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Old 12-31-2008, 04:16 AM   #1
westwood08
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Biocube 8


I recently got an 8 gallon biocube. I want to (or rather I have attempted to) set it up as a planted tank. I'm new to the hobby (both of aquabotany and fishkeeping)

For the tank, I've kept the equipment it came with (lights, filter, pump, etc.) Here's a link to the tank - http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=18538

I'm using Seachem products in the tank: Prime, Stability, and Flourish

My substrate is a combination of Seachem Flourite Plant Substrate http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...53891&keepsr=0
and black gravel.

I have a heater set to 75 degrees.

As for the plants I have in there currently: Anubius Nana, Bacopa Carolina, Hygrophila 'Kompakt', and a couple small Amazon Sword plants. The Anubius has been tied to a piece of driftwood (I soaked the wood for a little over a week before putting it in the tank to get rid of most of the tannic acid!)

Here's my tank (day two)



It's not much right now.

So, first... anything I can do to ensure sucess? I will be adding my two ADF and a few ghost shrimp once the tank has cycled. I am also thinking about getting an otocinclus to help with any algae that might accumulate.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Comments?
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:34 AM   #2
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The bio cubes are really nice all in one setups. My friend was thinking about getting one for a shrimp farm. Anyways, I digress...

Here's a few bits of tidbits to help you get started.

1) If you're looking for a high light setup, consider changing the actinic bulb to another PC daylight bulb. However, I think 18 watts of 10K lighting + 18 watts of actinic is okay for the plant species you listed and for a nice, low-maintenance low-light tank.

2) The amazon swords may outgrow you're aquarium, but this will probably take awhile.

If you're not going high light and want to keep using your actinic bulb, I wouldn't really modify much in your setup as of now. Someone in our local fish club once said that the way he figures out what to do with his plants is "let them talk to him." If nothing is amiss with algae and you're happy with the growth, I wouldn't really change much at this point. At only Day 2 though, it's kind of hard to make this determination.

If you want to go for the higher-light, high tech setups though, you're in for a whole different ballgame.
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Old 12-31-2008, 04:39 AM   #3
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My only comment at the moment is 'purdy'!!
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:10 PM   #4
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Is that just regular gravel as a substrate? You might want to consider switching that to flourite, eco-complete, or some other plant growing substrate before you start stocking the tank.

Also, this is if you want to see your livestock, I wouldnt reccomend the frogs. I got one on accident (It was inside the crypt I bought at the store) and I hardly every see it in my 20g planted tank. When I do see it, it just sits around. Maybe get some fancier shrimp, and ditch the frog idea?
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Old 01-03-2009, 04:27 AM   #5
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I am a huge fan of Seachem's products. I've been using Stability on the cube and it's been working like a charm!

Just wanted to post some updated pictures. I moved the frogs into the tank a few days ago and they have been thriving.



This is the tank under the lunar lights



And just today I went and purchased a few Otocinclus to add to the tank. They've been busily feeding on the algae currently on the plants.



The water parameters of my tank are: 0:ammonia; 0:nitrites, 20<Nitrates

So far, so good.
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:11 AM   #6
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Yesterday I came home from work to discover a white fuzzy substance on my driftwood! I researched it a bit to find differences of opinions as to what it was and how harmful, or not harmful it was.

In any event, I removed the wood, remove all the tank inhabitants, and completely redid the aquascaping without that particular piece of wood.

I think it was growing the mold because it was such a soft piece of wood. When I was soaking it, it would feel a bit slimy every time I changed the water. The other (harder) piece would always feel fine. So, I got a rock that I cleaned well and then boiled for awhile and the harder piece of wood and redid the tank.

I scrapped a few of the plants and cut some of the others before putting them back.

Some pictures


Left side


Front


Right side


My Dwarf Gourami


My ADF
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:17 AM   #7
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Cute froggies!

Someone else had that white stuff and no one could agree on what it was. Seems like some sort of slime mold or something.
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:34 AM   #8
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This is one of the sites I found that said the white fuzz was 'harmless' .. however, with no conclusive evidence it's hard to trust any one site...

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/driftwood.php
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:42 AM   #9
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I have been waiting for somone to start up an 8 gallon biocube! Awesome!

There is one other thread on this site where somone attempted one and they said that two daylight bulbs were too much. Specifically, the heat was a problem and the tropical fish didn't seem to care for it too much.

They ran the setup with primarily using one bulb, so the actinic might not be too much of a problem. It might even be cool if you simulate a dawn/daylight/dusk/moon effect.

I have thought for a while that I would like to get one of these going, but I wanted to try a high tech setup with pressurized CO2 and the works.

I am anxious to see how this one works out for you! Subscribed!
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:46 AM   #10
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I found the other thread:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pl...-8-gallon.html

What is cool is that I commented in both threads almost exactly one year to the day. You might want to give that thread a read. It is short and sweet.
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Old 01-05-2009, 06:16 AM   #11
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I just recently purchased my cube, I think they must be doing something different with the newer versions because I have a heater, it's set to 78 degrees, my tank never gets any hotter than 80 degrees.

As for the lighting, the plants (thus far) seem to be doing well. I have a couple planted in the back that I am hoping will grow tall to fill in the tank some. Right now, all the plants look a bit low!

I really, really love the tank. I haven't had many problems with it (save one regarding the fans that I'll mention in a bit). I'm keeping a few Otocinclus in it, 1 Dwarf Gourami, and 1 African Dwarf Frog... I might add another ADF but right now I'm not sure. The local petstore has a pretty sickly looking bunch and two of mine have already died do to pre-existing illnesses I looked at the stores tank today to see four dead frogs in it!! My remaining frog looks healthy, eats well, and moves about quite readily. Oh, I forgot the ghost shrimp. I have two ghost shrimp and they do a pretty good job at cleaning up any scraps!

The cooling fans: during shipping the screws holding them in place probably got loose and on the 5th day they made a warbling noise. It was a bit obnoxious but after letting the fans run for an hour it went away. I did call up the company and they are sending me new fans just in case I need to replace them completely. So, in dealing with Oceanic - I haven't been disappointed.

I change the light setting throughout the day and I notice that all my tank inhabitants really enjoy when I put on the lunar lights.

I guess in the end we'll see - I'm going to try to keep up with this post to journal the cube
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:37 AM   #12
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Did you go with the actnic bulb or did you swap it out for another daylight bulb? How long is your photo period? Are you using anything for a carbon source for the plants?

Starting up a tank that is known for running warm can be kind of deceiving when it is done in the cooler months. I have seen people do this time and time again stating that they don't have a problem until the warmer spring months. People that have a good climate controls in thier house/appartment generally have less problems in general.

I hope this setup works out for you and I am interested in seeing how it progresses. I have had my eye on a biocube for quite some time.
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:14 AM   #13
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We keep the house cold in the summer. Right now at my desk where the tank is its 72 degrees. The highest it gets in here in the winter is 76 degrees. In the summer this room won't get above 76 degrees because I have a husband who detests the heat!

I'm pretty bad about keeping the lights on I turn them on around noon and keep them on until 12am - 1am... so they are typically on for about 12 - 13hours. I need to get a timer and have a more precise photo period.

I didn't swap the actnic bulb because right now all the plants I have are low light plants. Also, it's only an eight gallon so I'm getting about 2watts per gallon. I got some Dwarf Baby tears for the tank downstairs but failed miserably at planting them... My plan was to grow them downstairs and then move some of them upstairs to the cube.... that plan failed miserable as the baby tears are slowly being sucked into the filter If I had the DBT in the cube I would have switched out the other light.

I have a 6.6Gallon tank with a CO2 unit on it... however, I haven't been using CO2 on the cube. I think that might be what is wrong with my anubias plant. Well, it's either the lack of proper CO2 amounts or bruising due to the otos grazing algae on the leaf surface. I am going to order a bottle of flourish Excel Carbon and see if this fixes that problem. Other than the blackish spotting on the anubias leaves, all the other plants are excelling!
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:42 AM   #14
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The black spotting on my anubias nana was black beard algae. It's probably growing because 1. the anubias is a slow growing plant and 2. the anubias is getting a bit more light than it should which makes the algae find the plant very inviting.

I took the anubias out and socked it in a bleach solution for about 4 minutes. The algae looks as though it is dead or dying off. You can still see it (kind of) but it is lighter in color and not as bad as it was before! I hope it will completely go away in a day or so.

Other than that, everything else is doing very well. I added a CO2 system to the tank. All the plants seem to be growing well... I'm always on the look out for different plants which can be obtained locally.
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:21 AM   #15
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I have some tufts of BBA algae on my anubias. Seems to be the one place where I can't get rid of the stuff. For me, it tends to grow in areas with high water flow. I get it on the holes coming out of my spraybar .

One thing you might want to try sometime is to use the excel spot treating method to eliminate it. It works for most people (including me), but I am not dilligent with keeping the treatments up. You can check it out in this thread:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/al...periences.html
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