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Old 07-12-2011, 03:59 AM   #1
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Newb looking for advice on tank setup. Please help :)

Hey guys,

I am new to the forum and to the saltwater fish hobby. I am going to start off with a 14 gallon Oceanic BioCube 14 gallon tank. My goal (at least for now) is simply to have an aquarium with some cool looking fish and a neat aquascape, while also providing a safe and comfortable environment for the fish. I will not be adding coral, anemones, etc; just fish, live rock and a cleanup crew. I will also be using live sand. Here are some of the questions that I have:

1. What type of fish/how many could I house without overstocking to the point that the fish get stressed and sick? I was thinking of having an ocellaris clown, yellowtail blue damsel, six-line wrasse and an orange spotted goby. Is this ok for a 14 gallon BioCube with only fish and live rock? If so, in which order would it be best to introduce the fish? Also, what are some other cool looking fish that typically don't grow past 3in.?

2. I have read that many people remove the bioballs that come in the BioCube aquarium - should I do this as well? If so, what (if anything) should I put in the chamber in place of the bioballs to provide my fish with the best possible chance to stay healthy and survive? I plan on doing weekly 2 gallon water changes once the tank is up and running - is this too conservative? Could I get away with bi-weekly water changes and still keep my fish healthy? How much live sand/live rock would you recommend stocking my tank with?

I'm sorry for all the questions. I am super interested in this hobby, but I'm a total newb and would greatly appreciate any input/advice you guys have to offer.

Thanks!!
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:47 AM   #2
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First of all, don't put live sand. It's a waste of money.

Most people remove the bioballs and put in live rock in there, I personally still have my bioballs.

And as far as stocking, I have 2 clownfish and that's it. You might be able to do a pair of clowns(ocellaris or percula) and maybe a goby, but that's really it.

And for how much live rock you should have, it's really up to you, but ideally you should have 1 pound per gallon. I have about 12-13 pounds in mine.

Hopefully I have helped!
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:55 AM   #3
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hey james.... to this sites...
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:53 AM   #4
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Here's a link with a filter mod that replaces the bioballs and lets you use filter media.
Biocube 14 Media Basket

It doesnt come with the fuge since its a 14g, I'm running a 29g cube,.

I agree, a pair of clowns and maybe a goby. 14g gets crowded really quick. LOL

Unless you get an itsy bitsy goby, maybe you can fit a tiny blenny too. But thats a big maybe. I've found the teeny tiny fish get lost in the cube. hehe

Welcome to the forums!!
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback guys! If anyone else has any advice, it'd be great. It's hard to know what is "right." I hear so many different opinions from different sources
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:18 PM   #6
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The thing to remember is the amount of water you'll have to work with After adding 15-20 lbs sand then 15-20 lbs rock your down to about 9-10 gals of water figure 5g water per inch of fish and you dont have much wiggle room
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:20 PM   #7
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Yep, good point, also remember that when doing your water changes.

My 29g holds exactly 19 gallons of water I believe.
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:54 PM   #8
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Right. That is a good point. A PetSmart fish specialist employee who said he had a 55gal saltwater tank told me that a clown, yellowtail damsel, goby and six-line would be fine as long as I kept the water quality high by doing frequent water changes and added live rock. My thinking was that without tons of corals/anemones like others have in their BC, that there would be more open space for the fish to swim. I have seen a lot of BC14 on youtube with a clown/damsel/goby and some with 1-2 other small fish too and everything looks fine. Obviously I am new and don't know much, and just because other people do it doesn't mean it is right. Just seems hard to know what the "right" choice is. I have no problem not doing the six-line, but I really like the clown and the yellowtail.

Also, what is the best way to ensure that my bioballs dont turn into nitrate monsters? I've heard that they become a big nitrate causer. I have seen other people putting LR or carbon in their BC chambers..is this a good idea/necessary for a FOWLR tank?

Should I get a protein skimmer? I have read that the mini one made for BC is not very good.

thanks guys! I have seen some forums where the people respond to the newb's questions in a rude way and act like they are an idiot for even thinking about doing certain things with their tank. Appreciate the positive feedback
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:05 PM   #9
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In such a small tank you may want to rethink the damsel. I don't have one, but everyone says they can get mean and territorial.

I wouldn't waste my money on the bio skimmer, reviews on it are horrible and it runs on airstones which you constantly have to replace.

If you aren't going with corals at all I would say keep the bioballs. Or add LR back there. Either or. The Biocube as it is is setup perfectly for a FOWLR setup including the bioballs. They get a bad rap alot but can be a great filtration source. Just stay on your water changes and you should be fine.
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:16 PM   #10
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Don't get yellow tail damsels. I used them as cheap starter fish, three of them lived forever and nipped the tails of everything I put in there. They're hardy, territorial, and generally mean.
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