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Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 34
  1. Default OKStriple's Oceanic Biocube 14 - An inherited mess


    0 Not allowed!
    I am beginning this journal just to document my progress with a 10 gallon biocube that was thrust upon me. At the moment I am not looking for any specific advice until at least a week or two from now when I take my next steps and see where I am at.

    History: I know very little background on this tank.
    My 20 y/o son's friend recently moved back to California and left his fish tank behind at our house (in Oklahoma) to take care of it - with no instructions. He may move back here within the next year and reclaim his tank, or never return and it's mine to keep. My son has a couple years experience with freshwater tanks but doesn't know much about salt tanks - but more than I do. Unfortunately ( or maybe it IS fortunate) my son lives in an apartment across town and I only see him a couple times a week so I'm on my own with the fish tank.

    After tending to this neglected tank for 3 weeks, I went to the LFS yesterday and started steps toward improving the water.

    THE SETUP:
    Oceanic Biocube 14 ( I believe it's 10 gal) with two large living rocks that don't appear to have much life on them except some stringy green algae that probably shouldn't be there. There are also a few mushrooms that may be of the candy cane variety. I was told there were 4 fish and two snails. However after 3 weeks I am positive there was never a 4th fish and after vacuumeing today I'm sure there are no snails. There were 2 clown fish but one managed to jump the back wall into the filter area because it was too full.(RIP). I'm not sure what other fish is but it small skinny dark purple with greenish tail fins. So its just the two small fish and two tiny starfish that hug the walls.

    LFS sent me home with 5 gal of saltwater to replace after vacuuming 5 out and said to do it again in a few days. I also added 3/4 tsp of buffer. They told me to bring back a water sample to test in a few days when I go back for 5 more gallons of saltwater. Nitrates are 160, Ph is 7.8 (prior to vacuume and adding water). The lights were out so I replace on of them with a 50/50. It looks to me like it does not have a heater unless its hidden back so with winter coming on, I may need one.

    VITAL SIGNS PRIOR TO WATER CHANGE:
    Amonia 0; Nitrite 0' Nitrate 160; Ph 7.8; Alkalinity 9; Calcium 520; Salinity 1.024.

    PLANS FROM HERE:
    Following this water change, wait a few days to settle down, then take a sample back to the LFS and change 5 more gallons of water. I'll get a heater at my next LFS visit since it doesn't have one. And since I see no evidence of a cleaning crew, I'll ask them if the timing is right to reintroduce a cleaning crew. I also want to ask if adding a skimmer will help make this any easier.

    LONG TERM GOAL;
    Healthy environment with most of hair algae removed, add cleaning crew, add one additionl small fish, perhaps a gobi of some type. Possibly introduce additional coral or mushrooms. If I enjoy this and the original owner comes back, then I'll pick up a 55 gal tank off craigslist and start a new SW tank. If I don't enjoy this, it goes back to previous owner or my son will take it over.

    FTS
    FTS front.jpg
    FTS SIDE
    fts side.jpg

    attached to rock.jpg
    Last edited by OKStriple; 10-07-2013 at 12:54 AM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,932

    Awards Showcase

    Why thank-you - Cliff The grammar crab has you in its grasp! D: - Trillianne Thanks for the clarification - Mith A few clown for the fellow SW clowns. :D - ILuvMyGoldBarb sorry about your angelfish - smaug 
    Many cultures donw through the ages have known that Ice cream is the perfect band-aid for all occasions. ~  Sorry for your loss. - 850R Here's some Christmass Cheer, Happy Holidays Sheamurai - Cliff merry xmas, keep good care of him - genocidex Beer! The perfect gift for any occasion - Merry Chrismas! - 850R I'm glad your here and a active forum member - Cliff 
    penguin for a friend XD - genocidex Thanks for the help with that spammer !!! - Cliff Thank you for the kind words - Cliff Merry Christmas - Cliff To help you re-stock the tank - Cliff 
    Discus and Beer! - Sandz To Discus Days!!! - JudiJetson For very clear advice! - houdini56 Happy Holidays! - Rue Happy Easter! - Slaphppy7 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    A journal is a very good idea - you'll be amazed at how different your tank looks after a few months of dedicated care and this is the best way to document and show the progress!

  3. #3

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Keep up on the waterchanges. All but your nitrates seam to be OK. You really want your nitrates down to around 5ppm (I keep mine just under 1ppm). You may find it may take a while for your nitrates to lower as your live rock can soak up nitrates like a sponge when placed in high nitrate waters. Once you get the nitrate lowered through water changes, the rock will release some of the nitrates back into the water. It may take some time, but if you keep up with the water changes, you will get there.

    If the LFS is using a API test kit for your nitrates, I would suggest getting your own, and better quality test kit such as Salifert. The API kit can easily give you a false reading if you do not complete the test perfectly.

    I would also like to make two other suggestions to help things out. The first would be to get a skimmer. That will help make it easier to maintain your water parameters and most bio-cube manufactures make skimmers for their tanks are are designed to fit into a compartment in the back of the bio-cube aquarium. Also, I would like to suggest adding tow more pieces of dry/dead rock to the tank. Two rocks about the same size as the current ones would be a good start.

    Assuming your nitrate reading is at least close to being correct, you may want to start with a minimum of 15 to 20% waterchanges every other day (about 7 gallons ) and keep up that routine until your nitrates do not climb above 5ppm
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  4. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for the replies. I have been furiously reading from this forum and another one as I know almost nothing about either salt or freshwater aquariums. I understand all this is easier to work with a larger tank but this is what I've got in front of me so I'm going to accept the challenge and see what I can do.

    Thanks for the recommendation of more/bigger rock. That wasn't on my radar but it makes some sense so I understand where you're coming from. The skimmer is something I was considering but will consider more seriously now
    Last edited by OKStriple; 10-07-2013 at 01:24 AM.

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Water numbers today:
    Ammonia 0; Nitrite 0; Nitrate 30; ph 8.4; salinity 1.0235. Prior to changing 3 gallons more water.

    Added 6 lbs live rock, added 4 snails cleanup crew (more to come later), added filter pad, added heater. Lights are running 6 hours a day for now. Making good progress. Check again in a week and see where we are.

  6. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Water numbers today:
    Ammonia 0; Nitrite 0; Nitrate 30; ph 8.4; salinity 1.0235. Prior to changing 3 gallons more water.

    Added 6 lbs live rock, added 4 snails cleanup crew (more to come later), added filter pad, added heater. Lights are running 6 hours a day for now. Making good progress. Check again in a week and see where we are.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,932

    Awards Showcase

    Why thank-you - Cliff The grammar crab has you in its grasp! D: - Trillianne Thanks for the clarification - Mith A few clown for the fellow SW clowns. :D - ILuvMyGoldBarb sorry about your angelfish - smaug 
    Many cultures donw through the ages have known that Ice cream is the perfect band-aid for all occasions. ~  Sorry for your loss. - 850R Here's some Christmass Cheer, Happy Holidays Sheamurai - Cliff merry xmas, keep good care of him - genocidex Beer! The perfect gift for any occasion - Merry Chrismas! - 850R I'm glad your here and a active forum member - Cliff 
    penguin for a friend XD - genocidex Thanks for the help with that spammer !!! - Cliff Thank you for the kind words - Cliff Merry Christmas - Cliff To help you re-stock the tank - Cliff 
    Discus and Beer! - Sandz To Discus Days!!! - JudiJetson For very clear advice! - houdini56 Happy Holidays! - Rue Happy Easter! - Slaphppy7 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    keep a close eye on your ammoina - its not uncommon to have an ammonia spike after adding new live rock - once live rock comes out of the water for shipping or transferring tanks, you end up with some die off which can sometimes cause an ammonia spike. Just something to watch out for - you may want to check your ammonia more often than once per week - I would check it daily for at least 3 days of zero readings before going weekly.

  8. #8

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    +1 to the above

    It is never a good idea to add newly purchased live rock to a existing aquarium unless you re-cure it yourself. Adding dead/dry rock would be safe and it would develop into live rock over time (above 6 weeks IME)

    Keep a close eye on your parameters daily and increase to 20% daily water changes if you get any ammonia or nitrites
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Update: about 5 days ago: Ammonia 0; Nitrite 0; Nitrate 160, ph 7.5, Alkalinity 17; Calcium 520; phosphate 0.5; salinity 1.024.
    As expected - a Nitrate spike which remained through a couple 20% water changes. Nitrates now down to appx 40 and plan a 30% water change tomorrow. Ordered some salifert test kits so I can stay on top of things better instead of relying on the LFS. Also bought a API Nitrate test kit locally just to stay on top of that daily for right now.

    Adding some buffer to help with Ph. Snails have done a good job with the algae but with the Nitrates high I can see it coming back almost as quick as they eat it. I need to continue to focus on getting the Nitrates down and stabilized before I start looking for some Zoas or something to add a little color.
    Last edited by OKStriple; 10-14-2013 at 03:59 PM.

  10. #10

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    If your alkalinity is really at 17, then you need to stop adding the pH buffer as that would most likely be the cause of your extremely high alkalinity which will also make your pH unstable. Its a vicious circle.

    If you maintain your alkalinity and calcium in balance with each other and within normal ranges, your pH should naturally stabilize for you. This approach has always worked well for me. The below link will help to explain this in a little more detail

    http://www.reefaquarium.com/2013/the...er-parameters/

    For now, stop dosing any type of supplement. try daily 5% water changes maintaining your salinity at 1.026 for the next week to slowly bring down your alkalinity level without causing a large pH swing that would seriously stress out your fish and snails. After one week, increase the daily water changes to 10% and the following week 15 to 20%. This will help to stabilize your parameters while also lowering your nitrate levels.
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

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