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Old 02-22-2014, 07:25 PM   #1
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Smile Coralife 29 BioCube

Hello everyone...

New to the forum but have been browsing for the past week. Like many before me, I have recently purchased the Coralife 29 gallon BioCube, this will be my 1st saltwater attempt, I currently run a 55 gallon Tanganyika tank that's been going the past 7 years and have had great results with it. I have been researching & learning a lot about the saltwater world but had some specific questions I'd like to hear everyone's opinion on.

The BioCube just arrived yesterday and probably won't be setup for a couple of weeks but with all the mods I've read about, I plan on completing many of them before any water goes in the tank. I realize that patience is the key but wanted to take care of all the hardware aspects of the tank upfront.

For the time being, I plan on keeping the stock lighting and am hoping to stock the tank with 3 or 4 small fish and many soft (and hardy) corals, as well as the necessary CUC.

1. I plan on upgrading the stock pump with the Cobalt MJ1200 pump. Is there anything else out there that is comparable or as highly recommended?

2. I've been talking a little with Steve from InBasket and plan on purchasing their media basket to replace the stock filtration as well.

3. I'm also planning to purchase the Tunze 9002 protein skimmer. Does this size tank really need one, or better yet, will it enhance and improve the quality of water than without one?

4. Two more questions I have, what wattage heater is required and is the Jager brand a good way to go? My second question, I also plan on purchasing a powerhead, and am debating on the Tunze 6015 or the Hydor 600. Would really appreciate opinions on those 2 models, and is one enough or should I go with two?

And finally (for right now), can anyone recommend a decent power center with timers built in so that the lights can be put on a schedule. I've read so many poor reviews on the Coralife dual model, and after reading its description, I don't believe it will suit my needs (but I'm not sure). I understand that the daylight & actinic lights can be programmed for different start/stop times but my concern is the moonlight LEDS, can they also be programmed for start/stop times as well? I've always been a big believer in providing fish a "dark" time and don't want the LEDS to stay on all night. In my understanding of the device, it seems the LEDS would stay on until the daylight cycle begins the next morning. If that's the case, I'm probably better off by purchasing 3 separate mechanical timers to do the job.

Thanks to everyone in advance for any comments or suggestions, I'm really looking forward to learning as much as possible about the saltwater world and doing things the "right way". Thanks again...
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:00 PM   #2
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I have some of these same questions. I'll be following. I have a 29g Biocube, and the InTank Media basket-works well and so easy to use.
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:17 PM   #3
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I have a 14 so can't help with first 4 questions. But regarding timers just get some mechanical timers from Home Depot or lowes for about $7-$10 ea. very reliable and will do want you want.
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:31 PM   #4
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re: LED moonlights
Yes you need a separate timer for them, I use cheap Wal-Mart ones. In the Biocube, there are 5 slots for LEDs, 1 single then 2 banks of 2. The way the Biocube light switches are set up, switch one is master LED switch, also controls the single LED slot. Switch 2 is the other 4 LED slots, switch 3 and 4 are the PCs.

Re: other upgrades
I have left me Biocube mostly stock. I did add a circulating pump, and used the center back chamber as a fuge. With just stock lighting the only corals I haven't had luck with are ricordia, and I think I gave them too much light. My stock list is a mixed bag of soft, polyp, LPS and SPS, and I've had good growth on everything.

Re: protein skimmer
I recently added the one made by Coralife for the Biocube, and it had made a big difference in water clarity, and I'm constantly amazed at the gunk it pulls out of my water.

Re: heater
I used a cheap 50 watt one through the winter, lights will probably be enough to keep temp optimal throughout the summer.

Finally, depending on who you ask, there is no such think as a CUC, a CUC just being something else that eats and poops. Other adhere to the theory of infinite reduction. Personally, I have shrimp, 4 different snail types, emerald crabs and hermit crabs in mine. The shrimp are a PITA at coral feeding time, though easily dealt with. The hermits knock frags over and pick on snails sometimes. Good and bad, no real answer but I think they help.
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:33 PM   #5
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For the skimmer, just take one that is made for twice your tank volume.

I run a HOB skimmer made for 50-90g on my 20g, and it make the tank less maintenance and easier for nutrients control.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:39 PM   #6
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I also got the Coralife Biocube 29 about a year ago and upgraded everything under the sun. (return pump, in-tank media basket and refugium basket, protien skimmer, hydor 600 power head and 3 panorama pro LED modules).
The best upgrade by far was the LED upgrade. I gutted the hood and put in 3 pro strips along with one of their blue stunner strips. Let's just say that I can have any coral I want in this thing. I do a water change about once a month. The pics don't show much fish in there as I'm doing a move to a 125g, but you get the idea. I've also taken out about 15 lbs of live rock.
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