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Old 11-29-2012, 06:04 PM   #1
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Needing help starting a 29g biocube PC/LED tank

Hi, I purchased set up yesterday this 29g biocube tank I bought from Petco and brought with me home four of petco 5gal real ocean water, two 20lbs of nature's ocean aragonite live reef sand, aqueon heater and a live rock package which I don't know what kind what I just know they had it set up in their existing aquarium there and its very heavy and a lot that I paid for 100$.

The store manager said this is all I need for to start up my tank and I just want to make sure I am doing everything right since I am just new with this. I joined this forum almost 2years ago wanting to really have a saltwater tank with reef.

My question is when I set it up yesterday I put the sand, rock and add water on it and start running it and I didn't turn on the heater till just today and I am just wondering that is that good enough or I am doing it wrong? I also read a thread about cycling the tank and throwing a raw shrimp there to feed the bacteria in the rock to start cycling it? How will I know if my rock is cured enough coz my husband just put everything there in the tank without washing anything and if my rock is really safe to be in my tank or should I take it out? Also I want to know if my rock is safe when we just put it in a tank that is just newly set up like that or we killed it coz its not ready yet? I also want to know if its still normal that the water is still cloudy yet and if yes how long it will take before it get clear?

I in big need of expert advise so please help me coz I am always fascinated of those people who have salt water tank and I supposedly started almost 2years ago but then got frustrated with my lack of knowledge but when I seen this tank in petco I liked it coz people there said everything I need is already in that tank that I just purchased and that tank is really good for dummies like me so please help me out thanks!

BTW here is the link for the tank I purchased if you guys can take a look Coralife BioCube PC/LED Fish Tank - BioCube Aquarium Systems and BioCube Aquariums from petco.com
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:21 PM   #2
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Glad you're entering the saltwater hobby! I'd advise for the future to get an RO/DI system or an RO system if you don't want to spend as much money. Another option would be to buy distilled water. Then for any of these options you can put the water in a bucket or trash bin (like a BRUTE one) and have a powerhead in there and mix saltwater yourself. Having an RO/DI system would be cheaper in the long run instead of buy premixed or distilled water and you know exactly what is in the water and how long since the filters have been changed.

How long was did you have the LR before you put it in the tank? If left out too long it can dry out and all the pods, worms, bacteria, etc. can dry out and die.

You need the heater especially since you have the LR. However if the temp. is about 78-80F (ideal temp) constantly in your house you might not even need to use the heater.

Yes you can put a table shrimp in a net and leave it there for the tank to cycle. Or you can dose pure ammonia which will require slightly more work, but won't be smelly.

You're not supposed to wash the rock and there could be pests, but there are ways to get rid of them. Don't take out the rock.

It might take a day or a few before the sand settles and the water clears up.

Even experts use those "reef ready" type of tanks ;you're not a dummy, just a beginner ! It's conveinent since you don't have to buy and put together all the plumbing and getting a certain light, etc.

Don't give up, b/c you're probably going to make mistakes and go through the trouble of fixing them and the hobby can be intimidating, but very rewarding. The best advice IMO is to be patient and RESEARCH. During the cycle, patience will be key, to not buy a fish if your cycle is not done, etc. And research is especially important for everything. Don't just walk in a fish store and ask an employee what fish would be best or what is the prettiest fish and choose it for that. Just saying that if you researched a little more you might have gotten better prices on those things online w/ free shipping rather than in the store. Especially with Petco, most of the time employees don't know a lot if anything about the fish or corals they are selling and they can give VERY FALSE ADVICE. This doesn't just go for Petco though, it can go for any fish store. If it's possible, I'd advise not buying livestock from Petco since almost all the ones I have seen (and many others have complained about this) had so many dead/sick/beaten up fish in each tank and it's just horrible. Try to find an LFS who specializes in just aquariums.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:22 PM   #3
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I think those so cool! I love their shape. I cannot give you any advice at the moment, but I def want to hear some suggestions from others!
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:58 PM   #4
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Hi obscurereef, I had the rock out of water but in a styrofoam and plastic from transporting it back to my place for approximately 2hrs so do you think it's still good? I also had to take it out for couple of minutes earlier to rearrange it since I didn't like how my hubby set it up lol, otherwise what should I do??? I been researching for corals and fish online whole day coz I want to know what kind of fish and corals I can get that is compatible to each other and yes I seen myself the condition of those fish in pet store and it's not good. I been checking reefs2go and liveaquaria for my stuff. I really wanted to learn how to mix my own water soon but for now I just decided to buy those expensive water just to get going before my tank project will just be buried down again doing other stuff but I know now its set up and going I will be so hook doing this . I am also the type of person that once started something, I want to focus myself on it and tried my best to be better ESP with people like you who will taught me how to get through the starting process and not tired of helping others so thank you. Please don't hesitate to give me more advises in the future. I also want to know how can I tell if my rock is still good or doing it's job in my tank and when im cycling it? right now should I keep my lights turned on or off for faster result or it doesn't matter?? thanks!
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:11 PM   #5
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Also I want to know if I will use distilled water will I still need to buy those testing kits to text the ph level, nitrate and other chemicals in the water. And should I buy protein skimmer and circulation pump for extra water flow for my tank or what I have is enough even I will want to add coral when my tank is ready???
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:11 PM   #6
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Yeah it should be fine. A lot of LR is shipped over night, so 2 hours should be fine. Just aquascape it how you want and then leave it like that. More great advice is to keep your hands out of the tank as much as possible! For one, you can have chemicals that can get into the water (especially if you just put on lotion, etc.). Rearranging rocks with livestock in it will stress them and since they claim their territories, they would have to find new ones thus becoming vulnerable. Moving the rocks now is fine though, just as long as you keep the rock submerged in water b/c it's live.

I've heard good and bad things about reefs2go. You can try it out, but you get what you pay for (this is pretty much for anything. If you see something that's really cheap, most of the time it's too good to be true). Liveaquaria is very top quality and they definitely care for the fish. Only thing with ordering anything live online is the shipping is about $35 unless you buy $175-225 worth of stuff then it's free (depends on company). Bluezooaquatics.com is also a good online store. On a lot of online fish stores they'll have quick stats which tell you how big the fish gets, what min. size tank it needs, etc. What fish do you want? Gobies are great b/c they stay small and many are colorful/active. For coral, depends on the lighting. W/ PC I'd imagine soft corals would thrive, and you can have LPS at the middle to top and possibly an SPS coral like monti which is a beginner SPS could be at the top too. You can even google or youtube Biocube 29 and you'll find millions of different images and get an idea of what you want.

Turning on you lights is unnecessary and can lead to an algae bloom although you'll prob. get algae in the future. A lot of the times the die off from the LR which does produce ammonia is not enough to have a strong enough cycle. You want to get the ammonia to 4-5ppm. Add another ammonia like the table shrimp to raise it that high. A must have would be a test kit. API is a basic/ average one.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:25 PM   #7
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Wow thanks a lot! I will definitely check out now the website you mentioned. You were right about the prices, what I don't like in reefs2go is I had to do separate research to know more information about their products. I want to have dwarf zebra lion fish and angel fish, goby, Royal Gramma Basslet Fish, puffer and of course clown fish :-d. For corals I am eyeing Saltwater Bubble Tip Anemone, Candy Apple Zoanthids Coral , Green Star Polyps Coral and Green Bubble Tip Anemone. I want to have a red starfish too and some crab and snail. I know it might be too much but can't a lady dream? lol and those were just list for selection so do you think those will get along together???
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by underthesealover View Post
Wow thanks a lot! I will definitely check out now the website you mentioned. You were right about the prices, what I don't like in reefs2go is I had to do separate research to know more information about their products. I want to have dwarf zebra lion fish and angel fish, goby, Royal Gramma Basslet Fish, puffer and of course clown fish :-d. For corals I am eyeing Saltwater Bubble Tip Anemone, Candy Apple Zoanthids Coral , Green Star Polyps Coral and Green Bubble Tip Anemone. I want to have a red starfish too and some crab and snail. I know it might be too much but can't a lady dream? lol and those were just list for selection so do you think those will get along together???
I also want to know what kind of specific kit should I get? theres a lot in there for calcium, ph, etc etc. IS there a kind of kit that does all those test at once?
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by underthesealover View Post
Also I want to know if I will use distilled water will I still need to buy those testing kits to text the ph level, nitrate and other chemicals in the water. And should I buy protein skimmer and circulation pump for extra water flow for my tank or what I have is enough even I will want to add coral when my tank is ready???
You don't need to test the water you are putting in your tank, but rather the water in your tank that now has the LR, LS, and salt. When testing water you can initially test the distilled water to see how much phosphate and TDS (total dissolved solids). You don't need to do this, but if you're trying to find out in the future why you are getting for ex. hair algae..if the source water has phosphates and those metals you'll know what the source of the problem is and how to then fix it. Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate will read 0 in the source water b/c it's just water..there's nothing producing waste that would raise those levels.

You don't need a protein skimmer in fact many have succeeded without them. Bubbles carry tiny particles of organic waste to the top and into the cup so it's removing waste that would eventually cause more nitrates. In a small setup you won't have a lot of fish (or large sized fish) to cause a lot of waste so doing frequent water changes (like 10% or more a week) will be enough to keep the nitrate down.

A powerhead would be great b/c some corals like higher flow then the filter output can provide. You can get a nano koralia. Some websites other than Petco that you can search for equipment are marinedepot.com and bulkreefsupply.com.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:18 PM   #10
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I also want to know what kind of specific kit should I get? theres a lot in there for calcium, ph, etc etc. IS there a kind of kit that does all those test at once?
I'd say Red Sea and Salifert are the best/most accurate. A lot of people, including myself, have the API test kits b/c they are the cheapest and work okay. They aren't super accurate and can be hard to read sometimes. Since you're a beginner and prob. don't want to spend $100 on test kits, you can get the API saltwater standard and reef set.
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