CamryDS' 29 Gallon Biocube

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by CamryDS, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. CamryDS

    CamryDS Guest

    I'm kind of at a stand still on the tank at this point.

    I've had my tank up for the last 72 hours and I'm sure I must wait until I put fish in, but I'm not sure what else to do at this point, as far as maintenance wise.

    Here's what I have right now
    29 Gallon Oceanic Bio Cube:

    I'm using the overflow as a sump:
    1 x 150watt Hydor heater dialed down to 75 deg
    1 x Aquatic Life Mini Protein Skimmer 115

    Lighting:
    1 x 36 Watt 10k Power Compact
    1 x 36 Watt Actinic Power Compact
    I've removed all the bio balls and removed the prefilter pad so as to avoid any detritus buildup and possible nitrate spikes
    All the equipment has been running for the past 72 hours non stop, except the lights. The lights are on a 9 hour cycle 1PM to 10PM

    Water is crystal clear (which doesn't tell much)
    Water's Gravity is 1.024
    Temp is steady 80 Deg F, spite having the heater turned down to 75 (i'm thinking the skimmer, since with the light on i'm getting steady 80 deg f)
    I have not tested for anything else, water is premixed from the LFS (dolphin pet village - in campbell).

    I already have star polyps growing and some other soft coral growing near by on one of the rocks. As of now, I have no idea what else to do? Am I suppose to feed? water change? (besides testing - which I have a master reef kit) not too sure what else to do. I currently only have about 18 lbs of live rock (most of his hidden inside the sand, I have about another 7 lbs which i'm going to purchase tomorrow. I'm just not sure what else I can do or I should do until I put fish in. I also want to see if I can get some stocking ideas. Thanks ahead for all the assistance.

    Here are some pics and build pics: (click on the thumbnails for bigger pictures)

    Day 1 of the build:
    [​IMG]

    Preliminiary Aquascape:
    [​IMG]

    Protein Skimmer: (bioballs now gone -- was still there in the picture)
    [​IMG]

    Star Polyps:
    [​IMG]

    Polyp Growth:
    [​IMG]

    Tank as of Today:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    patience :) You shouldn't add anything (fish/coral/inverts etc) for a few weeks till it cycles. What you want to do is measure your Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. Ammonia will go up, then down...nitrite will go up then down...and finally nitrate will go up then down. Once Nitrate is ~0, you can SLOWLY add livestock. Don't add to quickly. Space it out over weeks.

    Check out these links! Tons of good info here for you:
    http://www.nano-reef.com/articles/
    http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1031074
     
  3. CamryDS

    CamryDS Guest

    well here's an update:

    I got some hermit crabs, which are doing well- but a lot and I mean a LOT is dying off right now. more than I expected -- a lot of the rocks have lost their green and white luster and a brown coating is happening -- but at the same time, I'm seeing patches of red come on the whiter live rocks.

    I have 1 Emerald Crab that I cannot find for the love of god -_- I don't want to go hunting.

    Here are some pics:
    Browning
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Coraline Algae looks like it's starting to come in (this was all white previously)
    [​IMG]

    More Die off
    [​IMG]

    More brownish stuff
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    New Layout
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Erick

    Erick Guest

    The brownish stuff is probably diatoms which are normal. Are your rocks buried in sand or on top of the sand? If they are on top of the sand, you might want to be careful if you plan on getting burrowers, as they can end up going under the rock and messing with the stability of the structure.
     
  5. CamryDS

    CamryDS Guest

    they are on both -- except the ones in the front, that's just all sand -- I don't think I plan to get any burrowers, but I might get a small goby or something.

    Here are my current tests from the master reef test kit from API
    Calcium: 500ppm
    Nitrate: 0-5ppm
    Alkalinity/Carbinated Hardness: 12dKH or 214.8KH
    Phosphate: 0ppm
    Gravity: 1.022
    Temp: 79
     
  6. 177ike

    177ike Guest

    I'm in the process of upgrading from a BC29 to a 90 gallon tank right now. I've had my BC29 up and running for a year now with clams, anemones, LPS, and SPS. I would say the single most important thing to maintain in these little cubes would be water evaporation. I have a float switch attached to an ATO system so skimmer runs optimally. The skimmer needs to be running well for long term success. Otherwise, you will constantly be battling algae issues.
     
  7. screebo

    screebo Guest

    You'll want your specific gravity to be 1.025/1.026 and try to hold you temp to 78 deg F average. Check your Ph also. You'll want it around 8.0 to 8.4.

    Good start, be patient as your tank builds a bio colony of beneficial bacteria. Wait until all the LR die off is done before putting any more livestock in that tank or you may loose some of your precious new inhabitants to big swings in water quality. No one likes waiting but going slow as your tanks gets some "age on it" is your best insurance for success ongoing.
     
  8. CamryDS

    CamryDS Guest

    thanks for the info, i'm going to test the Ph tonight - as far as the inhabitants, I hope I don't have to go fishing for them. I hope I don't lose any though. I definitely don't plan to put live stock until my rocks are nice and purpley along with 1 final test to ensure the water is safe.
     
  9. CamryDS

    CamryDS Guest

    Test for week 2:
    Week 2 of testing:
    Test Results this week:
    Calcium: 460ppm
    Nitrate: 0-5ppm
    Alkalinity/Carbinated Hardness: 12dKH or 214.8KH
    Phosphate: 0ppm
    Gravity: 1.023
    Temp: 78
    PH: 8.0
     
  10. CamryDS

    CamryDS Guest

    Moar Rocks!!

    New tank look -- just added my last 7 lbs of rocks today, brings me to a total of around 26-28lbs of Live rock.
    (These are all Thumbnails -- to get a better picture, you can click on them.)

    Live rock Aquascape
    [​IMG]

    Growing and Thriving Star Polyps
    [​IMG]

    I got a friend from the market (given to me - hermit crab)
    [​IMG]

    no Idea what type of growth this is:
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Euphyllia

    Euphyllia Guest

    New layout of the rock structure looks great!

    (I second this opinion)
    Try to keep the pH at 8.3 so it's not on the edge of too high (8.4) and not on the edge of too low (8.1). 8.3 is where I keep my tank. :)
    Good Luck!
     
  12. CamryDS

    CamryDS Guest

    thanks for the info -- right now, I only have a calcium supplement and also alkalinity buffer, not sure why the tank is sitting at 8.0 PH instead of 8.1+, since the rest of the values are within parameters.
     
  13. CamryDS

    CamryDS Guest

    I have some green stringy stuff growing on the glass, any idea what that is?
     
  14. Erick

    Erick Guest

    Probably hair algae, pics would help to ID though.
     
  15. CamryDS

    CamryDS Guest

    (all are thumnails --- click on them to get a larger image)

    Here's a pic of the green stuff:
    [​IMG]

    I got a new question about some white growth on the rocks.

    can't ID it on the live rock -- anyone got any clues?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  16. 177ike

    177ike Guest

    I wouldn't get too caught up on looking at your pH and trying to keep it in the "perfect" reef range. When I first started, I focused on my pH waaay too much. First of all, it should fluctuate throughout the light cycle, so there will be a significant swing in pH when the lights are on and the coral are using light energy to grow and letting out CO2 into the water. Also, remember that the pH probes need constant calibration and are MOST often the first place to look when pH seems to be off. I wouldn't sweat such a small pH variance.. In fact, I don't even pay attention to my pH readings anymore using my Reef Keeper II...

    My only almost tank crash was due to pH probe error. I tried to dose vinegar to adjust my pH thinking it needed adjustment. In fact, it turned out my pH probe was old and not reading correctly, even after calibration. Now I don't worry about pH and the tank has been fine for a year. pH IMHO is something you shouldn't have to worry about if you are using a two-part dosing system. With a calc reactor you have to monitor pH much more due to CO2 injected into the reactor.
     
  17. Erick

    Erick Guest

    Fourth pic is aiptasia.
     
  18. CamryDS

    CamryDS Guest

    thanks for the info -- i'll take that into consideration and not worry and also move on.

    With the pics that I've included though, if they are Aiptasia, then the other 3 pics of the same rock just in different flash/no flash formats should be the same. one of the pics has another anemone type of growth -- *shrugs* going to wait a bit as well -- I just got 8 snails inside the tank and i might start to get some shrimp by tomorrow 2-3 peppermint shrimp along with maybe a cleaner shrimp or 2. then fish within a couple of weeks.
     
  19. Erick

    Erick Guest

    One peppermint shrimp is sufficient in a 29g tank. Cleaner shrimp is not needed at all. And a warning about peppermint shrimp... They are jerks and can steal food from corals, mainly lps, they steal it right out of their mouths.
     
  20. CamryDS

    CamryDS Guest

    ahh that's great, sounds good to me -- i'll attempt to pick one up, as far as them being jerks -- I'm guessing i'll have to stick it out. I read online that they were false peppermint shrimps and true ones. how can you tell the difference?
     

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