Chyendra

Chyendra's 45 Gallon Cube

238 posts in this topic

Background

So with my history of tank shape selections (flatback hex, bowfront, hexagon...) a cube with 3 visible sides is clearly the best choice for my new system. (links to my old systems.. some don't have picture any more :(5g flatback hex, 7g Bowfront, 30g Hex)

 

The Tank

  • 45 gallon Marineland Perfecto reef ready cube
  • 24"x24"18" - I love this footprint and the height provides great light penetration
  • black trim and silicon - so classy
  • Custom mahogany stand and canopy- if I could do this again, I would have made the stand larger in order to accommodate a bigger sump below
  • poorly designed overflow (see notes below)

The overflow is poorly designed. Very poorly designed. It makes a very loud sucking noise if used as is.

See page 4 for my first attempt at redoing the plumbing on this tank - basically a durso stand pipe design using only the top bulkhead and capping off the bottom bulkhead. This was.. ok for a while, but leaked and produced a lot of bubbles in the sump. I had to dial back my return pump with this design, which I didn't like. It also didn't have a fail safe in case the drain clogged.

 

See page 10 with pictures of my new design, which is a herbie style using the top bulkhead as the main drain at full siphon with a gate valve to control the overflow box water level, and using the bottom drain as a back-up. This design is MUCH superior! very quiet, no bubbles, and no worries if the main drain clogs. HOWEVER I still do not recommend this tank as working in the tiny overflow box was VERY difficult. We had to replace the bulkheads and slice PVC pipes to get them to fit. I wouldn't recommend attempting this modification if you have no experience with plumbing (like me). A very experienced friend of mine did most of the work and I'm very grateful for that :)

 

If I could go back, I would have had a larger custom stand made so that I could fit a bigger sump below. See page 7 for my 10 gallon sump design.

 

 

Equipment

  • Light: 250w MH retrofit kit w/ 14k Phoenix bulb and ARO ballast, 2x24w T5HO w/ Tek reflectors (1xATI Blue Plus bulb in front and 1 coralife 10,000K bulb in back)
  • Return pump: Mag-drive 9.5 (950gph) into 3/4" SCWD with a dual return
  • Flow: MP10 and koralia 1
  • Skimmer: Aqua C Remora
  • Heater: Via Aqua (very nice heater)
  • Controller: Reef Keeper Lite - Monitors temp, ph & sump water level. Controls heater, Metal Halide, Auto top-off & Kalkwasser dosing.
  • Chemical media: Two Little Fishies Phosban reactor with Bulk Reef Supply GFO, ROX carbon in a bag.
  • Auto-top off: Tom's aqua lifter controlled with RKL
  • Dosing: Randy's recipe 1 Two-part via BRS 1.1ml/min doser

 

Natural Filtration

  • 25lbs of live rock in main display
  • 30lbs (1" sand bed) coarse aragonite
  • Refugium with chaeto, gracillia, and caleurpa

 

Chemistry

  • Specific Gravity: 1.026 (Refractometer)
  • Temp: 79F - 83F (metal halide turns off at 83F (RKL)
  • pH: 8.1-8.4 (RKL)
  • Nitrate: 0.5-1ppm (Salifert)
  • Phosphate: <0.03 (Salifert)
  • Calcium: 480ppm (Salifert)
  • Magnesium: 1600ppm (Salifert)
  • Alkalinity: 10.0-11.0dkh (Hanna checker)

 

 

Current Livestock

Inverts

  • Snails: Zig Zag Periwinkles, dwarf ceriths, Nassarius, Nerites, florida ceriths
  • Urchin: Pink & Purple Pin Cushion Urchin
  • Crabs: 3 Emerald crabs, 4 scarlet hermit, 6 blueleg hermit, and 1 white somthing hermit
  • RBTA
  • Starfish - pink serpent start, grey serpent start
  • Peppermint Shrimp

 

Fish

  • Tank-bred Banggai cardinal fish
  • Black and white Ocellaris
  • Purple firefish
  • Carpenter Flasher Wrasse

 

Coral

  • Softies:
    - Ricordia: Orange, Lime Green w/pink mouth, blue w/ green mouth
    - Zoas: Eagle eyes, Radioactive Dragon Eyes, Red something, green somthing... African blue with yellow ring, Blue demons, aquaman blues
    - purple PS gorgonian
    - GSP
    - blue clove polyps
  • LPS
    - Candycane (trumpets) - Pale blue/lilac, teal, lime green
    - Lobo: Warhead Lobophyllia
    - Cynaria: red
    - Scroll coral: Yellow
    - Pagoda cup coral: green
    - Acans: purple/teal, orange &teal, red & teal.
    - Chalice: teal/pink, dark purple
    - Favia: Dragon soul Prism Favia
    - Short Tentacled plate coral: Metallic orange
    - purple/maroon Symphyllia (closed brain)
  • SPS
    - Yellow Monti
    - Purple/blue monti
    - blue tip thing... (pearlberry?)
    - green Monti
    - Purple encrusting monti
    - Pink Polifora (SP?)
    - Orange monticap
    - Steve Elias Blue Staghorn
    - Pink Table Milli
    - Metalic green Milli
    - Tricolor Acro
    - Pink birdsnest
    - Rainbow encrusting monti
  • NPS
    - Sun polyps

 

FTS

09/02/10

12/30/10

01/17/11

02/22/11

06/26/11

09/13/11

12/04/11

01/24/12

05/23/12

 

Most current FTS (05/23/12) Page 12

DSC_0237.jpg

 

My tank log: http://www.aquaticlog.com/showcase/dashboard?aquariumId=482

Edited by Chyendra

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Whole Set-up

AquariumSM.jpg

Front

FrontSM.jpg

Left Side

LeftSideSM.jpg

Right Side

RightSidesm.jpg

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Thanks! I can't wait for the rock to color up. In my old tank, nearly all the rock and glass bottom was covered in corraline

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wow.great start!i love the scape too!

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that is one sweet looking tank you have there Chy, loving it.

Love how your lighting brings out your corals.

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Some highlights of new corals

 

 

My BC Ocellaris loves her new anemone! I've always wanted a BW clown and a rose bubble tip together :) I think the Cardinals want to host it too :)

Keikinemesmall2.jpg

KeikoNemesmall.jpg

Keikocardinalsnemesmall.jpg

 

Radioactive Dragon Eyes and Purple Hornets (I think??)

Zoassmall.jpg

I don't know what zoas these are, but they are bright! I'm trying to get a mix of the red and green zoas to grow up the front of my LR together. they look pretty next to each other

redZoasmall.jpg

Pagoda Cup coral - this guys was teal when I got it and it's brighten up a lot more than I expected! I hope it grows :)

Pangotacupsmall.jpg

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looking good... i really like the footprint looks really nice keep up the good work....

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Looking good! I like the bta and clown pic.

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Err... what happened to the HEX? have link to story?

 

A Mag 9 as a return for a 45? how big is the sump? Seriously 950 GPH is hell of a lot in a small water volume. Could be your micro-bubble problem.

 

Thinking... > the overflow design is a big part in the bubble equation.

 

 

I run a Mag 9 as a return for my 125.

 

I suppose being on a squid helps tame the flow. Are you trying to go power-headless; Super clean display?

 

But then you have the remote temp sensor sticking on the left side. Hm... Move that to the sump?

 

BTW Just throwing out ideas. Great looking tank. I'm with you with the tank side cleaning misery. 4 sides is better than six... lol

Edited by Rocket

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Hey Rocket!

 

I loved my hex, but I moved this summer and thought it was a good time to upgrade. My corals were growing into each other and shading each other. I wanted a more open feel and I wanted to be able to clean the glass! It was just getting too tight in the hex. I also wanted a sump for my new tank so that I could... yes, keep a cleaner display. The temp probe has been moved to the sump.

 

I LOVE the flow in this tank. I love not having any powerheads, and not worrying about my anemone getting chopped up. I love having lots of flow in the tank, and I think the coral and fish enjoy it too. The sand isn't getting blown around, so it's not TOO much flow. Just right :) in my old tank, my SPS grew the most when I had two powerheads pointed at each other to make random flow and so I'm hoping they will really like the SQWD flow.

 

This brand of tank probably has the worse overflow design, but I tweaked it and it's working for me. Right now I just have a crap-shoot of a sump design... rubber maid container with a loose sheet of acrylic blocking the overflow drain from the rest of the sump, which is helping with the tiny bubble problem. My heater, skimmer, phosban reactor, and more LR live in the sump.

Over winterbreak I'm planning on building a real sump. Unfortunately it's only going to be 10 gallons because thats the only size that will fit in the stand (stupid stupid stupid... if you're going to have a custom stand build... Make it big enough to hold the size sump you want!!!)

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New corals!!

 

Started getting the itch to get some SPS back in my tank and give them a try again. I lost mine in the move :(

 

These pics are under my 12k reeflux bulb w/ 2x15w actinic t5s (my Phoenix died on me)

 

Freebies from a local reefer :)

These are a yellow/green Milli and a blue tip monti

DSC_0533.jpg

He couldn't remember what color these were... I hope they color up so I can find out!

DSC_0535.jpg

Love love love! this encrusting monti. It looks just like a coral I wanted to steal from Hawaii when i was snorkeling.

DSC_0519.jpg

a new green candy cane to go with my teal and lavender ones. It's a candy land!

DSC_0514.jpg

 

 

These are from the $10 section on Mr. Coral.com. It ended up costing me about $15 per frag with shipping.

Love this acan!

DSC_0527.jpg

Love this one too! it has specks of teal and green :)

DSC_0526.jpg

DSC_0493.jpg

Love this zoa! it's a pretty teal, but only 1 head is open so far

DSC_0512.jpg

bright green monti

DSC_0507.jpg

Freebie!

DSC_0496.jpg

I'm a little disappointed with this frag. It's supposed to be a "blue-eye demon" and It looks like it has a blue center with a red skirt in pics, but it's really more like a grey center with a brown skirt

DSC_0511.jpg

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Ok... Here's my lighting dilemma... I could use some advice.

 

My tank has a 24" by 24" footprint and is 17" tall.

Right now I have a 150w HQI fixture w/ electronic ballast and 2x 15w T5 actinics (stock bulbs)

I've used a 150w Pheonix 14k in the past, but didn't like it because I got NO growth and the colors were just so so...

I have a 12K reeflux right now, which looks more 10k. Colors are just so so and I'm waiting to see if it gives me more growth or not.

 

I have less than $100 to spend to "upgrade" my system.

 

Option A: Buy a new MH bulb (thinking Aqualine AB 16k or Ushio 20K)

Option B: Buy a used T5 fixture w/ 2x 24w bulbs (probably 1 true actinic and 1 blue of some sort) to supplement the color on my 12k reeflux and hope that my reefulx will actually grow my SPS better than my phoenix did.

Option C: Buy a used ARO 250w MH hellolight retrofit kit that comes with a unknown 20K bulb and wait until after christmas to install it into my new canopy?

 

Questions... Which combo will give me a good balance of growth and color in my SPS?

All my water params are in line to have good growth but I think my lighting is holding me back.

Ca:440-450

Alk:9-10

Phos:O

SG: 1.025

Temp: 78-79

Nitrate: 5ppm (working on lowering this)

Edited by Chyendra

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Just got a new critter!!

 

Pink Pin Cushion Urchin! Lytechinus vaniegatus

I'll post some pics tomorrow. I love my blue tuxedo urchin so much and he seems to be very happy and healthy, so I'm hopeful that this one will be content as well.

 

She(it) is light pink with purple tips :)

 

UPDATE!! here's some pics

DSC_0505-1.jpg

DSC_0506.jpg

Edited by Chyendra

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Love my new Urchin :) She's doing fabulous.

 

So I've had this nasty hair algae outbreak for about a month now, and I know its pretty much because I've been doing basically nothing to maintain my tank for the 3 month prior.

 

My phosphates are 0 (according to my crappy API test)

and my Nitrates are somewhere between 0 and 10 (again, API isn't really as sensitive as well need it to be)

 

first of all... I hate sand... now I remember why my first 2 tanks were bare bottom. At any rate however, I drilled my rocks to an acrylic sheet and I don't want to see it, so I'm going to keep the sand to cover up the acrylic.

But sand is such a PITA to siphon.. and nasty algae grows on it...

 

I've done 2 50% water changes in the last 2 wks and it's not really done anything to stop the GHA, so I'm taking a new approach.

 

I forgot that i used to take a turkey baster and blow the junk off my rocks in my old tank... I don't know why I have been forgetting to do it in this tank too.

 

New Maintenance plan...

 

Everyday: Observe coral and fish, Feed fish (alternate between flake, mysis and cyclopeeze), top-off if needed

 

Every 3 days: dose alk.

 

Every week: Test Alk, Ca, Nitrate, & Phosphates (as least until I get the algae under control), blast junk off rocks, Feed LPS and anemone, clean skimmer cup. Dose Ca if needed.

 

Every 2 weeks: Blast sand and rocks with turkey baster, Scrub algea off rocks (if needed), put a micron filter over drain to collect debris, do 30% water change (20gal) and siphon as much crap out of the sand bed as possible.

 

Over the holidays I'm hoping to work on my sump... it's just one big chamber right now, but I'm going to set it up so that my protein skimmer and heater are in the first chamber (with the drain from the tank), have a fuge w/ chaeto & LR in the middle chamber, bubble trap, and my return pump and Phosban reactor in the last chamber.

 

I'll try to get a sketch made up....

 

This is my battle algae plan of attack

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Looking great, I had an urchin like that in my bc29. kept picking up snails, crabs, corals and everything that would stick to it. Never did touch my GHA so back to the lfs. Now I am looking for a small long spined urchin.

 

good luck

gg

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Yeah, I have to glue everything down to keep my Tuxedo from picking up my frags and wandering off with them. I lost my blue zoas that way :(

 

for the past couple months my tuxedo urchin has been wearing my Halimeda , which is totally win-win-win b/c it keeps him from picking up other stuff, my plant doesn't float away into the overflow, and it actually still grows b/c the urchin is always out in the light :)

 

Right now the pink urchin has an eagle eye frag, but I'm not so concerned b/c I have several frags and it grows way faster than I need it to.

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So I decided to upgrade to a 250w MH retrofit kit. It will be a month or so before I have my canopy and the lights set-up but I'm so excited!

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Love my new Urchin :) She's doing fabulous.

 

So I've had this nasty hair algae outbreak for about a month now, and I know its pretty much because I've been doing basically nothing to maintain my tank for the 3 month prior.

 

My phosphates are 0 (according to my crappy API test)

and my Nitrates are somewhere between 0 and 10 (again, API isn't really as sensitive as well need it to be)

 

first of all... I hate sand... now I remember why my first 2 tanks were bare bottom. At any rate however, I drilled my rocks to an acrylic sheet and I don't want to see it, so I'm going to keep the sand to cover up the acrylic.

But sand is such a PITA to siphon.. and nasty algae grows on it...

 

I've done 2 50% water changes in the last 2 wks and it's not really done anything to stop the GHA, so I'm taking a new approach.

 

I forgot that i used to take a turkey baster and blow the junk off my rocks in my old tank... I don't know why I have been forgetting to do it in this tank too.

 

New Maintenance plan...

 

Everyday: Observe coral and fish, Feed fish (alternate between flake, mysis and cyclopeeze), top-off if needed

 

Every 3 days: dose alk.

 

Every week: Test Alk, Ca, Nitrate, & Phosphates (as least until I get the algae under control), blast junk off rocks, Feed LPS and anemone, clean skimmer cup. Dose Ca if needed.

 

Every 2 weeks: Blast sand and rocks with turkey baster, Scrub algea off rocks (if needed), put a micron filter over drain to collect debris, do 30% water change (20gal) and siphon as much crap out of the sand bed as possible.

 

Over the holidays I'm hoping to work on my sump... it's just one big chamber right now, but I'm going to set it up so that my protein skimmer and heater are in the first chamber (with the drain from the tank), have a fuge w/ chaeto & LR in the middle chamber, bubble trap, and my return pump and Phosban reactor in the last chamber.

 

I'll try to get a sketch made up....

 

This is my battle algae plan of attack

 

have you considered running some GFO (phosphates test at 0, but API phosphate kit doesn't test for all phosphates -- and, in any event, if you have algae, you have phosphates)? what about culturing chaeto in your sump?

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I am running GFO (Phosban reactor) I have been for about a month.

 

When I redesign my sump later this month, I will make room for a fuge so hopefully getting some Chaeto growing will help :)

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how about hungry turbo snails?

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So I've been hair algae free for 2 weeks now... Phew!! I think that a bunch of junk had just built up in my rocks and sand.

 

5 Easy steps to a hair algea free aquarium.

 

1. put a filter sock on your drain, use a turkey baster to blow all the junk off the rocks and out of the sand into the water. Let the tank filter it out for you and do it again... and again..

2. while the filter sock is removing detris from the water, take a toothbrush and scrub as much of the hair algea off your rocks as possible. use your baster to blast is off the rocks into the drain so it gets caught in the filter sock... do it again.. and again..

3. Remove filter sock and clean it (ewww it should be filled with lots of junk) DON'T leave it in your tank for your bacteria to turn into nitrate!! yuck!

4. do at least a 30% water change at least once a week, besure to suck the junk out of your sand bed!

5. reduce your light cycle to 5 hours a day for a week.

 

 

This is basically what I did... I won't be doing such big water changes any more... but I do like my "stir up the junk and let it filter" technique. It's cheap and easy!

 

 

In light of not having hair algae anymore, I'm going to take a new FTS... hopefully tonight!

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New FTS 12/30/10 (this is with my 12k reflux and 2x T5 actinics)

 

Front

DSC_0753.jpg

Right side

DSC_0762.jpg

Left Side

DSC_0763.jpg

I'm still loving this Acan... the color is fantastic

DSC_0727.jpg

my candycane garden... plus zoas :)

DSC_0725.jpg

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