Biocube 32 Plan

  • #1
The new biocube models are slightly larger, come with a media rack, have "ok" LEDs WITH a dimmable timer, and I can actually get one reasonably priced from a LFS. Going to give a rough draft of the breakdown for possible equipment and stock. Please add feedback!

*100w heater - I'm assuming most will fit in the 3rd chamber
*nano skimmer - not 100% sure on which model
*return pump - everyone swears by the cobalt mj1200, so might just do that
*powerhead - some hydor model
*? Possible ATO - JBJ gets a lot of love
*the usual - Saltwater test kit (needs alkalinity, magnesium, calcium, & phosphate), salt mix (any preferences?), around 25 lbs +/- of live rock, substrate (probably just sand, maybe some crushed coral), power strip, stand
*RO/DI? Unit - need help with this one
*10G QT setup - with filter, heater, air stone, net, & pvc pipe piece, small light

Stock: (want color, but I prefer behavior over looks)
1 of everything, tank raised if possible
*ocellaris clown
*chalk bass
*banghaI cardinal
*hi-fin shrimp goby (stonogobiops nematodes) & randall pistol shrimp (alpheus randalli), buy as pair
*green clown goby
*barnacle blenny species
*yellow stripe clingfish
CUC - nassarius, cherish, & trochus snails, a few dwarf hermit crabs, porcelain crab, pom pom crab, sexy shrimp (3), bumble bee shrimp
?anybody know much about minI brittle starfish and helicopter shrimp?
-long distance coral ideas - Ricardian mushrooms, polyps (green star, xenia?), zoanthid

Ideas for food? How's this Nurtimar OVA that I hear about?

Does anyone have any experience with these tanks, fish, or any other thoughts?
Big Red
  • #2
No salty by any means but I research from time to time. There are 2 types of salt I'm aware of and that's instant ocean and reef crystals. One is more aimed towards towards fowlr and reef crystals more towrds coral.

And from all the people I talk to RODI water is the best way to go especially for salt water systems because you start with a blank template. Other than that I don't much but I'm looking foward to your new build.
  • #3
Here's my suggestions for some questions you have above.. hope it helps.

I highly recommend Aquamaxx HOB Skimmer- I've used it in my biocube and it works well for the price

and yes, get an ATO, best investment! Spectra-pure 3 or 4 stage R)/DI filter will work perfectly. Get a booster pump with it for faster water making.

MinI brittles will come as hitch hikers. once you've seen one, then you'll have lots of them

Food: Any frozen food (brine, mysis shrimp, blood worms..) will be great. Mix it up for them. Reef Frenzy frozen food my guys love. I barely feed pellets.

Reef Crystals will work well- you may want to keep an eye on the testings and dose as needed- especially calcium and alk.

Your fish stock list seems a bit much for a 32 gal tank. I'd cut back a little

As for corals.. Xenia, Green Star Polyps and Musrhooms are good beginner corals, very hardy and easy to grow, but they DO grow fast and can/will overtake the tank. Try for zoanthids too!
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Thanks! Yea, all just ideas. I could go without 1 of the bigger fish, like the cardinal. I also don't know how much of a cleanup crew is actually needed.
  • #5
CUC will help a lot, Nassarious Snails, Trochus Snails and Cerith Snails. has a CUC package and they offer excellent service
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
ryanr wondering what your feedback is, if you don't mind
  • #7
Salt mixes: I've used Instant Ocean Reef Crystals, Seachem Reef Salt and Aquavitro Salinity, along with some others when I couldn't get Salinity. I switched to Salinity due to availability more than anything. IMO, they were all good, I preferred Salinity as it tended to mix to the levels I was after, without needing additives.

Skimmers on the biocubes, have a look around on youtube, I'm sure I've seen videos on how people have modified the system to accommodate a skimmer.

Return pump and powerhead, I haven't done any research on the stock pump to know if it should be replaced. Depending on the pump rate, you may not need an extra powerhead in there.

Heater: just check that whatever you get, you can fit in the return section. IIRC, the Eheim is too long to fit in the return, but the 32 is apparently 2" taller than the 29, so they might fit now.

ATO: personally I wouldn't bother. It's just more money and equipment. Certainly I wouldn't look at ATO straight away, if down the track, it becomes a problem, then sure, add one.

Substrate: it's down to personal preference. I used CaribSea Aragonite. I certainly wouldn't bother with 'live sand', you'll get enough out of the live rock (which you should try to buy as fresh as possible)

Test kits: The Hanna Phosphate is the way to go IMO. Mg, Alk, Ca, I liked the Red Sea kits I had (Red Sea, or maybe Bulk Reef have videos on how to use them)

RODI: What help do you need? The unit itself isn't that important, rather, it's what they put in it. Look for Filmtec membrane, coconut carbon filter, and a 1 micron pre-filter (helps trap the smallest particles, protecting and extending the life of the membrane). DI resin is DI resin, doesn't matter what brand.

QT - don't use an air pump, it'll just splash salt water everywhere. Just use a powerhead, and don't put live rock in there. If you have to treat with something, the live rock will absorb it. PVC pipe is a great idea.

Food - just mix it up, doesn't really matter who makes it. Also depends what stock you end up with, and what they eat. You might also have to trial and error, I've tried foods that the fish just didn't eat. Also, a lot of people use the frozen marinara mix from the local supermarket.
  • #8
Chalk bass may eat shrimp, Starfish are pretty hard to keep, brittle star are usually hitch hikers, Kingfish are hard to keep, that's a lot of fish I would recommend just getting 5 or 4 of those

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