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urbaneks

12g and 28g Nano-Cube – Upgraded Media Basket

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urbaneks

Introduction

I started up my 28g Nano-Cube back in November of 2009. Overall I’m very happy with my decision to purchase the Nano-Cube. When I was making the decision between tanks, I had a couple of concerns. One was heat and the other was cost. While I use to have several fish only tanks and owned an aquarium maintenance business, I had left the hobby more than 15 years ago. This would be my first ever reef tank I wanted to keep the cost at a minimum while I determined if my schedule and life would support a reef tank long term. As I mentioned my considerations were heat and cost, I did not give filtration much of a thought.

 

After getting the tank setup, one of my first observations was that the stock media basket did not handle the entire water column as it hit the media basket. While my first instinct told me this was a flaw, I figured that it must be good enough. As the tank ran, I just could not get the floating particles in the water to go away. Filter floss, sponges, etc, were added to the media basket, rinsed and replaced a couple times a week. After 2 months with filter floss, still not much improvement to the floating particles. While I kept coming back to the undersized media basket I could not find a product on line that would replace the stock media basket.

 

That is when I made the decision to make this a DIY project. I did as much reading as possible. Stevie T’s DIY thread was very helpful. It was here that I discovered the evolution in glues that he used for his media baskets. I finally found a plastic supply company close to my home that sold the acrylic and plastic weld needed to get started.

 

Build%201.jpg

IPS Weldon 4, 1/8” Acrylic and Egg Create

 

After several proto types, I quickly learned what a pain in the butt this project was really going to be. Because of the lip on the back of the tank as well as the overhang on the overflow the amount of room to work with in the back chamber is very limited. I made 3 different baskets before I found one that would handle the volume of water entering the middle chamber. That was the birth of the Pure-Nano, named after my pursuit to have the purest water possible in my reef tank.

 

Build%206.jpg

The Pure-Nano

 

I’ve been running the Pure-Nano in my tank for 2 weeks now. I am running Filter Floss in the top, Phosban in the middle and Chemi-Pure Elite in the bottom. My tank has never looked better and finally, no more particles floating around the tank!!! Since the original post, I've made a new basket for my 12g Nano Cube as well. This allows you to use a media basket in chamber 1 vs. using the stock sponges.

 

To Build or To Buy - That is the Question?

After completing this project my first instinct was immediately to start building and selling them. After all, if the improvement was good for me why wouldn’t everyone want one in their Nano-Cube. After thinking twice, I felt that I needed to share this as I would not have been able to build it if it weren’t for the open sharing that has been created on Nano-Reef.com. Below you will find my build notes and process. If you decide that you want to build one yourself you should be equipped with the knowledge to do so.

 

Key Build Notes

For those of you that want to build your own media basket it is key to have a table saw with a very fine saw blade. I attempted to cut the acrylic by scoring the plastic and snapping the pieces. Because the back chamber is so tight, your cuts must be perfect in order to have a basket that slides directly down the rear chamber. A saw blade with at least 60 teeth is necessary to cut the acrylic without splintering the edges.

 

The plastic weld used to adhere the pieces together can be difficult to work with. The IPS Weldon 4 is water thin which makes applying it difficult. Imagine applying water to the edges of acrylic without it running over the edges and melting the areas of plastic that you don’t want to glue. An applicator which is pictured in the first photo is an absolute must for doing this project. This allows you to apply very small amounts so that the weld does not run. The weld does not work like most glues, this actually melts a small layer of each piece of acrylic which forms a very strong bond.

 

I chose to use 1/8” acrylic. Anything thicker than this will cut down on the allowable area to pull water into the media basket. Anything thinner would be to flimsy and make for an inferior product.

 

The egg crate is nothing special; I bought mine a Home Depot. It can be found in the lighting section. Unfortunately, they only sell a huge sheet of it. The cost is about $12 which will give you enough egg crate to make about 50 media baskets.

 

Summary of Costs

Sheet of 1/8” Acrylic - $11

Can of IPS Weldon 4 - $15

Sheet of Egg Crate - $12

 

The Build Process

Step 1 – Glue the first 2 out of 3 pieces that make up the basket clips. These will be what holds your media basket in place and prevent it from falling down into the middle chamber.

Build%202.jpg

 

Step 2 – Glue the 3rd and final piece that will make up the media basket clips. When completed you will have 2 clips. Set these aside until they are used later in the build process.

Build%203.jpg

 

Step 3 – Glue the egg crate to the back wall of the media basket. These will serve as your media shelves.

Build%204.jpg

 

Step 4 – Glue the front wall of the media basket in place.

Build%205.jpg

 

Step 5 – Glue the Media Basket Clips into place. At this point you have a finished media basket. Not pictured here but I have added a handle across the top which makes pulling the media basket out of the chamber easier.

Build%206.jpg

 

Here is a photo of the Media Basket for the 12g Nano Cube

12gDX2.jpg

Edited by RayWhisperer

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Scott Riemer

So basically you copied an idea and copied someone's methods, now you want to compete with him. Seems to me we have a vendor who manufactures and sells media racks and pays to be a site sponsor to sell them.

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urbaneks
So basically you copied an idea and copied someone's methods, now you want to compete with him. Seems to me we have a vendor who manufactures and sells media racks and pays to be a site sponsor to sell them.

 

I don't think I'm competing with Stevie T as he does not make a media basket for the 28g Nano. I attempted to buy one from In-Tank and anyone else out there that might make one. What I found was that no one was making an upgraded basket for this tank. As a result I decided to build myself. I have no intentions of making media baskets for all tanks. I made one for mine and in doing so ended up with extra glue, acrylic and egg crate. I'd simply like to recoup some of the money I put into supplies.

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Scott Riemer

Steve can speak for himself, but I would guess he is already in the R&D stage of developing one for that tank. The point is, this ceased being a DIY thread when you made the offer to sell them.

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racerfreak

IMO I think urbaneks made a great DIY for something no one offered. I know that's what SteveT did and if he gets upset then he is being a hypocrite. He has not said he is mass marketing these, just offering to make these for people (like me) who don't have the tools to do this DIY. Also I doubt he uses all the acrylic and weld-on and egg crate for just 1 of these. Most people wouldn't even consider making a DIY for someone without charging an arm and a leg too.

Edited by racerfreak

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willp2

Any pics of it installed? Is there still room behind the basket for the Nano-Glo magnet if using the Nano glow light?

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urbaneks
Any pics of it installed? Is there still room behind the basket for the Nano-Glo magnet if using the Nano glow light?

 

As long as the magnet does not extend past the lip of your tank it will still work for you.

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ppericfe

seem like a good idea.i want one and put cheato in the middle chamber

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urbaneks

I want to thank all of you that have inquired about the upgraded media basket. A few of the common questions I'm getting are;

 

Q: Can you fit chaeto in the center chamber?

A: In the current configuration each chamber in the basket is about 3" tall. This is the same size as the stock basket. You can fit a ball of chaeto but you will need to trim it regularly.

 

Q: Will a full size chemi-pure elite fit in the media basket better than the stock basket?

A: I must say that with the current configuration it's a squeeze to get the chemi-pure in just as it is in the stock basket. I'm in the process of making a 2nd revision that will have the 2nd and 3rd chambers larger which will leave a smaller top chamber. This will still allow for plenty of room for filter floss but expand chamber 2 and 3 to allow more room for chemi-pure and chaeto. I'll post a picture tomorrow when it's completed.

 

Q: Will the magnet from the JBJ fuge light still fit in the center chamber with the new media basket?

A: As long as your magnet does not extend beyond the lip of the tank, it will fit both the media basket and the magnet.

 

I will be shipping 2 media baskets out to Nano-Reef Members tomorrow. These were the first 2 who wanted to buy a basket. I'm shipping them one at shipping only cost in an effort to get some additional feedback posted here. Stay tuned for some additional feedback from someone other than myself.

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urbaneks

I mentioned in an earlier post that I created a 2nd revision of the media basket which makes the 2nd and 3rd chambers larger by taking some of the space from chamber 1. This revision will make growing chaeto in chamber 2 better and allow for easier installation of chemi-pure into chamber 3.

 

The photo below shows both media baskets next to one another. You can see the chamber size difference in the photo.

 

rev2.jpg

Second Revision on the left and Original on the right

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willp2

Looks pretty cool. I like the extra space.

 

There are no sides on these right? If thats the case, any problems with keeping the chaeto or other media in place over time? I know that in my stock basket chaeto still wants to bust out all the time.

 

On the Nano-glo magnet, it does stick out past the back wall at least 1/4" if not a bit more.

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urbaneks
Looks pretty cool. I like the extra space.

 

There are no sides on these right? If thats the case, any problems with keeping the chaeto or other media in place over time? I know that in my stock basket chaeto still wants to bust out all the time.

 

On the Nano-glo magnet, it does stick out past the back wall at least 1/4" if not a bit more.

 

That is correct on the sides. The sides of the middle chamber become the sides of the media basket. As for chaeto growing wild, I can not answer that as I've never used it in my tank. I current use filter floss, phosban and chemi-pure elite. I was running phosban before I added chemi-pure. Once my phosban hits the 3 month mark I plan on putting chaeto in chamber 2.

 

I've just been running the media basket for a couple weeks now so I really have limited feedback. I'm sending 2 out tomorrow so hopefully we will have some other feedback posted here soon.

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Midnightsun

Could you please post a picture of the basket installed in the tank. Thanks.

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clownfish14

It looks like the water is still falling over the back of the media basket. is it? also how much room is behind the media basket?

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urbaneks

Here are some additional photos of the basket compared to the original basket.

 

This first image is a good comparison for the size difference both height and width of the upgraded basket compared to the original basket. The new basket is much wider than the original which is where most of the extra filter comes from.

 

heightwidth.jpg

 

This second image shows how much larger the new shelves are compared to the original. The larger shelves easily fits the larger (11.74 oz) Chemi-Pure. With the original basket, I had a very hard time fitting the Chemi-Pure into any of the shelves.

 

shelfheight.jpg

Edited by urbaneks

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urbaneks
It looks like the water is still falling over the back of the media basket. is it? also how much room is behind the media basket?

Depending on the size of the power heads and if you are running both at the same time you may get some overflow. If I run the stock power heads with the wave maker (only one pump running at a time) I get no over flow. If I run both power heads at the same time I get a small amount of overflow. See picture below. I've ran my tank for multiple days with and without the wave maker and feel my tank is the cleanest when I'm running both pumps at the same time, which is how its running right now. There is no doubt my tank is cleaner with this new basket. It filters a great deal more water than the original.

 

overflow.jpg

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mbarton2010

copy

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Vesian

I've had a basket from urbaneks for a few days now and I must say that i'm pretty pleased with the results. Whether or not the water flows over the basket now simply depends on how clogged up the filter floss gets. When I add a new peice of floss to the basket, the water is confined to the basket. When it clogges up (changes brown, for the most part), the water backs up slightly and a small amount drains over the edge. I've found that the new basket traps more particles more efficiently and quickly than the stock basket, as well. Well done, urbaneks!

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willp2

The basket looks great! On the stock basket and I assume you can do it on this one, I fill a small media bag with floss (or sometimes carbon) and stick it up top behind the back edge of the media basket and the back of the tank. This forces most water through the basket and the little bit that doesn't go through the basket at least goes through the flooss in the media bag.

 

Doing that with even 2 MJ1200's in the return running all the time gets all the water filtered and sparking clear.. at least for me and it cost maybe 50 cents to do.

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urbaneks
I've had a basket from urbaneks for a few days now and I must say that i'm pretty pleased with the results. Whether or not the water flows over the basket now simply depends on how clogged up the filter floss gets. When I add a new peice of floss to the basket, the water is confined to the basket. When it clogges up (changes brown, for the most part), the water backs up slightly and a small amount drains over the edge. I've found that the new basket traps more particles more efficiently and quickly than the stock basket, as well. Well done, urbaneks!

 

Vesian, thanks for commenting on the new basket. I'm very happy to hear that someone other than myself is enjoying the filtering advantage of the new basket.

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yeast

Good work...Really clean looking.

 

It's a free market.

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racerfreak

I love my basket since the day I got it, I have version 2. There isn't much to filter since my tank is new. I'll let you know how it's working later on. My first impression is that it is simple and does what it was meant to.

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urbaneks
I love my basket since the day I got it, I have version 2. There isn't much to filter since my tank is new. I'll let you know how it's working later on. My first impression is that it is simple and does what it was meant to.

 

Racerfreak, thanks for the post. I'm glad to hear that it's working great for you. It fits like a glove down that chamber doesn't it?

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urbaneks

I wanted to provide a quick update on the Upgraded Media Basket. I've been able to create some different jigs that keep everything square during the gluing. I also have a friend who has a vinyl printer. He was able to make some decals for me which is pictured below.

 

decal1.jpg

Edited by urbaneks

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Scott Riemer
I wanted to provide a quick update on the Upgraded Media Basket. I've made and shipped 7 baskets now and my build process is really getting tight.

Congratulations. Contact Christopher Marks about becoming a Nano-Reef.com Sponsor.

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