Joe's 60 cube

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Hi,

After a few years in the hobby and feeling comfortable enough with my current experience, I have started a second tank. The intention is to slowly shut down my current tank.

I started the new tank on 4 Jan 19.

Tank and equipment

Current - to start the cycle

Display tank: 60 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm
Sump: 50 cm x 50 cm x 50 cm - 2 chambers
Return pump: Jebao DCP-4000
Skimmer: Bubble Magus Curve 7 (Not running yet)
Heater: Sebo 300 watt
Fan: 3 Fan cooling system - no clue what brand

2 cheap wave makers for the purpose of cycling the tank.

To be transferred from old tank

Light: Radion XR30 Pro Gen 3
Refugium light: Zetlight E100
Dosing pump: Jebao DP 3
Temp: STC-1000

Items still to be procured

Lights: 2 Oddysea Dual T5 units plus ecotech diffuser for XR30
Refugium light: a 2nd Zetlight E100
Flow: Maxspect Gyre XF 230 plus additional pump.
ATU: SAGA water level controller
Reactor: te be determined, but will be used for activated carbon and purigen

If Santa considers me a good boy this year, this is ranked 1st on the wishlist

Apex Controller

Tank, stand, Sump and plumbing

I bought the items second hand from a fellow reefer on the forum during October 2018.

The reason for this decision was to turn it into a project and work on other elements of the hobby I have not had an opportunity to attempt: DIY. My initial thoughts were that this should be cheaper.......another lesson learned :lol: Needles to say, it was a great experience and it helped me relax during my December break.

The initial display tank was constructed out of 6 mm glass with some serious bracing. I was not a 100% sure it would be sufficient for the plan I have for this tank. Off to the tank builders for the construction of a 60 cm cube. The new display was constructed out of 10mm glass with a double base:

207141


The next element was the restoration and modification of the stand.
 
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Sweet build, I wish you well with it I've always liked the look of cube tanks. :thumbup1: Who built the tank for you?
 
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Tank, stand, Sump and plumbing (continued)

The stand :cursing: Perspective is crucial. My occupation is of such a nature that the most significant hazards are:
  • Chipping a nail while frantically typing away on a laptop
  • Paper is an ancient relic, but reports are still printed and signed - Paper cuts
  • periodic high blood pressure due to someone not following procedure

DIY as a concept to me has been foreign. I was very eager to spend my first 3 days of leave working on the stand. This turned into a 10 day task.

Day 1: To Builders and Jack's for paint, wood and consumables.
Day 2: Sanding down the stand. This was done by hand. I want to commend the person that painted that frame for a job well done. After 3 hours of sanding, this was my progress:

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So back to the drawing board :banghead:

Day 3: To my friends house. He owns power tools. "This is going to be a breeze" As the sun starts to set, I realise that a sanding machine is probably more useful on wood :m85:

Day 4: My 1st stop for the day was Builders. Grinder and sanding discs sorted. Back to my friends house. Study the manual and consult with experts....ready to get this done:

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3 hours later the stand was so shiny:

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Day 5 to 10:

Multiple trips to Jack's Paint for bruches and thinners.Painted the frame multiple times with red oxide. I believe it was almost 1/2 a liter of paint. Painted the top coat. Used a liter of paint for this.

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Also worked on the wooden frame. The idea behind this was to get a flat surface for the sump and to assist with the wooden panels to close the sump. I used an entire can of varnish (Wood dock 50) for this purpose:

207166


207168


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All wood can be removed with ease should it be required. That is the final product :m01: Final thought on that was that I should have stuck with the original paint job :lol: but I was happy with it.

This was the extend of the plumbing I had to do (spoiler: anti climatic):

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Had to extend a portion due to the new tank being 7 cm higher than the initial tank.
 
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Filtration, Cycle and starting up the engine

Filtration

Other than the equipment set out above, I decided to try the Maxspect Nano tech bio-blocks to supplement my rocks. I placed these blocks in the baffle.

I am using 29 KG of dead rock and 6.8 KG of dead sand for this tank. The scape is bulky, but I had 1 requirement in mind: coral real estate :m16:

Since I have no artistic side, I asked someone at my lfs to build a scape for me:

207347


The main reason behind the dead rock and sand was to avoid pests. In my nano I dealt with some of the "great stuff" that comes with live rock (in order of biggest PITA):
  • Aiptasia
  • Bryopsis
  • Bubble algae
Experience has taught me that prevention is better than a cure.

Once the tank is cycled, I will start running the skimmer. I suspect this skimmer (curve 7) is a slight overkill for the tank. The plan is to feed heavy. Feeding and carbon dosing will be considered down the line.

Refugium will be brought online once I have added a few fish.

Cycle and cracking up the engine

This time around I wanted to have a black background on the tank. Considered 2 options:
  • Black paint
  • Black vinyl
Opted for the black vynel. Found something at a store that is used as a removable black board and gave it a go:

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Filling the tank was a blast as I do not own a RO/DI filter. Made a few trips to my LFS to fill the tank. Carrying 280 liters of water up the stairs was no fun. The tank ended up holding 265 litres:

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Tested the display tank for leaks for a day and then added the salt :m16:

Started the cycle on 4 Jan 2019. To date it has been a slow process :confused1:

Rocks were added on 3 February 2019:

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The timing was not ideal, but I had to save up some cash for the rocks.

I have used 3 different types of bacteria additives:

  • Special blend: Started the cycle with this one. Seems like a good product, but probably the worst smell I have ever encountered. A mix between compost and rotten egg. My flat smelled like that for a few days after the initial dose.
  • ATM Colony: Used a small bottle of this after the special blend was finished. As I did not dose the recommended dosage, I have no real feedback on the product.
  • AquaVirto Seed: Been dosing this for 10 days now. So also no feedback as yet.
Results have been as follows:

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Will continue to measure the progress and post updates on this.

Once the cycle is done, I will start adding some micro fauna (where possible). This will be collected from my nano.

I also noted on of the sponsors sells live pods. Will definitely get some once the tank is ready.
 
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Wishlist/Fishlist - stocking the tank

The idea I have at present is to stock the tank with small fish.

Only 2 of my 3 fish will be moved from the old tank.

Fish I am thinking of adding to the new tank:
1 x purple firefish
2 x neon blue gobies
1 x Blue reef chromis
1 x Six line wrasse

I think the list requires something yellow, but the tank is not big enough for the yellow fish I like, these being the Fox face or the yellow tang.

I considered the gramma or basslet, but I am cautious of my 6 line wrasse. This wrasse is an absolute douche bag.

The watchman goby was considered, but I think in the end it will be too many gobies should I go with this.

Any suggestions on this will be much appreciated.
 
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"The plan"

Overall

Based on the above some of you would figured out that this tank is going to be a SPS tank. I really enjoy the challenge/frustration? inherent with these. I have never been as excited with my tank as when my acro' s started to show s8ome colour. Most of my SPS do have some nice colour but my acro's have been a real challenge.

I suspect that I will only be done with the cycle around the end of March. The tank will then run with lights for a month. Should things go well at that point, the cycle will be done.

Once the tank is cycled and I have been able to grow some coralline algae, I will add some test frags to the tank. These will be harvested from my current colonies.

I noticed some amazing colonies at a sponsor:

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Will definitely make regular visits there.

Tank and stand

The following still needs to be completed:
  • Canopy
  • Panels for stand
  • Cabinet
These will be DIY projects during the course of 2019, but can not be held to this.

Filtration

The following needs to be completed:
  • Secure rocks - epoxy and glue bought for this purpose
  • Add sand: once rocks are secured I will add the sand.
Timing of adding sand is not ideal.

Equipment

Items will be bought on a monthly basis.

Items still to buy at this point (ranked):
  1. SAGA water level controller (ordered)
  2. 1 T5 unit (Planned: End March)
  3. 1 T5 unit and XR30 diffuser (Planned: End April)
  4. Maxspect Gyre XF230 (Planned: End May)
  5. Maxspect Gyre XF230 (Planned: End June)
 
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RiaanP

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60cm cube sounds small, until you see that first picture. Much bigger than expected.
 
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Hi RiaanP,

Agreed, the tank deceptive. My girlfriend questioned the tank size too, until saw the tank.
 
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Hi,

After a few years in the hobby and feeling comfortable enough with my current experience, I have started a second tank. The intention is to slowly shut down my current tank.

I started the new tank on 4 Jan 19.

Tank and equipment

Current - to start the cycle

Display tank: 60 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm
Sump: 50 cm x 50 cm x 50 cm - 2 chambers
Return pump: Jebao DCP-4000
Skimmer: Bubble Magus Curve 7 (Not running yet)
Heater: Sebo 300 watt
Fan: 3 Fan cooling system - no clue what brand

2 cheap wave makers for the purpose of cycling the tank.

To be transferred from old tank

Light: Radion XR30 Pro Gen 3
Refugium light: Zetlight E100
Dosing pump: Jebao DP 3
Temp: STC-1000

Items still to be procured

Lights: 2 Oddysea Dual T5 units plus ecotech diffuser for XR30
Refugium light: a 2nd Zetlight E100
Flow: Maxspect Gyre XF 230 plus additional pump.
ATU: SAGA water level controller
Reactor: te be determined, but will be used for activated carbon and purigen

If Santa considers me a good boy this year, this is ranked 1st on the wishlist

Apex Controller

Tank, stand, Sump and plumbing

I bought the items second hand from a fellow reefer on the forum during October 2018.

The reason for this decision was to turn it into a project and work on other elements of the hobby I have not had an opportunity to attempt: DIY. My initial thoughts were that this should be cheaper.......another lesson learned :lol: Needles to say, it was a great experience and it helped me relax during my December break.

The initial display tank was constructed out of 6 mm glass with some serious bracing. I was not a 100% sure it would be sufficient for the plan I have for this tank. Off to the tank builders for the construction of a 60 cm cube. The new display was constructed out of 10mm glass with a double base:

207141


The next element was the restoration and modification of the stand.
What's in the back left corner of the tank? It looks like a clamp?
 
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60cm cube sounds small, until you see that first picture. Much bigger than expected.
I calculated it to be approximately 250 liters with the sump which is way more then it sounds :lol: I think its going to be awesome when its done
 
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Fish stocking list update

Just found my 6 line wrasse on the floor :m24: Had it for 3 years and 4 months.

Fish to add to the list:
1 x six line wrasse

Updated post above
 
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Cycling update

Tested water parameters yesterday:
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 5+ ppm

Nitrite has been increasing since 26 Jan. Will continue to dose AquaVitro Seed daily.
 
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Equipment update

Ordered the SAGA water level controller. Should be at my LFS by next week :slayer:

I am sure most of you are wondering why I am excited about an ATO. This is due to my nano not having a sump and I do not think it would be possible to run an ATO, so I had to use one on the heads on my dosing pump as an ATO. Got the job done for the biggest part of the year but caused some issues during summer.
 
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Cycle, fish and equipment update

Ammonia 0
Nitrite 5+ ppm
Nitrate 100 ppm

So nitrite has been high for about 2 months now. Will be doing a 50% water change during the next week.

Picked up a new 6 line wrasse :m01:

Received the SAGA water level controller. Still need to set it up. Will attempt to do this during the next week as well. Now to order the first t5 light.
 
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I think this is going to be a nice setup. I’ve come to realise that smaller setups are more fun in terms of keeping them clean and stocked (more affordable to fill it up).

Is that an app or shreadsheet you use to record your water params and graph them?
 

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