Help me setup my Oceanic Bio-Cube (noob w/pics) - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 36 Old 09-29-2013, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Help me setup my Oceanic Bio-Cube (noob w/pics)

Hello! Im new to the site, I joined for a simple reason and that is to learn more about this hobby. I made a noob mistake a couple of days ago, long story short I cleaned the entire tank and filled it with water and the next morning the (2) fish were dead. My son was sad, i did not understand why the fish died (knowing Iv cleaned my tank once a moth like this for an entire year) I checked online to see what happen and of course I found out I was cleaning and maintaining my tank the wrong way.

So I vowed to lean more info about these chemicals and start up a new tank. I went out and bought a water test kit along with other start up bottles. I found a cheap oceanic bio cube 29 gallon size tank with stand for $100. I picked it up yesterday and the fellow who sold it to me was using it to grow saltwater Reefs. He suggested I give the tank a good cleaning with ammonia to get the sulfur and hard stains out.

I wanna add live plants and other fish besides goldfish for this tank but before I do I need to learn as much as I can to learn about cycles and how to keep this tank up and running in good shape. Thanks in advance to those who reply.

First series of questions are;

Is there a better way to cleaning the tank besides ammonia>?

The back of the tank as seen in the pic has hard crust build up, Im thinking about using my dremel tool and a sand piece to get it off.

These tanks have a built in filter system built in the back of the tank. Is it safe to use the OEM filters for a freshwater setup? they contain Charcoal, It helps removes odors and discoloration in water.

Also I noticed this thank does not have an oxygen pump, do i use one with this tank or no?

What else should I stock up on before I decide to go out and buy plants and fish.

the bottom of the tank just has the small brown build up in the corner.

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post #2 of 36 Old 09-29-2013, 12:34 PM
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I do believe that crusty stuff is coraline algae, I wouldn't recommend a dremel.
Try filling the tank with a white vinegar solution, that should help with any calcareous buildup.
I'd also invest in some razor blades and just scrape the heck out of the inside (careful of the silicone of course)
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post #3 of 36 Old 10-01-2013, 02:58 AM
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I wouldn't use a dremel, I'd go the route of dousing it in white vinegar and using clean, new razors to scrape it off. It may take awhile, I agree that it does look like some form of coral.

Take the charcoal out of the filter, if you can. It's not really needed in a planted tank. I'm not sure what kind of filter it is, but I THINK it should work fine. Just give it a thorough cleaning with white vinegar, and it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to get all new media. (filter floss, sponges, biomedia, etc).

No, you don't need an oxygen pump if you're planning on doing a planted tank.

Before you get plants and fish, let's do an inventory check. What kind of testing kit do you have? Do you have a heater? Do you have plant fertilizer (I recommend Flourish Comprehensive Plant Supplement)? What substrate are you using?

I'd also see if the lights are replaceable. The lights on there are probably best for growing corals, which aren't the best lights for freshwater. You'll need lights that are around 6,500k.

Do you know your water parameters, in regards to how hard or soft it is? We'll need specific numbers for gh, kh, and ph.

Glad to see you taking such an interest in the hobby and willing to try again! :D Always wonderful to welcome new members into the hobby, it's truly a rewarding experience.
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post #4 of 36 Old 10-01-2013, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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I have the tank running with a full bottle of white vinegar, so far its doing a good job, lots of coral have started to fall off. Im gonna let it simmer one more day and ill get to scraping the rest off on Thursday.

The test kit I have is just the strips, i believe they are the 6 in 1 testing strips. I do not have a water heater at the moment, will I need one? There are local freshwater plant growers who sell plants, so on the substrate ill have to ask them whats best when i decide what type of plants ill be putting in my tank.

Iv searched online and there are replacement lamps but the only one i could find were 10k for the day and blue lights for the night time.

10,000ēK Daylight - High-intensity purified super daylight
The 10,000K compact fluorescent lamp is a purified super daylight lamp that simulates the high-intensity lumen output of the midday tropical sun. It contains rare-earth color enhancing phosphors to emit sparkling, blue-white rays.

Actinic 03 Blue - 100% blue actinic 03 phosphor that peaks at 420 nanometers
The Actinic 03 Blue provides light in the 420 nanometer range that reflects color pigments in organisms such as corals, fish and invertebrates causing them to fluoresce glowing colors. Its spectrum resembles that of the absorption peak of chlorophyll-a, which is the most important pigment found in plant cells.

I do not know the about the ph kh and gh levels, I noticed those stripped test kits also but i did not bother to pick up a set not knowing what they were for.
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post #5 of 36 Old 10-03-2013, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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after two days of soaking in the mixure of water and vinegar the buildup came off easy. After a couple of new blades of course.

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post #6 of 36 Old 10-03-2013, 01:44 PM
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hello and welcome.
looks better already.

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #7 of 36 Old 10-07-2013, 11:57 PM
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There is controversy over whether those test strips are truly accurate, and they also do cost quite a bit. You may be better off with the API Liquid Master test kit, it's what most of the members here use. It's about $20 on Amazon, and will last you years.

As for kh/gh, if you're on city water you can usually find that on your cities water supplier website. Or you can buy the liquid test kit for it.

Depending on where you live/the warmth of your house, you may. I live in Florida, so i don't bother with a heater. But if you live in a colder area, you'll have to invest in one to keep the fish at a comfortable temperature (they can't regulate their own body heat).

There are lots of substrate options, I personally prefer sand as it gives you more fish options, but it's all up to you!

As for the lights...hrm. Those lights are best for corals, but aren't really the best for freshwater plants. Is it possible to use a different fixture if there are no suitable replacement bulbs for that one?
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post #8 of 36 Old 10-09-2013, 08:43 AM
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This is the test kit jentralala recommends. price has gone down. You can get GH/KH testkits there, also. But I'd just call my water provider, or look them up online. I'm thinking the water in the Dallas vicinity is kind of hard.

An adjustable heater (by Eheim, Hydor, Aqueon or Hagen) is highly recommended. A 200W heater is about right for a 30g tank. Weather gets cold in TX. Get a cheap floating thermometer to keep your heater honest.

Take your lightbulb and/or hood to your best-equipped fishstore and see if you can get a 6500K bulb that fits.
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post #9 of 36 Old 10-09-2013, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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I live in central california, I will buy a heater for the winter time, it does not get too cold over here, right now the temp outside is a nice sunny 69 deg. I will purchase a heater thow for the winter time.

On the substrate i do like the look of sand better than the gravel, plus iv been looking at a bunch of youtube videos and most say its easier to clean and maintain than gravel. ON the lights, there are other light fixtures that can be be used with the bio cube, I see a lot of LED lights to be more popular than conventional tube lights.

Thanks for the link on the water testing kit, that same one sells at the stores for 30$ so to find it for about half off is a steal. I went out to a local mom/pops store and purchased some filter rings and some media pads, I plan on doing a fish-less water cycle in the future but for now im just stocking up on supplies.
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post #10 of 36 Old 10-10-2013, 04:03 AM
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Well, you know what they say about assuming. (I saw the Cowboys logo on your personal page.)

Are you in the delta region? The water there is kind of funny---high pH, low GH, if I remember coreectly. Check with your water co. and let us know what they say about ammonia, nitrate and hardness (GH and KH).

That tank is ~46" deep. I don't know if affordable LED's can be had that would light the bottom enough to grow plants. You can ask on the "planted tank" section of the forum. A 60W to 90W curly CFL (6500K) in a hanging reflector or desklamp fixture would be enough to grow most anything. I've seen this application and it looks pretty good to my eye.

Any reason you're going with a fishless cycle?
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