The Cycle

The initial setup of the 29G Nano is almost finished.

The system has almost completed its cycle (going on 3.5 weeks). There's about 3 inches of live sand and 30 lbs of liverock ( about 15 more pounds will be added when the livestock is added). A frozen raw shrimp was added immediately after the tank was filled. As the shrimp decomposed the ammonia helped to jump-start the cycle process. Currently the diatom bloom has disappeared and the green hair algae is almost totally gone. Ammonia reading is 0 ppm, Nitrite at 0 ppm, and Nitrate is about 7ppm. (The Nitrate has dropped from 50ppm to 7ppm in two or three days.)

The tank is starting to grow coraline algae again on the rock, and tons of copepods can be seen crawling all over the glass, cheato and sand.

For the cycle period a typical Fluorescent light has been used on a 12/12 timer but will be switched to a 250w 20K DE Metal Halide pendant w/Icecap ballast as soon as the water is ready to add corals. It is only possible to use this type of pendant because the stock top on the tank has been scrapped for an open lid concept design.

A Nano Koralia powerhead is pushing current in one corner while a Hydor Flo has been installed on the return which is powered the stock return pump that comes with a biocube. (Soon to be substituted with a maxijet 1200)

An eggcrate divider has been installed about 2 inches above the bottom of the middle chamber. This divider allowed a refugium to be added in the entire middle chamber, this refugium is currently filled with macro algae (specifically cheato). To light this fuge the black paint has been scraped off the back glass creating a window directly into the center of the proposed refugium. A typical plastic electrical gang box containing a Xenon Puck light is attached with industrial velcro to the backside of the cube which perfectly and discretely lights the fuge. (example http://www.pegasusassociates.com/XenonPuckLights.html)

Bags of carbon and zeolite are sitting where the stock Biocube sponge used to be (between chamber 2 and 3). Filter floss is straining all of the water that enters the first chamber protecting the carbon, and cheato from gathering debris. A water heater has also been added and occupys the third chamber.

An Aqua C Remora Protien skimmer powered by a Maxi 1200 hangs on the back right side of the tank. The pump is submersed in chamber one between the two intake grates, and the skimmer's return is pouring directly into the display. (Micro Bubbles have mostly disappeared as the skimmer is breaking in.)

The Carbon, Zeolite, Skimmer, and Cheato were added after the Nitrates Spiked and the other trace elements were gone. The delay allowed ammonia to build rapidly without a means of nutrient removal.

Constant Calcium and Alkalinity supplements have resulted in a stable 450 for Calcium while Alk is about 12dkh, furthermore Salinity is maintained at 1.025.


Looks like the system is almost stable and ready to undertake some new inhabitants.

For the record the aquascaping is nowhere near finished as the liverock has literally just been dropped in a pile at the centre.

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