28 Gallon Nanocube LED


This is the beginnings of my first hop into the hobby. If you read my introduction thread https://www.livingreefs.com/south-carolina-t35505.html you will see that I have deviated quite a bit from my original thinking. My main concern was with the weight of 100+ gallons of water plus rock and sand. I will save that build for when I build myself a house or for my office that has concrete floors. Neither here nor there, as this is about my new purchase.

What has been purchased thus far to be delivered on the 24th.
  • As the title says: 28 Gal Nanocube LED. I will be modifying the back into a chetto/live rock rubble fuge, but will let it cycle with the included materials. I am considering removing all filter media for the cycle and only running the powerhead, or using only the floss to trap gunk before clogging a pump. I want the bacteria to do the work, not a filter.
  • Instant Ocean Chlorine Neutralizer (I'll be using RO water for the tank, the neutralizer is for the skeleton corals, shells and what not that I will be including into the tank from our travels that will be chlorinated and cleaned).
  • Arag Alive Indo Pacific Black Live Sand (20lbs). I'm not sure if this will be enough for a 1.75 - 2 inch sand bed. Will acquire additional substrate if needed.
This weekend my wife and I will travel to our not so local fish store to acquire the following:
  • Tetra Submersible Heater 100 Watt (I understand there is not much reliability with the pre programmed heaters, so I am open to suggestion on similarly priced options.)
  • 50 Gallon Mix of Brightwell Neomarine Precision Salt.
  • Hydor Koralia 550 Powerhead (too much?)
  • A refractomenter
  • A cheap loss leader 10 gallon complete system for quarantine
  • 15lbs of base rock
  • 15lbs of live rock
  • Themometer
  • Empty hermit shells
  • methylene blue for dipping fish
  • a coral dip.
  • fish net
That will be my setup. Should get started Tuesday evening.

Quick question. To keep the acquired live rock live and well for the two days before going into the tank, I only need to put it in a covered bucket with a bubble stone, correct? Well and of course some salty water.

I can hardley contain my excitement. :^:
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Congrats on the new setup.

Just a couple words of advice, I've read several poor reviews about the Brightwell salt, unfortunately I bought my current bucket before I read them. If I see any adverse results from using it I'll make sure to post. But, I would recommend it to anyone yet.

As for the powerhead, I don't think you'll need one that big. One of the koralia nanos should be sufficient.
Thanks for the info. I liked the sales pitch on the Brightwell. I figured with the price tag for 50 gallons worth that it would be a good salt. I'll consult some forum posts about an alternative. Glad I haven't purchased yet. I would be interested to read your results however, as it reads like a good product in theory.
As far as the powerhead, I hope to keep some filter tube worms, and wanted adequate flow. It is rated as 550 gallons per hour, so I had some concerns about it being too much. I am aware that typical systems are served well by 10x volume. I will reconsider the smaller units.
Thanks for the advice!
The posts I read about the salt talked about their corals browning out after switching to it. As for the flow, don't forget that the nanocube comes with two 266gph return pumps, which give the tank pretty good flow. You could always just start with those and if you feel you need more then add a powerhead.
I notice you have the HQI of comparable volume. Do you have an additional powerhead?
Have you made modification to the filter zones?
Or an all inclusive question: Do you have a thread showcasing your setup?
Any therory on my floss only filtration during cycle?
Here's my showcase thread https://www.livingreefs.com/my-first-tank-t24620.html

I had an additional koralia nano behind my rocks to keep anything from settling back there. I bought a custom made filter basket from a member on another site. As far as the filtration, I usually only ran floss in the back chamber, and occasionally I'd add some carbon for a few weeks.
So it begins. Set up yesterday late afternoon, and cleared by this morning. I removed all filer media except the black sponge to trap larger particles. With rock and sand the tank only took 20 gallons to fill.


Yummy little critter.



Any idea what this white "stuff" is covering this area of live rock? It resembles worms to a certain extent, but they do not appear to move on their own accord. Hopefully Halloween Hermits will clean it up some after they are introduced as there is some nice coralline under and around it, both red and purple.


TINY little filter feeder in the center of the photo.


And the lights are more blue tinted than the photos let on. Here is how I adjusted the white balance:


It is a new plain white t-shirt draped under the hood, and taking a custom white balance shot with it.

I was goofy with excitement yesterday. I will look for one more piece of live rock. There is a lot of space left at the top. The rock I have in place now barely reaches the middle of the water level. I am thinking of a curved "branch". Not exactly sure, though.
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Thanks guys. I torched the aptasia with boiling water in a needleless syringe. They retracted into their hiding holes, but were obviously nuked. I then sucked them out of the holes with said syringe. Hopefully that got rid of the two of them. I will monitor the hole for the next while and if they spawned new ones from the obliteration I'll pop in a couple peppermints and hope for the best. Trying to stay away from chemicals as much as I can, but will use the X if I eventually neeed it.
i used the x on 5 majano nems, worked like a charm and no ill effects on the tank so as a last resort if the boiling water didnt cure it and peppermint shrimp dont eat em... zappp em! :D Good Job!
Thanks for the comments guys.

So, first batch of water tests have been done. The tank is about 48 hours old.
Ammonia = 2.0
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = 0
pH = 7.9 (Sure this number will go up with algae bloom)
Salinity = 1.026 (or 1.0255) I have not topped off any RO water yet. Thinking maybe I should.

With the ammonia at 2, I took out the headless shrimp. Water had gotten a little stinky, plus the white cloud was grossing me out. I kinda want to put some carbon in the back to get rid of the stink, but I don't want to remove any ammonia. Guess I will just have to deal for a bit.
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72 hours in. Did another set of tests today. I'm sure it is almost a waste, but I felt like doing something with the tank today. There were actually pretty substantial changes, however. I only tested the nitrogen process though.

Ammonia: 1.0 (Thought that was rather drastic)
Nitrite: 0 - .25 (Figured this would be higher after the reduction in ammonia.)
Nitrate: 2.5 (Crazy since it was 0 yesterday)

Doesn't this seem a bit odd??
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does not seem to odd actually. you can always expect a spike in levels when you first add your live rock and your initial setup. this should be when your cycle starts now. So it might go up alittle bit more then drop. Do a 10% water change then it should be good.
Thanks Cool. I will stay away from water changes at this time. I am trying to thoroghly build the bacteria population. I would like to give the tank ample opportunity to balance itself naturally. If I can't get the numbers in check after 4 weeks I will do a water change (as it is my plan to do 10% changes every 30 days to keep mineral levels stable). Because there is no livestock I feel that I can keep a clear conscence while doing a little more experimentation to get a first hand understanding of the process. I appreciate the input, however. I also will keep the advice in mind.
I ran the tests again today. I wish I was a little more educated in the relationship of the chemicals in the Nitrogen cycle. I understand the basic process, but I wish I understood it enough to make accurate predictions of the results.

This morning:
SG = 1.025 (Been keeping up with small daily top offs after my 48 hour reading of 1.026)
Ammonia= .75
Nitrite = .5
Nitrate = 7
pH = 7.8 (supprised there was a drop and not an increase to 8 from 8/25)

It would appear that everything is progressing as it should lowering of the most unstable and an increase in the more stable compounds. My prediction is that my tests Tuesday will show minimal if any ammonia, similar nitrite, and a slightly reduced nitrate level as the alge continues to multiply. I am concered about the pH lowering. I will do some reading this afternoon to try and understand any correlation. I was under the impression that higher ammonia lead to a lower pH, so I would have thought that by the ammonia reading being 3/5 the level it was that the pH would respond also. Curious.
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from that reading Amlique, it looks to be that your tank is going through it's cycle process. Sometimes you will see this take a few days or just a few hours. Just keep an eye on it. But it looks to where it should be right now. Good luck!
This morning I order the second phase of system parts. I ordered the Hydor Nano Protein Skimmer, JBJ Nano-Glo 4-LED Magnetic Refugium Light, and some chaeto. I will be going to the LFS on Thursday to pick up one more piece of live rock and some rubble for the converted refugium.
Will also be retesting the water this evening.