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chill105

NEW BioCUBE 8 Setup - PICS, MODS, BEER!

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LONG OVERDUE UPDATE

 

First of all, I am so glad to see that other people have been using this setup successfully. This is a great little tank, and with a couple of mods it can be easily transformed into a stable saltwater system. I wish the best of luck to all of you.

 

I realize I have done a very poor job of keeping everyone up-to-date with my tank, but I'll try to make it up to you now that my exams are FINALLY over!

 

1) SYSTEMS

 

One of my main criteria when starting this tank was for it to be VERY low maintenance. Not only does school keep me busy, but there are times when I need to leave for extended breaks. Some of you sly readers noticed that I posted a thread about leaving my tank for a MONTH over winter break... and it held up beautifully!

 

I have detailed my Auto Water-Changer before, but wanted to provide some new shots to show how I incorporated it in the tank, along with my ATO.

 

Here you can see the centrifuge tubes (taken from some lab on campus) I use as holders and waveguards for the float switch (for the ATO) and the "out" line for the AWC. These tubes are zip-tied to a piece of stiff rectangular plastic, which clips onto the right wall of the pump chamber.

holders.jpg

 

...and here's a top-down view showing how they fit nicely (and snugly!) into the chamber. The plastic is clipped onto the wall with a binder clip, which happens to work quite nicely as a line-guide for my ATO line (the blue one). The ATO unit is a battery-powered air pump connected to a nalgene reservoir (detailed in other posts on this site). I top off with kalkwasser.

 

holders_top.jpg

 

The ATO and Auto Water-Changer both worked well while I was gone. I only had one issue: At one point the "in" line from the AWC became clogged, apparently with a clay precipitate from my salt mixture (IO). This resulted in more water being pumped out of the tank than was being pumped in, at which point the ATO kicked in and replaced the saltwater with freshwater. This was a potentially dangerous situation (dropping salinity), but because the changes were happening so slowly to begin with the change in salinity was gradual - down to about 1.020 - which was gradually corrected when I returned. I have since switched to Reef Crystals.

 

The evaporation from this tank is quite slow, so in order to get enough calcium in I have actually been INTENTIONALLY using the AWC to take more water out than goes back in, resulting in more frequent fresh-water topoffs. To avoid salinity changes I simply make my "new" saltwater with more salt! (~1.028)

 

2) INHABITANTS

Everything in the tank is doing extremely well.

-The shrimp has molted at least 5 times

-Frogspawn is splitting

-Blasto growing

-Mushrooms have split all over- I have tons

-GSP spreading like weeds

-Tree coral almost double in length

-Clownfish happy

 

I also now have coralline algae covering almost the entire back wall of the tank.

I haven't really added much to the tank, due to budget and time restrictions. Almost everything in the tank was generously donated to me by two local reefers.

 

3) PICTURES!

I'll try to do this in some type of time-order:

 

IMG_1009.jpg

 

IMG_1018.jpg

 

IMG_1035.jpg

 

CRW_1031.jpg

 

frogspawn_top.jpg

 

CONCLUSION

 

This has been a great little tank which I have thoroughly enjoyed for the past 8 months.

 

Unfortunately, I have to break this tank down for the summer, as I will be working in NYC and cannot feasibly bring this with me. I will be returning all of my corals / fish / shrimp / rock to the generous individuals who gave them to me, and hopefully grabbing them again next year for a new and improved nano-reef!

 

Thanks again for all of your input and support.

Stay tuned for next fall!

Edited by chill105

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*Falls on Face* What?? When it was looking so cool??? -_-

Well, we'll be waiting till fall then :D

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like your setup but new on chaeto. how do you have yours in there? is it in a bag or just floating? I got that feit light, has it been working or is it not enough light? luv your pics please post more.

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HE'S BAAAAACK!

 

So after a great summer in NYC, I've finally returned to school to start-up my BC8 again! I really missed it a lot.

Instead of starting fresh with all new water and rock and having to wait through the agony of the curing cycle, I simply picked up some of my previous rock which my friend was generously keeping for me in his established propagation system. Some smaller pieces of his rock got mixed in as well. I also took ~5 gallons of his system water and some rubble + chaeto for my fuge. Made a few minor mod upgrades, added it all to the tank, and PRESTO!

 

IMG_8962.jpg

 

IMG_8964.jpg

 

Keep in mind this was all added less than 24 hours ago, so not everything has fully expanded yet. (It took a good 15 hours just for all the water to clear up). I want to wait a week or two before taking back my corals, fish, shrimp, etc... to make sure all of my levels are stable. However, you'll notice that quite a bit of the coral is attached to the live rock, and there's been some nice growth of xenia, mushrooms, and halimeda algae over the summer. It's nice how the tank has a bit of a "broken in" look from the coralline that grew last year.

 

Stay tuned for some major improvements - I've got big plans in the works (and I've had all summer to dream about them)!

 

 

 

 

 

like your setup but new on chaeto. how do you have yours in there? is it in a bag or just floating? I got that feit light, has it been working or is it not enough light? luv your pics please post more.

 

It just floats in the back chamber. I still have the original plastic divider in the bottom of the 2nd chamber to keep it elevated and prevent it from getting sucked into the pump impeller. After a while it grows so dense that it actually forms a brick-shape as it packs itself into the chamber space.

 

The Feit light works great. It's plenty bright- the stuff grows like crazy back there!

Edited by chill105

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After a week of settling in, I got my clown, frogspawn, blasto, and some shrooms back, along with some new zoa's. My shrimp is somewhere in the rockwork of my friend's 200 gallon reef, and will probably never be retrieved. I hope to be placing an order for some additional inhabitants later this month, so stay tuned!

 

Updated FTS:

FTS_Sep_10_web.jpg

Edited by chill105

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Sweet man....congrats on getting it back up. I don't think I can ever go without a reef tank anymore :)

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Hey chill, I've been working on setting up a BC8. I have taken a lot of inspiration from your mods. I just have one question; how do you deal with the MJ606 and the hydor flo kicking up snow storms from the front left of the sandbed? Should I run the 606 at its lowest setting?

Edited by mikebok

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Hey chill, I've been working on setting up a BC8. I have taken a lot of inspiration from your mods. I just have one question; how do you deal with the MJ606 and the hydor flo kicking up snow storms from the front left of the sandbed? Should I run the 606 at its lowest setting?

 

Mikebok, sorry for the delayed response. I don't have the snowstorm issue. I'm using Arag-alive Fiji pink sand- the particles are big enough where they don't go flying everywhere, although they do get slowly moved over time to create a wavy surface on the bottom (with a depression in that corner).

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I just made a video of my tank.

Check it out!

 

 

I wish YouTube's quality was a little better - the original is much sharper. Let me know what you think!

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Awesome video....sometimes pictures just don't do tanks justice with all the motion that's involved with euphyllia type corals. Looks like the tank is nice and healthy.

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Your tank looks great! They say pictures are worth 1,000 words...in that case video is worth 1,000,000 words.

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Three quick questions:

 

1) what is the status? Everything ok still?

 

2) Do you dose with anything other than kalk? Like maybe Kent's purple stuff, etc?

 

3) How do you feed? What products do you rely on for food?

 

Thanks!

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Hi im new to the salt water stuff but i just bought a bio cube 29 and am thinking about doing what you did to the 8. do you think it will still work fine? and should i get some kind of protein skimmer? like i said im new to this and any info would help alot. thanks.

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Any updates? How are things working?

 

BTW, thanks for the writeup!

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Yes -- great thread. Not often I get to add value to these but I found that the 'noisy pump' issue that pelple complain of with the biocube can be cured by removing the impeller, and taking a sharp knife to smooth off the face of the intake. It seems the moulding process leaves raised edges and when the impeller is under load it gets pulled in, and scrapes against these. Mine's gone from rattly to silent.

 

thanks -- Richard.

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I just started an 8g biocube also...In the last pic the water level of your fuge tank is pretty high...how did you get it up so high? I have LR rubble in there right now and without the grate on it barely gets halfway I think...

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I just started an 8g biocube also...In the last pic the water level of your fuge tank is pretty high...how did you get it up so high? I have LR rubble in there right now and without the grate on it barely gets halfway I think...

Add more water

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past the "max" line ?

 

Yessir....breaking all the rules!!!

 

The level in chambers two and three will be even, so add enough to cover the rubble and you should be fine.

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Yessir....breaking all the rules!!!

 

The level in chambers two and three will be even, so add enough to cover the rubble and you should be fine.

 

 

Ahh! Thank you!

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I have a semi good idea. For the third chamber to get more flow out of the pump. Put it as high as you can after the water level is up thanks to the fuge. And cut the line so that it has less head loss. just make a lil stand for it.

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