Jump to content
dai2dai996

dai2dai996's Biocube 32 reef

Recommended Posts

dai2dai996

Hello all.  This is a new Biocube build for me.  I've had freshwater tanks my whole life and one 10 gallon reef tank many years ago.  I went with the Biocube because I like the looks of it.  I am very OCD about my tanks and don't like to see things all hanging out, such as wires, lights, etc.  Right now it's got rodi water in it just to test and get used to how it all works.  I have many plans, but know things may change because of necessity.  I've got the intank media basket and fish saver coming.  I've also ordered the Eheim Jager 100 watt heater for it.  I'm going to try out the Jebao SW-4 wavemaker in it.  I don't plan on a protein skimmer as I hope to keep things good with weekly 6 gallon water changes. I'm going to use Instant Ocean Reef Crystals because it's the easiest thing I can get.

 

So far the tank seems very nice.  I love all the light settings.  The little fan in the hood doesn't seem to do much.  I'll keep checking temps to see if I need to do some other cooling options.

 

I plan on building a black box behind it to hide everything.  It will have a diy ato built in which I've been running on my freshwater tank for some time now.  It'll also have a couple power strips.  One will have a timed off switch using an Arduino board for the timing.  My wife feeds all our animals and she would forget to turn the tank back on after feeding, so this will be a good solution.  I'm thinking of a 10 minute off time for feeding.  The Arduino will also control an LED to show if the tank temperature is too high or low.  

 

I plan on using Seachem's Purigen and Boyd's Chemi Pure Elite in the filter basket.  I've used both of those in my freshwater tank and they work very good.

 

That's about it for now.  Give me your thoughts or questions if you have any.  

 

Tom

IMG_20190822_142734777.jpg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Christopher Marks

Welcome to the community @dai2dai996! It sounds like you have a good plan for your new nano reef, what sorts of livestock are you hoping to keep?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
dai2dai996

Not exactly sure yet.  I do know I want an overstock of live rock.  I don't like bare looking reefs.  I also need a regular clownfish because my grandkids love Nemo.  Hopefully I'll be able to get him to host a frogspawn or hairy mushroom.  I do like regular mushrooms as well.  I may do a digging type fish like a goby or jawfish.  Probably a banded shrimp.  Snails and some hermits.  These are all things I'm pretty sure I can handle.  Anything else and I'll need to do some good research on.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
dai2dai996

Update on the Biocube... It's running at 80.3 degrees.  I noticed there is room for a fan or 2 in the lid above the filter area.  Iv'e ordered a fan and we'll see if that helps.  It's been very hot here.  103 degrees today.  The house temp is also 80 degrees at 2pm.  My freshwater tank is running at 78 degrees and I installed a fan in it's lid.  It also has LED lighting, but much less than the Biocube.  I'll get the Biocube at 78 degrees some way or another!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Christopher Marks

A fan will make a big difference, just be sure to top-off your tank with freshwater as evaporation increases some with cooling fans. My pico reef gets up to 81F from time to time without any issue, 80F isn't so bad, but if you can easily keep it more stable with the fan, it's worth the trouble.

 

Great livestock plans I say!

 

Share this post


Link to post
dai2dai996

Speaking of top off... I got my ato container today!

IMG_20190827_154557104.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
dai2dai996

I also got some other stuff.  I love getting good things in the mail.

IMG_20190827_152714379.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
dai2dai996

Update.  Now that I know I'll need some kind of cooling for this tank, I've ordered a PID controller to control the heater and whatever cooling device I end up with.  It will also control the low or high temp LED alarm.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
dai2dai996

Put an 80mm fan in the hood to see if it helps.  The starting temp before the fan was 84.3.  I'm going to check it hourly to see what it does.

IMG_20190830_151817169.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
dai2dai996

The fan is doing the job.  The tank was 79.1 this morning.  I've got the ato tank ready.  Just waiting on some parts to build the support box that it will all go into.

IMG_20190831_025717792.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Wonderboy

This is looking like a very fun build - great work with the fan modification, that's was such a very important temperature decrease - I'm very interested to see how you put things together with the Arduino board, I have been curious to try utilizing the system myself - looking forward to your updates!

Share this post


Link to post
dai2dai996

Once you learn the Arduino code it is an amazing board.  I've got one that controls my automatic gate opener.  This Arduino will only be controlling a 10 minute off time from a button I'll mount on top of the box I built.  I've got the code written and it works good.  I'm on a bit of a stall right now waiting on 2 power strips I ordered.  Kinda frustrating, but that's life.  I'll post a pick of the box with the electronics in it.

IMG_20190902_111640065.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
dai2dai996

I got the box mounted on the wall and all of the electronics in it.  The PID is controlling everything good.  I'll get the settings down once I get the tank filled with saltwater.

IMG_20190906_153155931.jpg

IMG_20190907_075705583.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
dai2dai996

I put a button on top of the box to turn one of the power strips off for 10 minutes for feeding.  The Arduino controls that.  A light on the stand turns on for the ten minutes as an indicator

IMG_20190907_080521631.jpg

IMG_20190907_080624863_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
dai2dai996

I also drilled some holes in the lid for the 2 fans I put in it to draw air from the outside.

IMG_20190907_065754615.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Wow 1

Share this post


Link to post
dai2dai996

Update... I'm having a couple issues.  The temperature on the PID is a bit unstable.  I think the k type thermocouple my be getting some electrical noise, so I ordered am RTD probe.  The other issue is the Reef Crystals are hardening in the bag.  I guess from the humidity in my house.  I looked online and it's about half and half of people saying it's ok and not ok.  I've sent a message to Instant Ocean.  Still waiting for a reply.  I guess if I test the water and everything shows good or bad then I'll know for sure.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
dai2dai996

Just got a reply from aquatic support at spectrum brands about the Reef Crystals hardening.

 

"The Reef Crystals will still be fine to use. It will take a bit longer to dissolve, that is all."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
FISHnChix
2 hours ago, dai2dai996 said:

Update... I'm having a couple issues.  The temperature on the PID is a bit unstable.  I think the k type thermocouple my be getting some electrical noise, so I ordered am RTD probe.  The other issue is the Reef Crystals are hardening in the bag.  I guess from the humidity in my house.  I looked online and it's about half and half of people saying it's ok and not ok.  I've sent a message to Instant Ocean.  Still waiting for a reply.  I guess if I test the water and everything shows good or bad then I'll know for sure.

Why do you suspect your thermocouple is getting some noise?? I wouldnt think that would happen with such a short run of wire (try and keep the wire away from power wires).. what does your tanks temperature swing to and from? What are your pid loop settings? I've never messed with one of these Arduinos they seem pretty neat. I have done plenty of pid control in my life though.  Going on 18 years in process control 🤣.. since our tanks will take a while to heat and a while to cool back down why not go with a simple deadband control?? I would think that would keep the tank stable enough. I mean that's essentially what a normal heater does anyways... anywhoo really cool to see people branch out and make their own little apex like controllers!!! Will be following along.. happy reefing!!

Share this post


Link to post
dai2dai996

I'm not sure about the thermocouple.  I've used one in my freshwater tank for years.  This one is jumping w couple degrees.  Not fast but slow.  I was going to order another one just to rule it out, but decided to go with an RTD probe as I read that they are less susceptable to any noise.  I am using the PID as basically a deadband as I have p, I, and d off.  I have the PID controller so it's a cheap way to go.  My first introduction to PID's was controlling my smoker.  I was amazed at how well it holds temp.  So I decided to try one to control temp in my freshwater tank.  It never moves of 77.7 degrees.  It's just awesome compared to anything else I've tried.  I also like how versital it is.  It will control the heater in the winter, the fans in the summer, and let's me add a bright blue led anywhere I want as an indicator of plus or minus 2 degrees to alert me of something wrong.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
FISHnChix
21 minutes ago, dai2dai996 said:

I am using the PID as basically a deadband as I have p, I, and d off

Hmmm what controller are you using I would like to check it out.. so you have all the p.i.d. settings off??? Or just the D? 

 

So on a normal loop you would have a process variable (water temp) and a variable control output (heater control).. so I guess I'm curious how does your heater get turned on, and is it a full power on and off or does it send a variable voltage to the heater??  When I was saying deadband I meant use a control set point of 77.8 and a deadband of say .2 so the heater would turn on full power at 77.6 and back off at 78 , different from a pid loop... if it's too much to type no worries haha I was just curious 😊😎🤔

 

Weird on the thermocouple too but I do like rtds better myself for lower temperatures (more for accuracy than noise issues).. well as long as it's a 3 wire or even better a 4 wire rtd..

Share this post


Link to post
dai2dai996

Yes.  All p.i.d. settings are off.  Like I said, I have been running one on my freshwater tank and was going to run an autotune on it, but never had to because it ran so well.  The PID is a mypin ssr model.  The output is ssr.  Alarm 1 is ssr whick controls the fans.  Alarm 2 is a relay which controls the blue LED.  I'm still not sure if it's the thermocouple causing the issue.  It is very close to the pump in the tank and there is alot of power running around in the box I built.  I guess I'm hoping the RTD probe will work better.  Lol.  If not then it'll be back to the drawing board.  The heater is just on or off.  Nothing variable.  It's never too much to type for me.  This is my hobby.  I love electronics and aquariums.  I've found that if I can keep everything close to perfect, the tank is much easier to maintain.  I haven't done anything in my freshwater tank except 20% water changes with rodi and seachem products for about a year and a half.  I used to have to occasionally clean algae.  Not anymore, and I'm happy about that!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
dai2dai996

Here's my freshwater tank.  It's 60 gallons.  It's been running for about 7 years.  I also have a control box for lights and temperature under the cabinet along with an auto top off.

IMG_20170211_041101.jpg

IMG_20190706_055445645.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
dai2dai996
On 9/10/2019 at 9:42 AM, FISHnChix said:

Weird on the thermocouple too but I do like rtds better myself for lower temperatures (more for accuracy than noise issues).. well as long as it's a 3 wire or even better a 4 wire rtd..

Here's a question for you... Are thermocouples affected by ambient temperature?  And does the hot joint have to be hotter than the cold joint?  My house has been ranging about 10 degrees everyday and the range is lower and higher than the set temp of the PID...

Share this post


Link to post
FISHnChix

Yes they are effected by ambient tempature at the "cold junction"  which is just the wire side r.. it's kinda funny bc the fact they call it "cold" junction messes people up.. so to the other question your "cold" juntion side can actually be hotter than your "hot" junction (you can read on the history of the terms if you want but it's boring lol).. I've never worked on a transmitter that didnt have a built in cold junction compensation. I would suspect your pid controller does have it too.. I have seen a transmitter that i had to go into and turn on the compensation.. but that was only once.. 

Share this post


Link to post
dai2dai996
7 minutes ago, FISHnChix said:

Yes they are effected by ambient tempature at the "cold junction"  which is just the wire side r.. it's kinda funny bc the fact they call it "cold" junction messes people up.. so to the other question your "cold" juntion side can actually be hotter than your "hot" junction (you can read on the history of the terms if you want but it's boring lol).. I've never worked on a transmitter that didnt have a built in cold junction compensation. I would suspect your pid controller does have it too.. I have seen a transmitter that i had to go into and turn on the compensation.. but that was only once.. 

Thanks for the reply.  I learned alot about thermocouples today.  I also received the RTD probe.  It is working much better.  The temperature is right on and is staying perfectly steady.

  • Like 1

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...