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Upright Joe

[OPEN] Upright Joe

41 posts in this topic

I'm in. Here's a picture of my newly aquired 6 gallon nano cube with my lunch in it.

 

entry.jpg

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Before I get too far into this thread let me say a couple of things:

 

1) If you're a beginner - don't look at this thread as a good example of how to set up a nano-cube. I'm doing some things here that are outside of the norm. This is NOT how I set up my 12. This is NOT how I would generally recommend that one start a nano-reef.

 

I have very good reasons for my deviations that will become clear in due time. Well, that or I'm being an idiot and I'll have to start all over :).

 

2) I'm making a couple of minor changes that I believe should be allowed under the rules. If enough people take issue with them, I will either undo them or move to the open category. I'd prefer to be in the stock category because everything I'm doing is in the spirit of the stock category. I'm not making any physical modifications to the cube, jacking up the lighting, adding skimmers, adding a sump, etc.

 

(Note: Changes were too much - I am now in the open category)

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Here's the mini-jet 404 that I've replaced the stock pump with. It's a bit of a tight squeeze because the nozzle comes off the top of the stock pump whereas it comes off of the side of the mini-jet. If I were in the open competition, I would have trimmed an inch or so off of the green tube. It seems to work fine without any trimming though.

 

pump.jpg

 

The mini-jet 404 is rated at 18-108 GPH. I'm running it on the second SLOWEST setting so I'm probably running at about 30 GPH.

 

The last thing I've done that hopefully is not an issue is add an airstone to the middle compartment. No drilling was required. I just fed the tube through the same opening as the powercord for the pump.

 

airstone.jpg

 

If you'll notice. I'm using the bioballs and ceramic noodles that came with the cube. I even tossed in a couple of the ones that I never used from my 12 gallon cube just for fun. However, I did remove the carbon.

 

I can hear the screams of horror coming already :).

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Well, that's about it for today. I've got it filled with tap water for leak testing.

 

leaktest.jpg

 

Now I can eat my lunch.

 

lunch.jpg

 

(Live sand and live rock may be added tomorrow but Wednesday is more likely)

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BTW, can everybody see the pictures? They're being hosted from my mac mini in my living room - wanna make sure it's set up correctly. I can obviously see them :).

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what does the air stone do?

 

also... not a fan of the peas and macaroni:P

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Originally posted by alexwbush

what does the air stone do?

 

also... not a fan of the peas and macaroni:P

 

It puts air bubbles into the water of course. :)

 

I'm actually not a big fan either but after what I've spent on aquarium stuff this week, I think I'm going to be eating a lot of it :). I think I'll be price shopping for ramen soon.

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I have sand and a little live rock now.

 

sandrock.jpg

 

If you live in Central Ohio, Byerly's was selling live rock for $4.99 per pound tonight though they said it was going to be going up soon. There were mostly larger than nano pieces (could be broken up I suppose) in the tub but I picked up the rubble you see in the picture.

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ramen sale, 10 for a $1, gotta love that

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It's amazing they can make any money off of ramen at those prices isn't it? I couldn't package air at that and make a cent.

 

It's actually only been recently that I've been able to enjoy ramen again. I once ate it for two weeks straight in college. If you've ever eaten anything exclusively for two weeks, you'll know what I'm talking about. It takes a long time before you can look at it again without gagging.

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wouldn't the air stone cause micro air bubbles. Micro air bubbles irritate coral when they get trapped or latch onto the coral itself. I dunno. perhaps im not understanding your plan.

 

GOOD LUCK tho.

 

PS if you now in the OPEN category u might as well mod the lights so you can keep a broader variety of coral.

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All things in good time grasshopper :)

 

I actually have ordered a couple of things from nanocustoms now that I'm in the open category. I ordered the moonlight fix and the JBJ ATO. I'm not sure if the ATO is worth the money. I could have done it a quite a bit cheaper DIY. I'll give my opinion of it after I've installed it.

 

I haven't decided on whether or not to do a lighting upgrade yet. My livestock plan was developed for the stock category. I don't intend to change it - especially being as most of it has already been ordered. I guess if I think more lighting will have a significant impact on the health of my selections, I will do it. If not, I'll leave it stock.

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The air stone causes bubbles, not micro bubbles. Microbubbles are much smaller than anything a normal airstone puts out (although a limewood airstone can put out microbubbles). Microbubbles generally come from skimmers. On the other hand, if some bubbles get sucked through the return pump, it would create microbubbles, but I don't think Joe has to worry about that running 30 GPH...I think all the bubbles will make it safely to the surface.

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Technically, the term "microbubbles" would refer to bubbles to small to be seen by the naked eye. :)

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I got my JBJ ATO and moonlight fix from nanotuners.com (Thanks Chris).

 

order.jpg

 

The install fix was a piece of cake. I got it to work with nothing but a screwdriver - no soldering, drilling, or dremelling required.

 

moonlight.jpg

 

I don't have the pump that I ordered for the JBJ ATO yet so I haven't installed it but I've begun playing with it. I actually think I've formed my opinion of it from the experimentation I've done but I'm going to hold off on writing anything until I have it installed and running.

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oh, I know what you're gonna stock this tank with! :

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Shhhhh.... :)

 

The 15 yellow tangs I ordered won't be here 'till wednesday. I want it to be a surprise.

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Only yellow tangs? I would have gone with Naso Tang juveniles :)

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Actually, I saw cute little baby barracuda at the LFS the other day. Think they're reef-safe? Would they work in a 6 gallon?

 

Heh, I wish all the stuff I've ordered would hurry up and come in. This is worse than waiting for a cycle to complete.

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i saw a litle 'cuda at a lfs the other day too...what store did you see it at?

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I saw em at Jack's. Isn't buying a baby barracuda kind of like buying a baby alligator?

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Grrr... my first shipment of livestock is coming in today but I missed the FedEx guy. I've gotta go pick the package up after 5pm. I'll post pics later tonight.

 

I installed the JBJ ATO last night. I used the TOM aqualifter as the pump. It's nice because it pumps water through airline tubing so I've once again escaped any drilling or cutting :). Surprisingly enough, the aqualifter turned out to be really quiet - that or it's just overpowered by the ATO alarm (more to come on that). It has super low flow but it's more than adequate for topping off evaporation on a 6 gallon tank. I'm very happy with it.

 

Here are my thoughts on the ATO:

 

I'm not sure what a typical auto-topoff system costs but I know what I estimated the cost of a DIY system to be. At $85 without a pump, I really expected the ATO to be a premium system. I may have set my expectations too high.

 

The first problem I ran into was mounting the floatswitch. With the combination of connectors supplied, there's no way to really fine-tune the height of the switch. You can get it within an inch of where you want it but that's about it. In a larger tank this would have been no big deal but in my nano cube, I was unable to mount it at the right height without modification to the clips. Even after a little DIY action, I am still not able to keep the water height above the top frame due to the splashguard hitting the top of the switch. As a result, the waterline is just visible when viewing the cube. I may get into cutting the spashguard and adjusting the mount further to avoid this.

 

The second problem I was confronted with is the audible alarm. Whenever it turns on the pump it makes a loud tone so you know that it is working. This may be fine for a livingroom tank but mine is in my bedroom. I don't need an alarm going off while I'm trying to sleep. Why they don't have a switch to cut the audible alert I have no clue. My workaround was to put the ATO on the timer with my lights so that it only operates during the day. I may pop the sucker open and disconnect the speaker.

 

My third complaint is that I'm not 100% sure the snailguard is adequate. Being in the sump area of my cube it's fine for me. However, there is definitely room for foreign objects to get through it.

 

I do like the fact that it's a simple system to set up and includes a second float for protecting your pump or preventing an overflow a stuck float. I would recommend the system to people that are setting up a large tank or an AGA nano. For anybody else, I'd recommend a DIY setup or a californiareefs setup.

 

Suggestions for ATO v2:

1) Put a freaking switch on it to turn off the audible alarm.

2) Provide a way to fine-tune float height.

3) Improve the snail guard - there's lots of room for stuff to get in there.

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I don't know how much makeup water your going to be dealing with,

but I have almost no evaporation in my nc6.

I hope it wasn’t wasted money

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Well, it was definitely wasted money in the sense that I could have done it just as easily for far less. I'm not bent out of shape over it though. I'm sure I'll move the ATO to a bigger tank someday where it will start to have more value.

 

I like to run my temps higher than most people (82-83) so I imagine I'll see a decent amount of evaporation. Even if it's not a ton, at least the ATO will keep the salinity more constant than sporadic hand topoffs. Plus I've got a 2 week trip to Belize coming up and that's one less thing that my aquarium-sitter will have to do.

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