chill105

NEW BioCUBE 8 Setup - PICS, MODS, BEER!

102 posts in this topic

After over 4 years of being away from the reef hobby (bringing a 46 gallon bow-front to college isn't so easy), I started to realize how much I truly missed having my own aquarium. I've been planning to do a softie/LPS nano-reef now for over 6 months, and have been trolling these forums for a while trying to learn as much as possible about this relatively new and intriguing facet of the hobby.

 

I had several criteria that had to be met in order for me to be able to move forward with this project:

1) Under 10 gallons (landlord's mandate, not mine!)

2) Relatively easy to move

3) Self-maintaining for at least 3 weeks at a time (more on that later)

 

Initially I was settled on an NC6 2.18, but once the new Oceanic BioCUBEs came out, I realized that overall the BC8 would suit my purposes much better.

 

For anyone who is interested in or considering purchasing a BioCUBE, I would highly recommend you read this thread over on reefcentral, as it's extremely informative:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthre...threadid=915714

 

I ordered my BC8 off of ebay from the seller "coralsplus." I paid $158 shipped, (less than I would have for a nanocustoms 2.18 NC6). Packaging was excellent, and it arrived in under 2 days. Overall, I am initially very impressed with the tank. Fit and finish is excellent, the electrical work is solid, and the tank simply looks great. It is clear that Oceanic spent some time planning this out.

 

Here she is!

IMG_9746.jpg

 

(It just looked so sad and empty sitting there- we had to feed it!)

 

Lights on:

IMG_9741.jpg

 

Moon lights:

IMG_9759.jpg

 

 

Now, I know what you're all thinking: "where are the MODS???"

Here's how the chambers come set up from the factory:

biocube_filter.jpg

 

 

...and here's my master plan :D

 

chamber_layout.jpg

(more info on the "Auto Water Changer" later... hehe)

 

WHAT I'VE DONE SO FAR:

-Bio-balls and Filter Cartridge...GONE!

-Expanded flow from chamber 1 to 2 (see previous threads on this topic)

-Replaced stock pump with Mini-Jet 606 (more reliable, more flow)

 

...onto THE FUGE!!!

Edited by chill105

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I plan to run my fuge on an alternate daylight cycle with the tank. Since the tank is in my room, I didn't want any light leakage. I also didn't want to spend a lot.

 

The light I bought is made by FEIT Electric. It's marketed as an under-cabinet fixture. It's extremely small and has a 9w "soft white" power compact bulb. I got it for under $11 at Lowes.

fugelight.jpg

 

I was looking around for things to mount the light in, and came across (AKA found in the trash) one of those black plastic containers that come with crappy microwaveable mac-n-cheese- it was the perfect size! After washing it out, I lined it with aluminum-foil and mounted the light inside with a zip-tie. I then lined the edges with velcro, cut vent holes in the top, and put on a nice trim of red velvet fabric I had lying around (classy, right?). The fabric extends slightly beyond the edge of the velcro, so as to block off any gaps where light could escape:

 

IMG_9758.jpg

 

The back glass of the tank is covered with some kind of paint. I measured and marked the edges of where I wanted my window, crossed my fingers, and then went crazy with a razor blade... :o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...tada! B) .

It worked out pretty well:

IMG_9752.jpg

(the white strips on top and bottom are the mounting velcro)

 

Here's the fuge light mounted. IT STICKS OUT LESS THAN 1.5" FROM THE BACK OF THE TANK!

IMG_9748.jpg

 

...and the view from inside:

IMG_9751.jpg

 

These pictures do not do justice to how BRIGHT this thing is. Put it this way: I can't look straight at it without seeing huge purple spots for the next 5 minutes.

 

There is absolutely NO LIGHT LEAKAGE coming from the back of the tank.

Although right now a tiny bit of light is creeping over the chamber into the main display, once the chaeto, drip tray, and filter floss is installed I doubt it will be an issue.

 

The light does give off some heat, but not a ridiculous amount. Because of the way the light is mounted inside of the container with the zip-tie, it (intentionally) sits slightly back from the glass. I'll give a temperature report once I get water in the tank.

 

 

 

...MORE TO COME SOON!

Edited by chill105

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Thanks for the post and diagrams. I also have the 8. I am keeping it stock for now but I like the way you have it set up.

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Everything looks good, but unless you are gonna change it weekly, I dont think you will need a sponge before the powerhead, especially will all your filtration. I woud also consider maybe purigen or one of those other seachem products. The name slipped my mind, but theres purigen and something else. Anyway, I would remove the sponge and carbon and replace the carbon with purigen or the other thing if I can remember it.

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Glad to see the fuge light is working. I plan to do the same with my 29. The rest of your mods are similar to what I had in mind. Unfortunately, I am in the process of building a new house and won't be setting the tank up until the house is done. I have saved this thread for later. Thanks for posting this stuff!

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Everything looks good, but unless you are gonna change it weekly, I dont think you will need a sponge before the powerhead, especially will all your filtration. I woud also consider maybe purigen or one of those other seachem products. The name slipped my mind, but theres purigen and something else. Anyway, I would remove the sponge and carbon and replace the carbon with purigen or the other thing if I can remember it.

 

 

Henry, you're probably right about the sponge. I just want to make sure nothing comes off of that rubble in the bottom of the 2nd chamber and gets sucked into the pump impeller. I'll probably just put some fine plastic or fiberglass mesh material down there instead.

 

In regards to the Purigen, there are lots of different opinions on these forums as to what filter medias works, what they do, and what the drawbacks may be. Personally, I'm in the "mostly natural" camp- I believe that natural biological filtration (bacteria within live rock, live sand, etc), regular water changes, and nitrate export through natural means (refugium, xenia, etc.) are proven and sustainable ways to maintain a healthy reef environment.

 

Of course, a little extra help can go a long way. It's difficult to naturally control phosphates (hence the PhosGuard, although the fuge should help some). Also challenging is dealing with chemicals, excessive organics, or other impurities within the water. Carbon and Purigen perform similar "scrubbing" functions by removing some of these undesireable components (Purigen is more targeted towards organics) from the water and helping to keep it clear. I've had success with carbon in the past, which is why I plan to continue using it. I'm always open to new ideas though :)

 

Thanks for your input.

 

MORE PICS AND INFO COMING SOON!

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Man your mods look like there coming along nicely..

 

I see you've put alot of thought into your tank. I'm sure that will pay off ten fold down the line.

 

I'll be tagging along. B)

 

-B

Edited by br1910

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Sweet Mod. It looks a lot better than if you just stuck a light back there and didnt block the light leakage. I'm thinking about getting a 29 gal in the next few months and i will definitly give this a try. It would be extra sweet if I could fit it in the first chamber and put a skimmer in the big middle chamber.

 

Good job, keep up the mods.

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Did you find the fans in your hood to be noisy? I have the 29G and they are very loud.

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how are the pods going to get into your tank with that 1/2 inch sponge there?

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aquakevem: The sponge is gone. I'm not using it.

 

bp1820: My fans aren't noisy at all. I'm actually surprised by how quiet this tank is overall. I think the fans on the 29 might be different- maybe larger?

 

UPDATES:

 

-Visi-therm stealth heater fits perfectly in intake chamber

-There's plenty of room for the Mini-Jet 606 in chamber 3

-Water and fiji pink sand are in. Temps are holding steady at 79.7. Fuge light (and main lights) seem to have little or no effect on temperature.

-The AUTO WATER CHANGER is working! I'm putting the system through testing now- I want to make sure everything is working EXACTLY as I planned before posting diagrams, pics, etc..

-Live rock arrives Thursday (Tonga Nuku Fusion from Pacific East Aquaculture)

 

More pics coming soon!

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I posted a new thread in the DIY section on my auto water changer (it seemed more appropriate to post the details there).

It's working great!

 

Here's the link to the thread: http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=97557

 

And here's a pic to wet your appetite!

AWC_full.jpg

 

 

...new pictures of my live rock coming soon!

Edited by chill105

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good start! cant wait to see what happens next

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I have found that my BioCube 8 has terrible cooling. I cut the louvers out over the fans with a pair of small snips. Perhaps a fan upgrade is in order. Have any plans for modding the cooling on yours?

 

good start! cant wait to see what happens next

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Love the setup! I am in the process of adding water and aquiring live rock.

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Live Rock arrived on Thursday from Dr. Mac (Pacific East Aquaculture).

I wanted to try out their new Tonga Nuku Fusion rock, which looks really great on their site.

 

I spoke with Dr. Mac personally on the phone to make sure he had some smaller-sized pieces- he was extremely helpful. Most of the rocks they have are much larger, so he had to hand-pick some smaller pieces for me. The rock I got had already been curing at their facility for a couple weeks, so much of the color had faded, but you can tell that this is really nice stuff. I ordered 11 pounds.

 

Came packaged nicely in a styrofoam box and covered in wet newspaper.

I asked for some rubble as well, and they kindly placed it in a separate bag.

The rock smelled pretty fresh, but not completely cured.

LR_arrival.jpg

 

Even these smaller pieces were still pretty large. The two towards the left of photo below were really gorgeous- still had nice coloration, but more importantly were the great SHAPES- lots of tunnels and crevices and interesting features.

LR_layout.jpg

 

I had to go to town with a hammer and a screwdriver to break some of these rocks up so I could have some smaller pieces to work with. Rubble went right into the back chambers and fit nicely.

 

After the dust had settled:

aquascape.jpg

 

I'm pretty pleased with the aquascaping, at least for the first attempt. I think it looks too "piled" on top, so I'll try to open that up a little more before I get any livestock. There's a really neat overhanging cave structure in the middle with LOTS of entrances, exits, tunnels, etc... You can see cool views of it from every side of the tank. There are also some great locations to place frags with varying light and flow.

 

Here's a shot showing one of the tunnels leading into the cave. You can see some of the great dynamic shapes going on here.

tunnel.jpg

 

And finally, an overhead:

aquascape_top.jpg

Gives you a good chance to see how everything fits in the chambers as well.

(The stock pump on the glass, which was replaced by an MJ 606, is just there for extra flow while the tank is cycling).

 

Tank is cycling nicely. Auto water changer has changed more than 3 gallons now. Water is looking crystal clear.

 

Chaeto should arrive this week! More updates to come.

Edited by chill105

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Looking good!

 

How do you like the tank? Do you think it is a good deal, and would you buy it again?

 

I am thinking about buying one.

 

texx

Edited by irishtexan

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Looking good!

 

How do you like the tank? Do you think it is a good deal, and would you buy it again?

 

I am thinking about buying one.

 

texx

 

Thanks irishtexan! I love the tank so far. I think it is well designed and it looks great. It comes pretty nicely equipped straight from the factory, and for what you're getting I think it's a pretty reasonable deal. I can't compare it to a nanocube or aquapod, as I've never owned either one, but for an all-in-one tank I think it's pretty awesome.

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Did you take the sponge out or are you still running it? I have this same setup. Possibly looking to mod my 2nd chamber into a fuge like you did.

 

Thanks irishtexan! I love the tank so far. I think it is well designed and it looks great. It comes pretty nicely equipped straight from the factory, and for what you're getting I think it's a pretty reasonable deal. I can't compare it to a nanocube or aquapod, as I've never owned either one, but for an all-in-one tank I think it's pretty awesome.

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Did you take the sponge out or are you still running it? I have this same setup. Possibly looking to mod my 2nd chamber into a fuge like you did.

 

Sponge is GONE! The drip tray in chamber 2 should prevent any chaeto from getting sucked into the impeller, and the filter floss stops any large particles coming from the tank to get that far.

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chill105,

 

I like your BioCube 8 setup

Your plans are great…Love that Auto water changer…Keep up the good work... B)

 

I’ve always been paranoid about my NC6 blowing out on me someday...:scarry:

and it looks like the BioCube 8 might be a good replacement.

 

-Rick

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How much live rock did you end up getting?

 

I ordered 11 pounds and a pound of rubble. After breaking some of the pieces up and discarding some chunks I didn't want, I'd say there are probably around 9 pounds of rock in the display area.

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Nice set up, Love the elusive "Sparks" fish. I Too have a 8 gallon, I was trying to come up with some better filteration for that back compartment, I think you have given me some wicked ideas!!!! what did the water changer run you $$???

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