New to the hobby, but I read too much and now I'm paranoid

painfullycurious88

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Equipment:
Bio cube 29 gal w/ LED hood.
Fluval heater
Sow-4 Jebao wavemaker
Sicci 1.0 Return pump
20 pounds Carib sea special live sand
11 pounds live rock 8 dry
Egg crate made filter basket
*level 1 a filter that changes colors depending on what it pulls out will replace with filter floss later
*level 2 Matrix
*level 3 Chempure elite

*per local fish store guidance 2 (captive bred) clownfish after day 2. Upon reading here that was a somewhat rough gamble.

My test kit shows 0 ammonia, .25 nitrates, 1.23 salinity on the refractor, 8.2 ph Temp 78.9 with lights on 77.4 without.

I purchased the aquarium on a great deal, used. It had a couple of scratches and they decided it was time to move on. I grab it, clean it to the absolute best of my ability, and start researching and acquiring the necessary equipment. I know that a lot of what I read here says the light needs to be off for a month, there should be no fish for thirty days, and that pretty much I made major errors (I hope not!).

I've attached a couple of photos of my aquarium setup so far. It's a little cloudy because I messed with the powerhead and shot the substrate everywhere.

IMG_2104.jpg IMG_2105.jpg


Couple of questions I have:

where is the best place to put a wavemaker?

Do I need more liverock, and is that open space too much?

What should I prepare for since I possibly did this all backward?
 
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painfullycurious88

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Looks good. Maybe I missed it, but how long has the tank been up? Have you gotten the uglies yet? Also, I’m assuming for the SG you meant 1.023?
As of today 4 days. About to do a 5 gallon water change. I just checked again it's 1.025 I'm blind.
 
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painfullycurious88

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If it was live rock you are good.
More live rock is a personal preferance.
Since 1.023 is a bit low for corals I assume you will doing fish / inverts only
This is where the information really throws me for a loop. I rechecked my water it's 1.025. When I purchased the rock it was under constant water with a bunch of other rocks. Online this is called *cured* and *live* depending on the people, and that's super confusing.
 

Nick Steele

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I don’t think you did anything wrong. Live rock should help you skip the cycle and plus clowns are hardy so should be fine.

where is the best place to put a wavemaker? Usually it’s about 1/3rd of the way down the glass on one of the sides of the aquarium (this can vary depending on tank/corals)

Do I need more liverock, and is that open space too much? More is personal preference. I actually like that scape a lot might be a little harder to glue corals to grow but can look wonderful! Also it’s good to have some sandbed open so you can place corals there.

What should I prepare for since I possibly did this all backward? I think you are good and anything that pops up will be normal things like algae etc.
 

Jekyl

GSP is the devil and clowns are bad pets
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This is where the information really throws me for a loop. I rechecked my water it's 1.025. When I purchased the rock it was under constant water with a bunch of other rocks. Online this is called *cured* and *live* depending on the people, and that's super confusing.
This gets mistaken a lot. If the rock was already in a tank, maturing then it is live rock. The dry stuff would just be called dry.
 

Auquanut

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I don’t think you did anything wrong. Live rock should help you skip the cycle and plus clowns are hardy so should be fine.

where is the best place to put a wavemaker? Usually it’s about 1/3rd of the way down the glass on one of the sides of the aquarium (this can vary depending on tank/corals)

Do I need more liverock, and is that open space too much? More is personal preference. I actually like that scape a lot might be a little harder to glue corals to grow but can look wonderful! Also it’s good to have some sandbed open so you can place corals there.

What should I prepare for since I possibly did this all backward? I think you are good and anything that pops up will be normal things like algae etc.
If I were to give advice, I would say this ^^. I personally really like the scape. This is a really good time to get used to your tank and to get comfortable testing parameters. Take your time, and research any changes/additions before you act. And of course, ask lots of questions. Looking good!
 

Jekyl

GSP is the devil and clowns are bad pets
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Does he need to be removed?
Depends on who you ask. Some say they will go after zoas(mine never have). I just see them as part of my clean up crew. If they get too bad a harlequin shrimp or bumblebee snails( I think) will make quick work of them
 

MaxTremors

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I removed it since google said they're bad. It's still cool my tank is supporting life.
They’re not bad. The white ones are just detritivores, if they’re population gets out of control, you can do something about them, but unless you’re massively over feeding, it’s not likely to happen. Personally, I like them, they just cruise around and eat left over food/algae/bacteria.
 

Scott Ulrich

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If I could have given myself any advice, it would have been to get an ATO from the beginning. It just eliminates the daily maintenance of topping off a tank. Evaporation just occurs a lot more than I would have imagined. For me the added stability is worth it and if you ever go out of town for a weekend its easy to get someone to feed your tank or get an auto feeder, but more difficult to ask someone to add water imo.

For that size tank the Tunze nano is just around a hundred bucks. Never used the following site, but I've heard of them and they have it in stock (unlike brs):

Regarding rockwork, it depends on your stocking list as to whether you need more or not.
 

carbasaurus

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Hi, there is a lot to go over here and I may not hit everything. Firstly, welcome to a great hobby. The intellectual challenge is half the fun. As for my background:,I keep a 200 gallon sps tank, a 65 softie tank and I have your bio cube that I run as a mini reef, quarantine/acclimation tank for new fish.

1.I personally like a bit more rockscape. The rock provides surface area for your denitrifying bacteria so intuitively more is better. More rock work gives more bolt holes for the fish when they get startled and more coral mounting surface area. The trade off in a small system is that more rock means less total water. Ultimately go with what looks nice to your eyes as it’s your tank and you should like how it looks

2. Cycling can be fast or slow depending on how cleaned and well cured the live rock is. Dry rock ( manufactured or quarried from dry limestone fossil reefs) will not have a population of bacteria, so if using that you need to seed bacteria from somewhere else (live sand will do or commercial bacteria additives). Moderately fresh live rock may have dead stuff that needs to break down and cycle but should have plenty of denitrifying bacteria present. Well cured live rock may give the best of both worlds. Agree with the post by aquanaut that said now is the time to learn about testing and let the system cycle. If the rock has decaying matter you will get a spike in ammonia, followed by a nitrite spike, then a nitrate spike. Once the nitrates are down trending and ammonia and nitrite are zero you are good to go on livestock (fish can tolerate moderate nitrate, but nitrite and ammonia are deadly)

3. As far as livestock, You can’t go wrong with captive bred clowns. Some can get big and/or get really scrappy. I would advise against Maroon, Tomato or Clark complex clownfish in this size tank. Percula, skunk or ocellaris clowns would be great though. As far as tank mates: you will not want overly aggressive fish as the less aggressive ones cannot hide. Always add least aggressive first and go slow. I think the rule of thumb of 0.4 inches of fish size per gallon is still a good rule, so roughly twelve total inches of fish for the tank. I have always pushed that limit and wind up struggling with my nitrate levels once I exceed that threshold.

4. I bought my bio cube about 6 years ago so the LEDs might not be the most up to date. Mine will support mushroomcoral, Xenia, sinularia, and green star polyps. You can probably do long polyp stony corals that are good feeders. SPS corals would need better lighting.

5. The biocube, because of the tight hood, does not seem to have a lot of evaporative water loss compared to my other two tanks so an ATO may not be needed. I can get away with topping a little off every 2-3 days whereas the other two are topped off daily.

6. the hitchhiker is an asterina starfish. Mostly they are good though there are different types and some may dine on hard SPS corals. Soft corals will not be harmed. I like them and have them in all my tanks. Keep looking, especially at night. You’ll be amazed at all the creepy crawlers that are in there. Most are harmless or beneficial. A few can be problematic. When I was a newbie I excitedly fed a new “coral”sprouting from my live rock only to learn later it was aptaisa!!!

7. Lastly, when checking your salinity, regardless of the testing tool, make sure you clean with fresh water after use so you don’t have residual salt giving you a falsely elevated reading

I think that covers most of your questions. Happy Reefing
 

Scott Ulrich

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New question: I've added the two clowns, and two hermit crabs I'm feeding the clowns twice daily and I have 0 nitrates 0 nitrites and 0 ammonia as of tonight.

New answer: That is not a question :)

Also, it can takes a while for nitrates to build up to readable levels
 
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