Biocube 14!

Discussion in 'Reef Chronicles' started by tangerine3486, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. tangerine3486

    tangerine3486 Active Member

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    So I just picked up a biocube 14 gal and it is my first tank so its exciting.

    I picked up 10lbs of sand, a little over 6 pounds of dry base reef rock and a half pound of the expensive aquacultured live rock. (it should be enough to spread everywhere, right?)

    One question I have is about how long will it take to see growth on the other rocks?

    I have one piece of fish in my tank in nylon to hold me over until i can get a few shrimp. Is it normal for it to make the tank a little murky?

    I did my first water test a few hours after the fish got put in.
    Temp: 81
    Salinity: 1.023
    pH: 7.8
    Ammonia:.75
    Nitrate:0
    Nitrite: 0


    any other thoughts?
    Thanks!
    Jay
     
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  2. glampka

    glampka New Member

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    Salinity & pH are both a bit low. 1. 025 minimum for salinity. 8.2 or so for pH.
    How big is the piece of fish you put in there? As it decays it will cloud up the water. Since you already have the fish in there, no need for the shrimp since what you're looking for is something that will decay.
     
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  3. tangerine3486

    tangerine3486 Active Member

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    its a somewhat thin piece of talapia, about 3"x2". how long should I keep it in there?

    what should I do about the pH?
     
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  4. tangerine3486

    tangerine3486 Active Member

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    and what level should my ammonia reach at first?
     
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  5. StevieT

    StevieT RS Sponsor

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    No one can answer that, depends on how much die off there is on the rock
     
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  6. tangerine3486

    tangerine3486 Active Member

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    Thanks. I will keep chugging along. Some things on the rock are dying and some things seem to be growing on the rock.
     
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  7. tangerine3486

    tangerine3486 Active Member

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  8. tangerine3486

    tangerine3486 Active Member

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    So it is day 5, the nitrate and nitrite readings are the same (0) but pH is up to 8 and ammonia is nearly 1. Salinity is up and temperature is good.

    Should I put another piece of shrimp/fish in?

    Worms are wriggling around the rock, and the feather duster? hitchhiker seems fine. However i have not seen the hitchhiker star fish since hour 5.

    One thing is that I have brown dots appearing all over the rocks and sand and few on the glass. Are these the Diatoms I have read about?

    Thanks,
    Jay
     
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  9. ddinox64

    ddinox64 New Member

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    Take a breath. Slow down and relax. Water looks as though it has cleared since you said it was cloudy. Has it? If so, sit back and watch the cycle of life. Diatoms are normal. I have some constantly in my tank. No big deal. Something in there will eat it.

    Why isn't that heater in one of the rear sections?
     
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  10. Rhodes19

    Rhodes19 New Member

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    +1 to what StevieT said. It will take about 4 weeks for the cycle to work. Waiting 8 weeks would be better and your tank will be a little more stable. The best thing to do is measure your water parameters and chart them. You should see the ammonia rise and fall, then the nitrites, and then the nitrates. The tank should be ready for your first inhabitants. Given the size of the BC 14, you should have no more than 3 small fish. You could do more but you will be pushing the bioload that tank can handle without external filtration.

    ddinox64 brings up a good point. Look at putting your heater into the first chamber. You can knock out the false floor for more room and better flow if you need to. There are a few other mods you can do to improve flow, filtration and lighting if you are interested. I made a few to my BC 14 and have been happy with them. HTH :)
     
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  11. tangerine3486

    tangerine3486 Active Member

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    Thanks. The heater did not seem like it was going to fit in one of the rear sections easily and i was not sure if that would be a problem now. Fortunately I do not have to use it because of my room being hot and the lights. I will try to move it.

    I will look for that cycle. i wasnt sure which nitrite or nitrate came first. I am planning on having 2 clown fish and some kind of invert.

    Will it be a problem if the heater is close to the filter or walls or anything if it ever needs to come on? I will look into that today! Thanks guys for the suggestions.
     
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  12. Rhodes19

    Rhodes19 New Member

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    Hi Jay,

    You can take a big screw driver or a 1x1" piece of wood, place it on top of the false floor in chamber 1 and either push down or give it a tap with a hammer or other block of wood. It will push in the false floor and you can reach in and pull it out. That will give yo a couple more inches of depth in that chamber for the heater. It will be out of sight and won't collect coralline algae.

    Ammonia comes first, nitrites second, and nitrates third. Here are some good threads on cycling.
    http://www.reefsanctuary.com/forums...something-cycling-breaking-new-reef-tank.html

    Mything the Point, Part Three: Conclusion - Reefkeeping.com myth 15

    For heating purposes, it doesn't make much of a difference where the heater is. I would recommend removing the stock filter and the bioballs as they can become a nitrate factory. I would also look at the wall between the first and second chamber. You will notice that the water only flows over half of the wall. Look at removing the tab and let the water flow over the entire length of the wall. Remove the drip tray and replace it with something like egg crate and place some filter floss on it. That will catch lots of detritus and you can pull it out and replace it with new floss every 2-3 days. That is a lot easier and quicker than pulling the stock filter and cleaning it.

    Well, shoot. I was going to post pictures to show you the mods I made to my BC 14 but apparently Photobucket has crapped out on me again and will lot list img info. I'll try later. Sorry.
     
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  13. Rhodes19

    Rhodes19 New Member

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    Ok, still having problems with photobucket but here are some pics.

    Here is a view of the tab removed and water flowing over the length of the wall. the egg crate replaced the drip tray.
    [​IMG]


    Here is the filter floss on the egg crate. Actually, its pillow stuffing I stole from my wife's crafts room.
    [​IMG]

    HTH :)
     
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  14. tangerine3486

    tangerine3486 Active Member

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    Thanks for all the help! This week I will try to mess with the first chamber. I should be able to do that.

    Questions about the second chamber, do you have filter floss or anything below your egg crate?


    Just did a water test:
    pH is about 8,
    ammonia is still at 1 ppm
    nitrites are up to 1 ppm
    and nitrates are up to about 5 to 10 ppm (colors are similar on the card)

    After reading the first link above, this does not seem similar to as described, or is it?

    Thanks everybody and especially Rhodes19!

    Jay
     
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  15. Rhodes19

    Rhodes19 New Member

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    Hi Jay,

    Thanks for your kind words. I'm glad I can help. So many folks here have helped me out and I am glad I can start doing the same.

    I don't have anything under the egg crate. There is another drip tray at the bottom that holds the bio balls up off the bottom. You can pull that out too. Your readings look ok, you are still in the beginning of the cycling process. The nitrates might be a bit higher than expected. What is our source of water? Are you using tap water, store bought water or RO/DI water?
     
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  16. tangerine3486

    tangerine3486 Active Member

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    I started off with 10 gallons of LFS RO fresh water and 4 gal of home filtered water. I used maybe two cups of tap water until i could get to the store, and now I have a small supply of some store water.
     
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  17. Rhodes19

    Rhodes19 New Member

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    Ok, the LFS RO water should be ok but the next time you get some, test it for nitrates first before using it. Also check your home filter water. You may be getting nitrates from there. To be honest, I don't recall if carbon pulls out nitrates or not. I'll have to research that for my own edification. :)
     
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  18. tangerine3486

    tangerine3486 Active Member

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    from my quick google search it does not appear that carbon picks up nitrates.

    Aquarium photography is seeming to be more difficult than I thought, for some reason.

    Anyway, my tank has become much more algae like over the past week. Is this good aerobic algae?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    the live rock with feather duster?

    [​IMG]

    Also a question: the worm looking thing that came with the rock has been piling up the sand on that hole. It does not bother me though, im just curious...it appears to have a white base with a bunch of worm looking tentacle things that move around. is this a bad organism?
     
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  19. tangerine3486

    tangerine3486 Active Member

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    So the nitrates of the tap water checked out at 0.

    Tank water:
    Nitrate:5-10ppm
    Nitrite:1
    Ammonia is way down to .25

    Going out of town tomorrow for the weekend so I will have check back up on it Sunday night. I'm thinking about getting some more base rock but we will see.
     
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  20. Rhodes19

    Rhodes19 New Member

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    Have you checked or phosphates?
     
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