stalkem's Oceanic Biocube 29 HQI (first SW tank)

stalkem

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I guess I started my "build thread" in the Meet & Greet section. Feel free to visit, Newby with a Nano Reef! And I liked @Blopple's build format, so borrowing that... thanks!

Growing up, I had several freshwater tanks. Probably wasn't great at it, but had fun with it. Recently, a friend's mom finally evicted his 125 gallon tank, after he moved into his new home, so he gifted me his BioCube 29 HQI. I have a 3 year old, so this has been fun for her to watch and "help."

Dry/Equipment:
  • Tank - Oceanic BioCube 29 HQI
  • Stand - Random nightstand that I got at a local furniture store's blemish section. Solid wood, with 3 drawers.
  • Return
    • Stock Coralife pump for the BioCube.
    • 12/12/23 - upgrades to a SICCE Syncra Silent 1.5 to increase flow through HOB Coralife Turbo-Twist 3X.
  • Lights - SMATFARM 60 Watt Reef light, retrofitted it into the HQI canopy.
    • 11/22/23 - ditched the HQI canopy, and modified the tank rim (cut out some plastic spacers) to fit the hanging bracket that came with the light.
  • Cycle - FritzZyme Turbo Start 900 with 2 clowns.
  • Testing - API Master Kit, Salifert Ca/Alk/Mg/Nitrate, NYOS Phosphate, Digital PH Meter, 7-in-1 Bluetooth Meter, and ZeroWater TDS meter.
  • Skimmer - Coralife BioCube Protein Skimmer in Chamber 1
    • Since I modified the top of the wall between Chambers 1 and 2, I added the universal hanging bracket, and moved the skimmer to the backwall of the tank in Chamber 1.
  • Power Heads - Hydro Koralia Nano
  • Heater - Not sure brand, but it is one that my friend used with the tank, and provided to me. Monitored with JBJ Digital Thermometer.
  • Filtration
    • Coralife BioCube Original Filter Cartridge in top of Chamber 2 and GKM 9W UV in Chamber 3 fit in just above return pump.
    • 12/7/23 - Ordered an Intank Media Basket, going to remove top shelf and put in some filter socks. Before I commit to removing that shelf, I also bought an IM Replacement Sock holder. I'll see if that fits over the top edge in chamber 2. I ditched the GKM in favor of the Coralife Turbo-Twist UV 3X. Trying to up my dino battle game. Hung it on the back of the stand, and connected return pump out of chamber 3 through that and into the return nozzle.
      • Sock holder did not fit in the chamber of the BioCube.
    • 12/12/23 - Hooked up the Coralife Turbo-Twist UV 3X, mounted at the back of the stand. Plumbed the SICCE 1.5 out through the UV and back to the inlet. UV runs from 23:30 to 17:30 daily.
    • 1/1/24 - Modified tank to install the Intank Media Basket, cut the top edge between chambers 1 and 2 to increase flow and stall the water director provided, also cut some of the trim lip on the rear top to allow the media basket to be more easily removed without having to remove the light bracket. I had made some little sock filters out of 25 micron nylon filter sheet. Fit basket one perfectly, but the flow was too great for 25 micron, and quickly filled and overflowed. I'll just stick with some filter floss (for now). I went with the Pinky Filter Floss.
    • 1/3/24 - added a @SantaMonica DROP1.2X Algae Scrubber with a dual outlet adjustable aerator. Scrubber runs from 18:00 to 12:00 daily.
  • ATO - None
  • Rocks - 40lb Real Reef Premium Life Rock... probably only fit like 32-35 lbs of it in the tank.
  • Sand - Tank came with some sand, but added 20lbs CaribSea Arag-Alive Fiji Pink
  • RODI - Aquatic Life RO Buddie Plus DI, into a 40 gallon Brute container with a Aquatic Life Float Valve Kit
  • Added a Shrimp Feeding Tube to try and train my Dragonet. Removed this. Dragonet wasn't really into it, and the top is annoying to get to with the trim lip of the BioCube.
  • Brine Shrimp Hatchery Dish & Brine Shrimp Eggs to grow my Dragonet (and other fish) some tasty treats.
  • 2 Pod Hotels in the bottom of Chamber 2, weighed down with a piece of reef rock. Trying to give the pods a semi safe place to reproduce for the tank. Added an algae scrubber, which sits nicely on top of the pod hotels, but had to remove that piece of reef rock.
Livestock:
  • Fish:
    • Paired Ocellaris Clownfish (Vivid & Mocha) - added with the TurboStart. (10/1/23)
    • Dragonet and Royal Gramma - added a few weeks later, about a week after tank was cycled and confirmed everything was zeroed out. (10/20/23)
    • Hi Fin Red Banded Goby (11/5/23)
    • Yellow Watchman Goby (11/30/23) - ORA sale at @SaltwaterAq
    • Midas Blenny (1/12/24) RIP (4/5/24)
  • Inverts:
    • Ordered a cleanup crew from @reefcleaners to counter the diatoms that were starting to settle in after cycling. (10/25/23)
      • 11 - Astaea Snails
      • 30 - Dwarf Ceriths
      • 12 - Florida Ceriths
      • 12 - Nassarius Vibex
      • 4 - Nerite Snail
      • 2 - Info Turbo Snails
      • 2 - Scarlet Hermit Crabs
    • Candy Stripe Randall's Pistol Shrimp (11/5/23)
    • Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (12/7/23)
    • Hermit Crew (12/7/23)
      • 5 - Blue legged
      • 5 - Red legged
      • 5 - Scarlet
    • Tiger Tail Cucumber (2/7/24)
    • 2 - Tiger Sand Conchs (2/7/24)
  • Corals:
    • Green Star Polyp - added with the Dragonet & RG. Made a small little island a the front corner. (10/20/23)
    • Zoas - small frag with 5 heads. Very tiny heads with orange centers.
    • Hammer Coral (11/11/23)
    • @SaltwaterAq Cyber Weekend Sale (12/7/23)
      • Mystery Gold Torch (going with "Ignited Dragon Soul")
      • Mystery Zoas (5 pack) (ditto on trying to ID them)
    • Japanese Toadstool Leather (2/7/24)
    • TSA Slam Duncan (2/7/24)
    • Green Stem Duncan (2/7/24)

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stalkem

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Snafu along the way, which I think I am now regretting. I got some Vibrant (I think it was right before the CUC arrived) and dosed the tank one time to try and clean it up. It worked pretty well! I think the "uglies" ended fairly quick...

... but now I think I've got some dinoflagellates going on. I don't have a microscope, but the picture I've seen seem to match (kinda snotty with bubbles). Been reading up lots of suggestions on here.

I had done a pretty good cleanup this weekend, blasting and scrubbing it off the rocks (as much as I could), and off the GSP (which wasn't happy with it on it). For the rest, I'm trying to peroxide dosing (1mL/10 gal) every day. I'm on day 3, so we'll see. I've also started dosing Phosphorus & Nitrogen. Goal is to get to 5ppm nitrate and 0.05 ppm phosphate.

I've also turned off my skimmer while trying to get the nitrates and phosphates back up.

I think once I get through a week of the peroxide dosing (I might extend out to 2 weeks, depending on how it looks), I plan to overstock on copepods and do a some phytoplankton dosing with that. From what I've read, the pods can combat the dinos, but I fear that the fish might eat them before that plan is productive.

Plus side of all of this... while I've been paying so much attention to the stupid dinos, I'm like 90% sure that I saw the shrimp briefly pop out of the burrow that the goby is occupying. I was excited and glad that they found each other! That was the plan when I got them together, but of course when I put them in, the shrimp quickly went one way into the rocks, and the goby went another!
 
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Hey! Appreciate the formatting shout out haha.

Tank looks cool. Interested to see how the pod management works for the dragonet. I've struggled a bit with pod population myself and hope you've got a solution here!

Darn Vibrant strikes again! I recently dealt with a minor dino issue myself (at least I think it was). Started getting stringy algae and minor bubbles on it on the sand, and hanging of off the leathers. I've never had a low nitrate problem, but my phos was bottomed out. Been testing phos 1-2 times a day, dosing to keep it up, and I did 2x 3 day blackouts, also dosing Microbacter 7 since I had some on hand for my QT. Haven't seen a single string in a week or so. I'm hoping I caught it early and went aggressive enough that they won't be back.

Will be following along!
 
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Good tip on the Microbacter 7. I got home yesterday, and the tank looked a bit worse. My main concern was not killing the few corals that I have, but I think I found a post on here talking about there not always being sunny weather out in the world and a few days of blackout won't harm them. This lead me to this nice @Bulk Reef Supply post on what to do about dinoflagellates, and they also mentioned Microbacter 7. Since it's a nano, I don't have all the fun fancy equipment that the describe. I've got the GKM running in chamber 3, but most of my dinos appear to be surface. So sticking with hitting the spots with turkey baster and a brush to break it up, and running a blackout until after thanksgiving. Blackout curtain sponsored by #Chewy! (not really, but they're such a great company!) Going to give it another good scrub and water change this weekend. Then I'll start with the Microbacter 7, and pray to Dagon!

My NYOS phosphate test gets delivered today, so can't wait to see what that reads. I started dosing a bit to get to the 0.05 ppm level, along with enough nitrogen to get to 5ppm... but when I did the nitrate test again yesterday, it was still a clear 0 with the Salifert test. I dosed them again, last night, along with some Phytoplankton, and then some peroxide dosing later before calling it a night.

Interested to see how the pod management works for the dragonet.
When I got the dragonet, the LFS said he was only eating live... so that was worrisome. However, after a few weeks of target feeding, he comes right up to the pipet and will go at the end. Mostly frozen brine shrimp, need to get some other frozen options for him (yes him, with his cool fin!). I've also been growing some brine shrimp and piping him some juveniles from that ring. I turn everything off to do that, and all the fish have been going nuts for them when I do. I think I left everything off for like 30 minutes, so the dragonet has been getting adventurous, and I've seen him go to the top of the tank and start pecking at pellets! So I might have hit the jackpot on that one! My daughter wanted the "dragonfish," so I hope we can keep him alive... so far so good! So I'll keep adding pods periodically, but more focused on trying to get him to eat other stuff!
 

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So I think the blackout worked. I did turn the light on a little each evening to feed. I had dosed the Seachem Phosphorus amount to raise to 0.1ppm for 2 days, and the Seachem Nitrogen amount to raise to 10ppm for 3 days (it was reading low on day 2, so I panicked and dosed again). Day 3, it seemed way high. I think I got it up to what seemed just under 25ppm per the Salifert test. I did the API test, and that was looking like between 10 and 20 ppm. When I finished the blackout on Friday, I started the Microbacter 7 dosing... I started with the lower amount for nutrients.

However, I tested all the water parameters over the weekend, and Ammonia (per API) was at 0.5ppm and Nitrite between 0.5 and 1.0 ppm (however, I have one of the little glass cling ammonia alerts, and that hadn't moved out of the safe zone). I got a little worried, and upped the Microbacter 7 dosing up to the level for med/high nutrients. I think I'll keep it there for the 2 week period. Other parameters remained in check, 9.6KH, 1125 Mg (a little low, but maybe I messed up the test), 465 Ca, and Ph meter reading at 8.34.

Tested the API kit again today, and numbers look great. Ph between 8.2 and 8.4 (so that jives with the meter), Ammonia 0ppm (or unnoticeable), nitrite is maybe a hair over 0 (but less than the 0.25 ppm). nitrates still hanging around 10ppm, and phosphates were at about 0.15ppm.

I've also been dosing between 6-9mL of Phytoplankton daily (through the whole blackout and along with the Microbacter 7). No noticeable signs of any of the snotty dino. I am seeing some green algea starting on the rocks and on the glass... not going to scrub for a bit and see what can take off. Corals seem happier... I did give the GSP a good turkey baster blasting and some light scrubbing to clean it up during the blackout clean up time... so glad it isn't too ticked off. Things seem to be on the upswing!

Also weird thing. On day one of the blackout, the Hi Fin Red Banded Goby was out and about on the bottom when I took the cardboard down, and the grayed out (sleeping) dragonet was right next to him. Then hadn't seen the goby for several days. Yesterday, when I turned all the gadgets off to feed, I kept hearing a splashing... the goby somehow made it into chamber 3, and was living with my GKM and return pump. Got him back in the main tank, but haven't seen where he made his new home... hope he finds his shrimp again! But he must have jumped over when I had all the top components off when I was dino cleaning. I don't think there was any other way for him to get in there. Also rescued 2 snails that went over.
 

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So I think the blackout worked. I did turn the light on a little each evening to feed. I had dosed the Seachem Phosphorus amount to raise to 0.1ppm for 2 days, and the Seachem Nitrogen amount to raise to 10ppm for 3 days (it was reading low on day 2, so I panicked and dosed again). Day 3, it seemed way high. I think I got it up to what seemed just under 25ppm per the Salifert test. I did the API test, and that was looking like between 10 and 20 ppm. When I finished the blackout on Friday, I started the Microbacter 7 dosing... I started with the lower amount for nutrients.

However, I tested all the water parameters over the weekend, and Ammonia (per API) was at 0.5ppm and Nitrite between 0.5 and 1.0 ppm (however, I have one of the little glass cling ammonia alerts, and that hadn't moved out of the safe zone). I got a little worried, and upped the Microbacter 7 dosing up to the level for med/high nutrients. I think I'll keep it there for the 2 week period. Other parameters remained in check, 9.6KH, 1125 Mg (a little low, but maybe I messed up the test), 465 Ca, and Ph meter reading at 8.34.

Tested the API kit again today, and numbers look great. Ph between 8.2 and 8.4 (so that jives with the meter), Ammonia 0ppm (or unnoticeable), nitrite is maybe a hair over 0 (but less than the 0.25 ppm). nitrates still hanging around 10ppm, and phosphates were at about 0.15ppm.

I've also been dosing between 6-9mL of Phytoplankton daily (through the whole blackout and along with the Microbacter 7). No noticeable signs of any of the snotty dino. I am seeing some green algea starting on the rocks and on the glass... not going to scrub for a bit and see what can take off. Corals seem happier... I did give the GSP a good turkey baster blasting and some light scrubbing to clean it up during the blackout clean up time... so glad it isn't too ticked off. Things seem to be on the upswing!

Also weird thing. On day one of the blackout, the Hi Fin Red Banded Goby was out and about on the bottom when I took the cardboard down, and the grayed out (sleeping) dragonet was right next to him. Then hadn't seen the goby for several days. Yesterday, when I turned all the gadgets off to feed, I kept hearing a splashing... the goby somehow made it into chamber 3, and was living with my GKM and return pump. Got him back in the main tank, but haven't seen where he made his new home... hope he finds his shrimp again! But he must have jumped over when I had all the top components off when I was dino cleaning. I don't think there was any other way for him to get in there. Also rescued 2 snails that went over.
Sounds like you dodged a bullet there. The ammonia and nitrite deal is kinda weird, but apparently smoothed out, nice!

I'm sure the goby will find his friend again, good thing you noticed he was back there! Would love to see some new pics. Even if you feel like nothing has changed!
 
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Last night. I'll try to get some better pics with the lights on. Going to leave the glass dirty for a bit to get things going. Any tips on take photos and reducing reflections of all the kid toys in the room? lol

I also got one of those clip on coral lens for my phone, so need to play with that more when my wife isn't around making fun of me. I think just the orange lens worked decent, but when I started with the macro and polarized lenses, my phone wouldn't focus. Any tips on that one?

I also decided to modify the fins (?) on the back of the BioCube that the factory canopy mounts over. I scored and broke off 3 of the fins in the middle and swapped the aluminum stand that came with the light I bought. I also changed the light cycle setting to back it down to just 8 hours on sunlight cycle (9:30A to 5P), with 1.5 hour sunrise (8A to 9:30A) and 1.5 hour sunset (5:30P to 7P), and a moonlight cycle (7P to midnight). I also turned the white lights on the LPS setting down to about 60%, based on some other posts I was reading about trying to control the algae... hopefully all that helps.
 

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Blopple

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Last night. I'll try to get some better pics with the lights on. Going to leave the glass dirty for a bit to get things going. Any tips on take photos and reducing reflections of all the kid toys in the room? lol

I also got one of those clip on coral lens for my phone, so need to play with that more when my wife isn't around making fun of me. I think just the orange lens worked decent, but when I started with the macro and polarized lenses, my phone wouldn't focus. Any tips on that one?

I also decided to modify the fins (?) on the back of the BioCube that the factory canopy mounts over. I scored and broke off 3 of the fins in the middle and swapped the aluminum stand that came with the light I bought. I also changed the light cycle setting to back it down to just 8 hours on sunlight cycle (9:30A to 5P), with 1.5 hour sunrise (8A to 9:30A) and 1.5 hour sunset (5:30P to 7P), and a moonlight cycle (7P to midnight). I also turned the white lights on the LPS setting down to about 60%, based on some other posts I was reading about trying to control the algae... hopefully all that helps.
I'm definitely the wrong person to ask about photos. I just take pictures with my phone through some 'coral glasses' haha. Reef photography is a deep topic. @JoJosReef takes good pictures and I believe they're with his phone too.

Turning the lights down is probably a good call. Mine have been low forever, I'm slowly walking em up. Found out my bleaching issues were mostly nutrients vs light. Just out of balance.
 

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Last night. I'll try to get some better pics with the lights on. Going to leave the glass dirty for a bit to get things going. Any tips on take photos and reducing reflections of all the kid toys in the room? lol

I also got one of those clip on coral lens for my phone, so need to play with that more when my wife isn't around making fun of me. I think just the orange lens worked decent, but when I started with the macro and polarized lenses, my phone wouldn't focus. Any tips on that one?

I also decided to modify the fins (?) on the back of the BioCube that the factory canopy mounts over. I scored and broke off 3 of the fins in the middle and swapped the aluminum stand that came with the light I bought. I also changed the light cycle setting to back it down to just 8 hours on sunlight cycle (9:30A to 5P), with 1.5 hour sunrise (8A to 9:30A) and 1.5 hour sunset (5:30P to 7P), and a moonlight cycle (7P to midnight). I also turned the white lights on the LPS setting down to about 60%, based on some other posts I was reading about trying to control the algae... hopefully all that helps.
I find the macro lens only works well for me with corals that are very close to the glass. Anything in the middle of the tank on the rocks, I remove the macro lens and only use the yellow and orange filters. I have no idea what the polarized lens does.

For reflections, best thing to do is turn off lights directed towards the glass. For mine, I have to turn off the computer monitor since mine is behind my desk. If you have a ceiling light above the tank, that works great, but lights on the other side of the room will still reflect off the glass and your picture will show you pointing a camera at the tank.

I also sometimes minimize reflections by angling the camera so the picture is an upward shot or a downward shot. You'll still get some reflection, but won't be your face and camera pointed at the tank.
 
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Playing with the lenses.... I just put on the yellow and orange lenses, and things seem to look a bit better.

Added a Yellow Watchman Goby from the @SaltwaterAq Black Friday/Cyber week sale. He's been hiding. I think I caught him the other day, but scurried away pretty quickly to verify it was him.

I had the GSP in the front tank on its own little island, but I got a crazy idea to try to get it to grow over the back wall. I moved it to the back and pulled the main rockwork forward from the wall to avoid any accidental GSP growth, which was then putting the one vertical piece to far forward and close to my powerhead... so I then rotated the whole thing about 30°. Obviously, I shifted a little too much, and had to do some rebuild, but we're back to stable rocks and I'm pretty happy with it. Hi Fin goby got evicted from his cave in the move, but I found his new hidey-hole. I'm not sure about the pistol shrimp. I'm assuming he'll make another grand debut some day.

  • Got a pic of my GSP up front and my Hi Fin popping his little head out of his old home.
    PXL_20231202_194439068.MP.jpg

  • Post move pic of the GSP at the back. Hammer Coral and my clowns.
    PXL_20231203_220422364.MP.jpg

  • Dragonet coming up to the pipet for some baby brine. And my mad zoas, which I think would love my increased nitrates and phosphates. I had it loose for a while, and I think my snails kept knocking it upside down into the sand. It's glued down now, hope it cheers up.
    PXL_20231204_215610172.MP.jpg

  • Dragonet in all his glory.
    PXL_20231204_215910784.MP.jpg

  • Clown and dragonet.
    PXL_20231204_220001975.MP.jpg

  • Trying to capture the RG in a decent shot with proper lighting is challenging, but here's a try with him and the Dragonet and Clown
    PXL_20231204_220003255.MP.jpg

  • Both clowns and RG.
    PXL_20231204_220216440_exported_1917_1701884541373.jpg

  • Tried to get all the active players, but the mocha clown went back down inside the rock.
    PXL_20231204_220313622.MP.jpg
I only got 2 scarlet hermits with my original cleanup crew because it was mainly only algae at that time. I've got some more scarlet, blue-legged, and red-legged hermits on their way from @SaltwaterAq, along with a cleaner shrimp, a mystery gold torch, and a mystery zoa 5 pack!

If anyone has any recommendations to improve what's going on, lmk! I think with the nitrogen and phosphorus dosing, and probably a little overfeeding, I've been getting some diatoms back in the sand. Those pics were post cleaning, so not as bad as it is on the daily... I usually go through with the pipet and blast the sand and rocks a bit to get it looking nicer. I've still got 2 days left of the med/high Microbacter 7 dosing (about 5.9mL for the BioCube 29), and I've continued to daily dose about 6mL of Phytoplankton.
 
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Welp... after obsessively searching and looking to find an answer today, I'm pretty sure those diatoms I mentioned in the last post are the dinos coming back. What I thought was hair algae starting on the rocks seems to be getting more snot-like and bubbly. Stocking up on some 25 & 50 micron sock filters. Going to ditch the Biocube carbon filters and start hanging some sock filters in chamber 2. And going to start some daily sand cleaning into a sock filter and putting the water back in... in addition to my dosing. Pretty much going to follow this @RedReefer video as best as I can. I'm a little nervous to do the vibrant dose again, because I think that's what started me in this predicament when I dosed it early on to clean things up. We'll see!
 

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Welp... after obsessively searching and looking to find an answer today, I'm pretty sure those diatoms I mentioned in the last post are the dinos coming back. What I thought was hair algae starting on the rocks seems to be getting more snot-like and bubbly. Stocking up on some 25 & 50 micron sock filters. Going to ditch the Biocube carbon filters and start hanging some sock filters in chamber 2. And going to start some daily sand cleaning into a sock filter and putting the water back in... in addition to my dosing. Pretty much going to follow this @RedReefer video as best as I can. I'm a little nervous to do the vibrant dose again, because I think that's what started me in this predicament when I dosed it early on to clean things up. We'll see!
Man, dinos are the worst! They seem to be such a huge pain most of the time. You do have the advantage of there not being tons of coral yet. I think avoiding more chemical fixes is a good idea. Manage the nutrients, good maintenance. They're ugly, but the tank is young and you've got plenty of time.

Always hard not to stress about stuff like that though!
 
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Funny you say that... I had ordered a mystery gold torch and a 5 pack mystery zoas from Saltwater Aquarium, which shows up today. So still not a lot, but I'd like them not to die. Red Reefer's video didn't say you had to do a blackout, so I don't think I'll go through that again. I'll just try his 2 week cleanse and dose method... once all my filter socks get here to have enough on hand.

Corals 2x dipped in Coral Rx and rinsed. Scrubbed plugs with H2O2 and rinsed.
Hermits and Cleaner Shrimp all acclimated and ready to go in!

Oh, and thanks to my extra scrutiny of all the dino build up, I found the little cave the YWG made. He's happy living on the back corner of the rock, under where the return comes in, and the Hi Fin chills on the front side so far. Maybe they'll make friend some day... maybe not! Other than the dinos, everyone is happy!
 

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Well, our 2nd kiddo arrived, so been neglecting the thread, but trying not to neglect the tank. Got the Coralife Turbo Twist 3x installed behind the tank, with the Sicce 1.5 pumping out through it. Seems to have turned a corner with the dinos. Haven't changed the light cycle at all, still on shorter "daylight" cycles, and the whites are still down. Seems to just be getting hair algae now. Gave the rocks a good toothbrush scrub down the other day. Siphoned out 20-25 gals of water through a filter sock, and pumped it back in to the tank. Then did about a 4 gallon water change. Everything is looking tiptop at the moment!

My Hi Fin moved over my YWG's cave in the back, but the YWG moved to the front corner. Still not sure where the candy cane pistol shrimp ended up. He's either a goner or will reappear some day! Everyone else still seems to be happy together!

I got an Intank Media basket that I'm trying to figure out sock filters for. I ended up buying some 25 micron nylon sheet, and am going to try to make some filter socks to fit that first basket, without modifying it. Then next step is the algae scrubber next to it and I think I'm getting to almost "set it and forget it" mode!

Here's some pics of the last couple weeks.
And I also bought an '08 LR3... so another project on top of the fishtank project!

PXL_20231210_194420867.MP.jpg PXL_20231213_003007134.MP.jpg PXL_20231215_213436433.MP.jpg PXL_20231215_213505844.MP.jpg PXL_20231218_151112584.MP.jpg PXL_20231218_151305920.MP.jpg PXL_20231218_151130560.MP.jpg
 
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kevgib67

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Well, our 2nd kiddo arrived, so been neglecting the thread, but trying not to neglect the tank. Got the Coralife Turbo Twist 3x installed behind the tank, with the Sicce 1.5 pumping out through it. Seems to have turned a corner with the dinos. Haven't changed the light cycle at all, still on shorter "daylight" cycles, and the whites are still down. Seems to just be getting hair algae now. Gave the rocks a good toothbrush scrub down the other day. Siphoned out 20-25 gals of water through a filter sock, and pumped it back in to the tank. Then did about a 4 gallon water change. Everything is looking tiptop at the moment!

My Hi Fin room over my YWG's cave in the back, but the YWG moved to the front corner. Still not sure where. The candy cane pistol shrimp ended up. He's either a goner or will reappear some day! Everyone else still seems to be happy together!

I got an Intank Media basket that I'm trying to figure out sock filters for. I ended up buying some 25 micron nylon sheet, and am going to try to make some filter socks to fit that first basket, without modifying it. Then next step is the algae scrubber next to it and I think I'm getting to almost "set it and forget it" mode!

Here's some pics of the last couple weeks.
And I also bought an '08 LR3... so another project on top of the fishtank project!
Everything is coming together and congratulations on the new addition to the family!
 
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stalkem

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So, I think I narrowed the mystery gold torch down to a "Ignited Dragon Soul." I think I'm going to go with that, unless someone more wise knows better!

I modified the biocube overflow from chambers 1 to 2 to allow more flow and installed the Intank Media Basket and water diverter. I made some little mini filter socks out of 25 micro nylon food grade sheet. I cut to the top basket size and cut/melt the edges with a soldering iron. Looked great! But then practicality of 25 micron was not sufficient for the water flow, and it quickly filled up and overflowed... so I'm just going to jump on the filter floss (Pinky Filters) train.

Next to the media basket, I kept the 2 pod hotels stacked at the bottom of chamber 2, and put the @SantaMonica Drop 1.2X algae scrubber on top of them. It keeps the top just right to where it doesn't really bubble and doesn't need to be on a hanger. Used this Amazon air pump to get some air through it. Have the timer currently on for 18 hours (18:00 to 12:00) to see how it works, and will adjust as necessary from there.

I think I'm done buying gizmos now, and just going to let things go!

The YWG has been getting more comfortable, and comes out of his rear cave and just sits in the front middle. The Hi Fin keeps moving locations. I'm not sure if it's bc the one turbo snail keeps invading the larger cave at the rear, and sleeps there during the day. But everyone is accounted for (except for that pistol shrimp) and seems happy. I'm just going to assume the pistol shrimp is thriving and I'll see him some day.

Well, almost everyone is accounted for. I think I've lost some ceriths along the way, based on the hermit crabs that have nice cerith shells. Also, I've noticed at least one blue and one red legged hermit crabs that haven't made it.... but still a good mix of CUC moving about!

Haven't noticed anything other then some hair algae, so keeping with my current light schedule (daylight hours for 10:30 to 16:30, Sunset is 16:30 to 18:00, then moonlight to 22:00, and off until sunrise starts at 09:00), and intensity of 40% whites, 100% blues, and 60% purples. Been keeping on top of hair algae with a toothbrush.
 

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