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NiCd's 18" Starphire, braceless, LED lite Cube

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NiCd's 18" Starphire, braceless, LED lite Cube

Postby NiCd » Sun 22 Aug, 2010 6:30 pm

Introduction:
After a 6 month break from reefing, I have decided to convert one of my fish only tanks to a reef tank, I have tried to capture what I have done over the past few months to get everything up to date. Extensive modifications had already been done to that system prior to this point to get it to run in an appropriate fashion.

System Type:
Mixed Reef

Display System:

Strike up Date:
System was started up around Jan 2010 as a Fish only, transformation into a reef tank had begun around July and I expect it to be completed by around around October 2010

Display Tank:
45cm cube, brace less, full starphire, miter joined, polished edges, ultra clear silicon and Japaneses style internal overflow.

Display Lighting:
Eco-lamp KR93

Stand: Stand specifications.
White backed enamel

Hood:
Nil

Sump:
Size 40cm x 35cm x 45cm
Specs; polished edges, double chamber layout, bubble trap separator, higher sides and rear to protect against splashes.

Refugium:
1 x Marine Pure 22cm X 35cm X 10cm refugium block
1 x Marine Pure 15cm X 35cm x 3cm refugium block
15cm x 35cm x 20cm macro area above the return

Refugium Lighting:
12w 6000k Energy Saver fluorescent (Bunnings)

Support systems:

System Water:
Artificial salt water - Brightwell ASW

Display Water circulation:
Vortech MP10ES

Return Pump:
Ehiem Compact

Skimmer:
Reef Octopus Classic 500L - Will be upgraded to a SKIMZ SM121 with any luck

Evaporation Top Up:
Aquamedic SP 3000 Niveaumat

Chemical Support:

Calcium Addition:
Randys two part dosed through BM dosing pump

Alkilinity Addition:
Randys two part dosed through BM dosing pump

Other Chemical Maintenance:
Nil

Current Water Chemistry:
Nitrates: Undetectable
Phosphates: .02
Alkalinity: 9
Calcium: 440
Salinity / Specific Gravity: 1.025
Magnesium: 1350
Last edited by NiCd on Sun 27 Mar, 2011 2:21 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube

Postby NiCd » Sun 22 Aug, 2010 6:42 pm

Current FTS as a FO

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Last edited by NiCd on Mon 23 Aug, 2010 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube

Postby NiCd » Sun 22 Aug, 2010 7:10 pm

ok so as part of the upgrade to reef, the filtration systems have to be upgraded.

The filtration system previously consisted of basically just matrix, which worked quiet well for FO but obviously not good enough for reefing.

Image

So to try capture what waste I can before its broken down, a RO Classic 500L protein skimmer has been added, this was gotten through Aaron at Aquarium Fanatics (as always top notch service)

This is my first RO skimmer, I know its rated for 500L's and is only running on a 75lt display.
But I still have to say, that I am very impressed with its performance, there is a bit more tuning needed than with the deltecs or the ATB's that I have owned, but once you get it dialed in, it seems pretty rock solid.

Image
Last edited by NiCd on Mon 23 Aug, 2010 5:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube

Postby NiCd » Sun 22 Aug, 2010 8:14 pm

Next step in upping the filtration was is phasing out the matrix.

I wanted to try have some where to harbor pods and also having denitrification, but didnt have enough room to try and squeeze in a DSB.

So I have opted for Marine Pure/reefresh products being a 4" thick block (for pods and denitrification) this is rated for a 600L tank, so this should more than cut it.

As well a the 3cm plate (rated as being able to handle the filtration for a 300lt tank) to eventually act as a sub floor and a macro binder,turning the return section of the sump into a macro chamber, these products makes some pretty big promises so I will be very interested to see how they go long term.

I decided to introduced the 3cm plate first (look to the left of the right hand chamber) and over 2 weeks slowly removed the matrix.

Image

What really surprised me at this stage is that even in a short period of time the 3 cm plate actually worked better than the 4lts of matrix
Last edited by NiCd on Sat 13 Nov, 2010 3:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube

Postby NiCd » Sun 22 Aug, 2010 8:51 pm

Next step was to being in the big boy, the 10cm thick Marine Pure block, for those of you that are unfamiliar with this product it is a ceramic media that has a honey comb structure that interconnecting and large enough to allow pods to haven/roam/feed/breed thoughout it but dense enough to act as a denitrifier, the same way a DSB does.

The problem I had was that these blocks are not the same size as the area I have in my sump, so it needed a little cutting down, I was nervous that the block may shatter or that I needed more tools than I had (which is basically a chisel and a garden knife!)

This is the product as I got it from aquapremium, this one is branded Reefresh2o, but from what I gather this is one of the last ones to be branded this and the new name is Marine Pure or something along those lines

Image

Marking out with the garden knife, so far so good.....

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Then the final hacked away result, it went surprisingly well, I recon you could actually do is with a butter knife it you wanted

Image

I have mounted the block under the skimmer in the first chamber, definitely a lot neater than matrix!

Image

Scraps have been put in the back of my BR400
Image
Last edited by NiCd on Sat 13 Nov, 2010 3:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube

Postby NiCd » Sun 22 Aug, 2010 9:15 pm

next step; transforming the second chamber of the sump into a macro area/fuge.

I used the 3cm plate to separate this new section from the return pump by cutting a hole in it for the return pump and trimming it down in the same way i did for the 10cm thick block, I then made up a few 10cm stands to prop this up.

Image

overall it has ended up being a pretty neat job even if I do say so myself.

Image
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube

Postby NiCd » Sun 22 Aug, 2010 9:36 pm

For stability I have gone with an aquamedic SP 3000 Niveaumat as an ATO, they are a little pricey coming in at a bit over $300 but I have always been impressed with how well they work

Image

Image

Well that get us up to date, next up will be adding the macro and fitting the lighting for the fuge and then once things settle down decieding on aquascaping.

I have really liked the Japanese bonsai style lately but can seem to find any appropriate examples, if anybody has seen anything cool let me know!

cheers
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby Jimbo jones » Mon 23 Aug, 2010 1:46 pm

looking good
8X2X2 mixed reef with
1 chromis
1 sohol tang
1 Baby blue hippo tang
1 Emperor angle
1 Box fish
1 Vlamingi tang
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby NiCd » Fri 27 Aug, 2010 5:28 pm

Thanks mate, hope the mirco's enjoy their new home.
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby NiCd » Fri 27 Aug, 2010 5:31 pm

OK so change over in live stock, out with the chromis, damsels and micro hermits and in with the below;

1 x Pair wild caught Ocellaris
1 x Orchid Dotty Back
1 x Fairy wrasse
1 x Strombus snail
1 x Pair Redline Cleaner Shrimp

Fuge has now been lite and a hand full of Macro is now in there

Photos to hopefully come over the weekend
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby NiCd » Sat 28 Aug, 2010 9:16 am

Marco added- Thanks Niko :cheers:


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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby ariedavo » Sat 28 Aug, 2010 10:44 am

Your tank looks so clean and healthy. Very Nice :).
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby fishguy23 » Sat 28 Aug, 2010 11:17 am

looking shmick. where abouts were the blocks from? they look like a good idea
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby NiCd » Sat 28 Aug, 2010 4:25 pm

ariedavo wrote:Your tank looks so clean and healthy. Very Nice :).



Thanks mate, its looking a little less pristine at the moment with all of the changes, i am hoping in a week or two everything gets back into that beautiful rhythm it had going.

I just checked out your TJ, I really like the tiered shelving you did with your aquascaping, it has given me a few ideas!
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby NiCd » Sat 28 Aug, 2010 4:32 pm

fishguy23 wrote:looking shmick. where abouts were the blocks from? they look like a good idea


I managed to get them direct from Aquapremium (after a few months of begging) they are the importers that bring in New Life Spectrum fish food and a few other cool things, the blocks have all but disappeared from the country at the moment, but I have been told in around a months time a shipping container full will be brought in.

The 4" block has actually been in for around 6-7 weeks and with less water changes than I previously did, my nitrates have gone from 40 to zero, so needless to say I am pretty happy with them so far.

So to answer your question any LFS that buys NLS will be able to get you some.
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby mattgreen » Tue 07 Sep, 2010 11:26 pm

nice looking tank mate seems to be the same make as mine
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby NiCd » Sat 11 Sep, 2010 1:54 pm

Thanks mate, they are a very tidy unit, it was in place of the elos mini's, I had 3 attempts at getting on in to no avail, from what i gather these are made by the solarmax/coralvue crew, but I havnt really seen any others around.

http://premiumaquatics.com/prodimages/coralvue/cv-ledmod4.jpg

Have you got any photos of how you have set yours up?

I having a lot of trouble deciding on an aquascape, the overflow system seems to be difficult to work things in.

I already gotten rid of the outside casing around the overflow, had a new centre piece made 4.5cm higher and had 2cm deep combs cut into it, so the water height sits around 3cm higher, the overflow footprint has also gone from 12cm in diameter to 7cm in diameter.
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby mattgreen » Sat 11 Sep, 2010 4:45 pm

whered you get the new overflow made? have a look at my tank journal mines a 3x3x2
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby justinfox » Sat 11 Sep, 2010 5:24 pm

Love the tank itself, sooo classy!
My 6ft SPS Tank Journal (now no longer): viewtopic.php?f=148&t=183493
My blog: http://www.justinfox.com.au
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby NiCd » Wed 15 Sep, 2010 8:22 pm

mattgreen wrote:whered you get the new overflow made? have a look at my tank journal mines a 3x3x2



The place was

Image Plastics
(02) 9792 1677
4\109 Fairford Road, Padstow, NSW

The guy was very reasonable in price
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby NiCd » Wed 15 Sep, 2010 8:23 pm

justinfox wrote:Love the tank itself, sooo classy!


Thanks Justin, BTW love your mantis tank!
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby NiCd » Wed 15 Sep, 2010 8:25 pm

ok so update, the fuge is going along nicely, the macro has really taken off.

I have slowly removed all of the fake live rock and phased in some real stuff.

A few test piolet frags have been running in there, initially some mushies from aquarium fanatics and then some frags of some ultra acans and favites i got off Darren from reef secrets a while back, these have been in a mates tank for the last 8 months or so and if everything stabilizes well then in around a month or so the parents will come home :)

Vortech MP10ES due tomorrow and Ice probe chiller by the weekend
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby NiCd » Wed 15 Sep, 2010 8:32 pm

This is my first attempt at aquascaping
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby NiCd » Fri 17 Sep, 2010 10:05 am

Vortech MP10ES is in :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:

This thing seriously craps all over the Tunze gear, the amount of stir up it has created is unbelievable!

The bad thing is the extra current it has extended the battle field for coral wars and my favorite ultra grade acan has had the crap stung out of it :furious:
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby azfish » Fri 17 Sep, 2010 10:07 am

Cant wait to see the tank again mate! I think I have a toxic green hammer frag with your name on it :poke:
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby mattgreen » Fri 17 Sep, 2010 10:28 am

looks good, so what did you gain from modifying the weir?
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby NiCd » Fri 17 Sep, 2010 10:36 am

azfish wrote:Cant wait to see the tank again mate! I think I have a toxic green hammer frag with your name on it :poke:


Woohoo! what do you want for it? naming rights to my first borne? (may have to run this one by the missus)
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby NiCd » Fri 17 Sep, 2010 10:44 am

mattgreen wrote:looks good, so what did you gain from modifying the weir?


Thanks mate, i normally play around with the aquascaping around ten times before I am happy, i have tried to lay it out in tiered tables so I can get good coral placement

The modded weir gave me roughly an extra 7% water capacity, easier to clean and a more streamlined look. the gain in the water capacity wouldn't be as big for your bad boy, but when you are dealing with pretty small volumes those kind of gains are golden.
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby mattgreen » Fri 17 Sep, 2010 10:46 am

yeah i find mine almost to big haha. it just hits that expensive size where you need more lights more pumps bigger skimmer etc. but i love it wouldnt trade it for the world. you clean your weir? how do you do that? you dont let coraline grow everywhere? did you have a look at my tank journal?
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Re: NiCd's 18" Staphire, braceless Cube - FO to Reef convert

Postby NiCd » Fri 17 Sep, 2010 11:07 am

mattgreen wrote:yeah i find mine almost to big haha. it just hits that expensive size where you need more lights more pumps bigger skimmer etc. but i love it wouldnt trade it for the world. you clean your weir? how do you do that? you dont let coraline grow everywhere? did you have a look at my tank journal?


yes checked out yours, I think your size is spot on, good stability, can have tangs ect, i really miss my big tank, but being on the 4th floor without an elevator convinced me to not bring it with us.

I do know what you mean about the more power ect, when i changed down to several small tanks our power bill dropped from $850 a quarter to $240, I wont go back to the MH after seeing that. Gear is also surprisingly cheap for small tanks.

When it was a FO tank i never got coraline because the salinity was low and phosphates and nitrates were were through the roof, so the weir ended up with some nasty brown diatom, which i used a kind of turf scrubber to export nutrients. Hopefully once the live rock settles down the massively over rated skimmer, reefresh blocks and fuge combined with 10% water changes per week can keep these levels clear.
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