Newbie: setting up a biocube 29 reef tank

Discussion in 'New To The Hobby' started by aness2323, Sep 6, 2011.

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  1. aness2323

    aness2323 Astrea Snail

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    Sep 6, 2011
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    Hey all,
    New to this hobby, but have been reading for awhile to get started. I went to a reef store in my area to buy a tank and get some prices. I wound up leaving with 800$ biocube/stand/etc. and have been reading nonstop since. So far, I have set up tank, added live sand (2 heavy bags) not sure of the weight, and 20 lbs of live rock. I added the stores water, and set up the filter (stock). The store told me to just wait 2 weeks, then bring them back a sample, get more water, and possibly start with a clown fish. They made no mention of doing anything extra to cycle. I want to get into this the right way and start with a good healthy tank so I don't waste money, or hurt any livestock. At this point, what is my next step. I am using the stock lights, running about 8 hours a day right now. For filtration, I have the stock canister with a sponge>purigen bag on top of charcoal bag>ceramic balls. I put a dig. thermometer in, and a heater in chamber 1. My tank reads about 73 in the AM, and 76 at the hottest about 6 PM. I doubt I even need the heater, as it is at the lowest setting. Any must do mods at this point? Am I on the right track? I am thinking of putting in some more live rock, maybe replacing the ceramic balls with live rock pieces, and adding a shrimp if needed. Thanks for the help.
     
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  3. dsmikey

    dsmikey Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
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    Location:
    South Carolina
    Setup

    I'd raise the temp up to about a constant 78*, and "feed" the tank with a dead shrimp. Let that go for a few weeks then start adding the clean-up crew first not fish. Start with snails and maybe an emerald crab or pistol shrimp, or a few hermit crab. Your clean up crew will help slowly create your bio-load without straining your system. Run that for a month slowly adding to your CUC until it's about finished. Once your parameters are solid and consistent for a few weeks then I'd THINK about adding a fish.

    My reef tank ran almost 4 months with just a clean-up crew before adding the first fish.
     
  4. insanespain

    insanespain Ocellaris Clown

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    Hi, and welcome to 3reef! And welcome to this addicting hobby.

    Oh boy, where to start. Well, the info the LFS (local fish store) gave you is not very good. A cycle on a tank can last 4-8 weeks, it really depends on alot of factors. As of right now it seems that you have no source to start the cycle other than the die off of the live sand you used. You need something to produce ammonia. This can be done with a piece of frozen shrimp, which will decay and produce ammonia. The appropriate bacteria will colonize to break the ammonia down into nitrites, then more bacteria will colonize to break nitrites down into nitrates. Simply waiting 2 weeks and dropping a clown in there is not the proper way to go. Ask your questions here, and take advice from the LFS with a grain of salt. Also, GET A TEST KIT!!! Testing for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates will let you understand how the cycle is working. Until your ammonia and nitrites are down to zero, you are not ready for a fish IMO.
     
  5. aness2323

    aness2323 Astrea Snail

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    Thanks! Exactly why I will be taking advice from here first. I will try the shrimp tonight, and the temp. In the next few weeks/month ect, when should I start the weekly or every 2 week water changes?
     
  6. insanespain

    insanespain Ocellaris Clown

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    You shouldnt do a water change until the cycle is complete. You will know its done when your nitrites drop to zero, which is why you need a test kit.
     
  7. aness2323

    aness2323 Astrea Snail

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    Another question I have is, have they recently changed the design of the biocube 29? I have been trying to do research on them, and all the info seems to be related to a different filter and rear tank setup than the model I just purchased. Were some of the flow needs fixed, if there is a new model?
     
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  9. paul21

    paul21 Plankton

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    hi all i just setup a biocube 29 with only saltwater and sand will do live rock tommorrow so am i understand this right i should throw a regular dead shrimp in tank to start the cycle i have test kit salinity is correct and temp is 78 farenheight but a dead shrimp never hear of that till now so basically i can go in freezer pull a shrimp tail out thaw it and throw in tank realy?
     
  10. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Yes you can, it's not my preferred method but it works. My preferred method is live rock and a pinch of dry fish food every other day. No stinky shrimp to deal with, no introduction of freaky bacteria. Sometimes I add some Macrobacter7. One method takes no longer than another as long as you start out with live cured rock.

    Welcome to 3reef Paul.
     
  11. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

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    Hey 2323, sounds like you are doing it right by asking questions. One question I have is about the thermometer/heater. Did you say they are both in the same chamber? If so, the thermometer will fluctuate as the heater goes on. They should be separate. Oh, and welcome.
     
  12. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

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