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ninjafish

Fish's new cube diary

  

258 members have voted

  1. 1. What should I put on the bottom of the tank?

    • Thin layer of aragonite
      218
    • Bare bottom
      40


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ninjafish

Hi all,

 

I have begun work on upgrading my 8" cube to a 12" cube so that my mantis shrimp, Ike, has a little more room to roam. Here is a photo of the two tanks side by side:

 

 

 

newcube.jpg

 

 

 

 

The new cube is a 12" starfire cube. This time around I had the glass shop polish the edges for me and it looks even better! (time will tell though if it was worth the $1/inch polishing cost ) The one-cubic-foot dimensions gives me approximately 7.5gal of volume. I don't think this tank will be as much of a marvel as the last one (a bullet-proof 2gal is pretty rare but lots of folks have success with 5-10gals). However, I am hoping that the extra room will allow me to create some interesting aquascaping and allow for further coral growth. And of course, it's all about Ike these days . Continuing in the tradition, the bulkheads and intake strainer will be the only equipment visible inside the tank -so this photo of the emtpy tank is as unsightly and cluttered as it will ever get. I have planned an additional modification to the cannister filter and am currently giving some serious consideration to going BB. I would be interested in seeing what people thought on the subject. I have kept both sand and BB and personally feel that astetics (or sand-dependant livestock) is the only reason a person should ever keep substrate. Having said that, astetics is a pretty powerful reason in a hobby where we place so much effort into having everything look right. Since I am so torn right now, a "yea" or "nay" from my peers would really help. I look forward to any comments or questions.

 

Cheers,

 

- Chad

Edited by Fish

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Brian da lion

Hey fish, i've always been a fan of your 2 gallon, and with a 7 gallon, it can only get better. I was wondering: for the 7 gallon, are you planning on using your retrofitted desk lamp? Let me know if you ever plan on selling it.

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Pili

Definatly go with a thin layer of sand, especially on your tank. I think BB would take so much away from it.

 

Are you plannig any type of flow upgrades as well? With the bigger cube i think you would need a little extra "umph".

 

Same spot on your desk also?

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Snoop

Bed so Ikes crap wouldnt be so ovious and try black sand??

Edited by Snoop

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ninjafish
Hey fish, i've always been a fan of your 2 gallon, and with a 7 gallon, it can only get better. I was wondering: for the 7 gallon, are you planning on using your retrofitted desk lamp? Let me know if you ever plan on selling it.

 

Brian,

 

Yes, I am planning on keeping the desk lamp. Hopefully a single 20k 70w halide will be enough light in the larger tank. If not, I will probably ditch the reflector and shoe-horn a second 70w halide into the fixture and run a dawn/dusk. If something ever happens where I have to sell it though, you will be first in line.

 

- Chad

 

Definatly go with a thin layer of sand, especially on your tank. I think BB would take so much away from it.

 

Are you plannig any type of flow upgrades as well? With the bigger cube i think you would need a little extra "umph".

 

Same spot on your desk also?

 

 

Pili,

I have now fitted the correct impellor blades back on to the cannister filter impellor (I was running it with undersized blades on the 2gal). I am expecting that to give me about 240gph after losses.

Just in case though, I put in 3/4" bulkheads this time so that I can connect the external blueline hd20 that I have sitting around. That pump would give me about 400gph and it is a great piece of equipment. If I needed the extra flow, I would plumb the hd20 in a closed loop to the bulkheads and then, under the desk and out of sight, use a four-way tee and connect the lines from my modded cannister filter to one of the lines for the hd20. This would essentially be a closed loop connected to a closed loop - one pump providing the current - and the cannister providing the filtration and temperature. Just as I half hope the single halide won't be enough, I kinda hope that I am forced to build the "Fish's chaeto/flow/heat exchanger" :P

Thanks,

 

- Chad

 

 

Snoop,

I never thought of doing black sand. It would definitely blend with the bulkheads better...

Ikes poop is one of the resons why I am considering BB. I'd rather be able to clean it out easier than just hide it.

 

- Chad

Edited by Fish

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mecgeorgeneo

Build me one! =D

 

How much is that starphire there fish?

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crrichey

Awsome, going to be pro when your done!

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BelowH2O

nice upgrade.

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Carinya

I think Ike was a smithii, right? clubber? He'll be more comfortable with a coarse sand / crushed coral substrate I think. Deeper would be better for him, but I understand that you have some system limitations. Separately, from a purely aesthetic perscpecitve I think a substrate looks better than bare bottom.

 

Carinya

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ninjafish
Build me one! =D

 

How much is that starphire there fish?

 

Haha, the shop charged me $150Can plus the cost of bulkheads. At first I was like "what? this is only a 7gal tank, you guys have built be a 20gal starfire tank before for almost the same amount!?" The owner of the glass shop just said "well if you want polished edges and there's 48 inches on each pane of glass. At $1/inch, you're looking at $200 just for for polishing costs"

:o

Oh, ok... I guess that sounds fine then..

 

 

 

 

 

InuYasha and BelowH20,

 

Thanks guys I hope it turns out OK. As soon as I get home tomorrow I will post the new cannister mod that I did.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

I think Ike was a smithii, right? clubber? He'll be more comfortable with a coarse sand / crushed coral substrate I think. Deeper would be better for him, but I understand that you have some system limitations. Separately, from a purely aesthetic perscpecitve I think a substrate looks better than bare bottom.

 

Carinya

 

 

Carinya,

 

You're right Ike is a g. smithii. I was always under the impression that clubbers don't really need a sandbed like spearers do because they live in LR burrows...

Thanks for your vote. I think I will probably be ok going with substrate in this tank. I had substrate in the 2gal cube and it was a very healthy tank - and this one will have more water volume too. Would you go with white or black sand?

 

 

Thanks everyone for your input so far,

 

- Chad

Edited by Fish

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Maeda

So basically it would have been MUCH cheaper if you didn't polish those edges then?

So before polishing what would you estimate the cost per sq-inch?

Im building a tank for mecgeorgeneo... ^_^

 

I personally don't see the difference between non-polish and polished....

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Carinya

I guess you are correct that technically they don't need a substrate if the LR has enough cavities. But my clubber spends hours excavating burrows beneath the LR, despite numerous existing cavities. Seems to be a hobby of his. :) Anyway, I guess having seen my mantis play around in the crushed coral so much, I'd vote for some kind of substrate on your tank. But that's just my $0.02.

 

Loved the earlier tank. Can't wait to see this one.

 

C

Edited by Carinya

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Fishfreak218

Deffinatly do a thin layer of sand...cool....i want a Starphire Cube one day

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shao-lin nano

so what's going to happen to the 2g tank now?

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deacon hemp

Its gonna be setup as an sps garden...Fish do the polished edges look like they were worth the extra money? I cant wait to see this tank unfold.

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ninjafish
So basically it would have been MUCH cheaper if you didn't polish those edges then?

So before polishing what would you estimate the cost per sq-inch?

Im building a tank for mecgeorgeneo... ^_^

 

I personally don't see the difference between non-polish and polished....

 

 

Maeda,

 

 

I'm not sure what it would have cost without the polishing - mostly because after adding up their cost of polishing, the tank seems to be free :P . Comparing it to the cost of my last tank, I would say around $100Can (for the shop to build and drill).

As for polishing, I notice a big difference along the top edge, but I don't think it's worth it to polish the edges that are siliconed - just doesn't make that much of a difference...

 

 

 

Thanks everyone for your input and kind words!

 

- Chad

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ninjafish

And here is the update that I promised on my cannister mod!

Most of you are probably familiar with the submersible 'fuge lights that I added to my cannister filter for my 2gal cube. The heat generated by those lights was sufficient to maintain my tank temp; now that I have a larger tank though, I have added a heater to the inside of the cannister as an extra precaution:

 

 

 

filtermod.jpg

 

 

I went with a Hydor 50w Theo - not because I think it is a fine piece of equipment - just because it was the only one short enough to hang from the underside of the impellor housing (the wires from the chaeto lights are a bit of a pain to fish inside the filter and I didn't want anything else rattleing around the inside).

For those of you who are wondering why I didn't just build an inline heater compartment, I would have liked to but the distance from the bulkheads to the tank is so short that the hoses barely have enough room to turn. An extra length of pvc in the line wouldn't have given me enough room to connect and disconnet the hoses.

I know that drilling a cannister filter with ONE hole is less-desireable, never mind two holes... I sealed it off good from the wet side and then used an entire tube of silicone to fill up the pocket where the wires come out of the top. It is pretty safe... not as safe as a stock cannister... but I wouldn't risk Ike's life on a job that I didn't feel would hold. As for the questionable nature of the heater. I have been temp testing it and have been pleased with how well it maintains a constant temp. I will be using a controller with it to prevent any stuck-on catastrophies. Well, that's pretty much the heart of the system. Hope you like it.

 

Cheers,

- Chad

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deacon hemp

Chad,your gonna have to hook me up with where you got the sub. lights? They are lit on reverse photo period? Your new mod looks good.

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ninjafish
Chad,your gonna have to hook me up with where you got the sub. lights? They are lit on reverse photo period? Your new mod looks good.

 

You bet, I'll look around for the name of the company that I went through. You can also just google "submersible pond lights" and it should get you on the right track. I run my lights 24/7 and have never had a problem. If I was keeping macro (an equal amount) in my main tank, I would run the lights on a reverse schedual but because the only macro is in my filter I keep the lights on to prevent ph spikes.

 

Cheers,

 

- Chad

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ninjafish

Even though I have to be up at 5:30 tomorrow morning, I managed to connect all the plumbing and epoxy the LR into one piece. I started everything up to do a leak/temp test and ended up moving Ike over to the cube (until I move it back to work in a couple days).

Here are a couple pics:

 

 

fulltank1.jpg

 

 

 

ikesnewhome.jpg

 

 

 

 

latest1.jpg

 

 

 

I hope you like it!

 

 

- Chad

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Maeda

That starphire costs only slightly more then the crappy iron glass tank I just got! >_<

I'm so jealous!

 

Oh and Hydor makes in inline heater for cannister filters. I think it might be way too big though.

Edited by Maeda

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ninjafish
That starphire costs only slightly more then the crappy iron glass tank I just got! >_<

I'm so jealous!

 

Oh and Hydor makes in inline heater for cannister filters. I think it might be way too big though.

 

 

Maeda.

Ya, I was actually looking at the hydor inline heater when I bought this one. The smallest that I could find though was 200watt. Also, The distance from the tank bulkheads to the cannister filter is so short that I don't think I had room for an inline heater (either bought or DIY) :angry:

 

Cheers,

 

- Chad

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fras

it looks fab!!!

 

I think it does need sand though :)

 

I do like the look of the light being in the angle lamp base, it looks really smart.

 

Will you be adding corals with ike or will it be strictly species only?

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ninjafish

Thanks! My current listof corals is:

 

pink birdsnest

green digitata

brown digitata

orange monti caps

frogspawn

candycane

riccordia (two colors)

zoos (5 or six colors)

mushrooms (4 colors)

gsp

colt

devils hand

pulsing xenia

 

Ike has behaved really well with the corals as long as I have had him and I am going to keep my eyes open for another couple to add as well.

 

Cheers,

 

- Chad

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ninjafish

Update:

 

I set up the new cube at my office this morning at 6am. It became immediately apparent that the new, larger bulkheads were not going to fit through the same electrical conduit that the 2gal did (a measurement error on my part). Right now the tank is on the edge of the desk up against one wall - hence no 360degree view . I believe that if I raise the tank up a couple inches so the bulkheads are off the desk, the hoses will fit through ok.

Aside from that setback, I am really pleased with how smoothly everything went. The flow is just right and the aquascaping turned out better than I imagined. And the look of the tank with the white sand is incredible! Ike actually looks happier and was out quite a bit today - despite the early morning trauma of being dropped on the carpet (he actually started running across the carpet. I caught him by putting down a sour cream container in front of him so he'd run inside ).

Also with Ike is a handsome little blue damsel and looks great under the 20k bulb. I promise to take a photo tomorrow.

The goals I have right now are:

 

1 - Moving the tank back to the original spot

2 - Seeing whether or not the single 70watt halide will be enough

3 - Keeping the sand white (I hope it stays like this forever)

4 - Figuring out the proper dosing rate for my auto topoff

 

Cheers,

- Chad

Edited by Fish

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