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btbeam
04/08/2007, 01:11 PM
I am new to the saltwater hobby I have a biocube 14. I have had 15 lbsof live sand in the tank for about ten days and 15 lbs of live rock for 1 week. I didn't start testing until 1 day after the live rock was put in and here are the numbers:

Sal 1.023
Amm 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
Temp 80
PH 8.4
Alk normal [the kit that I have doesnt give numbers]

The numbers that are above are the same for all six time that I tested once a day at the same time of day.

Just to describe how I have things set up
Chamber 1 Heater
Chamber 2 Live Rock with filter floss on the top of the grate
Chamber 3 stock pump

I would like to stock with a couple of clowns and sooms zoos for coral and a cuc maybe somthing else but the first items are the soonest.

I bought the live rock from someone local and there is alot of coraline algae[purple] and some burgundy is just starting.


I fully realize that I belong posting in the nooob section but I was looking for biocube advice.

Here are some of my questions?

Is it possible that I am not going to notice a big cycle because of using established rock?

What value does a powerhead have in my set up and where would I put it?

Shoud I be using some type of carbon like in a fresh tank and if so how?

Is using the stock pump OK?

Anything else I should be doing? to jump start a cycle?

What type of food do people use?

I know this is a lot of questions but I thank everyone in advance for your help

sir_dudeguy
04/08/2007, 01:33 PM
[welcome]

Is it possible that I am not going to notice a big cycle because of using established rock?

you more than likely will not see any cycle at all since you're using rock that is already cured (which means its already cycled....you cycle the bacteria on the rock, not the water). The only thing that really could have caused any spikes in anything would have been the live sand since whenever i move live sand to another tank it causes a small spike for like a day.

Wait about 2 weeks now....if you still dont get any readings in amonia or nitrite, you're good to go. Dont worry about nitrates...thats sort of the "end product" of the cycle so to speak. Those do not harm fish and have to be up around at least 20 before they start doing anything to corals/inverts in my experience.

What value does a powerhead have in my set up and where would I put it?

flow is very important in a reef tank. Not only for the corals, but for the live rock to filter the water efficiently, you must have good flow. I personally say to start with at least 20 times turnover per hour. Which means if you have a 14 gallon tank, you take 20 x 14 and get...(hang on...doing math :) ) 280. So you would want 280 gallons per hour total out of all your pumps/powerheads (but dont include skimmers). So i'm not sure what the stock pump for the return puts out, but i'm pretty sure its not that much really and you'd be better either adding a stronger one to replace it, or just adding another smallish one in the main tank somewhere. It really doesnt matter where you put it. Just to where it wont be out of water and it gets good movement all around the tank. You want random flow....thats the key. Make it criss cross with your return pump if you can.

Shoud I be using some type of carbon like in a fresh tank and if so how?

you can. Its not 100% needed all the time, but it helps in my opinion (or IMO for short in case you havent seen that yet). It will keep the water clearer for one and it can help with a few other things that i cant ever remember haha.

Anything else I should be doing? to jump start a cycle?
No. Live rock will cycle itself. There is no need to do anything other than wait at this point. Its actually already cycled if it really was out of an established tank, so there wont be any spikes really...but you get the point.

What type of food do people use?

not flake. Well i do use it on occasion when i'm in a hurry or whatever, but i try staying away from it for the most part. I like using meaty stuff like mysis and plankton. I usually get the Hikari (spelled wrong though) brand stuff. Dont use bloodworms either. They dont have a place in saltwater IMO, and i dont like using brine so much either.

I know this is a lot of questions but I thank everyone in advance for your help

Keep asking :) Its the best way to learn. Dont NOT ask and then have a problem later. Get answers before you buy stuff to ensure its well being,

Take luck ;)

btbeam
04/08/2007, 01:44 PM
Is the filter floss in the top of chamber 2 good enough for mechanical filtration or should it be somewhere else?

sir_dudeguy
04/08/2007, 01:48 PM
I suppose you could keep it there. I dont run any in my tanks. I dont really care for them as they also can be nitrate factories if you dont keep them cleaned constantly. And they really dont do much other than trap a bit of food here and there. I personally dont think they're worth it but thats just me.

obsled
04/08/2007, 02:14 PM
(First post - coming out of lurking mode).

I've been running my BioCube 14 for about three months and it's doing wonderfully. Here is what works for me:

Filtration & Water Movement - I removed the bio balls, the sponge filter, and the chamber one filter. Chamber 1 is filled 100% with live rock rubble and a thermometer. I cut the wall down between chamber one and two to add for more flow. Chamber two is 80% live rock with filter floss covering it tight, fully submerged. So far this has not been a nitrate problem and collects quite a lot of material. Chamber two is also where all the surface scum builds up, so I manually skim this out with a paper towel nightly when I rinse my filter floss. Chamber three is a MJ900 powerhead and a bag of carbon. On the pump output I superglued a Hydor Flo deflector on, this works well.

Lighting & Fans - I changed the 13" CFs out to the 50/50 bulb so the light was more even (previously it was a 10k and actinic, but all blue in the back, white in the front ). I also removed the stock fans and added some higher speed fans. This keeps the tank very cool, although they are louder.

Other - I added a digital thermometer that has a probe in chamber one. As for water level, I fill them up entirely. Chamber one is water level of the tank, fills into chamber two which is as full as it can get without going into chamber three, and three is topped off daily to near full with freshwater.

Good luck! I love this tank, it's an incredible deal. My heavy live rock filtration and that small filter floss addition have done very well.

btbeam
04/08/2007, 02:28 PM
obsled,
do you have a heater in your tank snd do you have any pics?

obsled
04/08/2007, 02:46 PM
Forgot to mention the heater! Yes, a 50watt Tetra stuffed in Chamber 3 (Strangely, I tried some others but liked this Walmart sold brand best).

I'll take some pictures right now. Stand by.

obsled
04/08/2007, 03:15 PM
Here are some photos. I just did a water change and took up the hood so all my zoas, etc, are closed up. But since this is for the equipment, no big deal.

http://obsolete.org/sw/bc14/bc14%2020070408.jpg
Full Tank Shot

http://obsolete.org/sw/bc14/bc14%2020070408%20light%20hood.jpg
Canopy - Changed to 50/50 lights & added two higher speed fans (one sending in, one out).

http://obsolete.org/sw/bc14/bc14%2020070408%20lovures.jpg
Cut the louvers out for faster airspeed.

http://obsolete.org/sw/bc14/bc14%20200704%20fan.jpg
Fan installed - 50x50x15mm ball bearing, 17cfm/5.8kRPM. Had to mod the jack for the 12VDC connection, easy cut and crimp.

http://obsolete.org/sw/bc14/bc14%20200070408%20overhead.jpg
Overhead shot of chambers

http://obsolete.org/sw/bc14/bc14%2020070408%20chamber1.jpg
Chamber 1 - full of live rock (I had a second MJ900 in here, thus the cut overflow patched - however found this was a -bit- too much flow). The very white rock was base rock I added to 'culture' a bit.

obsled
04/08/2007, 03:16 PM
http://obsolete.org/sw/bc14/bc14%2020070408%20chamber2-3.jpg
Chamber 2&3 - filter floss was cleaned only a few hours ago. I clean off a awful lot of brown junk daily. I don't know about the science, but this works for me.

http://obsolete.org/sw/bc14/bc14%2020070408%20chamber2%20removed.jpg
LR is under the filter floss in Chamber 2. Filter floss is always completely submerged so I don't have any nitrate issues.

http://obsolete.org/sw/bc14/bc14%2020070408%20chamber2-3.jpg
Chamber 3 - has heater (maybe it is 100w? I forget), carbon bag, and Maxi Jet 900 fit into the space. I took out the sponge.

http://obsolete.org/sw/bc14/bc14%2020070408%20filter%20floss.jpg
Carbon Bag

http://obsolete.org/sw/bc14/bc14%2020070408%20heater.jpg
Heater

http://obsolete.org/sw/bc14/bc14%2020070408%20mj900.jpg
My Maxi Jet (MJ) 900 setup. That Hydro cuts back the flow a lot, so maybe even a MJ1200 would be okay here?

btbeam
04/08/2007, 06:12 PM
obsled,
thanks for such detailed pics that is very helpful
btbeam

kingfisher62
04/08/2007, 06:47 PM
Ok, here is my 2 cents!
I use the stock pump (140gph ,so you know) and I just replaced a maxijet 400 with a aquaclear 301 it hangs very nicely in front of the intake slots plus it is more powerful. I do the same with the wad of filter floss just change it every couple of days so it does not become a nitrate factory. i have LR rubble in the center chamber and no carbon!

As far as food ,variety is important. I use mysis shrimp,cyclpop-eez and some quality flakes.
Here is my tank after 3 months!
http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r174/Kingfish62/PICT0054.jpg

btbeam
04/08/2007, 07:02 PM
kingfisher
how do you position the extra pump to draw water in or another direction

cmb88
04/08/2007, 07:30 PM
my 14 gallon has been running 3-4 months as well..I have an oceanic.. didnt make a lot of changes.. but you can go to my thread (I have 2) see pics and what i did.. It seems to work for me!! GL! All these people have great advice!! Welcom to the hobby!!

kingfisher62
04/08/2007, 07:42 PM
I just have the powerhead in the corner facing the front glass.
Most powerheads are totally submersible and have a movable output nozzles and can be mounted from the side or back with suction cups and or bracket. they can go almost any where and point any direction. You have to decide what flow best suits your LR layout! You want to eliminate dead spots and you will recognize your dead spot by algae or sediment build up.
Basically trial and error!

btbeam
04/08/2007, 07:49 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9677843#post9677843 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by kingfisher62
I just have the powerhead in the corner facing the front glass.
Most powerheads are totally submersible and have a movable output nozzles and can be mounted from the side or back with suction cups and or bracket. they can go almost any where and point any direction. You have to decide what flow best suits your LR layout! You want to eliminate dead spots and you will recognize your dead spot by algae or sediment build up.
Basically trial and error!

thanks for the help

kingfisher62
04/08/2007, 07:56 PM
Not a prob.
Good luck with the new tank! Don't be afraid to ask questions ,plenty of great help at this site.

btbeam
04/11/2007, 06:28 PM
i am noticing that my ph is around 8.4 is this ok and I have about a 1 1/2 degree fluctuatioin in temp from morning until night 80.1 to around 81.6 at the end of the day? Is this amount OK

Have not seen any changes in ammonia nitrites or nitrates all still at 0 for 2 weeks?

Thanks for any help

sir_dudeguy
04/11/2007, 08:50 PM
Seems normal to me (the pH and temps).

As for your amonia and nitrates...i forget, but you used rock from another persons tank right? If so, that would be why you havent seen any cycle...there's nothing to cycle. It already is cured/cycled.