Brent's Cube


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Lighting..... Time to upgrade! I am looking at the options at the moment, but in terms of performance, I think I'll be going for a hydra, two primes or an xr15. I have extensively researched other options, but these echo tech products seem to shine a bit brighter on all fronts, than any of the other options.
I think one HD prime would be enough for a tank this size, the Hydra would def be overkill having owned both of those light units. The XR15 would also be alot of light, seeing as you had good growth and color from a 1201 IMO i wouldnt spend the extra money on two primes etc
 
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Just as a side note, if you are ever needing glues that are reef safe and work well, here are my go to choices...
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Tangit for pvc joins, or pvc to some types of plastic.

Locktite gel superglue. This is the best value for money superglue for most of the major brands. You get 20g for around 80 bucks. It is perfect consistency for work on wet rocks. I use it to glue rocks together and coral frags to rock or plugs.

Pratleys quickset putty. This stuff sets in ten minutes and cures in about an hour or so. Perfect for joining large rocks or frags. Works well with wet items. It is what I use when gel suoerflue is to weak. It will dry and cure under water no problems. The purple putty from...... Can't remember the name.... I think it's two little fishes? Is better, don't get me wrong, but cost four times the price at least.

2C.. My new best friend. It's like a superglue that you get to decide when it dries. Apply the glue to the surface, join what you need, and then once alll ready and lined up, give a brief spray of the glued area with the 2C spray hardener. It hardens in about 2 seconds. It will glue any plastic, pvc, fabric, mesh, acrylic, steel, wood, etc. It is extremely strong. If I use it on wood, it is at least as strong as wood glue. If I use it on acrylic it is as strong as magma bond. This stuff is amazing. The only issue is that I wouldn't use it on gluing corals, as the spray of catalyst will go on the corals, and I'm not so sure it'll be so great for them.

I have tried other brands of superglue, putty etc, but generally these are the cheapest and do the job well or the best. I hope you guys can use this info.
 
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I just plumbed my DIY mini reactor and it works so well. I am very impressed with how well it works. Easy to access and service too. I'm very happy. It just runs off the return pump, so no need for extra pumps.
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I should get fuller use of my carbon and gfo now with the active flow running through it.
This very cool!
 
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absolutely stunning tank BTW def the best nano on MASA currently
Hey Dane, it's been a while since I've seen you on MASA! I hope you're well buddy! Thanks a stack! I know the prime is great, and by the looks of things I am definitely overkilling my light option. My reason for going with a larger light (I am going to go with a hydra26) is that I will hopefully upscale in about a year or so to a larger cube tank. I am happy running it at low intensity now, but I'd rather have the light already once I go bigger. Does that make sense?

Thanks for the kind words about the tank. I really appreciate it. I only post pictures of the nice stuff though. I should do a post on all the things that have not worked out. Plenty of that
 
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Its like a tank role model! We all wish that one day our nano could like this! It really is a thing of beauty!
Thanks, Peter. I appreciate your sentiments. I've just become acutely aware of a bit of a following here. I think maybe I should do a post on what I got wrong, I don't want people thinking this tank is greater than it actually is :m23::m15:

I think the extensive planning of this little tank went a long way in ensuring its success. Never underestimate the strength of putting pen to paper and writing a mind map/ spider diagram... Oh ya, and excel spreadsheets and Powerpoint for planning:m16:
 
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Just a quick update on the reactor. I haven't even done a water change, and the water clarity has improved a lot since putting the reactor in yesterday. I still habe to get my hands wet and do a water change and move the corals on the sand around, but I am impressed with this little reactor. I now know I was wasting quite a bit of carbon and gfo every week by adding more to compensate for the lack of flow through the chemibags.
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How does the water exit out the reactor? Does it just overflow out the top?
 
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How does the water exit out the reactor? Does it just overflow out the top?
Yes, in through the bottom, and out through the lid on the top. There are 3mm holes drilled in the lid, and a 1mm (1000 micron) mesh along the inside to stop particles escaping if the media fluidises.
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Yes, in through the bottom, and out through the lid on the top. There are 3mm holes drilled in the lid, and a 1mm (1000 micron) mesh along the inside to stop particles escaping if the media fluidises.
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Awesome. Such a great idea. Any chance you'll share costing please? Think this would work nicely on FW too
 
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Awesome. Such a great idea. Any chance you'll share costing please? Think this would work nicely on FW too
I had left over acrylic pipe from ages ago. I can give you a rough guess at what it cost me though for the amount of material...

Acrylic pipe 40mm: ~R80
Acrylic pipe 20mm: ~R40
Acrylic pipe 6mm: R26 (had a bit left over)
Acrylic sheet 4mm: ~R10
SS tube connector: ~R50
Plastic tube connectors: R20 x 2
Magmabond (no idea of price, I can't remember at all)...

So probably cost me about R200 exl. my time and consumables.

This is a rough estimate based on the exact amount I used. Obviously you have minimum quantities you can buy at shops...
 
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I had left over acrylic pipe from ages ago. I can give you a rough guess at what it cost me though for the amount of material...

Acrylic pipe 40mm: ~R80
Acrylic pipe 20mm: ~R40
Acrylic pipe 6mm: R26 (had a bit left over)
Acrylic sheet 4mm: ~R10
SS tube connector: ~R50
Plastic tube connectors: R20 x 2
Magmabond (no idea of price, I can't remember at all)...

So probably cost me about R200 exl. my time and consumables.

This is a rough estimate based on the exact amount I used. Obviously you have minimum quantities you can buy at shops...
Thank you very much.
 
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@brentch are you cutting & drilling acrylic yourself? Or getting it done somewhere? I have a few bits and pieces lying around, but cracked my fair share drilling etc... BTW dichloromethane is a brilliant adhesive for acrylic.
 
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Yes I cut and drill alot. I find the thing to do is go slow, cut with finer tooth blades, and blunter drill bits. A drill press is the only way I drill. I can't get it right at all with a hand drill
 
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K, who wants to hear how my first aquaforest water change went?
 
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No one?

Okay I'll tell you anyway:p

Packaging esthetics gets a 10/10. Not much info on mixing though. There's writing there but it's in size 2 wingdings font, so I can't make it out. I'm not that old but damn it's small.
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Inside I get a nice purple bag with a neat clip to close the bag and keep it from the moist Durban air. Something we down here at the coast have to worry about with our hydrophyllic chemicals. Nice small attention to detail.
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Quality certificate. This new ICP testing is all the craze now. It give one some piece of mind I guess.
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Batch numbering for each bucket or something to that effect
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Quality control stickers too.
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It just all looks very neat. It should be for the amount one pays for salt...
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But the proof is in the pudding! Upon opening up the bag you get a nice jug for measuring the salt. It's awesome, I had to weigh each mix for the redsea coral pro before... Far simpler.
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The salt itself is nice and consistent, no caking and a uniform texture.
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So I got mixing. To be sure about the amount I was adding, and to see how much I am using compared to the sedsea salt, I had to weigh. For ten litres at 1.026/35ppt, I use the exact same amount of salt, 382 grams per ten litres. Ignore the value on the scale below, it can only weigh up to 180 grams, so I weigh out in batches.
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This is where it get interesting. So redsea coral pro dissolves in about ten minutes or just under. Using the same power head and bucket as usual, I saw that the aquaforest salt dissolves in just four minutes! Half the time of the red sea! And just like coral pro, aquaforest leaves no residue or scum. The water is crystal clean as it should be.
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Just old tank water compared to new... In terms of water parameter, the only major difference in the two salts is the slightly higher magnesium in the aquaforest, so now my parameters I want, match perfectly to my salt.
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Right after the water change, some corals are already open again. Slightly faster recovery it seems. I get the same slight milkiness in the water column, but I think that's just particles stirred up from the aragonite substrate.
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Fifteen minutes later, the tank is thriving....
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Since I can't see the bacteria they added to the salt, I'll just have to wait and see how things progress with this week. I'm hoping to see a marked improvement, but who knows.
 
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