Startup Advice.


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Ohio, USA
Just started
HI guys! So, I have had a thriving 55 gallon Freshwater community aquarium for a while now and it is going very well! But I have wanted to get into saltwater for some time now and now I finally have the opportunity to do it. A while back I traded a laptop for a 29 gallon biocube aquarium, when we got it home I found that it was cracked (that's what you get for making deals with your family) but it was previously set up for saltwater! So I am going to fix the crack with some aquarium epoxy (of anyone knows a good brand please let me know) and set up a saltwater tank in out family room! I don't want a coral tank or anything just a small tank with live rock decor and some clowns and gobies or something. I have done and am still doing research on everything but I thought it would be good to ask advice from actual people.

So, when I got this biocube my cousins husband said that it has everything I need other than the heater all built into the aquarium. I am assuming that what he said is correct? I mean I don't have any experience with bio cubes and I really haven't been able to find anything online about them (maybe I haven't looked hard enough) does anyone have any experience with them? I am going to take my time setting it up since I have to fix the crack and buy the heater and stuff before I can do anything, but I want to know what all I will have to do/buy to get it up and running. When we got the tank we rinsed everything with our garden hose and it has sat in the garage for a while, so how do I begin setting that up? I mean with the mechanics of the system and all of that.

Sorry for the long post but I like to be overly prepared!


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3 years
Heater and powerhead/wavemaker will be required but beyond that the Biocube has all the mechanical equipment you will need.

The first piece of equipment I recommend is an RODI system since treated tap water is often an invitation to unwanted algae issues with a saltwater tank. You can get a 4 stage pretty cheap from Amazon:

Next is a refractometer to measure salinity: You can pick one up from Amazon for $19 shipped

A solid Marine Care test kit is advisable (API doesn't qualify), Red Sea, Salifert, Hannah, Nyos are all great choices.

You will need specific Aquarium mineralized salt (ie Red Sea, Instant Ocean, etc.)

Live Rock or Dry Rock to be seeded with Bacteria to become Live will work. Or you can compromise and go with something like the Caribsea Life Rock (Dry Rock with a Bacteria Coating). This rock is your biofilter in a saltwater tank so it is crucial to have it, filter media doesn't matter much in a saltwater tank in terms of a biofilter for this reason.

Sand. Not required but it can limit some options for fish (ie sand sifting gobies) and cleanup crew (ie Nassarius snails). Argonite, Live Sand, etc. are all good options. I don't recommend the pool sand or play sand options since they tend to be too fine and the powerhead will blow it around making the tank look terrible.

A Source of Ammonia and Bacteria Seed to help the cycle along. The Ace Hardware Ammonia is a popular choice as is Dr. Tim's or you can use a piece of shrimp or fish food to get the cycle started. Fish in is cruel and needless, so don't do it.

There are probably a few other accessory items I am missing but that should work. I am a bit worried about the crack in the biocube and not sure how well it will do even when sealed but then again I am not very experienced in such matters.

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