New member starting a salt water reef with a 29 Biocube

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Mary Carmen

Mary Carmen

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Am-.35 (more or less)
Nitrite- 0ppm
Nitrate-2 ppm (maybe?)
Well, let me know what you think. Is this the beginning of something? Will I see some Nitrite? I will wait until tomorrow morning to see if the BIOspira made more nitrates.
IMG_0524.JPG IMG_0525.JPG IMG_0526.JPG
Thank you!
 
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LanM

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Welcome to R2R! Awsome place, great people!
Nitrites will rise before nitrates

Ammonia----nitrite----nitrate

What kit are you using?
I started with the API, but went to Salifert....significantly more accurate.
 
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Mary Carmen

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Hi all,

The water in the tank looks a bit opaque, not sure if you can see it in this picture. I supposed it is because I used BIOspire. I read that this product works better if you add a fish to the tank, but I wonder if I can also provide ammonia by ghost feeding OMEGA ONE Freeze Dry Brine Shrimp. Please advice!

IMG_0533.JPG

I forgot to mention that I am using 4 different types of rocks in this setup. Does anyone want to guess?
 

LanM

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Well, I can see 1 piece of live, some texas holy, what looks like florida mined, cant see the 4th.

But, none of those types are dry "live" rock, so I don't think theres anything to decay and creat ammonia like you would have with the dried worms and whatnot you get with dry pukani or something like that.


The ultimate setup link is a worthy read, it'll walk you through the stages what to expect what happens
 
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Mary Carmen

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Thank you for the suggestion LanM.

In the article, it says that in the Nitrate stage, "nitrates are removed within the live rock deep inside in all of the deep pours. This hidden bacteria consumes the nitrate and creates nitrogen gas as a byproduct. " I took a picture of the live rock in the tank and I noticed that it was making bubbles. Do you think this is nitrogen?

Here is the picture I took:
IMG_0536.JPG

I also took a picture of the Texas Holey rock because there was a funny thing on it. Not sure if you can see it in my picture, but it looks like a snowflake. Any idea what it is?
IMG_0522.JPG

By the way, here is a list of the rocks I put in the tank:

8- Reef saver dry rocks
2-Texas Holey
1- Tufa
1- Fiji (live rock)

Thank you for reading!
 
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Mary Carmen

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... and here are the numbers for today. I am adding the pictures too. If you think I read any of them wrong, let me know.
Am- .40 ppm
Nitrites-.15 ppm
Nitrates- 5 ppm
Salinity- 1.024
PH-8.2
Temperature- 76 F

IMG_0538 2.JPG IMG_0539.JPG IMG_0540.JPG IMG_0541.JPG IMG_0542.JPG

Let's Recap-

I started the 29g Biocube march,14th, four days ago. I am only running the pump with nothing but some filter floss on the second chamber and a heater on the first chamber. I am not sure when should I add the Purigen or the Chemipure Elite (HELP). I was thinking about waiting until the Diatoms come up, but let me know if I should wait until the Cyanobacteria shows up. ???

My vision for this tank is to have one or two clown fish, a pistol shrimp + watchman goby pair, a couple of hermit crabs and some corals. I think at least one bristle worm is still in the tank. He is a hitchhiker that came on the Fiji live rock (now I know why it was 30% off at Petco).

I research corals and I am interested in getting some of the following: Dragon eye (zoanthid), a light blue/green toadstool, a purple Blastomussa, and a light green Montipora. Not sure where to get them from but I am not in a hurry to set this tank up. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I will read about supplements at some point.

My question now is...
When is it safe to add the CUC?

Notes:
Based on these last readings, I have to say that BIOspira works. If I am not mistaken it takes two or three weeks to get nitrates readings.

Thank you for reading and as always I appreciate any comments and suggestions.

Bye,
MC
 

saltyfilmfolks

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Another day, another question. When should I start using the circulation pump?
Tank is looking great! Sit back. Relax.

You got the pump going , perfect. I like the jeabo mp10. Honestly it’s because it has a pause button for feeding and is DC.

... and here are the numbers for today. I am adding the pictures too. If you think I read any of them wrong, let me know.
Am- .40 ppm
Nitrites-.15 ppm
Nitrates- 5 ppm
Salinity- 1.024
PH-8.2
Temperature- 76 F

IMG_0538 2.JPG IMG_0539.JPG IMG_0540.JPG IMG_0541.JPG IMG_0542.JPG

Let's Recap-

I started the 29g Biocube march,14th, four days ago. I am only running the pump with nothing but some filter floss on the second chamber and a heater on the first chamber. I am not sure when should I add the Purigen or the Chemipure Elite (HELP). I was thinking about waiting until the Diatoms come up, but let me know if I should wait until the Cyanobacteria shows up. ???

My vision for this tank is to have one or two clown fish, a pistol shrimp + watchman goby pair, a couple of hermit crabs and some corals. I think at least one bristle worm is still in the tank. He is a hitchhiker that came on the Fiji live rock (now I know why it was 30% off at Petco).

I research corals and I am interested in getting some of the following: Dragon eye (zoanthid), a light blue/green toadstool, a purple Blastomussa, and a light green Montipora. Not sure where to get them from but I am not in a hurry to set this tank up. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I will read about supplements at some point.

My question now is...
When is it safe to add the CUC?

Notes:
Based on these last readings, I have to say that BIOspira works. If I am not mistaken it takes two or three weeks to get nitrates readings.

Thank you for reading and as always I appreciate any comments and suggestions.

Bye,
MC
Tests are all good. Let it rest.

You can add the purigen after you see no ammoina. It doesn’t really matter , but , I like to let the primordial soup stew.

I personally don’t like to run phosphate removes in general like chemipure , but one real reason is you don’t want to strip Po4entriely. It can cause problembs.

You may not get cyano and you May only get a few diatoms. Every tank is different. I prefer to let them run the course.

Once the cycle is done zero ammonia little to no nitrite , grab a few sanils. Not a lot of food in there. So go slow. A fighting chonk will eat diatoms. I prefer to watch the tank and add Cuc as algaes come on. Get small turbos. Big ones can starve. Also consider diverse snails too. They eat different stuff. If you feed meaty get carnivores etc. some are more omnivores. IMO , goslow onnthe crabs. Lack of food and some will turn to the dark side. I now have one crab in my 30 gal.
You fortunately already have one great carnivore in there.
I actually seeded both my tanks with a ton of them. I can’t even find one now.

On coral , the best starter corals are the cheap corals. Some new tank hate some corals. So testers are reccomded. I’ve seen tanks kill Xenia due to low nutints and high alk. Sps are generally avoided. But agin , if it’s cheap and you like it. Try it. I’m not a great acan guy , so I’m not sure how well they do in newer tanks.


Go slow and be patient. You’re going to want a tooth brush for the tank. Feeding is the hardest part to get a handle on. That’s where the cyano starts. Personally, I’d keep using the biospira after water changes for a while. I met the guy who made the formula Dr Tim. His brand one and only is a bit better IMO. More types of bacteria in it.

Are you running an ato? Or skimmer?
 
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Mary Carmen

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Thank you for the great suggestions. I am reading about the turbo snails you mentioned, but wouldn't the bristle worms eat the snails?

I have a skimmer, but it is still in the box. I figured I will wait a month or so until the tank has something to skim :D.
 

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Just found your thread! Let me see if I can hit some of the questions I didn't see an answer to.
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?
I would rinse them very well in tap water then let them soak in saltwater for a few days. If the water stays clear they will be safe to add.

I am running the tank without the Purigen or the Chemipure elite.
I wouldn't use either of them in a new tank. You may need to later, but I wouldn't start with them. The only chemical I would run in a new system is GAC.

Another day, another question. When should I start using the circulation pump?
I think you already have it running, but I would start it now and leave it running if it isn't.

Will I see some Nitrite?
Since you added Biospira you may never see much in the way of nitrites. Your bottle could have been a little heavy on the nitrite processing bacteria so it is being consumed as fast as it is produced. It also contains some bacteria that convert ammonia directly to nitrate.

Do you think this is nitrogen?
Very unlikely. I would guess it is oxygen being generated in a small patch of algae.

When is it safe to add the CUC?
Salty gave you plenty of great advice on CuC so won't go into that.

wouldn't the bristle worms eat the snails?
Nope, they work together and make a great team.

I have a skimmer, but it is still in the box. I figured I will wait a month or so until the tank has something to skim :D.
I would get it up and running now. You may be surprised at how much you can skim out right now and there is a learning curve with using a skimmer. Set it up and start working on getting it dialed in!
 

vetteguy53081

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Welcome to the forum. This is a far cry from Tiger barbs and soon you will ignore the barbs and betta when you have a piece of the ocean in your home.
That was a great price on the bio-cube unit and I suggest as others will, to go slowly and spend the most you can on the best equipment you can. The Bio-cube makes things easy and it is low maintenance and supports marine life well. Research and pick out the best 5-6 fish you can accommodate keeping them in small size grouping (obviously you don't want a lion or puffer in there).

For your birthday/anniversary, etc request a good test kit. The API kit you have in your pics is ok - problem, is that it is ok. You want a reliable/good kit. Use a good seawater salt mix, keep tank from or near a window as it will be forever green LOL and get a good heater with thermostatic control. You don't want a hang-on thermometer from walmart persay.

Patience and enjoyment will be your rewards as will be reliable advice. Good first corals will be leather, zoas and xenia or GSP for ease of care and beauty.

Here is a pic from a smaller system. It can be done. I have 4 tanks and its' quite the addiction !!
drop off1.jpg
 
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Mary Carmen

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Thank you Brew12!

Preparing the seashells sounds like a good project to start with the kids.

I am glad to hear that the bristle worm is not going to eat a snail but I wonder how is it going to survive in a new tank. I used live sand to help establish it. I hope the worm doesn't get rid of the nutrients before the tank can produce more. I am gosht feeding to help create ammonia.

As for the circulation pump, I was referring to a second one that someone gifted me, a brand new Hydor Koralia circulation and wave pump (240 gph). I thought that maybe I don't need it until I get the corals at some point.

And, I will start now setting up the skimmer. You are right, I read somewhere in the product reviews they are a bit finicky to set up.

MC
___________________________________________________

Thank you Vetteguy!

That picture is so beautiful. It looks like an underwater forest. What types of Zoa are those in the middle of the picture (bright green with the middle purple ring?
Also, Can you suggest a good test kit?

MC
 

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Welcome.

Purigen is your chemical skimmer. You really don't need it until the fish have been there for a while. I'm not sure what mechanical skimmer you got but with the purigen it's not necessary. Also, skimmer for nano tanks in general don't perform well, not when you see what a lager skimmer does in a larger system.
 

vetteguy53081

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Thank you Brew12!

Preparing the seashells sounds like a good project to start with the kids.

I am glad to hear that the bristle worm is not going to eat a snail but I wonder how is it going to survive in a new tank. I used live sand to help establish it. I hope the worm doesn't get rid of the nutrients before the tank can produce more. I am gosht feeding to help create ammonia.

As for the circulation pump, I was referring to a second one that someone gifted me, a brand new Hydor Koralia circulation and wave pump (240 gph). I thought that maybe I don't need it until I get the corals at some point.

And, I will start now setting up the skimmer. You are right, I read somewhere in the product reviews they are a bit finicky to set up.

MC
___________________________________________________

Thank you Vetteguy!

That picture is so beautiful. It looks like an underwater forest. What types of Zoa are those in the middle of the picture (bright green with the middle purple ring?
Also, Can you suggest a good test kit?

MC
Dragon eyed do a mixed colony
For test kit- nyos, Hanna or salifert
 
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Mary Carmen

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Hi all! It's Friday again!

Time to post and see the progress. This is a picture I took on Tuesday. I added the seashells after scrubbing and soaking them in fresh water.

IMG_0564.JPG -----> CUTE!

I tested the water on Tuesday and here are the numbers:
Am- .50ppm
Nitrites- 1.5 ppm
Nitrates- 5 ppm

Today (Friday), these are the levels:
Am- .25ppm
Nitrites- 0 ppm
Nitrates- 10 or 20 ppm (not sure because both colors look the same to me)

Getting there very slowly. I am posting pictures of Friday's results so you can help me figure out the level of Nitrates. Another question related to this. Should I make a water change since my Nitrates are high?
IMG_0568.JPG IMG_0569.JPG IMG_0570.JPG

This week I noticed little brown spots growing all over the tank. These are some pictures I just took. Are these diatoms?

IMG_0565.JPG IMG_0566.JPG IMG_0567.JPG

My last question is about whether or not I am ready to add the cleaning crew this weekend. I research my options and I decided I want to get some of the following snails: Astrea, Margarita, or turbo. I need to check with my LFS to see availability. Any suggestions for crabs or shrimps that will not eat or fight with the snails? I looked online but found contradictory information. Eventually, I would like to have a goby/shrimp pair but not sure if the shrimp would fight with them either. Some information would be appreciated in that regard too.

Here is a summary of my questions:
1. Help reading the Nitrates.
2. Should I do a water change now?
3. What is growing on my rocks?
4. When do I add some snails?
5. Suggestions for shrimps or crabs that get along with the snails.

Thank you for reading and have a great weekend!
MC
 
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saltyfilmfolks

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Very cool!

Diatoms yep. LIFE!!!!

15ppm ish no3

When the ammoina is zero....yellow.
An ammonia alert badge is pretty cheap and a good double check on the api test.

After the ammonia is zero do a water change.
I’d would also add some of a good bottle of bacteria as well afterwards.
Keep promoting the bio filter.


When the ammonia is zero look for snails. IMO also good to wait on the number and add slowly. They need food and in a small tank they can starve quick.

It’s also a good idea to match the snails with what you are feeding the fish. Meaty foods, crabs and nassarius , flakes and veg , turbans and trochus.


Somthing to read while you wait?
https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/choosing-cleanup-crew-critters.258695/
 

vetteguy53081

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Do a small water change and by all means add some inverts. I recommend 2 turbo snails, 2 astrea snails, and a coral banded or cleaner shrimp.
 
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Mary Carmen

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Another question!
Do I add now the Purigen and or the Chemi-pure Elite?
 
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