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banasophia

Banasophia’s Biocube 32 - DragonReef 🐉

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banasophia

Figured I’d get some pics of the back chambers while the tank was out from the wall for setup to show the configuration. 
 

Chamber 1:  

  • Digital thermometer probe.
  • Will be used for a skimmer in the future.
  • Unlike the Biocube 16, there’s no false floor in the 32.

Chamber 2:

  • I removed the stock filter cartridge and holder for it, but I will be saving the cartridge holder and using it as a template to cut my filter floss.
  • I will be using the stock media rack in the 2nd chamber; it seems functional.
  • For now I am using only filter floss and Matrix Media.
    • I added 1 liter of Seachem Matrix biofilter support media, in two Seachem The Bag media bags.
      • I left the excess ziptie ends in place to have an easy way to grab them out if they need a rinse.
  • Once the tank is further along I will be adding additional media, so I will be using the filter floss, then Chemipure Elite, then Purigen, then the Matrix Media. 

Chamber 3:

  • I removed the black sponge between chamber 2 & 3, but saved it in case I need it in the future.
  • I upgraded the stock Coralife pump (264 gph) to a Sicce Syncra 1.5 (357 gph).
  • I have my Cobalt NeoTherm 100w heater in this chamber for now.
    • It’s very important to monitor for evaporation in the beginning, to be sure there’s no appreciable loss since any loss leads to a drop in the water level in chamber 3.
    • My Biocube 16 doesn’t have appreciable evaporation, but this tank could be different.
    • If needed I may move the heater to chamber 1, but I like keeping it in the 3rd chamber because I can easily lift the lid and check on the heater settings. 


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banasophia

I really debated about my sand choice for this tank. I plan to run a high flow system, but my daughter and I also would really love a sand sifting or burrowing goby, so I had to weigh the need for fine enough sand for sifting against the need for a big enough grain size so it wouldn’t blow around under the high flow. I narrowed it down to CaribSea Ocean Direct Live Original Grade (which I have in the 16) and CaribSea Dry Aragonite Special Grade. I called CaribSea and they recommended the Special Grade grain size.

 

I rinsed/added 20 lbs of the Special Grade Aragonite but it seemed pretty course... then my daughter came to look at it in the tank and was super worried about our potential future sand sifter. So, I scooped it all out and put in the Ocean Direct, added the water, let it settle, and added my gyre powerhead. It only blew around a little bit, but when I used my forceps to stir the sand a little like a sand sifter would, of course it became a massive sandstorm. So... I scooped that out and went back to the Special Grade. 😅

 

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Edit as of 12/4: I just spoke with CaribSea again and it turns out the courser sand I used is not actually “Special Grade Aragonite” as I had previously thought... it’s a special mix of dry aragonite that they make only for Petco... she said it ranges in grain size from 0.5 - 2 mm (though it doesn’t look like it to me, or to my friend that had recommended it). Anyway, so far so good, I’m liking it. It does blow around on the bottom with the high flow I’m running with the gyre, creating a sand dune effect, but it doesn’t cloud up the water at all... seems like it will work for me as I don’t plan to keep any sandbed corals in this tank. As the gal at CaribSea made sure to mention, you do need to thoroughly rinse their dry sand, which I had done. 
 

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teenyreef

Loving this so far. And good job thinking ahead on the placeholder posts 🙂

 

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banasophia
5 hours ago, teenyreef said:

Loving this so far. And good job thinking ahead on the placeholder posts 🙂

 

Thanks so much! It may seem like I’m organized, but it’s really just that I’m a lazy procrastinator and I already knew what I wanted to say but I was too lazy to do it at the time. 😬😉☺️ 

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banasophia

Next, the Gyre.
 

I was originally going to use a new jebao ow-10 and my mp10, but then I saw this cool video about the gyre by BRS;

 

 


So I ordered an IceCap 1K Gyre from Amazon and I love it so far. There are 5 flow patterns with adjustable speeds. I’ve been running it in Constant mode at 100%, but other modes look promising as well and it’s easy to adjust. I’m also excited it can be placed at the top of the tank so I don’t have to reach all the way in to remove it for cleaning. 

 

I took a video of it tonight, with air stones creating bubbles so you can see the flow patterns. Not sure why it’s coming through so blurry on YouTube, sorry... it’s super boring and there’s no audio, but I thought some people might want to check it out, especially since there are some mixed reviews about using them in a Biocube.

 

 

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Amphrites

Seems like a bit much flow even for sps lol

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banasophia
45 minutes ago, Amphrites said:

Seems like a bit much flow even for sps lol

It’s at 100% max on each of the settings... it can be dialed down as low as I want, but several people have advised that for SPS in my tank I want to really blast it. Maybe I took that advice too literally haha. But it’s not strong enough to blow the dragon off the rock, if that helps put it in perspective (the dragon is resin, and not glued). 

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Amphrites

I've run into more problems with too-much flow compared to too little, but I have a fair-few LPS. I would mostly be concerned with that much direct-flow hitting the SPS up-top. I think your scape being as tall as it is might make it tricky to keep things happy high-up with something that powerful up there, but that probably  depends heavily on  the species and who you get it from. I'm sure there are some sps which wouldn't mind that level of flow at all lol.

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banasophia
31 minutes ago, Amphrites said:

I've run into more problems with too-much flow compared to too little, but I have a fair-few LPS. I would mostly be concerned with that much direct-flow hitting the SPS up-top. I think your scape being as tall as it is might make it tricky to keep things happy high-up with something that powerful up there, but that probably  depends heavily on  the species and who you get it from. I'm sure there are some sps which wouldn't mind that level of flow at all lol.

That’s interesting... it seems like as with everything else in reefing, there’s so much seemingly contradictory info, but I really think it’s not contradictory at all, there are just so many variables to account for that each system is so different.
 

I got rid of all my LPS corals and my gorgonians from my Nuvo (torches, acans) intentionally so I could run high flow in this system. I’m hoping it’ll work fine with it dialed back if it’s too much at the max flow. Most importantly at this stage I wanted to be sure the sand could handle max flow if needed without blowing around, and that the gyre flow will avoid a lot of dead spots. I saw a few mentions of people running their gyres at 10-30% in their Biocubes, but most Biocubes are growing soft corals and LPS. 

Another option if it ends up being too much of a direct hit is that I can position the gyre vertically blasting the front glass first... you think I should try that and see how it looks? I had considered it but felt like it would look too dizzying, like a whirlpool haha. 

 

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Amphrites

I actually had a makeshift-gyre running a current around my previous tank, it makes it really, really easy to have allot of flow to keep things from settling and you can use your return pump to direct where the current gets broken-up and randomized. It also makes it really easy to position corals in flow they prefer, I had my return providing flow to the center and you can just position things high-flow outside and lower-flow inside. 

Plus, come on you've got all these bubbles going anyway, you know you wanna' see how it looks lol. I also really liked the back and forth-flow option with the icecap, it creates crazy-turbulence but the bugger was just too much power for a 20gallon tank ime.

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banasophia
1 minute ago, Amphrites said:

I actually had a makeshift-gyre running a current around my previous tank, it makes it really, really easy to have allot of flow to keep things from settling and you can use your return pump's flow to direct where the current gets broken-up and randomized. It also makes it really easy to position corals in flow they prefer, I had my return providing flow to the center and you can just position things high-flow outside and lower-flow inside. 
Plus, come on you've got all these bubbles going anyway, you know you wanna' see how it looks.

Haha you’re so right... I still have the airstone and tripod out as a matter of fact! And with no livestock whatsoever it’s the perfect time to test stuff out!!

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banasophia

Alrighty then... either I am a total weakling (possible) or what I thought was just a piece of protective film I removed from the magnet mount before placing it against the glass was actually adhesive backing... it seems that the magnet mount is permanently stuck where it is! 😳😳😳 Guess we’ll make it work like this! 😂😂🤣

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banasophia

Okay, once I got past my little challenge there with the magnet mount 😬😂, I was able to try the Gyre positioned vertically in the back right corner. I ran it in Constant mode, set at 50%. Of course the bubbles from the airstone float upward, so it’s a little harder to visualize the flow near the bottom, but you can get a better idea when you look at the sand. 
 

My niece and daughter wanted to get in on the fun, and we decided it was more interesting and informative to narrate the videos, though it’s always strange to hear ones own voice on a recording! So they did the first one and I did the second one. 🙂
 

 

 

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Amphrites

I like the front-aimed option allot actually, looks like it would be allot gentler on your animals, seems like it gets a great bit of turbulent-flow going and takes advantage of the negative/empty space on that side of the tank.

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banasophia
2 minutes ago, Amphrites said:

I like the front-aimed option allot actually, looks like it would be allot gentler on your animals, looks like it gets a great bit of turbulence going and takes advantage of the negative/empty space on that side of the tank.

Thanks so much for your help! I agree, except that I was planning on putting a frag rack (a really cool @NanoRox RoxRac) there on the right hand side, so I have to decide whether I want to give up that option. Hmmm... 

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banasophia

Oh, also, I will be trying to grow a couple monti caps there in that area, which is why that space is open like that in my design. 🙂 I‘ve considered posting a mock up showing my coral plans, but the issue is that things always change... 

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banasophia

So here’s the basic plan. Still need to borrow the PAR meter from the LFS to see what I’m working with... not sure how feasible my plan is, but it’s a work in progress. 

 

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billygoat
7 minutes ago, banasophia said:

So here’s the basic plan. Still need to borrow the PAR meter from the LFS to see what I’m working with... not sure how feasible my plan is, but it’s a work in progress. 

Great plan! I like the red one. 😂 What's going to go there?

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Amphrites
16 minutes ago, billygoat said:

Great plan! I like the red one. 😂 What's going to go there?

Monticap obv., jeez.

Or a nauti spiral...

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billygoat
7 minutes ago, Amphrites said:

Monticap obv., jeez.

I dunno man, I'm thinking that's where she's going to put the Caribbean brain coral (Diploria sp.). And the green and blue branches on top are gorgonians! I can see it all now! 😍😂

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banasophia
1 hour ago, billygoat said:

Great plan! I like the red one. 😂 What's going to go there?

 

58 minutes ago, Amphrites said:

Monticap obv., jeez.

Or a nauti spiral...

 

49 minutes ago, billygoat said:

I dunno man, I'm thinking that's where she's going to put the Caribbean brain coral (Diploria sp.). And the green and blue branches on top are gorgonians! I can see it all now! 😍😂


 

Haha yeah the monti cap was a little hard to depict with my very rough sketching approach, but that’s what it is. All (or most) of the corals will be SPS in this tank, at least that’s the hope, if I can grow them. The front right is a monti cap, front left is a mint pavona, the orange and blue blobs are encrusting Montipora, then the rest are either tight or loose branching Montipora as depicted (or possibly Acropora), depending on what I can obtain and grow in my system. 🤞🤞🤞

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Scotty Amen

Just ordered this tank, subbing to your thread :) 

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banasophia
1 hour ago, Scotty Amen said:

Just ordered this tank, subbing to your thread 🙂

Awesome, we’ll be starting at about the same time!! Excited to follow your progress!

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banasophia

Okay friends, what are your thoughts on these guys, instead of a sand sifter? Looks like they will swim around together, should accept a variety of foods, and burrow in the sand some. 

 

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