35 Gallon Cube

PNWAquatics

Hi all!

I just set up/bought a 34 gallon cube! Current fish are a mandarin dragonet (captive bred), a blue stripe pipefish, and a barnacle blenny. Inverts include a peppermint shrimp, hermit crabs, various snails, and a sand shifting starfish. Corals include a few blue zoas and one very bleached ricordia. The tank was set up for about a year before I bought it and all fish are currently eating frozen thawed.

The set up included a sump with a Tunze auto-top off, a Simplicity Skimmer and a simplicity return pump. I upgraded the light to an AI prime to better grow SPS and other high light corals. I'm letting things settle now, but I am really looking forward to continuing stocking the tank.

Although the mandarin is currently growing and eating frozen foods, I would like to grow some pods for him and the pipefish to eat. Any future fish additions will need to be peaceful to fit in with the current occupants. I'm looking at some fish that will hang out in the water column. Suggestions are welcome.

I am planning on switching the current rock eventually to aqua-cultured rock, so right now it is all sitting in a pile while I wait for my order to arrive and cure. Sorry everyone for the cell phone pictures!
 

Asomeone

Nice! based on what appears to be coraline growth on the back and glass I'd assume this tank has been running for a bit prior to you obtaining it. Is this gonna be a mostly fish focused or coral focused tank?
 

PNWAquatics

Yes, the last owner had it up for around a year! I'm planning on do a mixed reef with peaceful fish, so a little bit of both. I must admit, I am the most excited for fish though.
Spot the barnacle blenny
 

PNWAquatics

My parameters have remained stable so far (0 ammonia, nitrite and around .2 nitrate according to my salifert test). I've decided to add a small leopard wrasse as they are my favorite saltwater fish. Although I realize I cannot keep her forever, I will give her to my dad when the time comes who has a larger tank. So far she is out and about and is picking at all the rocks. I've noticed that many of the rock has a fair amount of red flatworms and I am hoping she develops a taste for them so I won't have to resort to Flatworm eXit to get rid of them.

All my other fish are doing well so far. Hopefully things continue to thrive. I'll attach photos of some of the current inhabitants. The picture of the Pipefish is a little blurry, he doesn't seem to enjoy being photographed.
 

PNWAquatics

The leopard wrasse has been out all day! I’m glad to see her out and about and not just spending the whole day in the sand. I bought some new frozen food today- reef caviar and reef frenzy by LRS. The wrasse has sampled everything and the mandarin seems to enjoy the fish eggs. All water quality tests have come out great!

My live rock should be shipping out next Monday so I should have it Wednesday or Tuesday. I am holding off on purchasing additional corals until the new rock is cured and added to the tank. I’m still deciding if I want to keep the Kenya tree. It’s a cool looking coral but I don’t want it taking over. Any advice?

I’m considering eventually making a live aquaria order. I really want a rainford goby and they offer them captive bred.
 

PNWAquatics

Getting my first bit of algae as my nitrates are slowly increasing. I mixed up a bucket of salt so I can do a water change today. I’m planning on picking up some chaeto as well.

Unfortunately I’m going to lose my leopard wrasse. I should have paid closer attention to how skinny she was in the store but I didn’t notice until I got home. I suspect internal parasites as she has been eating frozen consistently and even ate some flake. I’ve been feeding metro for the last couple of days and added prazi today. Unfortunately she is deteriorating rapidly and has been breathing heavily all day so I think it may have been two little too late.

Everyone else is doing well and eating. The mandarin is getting larger. I think the last owner only fed once a day, so he’s enjoying the multiple times a day feeding.
 

PNWAquatics

A few developments with this tank!

The leopard wrasse didn't make it unfortunately. I believe she had intestinal worms as she was very thin. I wished I would have noticed in the store, but I know for next time. The parameters are all in order and all other fish/corals/inverts are acting normal. Current parameters are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 2.5 nitrate. I've recently tested alkalinity and calcium and although I don't remember the exact number, they were in range.

I got two new fish, a midas blenny and a cardinal fish. They are doing well and have already converted to frozen food. The Midas blenny loves mysis but eats just about anything. The cardinal is a little more picky. Both fish have seemed to give my smaller fish more confidence, because I see them frequently now. The mandarin and pipefish don't hide when they see me and the barnacle blenny travels to the front of the tank to look for food.

I received a frag of orange setosa from my dad (montipora setosa). It is doing well as well and has good polyp extension so far. The blue zoanthids that came with the tank are thriving and I am hoping to get a few more zoanthid frags this week.

I received 15 pounds of live rock from Gulf Live Rock and it is currently curing in my 15 gallon. I've seen a number of hitchhikers, including algae, a few clams, misc worms, a coral, and even what looks like a zoanthid polyp! A pistol shrimp died in transit and I wish it would have made it.

Finally, I set up a refugium in my sump with chaeto macro algae and a grow light. I am hoping to pick up live pods from my lfs to seed it. I would like to have a growing supply of live pods for my pipefish and mandarin since they are primarily pod hunters and I worry they don't get enough to eat. In addition, I am hoping the chaeto will use up excess nitrate and phosphate since I feed a little more heavily.
 

PNWAquatics

Small update!
Everything is going well. I ended up purchasing some zoanthid colonies and a colony of frogspawn from a member of my local reef board

All fish are doing extremely well. I added some pods into the display and a bit into my chaeto refugium. I am planning on doing that frequently to give my pipefish and mandarin something to hunt and am hoping to maintain a population in my fuge. I am lucky that my LFS has live pods regularly!

I had noticed that my SPS was looking a bit pale. Since I have been feeding 3 times a day, I was worried I was going through a nutrient spike. As it turns out, I’m having the opposite problem as my nitrates are 0. Any recommendations on how to increase them? It appears as though my macro algae is working too well. Also note that my tank is cycled, I had 5 nitrate earlier.
 

Asomeone

Glad to hear eveyrthing is doing so well. You were able to jump right into so much more than what I could. For the nitrates do you run your fuge lights 24/7? Because you could consider reducing the lighting period to slow the growth a bit. I'd be a bit more hesitant to try to take drastic steps to change anything as it is still a tank that's maturing a bit after the move. Since you still had a cycle maybe just give it some time? Adjusting the lighting is a minor change imo...I just mean more to adding more fishies or corals etc. I have a 20 gal system and even though i started from scratch I have found that levels shoot around a bit any time you add new components, say new fish, new skimmer settings, etc. Given that its only been about 2 months? I'd suggest letting things settle for a couple months with what you have and only making adjustments over a long term. Say, every water change or something. My 2cents. happy you're progressing well.
 

PNWAquatics

Thank you for the advice! Unfortunately, I don't have a whole lot of self control I did end up overfeeding a bit and I think my mandarin is a bit happier. Right now nitrates hover around 2 which is exactly where I want them!

Some updates about the live rock I am currently curing in my 15 gallon: I found a few cool hitchhikers. I have a few cup corals, a star coral, and what may be a small red rockflower anemone or a zoa polyp! In addition, it is now growing a large variety of macro algae, sponges, and tunicates. Other inverts include various filter feeding clams, snails, a sea cucumber, feather dusters, and pods/worms. In addition, something is moving around sand and creating tunnels, so I may have a surviving pistol shrimp after all!

I'm adding a small clean up crew tomorrow to clear off the diatoms and hair algae.
 

Jesterrace

A few developments with this tank!

The leopard wrasse didn't make it unfortunately. I believe she had intestinal worms as she was very thin. I wished I would have noticed in the store, but I know for next time. The parameters are all in order and all other fish/corals/inverts are acting normal. Current parameters are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 2.5 nitrate. I've recently tested alkalinity and calcium and although I don't remember the exact number, they were in range.

I got two new fish, a midas blenny and a cardinal fish. They are doing well and have already converted to frozen food. The Midas blenny loves mysis but eats just about anything. The cardinal is a little more picky. Both fish have seemed to give my smaller fish more confidence, because I see them frequently now. The mandarin and pipefish don't hide when they see me and the barnacle blenny travels to the front of the tank to look for food.

I received a frag of orange setosa from my dad (montipora setosa). It is doing well as well and has good polyp extension so far. The blue zoanthids that came with the tank are thriving and I am hoping to get a few more zoanthid frags this week.

I received 15 pounds of live rock from Gulf Live Rock and it is currently curing in my 15 gallon. I've seen a number of hitchhikers, including algae, a few clams, misc worms, a coral, and even what looks like a zoanthid polyp! A pistol shrimp died in transit and I wish it would have made it.

Finally, I set up a refugium in my sump with chaeto macro algae and a grow light. I am hoping to pick up live pods from my lfs to seed it. I would like to have a growing supply of live pods for my pipefish and mandarin since they are primarily pod hunters and I worry they don't get enough to eat. In addition, I am hoping the chaeto will use up excess nitrate and phosphate since I feed a little more heavily.

The thing to understand about Leopard Wrasses is that they generally do terrible with shipping and only the hardier individuals make it. It's literally a case of picking the right fish. When we got my Blue Star Leopard Wrasse I waited until 2 weeks after the shipment came in at my LFS to see which ones were left and still healthy and active. There were 2 left and one was lethargic and not moving much and the other was out without a care in the world and eating well. We bought the active one and still gave it another week at the store. When we came back the other Leopard was on the sand taking it's last breaths and ours was still very active and content. The result was we brought home a fish that readily adapted to any kind of food within a few days and has been doing great for going on 3 years now. To be fair though a Leopard Wrasse is not well suited to a 35 gallon cube. They really need a 4 foot long tank. Mine is in a 90 gallon and about 3.5 inches long and it has used every inch of my 90 gallon.
 

PNWAquatics

I should have paid more attention when buying the leopard, but it was already too far gone. I noticed when I got it home it was very thin and definitely had a bad case of intestinal parasites.
 

PNWAquatics

This tank is still doing well. We had a slight hick up a week or so ago with an ice storm that took out a whole bunch of power lines. We were out of power for three and a half (long) days, but luckily we found a generator the morning of the outage. I didn't lose anything (freshwater or saltwater), but my midas blenny did decide to jump into my overflow. He's been returned to the main tank and I've fixed the lid to hopefully keep that from happening again.

My corals are doing very well, I'll attach a few (blue) pictures. I have the following:
1x pink goniopora
1x Orange Ricorida Florida
1x Green slimer
1x Jolly Green Giant
1x Red Setosa
1x wild mint green alveopora (found on a piece of Australian live rock my dad bought. So cool!)
1x small mixed colony of rasta/midas touch zoanthid
1x small colony of bam bam (?) zoanthid
1x small colony of green and pink zoanthid
1x small colony of blue zoanthid
1x large colony of blue and green splatter hammer
Two head of green splatter hammer
Two heads purple tip hammer
1x neon green candy cane coral
1x rainbow acan
1x Kenya Tree
1x tiny ricordia yuma
1x tiny wild rock flower anemone?
1x frag orange clove polyp
 

PNWAquatics

Got two new zoanthid frags: rainbow infusion and pink zippers. I don't plan on adding any more zoas, but I probably will.

I've discovered that my jolly green giant frag is not actually a jolly green giant. I don't know what it is, but it is growing really well and putting off a ton of new tips compared to what it looked like on my previous post. I'm using enough calcium/alkalinity (sps, lps, coralline, who knows?) that I'm going to need to start dosing. Setting up a dosing pump tomorrow.

Also attaching a picture of my "hammer garden" because I love it. I'm getting a rainbow hammer coral tomorrow that I'm really excited about.

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PNWAquatics

It’s been a really long time since I updated this thread! As far as tanks go, I upgraded to a Red Reefer 350 (4 foot)
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PNWAquatics

Anyone like Euphyllia? They are my favorite.
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Hammers, Duncans, and nuclear candy cane

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Dragon Soul Torch

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Todd's Torch

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Aussie Gold Torch (newest addition)

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Some of my new frags. There is a tenius, some type of millie, and a mystery frag. All are coloring up nicely and the close left is getting some green between the red polyps.
 

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