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GTi's 3.7 Gallon Cube Build Thread


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#1
GTi

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I'm starting my thread for this tank in real time - hopefully I'll find time to keep it up to date by doing it this way!

I currently have a 6 month old Biocube 29 and a Tom Deco. The Deco was supposed to be a quarantine tank and ended up with some sexy shrimp, a couple of clown gobies and some soft coral frags in it.

I placed an order with Cultivated Reef (3rd order - awesome service, great coral) and needed to rearrange the Biocube a little in advance of the delivery. I ended up removing a couple of pieces and fragging some others to trade at my LFS. I ended up with a $60 store credit burning a hole in my pocket and picked up a 3.7 gallon rimless cube (9.5" sides), a bag of Caribsea Arag-Alive and some other odds and ends. The plan is to make a stylish pico with the livestock from the deco tank, a few soft and LPS coral and a mangrove or two. The Deco will then be the QT that it was meant to be in the first place!

I cleaned the new tank, added about 6lb of the Arag-Alive, new salt water and some wate from the Biocube. This was on Sunday. In the meantime I ordered 5lb of dry rock from Reefcleaners and some adhesive from Marco Rocks. I also ordered an EcoPico LED ligt arm and two more LED strips (blue). The rock and adhesive arrived yesteday and I am playing with layouts. The light is due to arrive on Wednesday. Ecoxotic says the light with the two extra LED modules should be sufficient to support SPS in a tank this size.

I fragged some GSP from the Biocube and glued it to a piece of rock and added this and a small piece of coralline-covered live rock from the Deco to the new cube.

I'm doing a water test later to see if the Arag-Alive and cycled water has helped speed things up.

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New cube cycling


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Dry rock


Edited by GTi, 06 January 2013 - 04:21 AM.


#2
Jacob042426

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Cooooool.

#3
GTi

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Cooooool.

Thanks. I hope I can make the reality as neat as the image I have in my head!

#4
asting

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Lookin good, but shouldn't you cycle with the rock, so the bacteria has more places to grow?

#5
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Lookin good, but shouldn't you cycle with the rock, so the bacteria has more places to grow?

Definitely - I'm planning to put the new rockscape together today and getting in the tank. The new rock didn't arrive until yesterday.

#6
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I am planning to minimise the amount of equipment in the tank and so am looking to use a canister filter (minus the biomedia) and an external heater or possibly an under gravel heater.

There aren't many small canisters out there and not many heater choices that fit my requirements. If anyone has any recommendations or products to avoid, i'd be pleased to hear from you. I'll post my shortlist once I have looked in to it a bit further.

#7
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Ammonia was 0.5 ppm so the cycle has started. Still planning the LR scape and looking at canister filters.

#8
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#9
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EcoPico light and 2 supplemental blue LED strips arrived today. It looks very blue but not as blue as the photo.

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I also picked up a mangrove at the LFS.

I need to do my homework on canister filters and in line heaters and make my rockscape!

There are small amounts of diatoms on the sand.



#10
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Just ordered an Eheim 2232 canister filter and a Hydor ETH heater from Big Al's. Nice prices especially with extra10% off.

Off to play with the rockscape...

#11
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Added rockscape and a piece of LR to help with the cycling. A bit cloudy!

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I wanted a few overhangs and perching places for the Clown Gobies and the Pistol/Hi Fin duo.

The more I see the light, the less convinced I am that it would support SPS. I am planning on softies and a couple of LPS.



#12
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At the weekend I ordered 2 more LED strips (each is 2 white, 1 blue), a transformer and a splitter cable. I think that should add enough light and also make it a little less blue.

I noticed the fish my Tom Deco tank have Ich or something similar. The YCG and GCG have little bumps on them. The Hi Fin Goby seems ok. I have moved the coral and inverts from the Deco to the new 3.7 gallon and will try a soft cycle with frequent water changes and the addition of carbon, gfo and purigen. I am going to try hyposalinity (under 1.009) to treat the fish in the Deco. I heard it is less severe than the copper treatments. I will keep the 3.7 gallon without fish or contact with the Deco for 8 weeks which should be enough for the Ich to die off. Then I will add the fish to the 3.7 and be back on plan!

Overnight the pistol shrimp undermined the main rock so much it tilted over! Busy little guy!

#13
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The canister filter and external heater arrived yesterday and the extra LED strips today. The LEDs added a bit more light and also improved the colour temperature of the tank. The softies seemed happy under just 3 LED strips so hopefully 5 will be enough for some LPS.

The intake and outlet pipes for the canister filter are huge. Initially I was going to paint them black to blend in with the back wall but I think the answer is to go with lily pipes. I might do the stock pipes as a temporary measure.

The frogspawn in my main tank (BC29) that got knocked in to my new ultra rainbow acan was knocked over again. It is now in the pico cube.

I'll post some photos once I sort out the canister and heater.

Edited by GTi, 01 March 2012 - 02:49 PM.


#14
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Got the Eheim 2232 canister filter and in-line Hydor Eth 200 set up. I had to shorten the return pipe as it was too long. The pipes are huge. I am going to get a reducer coupling so I can connect some 9 mm hose and some more appropriately sized lily pipes. I have the return ball valve partly closed to keep the flow sensible.

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The tank has some extra rock and coral in it for now as I am using them to seed the dry rockscape.

I like the canister - it is easy to change filters, quiet and hides under the table.



#15
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Sadly, the YCG in the Tom Deco was dead this morning. My kids are going to be quite upset because like many of his type, he was always out perching in plain view and seemed 'friendly'. I thought about putting a replacement in but I can't do that to a tank with Ich in it.

#16
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More sad news - the Green Clown Goby died overnight. On the bright side, the Hi Fin is looking healthy. I am doing a big water change and gradually reducing the salinity to 1.009 to treat any remaining ich.

I moved the frogspawn that killed the acan in my BC29 in to the pico and also a tiny frag of montipora cap. The monti has done really well in the Biocube, even under stock lighting so this is a good test to see if the LEDs in the pico can support SPS.

Canister filter and external heater seem to be working well - almost silent except for the heater clicking on and off. The stock pipes are ugly but I have ordered some glass lily pipes which should arrive next week. I also want to replace the glass thermometer with a LCD strip.

Edited by GTi, 04 March 2012 - 07:55 AM.


#17
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#18
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I was in Belleville for a meeting last week!

#19
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The pistol shrimp keeps undermining the large rock formation. I'm considering how to keep it level.

20120304_104741_zps6c3b95d1.jpg

 



#20
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I just bought some macro algae from keydiver on this forum. I bought the Dragon's Breath and he threw in some Gracilaria!

Dragon's Breath
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Gracilaria
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FTS
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I just noticed the Chestnut Snail seems to like the taste of the DB!



#21
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The Lily Pipes arrived today!

In the boxes:

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Next to the Eheim pipes:

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Installed:

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Much nicer!



#22
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How do u find the flow in this tank? with the filter

#23
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How do u find the flow in this tank? with the filter

It's good. The Eheim canister has adjustable ball valves on both lines. You can dial the return down a little bit if the flow is too much. The only disadvantage is that with a single source of flow, the water moves in a fairly constant way, not randomly. I am planning mainly softies and a few LPS so this may not be an issue. I'd hate to put a powerhead in this tank. I guess I could split the return in to 2 hoses and point them at each other for more turbulence and random flow!

#24
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I was looking at the tank and saw what looked like a small cloud of tiny bubbles. When I looked for the source, I saw the Stomatella rearing up and ejecting these clouds - a total of maybe 7 clouds each of maybe 20 'bubbles'. There were several seconds between each cloud. After the last one, the snail just crawled off.

I thougt that it could be spawning but do they self-fertilise?

#25
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Well, Google is your friend. And Youtube. I found a video of exactly the same thing and several articles that said that the snail can simultaneously release eggs and sperm. Hopefully some will survive - Stomatellas are cool!