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Old 08-13-2011, 08:29 PM   #1
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Just started a new 29g BioCube!! want to build a refugium??

Hey guys so im new here...well with all of this. I got a used Biocube with stand for 150! which i thought was a steal. I decided to do Sw tank. I added the LR and LS on monday and then let it clear up and develop til weds. Then added what i was told would make my tank ready for fish "BioSpira" I then added some more live rock and threw in 3 turbo snails, a "three stripe" damsel, and a yellow tail damsel oh and an emerald crab.

I did notice that everything is going fine with everything except the yellow tail damsel...it keeps itself in a cave and never comes out. I know it is alive cause i check up on it but I dont know what to do. Is this normal? The three stripe is zipping all over the place so i know that one is fine.

Also should i get a Protein skimmer? cause i do want corals.

I wanted to make a custom refugium for it but still looking for a good guide. anyone know of any??

thanks and if you want to see pics let me know!

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Old 08-14-2011, 12:23 PM   #2
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Pics please!

When you start up a saltwater tank you should always cycle it before adding fish, this takes a few weeks. Reason being is that if you cycle with fish, like you are doing, the ammonia spikes and essentially burns the fish's gills, most fish will die from it. The damsels that you have will be harmed by it but might not die as they are a very hardy fish. I think you should return the fish and continue the cycle fishless. Damsels are also not a great saltwater fish, they are very aggressive.


There are some great articles on this site, this is just one of them.

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Old 08-14-2011, 12:28 PM   #3
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Here is something I wrote for a friend, keep in mind this was for a 55gal I believe.

Saltwater Guide

1) Get sand, dry aragonite sand works best in my opinion. Rinse this sand a lot before putting in tank, if you don't it's not a huge deal but it will cloud up the water for a few days longer. Live sand is usually just a waste of money, pretty much wet sand in a bag for double the price.

2) get liverock and start your cycle, usually about 1-2 lbs/gallon is the general rule. It doesn’t have to be all live rock, a few pieces of live and the rest base rock is fine. Try to find nicely shaped pieces, with lots of holes/caves.

3) Get a good test kit, the API liquid one seems to work best, strip tests suck. Test the water often looking for the ammonia to spike then drop to zero. The cycle should take a few weeks, could be more. You will get the ammonia spike from die off of the rock, adding a raw shrimp can speed the process up as well. The ammonia will eventually be converted to nitrite and then to nitrate, once this happens the cycle is complete.

4) Once there is zero ammonia and nitrite (a little nitrate is okay), then I would do a large water change and add a cleanup crew which would consist of snails, crabs, ect.

5) Let the cleanup crew get used to the tank for a couple days, no major deaths and you should be able to add a couple of fish.

6) To measure the salinity of your tank you will want to get a refractometer, they are the most accurate. The plastic ones with a swinging arm are often incorrect.


-water changes keep nitrate levels down which is what algae feeds on, the more water changes the less nitrate and the happier the fish will be.
-To do a water change get a bucket with a power head and mix up some saltwater that matches the salinity in your tank (1.025), most people leave it overnight so the salt mixes in completely. You should also get a heater to make the temp the same as the tank. Then you just bucket the dirty water out and clean back in. You should also only use ro/di water in your tank, this also reduces the risk of an algae outbreak since there is who knows what in the tap water. Top of the water in your tank with fresh ro/di water when it gets low, I just keep a small bucket beside my tank and do it daily.

Helpful hints:
-make sure any fish you purchase is eating before you bring them home.
-don't overfeed, this causes algae, every other day is fine for fish.
-feed a variety of foods (mysis, blood worms, flakes, and brine-which is not nutritional for the fish but a nice treat)
-no additives are necessary for your tank, water changes should keep all levels stable.

-Do not add all fish at once, add one or two every couple weeks. This allows the “good bacteria” to grow to the needs of the fish. If added all at once there will most likely be an ammonia spike which is deadly to fish.
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