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schgr.cube's Ultum Nature Systems 45u - restarting…again


schgr.cube

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I figured I would post a photo of the current state of this aquarium, even though it is a planted tank now:

UNS45u-0017.thumb.jpg.ba5472aaf18f78054929d0c4fe9f58f9.jpg

This is all you will see when it is running, as there is zero visible equipment.

 

This tank has been able to fulfill my dreams of having a setup with absolutely no hardware viewable int he tank itself, as everything runs through piping hidden in the wood. I am currently dry-starting the plants to help them root better, but should be filling it in the next few weeks.

 

It has kind of reinvigorated me wanting to try this concept on a reef tank again, and my brain has been in overdrive trying to figure out the best way to make it work. Maybe I will have new life in a reef 45u after all....

 

Also, not totally related, but I took a photo of Virginia (my Black Widow) last night, and her enclosure.

UNS45u-0018.thumb.jpg.3485c45a53c226f12ed1995cd6edfcc5.jpg

Her enclosure is mounted on my living room gallery wall.

 

UNS45u-0019.thumb.jpg.995dabe6a663bbcae29c9c9d06f1eabc.jpg

She is a chonky little girl.

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  • schgr.cube changed the title to schgr.cube's Ultum Nature Systems 45u - coming out of retirement?

Planning things out led to me working on aquascaping, which will be vital in setting up the plumbing for this. The scape needs to reach the waterline in order to hide the ATO sensor appropriately and give me enough space to house inflow and outflow tubing. I spent about an hour last night playing with rock, and I think I have a scape that works well for my needs, will allow for appropriate coral placement, and is visually appealing. I wanted to mirror my planted tank a little bit by having two sections to the hardscape, with the left being larger and taller than the right.

 

UNS45u-0001.thumb.jpg.2e963187a5f0592248e2a329278d404c.jpg

Head on view.

 

UNS45u-0002.thumb.jpg.844722f4397c2b29501c53b206e6b107.jpgFront-right angled view.

 

I also plan on making the sandbed higher on the left side of the tank than the right side and toward the back, and more shallow up front and to the right.

 

I'm feeling pretty good about this and will begin experimenting with the superglue & cotton ball method for fixing the rocks together before I begin drilling and cutting.

 

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Wowww!!! I love your planted tank and your new saltwater scape… great visual appeal!! 🤩🤩🤩 The black widow, not so much… I keep mine in my front patio and try to stay clear!!! There are two to three big ones that I know of… didn’t realize people keep them as pets! 😬

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On 8/5/2023 at 5:36 PM, mdannyg said:

Exciting updates!

I’m getting more excited as I work on it!
 

18 hours ago, banasophia said:

Wowww!!! I love your planted tank and your new saltwater scape… great visual appeal!! 🤩🤩🤩 The black widow, not so much… I keep mine in my front patio and try to stay clear!!! There are two to three big ones that I know of… didn’t realize people keep them as pets! 😬

Thank you on both fronts! I am definitely trying for a particular aesthetic with both. And yeah, I didn’t either until someone showed me their widow, and I kind of fell in love! 
 

 

 

Two updates:

1. I have been cementing the rock together with the cotton ball/super glue method, and wow does it work well! I feel like these bonds are way stronger than the epoxies. I also have three holes drilled in them and am working on the plumbing. I did have to redo the scape a bit to get things to work how I need them to. 
2. I ordered the tank and stand. The Aqua Worx stands have been out of stock for a bit in this size and color, so I was a bit surprised when I looked today and it was available! Hopefully these should be here by Friday.

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  • schgr.cube changed the title to schgr.cube's Ultum Nature Systems 45u - saltwater planted
3 hours ago, schgr.cube said:

1. I have been cementing the rock together with the cotton ball/super glue method, and wow does it work well! I feel like these bonds are way stronger than the epoxies. I also have three holes drilled in them and am working on the plumbing. I did have to redo the scape a bit to get things to work how I need them

I haven’t seen this method before… how do you do it? 

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12 hours ago, banasophia said:

I haven’t seen this method before… how do you do it? 

This is a method I discovered on the planted tank forums, and it originally involved using superglue and cigarette filters. I didn't care to find cigarette filters since I already had cotton balls, and apparently, that method lets off noxious fumes, so I opted to go for the alternative.

 

Essentially you just stuff the cotton between the rocks, and then use a more viscous super glue (not gel) in the cotton and hold the rocks together. It hardens in between the rocks, and feels like cement. I did use epoxy in a few spots to fill some holes that I had made while drilling/cracking rocks apart, but I will be using a little reef-safe paint to clean up those spots. I should have the final scape finished up tonight, and post an updated photo to see how it all came together/looks with the cotton and epoxy. I will wait to paint until after I have shown that off.

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I got a little impatient when filing away the rock for my inflow plumbing, and ended up breaking the whole piece. It worked out as I was able to place the PEX plumbing and get it glued in place (along with the ATO mount at the top), but I will now have to reglue some pieces to this side of the rock to cover it all up. Hoping I don't butcher the overall aquascape during this process...

 

UNS45u-0003.thumb.jpg.83def50ff4f1773f230550440d47e484.jpg

3/4" PEX tubing for inflow, 3/4" PVC drilled and slotted for the ATO to sit in.

 

I may use this opportunity to make some cuts into the PEX tubing for the inflow, and then drill out some spots in the rock to match so I can get some decent waterflow in there. I will be slotting the rock at the top where the ATO sits as well so I can hopefully get a little bit of surface skimming at the same time, but we will see if that works at all.
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On 8/3/2023 at 10:39 AM, schgr.cube said:

I figured I would post a photo of the current state of this aquarium, even though it is a planted tank now:

UNS45u-0017.thumb.jpg.ba5472aaf18f78054929d0c4fe9f58f9.jpg

This is all you will see when it is running, as there is zero visible equipment.

 

This tank has been able to fulfill my dreams of having a setup with absolutely no hardware viewable int he tank itself, as everything runs through piping hidden in the wood. I am currently dry-starting the plants to help them root better, but should be filling it in the next few weeks.

 

It has kind of reinvigorated me wanting to try this concept on a reef tank again, and my brain has been in overdrive trying to figure out the best way to make it work. Maybe I will have new life in a reef 45u after all....

 

Also, not totally related, but I took a photo of Virginia (my Black Widow) last night, and her enclosure.

UNS45u-0018.thumb.jpg.3485c45a53c226f12ed1995cd6edfcc5.jpg

Her enclosure is mounted on my living room gallery wall.

 

UNS45u-0019.thumb.jpg.995dabe6a663bbcae29c9c9d06f1eabc.jpg

She is a chonky little girl.

What a cool idea for a wall piece!

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16 hours ago, ml86743 said:

What a cool idea for a wall piece!

Thank you!

 

 

I was able to finish up the rockwork and get the plumbing set in place, but I definitely had to make some major adjustments to the aquascape.

 

UNS45u-0004.thumb.jpg.075c4d06c9ad7d6e76b105e736f12be6.jpg

Still a two-island setup, but not what I originally imagined.

 

In order to avoid having ridiculous amounts of rock on the left and back sides of the tank, I'm going to try to slope the sandbed much higher in those areas. You can see the top of the taller rock is cut to allow me access to the float switch for maintenance, I'm going to try to clean it up a bit more so you can't see the seam, and maybe install two small dowels to keep it in place.

 

The bottom of the piping still needs to be bent into place a bit to fit into the bulkheads correctly, and then I need to slot the inflow and drill the outflow holes.

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Just a little throwback. He was found in a dumpster as a tiny kitten just a few months before this photo. He is 13 now. I guess the banner hasn't really changed all THAT much, but it sure does feel different.

 

UNS45u-0005.thumb.jpg.6a276f3ec4a05acdca906d2f4ac1789e.jpg

November 2010.

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Good news and bad news.

 

I'll start with the bad news. Buce Plant emailed me to say that the stands box was damaged when they received it, and after opening the box to inspect things they determined it was not fit for sale. This was the only one they had, and they do not know if they will be getting any more in at all. No one else has them in stock, so it appears I'll have to either really try to hunt one of these down or come up with a plan B.

 

As for the good news, Chewy had the Oase filter I wanted on sale, so I decided to just use the money I had spent on the stand on the filter instead. Once the tank and filter arrive, I will set something up temporarily to be able to test plumbing, ensure everything functions correctly, and begin cycling the tank (will seed with rock from my existing reef tank). That way I can have everything ready to go once I DO find a stand, and can just transfer it on. Not ideal, but I'll work with what I have.

 

I am putting the final touches on the rockwork tonight, but I got things looking much better/more cohesive, so I am pretty happy with how it is all turning out. I suspect we will be wet sometime next week, just due to how long Buce Plant is taking to ship the tank out.

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On 8/8/2023 at 11:36 PM, schgr.cube said:

Just a little throwback. He was found in a dumpster as a tiny kitten just a few months before this photo. He is 13 now. I guess the banner hasn't really changed all THAT much, but it sure does feel different.

 

UNS45u-0005.thumb.jpg.6a276f3ec4a05acdca906d2f4ac1789e.jpg

November 2010.

Great pic. I miss the days of ordering zoas and ricordea from Coral Morphologic. 

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On 8/11/2023 at 3:26 PM, mdannyg said:

Great pic. I miss the days of ordering zoas and ricordea from Coral Morphologic. 

I do too, it really felt like such a different time back then with this hobby. Rose-tinted glasses, I am sure.

 

 

 

TANK DAY!!

 

UNS45u-0006.thumb.jpg.a92bea50db396664a3e516168e11a11e.jpg

No, it wasn't really delivered like this, but I had to take a shot!  

 

I have the rockwork basically done at this point and am just making some final adjustments to the plumbing, so this is perfect timing. I am going to try to drill the tank immediately after I get off work and see if I have the energy to get the plumbing all set up. It is possible this guy could be wet by this evening, but I am thinking it is more likely that will happen tomorrow. I am hoping to get this flow tested ASAP, as I would really like to get my livestock transferred over from the old tank to this as soon as I can.

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Well, leak/flow testing didn't go well.

 

I have a small leak where the inflow plumbing attaches to the bulkhead, so I will have to redo that a bit. As for the flow, I will certainly have to make some adjustments to both the inflow and outflow, as I really just am not happy with it. I think the slots on the inflow are restricting things too much, so I am going to just redo the entire inflow rock. Hoping I can get this sorted out somewhat easily...

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Well, it is wet!

 

UNS45u-0008.thumb.jpg.4d52ec85f6a6475788f0960ca36ab5a5.jpg

Is that water movement you see? 👀

 

I was able to sort out every single issue I had, and the tank is now filled with saltwater mixing. I still need a stand for this tank and need to decide on a light, but we are ready to go. Once the salt is mixed, I'm going to throw some of my other liverock in here and move a few things over from the temp holding tank. I am still undecided on whether I will have any coral or not, but I'll likely move my rock flower nem over. I'll post a video soon to show the water flow, and then a full tank shot once it has cleared up.

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15 minutes ago, schgr.cube said:

Well, it is wet!

 

UNS45u-0008.thumb.jpg.4d52ec85f6a6475788f0960ca36ab5a5.jpg

Is that water movement you see? 👀

 

I was able to sort out every single issue I had, and the tank is now filled with saltwater mixing. I still need a stand for this tank and need to decide on a light, but we are ready to go. Once the salt is mixed, I'm going to throw some of my other liverock in here and move a few things over from the temp holding tank. I am still undecided on whether I will have any coral or not, but I'll likely move my rock flower nem over. I'll post a video soon to show the water flow, and then a full tank shot once it has cleared up.

Alriiight, congrats!

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39 minutes ago, TheKleinReef said:

the little 12" AI blade would look so sleek on top of this tank!

I agree, one of the big reasons I am hoping the Blade turns out to actually be a decent light. If I do go 100% macroalgae on this tank, I can use the FW version and have BOTH tanks have silver lights which will look better than black housing in my opinion. Not the biggest deal, but I am going for form over function a bit with these builds...😅

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TheKleinReef
10 minutes ago, schgr.cube said:

I agree, one of the big reasons I am hoping the Blade turns out to actually be a decent light. If I do go 100% macroalgae on this tank, I can use the FW version and have BOTH tanks have silver lights which will look better than black housing in my opinion. Not the biggest deal, but I am going for form over function a bit with these builds...😅

the only thing i see about the fw blade is the use of more cool white LEDs over warm and lack of channel control. I haven't tested them out for FW although I've considered it. I love my xr15 FW though. If i get a 50g FW i might do 2 of the xr15s

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30 minutes ago, TheKleinReef said:

the only thing i see about the fw blade is the use of more cool white LEDs over warm and lack of channel control. I haven't tested them out for FW although I've considered it. I love my xr15 FW though. If i get a 50g FW i might do 2 of the xr15s

Yeah there are definitely a few downfalls with it, but it has a lot of positives for what I want to do. I do like that it is SUPER sleek, and I can build a custom mount with the m8 fittings on each side. I'll likely copy the same idea I did for my Prime with painted electrical conduit.

 

UNS45u-0009.thumb.jpg.a9c181e433da2a54a7b32bf8e80cfb02.jpg

My old lighting setup.

 

I also love that it will be absolutely silent since it doesn't have any fans. I ordered one through my LFS, which has a great return policy if it doesn't work out for me. I ordered it about 3 weeks ago though, so I am really hoping it will come in soon so I can do some testing. I think if I don't end up going this route, I'll do a Kessil a160we on each tank.

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1 hour ago, TheKleinReef said:

I think it'll be a great light. Excited to see you use it. If it does well I might consider it for my next FW

I'll definitely keep you up to date on it! I'm hopeful it will work well, but realistic that I likely won't be keeping it.

 

 

I took a crappy video to show the flow, I really need to figure out getting better with video. Oh well, it still shows the idea! A reef tank running with no visible equipment.

 

 

The tank running in its temporary home.

 

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As promised, here are some shots of the tank. Without having a stand I really want to use for this setup, I am using the hobbled-together stand I had for my Fiji Cube 38-gallon, so I have to keep this tank in the basement for now. I am also using a Finnex FW light temporarily, just to provide a little bit of lighting for photography's sake. It always looked weird having a SW tank under this spectrum 😆

 

UNS45u-0010.thumb.jpg.0ddda87f6c3c04b97f6a29e54e851036.jpg

Front-facing shot.

 

UNS45u-0011.thumb.jpg.cef964119952980e30c2ac99aea0b44e.jpg

Quarter profile.

 

Pretty happy with the final aquascape!

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  • schgr.cube changed the title to schgr.cube's Ultum Nature Systems 45u - restarting…again

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