Ashley's 14 gallon Biocube!

adudle00

Reefing newb
So I'm finally starting to get my tank together! Today I got the live rock and kinda put everything together. I also used my test kit just to see where I stand. I assumed everything would be at 0, but it wasn't? Ammonia was at 0.25 ppm, Nitrite was at 0 ppm, and Nitrate was above 0, but not quite at 5 ppm. Is this because something on the rock could have died? My pH was also at about 7.9-8.0. Is there any way to raise this a bit?

You can't see anything yet, because the water is still clouded, but this is the tank:
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I was also startled by this when I was trying to arrange my rocks. What exactly is this? I'm sure it will probably not survive, :-? but I can hope!
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Thanks!
 
That's a starfish -- it's a good guy! Congrats.

There is a chance of die off on the live rock anytime you move it or expose it to air. No worries.

Also don't worry about your pH. It's at a good level.
 
You just got your tank started! You have to wait for it to cycle til the levels start going down to all zeroes.
 
That's a starfish -- it's a good guy! Congrats.

There is a chance of die off on the live rock anytime you move it or expose it to air. No worries.

Also don't worry about your pH. It's at a good level.

Do you know what kind of starfish it might be? Also, is there anything I can do to increase it's chances of survival while my tank cycles? :D
 
It's a brittle star. They are pretty tough, but susceptible to ammonia, nitrites and high nitrates. If you want to maximize its chances of survival, you can do small water changes while your tank cycles, if you see any of those start to rise. It will also appreciate being fed some meaty foods here or there -- frozen fish foods you can get at any pet store.
 
It's a brittle star. They are pretty tough, but susceptible to ammonia, nitrites and high nitrates. If you want to maximize its chances of survival, you can do small water changes while your tank cycles, if you see any of those start to rise. It will also appreciate being fed some meaty foods here or there -- frozen fish foods you can get at any pet store.

Since the levels have already started to slowly rise, is there a certain 'level' at which I should do the changes. For example, if the ammonia reaches 2.0 or something like that? Or just shoot for doing a partial water change once or twice a week?

Do I just drop the the food in the water and he'll find it?

Thanks!
 
You *might* be able to get away with keeping it in a bucket of saltwater with a heater until your tank cycles... I know brittle stars are pretty susceptible to ammonia spikes...

idk, whats every1 else think?

Were your rocks taken out of an established tank? If so your cycle may be shorter :)
 
Okay, so everything has pretty much cleared up. I checked my water conditions yesterday and everything is pretty much the same. Would this mean that the tank hasn't started to cycle? How long does it usually take for you to see a jump in ammonia, etc.?

Also, one of the rocks came with some sort of mushroom looking coral. I'm pretty sure it's dead through. When I first got it back and put it in my tank it was open and looked nice, but after I started rearranging my rocks, it shriveled up and has looked like that since Sunday night. Should I take it out?

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That red shroom (actually looks like 2 of them) is still alive. Did you place it in an area that gets hammered with flow?
 
You will know it's dead when it turns white or nasty looking, and there's things sloughing off of him like pieces of flesh waving in the current. :mrgreen: A lot of corals shrivel up when the flow or their environment (water chemistry) has changed, and it may take them a few days to adjust. Some corals are very particular about where they're placed, and won't be happy until you move them. As far as mushrooms go, eh, they're virtually bulletproof.

Oh, and that's a great looking aquascape!
 
That Mushroom is fine. It will inflate more when your water params get stable and it gets used to your lights(They tend to like lower or indirect light better).

If your rocks are mature and had healthy populations of bacteria on them your cycle will be short. If not you need to put something dead in there that can start to rot to start the cycle.
(Like a piece of raw shrimp)

Once your Ammonia & Nitrites are at Zero then you are done with cycle and can start to add things SLOWLY ;)

Hows the Starfish?

Your tank looks Great! :D
 
As people said, you don't really have anything to worry about. Change the placement if it is the flow. If it's due to light, just place it lower and or out of direct light. Other than that, your tank is moving along well and i'm loving that nice clean sandbed. :)
 
I don't think the mushroom is in the direct flow...it's on the very top rock, actually a little above and next to where the heavy flow would be. Maybe since it's so high up it's too close to the light? I'll try to move it down when I get home later.

That Mushroom is fine. It will inflate more when your water params get stable and it gets used to your lights(They tend to like lower or indirect light better).

If your rocks are mature and had healthy populations of bacteria on them your cycle will be short. If not you need to put something dead in there that can start to rot to start the cycle.
(Like a piece of raw shrimp)

Once your Ammonia & Nitrites are at Zero then you are done with cycle and can start to add things SLOWLY ;)

Hows the Starfish?

Your tank looks Great! :D


I haven't actually seen the starfish since Sunday when I took the pictures. It's like it vanished! lol. I'm crossing my fingers that it's just hiding and still alive. :mrgreen:
I have also found some snails and this very weird thing that I don't know how to explain...it lives in the rock and only kind of pokes itself out when the lights go out. As soon as I shine a light on it though it quickly goes back into the rock. It almost looks like a reeally wide piece of grass that's like a yellow green color. I can't explain it. =-/

The rocks were from a LFS. I would say the tank they keep them in is pretty well established, but my water conditions haven't really gone up. If the cycle was short, would the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates sill skyrocket, or would they just be small spikes?

Thanks!
 
Actually here is the better chart where I measured right up until I added my first fish.
 

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