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Going to convert a JBJ 24g NanoCube DX to freshwater.


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I inherited my friend's 24g jbj nanocube because he wants to concentrate on his 6g. He had been using it as a coral reef tank. I'm going to use it as a freshwater tank, so I'm going to need to do some conversion work.


I know this isn't a freshwater forum, but it is a nano-cube forum where I think I'll get the best advice since y'all are familiar with the equipment and the marine stuff I'm going to try to clean off.


Here's my plan...


1. Clean it.

All I've done so far is rinse it out with the garden hose, getting all the remaining sand out.


1a. There are some white spots on a lot of the plastic surfaces, though. They're either mineral deposits or baby corals or something (pardon my ignorance... heh). Should I be concerned about these? Will they leech unwanted stuff into a freshwater setup? Here are some pics.







1b. The backdrop plastic is covered in "stuff". The stuff smells like the beach. I actually don't mind the look of the stuff... it's kinda neat. But I'm worried that in a freshwater environment, it will degrade and start looking bad, or leech unwated substances into the water, or both. So I figure I'll clean all of the "stuff" off. I was thinking "stainless steel scouring pad" or "steel wool" maybe with some vinegar or surfactant-free ammonia but I figured I'd ask since this is surely a popular topic here.


Here's a pic of the "stuff".





1c. Once I get all the big chunks off, I was thinking of just running some water/vinegar mix through it for a few days to clean out the pump and whatnot. Good idea or bad idea?



2. Convert it.


2a. The fish I'm going to be keeping want subdued lighting. I want to "downgrade" the stock lighting to something more along the lines of 1.5 watts per gallon, give or take. Plus, I'd like plain-jane light, no 50/50. I want somewhere between 5000k and 7600k. I can google for replacement lamps well enough, I guess, but I want to be sure that running lower-wattage lamps with the stock ballast is appropriate. It occurred to me that maybe the wattage or frequency of the lamps must match the design wattage/frequency of the ballast, and I'd explode something if I Just plugged in any old lamp with a compatible socket. What's the scoop on this?


2b. I figure I might try some kind of coarse foam block on top of a wad of filter floss in the first compartment, then maybe an activated carbon bag and maybe some bio-balls in the second compartment. I'll pose more detailed questions about filtration ideas on a freshwater specific forum so I don't get too off-topic here. But then again, I'm guessing some of you might have FW experience so I thought I'd ask what YOU would do for filtration with a FW cube.



3. Mod it.


3a. Nanocustoms NVM led fix, or maybe a cheaper DIY idea. I'm sure additional searching will reveal a lot since this is probably the nanocube faq to end all faqs.



Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Edited by strawtarget
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  • 2 weeks later...

To get the tank clean just fill it up with hot water and dump in a couple gallons of vinegar with it and let it sit overnight. Most likely in the morning all the stuff on the wall will be completely gone. You could turn the pump on also if you want and the pump will get a good cleaning.


If its not all gone in the morning it will easily rub off at that point. There are no real worries about any of it "contaminating" a freshwater tank.


Also the little white dots everywhere are most likely fan worms and the white stuff all over the wall is coraline algae. Both are made of Calcium which is why the vinegar (low ph) will clean them easily.

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Mattg is right...use lots of vinegar and let it run with the pump for a day or so....drain..rinse...scrub..do it again if required. After its all clean, fill with water...run a day...drain and fill with the water your going to use. One thing...dump the MJ1200 and get a MJ600, most stuff will love the easy flow of the 600. Replace ONE of the lights with a 6700K bulb. I saw a nice planted Nanocube and thats how they had theirs set up. Stocked with Blue Rams, Cory Catfish and Plants...was cool.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the advice. Vinegar did the trick indeed. Amazingly well. :)


Also good call on the lower-flow pump. I picked up an MJ-600 and the flow looks nice and gentle.


I'm now on day 4 of the fishless cycle. Soon I will order some plants. Here's a pic...



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Looking good, keep us updated with pictures. Don't see too many freshwater nanocubes haha.

Edited by jokercykoe
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  • 1 month later...
  • 11 years later...
Dustin mcguire

Hello guys i seriously need some help myself, i have recently bought a jbj 28 gallon nano cube setup all for 50$ now for starters i do not know anything on the salt side of things so i have this being setup and cycling for fresh but its producing algae harder than anything ive ever seen any recommendations

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  • 11 months later...
On 1/14/2019 at 3:54 PM, Dustin mcguire said:

Hello guys i seriously need some help myself, i have recently bought a jbj 28 gallon nano cube setup all for 50$ now for starters i do not know anything on the salt side of things so i have this being setup and cycling for fresh but its producing algae harder than anything ive ever seen any recommendations

get you some snails my friend. im doing a planted nano cube myself. hight light has a lot to do with algae growth. but ive found even with co2 and an obscene amount of algae my nerites have DECIMATED the algae population almost within the WEEK i put them in.thing to look out for though. most snails like harder water so you have to find a happy medium if you have shrimp too. and i still havent cleaned the glass because they have cleaned it till its almost gone.

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  • 1 year later...
Meline Farrell

Hey there i just got a 28G myself and it has a lot of salt built up in the back. I was wondering if soaking will do the trick here too? Also I was wondering were did you find the Mj-600 because I'm going to have my betta sorority along with a few cory-cats in it and they will definitely need a soft water flow 

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