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Arctic Hillbilly's BC29 build


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Background: Fresh and saltwater tanks since a kid. Last move about 10 yrs ago. Never got around to resetting up the 110 reef. Currently have fresh 55planted, going on 6-7 yrs doing great. 2 10s planted, 8gal ebi shrimp tank. Came across an edge6, 3 months ago at yard sale, like new... 25 bucks .. to good to pass up. Decided to go ahead and get toes wet again in salt. SO MUCH has changed in the last 10yrs with SW. Felt like borderline novice again.

LOVE the edge, love the look, love the great viewing, has done fantastic... rehooked on salt again.

Unfortunately, the edge is a pain, with that tiny opening to do anything in the tank with, and no real room to contain much. Can't stop myself upgrading.



filtration: Ac with intank baket upgrade

Lighting: replaced junk halos. 2 exo 10k, 1 blue, nano picos: under stock arm. panaroma pro module 10k/blue sitting on the tank glass. above 50% corals start to bleach quickly

Stock: 2 large for tank premium rocks, 4lb and 6lb tons of life.CUC, peppermint shrimp, yellow clown goby, large 5in zoa colony, couple zoa frags, two large heavy incrusted branching 4-5in poly colonies, 3x4 neon clove colony.


With so much that has changed in SW, the old 110 full reef set in the basement, no longer seems like a good option to resetup... with so damn much of it MUST be upgraded or replaced ... no one uses giant wet n dry anymore. VHO would be a serious expense to replace all the bulbs, and now seems VERY outdated and GIANT power consumer ... so would need light upgrades ... the list goes on. Decided it would be much cheaper and get possibly a better type setup, sell the big OLD reef, use the money to get something else.


After much consideration and tons of forum reading finally decided the bc29 was a good option. Decent size, small footprint can be placed nearly anywhere. Bigger tanks leave few choices for placement.

Tank plans in next post

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BioCube 29 build


Tank going to be here tomorrow.


Filtration: InTank basket and fuge, 115 MINI PROTEIN SKIMMER(cheap i know, but worth trying till i need too upgrade it. Gonna try one of the 10k picos for a fuge light(thinking i will need to dim it too 25% to start, so not to burn up the chaeto. Tiny 6inch 3 led strip is powerfull bright. Also have a second 10k and a blue.

Circulation: Currently have 2 Koralia nanos and a wave-maker, On the edge, and an hydor-flow bought to try in the 55 fresh and never got around to using to play around with.

Lighting: Retrofit from NanoBox seemed the best option. Should be here end of week

Heating... wont be needed this time of year for the most part but ordered a cobalt 75watt


Ordered 15lbs of reefsavers rock for a base starting point.


Current thoughts:

After weighing the most recommended LR: TampaBay cured, Premium Aquatics cured, Depot cured and GLR uncured... i actually like the thought of longer cure out and extra hitchhikers, even with all the added possible BAD hitchhikers. And less then half the price of other options


gulfliverock.com : 18lb nano box live rock?

Live reef sand? Thinking live sand even with some bad hitchhikers, and possible die off of some organisms. And it might speed up break in, curing time vs dead agronite sand. I also can use some of the 10lbs or so now live sand in the edge for seeding a new sandbed.

Thinking keeping the edge going with one live rock and the goby for a qt tank... just remove fish and rock to main when needing a QT.


Stocking will be zoas, palys, softies, possible(likely) a few lps ... no intentions to try sps at this time .. current live rocks in the edge do have a coupe tiny unknown brown sps colonies that are doing good.


Currently use Reef Crystals maintained at Spg 1.025


Interested in all thoughts on this plan. Very open to changes recommended by those with much more experience.


LR cycle naysayers! Don't even bother, please ... read tons of posts on both LR and Dry cycles .. had really great success with LR cycle in the tiny edge, rewarded with tons of life, small sps, red, orange, yellow, tan, grey encrusting sponges galore, several unidentifiable bivalves ... and everything seems to be thriving after 3 months ... did Dry rock for years... probably never again. LR is just so much more life diversity then even 10yr old dry rock starting in my 110 ever had. Even with the chances of pests. i will find a way to deal with the pests that might pop up. I think it is worth it.







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  • 3 weeks later...

It’s kind of a letdown to post a build and not get single comment or suggestion.

Since the post is here, I might as well use it for updates to simply keep track of it for myself I guess.

Without getting any feedback, I simply stuck with my original plan, and hoped for the best.

Tank 39g biocube: Does not seem quite as cheesy built as I thought it might, no obvious flaws or sloppy silicone. Top does feel a bit flimsy and thin but a bit better than expected for such a low price. This is after all a Walmart type tank price.

Stand: I expected cheesy Chinese mbf stand, and got exactly that … only two screws on each panel top and bottom hold it together, total 8 screws … back is cardboard. Without the tank the stand easily rocks from side to side, with empty tank on it … SCARY! What happens if I add water to the tank? Will the slightest bump send it toppling over? Will the extra weight slow the rocking down? NOT GONING TO CHANCE IT! Dug out some scrap ½ ply and cut a back that fits just inside the the back edge almost flush, lot of gorilla glue on the cardboard and the edges and over a dozen long finish screws later the stand actually seems capable of supporting a tank.

Lighting: NanoBox retrofit … This light was not real hard to install, for me, having a bit of electrical and mechanical skills. Stripped out everything inside the hood including power cords… saved the cord grommets to reuse. 2 led fixtures recessed into a 12inch or so long nice aluminum heat sink. For future installers. Issue … to mount the heat sink on the original reflector, the center ridge is flush against the fan, leaving no way for air to flow. No hardware included for mounting. Use Small machine screws and an extra nut to use for a spacer between the fan and the reflector to get air flow. Or, like I did, use a dremel and notch out a gap in the center ridge. Use the original grommets over the led power wire and fan power wire to keep the light pod water proof. The hood has a large power feed for the lights and a small power feed for the leds, on the rightside … and a large power cord on the left side for the fans. Those two holes on the left worked perfect to mount the new wire jacks. No cords to run outside and hang loose, just plug into jacks …nice.

Light impressions … nice build quality … controllability … seems to be WAY OVERPOWERED! Playing around cranking it to max ….WOW … looks like it could give serious sunburns or drill a hole thru the bottom of the tank….LOL. Does not seem possible to ever need to go over 50% just based on brightness levels … but what do I know … maybe corals like it that bright and I just need to wear sunglasses if I ever want to look at the tank.

Skimmer: Aquatic 115 MINI PROTEIN SKIMMER seems a bit cheap and small … guess we will see.

Added hyrdaflow rotating nozzle to the return

Flow: Pair of jeabo wp10 and dual controller … bumped into a guy wearing a foster n smith reef crystals t shirt at the firedept bbq … chatted about tanks and my new build .. he happened to have this set, never opened’ for a tank he had … ended up upgrading to a giant tank while waiting for these to arrive .. let me have the set for 80 bucks.

Salt: reef crystals

Why does an empty 29g tank only hold 23g of water? Serious size overstatement.

After fill and everything checks out and no leaks. Tank now holds around 19 gals. Ordered 15lbs reef saver rock. 25lbs live sand and 18lb rock from gulfliverock.

Sand resembles sand filled with a lot of broken shells …no obvious signs of life. Not real thrilled with the look of it. Smells like clean saltwater, in it went.

Love the reefcleaners rock, makes a good interlocking base.

Gulfliverock: Not exactly what I was expecting to be truthful, appears similar to the coralline base rock the lfs sells, except half the rock has a lot of halmedia and 2 rocks have a few patches of micro algae that resembles mini freshwater cabomba, and a patch of some sort of thin leaf caulerpa I am thinking. One rock also has a nickel sized light tan fuzzy dimpled golf ball coral. One rock has a few tiny clusters of white encrusting sponge and a tiny orange transparent barrel tube sponge? No real other signs of obvious life. Being uncured live rock I assumed a lot more life would be apparent. Subtract the halmedia and it looks no different then the coralline base rock the lfs sells for 5bucks a lb. And the lfs premium cured rock is amazingly full of life for 8bucks … I assumed uncured would be even more encrusted with life.

It honestly seems like too much rock piled in my tank with no real way to do much real scaping with, besides piling. May end up taking some out to make more of a scape.





Tank was filled 1.025 and reefcleaners rock, added dr tims one and only and started fishless cycle with ammonia, daily evening dosing to the recommended. By the fifth day ammonia is only reading trace amounts before dosing. Day 7, 0 ammonia, 2 nitrite, 0 nitrate, 0 phos. Sand and live rock arrive 5/28.

5/30 1.025, 78.3, ph 8.1, alk 8.4, Ammonia .50, No2 1, No3 5, Po4 0, Ca 450, Mg 1440 10g wc to get Am down.

6/2 1.025 79, ph 8.4, alk 9.8, Am .1, No2 5, No3 20, Po4 0 10g wc

6/5 1.025, 78, ph 8.2, alk 8.2, Am 0, No2 2, No3 20, Po4 0 10g wc to lower No3

6/6 added cuc .. 2 large cerith, 4 nerites, 2 tonga narssarius, 2 scarlet hermits, 6 tiny dwarf yellow tip hermits

6/10 1.025, 78, ph 7.8, alk 7.8, Am 0, No2 0, No3 10, Po4 .08 5g water change to get alk up raised to 8.9

Added large premium rock, branching hammer, paly and zoa clusters, neon green clove rock, zenia rock (Like i read somwhere jurasic park island to themselves}, from the edge tank





Fuzzy tan golf ball coral?


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