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Old 01-01-2013, 08:21 PM   #1
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New 14 gal biocube

I just got a new 14g biocube for Xmas. I want to start a reef aquarium with some inverts, a couple of fish and corals. I've added 15lbs of live rock and 2 inches of live sand. I have one 240 biocube power head. Everything else was included with aquarium. I am new to this hobby so I need lots of help. It's been up and running for 6 days now. All test are good. I started to notice a brown crust on the sand. Is this normal? Also, I need help on the lighting settings and how long they should stay on? Do I need another powerhead in such a small tank--I don't want to blow my fish, inverts away? Is it alright to add a few hermit crabs and snails in a couple days(clean up crew)or should I wait a month or so?

A guy who is looking forward to the challenge, but needs a lot of help.

Also, when you top off your aquarium, can u use purified water by itself?
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:30 AM   #2
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Congrats on the awesome gift! When you say the tests are good, what are the actual parameters? What ppm is ammonia, nitrite, and nitrite? What you are describing sounds like diatoms which feeds off of silicates. It is definitely normal when cycling and pretty much everyone gets it. Hair algae and cyano might soon follow afterwards. 10-12 hours is good. Actinics for an hour then all lights for 8 or 9 then actinics for an hour at the end of the day would be a good light cycle. I don't think you need another powerhead. It depends on what your parameters are on the tank. If there is ammonia and nitrite present then your cycle isn't complete and your CUC could die if you added them now. You top off your aquarium when the water evaporates basically. I have about 100 gallons total water volume and 1-2 gallons evaporate a day! Yes you top off with fresh RO or RO/DI water (or distilled). This is because when the water evaporates the salt is left behind so the salinity raises. To bring it back down you have to add freshwater.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:10 AM   #3
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Live rock

My test are all where they need to be except ammonia was 0.5. I read a forum yesterday where it stated you almost need something live (cuc, fish) in there to help the cycling. Last night I was playing around with the powerhead and the part-- sorry, not good with terminology yet--where it turns the head snapped off the suction cup. The powerhead fell onto the live rock and when I went to pick it up, it was stuck to the rock from the suction. So when I picked it up, the live rock fell a little. I was not happy. I have the powerhead just hanging there, I guess I got to order another one. Question for live rock. I probably have about 7-8 small pieces of it, I tried to apoxy it (store bought apoxy for aquariums) but it didn't hold to good. Is this something I need to do a better job at--making sure they are glued together, or should I go natural-- if they fall, the fall, just let it go. I heard once u get a clean up crew, they will wreck all kinds of havoc on your live rock decor.

What about a nano skimmer. Do I need one?

Hopefully this makes sense-- long night at work.

Thanks for your help:

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Old 01-02-2013, 10:40 PM   #4
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Since you have ammonia, I wouldn't recommend putting any live fish or invert. Yes you need a source of ammonia for the cycle to start. I recommend fishless cycling b/c it is more "humane" and simply easier IMO. The live rock is your source of ammonia because there is some die off which creates ammonia. You could add a table shrimp in to raise the ammonia to 4 or 5 ppm for a "strong" cycle. Here's more info about cyling: Cycle your salt tank - Aquarium Advice

Sorry about the powerhead. So you didn't unplug it and take it out. I mean it doesn't work anymore?

No, you don't need a protein skimmer for such a small tank. Frequent water changes will be enough.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:50 AM   #5
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Skimmer

Thanx again for all the advice. The powerhead is working, but just hanging there. I can't rotate it. My ammonia is at zero, I just did the test. I noticed things growing on my live rock. I haven't seen any worms or anything--no little critters. I did get a protein biocube skimmer. The book I got said I should get one. It's all set up in chamber one. I far do I set the valve for air bubbles. Do they need to go up to the chamber so there is continuous water flowing in there, or just below and when I get bad water the bubbles will pop it up to the chamber. (Very new to this, sorry about the terminology). I also read its a good idea to make a refugium. Do I need live rock or rock rubble for this-- or are they pretty much the same. Do I really need this? I gotta watch how much I'm spending--says the wife.
Is there anything else out there I really need?

Thanx again.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:28 AM   #6
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What's the nitrite and nitrate? I don't know what book that is, but the skimmer is too small therefore gets full easily and isn't good from what I've read. It takes some adjusting, but keep them probably half way up so that they aren't foaming over, but slowly bubbles collect in the cup. You really don't need a refugium for such a small tank. The purpose of the refugium is to grow macroalgae and pods that would otherwise be eaten in the DT (display tank). If you really wanted to make this modification, you could buy or make a media basket rack and get a small refugium light.

Biocube 14 Media Basket

Once again, you don't need one. You can just put rock rubble and skip the chaeto. The biocube is an all in one setup pretty much so not much else you need. Adding a bag of GFO (to reduce phosphates) would be good.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:38 AM   #7
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Biocube

That's what I thought, too. The biocube is an all in one system. But then you see stuff on YouTube the the bio balls in the long run, are more harm then good. That's why I thought a refugium would be good for that spot. I know you said 'no' to a skimmer, but I already ordered one before I even asked--I was just curious about how they work. So I figured I have it, might as well use it.
Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate all at 0, density where it should be, ph is 8.0 (can't get it no higher, even with a buffer), temp is 78/79. Seems like everything is pretty well in check. No I had it op and running since Xmas night, I still didn't do no water changes except topping it off. Gotta admit, a little scared my water change will throw everything out of whack. It took a lot of work to get it where it is now and a water change might throw things off. To my understanding, when u do a water change, you should take 10-20 percent of the water out, and replace it with the exact amount with the same balance. What is the easiest way to do a small water change? Vim not so worried now, but I can't imagine once there is corals and fish in it.

Thanks for all your help.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Moyer View Post
That's what I thought, too. The biocube is an all in one system. But then you see stuff on YouTube the the bio balls in the long run, are more harm then good. That's why I thought a refugium would be good for that spot. I know you said 'no' to a skimmer, but I already ordered one before I even asked--I was just curious about how they work. So I figured I have it, might as well use it.
Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate all at 0, density where it should be, ph is 8.0 (can't get it no higher, even with a buffer), temp is 78/79. Seems like everything is pretty well in check. No I had it op and running since Xmas night, I still didn't do no water changes except topping it off. Gotta admit, a little scared my water change will throw everything out of whack. It took a lot of work to get it where it is now and a water change might throw things off. To my understanding, when u do a water change, you should take 10-20 percent of the water out, and replace it with the exact amount with the same balance. What is the easiest way to do a small water change? Vim not so worried now, but I can't imagine once there is corals and fish in it.

Thanks for all your help.
I wouldn't waste your time running a skimmer in a bio cube 14 it's pointless IMHO, do your weekly water changes. It's a small tank, running the skimmer is just going to create noise and possible heat issues as the bio cubes tend to run hot(temp wise) TRUST ME, return the skimmer, take the bio balls out(nitrate factory) add live rock rubble(your BB will grow on the rocks and only add to your tank(a good thing)

Get the inTank media basket, better flow, more media opinions = cleaner tank.

IMO do that and sit back and enjoy.


Also your pH is fine don't mess with it. Stability is more important and 8.0 is fine. You want some nitrate IMHO I always have .05 in my tank but I have a TON of corals and believe it or not there is such a thing a too clean of a tank.

Good luck! You've gotten some great advice so far btw...
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:24 PM   #9
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Intank media basket

This is gonna sound dumb, but what do u mean by an in tank media basket? Is that just like a filter?
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