View Full Version : Freddie's 14 Gallon Reef

09-27-2011, 10:27 PM
Ok so I have decided that I am definitely going to start up reef at school. I think biocube is my best option for the tank. I really like how it basically comes with everything. I will also be adding a small heater, probably around 50watts, and a small powerhead, either koralia, or the new aqueon ones specifically for the biocube. I think I am going to go with about 20 pounds of rock, and 20 pounds of sand. That seems like a lot of sand so I might not use all of the second bag, I just want enough sand for a pistol shrimp and goby to be able to make their home.

Stocking Plans

Randall Goby
Firefish Goby

I absolutely love Randall gobies, they are such awesome looking little fish.

Randall Pistol Shrimp
Cleaner Shrimp(either a skunk or a fire shrimp)
A feather Duster or two
A few snails(probably an astrea or two, a nassarius or two and maybe a cerith or two)
And a few hermits

Many Zoa's
Green Star Polyp
Daisy Polyp
Possibly some PomPom pulsing Xenia, depending on how it grows in my reef at home
Maybe down the road some LPS like a small open brain, or candy cane

Once this tank is up and running I may try my hand at fragging so I can get my first few corals for free from my tank at homethumbs2:

I think that is pretty much everything I wanted to cover in my first post. My one main question is what people suggest the koralia nano powerhead or the aqueon one. I have a 750gph Koralia and a 500gph aqueon and my 58g and it just seems to me like the koralia puts out a wider current than the aqueon.

Also another question, does anyone have any experience with getliverock.com I really like their prices at $3 a pound including shipping you really can't get any better. But I can't find any reviews of them online anywhere so I figured I'd ask =)

09-27-2011, 10:55 PM
I'm looking forwards to updates (ie.... Pics) as you go

The koralia nano is a really good power head. I have two that I use in my QT tank when needed. they do a really good job of gently moving all the water around in my 20 gallon QT

That's going to be a really full tank once your corals take off and start to grow. I've bought a 2" frag of green start polyp 4 or 5 months ago and now it is easily 10 to 20 X that size now.

You'll just have to find someone to sell your frags to :hmm3grin2orange:

09-27-2011, 11:04 PM
ive seen other people on here talking about it.

might be a thread to read for that :P

also looking forward to pics, hope everything works out

09-28-2011, 12:03 AM
I have 2 koralia nanos in my 58 gal fowler.The one has been running for about 3 yrs now with no hiccups. For another fish consideration check out the green clow gobys,they are tiny and have loads of color and attitude for small tanks,mine is a real character. Colonial feather dusters would also be a great choice.

09-28-2011, 12:15 AM
Thanks for the link genocidex.
I will be posting lots of pictures as I go, I'm getting more excited now =). I'm probably going to start ordering stuff tomorrow. I sure hope I can find someone to buy coral if I need to:hmm3grin2orange: I just love the way it looks so I want it =) I will probably go with the koralia nano since it seems like people like it.
Thanks for the idea smaug, they certainly do look like fun little fish!

09-28-2011, 03:03 AM
if you cant find some one to buy your coral off you try a local marine lfs im sure youll find one that will be more than willing to give you store credit.

09-28-2011, 03:11 AM
Unfortunately Boston does not have a lot of fish stores that are easy to get to by T, or honestly in general. The only one I really know of is a petco in Cambridge, and even that is a 45 minute T ride. There is a really good salt water store in Quincy(neighboring town) but I think the T ride ends up being 2 hours. 4 hours of travel to go to a pet store is a lot!:help:. Im sure I can figure something out though, I do have plenty of time after all lol

09-28-2011, 03:28 AM
the t takes 30 mins (max 45) from lawrence to boston.... cambridge is alot closer :P i might be able to help you out with lfs places tho :P ill take a look into them for you if you need to start selling them :P you dont want a big chain store like petco cause they probaly arent selling corals any more and they most likely would say "we will take it off your hands but you wont get anything from us"

theres a place up the road from me that might take it. but unless you are getting a decent price i dont think the train ride would be worth it (i think its 25 round trip but that was a few years back so prices might have changed.)

09-29-2011, 02:46 AM
So I ordered the tank today, it should be here on Tuesday I believe. I am getting really excited I can't wait to start setting everything up:19:. I think I am going to go with instant ocean reef crystals, because the price is only like $2 more than regular IO for a bag that does 50 gallons of water. I will continue to update as I start getting stuff =)

Thanks genocidex, I wont need to start worrying about getting rid of any coral frags for a long time, thank you though =)

09-29-2011, 02:54 AM
:hmm3grin2orange: so....... pics on your next up-date ???

09-29-2011, 02:58 AM
If you are looking forward to see a new tank filled with water and possibly some sand then yes:hmm3grin2orange: lol I probably won't order the rock til I have the tank filled, i could take some small pieces from home just to get things started though....=)

09-29-2011, 08:49 PM
Well still no pictures but I did go out and get my sand today. I wasn't in the mood to do my homework so I decided to make the trek to Petco. Unfortunately I ended up getting the "Live" Sand crap. The dry aragonite they had was way to coarse for my future goby and the only other option was sugar sand which I really don't want to deal with. The "Live" sand has the grain size I was looking for and it actually only ended up being like $4 more than dry sand. According to the bag I can add my first fish as soon as I add the sand!:hmm3grin2orange: LOL, I just hope it doesn't prolong my cycle by too long

10-02-2011, 01:31 AM
Ok so still no major update, but I did go to a new LFS today to get some premixed salt water. They sell RO/DI water as well but I don't think my salt will be here when the tank gets here so I figured I would pay a little more for the pre-made stuff. Ive never been to this place before cause its in a pretty sketchy area so I have kinda avoided it lol but it is wicked awesome! They have so much salt water stuff and all their tanks look great. It is a little inconvenient to get to but its a lot closer.
So anyways I bought 10 gallons of water and all I can say is getting that back to my dorm was miserable. I got on the wrong bus and ended up walking around Boston with 85lb of water:help: . Needless to say I don't think I will be getting water in the future unless I can drive lol. It was certainly an experience that I do not want to repeat.
Look foward to an actual update sometime during the week when stuff actually starts getting here :hmm3grin2orange:

10-06-2011, 11:08 PM
My tank finally got here! I am so excited it is super awesome =). It is a lot bigger than I expected, which isnt a problem. Right now I have 20lb of sand and surprisingly only 10 gallons of water and it is almost completely full. I ordered the rock today so it should be here sometime next week =).
Here are just a few cloudy pictures but still pictures =)

I think the corner of my desk is a good spot for it. Perfect distraction zone =)


I can't wait to scape this bad boy when I get my rock. I feel like the options for scaping a cube like this are pretty awesome so we will see what I come up with

10-06-2011, 11:11 PM
Can't wait to see it with the rock inside

10-06-2011, 11:20 PM
I am so excited to get the rock, I thought I was excited before I got the tank but now that it is sitting next to me I realize how minimal my excitement was until now:hmm3grin2orange: . One think I find weird about the tank is the actinics seem really purple to me. The ones on my other reef are a much bluer color. I don't know if they are just a different wave length or if it is because I have T5HO on the other reef and these are PC. One think I will say is the 10000k bulbs look SO MUCH better on this tank than my other. They are just a bright white, there is no ugly yellow undertone. I really like them. The 10000k and the actinics together make a really nice color too.
Ohh and in the back of the tank there is a perfect little window where the Bioballs used to be that I can put a light on and throw some chaeto in there if i think it is necessary =)

10-07-2011, 12:23 AM
that's a great place for the tank haha that way you'll get nothing done lmao! I could sit and watch my tank for hours haha you'll love when the rock comes in and finding the little critters that came with it

10-07-2011, 04:05 PM
Who wants to do engineering homework when you can look at a reef on your desk instead:hmm3grin2orange: . I can't wait to get some kind of life in the tank =)

10-12-2011, 05:47 PM
Still impatiently waiting on the rock to get here:help: . I have had the tracking number since Sunday but it has not shipped yet....I think they are teasing me on purpose lol. If it doesn't get here til Friday I don't think I can wait til next week!

10-18-2011, 05:32 PM
My rock finally got here! Unfortunately it was very dry when it got here so I don't know how that is going to work out. My scaping possibilities with the rock I got are pretty limited too unless I do some smashing lol. I got 2 decent sized peices and then one huge piece, probably 10-12 pounds, so thats over half my rock right there lol. I wont be able to post pictures until later I have some homework I need to do and then I have class 5-7 so anytime after that you will get some picturesthumbs2: . I will probably also do my first water test when I get back from class later too just to see if anything is happening.

10-18-2011, 08:30 PM
Who wants to do engineering homework when you can look at a reef on your desk instead:hmm3grin2orange: . I can't wait to get some kind of life in the tank =)

lol i hear that what year and discipline are you?

10-18-2011, 08:41 PM
Civil engineering, kinda a mix between sophomore and junior haha. I should be a junior but this is kind of a catch up semester because I switched from an engineering technology degree(had no idea what the difference was at the time) to a regular engineering degree. You're electrical right?

10-18-2011, 10:26 PM
yessir just finishing my junior year now since i do a co-op rotation... i'll work for 8 months now and then do a regular senior year lol

yea man when i get sick of my lab reports i go sit in front of my tank and just stare at it for 20 mins lol

10-18-2011, 10:37 PM
I do a co-op too! Well two semesters of co-op. I was supposed be be going next semester and then coming back to school for the summer cause thats the way my school does it but I don't think I can do it that way anymore so I don't know when I am actually doing my co-op semesters

10-19-2011, 05:36 PM
Here are some pictures! This is not what I am actually doing with the rock, I need to figure out what to do with the massive piece, any advice would be greatly appreciated =). I may have to get my hammer this weekend lol

Please excuse my messy desk and the paintbrushes in the picture lol I didn't feel like moving anything

10-20-2011, 05:28 PM
No comments on my rock yet? Wow!lol Well anyways I decided I actually like the formation the way it is with the huge piece, it isn't really what I had envisioned but when does that ever happen anyways right? I did move stuff around a bit though.

So despite my worries about the rock arriving pretty dry I have both ammonia and nitrite already and they have both decreased in a little over a day so I am pretty happy about that. My concern is that the levels are pretty low, my ammonia was probably around .5ppm last night and its well under .25ppm today. Unfortunately I managed to lose my ammonia color sheet but I do remember that pure yellow is 0 so thats all that counts right:hmm3grin2orange: lol. So based on the progress I am assuming there actually was BB left in the rocks and it looks like my initial spike is also very small, so with that I have to ask if you guys think my cycle is just going to be short, or if the levels are too small to create a cycle that will even be able to keep anything alive...? Ideas please! =)

And here is my new, most likely permanent rock scape, it is very simple but it still offers caves, dart holes, and areas to perch for my future fish =) not to mention a lot of area for corals too.


10-20-2011, 05:49 PM
, any advice would be greatly appreciated =). I may have to get my hammer this weekend lol


Please excuse my messy desk and the paintbrushes in the picture lol I didn't feel like moving anything

Have you tried laying the bigger pc in the middle flat across the two smaller ones to make a larger flat surface as well as a hiding spot or two below that.

You always break up that big pc as well. I've had to do that with a few pcs that just could not work with

10-21-2011, 12:09 AM
I have actually taken a liking to the way I have it set up right now, there are two caves in the sand that the pistol shrimp and the goby could make their home in, as well as areas for dart holes for the firefish. Basically I think my tank of little gobies would have plenty of room and options =)

10-21-2011, 02:13 AM
looks good.. in terms of your cycle it seems a little too short... try adding some flake food or something and just letting it sit, this will add ammonia as the flakes dissolve and you can see how efficiently your tank gets rid or it.

Another way is to add a snail or two they'll survive a little ammonia and give you cycle a nice slow start

10-21-2011, 02:52 AM
Yeah Ive been worried about the cycle, I mean it still isn't done yet and who knows tomorrow I could have a lot more ammonia, but based on what I have seen everything is decreasing already.

10-24-2011, 01:06 AM
Little bit of an update, I'm actually a little relieved, my cycle isn't completely finished yet, there is still less than .3ppm nitrite in the tank and the ammonia is all gone, it looks like it will be finished this week. When it finishes I'm gonna get a few snails and some hermits, that I may actually have to feed lol. For CUC I will probably get 3 snails, 1 astrea or tronchus, and two cerith. Actually I may get some small nassarius as well since I am going to have 3 little carnivorous gobies :18: . And 2 or 3 hermits, I dont think that is over doing it a few algae grazers for the glass and sand and a few meat eaters for leftovers. If anyone thinks thats too much CUC for a small tank let me know, I am open to new ideas =). After the CUC is in the tank for a few weeks Ill think about adding my first fish, either a clown goby or the firefish first, I havn't completely decided yet.

10-27-2011, 01:17 AM
Some new pictures of boring old CUC! haha

Just some snails and hermits hanging out on a rock

Hermit crab going his hermit crab thing

Silly hermit crab thinks hes a snail

And a FTS which still looks exactly the same lol

I will clean that sand residue off the glass eventually....

Ohh and I will probably just put small updates in my blog, instead of putting them here. So check out my blog for small updates on the tank =)

10-27-2011, 01:21 AM
the tank is coming along nicely

10-27-2011, 01:43 AM
Thanks cliff! I think I am gonna get my first fish in a few weeks, and I will probably add a few coral frags when I get the chance to frag some stuff my from other reef to see how the corals do.

10-27-2011, 06:14 AM
WOW!!!! your hermit can climb glass!!! Geez, mine are lame... nice setup, I really like the center setup its different and very cool!!!thumbs2: BTW WTH is a blog and who would search for something outside this forum that has folks who actually care about you and what your doin Fre...

10-27-2011, 03:14 PM
Thanks Surfdog! Well I wouldn't say the hermit can climb glass, more like he can climb the very small gap between the false wall and the glass:hmm3grin2orange: lol. And of course I mean my AC blog =) just so I can save the big exciting updates for the journal lol

11-01-2011, 07:50 PM
Well I think I am ready for fish now, everything seems stable.
Parameters with API
pH-8.0 matches my tetra test as well. Not to bad considering my tank is covered
dKH(Tetra)-6.5 or 7ish, slightly low
I don't have a mag test or calc test yet, but I won't have any lps for a while so I am not overly concerned with that. I also don't plan on wasting money on a phosphate test that is going to be inaccurate anyway, algae is the best phosphate test anyway lol. As much as I would love to go out and get a clown goby this week I probably won't because I won't be here this weekend so I wouldn't want my new fish to spend his first weekend alone!lol
The diatomes dusting is growing too, some is on the glass now and its spreading on the sand, the hermits made quick work of it yesterday, but my lonely astrea snail essentially does nothing all day, it is definitely more active at night but I didn't think they were nocturnal.

Ohh and is there any way to raise my dkH a little bit? I think I am just going to buy premade salt water for this tank, after the price of buying the RODI water and the salt making my own only saves like 5 cents a gallon...but this way I am kind of stuck trusting the LFS to tell me the truth about their water, but I also don't have to deal with mixing it lol. Decisions decisions!LOL