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Diddle's Cube - My First Reef Endeavor


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Here's a Link to Pictures

Link to Pictures


I'll be updating that page with my progress as I go.


Welcome to my 1st Reef Tank Project. I started with the idea of wanting to keep a 12g NanoCube on my desk. I develop software and spend a lot of time on my computers. I thought it would be nice to have something beautiful to look at and to help me relax. When I was in high school (15 years ago) I used to keep a few FO marine tanks. When I saw the sleek lines of the JBJ Cube, I knew I needed to have one. I hastily ordered one and a bunch of gear and then started reading Nano-Reef.com and realized that I would need to modify my cube in order to get the results I desired.


The project has very specific goals. Some people won't understand why I went through all the of the trouble for a 12g tank, but like I said, I have specific goals. Here they are:


1. The tank must fit on my desk.

2. The tank must maintain a stock look. No crap hanging off the back and the lights must be integrated into the hood so the don't disturb my eyes.

3. The tank must mimmick as closely as possible the natural conditions of a real reef.



So, with that criteria I started with. I soon realized that I would want a sump/fuge system. The extra volume would help stablize the system. I would be able to keep extra equipment in it and it would provide an area where I could allow pods to grow. I'll also be keeping a pair of Harlequin shrimp in my tank and I will have a 3-4 chocolate chip stars that I can rotate in and out of the fuge as a food supply for them. You can see the cabinet and sump/fuge that I built for this project below. The cabinet will be nearly fully enclosed to help muffle the sound of the skimmer and pumps. I will be drilling holes into my desk to accomadate the overflow and the return lines. This will keep my cube looking bone stock as well.


Equipment List:


12g JBJ Nano Cube


NanoCustoms.com 2005 Larnie Signature Edition Modded 3.24 DX Hood


AquaC Urchin in sump skimmer with MaxiJet 1200 pump and drain fitting mod


Digital Aquatics ReefKeeper


Coolworks IceProbe


3 MiniJet 606's in a closed loop in the 2nd rear compartment controlled by the ReefKeeper or a RedSea Wavemaker (Which I bought before I knew I was getting the RK) I'll probably sell the wavemaker.


1 Jager 100w Heater


1 Lunar Tracker w/ 2 LED Moonlights. This gadget mimmicks the lunar cycle and adjusts the moonlights accordingly.


1 AutoTopOff.com Double Switch sump mounted ATO system.




I also had to invest in a RO/DI system, extra heaters, temperature probes, PH probes, test kits, and every other trinket necessary.

Oh Yeah... another good thing about this project is that I would need to get MORE TOOLS! I got a table saw, router, router table and a zillion other little gadgets that I was able to justify to my girlfriend. She quickly made the necessary female mathematical calculations and was able to tell me the size and quality of a diamond that I could afford with all the money spent on this project! Gotta love em....


Project Status April 27, 2005: Initial construction is about 90% done. I Just need to silicone the baffle into the cube and then leak test the entire system.


Here's a Link to Pictures

Link to Pictures

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right left right right left right left left right left right ri-er, sorry!


In all seriousnes... it looks and sounds VERY professional and well-though out.

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Having such a nice sump on such a small cube seems funny to me, should be a great system, though. :) Why not go w/ something like an oceanic cube or even a via-aqua 18gal? the via-aqua is a nicer tank (IMO) and doesn't involve ripping all the crap off... But that would screw up your "stock" look since you'd have to have some piping in the back... lol. just realized that... I look forward to updates on this tank. Just make sure to go slowly w/ the setup and (as you are doing), do it right the first time.

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I myself do not understand why you would build that nice of a set up for a 12G. I would have done a nice 75 or 50 Tank with Canopy. But man that is was nice Nano.:)

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Thanks for the encouragment guys. I keep thinking that I'm an idiot and should just setup a 75,90 or 120 behind my desk and then just turn around and look at it to relax! I guess I love to build things and this lets me put my personality into a project.


I'll hopefully have everything ready for leak testing and temperature testing this weekend.


A big thanks to Chris from NanoCustoms.com and also to Tigah. They have been giving me advice behind the scenes. Also a big thanks to everyone that contributes to Nano-Reef.com. I barely go to any other reef sites and I like how most ppl are really positive here and offer lots of help to the beginnner.


People have been asking me about working with plexiglass and I got most of the info from http://www.melevsreef.com/ so a big thanks to him as well.


I'll get more pics when everything is setup and plumbed.

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probably the best modding work I've seen for a nanocube. I'm sure you'll go crazy when u upgrade to a bigger tank.


and thanks for the Router 101 info u gave me. very informative. hehe.

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