My tiny nano cube

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by archiecrain, 30 Sep 2010.

  1. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    Hi folks

    This is my first post on this site, although I have been viewing it for a short while now.

    I ve listed the specs of my. I built myself, I dont realy like the look of conventional nano tanks you can buy, yet still wanted something small so I devised this little contraption. The water overflows over the rear of the tank into an overflow, then into the skimmer chamber--filtration media chamber and then to return chamber.

    I must say Im enjoying it evan though Im dying to add fish have to be patient I keep reminding myslef:(

    Ill put pics up when I can figure out how......is it the new server?

    Tank
    30x30x45 (rear 15cm houses pumps filter and skimmer so display area is an exact cube)

    abour 10Gal capacity

    Skimmer
    Dymax mini skimmer rated 300l ( although pump says 600l)

    Return Pump
    600l Dymax

    Lighting
    2x dymax LED lights (clip on)

    Filtration

    2KG cured live rock (I think)

    Purigen and filter wool

    clean up crew
    2x hermits
    2x turbo snails (I believe)
    1x unidentified snail

    Planned inhabitants (if they can be accomodated in such a small setup)
    2x clowns?
    1x bi-Colour blenny?

    Longer term inhabitants (down the line when tank is more mature)
    Zoas
    Ricordia
    Mushrooms

    Been cycling the tank for 2 weeks and all parameters seem to be in line....I am holding my breath as my FW tank has been an algae trap since day one.....

    the plan is to do a 10-20% weekly water change. I will only begin doing this after a 4 week cycle.....is this correct?
     
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  3. chas84

    chas84

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    Sounds like a cute setup! Welcome to MASA. How about adding some pics of your setup?
     
  4. Perky Pets

    Perky Pets Sponsor

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    great to have you with us, yip , try adding the pics in a day or two.
    good luck.
     
  5. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Welcome to MASA. The image uploader will be up and running soon - still disabled after the server upgrade. Bear with us :)
     
  6. Evo R

    Evo R

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    welcome
     
  7. archiecrain

    archiecrain Thread Starter

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    Hmmm still cant post pics....Ive got them all lined up waiting to go.....this new server business is a nightmare....well at least this site is working again....I kinda missed it over the last few days.

    Just as an update I did my first water change about 2 days back, I kinda held off as long as possible before doing it so I didnt mess with the cycle...Then to my dismay noticed this morning the first signs of brown algae....Oh well I knew it would happen at some stage.

    I have noticed as well that my skimmer worked well for the first week of the cycle then was virtualy useless for the last 2 weeks, but after the water change began functioning properly again. Could it have skimmed everything out of the water hence the reason it was not giving me any skim in the cup?

    I will add pics as soon as I can
     
  8. Scatmansworld

    Scatmansworld

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    :welcometomasa2:
     
  9. Michael B

    Michael B

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    Welcome to MASA - sounds very interesting (cant wait to see the pics - will be tagging along)
     
  10. archiecrain

    archiecrain Thread Starter

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    Some pics for you folks finally.....These were taken just after the cycle started so the a bit smudgey as I never cleaned the glass till the 1st water change

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    then the rear filtration/ skimmer /overflow area not the best pic.....

    [​IMG]
     
  11. archiecrain

    archiecrain Thread Starter

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    Update time....4-5 weeks into cycle...

    Brown algae every where as far as the eye can see.....FML :y1: my lovely tank has been slowly turning off white to light brown over the last week!

    All my parameters are in line so Im holding thumbs that it will start to go away soon...

    Added a fire shrimp as my first addistion. (other than hermits and snails) will get a pic tonight to also show the amount of algae.

    I read somewhere that you need to add iodene to the water in order for shrimp to shed properly is this needed?

    As far as my stocking list goes I have changed it as I feel 3 fish would have been to much

    1x fire shrimp (already aquired)
    1x Royal Gramma (arrives next week).
     
  12. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    Brown algae is more than likely diatoms. Its part of the cycle. If you do regular water changes then you dont have to add iodine to the water.
     
  13. archiecrain

    archiecrain Thread Starter

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    Thanks thats what I intend doing....its a small tank so going to be 10%-20% a week.
     
  14. archiecrain

    archiecrain Thread Starter

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    Some pics of how things are looking and of my Fire shrimp.....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    the brown algae is annoying me as it makes every thing look dirty, but It is now starting to receed (I say holding thumbs)

    My fire shrimp!! I am realy happy with how well he seems to be doing he is taking mysis shrimp off tweezers.

    [​IMG]

    Im faced with one dilema with this tank and that is my choice of substrate.....crushed coral. I have been reading up on it a lot and it seems that it would present issues down the line with detrius build up causing algae and ammonia spikes?

    How do I change it without going into a major re-cycle? do I remove a cup full a week? and then once its gone add a cup full of argonite a week? any suggestions?
     
  15. Q89

    Q89

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    Is it just me, or is this tank really full to the brim with water?:lol:
     
  16. archiecrain

    archiecrain Thread Starter

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    That was how I designed it....I realy like the look when its clean anyways....:(

    I added a Royal Gramma and a clown over the wknd....I had waited about week and a half for the Gramma....

    It lived for maybe 12 hours....it seemed fine during the day hid in the cave venturing out every now and again, evan ate a little. next morning the hermits were eating it....I was so angry:censored: I dont realy know what could have happened....overly stressed fish or maybe the hermits did kill it???????????

    Then to top it off the baby clown is not eating any of the food I give it....wont eat the flakes or mysis shrimp, IT JUST KEEPS SPITTING IT OUT!!!!!!!!!!!

    So to sum it up I evan though the params in the tank seem stable....I have lots of brown algae......Lost one fish....the other may go the same way if it doesnt eat soon and no idea what to do.....talk about a blue monday
     
  17. superfrog

    superfrog

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    Hey man

    So sorry to hear about the fish.

    You have a nice setup going here, and very well done on the DIY! it looks good!

    If you don't mind, what are your water parameters looking like? That may give the first clue as to what is going on with those fish. You said you have stable parameters but you're getting loads of algae, something sounds a bit unbalanced that may require your attention...

    Also, you mentioned a baby clown and that it isn't eating very well. The babies are difficult to do in the first place as they're small and might still need to learn to accept the types of food you provide. Also, I found with my baby clown that some foods may initially be difficult to eat/swallow. It might enjoy the smell/taste but find it difficult to put it down so it spits it out.

    Just a tip as well, I noticed you're running some filter wool in the back chamber there. Unless you change that floss every day or two it will begin to generate nitrates, which can quickly cause your parameters to bounce out of whack in a setup this size. This can happen as quickly as over night!
    If you must have the floss, change it frequently, else I would chuck it out altogether as it does more harm than good IMO.

    Take a deep breath, check the water parameters, acclimate correctly, and have patience. I'm sure it will all stable out soon...
     
    Last edited: 26 Oct 2010
  18. archiecrain

    archiecrain Thread Starter

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    I drip acclimated both the fish...I dont think acclimating them was the reason....? Got some frozen brine to try with the baby...will have to see if that works...holding thumbs!

    I cannot recall the exact params and would need to re-test and write it down (poor memory). My test kit uses the dissolvable pills....I dont know how accurate they are?

    I change the filter wool every week when I do water changes....do I need to do it more freaquently?

    I will maybe upset the params of the tank soon as I have decided for the future of this tank I need more live rock and need to change the substrate.

    If do this slowly and use well cured live rock do you think the life stock will be fine?
     
  19. superfrog

    superfrog

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    okie dokie

    first off, good luck with the baby! it's a real joy to see them take their first successful gobble! :)

    In a pico this size, i personally wouldn't take chances with filter wool at all. At a minimum, i would suggest changing it out every day or two rather than every week.

    No matter how mature the rock or live sand is, changing it out or adding more will always present some sort of cycle activity, be it a tiny cycle or a larger one...that depends on the circumstance.

    Using properly cured LR and Live sand may help minimize the impact of this. Just be sure to also consider the amount of time the rock spends out of water (transportation to your tank, aquascaping, etc.). Changes in temp, water parameters and exposure to air will all affect the mature LR that you'll be adding. If you're very careful and plan it out well, I'm sure you can make the changes using mature rock, etc. with only a very tiny cycle. Just keep an eye on those parameters very closely when you make the changes (test daily until you're sure it's ok).

    Perhaps another option would be to have a friend or LFS hold your stock for you while you make the changes and get the tank to stable out again before bringing them back home?

    Good luck! ;)
     
  20. archiecrain

    archiecrain Thread Starter

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    Update #1

    Been a short while since my last update. I have been slowly removing the crushed coral @ the rate of a tea cup per week just before my water changes.

    The baby clown? got a nasty case of white spot.....didnt look very healthy so got flushed before it caused me any more headaches. It lasted about a week and a half.

    I added my first soft coral. a rock with a colony of zoa's on it. It also gave me a few headaches when I first added it as it wasnt opening very well, when they were open it looked as though the polyps where damaged, but after a few tweakes I got it sorted...kind of

    TANK about 4-5 weeks ago
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I have latest pics to add still, need to re-size them first. will do this later.....
     
  21. archiecrain

    archiecrain Thread Starter

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    Update as per how things look now.

    My first zoas wernt doing so well, after trying to adjust all the params in my tank, without any luck.

    I discovered a small compact flourescent lamp (Dymax) which was fairly cheap so decided to try it as a last attempt to sort the my Zoa's out......within minutes of having it running my Zoa's were fully open and within a day or two looked almost 100%. I am amazed at how much more light it gives off compared to my two LED lamps. I still use my two LED lamps on the tank as they give a nice blue colour to the tank, but the are definately no good at growing coral (maybe only algae :p lol)

    After I sorted the lighting (sigh of relief) and I removed the last of the crushed coral, was disgusted at how crap it looked and the amount of detrius it collected. so now I removed all the substrate for the time being.....will add Argonite when I can find a colour I like.....I was thinking black would look awesome?

    Added more corals. Added another rock of Zoa's, was given what I think is either a ricordia or realy pretty mushroom and then yesterday got a rock with some pulsing Xenia? and a type of macro algae.

    pics were taken a few minutes after lights on so everything is still not open yet

    [​IMG]
    below...pulsing xenia??? what type of macro algae/ plant is that?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Its now starting to look like a proper marine tank, getting coralline algae growth and small organisms appearing all over the show
     
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