Nano Cube 24G #2

The NanoCube has been taking shape slowly but surely. I have been replacing about 10% of the water (or close to it) with RO/DO water every Friday, rinsing out the foam pads and cleaning the glass.

I have also been adding one livestock item every couple of weeks. So far I have added about (in addition to what was already in the tank) ten more small, blue legged hermit crabs, a cameback shrimp, a black brittle sea star, a small sebae anemone and a couple of small coral frags. I have also had numerouf fan worms pop out of one of the live rocks and they are growing big everyday. I feed them every two days with small peices of “Prime Reef” and with a couple of drops of phytoplankton. The False clown eats readily from my fingers and the rest of the food gets moved around the tank before the hermit crabs, the anemone and the starfish finish the food.

Now for some gory details on the livestock. The sebae and the camelback shrimp were probably a bad idea, but they are there nonetheless. The sebae was creamish in color when I brought it home from the LFS with purple tips on its tentacles. I understand that a healthy anemone is a lot darker with pigments. I also did not realize how finicky the anemone can be in the tank. I had placed him on top of the rocks with lots of light and water flow. He kept moving till he ended up in the bottom wedged between rocks. In trying to be a good samaritan, I tried moving him to a better spot, only to find him back to where he was in the first place. I have left him there to get better situated. He eats peices of prime reef that I break off for him and place close to his mouth though I have not seen him actually keep it inside him for long. The camelback shrimp is very skittish and hides all day to come out only at night or during feeding times. The brittle star is great. He eats anything and everything. I will put small capsules of dried shrimp in front of him just to watch him manipulate the food and put it in his mouth. He too is a night crawler.

I have a small zooanthis frag that opened up its polyps in a few minutes after being introduced into the tank. The other is a tree like soft coral the name of which escapes me at the moment. They are both very new and time will tell how they do.

I still like the Nano Cube but I wish there were some things that were different about my setup. The curved glass of the NanoCube is very annoying since the magentic glass cleaner needs quite a few more strokes to get the glass clean. The filter compartment is hard to clean and service. That design needs to be changed or they need to provide better access to that section. There also needs to be space for tubes and fitting to get into the tank without leaking light. I really want to use a protein skimmer but there is no way to put that into the tank without cutting/breaking the plastic top of the tank. I am going to use some kind of a organic matter filter in the immiediate future. Also, there are a few too many biological filters in the tank (bioballs/ceramic rings). I am going to remove both for the time being since the tank is cycling nicely and they will just build nitrates in the tank.

Check back in another couple of months for an update! PS: I spend about 50 bucks every two weeks on livestock, water, salt and other ingredients.

[EDIT] removing the bioballs and ceramic rings makes my water a little more cloudy than I want which means that the live rock is not providing sufficient biological filtration (yet). This would be indication that the tank needs to be cycled some more. I am replacing more water now than I had mentioned in the post to make sure that the ammonia and nitrate levels remain at a constant low.