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Old 11-21-2008, 05:21 PM   #1
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Hey all!

Totally new - we purchased a 14 gallon biocube for a project with the kids and also a lifelong interest. We've been reading and researching for 3+ months and decided to jump in. This weekend is setting everything up - adding some live sand and mixing the water - then we'll let things cycle out for a week or so. Any advice would be great.

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Old 11-21-2008, 05:36 PM   #2
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How do you plan on cycing? With or without rock? Check the articles section at this site for fishless cycling.

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Old 11-21-2008, 07:12 PM   #3
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Old 11-22-2008, 07:58 AM   #4
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We are planning on without rock until we can take water back next week to our fish store - Tropical Isle.

They will test the tank and the water from our tap to tell us what's going on. We have a kit too - and also some additional filter material to put into the back left area on the Biocube to remove more stuff if there is heavy metals - etc.

I'm sure we'll end up with some conditioners - etc. Who knows. Then after our water checks out - we'll do some live rock. Hopefully it's not 2 more trips but 1 and we can get some live rock going in our next visit 10 days or so from now.
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Old 11-22-2008, 08:03 AM   #5
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Welcome aboard. Here is a good article about tap water which IMO you should not use.

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/jan2004/chem.htm
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Old 11-22-2008, 01:15 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tips. We did use tap water as our 5 year old couldn't stand the wait. We used a dechlorinator - Top Coat and mixed that in this morning. We just added in the salt slowly mixing in tank. I know not the best - but given our setup in the room where we have it - it was easiest. The kids kept making checkmarks on their own notepads noting amount - volume.

We stand in a 14 gallon biocube at 10.75 gallons of water and then 21 1/8 cups of salt and 1/8 last cup for the .25 gallon. We'll test salinity tomorrow. I've been soaking our hydrometer for testing.

One thing - the LED lights seem to stay on all the time regardless - you can't seem to turn them off all the way. I did purchase a timer - so I guess that's one way to deal with it. Also - we've got a pretty substantial drip loop going - made sure the power supply is about 4 feet to the right and it's above the loop.

Not much to do now but wait and test.

The shop recommends in 5-7 days to bring in a sample of our tap water and our tank water to see if we can get some live rock.
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Old 11-23-2008, 02:38 PM   #7
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Smile

Day 2 and we did tests this morning - so far everything is good.

Salt is 1.022
Temp 77-78
PH 8.0-8.2
Ammonia 0
Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0

Do I need to measure KH?

So far the only thing in the tank is Water and Live sand of 10lbs in bottom of the 14 gallon biocube.

How long do we wait and measure before we put in our live rock?
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Old 11-23-2008, 04:49 PM   #8
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Old 11-23-2008, 04:50 PM   #9
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I'd try to bring the salinity up to 1.024 and add rock. Cured or un-cured? Uncured will cycle your tank with an ammonia source. Cured may need a piece of grocery store shrimp to get a cycle going. If cured from an established tank, you may have an instant cycle and not have to wait.

Tell me more about your LR source.

P.S. - that so-called live sand isn't doing anything for you at all. It's just sand. No problem, it's just that sometimes folks think something is happening with live sand.
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Old 11-23-2008, 05:46 PM   #10
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I'm going to get Live Rock from Tropical Isle - Framingham, MA - they said to come back this week - Katy is her name on Wed - yeah - I thought something might happen with Live Sand.

It should be cured to the best of my knowledge - the big thing is they wanted to test my water as I used tap water with Top Coat antichlorinator to make sure everything would be fine. I'm glad I didn't have the live rock this weekend - it took me all morning and part of the afternoon with the kids to set it all up and then get the programming on the powerstrip - etc.

Now our next phase with Live Rock should be exciting. How many pounds of Live rock do you suggest in the 14 gallon biocube?

One thing too - my daughter desperately wants some fake coral stuff - she wants glow in the dark - should we wait until after the cycle or not?

For a 4.5 and 2 year old - this is taking forever but they are very excited - as much as I am - as I've been waiting for many years to finally do this.
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Old 11-23-2008, 05:57 PM   #11
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I'd suggest anywhere from 10 - 20 lbs. Depends on your aquascaping. Hopefully you can do it in 2-4 pcs of rock. Try to keep it 2" or so from the sides. Gonna be easier to clean the tank. OK to lean on the back glass if you are not going to be looking from the back of the tank much.

Try to have some swim through areas in the rock so the fish can be more entertaining and feel they have somewhere to go.

The fake coral stuff will get real ugly in a few weeks after you cycle and get going. I guess it'd be OK if you commit to wash it off every week or so.
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:03 PM   #12
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Yeah - I know on the ugly part. I think I will be able to convince her once we pick out some live rock.

You can't see through the back of the BioCube 14 gallon - so leaning there is a probably a good idea.

One total newbie question - we get the live rock and in the store we'll be able to measure / get some advice on the pieces. When do we get coral/invertebrates?

How do you glue the coral onto the rock? The live rock won't have that stuff on it - or some things will grow from it too from what I've seen and read...
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:24 PM   #13
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Welcome to the sight!!!
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:52 AM   #14
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After you've ensured the cycle is complete - unless you get established rock already cured, you can add inverts. Your cleaning crew. Snails, hermits, maybe a shrimp. But, you'll be able to ensure you've got consistent water with the ammonia being at zero, nitrates 10ppm or below (20 is acceptable for some).

Most coral you find will already be attached to small rock. You can use super glue believe it or not. There is also a silly putty type adhesive that any lfs should have.

And you're right, good LR will likely have stuff growing on it too, but look for pcs that give you ledges or slanted or horizontal "landing strips". An inch or two of landing strip space to affix smaller rocks with coral on it would work. Hopefully, I didn't confuse this too much.
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:02 AM   #15
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Nope. Great stuff. So after we get out live rock and we're sure the cycle is complete - then we get the cleaning crew.

One question for clarification - you purchase the coral and then you would actually use super glue and then place it in the tank? Sounds crazy.
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:00 AM   #16
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Glue for smaller pieces. The putty for the larger ones I'd imagine. I didn't use any. Always was able to find crevices to wedge my coral pieces into.

On the super glue, I hear you gotta pat the area to be glued to get it drier (not completely of course), apply the glue, then after a few seconds I'd imagine to get it a bit tacky, affix it to the rock already under water.

Maybe someone with more experience using it will chime in.
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:02 AM   #17
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http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ls-106432.html

Check out this thread too.

This one article too...

http://www.athiel.com/lib10/sps6.htm
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:38 PM   #18
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:41 PM   #19
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Okay - i've created a tank thread...
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:27 PM   #20
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