Jump to content
sammy33

Sammy33's 12g AquaPod for Nano Reef Withdrawals

Recommended Posts

sammy33

12g Aquapod Nano Reef

I have been hoarding a 12g AquaPod for several years since I hijacked the tanks included lighting, a 70w Sunpod I used on my 7g MiniBow back in 2007. I took down my 28g Nano Cube HQI back in May of 2009 and have not had a nano reef since. :(

 

In an effort to cure my nano reef withdrawals I am setting up a this tank. I have some softies and LPS I will be slowly moving out of my other tank and this is where they are going.

 

I only have the tank..no lighting. This leaves me open to a new lighting system for this nano project. I am thinking an LED system of some sort. Maybe a PAR38 or two? Aqua Illuminations Nano Sol? Maybe that new Stunner Strip Fixture? Whaddayathink?

 

I have a nice spot picked out on a built-in bookcase. I have some work to do with adding the sand bed and saltwater. I will post more pics after I have some live rock and sand in the tank.

 

12g-day1.jpg

Edited by sammy33

Share this post


Link to post
sammy33

Full Tank Shot

I am not sure which is more fun? Setting up a new nano reef or posting a build thread about it! :lol:

 

Live sand and live rock are in. Still sorting out temp control and gathering parts for an ATO system. Here is the proverbial cloudy tank shot.

12g-day4.jpg

Edited by sammy33

Share this post


Link to post
sammy33

Intake Mod

I did a couple of mods to the Aquapod 12g to improve on the stock configuration. I noticed the intake grills section near the bottom of the tank was probably gonna suck in sand. I covered the intake grills by gluing on a piece of clear acrylic. The piece is now buried under the sandbed and no sand is getting sucked in.

12g-intake-mod.jpg

 

Action in the back

I also shortened the Locline line tubing Y on the output side to make it a bit more stealthy. I also have added a Rio Protein Skimmer. I have used this skimmer before and it worked well for what it is pulling some decent skimmate. We will see how it performs on the Aquapod. I also have a filter bag of carbon in the last section before the pump to help break up the micro bubbles during the skimmer break-in period.

12g-output-mod.jpg

 

Now I just have to wait...patiently...till the ammonia drops. :blink:

Edited by sammy33

Share this post


Link to post
sammy33

Pump Upgrade

Another quick mod or rather upgrade. I swapped out the stock pump for a Maxi-jet 900. The stock pump was 160gph @ 15 watts with the MJ900 pumping 230gph @ only 8.5 watts. More power for less watts. This is a good improvement on the water flow through the tank. It also does not seem to overwhelm the capacity of the flow path through the back compartments. B)

 

12g-maxi-jet-900.jpg

Edited by sammy33

Share this post


Link to post
everl0ng

have you decided on a form of lighting yet?

Share this post


Link to post
sammy33

Hmm? Lighting

I am still looking at lighting options. I saw the new stunner strip LED fixture over at RB. This looks like a very nice medium level LED lighting system. Not much information on this as it has not been released yet but it looks like it is about the right size for my 12g.

 

This fixture has two drivers and supports up to six stunner strips. This allows you to use the blue actinic and the daylight LED's on separate timers to create the dawn/dusk type cycling. Apparently you can choose the color LED's, when you order the fixture, from the four stunner strips that are currently available. The fixture has legs to sit on the tank or you can get it with a mounting arm.

 

I really like the look of this fixture and the option to swap out the stunner strips to customize the light to your taste. Looks like it is going to be around $349 for the setup. LED's are still not cheap! Here is a pic courtesy of Reef Builders.

post-1618-1289152037_thumb.jpg

Edited by sammy33

Share this post


Link to post
sammy33

Almost ready!

The last ammonia test I did came out much darker. The NH3 is dropping! The live rock was used in another tank but I still saw a bit of a cycle here. Just moving the rock has forced nature to do it's thing. Whaddayathink? Can I call it zero yet?

12g-ammonia.jpg

 

Still thinking about lighting

I have some temporary lighting on the tank but am only running it for just a couple hours a day to avoid a massive algae bloom. The stunner strip fixture I mentioned in my last post is not going to be around until probably the first week in December. I think I will be ready for corals in the next week or two so I will have to wait if I want to use that light.

 

I think I may simply try a PAR38 in the meantime? :unsure:

 

This tank will have mostly softies and maybe some LPS so I will not need tons of light. I would like some measure of control over color which a single PAR38 will not provide but I think the light will be sufficient for this tank. May have to do two of them...one blue and one 12K + two light timers? Hmm?

 

Oh this is truly the fun part of nano reefing! I love all the toys in this hobby. B)

Edited by sammy33

Share this post


Link to post
sammy33

Trying PAR38 LED's

I don't think I can wait any longer. That stunner LED fixture is not going to be around soon and I am ready to move corals into this tank. I am going to order an Ecoxotic PAR38 12k to start. (Nanotuners is sold out).

ecoxotic-par38-12k-t.jpg

 

The light coverage with a single PAR38 lamp should be good enough to get me started. This is a neat link I found to a webpage that allows you to calculate LED light coverage:

LED coverage calculator thingy

 

I plugged in my numbers for the Aquapod dimension of 16" wide by 12" tall with an 8" gap above the water, 1 LED with 40 degree optics. I posted the LED coverage image below along with the PAR plot from EvilC's PAR38 thread. Looks like it will be a great light for the medium-light requirements of the corals I am planning on keeping in this tank!

 

This is about all I can do until I get my LED bulb in next week and install it over the tank. I can mull over PAR plots, play with the LED coverage calculator thingy, look at others nano reef tanks with LED's. I can only dream for now... :blush:

post-1618-1289455281_thumb.jpg

post-1618-1289455303_thumb.jpg

Edited by sammy33

Share this post


Link to post
sammy33

Late Night Pic

Starting to get my lighting system together. These "moonlights" I added are multicolor LED and change through the whole spectrum continuously. This is one of those things that was not meant for an aquarium...but works quite well. I love the dramatic spot lighting and the shimmer from the LED point source is very nice (I miss my halides).

 

I like to try to include pictures when possible so here is a quick full tank shot with the LED moonlight.

12g-fts-moonlight.jpg

Edited by sammy33

Share this post


Link to post
sammy33

Hydor Flo Mod

The flow in this tank with the stock configuration of the Y Flexible tubing is not bad but this latest mod/upgrade I did with the Hydor Flo Rotator is awesome!

 

The Loc-line tubing is now gone and replaced by this Hydor Flo Rotating Water Deflector. The device rotates around constantly varying the water flow throughout the tank. This almost completely eliminates the dead spots in the aquarium with nice flow all around the reef structure. You can see the break on the water surface as the rotator happened to be facing up when I snapped this pic.

12g-hydor-flo.jpg

 

Equipment List (so far):

12g Aquapod (back empty except small bag of carbon)

Maxi Jet 900 Pump

Hydor Flo Rotator

Rio Nano Skimmer

Stealth 25 watt heater

Multi-color LED Moonlight

ATO Auto top-off system (working on it)

PAR38 LED 20K Lighting (coming soon)

Reefkeeper Lite (Santa Claus?)

 

Most Likely Suspects:

Fiji Yellow Leather (Sarcophyton)

Neon Green Toadstool (Sarcophyton)

Orange Ricordea (R. florida)

Blue Ricordea ( R. florida)

Green Brain (Lobophyllia)

Pink Panther Polyps (Palythoa Grandis)

 

More updates soon. Please post your questions, comments, suggestions or inspirations. B)

Share this post


Link to post
sammy33

Ecoxotic PAR38 12K LED Bulb

I really like this light! Every tank I have seen it on looks great in my opinion. The 3-6500K and 2-455nm blue LED's combine to make a very nice coloration that does indeed look like it is 12,000K. This one has the 40 degree optics and is very bright!

 

The PAR38 LED bulbs use a standard E26 socket so you can screw these into pretty much any fixture a regular light bulb will work with. I am using a utility dome light from the big orange box as the socket/power cord. This thing was only $8.99 and the dome comes off with only a wee bit of work. I had to unscrew the bottom of the ceramic socket and take the wiring off to remove the dome. This left me with the raw socket and much better ventilation for the LED.

12g-par38-closeup.jpg

 

The clamp makes it stick out a bit forward on the tank but it is adjustable. This actually reduces the glare in the room as I am pointing a bit towards the back of the tank. I also twisted the socket so that the two blue LED's are in the back.

12g-par38-bottom.jpg

 

I have the LED about 12" above the tank making it about 22" off the sandbed. I tried higher and lower and this seems to be just about right for this tank. I have a Apogee Quantum Meter and will take some PAR (Photosynthetic Active Radiation) readings here in a bit and post the results. Here is a pic of the whole setup.

12g-fts11-17-10.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
sammy33

PPFD Readings for the PAR38 12k

These are the PPFD (Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density) readings with the LED at 12" above the tank using my Apogee Instruments QMSS-ELEC1499 Quantum Meter

 

Center bottom sandbed directly under the bulb (~22")

12g-par-bottom.jpg

 

Side bottom sandbed ~7" off center (~22")

12g-par-midbottom.jpg

 

Side middle reef ~3" off center (~18")

12g-par-midside.jpg

 

Top of the reef ~1" off center (~15")

12g-par-reeftop.jpg

 

PPFD from the front so you can get an idea of the spread. The top reading was taken just under the water surface in the center.

12g-ppfd.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
jdokos

Awesome setup, Sammy33.

Share this post


Link to post
sammy33

jdokos - Thanks!

 

First corals are in the tank. The color is actually a bit better than I expected. I am pleased with the lighting system but might add some violet stunner strips for fun. The skimmer has also finally kicked in now that there is some bio-load.

 

Purple Monti

12g-digitata-11-18-10.jpg

 

Pink Palythoa

12g-palythoa-11-18-10.jpg

 

Neon Caulastrea

12g-caulastrea-11-18-10.jpg

Edited by sammy33

Share this post


Link to post
sammy33

Emergency Anemone Move

This poor Rose Bubble Tip Anemone has been bounced around for many months now. The "mother" of this animal is in my other reef tank. This is the "baby" from a previous split. It wandered around in my other tank for several days after it split before I took it out and banished it to my refugium after it stung several corals. My refugium also doubles as a frag tank and has a bunch of coral in it as well as powerheads that it seems to love to wander into (ouch!). I found this guy stuck in a powerhead again in my refugium tonight and decided he needed to move.

 

My little nano here pretty much has nothing the anemone can get caught in. The LED lighting is much better than the compact fluorescent lighting over my refugium. So I moved it to my nano.

12g-rbta-1.jpg

 

You can see the "foot" starting to expand out trying to find a hold.

12g-rbta-2.jpg

 

The LED light made the tips start to bubble in the first few minutes

12g-rbta-3.jpg

 

The anemone started to climb higher as it has not received this level of light for months. I think it likes it!

12g-rbta-4.jpg

 

The foot really started to reach under the ledge into the cave. They typically like spots like this.

12g-rbta-5.jpg

 

A nice big splash of red right in the middle of the tank. Love the color on this RBTA. I kinda sorta didn't plan for this but I think he may do well in this tank. B)

12g-rbta-7.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
sammy33

Full Tank Shot

12g-fts-11-27-10.jpg

 

Starting to see some diatoms growing on the rocks and sand. I added a couple of Turbo snails to help. More corals going in soon. This shot also shows how little the LED light spills over the tank. B)

Share this post


Link to post
kalristo

NICE TANK! very similar to mine!

Share this post


Link to post
sammy33

Neon Toadstool (Sarcophyton elegans)

I added one of my favorite corals to the nano. This is a Neon Green Toadstool that has survived my last three nano experiments. It seems to like the LED lighting! It has now opened and I took a pic of the neon polyps. It adds a splash of green in the tank making a nice contrast to the anemone's red. B)

 

The green leather also has a mind of it's own and has stretched out over the top of my pink palys. They are the dark blob under the foot of the green leather. Oops. Going in for the rescue and re-positioning of the pink palys now. :o

12g-neon-sarcophyton.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
sammy33

Light Hog!

My RBTA has decided that it likes the LED lighting. It has squatted pretty much in the middle of the tank and spreads out to a length of almost 10 inches! This results in the anemone blocking out the light from the corals lower in the tank. :huh:

12g-fts-12-6-10.jpg

 

This is a gorgeous animal but I am not going to keep it in this tank. It is just too big for a 12g and has already moved around and stung the heck out of my purple monti. I have decided to remove the anemone as soon as I find a taker for it. I was hopeful that it would work out but again nature has other plans.

Share this post


Link to post
ss21

Whats the silver thing on top of the skimmer?

Share this post


Link to post
sammy33

Triple RBTA Split!

The anemone saga continues. I noticed yesterday that my nem was looking kinda shrunken. I checked it late last night before I went to bed and it was closed up like it does when I feed it. I started to get concerned about the animal. This morning I went to check the anemone and I found 3 in the tank! :o:o:o

 

12g-rbta-split.jpg

 

I have had anemones split before but always into halves. I don't know if I have ever heard of one splitting into thirds? I now have a triple threat RBTA gang in the nano. :huh:

 

Water was a bit cloudy so I went ahead with my regular weekend water change and things have cleared up through the afternoon. Skimmer is going nuts. I am off to test ammonia and other parameters to see if this was maybe a stress response.

 

My other theory is that the nem may have damaged itself on the purple monti frag. If you notice in last pic it is actually sitting on the frag. I guess it is possible that the nem cut itself on the monti frag? I noticed the frag on sand this morning broken in half with sharp edges exposed.

Share this post


Link to post
myjohnson

Good start man.

 

How do you like the 12K?

 

Coral pop?

Share this post


Link to post
gulfsurfer101

Your tank is off to a good start. Looks like you got some nems on your hands. I got a few zoa frags if you want to trade for one of the smaller ones.

Share this post


Link to post
sammy33
Good start man.

 

How do you like the 12K?

 

Coral pop?

 

Thanks for the compliments on the tank. :happy:

 

I like the 12k PAR38 quite a bit but I would like to add more spectrum in the form of a violet actinic. Maybe a 403nm Ultraviolet Stunner Strip? I am still holding out for the Stunner Strip fixture that was announced a while back. Maybe it will be out soon?

 

The color "pop" is not bad with the mix of 6500K white and 455nm blue LED's. I have always thought that lighting closer to 6500K combined with actinic renders colors much better than most other options. I would love to see CRI (color rendering index) specifications on the Cree led's. Adding the lower spectrum actinic would give me a bit more of that neon glow black light pink floyd poster effect. B)

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...