PDA

View Full Version : James's 60 Gallon Cube Reef


sewerman45
09-03-2014, 05:15 AM
James's 60 Gallon Cube Reef

I have recently jumped into the world of saltwater. I was really into planted tank over the last couple of years but after moving in the spring I thought I'd go for a change. I started with a 47 gallon tank but quickly jumped on an opportunity to upgrade to a proper tank with a great stand. I have been meaning to start a journal for it for weeks now but haven't gotten around to it. I am really new to all this so I am excited to get everyone's input and help.

http://i.imgur.com/R66Jf7Pl.jpg (http://imgur.com/R66Jf7P)

The stand is huge! It's almost 7 feet long and makes the tank look tiny. I really wanted the ability to be able to do whatever I wanted with a tank but couldn't put a huge tank in my apartment so this is perfect for me.

http://i.imgur.com/mrO96ckl.jpg (http://imgur.com/mrO96ck)

As you can see, there's so much room for activities. Here's a mechanical rundown:

Sump: 36" acrylic
Skimmer: Bubble Magus that I got an upgrade kit for and now it is super solid
ATO: Hydor Smart Level Auto Top Off Controller
Chiller: TECO Seachill TR10 1/8 HP Chiller
Return Pump: Lifegard Aquatics Quiet One Pro 5000 Water Pump
Controller: Neptune Systems Aquacontroller Jr.
Light: 24" Vertex Illumina SR260 LED Light Fixture with Red, Green and UV modules.
Circulating Pump: Ecotech Marine VorTech MP10w ES Water Pump
Water: Vertex Puratek Reverse Osmosis (RO) Filter

The 10 gallon tank in the middle is the reservoir for the ATO. The whole stand is metal and everything connects to it by magnets. It's pretty great.

http://i.imgur.com/M3ib8sMl.jpg (http://imgur.com/M3ib8sM)

Here are the controls. They are sitting on the wall to the right of the tank. You can't see them in the pictures above. The one on the left is for the LED lights under the stand.

http://i.imgur.com/zGGCCrml.jpg (http://imgur.com/zGGCCrm)

I can't seem to get a decent picture of the tank itself. Does anyone have any tips for how to take a good full tank shot? I have a Nikon d5100.

Fish and Invertebrates:
Clown Fish, Six Line Wrasse and a Royal Gramma Basslet.
Cleaner Shrimp and an Arrow Crab.
Lots of red and blue legged hermits and some snails.

Coral
I adopted a bunch of corals from someone and don't know the exact details of them all.
Hammer, Big Green Mushroom, lot of little mushrooms, 3 Acans, 3 Zoas, whatever the tall one behind the Kenya Tree, and what I think is a Brain Coral on the left side.

I am planning on putting all SPS on the higher rocks once I get the tank balance and feel much more confident.


Thanks for looking. I am loving this project and would appreciate any input, ideas or help that people have to offer. I will try to keep this updated.

James

sewerman45
09-03-2014, 05:16 AM
I am also hoping to get some help with the first of many problems.

http://i.imgur.com/5o4WvUCl.jpg (http://imgur.com/5o4WvUC)

I have a bunch of this string algae on the sand and on some of the rocks as well as some kind of thick brown algae that's growing on a lot of the rocks. I don't really know enough to know what's causing it. I need to get a phosphorus test kit and see if that's it. I am using RO water, not RODI water. How big of a deal is that?

Aquattro
09-03-2014, 05:45 AM
I am using RO water, not RODI water. How big of a deal is that?

Not a big deal at all, I haven't used DI for years. Vancouver has soft water and not anything to be concerned with.
Algae could be diatoms, but being stringy like that, I'd worry about dinoflagellates. These are bad. Google and see if it's the same.

Not sure you'll need a chiller, but if it does kick on, the heat it puts out might be an issue under the stand like that.

Otherwise, great looking setup!

moloto
09-03-2014, 04:39 PM
Great to see the setup from Jakegr up and running again. :lol:

Slyguy00
09-03-2014, 05:02 PM
Sorta looks like dinos to me... Hope that it isn't though, because its not fun to have.

sewerman45
09-03-2014, 05:34 PM
Not a big deal at all, I haven't used DI for years. Vancouver has soft water and not anything to be concerned with.
Algae could be diatoms, but being stringy like that, I'd worry about dinoflagellates. These are bad. Google and see if it's the same.

Not sure you'll need a chiller, but if it does kick on, the heat it puts out might be an issue under the stand like that.

Otherwise, great looking setup!

Great. Good to know about the water. I am really hoping it's not dino as it appears to be out of my league to deal with. I was running a metal halide light originally and my apartment gets really warm so the chiller was pretty crucial in the summer but you're right that it's definitely not ideal in that stand. Ideally I'd put it somewhere else.


Great to see the setup from Jakegr up and running again. :lol:

Thanks. I am very excited about it.


Sorta looks like dinos to me... Hope that it isn't though, because its not fun to have.

I am really hoping it's not... everything I've seen looks more green than what I have and there is always little bubbles in it... which I don't have. I'm not really sure what to do about it either way.

Slyguy00
09-03-2014, 06:04 PM
Dinos are usually a dark brownish algae that forms a nasty layer over everything, generally starting on the sand. It will start off in thin layers here and there, but eventually will start to get thick, stringy and will be full of air bubbles. If you don't have a microscope a way to sort of gauge if it is dinos is the speed it grows back. If you clean your sand and it reappears within hours or even less its usually dinos. It can be one of the hardest forms of algae to get rid of. I have read about a lot of different ways to get rid of it, none that seemed to work for me. I eventually did a total black out for 3 days, and that solved my problem completely.(Look into it before trying it) Anyway I hope it isn't, but if it is maybe this will help a little bit.

sewerman45
09-03-2014, 07:34 PM
Dinos are usually a dark brownish algae that forms a nasty layer over everything, generally starting on the sand. It will start off in thin layers here and there, but eventually will start to get thick, stringy and will be full of air bubbles. If you don't have a microscope a way to sort of gauge if it is dinos is the speed it grows back. If you clean your sand and it reappears within hours or even less its usually dinos. It can be one of the hardest forms of algae to get rid of. I have read about a lot of different ways to get rid of it, none that seemed to work for me. I eventually did a total black out for 3 days, and that solved my problem completely.(Look into it before trying it) Anyway I hope it isn't, but if it is maybe this will help a little bit.

That is helpful. I am going to try to clean a ton of it out and see what happens.

If it isn't dino and is diatom or something else what would be my best course of action? Should I get some macro algae and a light for the sump? Feed less? More water changes? Any help anyone can give me would be great.

sewerman45
09-04-2014, 05:15 AM
I'm pretty sure it's dino. I am going to black out the tank for 3 days and hope that I can clear it up before it gets out of hand. Anything else I can do?

Aquattro
09-04-2014, 05:19 AM
I'm pretty sure it's dino. I am going to black out the tank for 3 days and hope that I can clear it up before it gets out of hand. Anything else I can do?

Nope, not really. Everyone tries lots of other things, but it usually comes down to a black out. Best to do it now before you're fully stocked with coral.

mikellini
09-04-2014, 06:04 AM
Some of my corals have looked their best the day after a 3 days blackout. Granted, there's still ambient light (I don't cover the tank). There was a thread on RC all about using no-light days to stimulate growth, colouration, polyp extension etc...

Aquattro
09-04-2014, 01:18 PM
That may be so, but the best results in eradicating dinos has always been a full black out. If OP wants to play with dark days, fine, but maybe fix the problem first.

sewerman45
09-04-2014, 05:47 PM
Yeah I figured a full blackout would be best. I covered the tank in cardboard and blankets. We'll see what happens.

sewerman45
09-07-2014, 05:19 AM
Well I covered it for 2 and a half days. The algae looks a lot better. Where it was thick on rocks it is still similar but all the little bits of it everywhere is gone.

I am going to take the rocks that still have it on it and put them in the sump for a bit and scrub what I can off the others. I'm still not convinced that it's actually dino.

sewerman45
09-10-2014, 06:32 PM
Well after a day and a half day blackout, I scrubbed all the rocks with an old toothbrush and pulled out what algae was left and now the tank looks great. It's been uncovered for 3 days now and there has been no new algae. I'm pretty happy about it.

My next projects are:
- 2 part dosing. I have a 3 pump dosing pump left over from my planted tank days. I am going to hopefully jump onto the next BRS group buy and get that going.
- I have been doing a lot of research into carbon dosing and may also try out slowly starting vodka/vinegar dosing.
- SPS. I want to get a starter frag or two and start filling out all the empty space in the top half of my tank.

sewerman45
09-10-2014, 10:47 PM
Here is a quick picture I snapped with my phone. Sorry for the potato quality.

http://i.imgur.com/J4wcl6bl.jpg (http://imgur.com/J4wcl6b)

The Guy
09-11-2014, 06:14 PM
Here is a quick picture I snapped with my phone. Sorry for the potato quality.

http://i.imgur.com/J4wcl6bl.jpg (http://imgur.com/J4wcl6b)
Looking at your sump area and all it's hard to believe your new to SW.
LOOKS GREAT>>>>> :rockon:

jhj0112
09-11-2014, 07:23 PM
it looks great!!! nice work!!! :)

sewerman45
02-27-2015, 09:57 PM
I have been terrible with updating this journal. I really want to be a better member of this great community. I am going to try to keep this updated and I have lots of questions that I'd love help with.

Here is the most recent full tank shot. I have the hardest time getting the white balance even close when taking pictures of the tank. Anyone have any advice? I always see these great photos and I can't seem to get even a decent picture.

I have a little bit of hair algae and whatever the fuzzy green stuff is at the bottom middle and right. The hair algae is almost gone though. I only got it because I was away for a few weeks.

http://i.imgur.com/aFwLyMlh.jpg



Here's another picture.

http://i.imgur.com/TM5AHodh.jpg



Here is what it looks like underneath. I've got my dosing mostly sorted. I'm dosing Calc, Alk and Vinegar. The tank in the middle is the auto top up reservoir. I've got bit of a fuge going but I want to do more with it. The light is a freshwater light from one of my old tanks.

http://i.imgur.com/zsZloKnh.jpg



Does anyone know what these little things growing in the middle of the picture are? They are growing in a couple of places and look like vines.

http://i.imgur.com/osgvqK4h.jpg



I have a bunch of random questions if anyone could give me a hand.

- I want to add some more fish to the tank but am unsure what to add. There are so many options. Currently there is a Clown, a Royal Gramma, a Blue Damsel, a Six Stripe Wrasse and a Lawnmower Blenny. There is also a cleaner shrimp, and fighting conch and a bunch of snails and crabs. What are some good fish to add? Thanks!

- The Fighting Conch: I bought it on a whim and am not sure if I should have or not. There isn't a ton of sand and I'm not really sure what to feed it. It's been a few months and it seems OK but I don't want it in a sub par environment.

- Fuge: I have some Cheato in there but that's it. I have read about other macro algaes or deep sand beds or not reef safe critters but I don't really know what's best or where to start. Any suggestions?

- Carbon and GFO: What is it and should I use it? Haha not entirely but I don't really understand the pros and cons or how to get into it.

Thanks! I realize this is a lot of questions. I appreciate any help.

James

rishu_pepper
02-27-2015, 11:19 PM
I'll leave the tank questions for the experts to answer, I'm a relative noob myself.

I can help you with your camera stuff, that I am an expert :wink: Most cameras including DSLR will have crappy white balance straight out of camera (SOOC) with JPG. If you find/use a camera that can shoot RAW files, then you can use a photo processing software like Lightroom or Aperture to automatically adjust the WB, and it'll usually be pretty accurate to your "reality" colour. Some people use a white/grey card for indexing WB but I don't feel it's too necessary. With JPG you're always crippled in terms of post processing. You can try the WB settings in camera but I find those are usually pretty off.

Let me know if you have further questions.

sewerman45
02-27-2015, 11:47 PM
I appreciate the advice. I feel worse about my pictures now though as I shoot in RAW and edited them in lightroom. Haha. I'll just have to keep working on it. Thanks though. At least I know I'm on the right track.

I'll leave the tank questions for the experts to answer, I'm a relative noob myself.

I can help you with your camera stuff, that I am an expert :wink: Most cameras including DSLR will have crappy white balance straight out of camera (SOOC) with JPG. If you find/use a camera that can shoot RAW files, then you can use a photo processing software like Lightroom or Aperture to automatically adjust the WB, and it'll usually be pretty accurate to your "reality" colour. Some people use a white/grey card for indexing WB but I don't feel it's too necessary. With JPG you're always crippled in terms of post processing. You can try the WB settings in camera but I find those are usually pretty off.

Let me know if you have further questions.

rishu_pepper
02-28-2015, 08:53 AM
I appreciate the advice. I feel worse about my pictures now though as I shoot in RAW and edited them in lightroom. Haha. I'll just have to keep working on it. Thanks though. At least I know I'm on the right track.

James, no need to feel bad. Lightroom has plenty of functions but sometimes it gets confusing. Try manually adjusting the WB, tint, and saturation. It may give more realistic results.

In one of your pictures, there are 3 light sources (house light, plant light, tank light) and usually a combination of different colour temp will throw it way off to the point of no return. Always meter on the intended light source, that should help. Most DSLR are pretty smart nowadays to determine the WB if you meter on the correct source.

daplatapus
02-28-2015, 01:45 PM
The little grape looking things on the vine is Grape Caulerpa. It can be invasive and a bear to remove once established. The little roots get into your rock.

GFO - Granular Ferric Oxide - Used to remove phosphate from your water. Usually used in a reactor and changed out ever month or so. Some use it in a sock and allow water to passively flow through it in their sumps. If you have algae in your tank, you've probably got phosphates. But you don't want to strip it all as corals and things in your tank need it to some extent. It's finding that balance that's tricky.

Carbon - again either used in a reactor or sock in your sump. Used to remove harmful toxin's released by corals etc when they get stressed. Also good at removing some chemicals. I don't think people run carbon all the time, I don't, just when something goes wrong and you're trying to maintain water quality till things settle down.

That's a VERY brief, general answer. Lot's of reading can be done on both.

sewerman45
03-03-2015, 12:15 AM
That's all really helpful. Thanks for the heads up about the Grape Caulerpa. I've started manually removing it. We'll see how it turns out.

I am going to read more on the rest. Thanks for the tips.

The little grape looking things on the vine is Grape Caulerpa. It can be invasive and a bear to remove once established. The little roots get into your rock.

GFO - Granular Ferric Oxide - Used to remove phosphate from your water. Usually used in a reactor and changed out ever month or so. Some use it in a sock and allow water to passively flow through it in their sumps. If you have algae in your tank, you've probably got phosphates. But you don't want to strip it all as corals and things in your tank need it to some extent. It's finding that balance that's tricky.

Carbon - again either used in a reactor or sock in your sump. Used to remove harmful toxin's released by corals etc when they get stressed. Also good at removing some chemicals. I don't think people run carbon all the time, I don't, just when something goes wrong and you're trying to maintain water quality till things settle down.

That's a VERY brief, general answer. Lot's of reading can be done on both.

sewerman45
03-03-2015, 12:43 AM
I did a bit of a rescape yesterday. I stacked the rocks higher and opened up the cave underneath as well as shifted everything farther back. I also switched the positions of the zoas and the acans. I wanted to make room for some people eaters that I got at the swap and put the acans in a better position.

Let me know what you think. Is it too symmetrical?

http://i.imgur.com/u8wjOORh.jpg


I also want to add some more fish to the tank. Here is the current stock:
- Ocellaris Clownfish
- Six Line Wrasse
- Lawnmower Blenny
- Royal Gramma
- Blue Damsel

Some of the things I was thinking of adding are: Firefish, Coral Beauty, Goby of some kind, or Chromis. Anyone have any good ideas? There's a lot of room in the tank and I would like at least a few more fish.

Any cool invertebrates ideas as well? I have a fighting conch and a cleaner shrimp. Thanks!

jhj0112
03-03-2015, 01:02 AM
I love the rockscape.. your tank is also very clean :) very nice!! :)
dwarf angel can be risky (coral nipping).. I know many people (including me) have kept dwarf angels with corals though.

Mine (pygmy angel) nip on SPS but leave LPSs alone.. :) i think every fish is different..

have you heard Vanderbuilt chromis?? they are awesome chromis.. I had them in my frag tank.. they look awesome.. :)
you can also try goby/shrimp pair.. they are really fun to watch BUT I would not recommend it if you plane to keep corals on the sand bed because they constantly dig/shift sand..

Skimmer Juice
03-03-2015, 01:38 AM
the six line wrasse might bother the firefish , IMO . Might not though . Firefish also like to jump so those 2 combos I would avoid . Even if the fish is not attacking it could still chase it a cause the firefish to jump.
A yellow boxfish (easiest box to keep) could make a cool addition .

sewerman45
03-03-2015, 01:48 AM
Thanks for the kind words.

Those Vanderbuilt Chromis look amazing. That's exactly what I want. Any idea where I could get them? Or does anyone else know where I could get some? I definitely want to get my hands on a few of those.
I love the rockscape.. your tank is also very clean :) very nice!! :)
dwarf angel can be risky (coral nipping).. I know many people (including me) have kept dwarf angels with corals though.

Mine (pygmy angel) nip on SPS but leave LPSs alone.. :) i think every fish is different..

have you heard Vanderbuilt chromis?? they are awesome chromis.. I had them in my frag tank.. they look awesome.. :)
you can also try goby/shrimp pair.. they are really fun to watch BUT I would not recommend it if you plane to keep corals on the sand bed because they constantly dig/shift sand..


I keep a lid on my tank so it wouldn't be able to jump. I wouldn't want the firefish to be stressed though. I'll look into the boxfish. Thanks for the recommendation.
the six line wrasse might bother the firefish , IMO . Might not though . Firefish also like to jump so those 2 combos I would avoid . Even if the fish is not attacking it could still chase it a cause the firefish to jump.
A yellow boxfish (easiest box to keep) could make a cool addition .

sewerman45
04-23-2015, 11:33 PM
It's been a while now so I figured I'd put up some updated pictures and details.


http://i.imgur.com/Q1Jiaj7h.jpg

This is what it looks like right now. I added the gorg in the front as well as a little SPS frag in the middle. I've rearranged it a bit. I added the mp40 for some more flow and I will move the mp10 over to the little tank once I get it rolling. Also the Flame Angel is new.



http://i.imgur.com/766BnkAh.jpg

Somehow the stars aligned and both the cat and the dog both ended up in this picture. I didn't even see the cat there till after. The tank on the left is my summer project. It's going to be a bonsai looking tree euphyllia tank. I am going to add it to the system. I am going to start a journal for it pretty quick.



http://i.imgur.com/LwWFBiWh.jpg

Here's what the guts are looking like these days. I added a couple of reactors: the biopellet reactor next to the skimmer which I love and a regular reactor above the fuge which I do not like. I have GFO and carbon in the regular reactor and it makes me crazy how fast it gets clogged up. I've stripped it down to the point where there isn't much holding everything in place and it still gets down to a trickle inside of a week.

I had a pretty bad cyano outbreak after starting GFO but I hear that's pretty typical and it's just about gone. I also had some brown and hair algae that was everywhere but that is also almost all gone. Everything else is humming along. I'm not seeing a lot of growth in any of my SPS yet but the tank isn't super old and I am still working on getting my parameters dialed in.

Let me know if you have any questions or pointers based on what you see. Thanks for looking.

sewerman45
10-28-2015, 10:15 PM
Long overdue update.

Here's where things stand right now:

http://i.imgur.com/zmCYvjeh.jpg (http://imgur.com/zmCYvje)

As you can see, there have been some changes. I finished the little tank finally and and redid the main tank completely.

First the big tank:


http://i.imgur.com/C4XfFq0h.jpg (http://imgur.com/C4XfFq0)


I have been wanting to change the look of this tank for awhile now and had inherited all kinds of problems with the second hand rock that I started with and really wanted a clean start. Eli, at fijirock, was fantastic. I told him what I wanted and he mocked it up for me and then sent it out. Couldn't be happier. That fijicrete stuff is amazing for putting rock work together.

I am not 100% sure what I am going to do with the shelf. Right now I have a couple of acans from before and I might try to go that direction. Or maybe a bunch of different zoas? Anyone have some ideas for me?

I also traded my vertex illumina for a Kessil a360we. I'm really happy with the light. The vertex was great but was a bit too much for the tank and more than I needed.

I'm really excited to see it start filling in. Once I've made sure all my parameters are still dialed in and start to see some growth I will add some more corals to the shelf and to some of the outcroppings.


http://i.imgur.com/evcF17Ch.jpg (http://imgur.com/evcF17C)

Last update I hadn't really started working on this one. I got the rock from Eli again and am super happy with how it turned out. There is another torch on the left side that you can't really see as it's retracted from me using the turkey baster to clean up a bit.

I really wanted it to look like a multi colored tree with some pseudo grass on the bottom. I'm hoping the GSP will grow to cover the bottom and stay there for the most part. I went without sand for this one as I've found sand to mostly just be a nuisance.

I have an AI Prime over it and I am really happy with it. It's a great little light and is the perfect size for this project.

My next step is to get a fish or two for it. And maybe a small clean up crew? I'm not really sure what I have to have for cleanup if anything... Anyone know? Also, I need to figure out a fish out two for this setup. It's 17 gallons and it'd be great to have something novel in here that I couldn't have in the big tank. I'd love any suggestions.

The overflow is an all glass mame overflow. I was a little leery at first about this but I really wanted something that wasn't a big eyesore and couldn't really find anything else that was as nice. I was planning on drilling the tank but all the overflows are big and black and that wasn't what I was going for. It's pretty dirty right now but cleans up really easily and works like a charm. It self starts with no problem after being turned on and is pretty quiet.


http://i.imgur.com/tZk7jNEh.jpg (http://imgur.com/tZk7jNE)

Here is the whole corner of life and such that I have going on in my apartment. I really happy about the place that the tanks are in. For the first time in a long time, everything is stable and hunky dory.

Thanks for looking.

Skimmer Juice
10-28-2015, 11:00 PM
wow new scape looks great , what fixture would you prefer now that you have used the Kessil ?
For clean up crew for that tank I would recommend some Halloween hermits , nice color and great cleaners very underrated IMO.

miuYH
10-28-2015, 11:37 PM
OOooo..
Can you please do a post on your other corner? I want to see your details on your plants!!!:biggrin::biggrin: pleaseeeeeeeee:redface:

sewerman45
10-29-2015, 02:47 AM
wow new scape looks great , what fixture would you prefer now that you have used the Kessil ?
For clean up crew for that tank I would recommend some Halloween hermits , nice color and great cleaners very underrated IMO.

Thanks! I'm really happy with the rescape. I haven't had the Kessil for long but so far I really like it. The only down side to it so far is a lack of a moonlight. I'm going to look into Halloween hermits. They sounds great and it's the perfect time of year.

OOooo..
Can you please do a post on your other corner? I want to see your details on your plants!!!:biggrin::biggrin: pleaseeeeeeeee:redface:

I took a quick snap. Here you go.

http://i.imgur.com/uP3dv2Bh.jpg (http://imgur.com/uP3dv2B)

The one in the yellow pot is a coffee plant that I've had for a few years.. the rest is a pretty random assortment of things that I've picked up. The white rectangle one is a succulent garden. The big one on the left you can't see well is a big pitcher plant. Very cool plant.

Skimmer Juice
10-29-2015, 03:27 AM
this is similar to what I did with mine , scroll down near the bottom of the page

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2382680&page=36

sewerman45
10-29-2015, 03:38 AM
this is similar to what I did with mine , scroll down near the bottom of the page

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2382680&page=36

That is a super clever way to put in moonlights. I really like that. Where did you get the moonlights?

Skimmer Juice
10-29-2015, 04:35 PM
I got mine at piesces in calgary but you can look up hamilton led strips and see if anywhere near you sells them