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reptilez

University 11 Gallon Cube Build

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reptilez

Hi All!

 

Long time reader, first time poster here from New Zealand. I thought that I would quickly introduce myself before discussing my tank. I am a 21year old student studying law and commerce and want to get back into the hobby! I have kept marine tanks since 2010, and regrettably got out of the hobby to focus on my studies.. why not combine them together right? 

 

My previous 300 litre tank:

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Currently we are in lockdown and have been for the past 5 weeks, which has been a perfect opportunity for me to plan my next tank build 🙂. I'm currently staying at my parents place in Auckland then will make the drive back to my University apartment in Wellington to set this tank up!

 

My goal for this tank will be minimalistic with little maintenance. I am thinking of having a pair of clowns and mainly softies/LPS corals, running chaeto to soak up some of the nutrients.

 

 

The Tank:

I got a custom-made 35cm cube rimless tank made with Ultra-Clear glass. Tank will be 42 Litres dry, or roughly 35 Litres with rock etc in.

As my apartment is small, I sadly couldn't go for anything bigger!

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Filteration:

I know it is small, but I bought an AquaClear 20 due to the compact design. Will run filter floss and carbon, alongside Purigen and Chaeto to combat nutrients.

 

Lighting:

Bought a 30W LED Light Unit from a local supplier with CREE Led bulbs, had good reviews from local reefers so I shall see how it goes.

 

Heating:

50w Eheim Heater

 

Extra's:

Lots of online shopping was done to prepare for this, it has been a great way to pass time haha!

Bought the infamous API test kit for the cycle, 5kg of Coral Sand for the bottom, Salt, a Refractometer, thermometers, an oversized wavemaker which I can't use.. doh..

 

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Currently 'cooking' 10-15kg's of rock with NSW, used a raw shrimp to kick start the cycle. Will pick out my favourite pieces to use afterwards

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Will keep this thread updated as I go along! I am really excited to get back into the hobby and hopefully balance the university/ reef tank lifestyle 🙂 

 

Hope that you all are keeping safe during these times!

- Matt

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debbeach13

Welcome to NR. I think you have some nice pieces of rock to pick from. Looks like a great tank and you got just about every thing you need. Some friends of mine recently returned from a month long trip to New Zealand. The loved it and have some wonderful pictures. Every thing was open until maybe the last 4 or 5 days of their trip. Have you heard any news to when university may reopen? I bet it's very hard waiting so you can get back for classes and to set up your tank. I hope it all goes well. Looking forward to seeing it start. Stay safe.

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reptilez
29 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

Welcome to NR. I think you have some nice pieces of rock to pick from. Looks like a great tank and you got just about every thing you need. Some friends of mine recently returned from a month long trip to New Zealand. The loved it and have some wonderful pictures. Every thing was open until maybe the last 4 or 5 days of their trip. Have you heard any news to when university may reopen? I bet it's very hard waiting so you can get back for classes and to set up your tank. I hope it all goes well. Looking forward to seeing it start. Stay safe.

Thank you for the welcome debbeach13!

 

Yeah I am slowly restocking all my supplies to get up and running again, it sure is an addictive hobby!

Happy to hear, I do love my country- it sure is beautiful. University has been made fully online until July at the earliest- I cannot wait until then to set this tank up so I have decided that I will return early and study from my apartment 🙂 

 

Stay safe yourself- will keep this thread updated and I will certainly ask for advice lol..

 

 

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reptilez

Spent today painting the back of the tank and creating a lid so the fish don't jump! Used galvenized mesh to prevent rusting. Any thoughts so far please do let me know 🙂

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Peaches

Oh wow, another New Zealander! 

 

I had a reef tank at uni in chch and its nice to have a hobby like this to keep you busy. I'll be trading along, live the dimensions

 

 

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Picogoby

Looking good so far!

I would still be a bit dubious of that metal mesh even if galvanised, it’s going to rust with the proximity to salt water.

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Ratvan

I wouldn't have galvanised anything near salt water. The salt will eat through the coating and likely cause a massively zincy mess

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reptilez
2 hours ago, Peaches said:

Oh wow, another New Zealander! 

 

I had a reef tank at uni in chch and its nice to have a hobby like this to keep you busy. I'll be trading along, live the dimensions

 

 

Cheers! Good to see that I am not the only Kiwi in the hobby haha.. it sure feels like it sometimes..

 

1 hour ago, Picogoby said:

Looking good so far!

I would still be a bit dubious of that metal mesh even if galvanised, it’s going to rust with the proximity to salt water.

Thank you! I will take the mesh off if it rusts and replace it with perspex/plastic mesh.

1 hour ago, Ratvan said:

I wouldn't have galvanised anything near salt water. The salt will eat through the coating and likely cause a massively zincy mess

Point noted.. doh! I will see if I can find something else to fit over it. Thanks for the advice 🙂 

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debbeach13

You can find a suitable plastic mesh in craft and sewing stores. 

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reptilez
1 minute ago, debbeach13 said:

You can find a suitable plastic mesh in craft and sewing stores. 

Thank you! I will replace the metal lid with that 🙂 Can i use fine plastic fly screen or will this block out too much light?

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debbeach13

I think that would work. I got a kit from BRS supply on line. Then For a different tank I got a window screen kit from Lowe’s.

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reptilez
3 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

I think that would work. I got a kit from BRS supply on line. Then For a different tank I got a window screen kit from Lowe’s.

Thank you!! Sweet that definitely looks do-able. Have plenty of time to sort it out before getting fish so will just leave the tank rimless in the interim 🙂 

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debbeach13

If you wanted you could try putting the mesh to cover the opening in the supplied lid with some super glue gel.

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reptilez

Had some spare plastic Gutter Guard, so replaced the metal with that.. doesn't look the prettiest but it'll do the job. Holes are 4-5mm - hopefully not too wide!

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reptilez

Update:

 

Filled the tank up and now the waiting game begins 🙂 

 

IMG_4611.jpg

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reptilez

Hiya,

 

Just an update on the tank. Been testing daily and my ammonia dropped then had a nitrite spike. Waited for nitrite to drop down to zero before adding any coral. Nitrates were around 5-10ppm so it looks like the cycle is complete 🙂

 

Corals Bought thus far:

Torch Coral

Pink-tipped green frogspawn

muti-colour frogspan

Ricordia Yuma

Red Montipora

Green Montipora

GSP

Elephant Ear Hammer

Palythoas

Devil's Hand leather

Candycane coral

Green mushrooms

Green hairy mushrooms..

 

Photos taken only a day after adding the corals so they weren't fully open yet 🙂 all came from someone shutting down their tank so I got a really good deal on them. 

Let me know what you think!!

 96350045_568421974105610_4967462000918528000_n.thumb.jpg.2644b4595beca7530165eabdaf1b7960.jpg97060382_698342610969215_1704241957900910592_n.thumb.jpg.e6d7f05d1d30d3abd3ff3dcbdbebd8d4.jpg96703671_755390091664436_8557032148920434688_n.thumb.jpg.ff7f458cd63802b8bbbe289fbe728f88.jpg

 

 

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debbeach13

Wow

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Ratvan
1 hour ago, reptilez said:

Hiya,

 

Just an update on the tank. Been testing daily and my ammonia dropped then had a nitrite spike. Waited for nitrite to drop down to zero before adding any coral. Nitrates were around 5-10ppm so it looks like the cycle is complete 🙂

 

Corals Bought thus far:

Torch Coral

Pink-tipped green frogspawn

muti-colour frogspan

Ricordia Yuma

Red Montipora

Green Montipora

GSP

Elephant Ear Hammer

Palythoas

Devil's Hand leather

Candycane coral

Green mushrooms

Green hairy mushrooms..

 

Photos taken only a day after adding the corals so they weren't fully open yet 🙂 all came from someone shutting down their tank so I got a really good deal on them. 

Let me know what you think!!

 96350045_568421974105610_4967462000918528000_n.thumb.jpg.2644b4595beca7530165eabdaf1b7960.jpg97060382_698342610969215_1704241957900910592_n.thumb.jpg.e6d7f05d1d30d3abd3ff3dcbdbebd8d4.jpg96703671_755390091664436_8557032148920434688_n.thumb.jpg.ff7f458cd63802b8bbbe289fbe728f88.jpg

 

 

That looks incredible 

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reptilez
33 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

Wow

Thank you!! I really appreciate it 🙂 want to eventually make a refugium to hold chaeto and keep it as a low nutrient system 🙂 

18 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

That looks incredible 

Thanks so much! I am very excited to see how it matures. Super stoked that the coral are settling in so quickly

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reptilez

Update: EEK!! I think my dry rock must have had phosphates in it, facing brown hair algae issues!

Doing 30% water changes weekly and bought PhosGuard to put in the filter, hopefully i can get on top of this 😞

 

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reptilez

Im shocked how well Phosguard worked, algae has completely disappeared over the past few days. Bought a pair of occellaris clowns too 🙂

ohito.jpg

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bbetta

Looking good! I think I’d change the placement of the Caulastrea, but that’s up to you

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reptilez
14 hours ago, bbetta said:

Looking good! I think I’d change the placement of the Caulastrea, but that’s up to you

Thank you! I completely agree but it is on a deep frag plug so unfortunately has to be somewhere in the sand bed for now. Eventually I will remove the plug because i hate the placement of it haha

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