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The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- I'M OUT.

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The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- I'M OUT.

Postby Curious_Chaos » Tue 12 Nov, 2013 9:16 pm

Introduction:

I recently threw a bit of a tantrum after loosing one of my percula clowns and shut down my nano tank, because it was getting too hard to manage and next year I want to go "big" e.g. something with a sump!

Originally this was going to be a 20cm cube, but I wanted to make the most of the size limit and went to a 27cm cube instead.

System Type:

It's going to be a little mixed reef; but I want the focus to be mostly on macro algaes, acans and zoas. There will be a leather or two, and one sun coral and maybe a leather. I've managed to score a few bits of macro from a LFS which I am going to "plant" and see how they go.

PICO System:

Originally planned a 20cm tank I had lying around but the power went out this weekend killing a lot of my inverts and my clownfish, and I took the opportunity to restart with a 27cm cube on the 25th November.

Original tank: Image


PICO Tank: Display tank specifications

27x27x27cm cube from Deer Park aquarium, with cover glass.

PICO Volume: Total tank water declared volume.

I normally fill it to about 1-2cm below the top so I worked it out to be roughly 19L, not factoring in the rock space.

PICO Lighting: Lighting specifications.

The t5 light I have on it now isn't strong enough and has no blue. I spent $10 on a Led light from eBay with blue and white light settings so I'll see how that goes- and go DIY if I need to with 3 or 4 white CREE LEDs and a couple of blues...

Start up date:

13th November 2013 for original tank, restarted 25th November in bigger cube.

Support systems:


System Water:
Natural, I think. Though ASW is an option for next year given the tiny volume.

Display Water circulation:

A tiny little Aquaone Mini pump, which currently has a sponge filter. Should be adequate for the planted reef tank, but mainly there to create some flow. Plus its silent.

Filtration: Are you running any filtration equipment?
Macro algae should be the primary filtration of this system.

Evaporation Top Up:

Manual, plus frequent water changes. Plus has a cover glass to reduce evaporation and as I'm aiming for algae growth I will use tap water to increase the phosphorus availiablilty.

Water Changes:

1-2 times a week. Min 50% changes (10L).

Chemical Support:

Calcium and Alkalinity Addition:
Frequent changes of water. Plus I have some Reef Buffer, Reef Calc and an Alkalinity supplement if I need to use them.

Other Chemical Maintenance: Magnesium, additives etc
I don't think I will need them, but have supplements left over from my nano tank if I need to.

Current Water Chemistry:

I'm transferring a small amount of my existing live rock, plus the substrate and some of the original water so my parameters should be pretty much the same.

Nitrates: 10-20
Phosphates: Not sure. I want some phosphates so the macro algae grows.
Alkalinity: 10-12dkh
Calcium: normal 440+
Salinity / Specific Gravity: Normal- tests with a refractometer
Magnesuim: not tested.


Livestock:

Fish

Aiming for two small ocellaris clowns in the new year.

Corals:
Small suncoral. Two leathers, ;ots of zoas, lots of acans, cool white fan with white polyps, i will add some morphs if i can, and there's a ric.

Invertebrates and or CUC

Snails and slug type things, plus all the creepies from inside the live rock. Shrimp to be added next year.

Feeding Regime:


Coral food:

Targeted frozen for the sun corals etc, should be ok to add a fair bit of nutrients to this tank as it will be used by the macro algaes.

Feeding Method:

Drop it in?

Budget
Equipment expenses list the costs of the equipment you have purchased for the Tank

$10 for the LED light and $10 for a cool slimline heater which is coming from eBay. Today (nov 17) I spent $30 buying wood, glue and spray paint for the stand and back board. I have enough to make a hood if I need to later. $25 for the 27cm cube.

Images:
Last edited by Curious_Chaos on Fri 10 Jan, 2014 10:04 pm, edited 6 times in total.
There's something fishy going on....
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity

Postby Curious_Chaos » Fri 15 Nov, 2013 11:44 am

Having seen some of the freaking cool picks out there, ive decided to try and change what I was doing. I'm now going to be sourcing macro algaes of different types and colours to make a "planted pico". I'm going to reduce the amount if live rock, try to find a different power head that will take up less space, dump the idea of SPS and focus instead on a mini zoa garden, with morphs. I might keep a leather or two of different colours, the blue green acan and maybe a couple of cool bits and bobs from the frag meet next week. It's all going to depend on what I find!
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- Macro Algae and Zoa Garden

Postby Curious_Chaos » Sun 17 Nov, 2013 9:03 pm

Today I built a "stan with back board which will enable a) a background so you can't see through to the wall which is beige and b) ability to suspend a light or add a hood. Painted blue because I thought it would look nice around the reef.

Step 1: cut pine, glue together with liquid nails adhesive and then hammer nails in just to be sure. Spray paint liberally.
Image
Image

Step 2: put tank on top. (I love that I can just move the whole tank without pulling it apart!).
Image




Added a cool rad acan frag, and orange fungia, some extra zoas and a white fan.
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- Macro Algae and Zoa Garden

Postby Curious_Chaos » Mon 18 Nov, 2013 7:53 pm

Put a way over powered light on today to see what the colours look like under a proper marine light. The iPhone seems to have issues with the blue light, exaggerates it way too much. But you get the idea!

Image

Image
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- Macro Algae and Zoa Garden

Postby Curious_Chaos » Fri 22 Nov, 2013 7:06 pm

Today I went down to the beach to collect some Port Phillip Bay NSW (I don't care about nutrients because i've got so much algae!), and thought I might just go rock pooling and see what I can find.

I've picked up a few of the snails from the pools, some of which have spotted shells and interesting patterns. One blue 7 stumpy legged sea star (watching to see if it eats zoas lol) and two tiny clear shrimp I found in the rock pool. The little shrimp are awesome- they zoom around the tank- and I've half a mind to go back tomorrow and net a hand full more.

I collected a few different algaes including one i know of as "Sea Lettuce" which is the green lettuce type stuff, some cool branching algaes (green and red types), some wierd rubbery green algae and a few bits of red algae that resembles but which is not as bright as my Dragonsbreath.

The aim is that the macro algae grows taller to fill the back space and live rock, and the zoas will be spreading along the front.

Image
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- Macro Algae and Zoa Garden

Postby rockerpeller » Fri 22 Nov, 2013 7:13 pm

Watch the snails closely Sara. They're a temperate species and might not be able to handle the heat in a trop tank, let alone the coming summer. other then that it's looking good. keep it up :)
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- Macro Algae and Zoa Garden

Postby funebris » Fri 22 Nov, 2013 7:56 pm

That is one heavily stocked tank, going to be crazy when everything opens.
I would in invest in another one of the filters you are using.
That way if something fails, you can swap over filter media and alls well.
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- Macro Algae and Zoa Garden

Postby Curious_Chaos » Sun 24 Nov, 2013 8:18 pm

Well not really, the filter is providing flow only. The filtration is provided by the macro algaes and live rock.
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- Macro Algae and Zoa Garden

Postby Curious_Chaos » Sun 24 Nov, 2013 8:20 pm

rockerpeller wrote:Watch the snails closely Sara. They're a temperate species and might not be able to handle the heat in a trop tank, let alone the coming summer. other then that it's looking good. keep it up :)


Yeah I know, it's sort of an experiment really. I have no idea if they are coral safe! But I shall find out soon ;)
It's also likely the algae will go mad, but that's fine because I can trim it easily enough :)
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- Macro Algae and Zoa Garden

Postby funebris » Mon 25 Nov, 2013 10:09 am

Curious_Chaos wrote:Well not really, the filter is providing flow only. The filtration is provided by the macro algaes and live rock.


Ah yes but without the flow..... there shall be no oxygenation.
And with no oxygenation..... there shall be no filtration.

At that level of stocking I would consider it prudent to have back up tech, incase the one powerhead fails.
As I have seen a lot of aquaone powerheads fail in my time.
But your tank amigo, I aint trying to interfere.

More importantly...... any moar pics?
Some snail close ups would help ensure you have no predatory Cabestana genus whelks.
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- Macro Algae and Zoa Garden

Postby Curious_Chaos » Mon 25 Nov, 2013 9:49 pm

Sooooo disaster has struck! The flatmate informs me that the power died not once but twice this weekend, for several hours. Needless to say when I got back from the MASOV meet on Sunday the tank was well foul.

Rescued all the corals bar that pretty white fan. Lucky.
The percula and pepermint shrimp died, along with a fair bit of the CUC (both tropical and temperate unfortunately).

While at Deer park purchasing water to clean said disgusting mess up, I happened upon a 27cm 20L cube that was particularly well priced and have decided to go for the larger volume after all. It will give me space to add a LOT more algae. I've popped in the zoas and the acros from the masov meet yesterday but I won't be adding any more livestock until I return from my holiday in January. Ideally I want a few more zoa rocks of a few different colours, another acan to fill the foreground and a bit more algae (assuming what I have will grow though).
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- Macro Algae and Zoa Garden

Postby funebris » Mon 25 Nov, 2013 10:03 pm

I have an army of battery powered airpumps for my fish shed, and a generator.
The battery powered air pumps are like $10 and have saved me countless times.
Also very useful when collecting, moving house, picking up or delivering new stock and even when just rescaping.
The little ones are no good unless you are there to switch them on.
But still highly reccomended.

Terrible shame to hear it wiped out.
But rocking to hear you are coming back bigger and better.
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- Macro Algae and Zoa Garden

Postby Curious_Chaos » Wed 27 Nov, 2013 5:01 pm

It wasn't a total wipe out, 90% survived except the inverts and clown, and one coral. Not bad all things considered. I'll post a pic later in the week, it will have to be my "december" FTS because I will be away until January :)
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- Macro Algae and Zoa Garden

Postby funebris » Wed 27 Nov, 2013 7:56 pm

90% aint bad at all!
Good save.
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- Macro Algae and Zoa Garden

Postby timmeh1 » Thu 28 Nov, 2013 10:24 am

Curious_Chaos wrote:I've popped in the zoas and the acros from the masov meet yesterday.


Make sure your flatmate watches the acropora while you are away as when it RTN's it may foul the water again.
Larger tank volume should help, because the tank is small might be worthwhile looking into a small UPS for the skimmer/filtration/wave makers to keep water oxygenated in a power outage :thumbsup:
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- Macro Algae and Zoa Garden

Postby ssscuz » Thu 28 Nov, 2013 7:24 pm

This is why pico tanks aren't such a great idea. Hard to keep stable and a big temp swing which is easy can wipe out everything. You would be better off closing this down while your away, rather than wiping out all of it
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- Macro Algae and Zoa Garden

Postby Kah » Thu 28 Nov, 2013 8:35 pm

Glad most of your coral survived that.
Lesson not learned on my end though... until a 2hr power outage happened this morning. :konk:
Went out and bought 3 battery powered air pumps straight up when that happened.

Luckily for me that wasn't long enough to cause any damage.
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- Macro Algae and Zoa Garden

Postby Curious_Chaos » Sat 30 Nov, 2013 12:56 am

ssscuz wrote:This is why pico tanks aren't such a great idea. Hard to keep stable and a big temp swing which is easy can wipe out everything. You would be better off closing this down while your away, rather than wiping out all of it


Nah, even better. It's going to my boyfriends solid brick apartment! Stays bloody cold in there all year round >.>. And he will have enough water to do weekly 100% changes if necessary.

I've changed the powerhead to a hydor 280/hr pump on lowish flow. Gives better circulation but unfortunately the pump is quite noisy- might need a new impeller or total replacement when I get back.
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- Macro Algae and Zoa Garden

Postby Curious_Chaos » Sat 30 Nov, 2013 1:01 am

There's no acro in this pico, it just didn't look right/happy- So Sambo is babysitting them until such time as the uni tank and/or my future big tank with sump is running (ie early next year).

Photos of the 20L cube with the new $10 LED light from Ebay which arrived today. Considering the cost, it's quite a decent light unit with a touch sensitive button to switch between light modes.

Image

Image

Image

I'm going to have to put in more algae- I want the back wall totally covered in various types. I will also look to add another few bits of live rock, as now I've got the bigger tank I have heaps more room.

When I get back next year I will invest in some new acan and zoa frag rocks and glue everything into final place.
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- I'M OUT.

Postby Curious_Chaos » Fri 10 Jan, 2014 10:05 pm

Tank flailed while being house sat. Have zoos and star poyps left and don't have money to restock...
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- I'M OUT.

Postby MeLLeR » Mon 13 Jan, 2014 11:31 am

Sorry to hear about the crash. You have until March 1st to restock before the sticking deadline closes.

Back on the horse. :thumbsup:
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Re: The Tiny Cube of Curiosity- I'M OUT.

Postby Mr Miagi » Tue 21 Jan, 2014 10:17 pm

MeLLeR wrote:Sorry to hear about the crash. You have until March 1st to restock before the sticking deadline closes.

Back on the horse. :thumbsup:


:withyou: Or try some experimental rock work shapes with just the green star polyps?
--Cheers, Benny
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