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


schgr.cube

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I went back and forth a little bit on things, but after my clown started hosting the BTA in my temp holding tank, I decided I should go with a more reef-oriented light rather than a freshwater-planted light. I pulled the trigger on the AI Blade Coral Grow, and will likely run it on the slightly more white side of things most of the time.

 

I had to cancel my order for the Freshwater version of this light for my planted tank, as my LFS was taking forever to get it to me, so I just ordered both versions from Aquacave. They should be here Tuesday 🙂

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Well, I figured out what to do for matching stands. I was at Home Depot looking for decent plywood to build my own stand, and decided to go down to the kitchen area to see if they carried laminate. While I was there, I walked past the cabinets and found two that were the perfect size. 18"x12"30, with a tank that is 17.71"x11.02"x11.02".

 

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Stands waiting for the tops to be mounted and put in place.

 

My dad happened to have two pieces of OLD yellow pine from a barn that was torn down, so I planed them down and made them into tops (yet to be mounted). They weren't cut square, but were the perfect width so I'll just consider the cuts to be rustic charm 😉. They are about 1/2" too short to reach the back of the cabinets, so I am actually going to place an LED stip at the back on a shorter piece of wood. It won't be noticeable, and I can then backlight the tanks if I want to for photos.

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Light teaser!

 

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Custom mount using 1/2" metal conduit.

 

I received both of my lights, and I have to say I'm torn. On one hand, the Freshwater Blade is beautiful, simple, clean, and I think is going to work exceedingly well for both tanks. I am definitely keeping it.

 

On the other hand, the Coral Grow Blade is damn near unusable. The difference between the left side and right side of the tank is extremely stark, with the side that the cord is on being substantially more white than the other side. I really don't want a two-tone tank, so ultimately I am just going to return it and go with a Freshwater Blade on both tanks. Since this is a macro tank, I don't think it will matter all that much, but I can always add a Reefbrite later if I want to. To top it off, I honestly just don't think the light looks as good in black...there is something about the silver housing that is SO much cleaner, adding another reason to go with the Freshwater version for both tanks.

 

I'm going to post a full photo of the light mount a bit later but wanted to just post this for now because I am pretty proud of the solution I made. I will likely do a detailed post on what parts I used and how I made it as well!

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1 hour ago, schgr.cube said:

On the other hand, the Coral Grow Blade is damn near unusable. The difference between the left side and right side of the tank is extremely stark, with the side that the cord is on being substantially more white than the other side.

 

whoa I had no idea this was even an issue. Do they know what causes this?? I have a blade coral grow and I don't recall it doing that. I might bust it out and double check.

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31 minutes ago, TheKleinReef said:

 

whoa I had no idea this was even an issue. Do they know what causes this?? I have a blade coral grow and I don't recall it doing that. I might bust it out and double check.

 

9 minutes ago, Elizabeth94 said:

Interesting! I wonder if it is just a defect of that particular light. I have heard a lot of good things about these new blade lights. 

 

It seems to be a fairly common issue, from looking online at other people's issues. It is due to the design of the LED clusters themselves (shown in the "LEDs" section on their page), which has the white LEDs all on the same side of each cluster. Apparently, if the optics are slightly misaligned, you will have this issue. I could just replace it, but other posts indicate that most people are just being sent replacement lights with the same issue, and I think the Freshwater version will probably suit me better overall anyway.

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Full shot of the light mounted. Next step is to drill a few holes for cabling, and move the tank up onto the new stand! This tank should be fully set up tonight, and I will just ensure there was enough bacteria moved over to not have a full cycle.

 

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Almost ready to move into the new home!

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I moved the tank up last night from the temporary stand it was on, and I am SO happy with it. This is far and away the cleanest tank I have ever set up, and it runs beautifully so far. Only time will tell if this flow situation really works well once the tank is fully stocked, but after investigating other macroalgae builds I think it will do just fine.

 

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First FTS of the new setup.

 

I think the only thing I will need to do, equipment-wise, is add an LED strip behind the tank to help offset the shadowing. I don't think it would have been too bad originally, but I had to move the tank a little further away from the wall for the light mount which created more shadowing behind.

 

I also painted the light mount white so it blends in a bit more. It isn't perfect, but it is much better than the raw silver. I'll be doing the same thing for the planted tank once that light comes in.

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The first guests have arrived! I moved in two of the fish from my other tank, as well as my Bubbletip Anemone, Rock Flower Anemone, Porcelain Anemone Crab, a few small mushrooms and Zoanthids, and most of my cleanup crew. The Bubbletip was stubbornly attached to a rock, so I decided to rearrange things to accommodate that rock in the aquascape. I'm not 100% sure how I feel about that, but I am hoping he will relocate so I can have the freedom to adjust the layout.

 

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The first inhabitants have moved in!

 

I also decided to mess with some background lighting, as I wasn't a big fan of how shadowed the light looks against the wall. I was originally hoping to find LEDs that I could match the tone of the AI Blade with, but everything either didn't match or was too dim to work. I ended up opting for some @Tigahboy style blue lighting, which will contrast nicely against a warmer white I am using for the planted tank.

 

Here are some comparisons:

 

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Planted tank:

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Combined shots:

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I should have a few pieces of macroalgae coming soon, so this tank should actually start looking a bit better very quickly!

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On 9/20/2023 at 11:05 AM, TheKleinReef said:

whiter spectrum tanks always look so good. I should run AB+ for the hours I'm not at home and then go more white while I'm at home.

 

tanks look amazing!

 

Thank you! I wasn't ever really a fan of a more white spectrum on a saltwater tank, but it is growing on me. I think once I have the macros in here I will love it.

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21 minutes ago, schgr.cube said:

 

Thank you! I wasn't ever really a fan of a more white spectrum on a saltwater tank, but it is growing on me. I think once I have the macros in here I will love it.

 

after snorkeling in the shallow reefs off of cozumel at midday, i fell in love with the whiter light look. excited to see your tank stocked!

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Love the concept here! I've had something similar going on a 22G long tank for awhile but yours is just that much cleaner. Nice work! 

 

Macro with a whiter spectrum is going to look great

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2 hours ago, TheKleinReef said:

 

after snorkeling in the shallow reefs off of cozumel at midday, i fell in love with the whiter light look. excited to see your tank stocked!

Oh, that sounds amazing! Super jealous. My first piece of macro will be in tonight, a local reefer is going to give me some Grape Caulerpa.

 

2 hours ago, Justind823 said:

Love the concept here! I've had something similar going on a 22G long tank for awhile but yours is just that much cleaner. Nice work! 

 

Macro with a whiter spectrum is going to look great

Thank you so much! I tried looking through your post history for this tank but didn't see it. Have any photos or other details? Also, did you ever get that UNS 90L going? It looks like it was off to a great start!

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54 minutes ago, schgr.cube said:

Thank you so much! I tried looking through your post history for this tank but didn't see it. Have any photos or other details? Also, did you ever get that UNS 90L going? It looks like it was off to a great start!

Yea!  That's the one. I called it a 22G long but I almost forgot it's the UNS 90l. Close enough😅

 

I'm working on getting my thread back up and running. About time for an update!

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Im very impressed with how “simple” and clean this looks. Love the way you hung the lighting. So how are you hiding your flow so well? 
 

I also went back and may have seen that you drive an STI? I daily mine and love my car. Definitely don’t have the photo taking skills you do. 
 

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On 9/22/2023 at 3:55 PM, TheKleinReef said:

 

I used to run this as a fuge macro, such an under rated algae.

 

Yeah, I feel like I used to see it occasionally, but I don't see it all that often anymore. I think it is a great-looking algae as well! I also have Gracilaria, Halimeda, Codium, and Caulerpa Cupressoides coming in soon from another reefer.

 

On 9/22/2023 at 4:37 PM, Justind823 said:

Yea!  That's the one. I called it a 22G long but I almost forgot it's the UNS 90l. Close enough😅

 

I'm working on getting my thread back up and running. About time for an update!

 

Ahhh gotcha, well I definitely can't wait to see more! I'll have to give that thread a follow, I am definitely interested in updates.

 

On 9/22/2023 at 5:20 PM, Elizabeth94 said:

Im very impressed with how “simple” and clean this looks. Love the way you hung the lighting. So how are you hiding your flow so well? 
 

I also went back and may have seen that you drive an STI? I daily mine and love my car. Definitely don’t have the photo taking skills you do. 
 

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Thank you! Simple looking for sure, but definitely more complicated than it should be lol. I guess I never did show how the plumbing is set up. I'll have to take some photos to show things off tomorrow when the lights are back on, but here is a diagram that shows where the plumbing is. The orange box is the outflow hidden inside the larger rock in the rear, and the teal boxes are the outflows hidden in the foreground rocks.

 

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Hah, I used to have the STI, but I sold it when I bought my house. I needed to clear up some cash for funding, so unfortunately I don't have a fun car anymore. I hope to have something fun again soon, but yours looks great!

 

 

One shot I snapped tonight of the porcelain anemone crab.

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I think he needs a molt!

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A local reefer gave me some Grape Caulerpa today, which I will wait to photograph until I have a bit more time to secure it to a piece of liverock rubble, but he did give me a few other things! I got a small gorgonian that isn't quite open yet, and a nice yellow sponge he had living in his sump.

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I also noticed he had some pretty gnarly-looking bubble algae, and figured I'd draw a bit more inspiration from @Tigahboywith a sweet bubble algae piece. I glued the best-looking ones onto a small piece of rock, and am going to try to keep it from going too nuts.

 

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He also pointed me in the direction of a semi-local seahorse breeder that has LOTS of macros and interesting inverts. I'll have to make a trip out to them soon...

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