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Slawmans 2 foot Bio Cube - Curious creature

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Slawmans 2 foot Bio Cube - Curious creature

Postby slawman » Fri 21 May, 2010 6:03 pm

Well here I go again.

I have been missing my reeftank very much since the forced shutdown of my last 4 x 2 x 2 four years ago. I am now the proud owner of a Biocube (one of the very last I am told). This will be my fourth reef setup over the last 25 years........ :madface:

Here's a link to my last reeftank viewtopic.php?f=51&t=177925

System Objectives: I am looking to replicate my last adventure but now in a cube. A healthy stable tank full of a few fish, clam or two, some SPS and a few LPS and softies.

System Type: Mixed Reef

Display System:

Strike up Date: May 2010

Display Tank: 600mm cube with sump

Display Lighting: Maxspect 160 - Replaced in April 2011 with a Vertex illumina 300

Stand: Yes

Hood: Yes, Open top and back

Sump: About 40 x 40 x 40

Refugium: Not at this stage

Support systems:

System Water: Natural salt water

Display Water circulation: Dual Tunze 6055 with multicontroller

Return Pump: Eheim compact 2000

Skimmer: Deltec APF600

Evaporation Top Up: Auto


Chemical Support:

Calcium Addition: Kalkwasser as toppoff

Alkilinity Addition: as above

Other Chemical Maintenance: Not at this stage

Current Water Chemistry: If applicable
Nitrates: Zero
Phosphates: Zero on a Hanna checker
Alkalinity: Around 10 dKH
Calcium: Around 400ppm
Salinity / Specific Gravity: 1.024/1.026
Magnesuim: Not tested
Last edited by slawman on Wed 09 May, 2012 7:49 am, edited 7 times in total.
The winner is the one who has had the most fun at the end

Solar Reef: viewtopic.php?f=148&t=248587
My Cube : viewtopic.php?f=51&t=216858
A long time ago: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=177925
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Re: Slawmans new toy

Postby slawman » Sat 22 May, 2010 6:53 pm

Couple of pics

Image

Top of the tank showing the Maxspect 160z and a couple of the Nanostreams. I have taken the lid of the hood off to get decent ventialtion and prevent heat buildup.

Image

Under stand showing sump, heater, reactor and multi controller. Still to add the cylinder and return pump. Also got some plumbing to do. I have painted the inside with water resistant acrylic to protect the timber. I have used velcro to hold everything down, not sure how that will go with the moisture.

I have ordered a couple of ventilation fans I will be installing into the back hole and hood. i will also be adding a topoff container as soon as I can find a good long, thin one...

I am looking forward to seeing how the LEDs go. The last setup I was running with dual 250w MH and 4 x T5s. The light looks good in terms of brightness and colour although I don't have a PAR meter or similar.

Here's an interesting link on the Maxspect with some interesting comparisons and measurements:

http://www.michiganreefers.com/forums/l ... ments.html
Last edited by slawman on Sun 30 May, 2010 3:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
The winner is the one who has had the most fun at the end

Solar Reef: viewtopic.php?f=148&t=248587
My Cube : viewtopic.php?f=51&t=216858
A long time ago: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=177925
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Re: Slawmans new toy

Postby sydneydrewid » Sat 22 May, 2010 7:37 pm

good looking setup, cant wait to see the leds light that thing up :)
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Re: Slawmans new toy

Postby slawman » Mon 24 May, 2010 8:45 am

I was hunting for some super quiet fans and I think i found them;

http://pccasegear.com/index.php?main_pa ... s_id=11338

One of the problems I had with my last Biocube was excess moisture inside the cabinet and hood which in turn caused problems with the MDF.

I am going to mount one of these in the cabinet at the back and one up on the hood. If the figures are right, they are incredibly quiet for the volume of air they move......
The winner is the one who has had the most fun at the end

Solar Reef: viewtopic.php?f=148&t=248587
My Cube : viewtopic.php?f=51&t=216858
A long time ago: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=177925
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Re: Slawmans new toy

Postby slawman » Fri 28 May, 2010 7:02 am

A few more shots. I am fairly pleased with how it's coming together at this stage. 40kgs of live rock from Acro Al yesterday which I collected from the airport at peak hour in torrential rain :konk: , it is nice rock with some nice large shapes and plenty of life. A few baby mantis shrimp and crabs. I have a few bits too many and they are in the sump for now. Probably a givaway aften it's cured....

After some urging by the wife, I have decided to put some substrate in. The last few tanks I have run bare to avoid the problems associated with nutrient buildup and Phosphate leeching etc...I also am not that into cleaning it all the time. I have used the Caribsea Oolite which i am quite impressed with. It is very fine, but heavy so instead of just swirling all over the place, it makes nice seafloor patterns on the bottom. We'll see how it looks in a few months.....


Image

Full frontal. I have gone for the bommie look. There is a cave at the bottom left and the structure is quite open underneath. No doubt will be fiddled with many times over the next few weeks until I am entirely happy. I am not used to aquascaping such a small tank.

Image

Wet sump. Happy with the Deltec skimmer, very silent and easy to tune. I am feeding it from the durso.

Image

closeup of some rock. tons of corraline , macro and even a few corals (blasto, some type of brain and an unidentified lps).
The winner is the one who has had the most fun at the end

Solar Reef: viewtopic.php?f=148&t=248587
My Cube : viewtopic.php?f=51&t=216858
A long time ago: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=177925
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Re: Slawmans new toy

Postby slawman » Sat 26 Jun, 2010 8:58 am

Well an update is in order I think. My primary cycle has competed and I am very pleased with the amount of visible life which has made it through. Heavy skimming, strong flow and frequent water changes have had a good effect although I am still curious as to whether the Oolite had a positive impact. It may have, I have not experienced a "gentler" cycle previously. I believe it also had quite a bit to do with the freshness of the rock, it was only out of water for 12 or so hours. I am surprised to see coralline has started to grow on the streams and back tank corner at this early stage.

The biggest change aside from the addition of a few inverts is that I have switched to Kalc to maintain alkalinity and calcium. I found the reactor was dropping the PH too low to get any real traction in such a small tank. All my last tanks have been 500 litres plus, so it may just be that I need some practice to stabilise a small system. I am happy with the kalc at the moment, PH stable between 8 and 8.3 and dKH and Calcium seem fairly constant, but as I said before, early days…..

I have also added a profilux to assist with the ph and temp control.

Some shots, the thumbs are clickable if you are interested in a bigger pic;

Nice little Zoo colony

Image

Image

Lifted the light and mounted above the hood

Image

Duncan, love the Duncan!

Image

Don't know what this little fellow is, but he sure moves fast.

Image

New Stirrer and sump

Image

Front

Image
The winner is the one who has had the most fun at the end

Solar Reef: viewtopic.php?f=148&t=248587
My Cube : viewtopic.php?f=51&t=216858
A long time ago: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=177925
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Re: Slawmans new toy

Postby slawman » Sat 10 Jul, 2010 2:52 pm

My Royal Gramma woke up with a new friend this morning :o .

Image

Looks like some sort of lice. It dropped off after a while and probably started to digest all the blood it sucked out of the little guy.

Didn't seem to bother it though. Anyone ever seen one of these? I just hope it is alone..... :madface:
The winner is the one who has had the most fun at the end

Solar Reef: viewtopic.php?f=148&t=248587
My Cube : viewtopic.php?f=51&t=216858
A long time ago: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=177925
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Re: Slawmans new toy

Postby slawman » Fri 22 Apr, 2011 1:00 pm

Well it has been a while and maybe time for some update on how my cube is going as it has been running now for almost a year.

I moved to a new house in December and the tank move was a PIA. Everything made it across OK but it set the stability of the tank back a bit. Had (and am still having) a Bryopsis outbreak. I think this was due to very infrequent water changes and regular Kalk additions combining to lower Magnesium, which I was not testing for. Due to work commitments and 4 kids, I didn't really give the tank the attention it needed for a few months and am now paying the price.

In the process of running higher than normal Mg levels (around 1600ppm) and higher than normal PH (8.5ish) and the stuff is dying. I am using the Seachem MG (which is still chloride based) and not the Kent M, which seems to be pretty well unavailable in Oz.

I also have a new light, a Vertex Illumina 300. I wasn't confident the other LED I was running was really giving me suitable colour temp/PAR etc...

I am very happy with the Illumina so far. Along with the Vlink this thing is a gadget lovers treat. I have just finished programming it (for the 10th time) and think I am just about ready to leave it for a while. Zoos, softies and LPS loving the light. Only time will tell if this can perform at the same level at a 250w MH but I am happy to give it a go with the reduced heat and power bills.

So the intention is to get stable enough to start back with some SPS and get a real reef going again :devil: I am guessing this is still at least two months off, assuming the Bryopsis keeps dying and stays dead. I am really finding the challenge of keeping a small volume of water stable enough for SPS to be difficult and have started thinking about adding a 1000 litre sump under the house. I will persist for a bit longer though.....

I'll get some pics up of the stuff dying in a bit.
The winner is the one who has had the most fun at the end

Solar Reef: viewtopic.php?f=148&t=248587
My Cube : viewtopic.php?f=51&t=216858
A long time ago: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=177925
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Re: Slawmans 2 foot Bio Cube

Postby kj52faith » Fri 22 Apr, 2011 6:32 pm

Probably freshwater dip the fish to get it off...
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Re: Slawmans 2 foot Bio Cube

Postby slawman » Fri 22 Apr, 2011 6:56 pm

kj52faith wrote:Probably freshwater dip the fish to get it off...


Thanks KJ. The thing ended up filling with blood (the fishes) and dropping off. Never saw it again. It freaked me out though, thought it may multiply and attack everything :drink:

Probably a FW dip would have worked if it hadnt obliged by dropping off.

The fish is doing fine and is quite a bit larger and fatter these days....
The winner is the one who has had the most fun at the end

Solar Reef: viewtopic.php?f=148&t=248587
My Cube : viewtopic.php?f=51&t=216858
A long time ago: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=177925
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Re: Slawmans 2 foot Bio Cube

Postby vman » Sat 23 Apr, 2011 11:41 pm

very nice little setup you got going there.

i like the zoos you got to ;) if you wanna do a frag swap im sure i got sumptin to your liking.

:thumbsup:
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CHECK IT OUT GUYS AND LEAVE A COMMENT!! :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oAQM-4e ... re=related
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Re: Slawmans 2 foot Bio Cube

Postby slawman » Sun 24 Apr, 2011 2:02 pm

Thanks vman,

I have a few more since that shot was taken. as soon as I have the Bryopsis under control I will be after some SPS :pirate:
The winner is the one who has had the most fun at the end

Solar Reef: viewtopic.php?f=148&t=248587
My Cube : viewtopic.php?f=51&t=216858
A long time ago: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=177925
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Re: Slawmans 2 foot Bio Cube

Postby vman » Sun 24 Apr, 2011 2:32 pm

well that i can most certainly help you out with.


:pirate:
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CHECK IT OUT GUYS AND LEAVE A COMMENT!! :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oAQM-4e ... re=related
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Re: Slawmans 2 foot Bio Cube

Postby slawman » Wed 11 May, 2011 5:47 pm

Well the bryopsis battle seems to be swinging in my favour at last. I started increasing Mg by about 100ppm per day until I got to about 1650ppm. Initially used seachem Mg but switched to Kent M for the final blow :thumbsup:

Heavy skimming throughout while also running rowaphos. I stopped running GAC for the duration.

Maybe time for some sps at last.....
The winner is the one who has had the most fun at the end

Solar Reef: viewtopic.php?f=148&t=248587
My Cube : viewtopic.php?f=51&t=216858
A long time ago: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=177925
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Re: Slawmans 2 foot Bio Cube

Postby slawman » Sat 04 Jun, 2011 9:38 pm

Here's a few pics after i have killed off my Bryopsis at last. very happy to be supporting SPS again..... The illumina seems to be doing fine although I am interested to see if it will end up comparing to my 250w MH setup a few years ago in terms of growth and ultimate coloration.

Full Frontals. Still getting used to this camera for tank shots, apologies for the flash!

Image

Image

One of my favourite corals. Little Birdsnest with two commensal crabs. I am still trying to get a shot of them.

Image

This Collector has grown from invisible over the last year. Unintended import on my LR.

Image

Nice little Purple tip Acro

Image
The winner is the one who has had the most fun at the end

Solar Reef: viewtopic.php?f=148&t=248587
My Cube : viewtopic.php?f=51&t=216858
A long time ago: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=177925
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Re: Slawmans 2 foot Bio Cube NEW Pics

Postby slawman » Mon 23 Apr, 2012 7:17 pm

Image

Image


Latest shot. Lot has happened since my last post. Dropped my new vertex into the water :thumbsup: , gave up trying to use a calcium reactor on such a small tank and switched to ASW.

I have found the tank has stabilised even more in the last three months and now seems quite capable of supporting most sps although I still have some work to do on the colours.

I have bought a Kamoer doser and have started dosing alk and calcium, still using the kalc reactor. New addition of a propellorbreeze fan set to increase evaporation and therefore uptake of kalc.

The tank is using 1 full point (dKH) a day and about 20ppm calcium however i suspect this will go up when a few of my newer frags start to take off.

I have a mini cyano outbreak at the moment which i think is due to me digging about in the sand a month or so ago to try and catch a crab which had decided it would rearrange everything in the tank, probably disturbed some stuff which was best left alone......

Looking forward to growing some of these frags out and working on maximising some colours.

I have found that it is much harder to keep a little tank (240 litres) stable and have a new respect for some of those nano gurus out there who are growing sps :clap:

Happy with all parameters fairly stable although keep thinking about a bigger tank :thumbsup:
The winner is the one who has had the most fun at the end

Solar Reef: viewtopic.php?f=148&t=248587
My Cube : viewtopic.php?f=51&t=216858
A long time ago: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=177925
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Re: Slawmans 2 foot Bio Cube NEW Pics

Postby slawman » Sun 29 Apr, 2012 8:41 pm

I am really having some trouble trying to balance my calc dosing. I suspect is has to do with the Kalk I am also using for topoff so I have stopped doing that for the time being. PH still staying above 8.1 so hopefully that will not affect anything too much. My cleaner shrimp spawned again last night and filled the tank with tiny baby shrimp. I love seeing them do this and it always makes me wish I could keep them growing. They hide for a day or two before spawning and then come out and show off for a few days after.....

Heres a few pics.

Image

A few of my fish thought it was time for food!

Image
The winner is the one who has had the most fun at the end

Solar Reef: viewtopic.php?f=148&t=248587
My Cube : viewtopic.php?f=51&t=216858
A long time ago: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=177925
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Re: Slawmans 2 foot Bio Cube NEW Pics

Postby slawman » Wed 09 May, 2012 7:49 am

Check out this little fellow i found lurking at the front of my display this morning. Seen him for a while in my acros but couldn't take a pic. Looks like a tiny translucent lobster.....

Image
The winner is the one who has had the most fun at the end

Solar Reef: viewtopic.php?f=148&t=248587
My Cube : viewtopic.php?f=51&t=216858
A long time ago: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=177925
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Re: Slawmans 2 foot Bio Cube - Curious creature

Postby klaery » Sat 06 Apr, 2013 8:52 pm

Haha cute little guy. The tank looks magnificent mate. Inspirational.
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Re: Slawmans 2 foot Bio Cube - Curious creature

Postby slawman » Sun 07 Apr, 2013 10:59 am

Many thanks kiaery,

Unfortunately many of my creatures paid the ultimate price a few weeks ago when one of my heaters malfunctioned. I suspect this little fellow is gone now.

I have found the smaller tank very hard to maintain true stability over time and am building a much larger system to replace this one. This tank will become my quarantine.
The winner is the one who has had the most fun at the end

Solar Reef: viewtopic.php?f=148&t=248587
My Cube : viewtopic.php?f=51&t=216858
A long time ago: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=177925
User avatar
slawman
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Re: Slawmans 2 foot Bio Cube - Soon to be Supersized

Postby slawman » Sun 07 Apr, 2013 4:39 pm

Probably the last post for this setup and a few things still going strong after the heater incident. Al in all I have enjoyed having the cube going but found trying to keep sps frustrating which I put down to my inability to keep the small volume of water stable enough. I also miss keeping a tang or two.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Intend on transferring everything across except maybe the Zoo rock. The Zoo rock is about 14 inches by 8 inches and covered. You can even see a few zoos have started to grow on the back tank wall.

I will have a solar tube over the tank this week and I will be very interested to see how/if the animals respond.
Last edited by slawman on Mon 08 Apr, 2013 11:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
The winner is the one who has had the most fun at the end

Solar Reef: viewtopic.php?f=148&t=248587
My Cube : viewtopic.php?f=51&t=216858
A long time ago: viewtopic.php?f=51&t=177925
User avatar
slawman
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Re: Slawmans 2 foot Bio Cube - Curious creature

Postby priscacara » Sun 07 Apr, 2013 9:39 pm

Some nice shots, you have done well with everything but you know best when its time for a change :-)
Oh, how I wish for soothing rain. Oh how I wish to dream again. Once and for all and all for once, Nemo my name forevermore.

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3 Foot nano upgrade

The nano adventure - now closed down
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Re: Slawmans 2 foot Bio Cube - Curious creature

Postby klaery » Sun 07 Apr, 2013 10:16 pm

SOrry to hear you are closing this one down but glad to hear you are moving on to a bigger one. Still looking great in the pics :clap:
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