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Jay's MicroReefs 4.3 cube - New Equipment!


Javious

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I purchased a 10" cube AIO from MicroReefs during the Black Friday special and am finally getting around to starting a thread for it. The tank is pretty awesome and Mike is great to work with. I don't have a specific plan for it, that may be why I am dragging my feet on moving forward with it.

 

The return pump is super quiet and that is nice seeing how close it is to me on my desk. I have it sitting on some dense foam to reduce any possible vibrations and make cleaning a bit easier. I am going bare bottom to prevent scratches in the acrylic from cleaning. Right now I have a spin stream on the output and it is very close to pushing water out the front corner of the tank. I think my desk must be a bit out of level. For lightning I have a PAR 30 bulb from eBay, 21 watt with 4 whites and 3 blues in an engineer's desk lamp.

 

Right now I have a few pound chunk of Florida live rock with some macros, nems (they don't look like aptasia yet) and lots of coralline on it. I have a single snail and a green riccordia in it as well. I am not going to put a fish in, but most likely will do a shrimp. I would like to do corals that I don't have in my home tank. Maybe primarily a Zoa garden.

 

I am going to have to get an ATO for it too, I am thinking I will use the AmartAqua ATO. The in tank footprint is so small on that one and the return pump chamber is a bit tight with the pump, plumbing, heater and temp sensor already.

 

January 1, 2014

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It is sounding and looking like I have a Mantis Shrimp in my tank. I kept hearing a clicking noise the last few days, today I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. That was surprising since I have added nothing but a piece of live rock and a riccordia. I kept a close eye out and sure enough I saw it climbing over the rock. It was mostly black, segmented shell that looked like a lobster tail, later I saw the front end and it appeared it had eye stalks, not claws leading the way. I have some vague pics from my phone that I will post here.

 

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Micro-Reefs Aquariums

Just beautiful to see you guys/gals finally stocking our 4.3 tropical system!

 

Four more builds were requested during the new year special I had. I have great news, I will be making a MEDIA BASKET for chamber #1.

 

Once completed and tested, I will place on my site for immediate sell! :)

 

I really appreciate your support!

 

Sincerely,

 

MG

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After some research and giving that I didn't have a specific plan already for this tank I am going to keep the Mantis. If you buy into the Mantis being a pest, I have added some corals that could also be called pests. Two types of Palys, Pulsing Xenia and GSP. In my previous desktop pico I had a small riccordia and kenya tree. The ric looks lood, they kenya tree might have had an encounter with the Mantis. I carefully scraped the kenya tree off the old rock and dropped it onto the new one. After turkey bastering the rock today I see a few smaller chunks of kenya tree on the tank bottom. I am going to leave them be and see what develops.

 

With the Mantis a clean up crew will be pointless/ mantis buffet so I am going to try out an algae scrubber for filtration. Santa Monica has a new small unit that looks like it was designed for rear compartment.

 

Anybody want some pictures?

 

Green Pally, nice striped pattern, I got just a single head 4 - 6 weeks ago and there are 6 babies so far.

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Mohawk Paly, these guys haven't fully opened since I had to re-position them, they touched a rock in my home tank and doubled the colony in 2 months.

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Pulsing Xenia, it's only opened up to about half the size it was when I pulled it out this morning. I have this spread to two spots on the back wall of my home tank which is exactly where I wanted it to grow. Sorry the pic is a bit blurry.

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Green Riccordia, about 1/2", a blue ric I got at the same time has doubled in size and grew a second mouth, hope that this guy does better in this tank.

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Solitary GSP polyp, how long do you think it will take this to cover up the bottom?

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Just beautiful to see you guys/gals finally stocking our 4.3 tropical system!

 

Four more builds were requested during the new year special I had. I have great news, I will be making a MEDIA BASKET for chamber #1.

 

Once completed and tested, I will place on my site for immediate sell! :)

 

I really appreciate your support!

 

Sincerely,

 

MG

If I was on your coast I would offer to be a beta tester :) I am looking forward to this.

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I just ordered the media rack from MicroReefs for this, Mike had it designed and tested before I could order the algae scrubber, so that plan is on hold for now. The Mantis is still in hiding but snapping occasionally. The corals are much more open this morning. They seem to be stretching towards the light though. The Green Paly in particular was always close to the rock and now it is lifted up 1/2" or so. Maybe it is just giving it's babies room to grow.

 

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That's a great idea Mike and exactly what I did to my 12" cube. Since you didn't have those drop-in baskets at the time of my order, I had to DIY my own. Quite honestly, it works great. It works so great that I gave up on my nano skimmer and reactor. What I did was drop-in basket in 1st chamber and miracle mud and chaeto in the 2nd. Everything looks great and I have no water quality issues or algae blooms. Because there are so many pods coming in from the fuge into display part, I run floss every other day to thin up the population. But my yellow watchman goby and corals don't mind that excess at all.

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It ships in the morning..... :)

That is awesome!

 

How strong is the 1/4" acrylic? Will it support a gooseneck clamp with a PAR38 light? I don't want to stress the tank in any way, but the desk lamp I am using isn't quite up to the weight of a PAR38. It holds a PAR30 just fine but seems to slowly decline with the larger/heavier PAR38. The cradle part of the clamp is 1.5" deep and 1.25" wide and the screw where it presses against the tank is 1" diameter. That seems like it would spread the weight well. If I mount it on the back wall of the center chamber do you think that would be safe for the tank?

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Micro-Reefs Aquariums

That is awesome!

 

How strong is the 1/4" acrylic? Will it support a gooseneck clamp with a PAR38 light? I don't want to stress the tank in any way, but the desk lamp I am using isn't quite up to the weight of a PAR38. It holds a PAR30 just fine but seems to slowly decline with the larger/heavier PAR38. The cradle part of the clamp is 1.5" deep and 1.25" wide and the screw where it presses against the tank is 1" diameter. That seems like it would spread the weight well. If I mount it on the back wall of the center chamber do you think that would be safe for the tank?

 

Your tank uses 1/4" acrylic throughout it's entire build, including the dividers that give it additional structural support. I cannot say with certainty as to it's ability to support the light you stated.

 

I can only guarantee the tanks integrity to resist bowing.

 

We use and recommend the Hydra clamp and Innovative Marine Skyye clamp. These fixtures are small and don't carry excessive weight that can place stress on the tank.

 

If you light is very similar in weight as these, then I would move forward and give it a try.

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The clamp is light, but the PAR38 is not so much. I am not going to risk it.

 

Thanks for the quick response as usual.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My media rack is here and installed. Mike at MicroReefs did his usual outstanding job building and shipping this. I am please to report that it holds the smallest Purigen and ChemiPure-Elite. I ended up using 2 AquaClear 20 sponges in the top tray. One was too narrow and allowed too much water to avoid the sponge. I thought about cutting a sponge and using 1.5 sponges, but that was still too little to fill the space. Two sponges are wider than than the rack but I just squeezed them together while lowering the rack and it slipped right in. With all this media installed I was worried about the flow rate, but there was no need to worry. I had been using a SpinStream in this tank but removed it. It made the water level rise very close to the top in one corner, cast a big shadow under it and was growing algae like crazy on it. I please to see that there is plenty of water movement without it.

 

I did get a full view of my Mantis for the first time. It is roughly 1" or maybe a touch longer, mostly brown exoskeleton and too quick to get a picture. He dashed out and grabbed the hunk of shrimp I dropped in, grabbed it with his front legs and mouth and drug it back under the rock. Later I will look at the various Florida species again to see if I can get a better idea what he might be.

 

New media rack with a single AC20 sponge

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Side view with media in place and installed in chamber 1. I was afraid that the CPE might be too big and clog up the water flow, but it fits well.

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The dual AC20 sponges fill the top completely and all the water must pass through them.

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I will post FTS later after I get the tank cleaned up a bit more and the corals are open again.

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Micro-Reefs Aquariums

My media rack is here and installed. Mike at MicroReefs did his usual outstanding job building and shipping this. I am please to report that it holds the smallest Purigen and ChemiPure-Elite. I ended up using 2 AquaClear 20 sponges in the top tray. One was too narrow and allowed too much water to avoid the sponge. I thought about cutting a sponge and using 1.5 sponges, but that was still too little to fill the space. Two sponges are wider than than the rack but I just squeezed them together while lowering the rack and it slipped right in. With all this media installed I was worried about the flow rate, but there was no need to worry. I had been using a SpinStream in this tank but removed it. It made the water level rise very close to the top in one corner, cast a big shadow under it and was growing algae like crazy on it. I please to see that there is plenty of water movement without it.

 

I did get a full view of my Mantis for the first time. It is roughly 1" or maybe a touch longer, mostly brown exoskeleton and too quick to get a picture. He dashed out and grabbed the hunk of shrimp I dropped in, grabbed it with his front legs and mouth and drug it back under the rock. Later I will look at the various Florida species again to see if I can get a better idea what he might be.

 

New media rack with a single AC20 sponge

T4eGAM2.jpg

 

Side view with media in place and installed in chamber 1. I was afraid that the CPE might be too big and clog up the water flow, but it fits well.

p4qcfpt.jpg

 

The dual AC20 sponges fill the top completely and all the water must pass through them.

awy8a0v.jpg

 

I will post FTS later after I get the tank cleaned up a bit more and the corals are open again.

Wow!

 

Brother I'm impressed, freakin dual AC20 muffler sponges on the media basket and then I see my other AC 20 sponge on the return chamber #3.

 

That's what we call the XXX triple threat! LOL

 

Talk about sparklin clean water, your mantis loves you! :)

 

p.s

you might want to play around with the AC 30 sponge it's a little longer and might fit there as a single....

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The sponges come 3 to a box, so it was a natural fit. Time will tell if I switch to floss or if I can clean the sponges out enough to rotate between 2 sets.

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Micro-Reefs Aquariums

The sponges come 3 to a box, so it was a natural fit. Time will tell if I switch to floss or if I can clean the sponges out enough to rotate between 2 sets.

 

Your breakin new ground for the Micro-Reef fans! :)

 

Thanks,

 

Brother....

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  • 1 month later...

New equipment time!

 

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Auto Aqua Smart ATO and Santa Monica Drop .2 Algae Scrubber. The every other day top offs were getting to me so I finally ordered an ATO. Due to the small size of the return pump chamber the Tunze ATO's were out with their large magnet holders. I don't trust float switches so I was pretty limited in my options. The Smart ATO seems designed for Pico tanks with a very small in tank footprint. Install was a snap and the fill tube holder is nicer than the Tunze I have at home. It filled when I first turned it on and hasn't needed to again yet. I will review it fully after I had it running for a couple of months, but my first impression is very favorable.

 

The Santa Monica Drop .2 unit also seems made for this tank, it fits comfortably in the middle chamber. I am using an air pump I had laying around, but I need to put a valve on it to cut down the airflow, even with the top of the filter box out of the water it is bubbling and spitting out the top. The instructions state that it needs to be vertical, not at an angle in the water, but there is nothing included to accomplish this. A magnet mount would help here. The chamber is a bit wider than the filter box, so I think I might use a piece of filter sponge to wedge the box against the wall to keep it upright and stationary. Again I will review it fully after an adequate amount of use.

 

ATO sensor in place.

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Getting crowded in here. Chamber 1 (covered) has filter rack with sponge, purigen and chemipure-elite. Chamber 2 has heater, temp controller sensor, Drop .2 scrubber, gooseneck clamp. Chamber 3 has return pump, plumbing, sponge (bubble control), ATO sensor, ATO fill tube.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks great! I will definitely be following along. How are you liking everything this far and do you have a full tank shot?

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Looks great! I will definitely be following along. How are you liking everything this far and do you have a full tank shot?

Nothing recent, I will try to clean the ?glass? today and take one. It's been pretty hectic at work lately.

 

How is the santa monica drop 0.2, do you think its helping with~??

It's only been in a week, so I haven't even opened it up yet to see what's growing. I plan on letting it run another week before opening and removing the light blocker that you need when it is brand new. Way too new to be making a difference in the display.

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Looks great! I will definitely be following along. How are you liking everything this far and do you have a full tank shot?

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The MP10 and manual removal seems to have dealt with my Cyano problem. I think the green bushy stuff is Bryopsis. I need to pick up some Kent Tech M for that.

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