Brown algae is good in cycling.

Our goal is a tank like this nanocube. (
Monday, January 22, 2007
The Nanocube, a third generation of aquariums, became the Titans' choice for a 24 gallon saltwater tank system. What a challenge to purchase and find! We found a fantastic buy through Aquamains in Greeensboro when we submitted our bids.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007
The Best class students, Lupeta, Francisco, Kayla and even our custodians worked hard to get the saltwater tank set up to preserve the live rock. Cedric did a great job dechlorinating the water and preparing the salt solutions for the tank. Kayla stayed after school and worked with the rock placements. Our new tanks have taken the entire Titan community to set up and maintain.

We discovered the lighting system had some problems when our electrician came to check out the electrical wiring in the classroom and traced the "burning smell" to the new Nanocube. We had to return the top of the Nanocube to Greensboro on Tuesday. Fortunately, live rock can live without light initially; we hope the heat and saltwater was adequate to keep the live rock in good condition.
Another smaller tank from live rock.(

Live coral rock and live sand have been a topic of classroom discussions. The nitrogen cycle has some meaning now that we are waiting for a classroom tank to cycle. The Cichlid tank did not turn very cloudy with the 'new tank syndrome' we had anticipated; we are wondering if our saltwater tank will cycle as our research and fish experts predict. Our live rock seems to have little purple growth which is what we should be looking for in future purchases.

(This is the idea from

The lighting with the Nanocube is very different from the other tank systems. Everyone entering the classroom is aware of this.

The Nanocube has the least "beauty"of all our tanks, but it will turn out to be the most rewarding tank if we can get the corals to start growing this year. The tank will take patience to develop since we will be waiting for the nitrogen cycle to become established. We expect the brown algae growth to happen on or before the end of March if the nitrosomona and nitrobacter bacterial colonies multiply. Lupeta has chosen to study this tank as her science project; she will be reporting the tank conditions soon. Visit us as she begins to write her research paper on saltwater tanks and present her data about the Nanocube .

Friday, 26 January, 2007
Data: pH < 8.0 adjusted with 1 tablespoon of Magnesium salt
Specific Gravity adjusted from 1.020 to 1.022
Ammonia 0.25 < x < 0.5
Temperature 78
Turbidity: clear
Nitrite not done
Nitrate not tested

February 2, 2006

Today is the first day that the pH stayed around 8.2 and did not rebound. We have been adding a buffer each day. When the buffer is finally at the correct concentration, the tank will stabilize with a pH of 8.2.live_rock_wiki_brown_algae_bloom.JPG


Good News: Dream Tanks begin like this one.

The beautiful white floor has turned brown. The tank is cycling. Feather dusters are popping out of the rock. We see all sorts of hairs coming out of the rock. There is a purple and yellowish worm hiding in the holes of a rock. We didn't even get a picture of the "clean" tank set up. We expected this to happen much later. Cycling began in 11 days. We won't be there all weekend to see what happened. We don't have the light timer set up either.
2.10 timer added 10 hr off; 14 on.
2/16/07 Raleigh Aquarium Society meeting. Salt water enthusiasts have suggested I add Chaetomorpha, a green salt water type grass.
Also, they suggest I raise the pH with pickling lime to 8.5. The speaker at the meeting has in Apex; he has a 1,000 gallon tank and has been an aquarist for 16 years.

We now have snails that have actually come out of the Atlantic off the coast of NC. Thanks to C. we might have some algae help.

Chemistry: Students will need to test every day now. It would be nice if we graph our data daily.










Action taken
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2/ /07






added buffer 2 scoops

September 2007

The tank survived the summer with mud snails and periwinkles from Fort Macon's estuary. Miss Pat cared for the animals over the summer. Our new school year has been exciting since parents donated two sea urchins. The urchins appeared to be sick; however, they made a fast recovery!

They have devoured the red algae as well as the green algae growing in our tank. We actually worked hard to cultivate the red algae and we are disappointed by the loss of this beautiful color. However, the sea urchins appear to have had babies. Since the larvae are very unlike the sea urchins, we are not certain. Learning the life cycle of these salt water echinoderms has been a great adventure. Apparently, sea urchins are hard to keep in classrooms, but ours are thriving. They work very hard to clean the tank. We have gone from leaving the light on for an hour to 12 hours a day to accommodate increased algae growth for their good health. We are so glad we decided to purchase the salt water tank; everyone enjoys the strange creatures we have inherited.

January 2008

The two 'Sea Urchins' are living in this salt water tank after four months.! No one feeds these echinoderms. They are still living off our algae. The red algae is rebounding; at first we thought they had destroyed the red algae. None of the hundreds of baby sea urchins have survived. We are having to cycle the lights to decrease the green algae. This has been an interesting project.