary Carmen

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Hi all,
This is a little summary of where we are with this project. Feel free to comment and let me know what I am doing right or wrong or if you just have suggestions.
I am still researching to make sure I don't make mistakes. Finding the 29cube on clearance was a nice surprise.
I can't start until the Reef Saver Aquarium Dry Live Rock arrives and I figure out how to cure it. I only ordered 12 pounds because I want to go to my LFS and buy some of their already cured live rock.

Anyhow... this is a list of what I already have:
  • the tank 29 biocube from CORALIFE. I am covering the bottom of the tank with eggcrate to protect the glass.
  • the stand (built by my AWESOME husband, I will add a picture below)
  • CaribSea Arag-Alive Fiji Pink Sand
  • I have a couple of pounds of seashells my girls picked up from the beach last summer. Can I just rinse them with salt water and add them to the aquarium?
  • Instant Ocean Sea Salt
  • RO system (not sure if I need API StressCoat + water conditioning, but I have it too)
  • Refractometer
  • DIY rack for the filter (you can't see it in the picture but the walls have a plastic layer so the water has to travel down to the bottom)
  • Purigen
  • Chemipure elite
  • In-tank Aquarium filter floss
  • ViaAqua 100-Watt Quartz Glass Submersible Heater with Built-in Thermostat (this will arrive tomorrow or monday)
  • API Test Kit
I am still looking for the perfect wave maker, so far I like the Hydor Koralia Nano 240 Circulation pump. Does anyone have other circulating pumps they like more? Will one be enough?
I also have no idea which in-tank thermometer is better.
If I am forgetting something or you have any suggestions, please let me know. Here are some pictures:

IMG_0471.JPG IMG_0472.JPG IMG_0473.JPG 54181895193__D3DA7A10-3AE2-4C43-9DA7-7E203883566F.JPG Thank you, MC
 
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Mary Carmen

Mary Carmen

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Hi all again!

I finally got the rocks. I rinsed them thoroughly and I figured out a nice layout. Here I added a couple of pictures of how my 29 biocube looks like.
IMG_0505.JPG IMG_0503.JPG

You can't see it well but the rock on the top right, the one that looks really dark, is the one I got already cured and aged from my lfs. I waited until there was some water in the tank before I placed it. Then I noticed there was something coming out of the rock, I think it was fish poo but I am bot sure. I hope I didn't make a mistake not rinsing this rock. Here is a picture of what came off it:

IMG_0507.JPG

I also tested the water after I had the pump and the heater running for an hour and this is what I got:

Salinity- 1.024
PH- 8.1
Am- .25 (looks a bit darker)
Nitrite and Nitrate - 0
I will be testing again in 5 days if I can wait that much. Here are some pictures of the results:

IMG_0510.jpg IMG_0511.JPG IMG_0512.JPG IMG_0513.JPG

I am running the tank without the Purigen or the Chemipure elite. I read somewhere that it will slow down the cycle. I am using the blue and white filter floss to help collect residue. Let me know if I should be doing something else.
Wish me luck!
Mary
 
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Mary Carmen

Mary Carmen

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IMG_0523.JPG

And today I decided to speed up the process and I added BIOspira, nitrifying bacteria. I will do some water testing in a couple of hours and post the results.
 
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