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dtum's JBJ 28g Nanocube LED


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#1
dtum

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Up-to-date List of Aquarium's Fish and Corals

Having kept fish for 10+ years, enjoying cichlid and planted tanks I ended up with a nice 10 gallon rimless sapphire tank that I decided to setup as a saltwater nano reef.

AquaticLog timeline for my diary contains detailed information on dosing, water changes, maintenance, stock additions and parameter testing.

You can view my diary here.

I've lost a firefish and a clown and can definitely see that this is not enough to host everything that I want to keep in my tank for the next few years. So after some research I've decided to try an all-in-one tank. I wanted an all in one, since I am fairly new to the hobby and don't know exactly the dimensions and other particulars of the tank that I'd want to be stuck with for many years. So the idea here is to get a decent all around tank.

I set my goals on a 20 to 30 gallons, did not want anything bigger because of the bigger water changes, anything smaller would get me too close to my 10 gallon which is already enough. I've really liked the 22 gallon Cadlights, but being in Canada I did not want to order things online. Also was not too thrilled with their current LED offering. Biocube looks great, but HQi is too hot and CF is not enough light. I also do find it to be too short. Solana seemed great, but not easily available in Canada, also much more money for proper lighting.

So I ended up choosing the JBJ 28 gallon Nanocube LED Advanced. That seemed to hit the spot.

My goal here is to have enough fun for the next five years in learning about saltwater fish and corals, challenge myself in keeping a complex eco system, teach myself some patience and get to enjoy the beauty of the aquatic life.

I would like to keep a variety of soft corals, LPS and some SPS.
As for the fish I would like:
a) clown fish (false or true)
B) firefish goby
c) six-line wrasse
d) royal gramma
e) yellow watchman + pistol shrimp

My 10 gallon nano-reef

My 25 gallon planted aquarium (Iwagumi style)

Let the journey begin!

Latest FTS
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Edited by dtum, 31 March 2012 - 04:21 PM.

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#2
dtum

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Picked up the tank and the stand from LFS

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Edited by dtum, 19 December 2011 - 07:34 PM.

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#3
dtum

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Good news and bad news. Here goes the unpacking:

Everything is laid out
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And partially built
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I must say that the quality of the stand is not exceptional. It feels fairly solid, but one would expect something better for $300 CAD. I like that it is fairly slim and the instructions were great.

Here's the tank itself
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Side view
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Back view
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And lights on
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And now the bad news. After I've put everything together I've noticed a circular scratch right on the front pane of the glass. It goes very deep and had some black silicone on it as well. I've removed some of the silicone but the scratch is quite noticeable.

This means that I am taking the tank back to the LFS and am ordering a replacement. The shipment is supposed to arrive early January. :(

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#4
dtum

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This is what the scratch looks like.
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But enough of that. Here's the sand I plan to have in the tank.
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Although I do like the look of a fine sand it would probably be not the right choice for this tank, especially with an MP10 running on it.

As for the water going into the tank, I have an RO system. It has 3 filters plus membrane with 1 additional filter with calcite.

I've done measurements of TDS and PH at three points: tap water, RO water, RO water after calcite filter, here are my findings:

Tap water: TDS=145, PH=8.1
RO water: TDS=4, PH=7.6
RO water after calcite: TDS=20, PH=8.1

As we can see, the RO filter does its job of removing minerals and produces an acceptable result. It also lowers the PH considerably. Running it through an additional calcite canister raises the PH and increases the TDS. I am wondering whether the produced water is acceptable for being mixed with the marine salt.

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#5
dtum

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Waiting for the tank to come in has a positive side - I get to change things up, in some cases going for something better after additional time spent on research. I tend to think this way about this sand:

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It is called Samoa Pink, I that it is a finer grade than the one I had picked out before, the colour is more yellow with some pink speckles. I am not sure how this will look like in the actual tank but I tend to like it better than the white sand I had before.

Here is a few of the inhabitants that are scheduled to go to the new tank from my older 10 gallon.

Torch
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Hammer coral, Duncan and ricordea
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Xenia
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Newly bought Royal Gramma
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And my favourite - Six-line Wrasse
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#6
nate21887

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I love those LED hoods, I'm thinking I'm going to retro fit mine soon. Great tank, looking forward to watching this come together.
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http://www.nano-reef...p;#entry3623396

#7
dtum

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The saga continues... After 3 weeks of waiting the order was received here by the LFS in Canada, but the tanks that came in were equipped with the Intermediate LED, not Advanced. What a bummer.
The LFS manager agreed for me to take the tank home and has back ordered the proper hood. Once the hood will come in (in the next couple of weeks) I'll simply replace the hood.
Here are the two tanks (one is for my buddy, who is going to have the same setup).
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And here's the water test.
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A few notes so far, the tank stand is a bit flimsy, I am going to get some reinforcing brackets and make the stand stronger.
The fans are noisy, and running with the tank propped on the carpet is a bit quieter than when it is placed on the stand. I'm thinking of adding some padding underneath the cube. Going to check the Home Depot and Lowes.

Now I am prepping the water, need to get just under 30 gallons of the RO water, should've done this earlier this week so I'd have it ready for the tank.
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The fans are quite noisy.

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#8
dtum

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Based on my friend's advice I've decided to reinforce the JBJ stand with double brackets.

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Used 16 brackets in total, but definitely noticed the difference.

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Also decided to add some padding underneath the tank, using step tiles.
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After the cutting
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Putting all of this together
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Put all the RO water into the tank and added the sand.
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Added salt and turned the moonlights on.
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Now going to let this sit, hopefully the sand dust will settle in the next couple of days, although you never know.
Once the water will clear I will be adding live rock.

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#9
Candi_MI

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Following along as I'm considering one of the JBJ's ... the pro is out of my price range, did you test out the intermediate hood at all? I'm wondering if it would be enough to keep softies, few LPS? I have a 64watt PC aquapod right now that I'm looking to replace and would rather go with the Intermediate LED over the quad pc if it would be enough light.

#10
dtum

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Following along as I'm considering one of the JBJ's ... the pro is out of my price range, did you test out the intermediate hood at all? I'm wondering if it would be enough to keep softies, few LPS? I have a 64watt PC aquapod right now that I'm looking to replace and would rather go with the Intermediate LED over the quad pc if it would be enough light.

I have tried out the lighting on it, seems fine. I think that it should be OK for softies, no problem. It is as noisy as the advanced one, so I'd rather go for something stronger. Plus you have more options, since there's one more actinic light on it.

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#11
dtum

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A couple of months ago when researching the JBJ nano cube I came across another person's tank diary, the water in that tank got cloudy on the first day (because of the sand) and remained this way for over a month.
I'm sad to say that it looks like I'm turning out to be this guy as well.

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This is what my tank looks like on the third day. The pumps and powerhead are running, but the water remains cloudy. This happened because of the Nature's Ocean Samoa Pink bio sand, I've introduced it straight into the tank without rinsing.

Now I am trying to figure out what my options are here:
a) do nothing and hope that it will clear by itself in a week or two
B) change all water (major pain)

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#12
dtum

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Good news, the water is starting to clear. I'm running an HOB Penguin filter to help with clearing the water.

I've put two small pieces of live rock from another tank.

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Just got my new book

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Now that the water has cleared, I'm putting the rocks in. I've decided to go with the dry Marco rock and add bacteria culture separately. This way I should not get any pests that are bound to show up with the live rock.

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Breaking the pieces into smaller chunks

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After the first two pieces were added the water became cloudy again, so I've dropped the other rocks in but decided to finish the rock work next day.

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Added a drop of ZEOBak bacteria culture
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And this is what my tank looked like this morning, the water has cleared. Hope to lay it out properly tonight.

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#13
dtum

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The water has cleared up nicely. Got all 23 lbs of rocks in there. Here are the latest pictures

Front
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Left side
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Right side
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#14
Candi_MI

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Looking good! I like your rock work, I'm trying to decide what I'll do with my 28g when it arrives. I have a 24g aquapod right now and I'm not thrilled with the rock I'd like more open space (mine is in a big U shape going all the way to the top with a smaller cave on one side) I'm thinking that since I'm going dry rock this time (adding in some of the existing from my aquapod) I'll possibly use zip ties and putty as I did in my 70g and build something neat.

#15
dtum

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Looking good! I like your rock work, I'm trying to decide what I'll do with my 28g when it arrives. I have a 24g aquapod right now and I'm not thrilled with the rock I'd like more open space (mine is in a big U shape going all the way to the top with a smaller cave on one side) I'm thinking that since I'm going dry rock this time (adding in some of the existing from my aquapod) I'll possibly use zip ties and putty as I did in my 70g and build something neat.


Thanks, all rock work is now messed up - I realized that there was not enough space at the front for the large brain that I have. I plan to re-do the aquascape tomorrow. Good luck with your tank!

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#16
urbaneks

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Great work so far on your tank setup. The 28g Nano Cubes are great tanks, I loved mine for the 2 years I had it up and running. Hopefully you don't get the itch to go larger in a year or so.

I'm very anxious to see how this tank does with the MP10 in there, should really allow you to keep some SPS if you desire. I noticed you are using ZeoBak, are you planning on using the Zeo methods on this tank?

Best of luck with this setup.

#17
dtum

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I noticed you are using ZeoBak, are you planning on using the Zeo methods on this tank?


Please forgive my ignorance, I have not heard of the Zeo method. This was recommended to me by the LPS as a method to start cycling the tank. Am I on the wrong path here?

Edited by dtum, 14 January 2012 - 07:35 PM.

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#18
urbaneks

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Please forgive my ignorance, I have not heard of the Zeo method. This was recommended to me by the LPS as a method to start cycling the tank. Am I on the wrong path here?


If you do a google search on zeovit, you will get lots of information on the zeovit method of keeping a reef. In summary, it's a comprehensive dosing and maintenance strategy that leads to very low nutrient systems and beautiful coral. It's expensive to keep up with but the pay off is great. I've considered doing it for some time but am not ready to pull the plug.

Sounds like you are using the bacteria product to get the cycle moving along, not a bad idea at all.

#19
dtum

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Took some measurements:
Salt 1.026
Ammonia 0.5
Nitrite 0.0
PH 8.0
Phosphate 0.25
KH 12
Calcium 560

As we can see, ammonia is slowly starting to climb. I keep adding ZeoBak and Seachem Stability bacteria. Also put couple of more small pieces of live rock and threw in some frozen brine shrimp to decompose.

I decided to change the layout a bit, so re-arranged the rocks

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#20
dtum

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I've never been a big fan of the padding I had on my tank. The light grey + blue stripe was an eye sore. I could not find anything better neither at Home Depot nor Lowe's. Imagine my surprise when I came across a perfect padding mat at Costco on Sunday. Part of me wanted nothing to do with the huge effort of reshuffling everything after it had settled, but I knew that if I were to leave things as they were I'd have to be reminded of this every single day. So I bought the new padding just in case.

Once getting home I tried using a black marker to make the padding side black, the results were hideous. So that was enough to kick-start the changing effort.

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Here's the padding
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And here's the padding after it has been cut
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I had to take all the water out and take the tank off of the stand. On a plus side I now had an opportunity to redo the aquascape one more time, this time with no water getting in my way.

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And here's the latest design
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I think that I like it much more now.

I've also replaced the stock door knob with a nice one from Home Depot

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#21
iball1804

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#22
urbaneks

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I know it was a lot of work to change that pad but it looks way better.

Tour scape looks good. Something to consider is to allow yourself the ability to clean the back wall. I was able to do this on my nano by being able to easily remove and replace the top rock. If you plan to allow coralline to grow on the back wall than don't sweat it.

#23
dtum

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Something to consider is to allow yourself the ability to clean the back wall. I was able to do this on my nano by being able to easily remove and replace the top rock. If you plan to allow coralline to grow on the back wall than don't sweat it.


I've read about this in your diary and have thought about it. Since I am such a newbie when it comes to keeping a saltwater tank I have not yet experienced this purple coralline algae firsthand. So far I do like the look of it and am hoping to get it in my tank. I think that the topmost rock can be easily moved if needed, but I plan to have the back wall covered with algae. Time will tell, time will tell.

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#24
Candi_MI

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Do you feel the padding is definitely needed? I have plenty of the kind you used (our old house had cement basement floors so I had them all over for the kids play area and took them when we moved).

#25
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Do you feel the padding is definitely needed? I have plenty of the kind you used (our old house had cement basement floors so I had them all over for the kids play area and took them when we moved).

That's a great question. I've tried running the tank's hood with fans while sitting on the pedestal with no padding and it was certainly louder than when it was propped on the carpet. I think that the padding will absorb some of the vibration from the hood, the pumps and the powerhead. Seems that having some soft of padding is usually a good thing to have when it comes to fish tanks. This particular mat's dimensions were just perfect for a nice cutout.

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