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GMan

My BioCube 8

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GMan

I've been lurking and researching on the site for a while, and my project is now underway.

 

Before I even get started I wanted to tahnk everyone for the invaluable information, help, and advice. Special thanks to stallen / Robster / SaltyVT / everyone who has participated in their threads. I found stallen's thread particularily valuable ...

 

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?...01001&st=20

 

Decided on starting with an Oceanic BioCube 8 and the following plans/mods:

 

Chamber 1

- Remove vertical stock filter

- Modify the horizontal plate towards the bottom. This plate has slots on only half of the plate, so I need to add slots on the other hlaf of the plate.

- Cut a piece of acrylic the size of the stock filter and put in place of the stock filter.

- Block off lower intake from the tank to the chamber.

- Place a bag of chemi-pure and purigen in the back portion of the chamber

- Add 50W stealth heater to the front of the chamber

 

All these mods should allow water to flow from the top front / bottom front / bottom back / top back of the chamber and over the edge into chamber 2. Thus allowing all water flowing into the filter to come from the surface and through chemical filtration.

 

Chamber 2

Starting from the bottom of the chamber ...

- LR rubble

- The stock horizontal slotted plate

- Refugium with chaeto. I plan to use the mod of scraping the coating off the back of tank and attaching a seperate fuge light. (Thanks stallen ... you rock!)

- Stock drip plate with filter floss.

 

Chamber 3

- Remove stock sponge

- Replace stock pump with MaxiJet 900

 

Hood

- Add additional 10000K 18W PC light

- Upgrade the fans with Silenx 60mmx25mm 16db

 

Tank

- The Tampa Bay Saltwater 10g Package which includes LS, LR, and CUC

- Fish - TBD

- Coral - TBD

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rev138

I'm not sure I follow the reason why you're replacing the cartridge with a piece of acrylic. Care to elaborate?

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GMan

Picked up the BioCube 8 at the LFS.

 

Placed and received an order from F&S containing miscellaneous stuff ... pumps, heaters, floss, chems, etc.

 

Placed an order with nanocustoms ... Chris was excellent to work with! Chris was able to get me a complete OEM setup for the lights from plug to endcap. I also picked up the fans and bulbs.

 

I'm not sure I follow the reason why you're replacing the cartridge with a piece of acrylic. Care to elaborate?

 

The solid acrylic barrier essentailly splits chamber 1 into two chambers 1a (overflow intake) and 1b (chemical filtration). Therefore the entire flow of water will flow through the chemical filtration. If I did not put the solid acrylic barrier ... some water would flow through all the chems, some through some of the chems, and some through almost none of the chems.

 

Make sense?

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stallen

Can't wait to see your tank with that TBS LR. :naughtydance: You're going to have all sorts of critters in there. :ninja:

 

I'm not totally following the chamber one mod either. I'm sure I'm just missing something. Seems like if you block of the bottom intake then you won't get any flow through chamber 1. Water will only come in the top intake and go right into chamber 2 leaving almost no flow going through your filter media and heater. And if it's blocked off then why cut vents into that bottom grate since no flow will come in anyway.

 

Please explain??

 

I just removed the bottom grate all together. I can see particulate matter getting sucked into that bottom intake which I think is good for flow in the tank and that chamber.

Edited by stallen

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GMan

First observations ...

 

I removed everything from the chambers and hooked up the stock pump. All looked good and no leaks :)

 

Pulled the stock pump and hooked up the MJ900. The flow was considerably higher and the water volume in tank was raised all the way to the rim of the tank ... yikes!

 

I see two possible solutions ... increase flow from chamber 1 to chamber 2 OR use a smaller pump than a MJ900.

 

The overflow wall between chambers 1 and 2 is notched only about half way across the wall. I see two options for increasing flow between chambers 1 and 2 ... Make the notch wider or deeper. If I went wider I would have to forgo the split of chamber 1, so I'm going to make the notch deeper.

 

Another interesting observation was that in my tests it appeared that blocking the lower intake slots appeared to have no affect on the flow through the chambers.

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GMan

Chamber 1 modifications explained ... a picture is worth a thousands words?

 

post-24845-1168274035_thumb.jpg

 

I know it is a lame graphic, but hopefully is gets the point across.

Edited by GMan

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rev138

Aha! Now I gotcha. :)

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trob

I'd really like to see how that +18W mod turns out. Are you going to add more air vents or just keep the one in one out setup? Please take some picks if you get a chance.

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GMan
Aha! Now I gotcha. :)

:)

 

I'd really like to see how that +18W mod turns out. Are you going to add more air vents or just keep the one in one out setup? Please take some picks if you get a chance.

It should be an interesting adventure. I wasn't planning on modifying the venting as in stallen's threads, and I was planning follow the stock configuration of one fan blowing in and the other blowing out. I will take and post picks of things that I do differently from stallen's post.

 

Can't wait to see your tank with that TBS LR. :naughtydance: You're going to have all sorts of critters in there. :ninja:

I love the TBS philosophy and all the potential hitchhikers. I have read some horror stories about struggles to remove all the bad hitchhikers and having the rock picked clean :scarry:

 

I am starting to waffle a little and could use some success stories to bolster my confidence :unsure:

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stallen

Premium aquatics has excellent LR from what I understand. It's probably a little safer from a bad hitchhiker standpoint.

 

Your graphic explaination of your chamber 1 mod explains it, but it looks like you changed your mind about blocking the bottom intake. That was the part I was struggling with, but I suppose it would still work even if you blocked it.

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rev138

If the lower intake isn't blocked, I don't think there'd be a lot of current through the upper intake -- path of least resistance and all that.

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GMan

Some minor progress ...

 

Fuge light

I found a 13w PC portable shop light for $9.99. I was able take it apart and reassemble into an enclosure similar to stallen's and also make it with a remote switch/ballast. I also Lined the rim of the enclosure with velcro.

 

Here are a few pics ...

 

post-24845-1168403267_thumb.jpgpost-24845-1168403301_thumb.jpg

 

Chamber Modification

I used my trusty Dremel to grind of the small inner rim around the back chambers. I just needed to make a small opening for my chamber 1 mod, but decided to remove it all the way around for a little extra working room.

 

Another pic ...

 

post-24845-1168403547_thumb.jpg

 

Still waiting on other parts to arrive.

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GMan

Sorry all for lack of updates ... been busy lately with both life and this project. Here is the lastest ...

 

Finished my chamber 1 mods by adding the barrier explained earlier in the thread and widened the notch between chambers 1 and 2. Here is a picture ...

 

post-24845-1169683261_thumb.jpg

 

Finished my circulation system. I decided to go with three pumps. Two Mini-Jet 606's side by side in the bottom of chamber three, and a Maxi-Jet 900 on a closed loop. I will drive these with the Natural Wave wavemaking powerstrip. For those that know this power strip ... it allows you to adjustment the timing of three pumps and based on the time setting switches pumps in this order 1,2,1&3,2&3,1,2,etc. This way one of the Mini-Jets is always running and the Maxi-Jet runs sometimes. I'm using Loc-Line spray bars for the outputs of the Mini-Jets and standard Loc-Line on the CLS for Maxi-Jet. This would be WAY to lengthy to explain, so I'm going to post pictures and answer questions ...

 

Closed Loop ...

 

post-24845-1169683801_thumb.jpgpost-24845-1169683835_thumb.jpg

post-24845-1169683859_thumb.jpgpost-24845-1169683881_thumb.jpg

post-24845-1169683934_thumb.jpgpost-24845-1169683955_thumb.jpg

 

This was an exetremely tight fit into chamber three, but I was able to construct it so that it can be added and removed fairly easily. This uses the stock outlet as the inlet to the CLS. The Maxi-Jet sits out of the water in chamber 3 and thus should add very little heat to the system.

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rev138

What is the function of a closed loop?

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GMan

Chamber Output ...

 

Since I used the stock outlet as an input to my CLS ... I needed to go over the chamber edge with these outlets. As I mentioned above I'm using Loc-Line spray bars. Here are the tubes I created to connect the pumps to the spray bars and a couple pics of the spray bars

 

post-24845-1169684722_thumb.jpgpost-24845-1169684742_thumb.jpgpost-24845-1169684765_thumb.jpg

 

Here are a couple pictures of the circulation all hooked up ...

 

post-24845-1169684826_thumb.jpgpost-24845-1169684856_thumb.jpg

 

What is the function of a closed loop?

Just additional circulation. It is called a "closed loop" because all it does is pull water from the tank and pushes it back in ... no other opening. Make sense?

Edited by GMan

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stallen

Wow :o That's pimped out!

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GMan
Wow :o That's pimped out!

I warned you that I was a circulation nut! :eek:

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stallen

I'm curious what kind of fittings you used to get the MJ's input and output to fit into those elbows. Also how did you fit the loc-line into that "T"?

 

image000552li.jpg

 

Hmmm also... why didn't you put this pump in upside down? Seems like you could have reduced the number of elbows used which would result in less resistance and more flow.

Edited by stallen

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GMan

The elbows are all CPVC. The black is tubing 1/2"ID 5/8" OD. The tubing fits nicely into the CPVC, although I did use PVC primer and cement on those connections.

 

I'm curious what kind of fittings you used to get the MJ's input and output to fit into those elbows."?

The MJ output slides into the tubing and held in place by a zip tie. The MJ input was wrapped with teflon tape and pressure fit directly into the CPVC. Since all these connections are inside chamber 3 ... they do not need to be completely leak free, although they do not seem to leak.

 

Also how did you fit the loc-line into that "T"?

The MPT/Loc-line fitting fits snuggly into the CPVC T. It is held and sealed with some silicone.

 

Hmmm also... why didn't you put this pump in upside down? Seems like you could have reduced the number of elbows used which would result in less resistance and more flow.

This is complicated, but basically I tried it that way first and couldn't get everything to fit.

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stallen

So when do you get your LR so you can fire this puppy up?

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GMan

Lighting/Cooling Mods ...

 

I completed the lighting and fan upgrade very similar to that in stallen's post. Add 18w 50/50 PC and Silenx 60mmx25mm fans. Here are the results ...

 

post-24845-1169695435_thumb.jpgpost-24845-1169695459_thumb.jpgpost-24845-1169695480_thumb.jpgpost-24845-1169695505_thumb.jpg

 

The only deviations that I'm aware of are:

- I use OEM ballast/wiring/endcaps obtained from nanocustoms

- I cut away the corner on both fans. This allowed to mount one corner of the fans using the original screws and original mount. Two of the other three corners of the fans are held by zip ties.

- I left the fans in a stock arrangement of one blowing in and one blowing out.

- I left the heat shield/fan cover stock.

- I made no other mods to the hood like the custom venting seen in Robster and stallen posts. I plan to obtain to light meter and follow Robster's techniques to maximize light output by controling fans and vents.

 

So when do you get your LR so you can fire this puppy up?

:wacko: I swear this project is taking years off my life waiting for the completion of all these mods! :wacko:

 

My current project is DIY controller. It is basically a box with a bunch of outlets/timers/switches to act as the electric brain of the system.

 

I need to finish that and an auto-top off and I think I'm done for awhile ... I will likely fire her up and start cycling while completing these two projects.

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trob
Lighting/Cooling Mods ...

 

I completed the lighting and fan upgrade very similar to that in stallen's post. Add 18w 50/50 PC and Silenx 60mmx25mm fans. Here are the results ...

 

Nice job, I really like your attention to stay as close as possible to the stock look. I'm really interested to see how the temperature will do with your setup. Have you plugged it in to test out your work? Can you tell any noticeable difference in the amount of noise being generated by the fans? Also what did you do as far as bulb selection?

 

After seeing your work I think I'm going to order another light kit by the end of the week. My tank has been running about a month with the 2.18 factory setup so I'm sure it will be a noticeable difference to upgrade to 3.18.

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stallen
Lighting/Cooling Mods ...

 

I need to finish that and an auto-top off and I think I'm done for awhile ... I will likely fire her up and start cycling while completing these two projects.

 

I'd hold off on the ATO for awhile. I top off like 6-8oz a week! Hardly even worth it. If you are doing weekly waterchanges you might not need to top-off at all.

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rev138
If you are doing weekly waterchanges you might not need to top-off at all.

 

I don't follow your logic.

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