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Enigma
09-15-2012, 03:41 PM
I'm having a difficult time, in my display system, of balancing the needs of a mixed reef. LPS do very well, while SPS survive but don't thrive. My goal for this nano is to provide an optimal and sustainable environment for my SPS corals (higher light and higher flow).

For this build, I've chosen an all-in-one 24 Gallon Nano Cube DX, which will be filled with 19.5 gallons of saltwater. The remaining volume will be filled with rock, sand, and equipment. The only external component to the system will be the automatic top-up.

Another part of the challenge, for me, is in trying to use as much equipment that I have laying around as possible. The costs of this build are approximately a 50/50 split between what has been purchased new and what is salvage, and the costs work out to around $100 per gallon (before livestock). I have only purchased what I felt was absolutely required to ensure that my goals are successfully met.

Aquattro
09-15-2012, 03:46 PM
the costs work out to around $100 per gallon

You're at $2000.00 without livestock for a nano??Is that a typo?

reefwars
09-15-2012, 03:55 PM
holy shelley $100/per gallon, is there sleep in my eyes still :p


i love where tis is going though so far and ill be watching to see what you come up with:)


good luck:)

Enigma
09-15-2012, 04:10 PM
:lol: Not a typo. This baby is getting a full Apex and custom DIY LEDs. Those add up! As do all of the other bits and pieces. In looking at this tank, it isn't going to look any different from any other NC24 on the outside except for one tiny little thing.

Enigma
09-15-2012, 06:40 PM
What 19.5 gallons of water looks like in an NC24.

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120909-00113.jpg

It could be tough to fill up the void. :eek:

reefwars
09-15-2012, 07:22 PM
What 19.5 gallons of water looks like in an NC24.

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120909-00113.jpg

It could be tough to fill up the void. :eek:



sandbed??

JDigital
09-15-2012, 07:51 PM
VDSB... :lol:

Enigma
09-15-2012, 08:01 PM
sandbed??

I just figured out a little trick. :)

If I use the little surface skimmer that comes with the Nano Cubes, it keeps the display full and enables me to reduce the volume of water in the back chambers.

This is actually really handy. Not only can it reduce the water volume needed by a gallon (if absolutely required), it is going to give me the ability to fine tune the water level in the back chambers for the skimmer and float switches.

I honestly don't like the way the little surface skimmer looks, but it is going to prove very useful.

I really don't want to have to purchase more sand for this system if I can help it. I've got 15 pounds of 1-2mm aragonite laying around that I'm planning on using in this. I've got that cooking downstairs in a tub with the rock for this system.

I think I've got my Dremel hacks for the tank itself done (hood isn't done yet), and I think I've figured out how everything is going to fit into the back chambers. Progress is being made . . . And hubby isn't complaining about the way the kitchen table looks . . . Yet. ;)

Enigma
09-15-2012, 08:02 PM
VDSB... :lol:

If I do have to go VDSB . . . I'm totally going to get a blue spot jawfish! :D

Enigma
09-16-2012, 12:02 AM
http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120915-00127.jpg

The centre compartment in the rear has had the trim removed with a Dremel: So that the Hydor Slim Skim Nano can be squeezed in. It is a very tight fit. While it doesn't need to be forced in, getting it in requires a bit of finesse.

I've got two of the "Reef Fanatic" float sensors in the back chambers. I chose those ones as they have a suction cup mount. The suction cups don't stick very well, so once I get this thing filled and have their positions figured out I'll be attaching the mounts with silicone.

An Eheim Jäger 100W heater is back there right now, but I may swap it out. I'd prefer two 50W, as neither one of them would be able to cook the tank on its own. The cords on the Eheim Jäger heaters are really thick, and that is going to complicate things a little.

A media rack is going in the first chamber. A "Sea Side Aquatics" magnetic probe holder is in the return chamber. The temperature probe and grounding probe are in that. The tubing for the ato is also stuck in that for now.

It is a bit squishy in there! And, you get my super comfy slippers in the shot, too. ;)

Acipenser
09-16-2012, 12:25 AM
I like the way you have everything shoe horned in !

nanoreefnewbie
09-16-2012, 12:53 AM
Nice trick lol:mrgreen:..everything stuffed in back looks great open tank no equipment showing

Enigma
09-16-2012, 03:11 PM
Hmm. Apparently "Notme" and/or "Idunno" struck again last night.

I finished modding the hood this morning for all of the cables. Yea! It will work nicely. :) I went to grab the zip tie holders that will keep everything nicely aligned (the same ones supplied with Vortech pumps) . . . And they're gone. Gone!

#1 son says "Notme." #2 son says "Idunno." Hubby said something unintelligible and pulled the covers back over his head.

*sigh*

Enigma
09-16-2012, 04:10 PM
No one likes it when mom is unhappy. ;) Notme was the culprit.

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120916-00129.jpg

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120916-00130.jpg

One of the annoyances about Nano Cubes, is that the aquariums just aren't designed for a lot of equipment. I had to hack out the hood in a few places so the cords from the devices inside the back chambers could be run out of the aquarium.

The cords then need to be aligned and held in place. In the event one doesn't do this, the cords will shift and get pinched in the hood when it is closed. I had this happen with my NC12 a couple of times, and the hood cut through the protective coating on the cables leaving exposed wire. There is still a little positioning work still required inside the aquarium to ensure that everything lines up perfectly. I think zip ties should take care of that.

The cable holder on the far right of the top photo is just there to keep that cable shifted over a little: so that it doesn't creep out from behind the tank and become noticeable to viewers.

Enigma
09-16-2012, 04:39 PM
The fans in the hood have been replaced, with ones that are more powerful (though just as noisy):

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120915-00121.jpg

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120915-00122.jpg

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120915-00123.jpg

The fans I chose are a bit thicker then the original fans. The screw holes line up perfectly, but the original screws are too short for the mounts towards the front of the hood.

The fans (in the third photo) are being run by Modular LED's fan power supply and adapter. They worked perfectly, and there was no indication of overheating. I let them run for 12 hours.

This is going to be a HUGE improvement over the original components, as the fans can be left running when the lights are off. What I consider a major design flaw with the Nano Cubes is that the fans shut off when the CF bulbs shut off. It is true that the fans will be underneath the splash guard (when I finally have the hood all put back together), and they don't do much for air exchange. But, with these closed systems, and the challenges in maintaining pH, I do feel the fans should run 24/7: no potential source of O2 should be left off.

The fans came from Memory Express. Unfortunatly, Modular LED doesn't offer a 60mm fan.

reefwars
09-16-2012, 04:40 PM
ooooo quite the "enigma" ya got there :P

nanoreefnewbie
09-16-2012, 04:41 PM
And happy wife = happy life lol... :biggrin:..this tank is looking great

fishoholic
09-16-2012, 05:25 PM
This is looking pretty cool so far.

If I do have to go VDSB . . . I'm totally going to get a blue spot jawfish! :D

FYI (I found out the hard way) blue spot jawfish generally survive better in colder water tanks, 72-73. They are very prone to disease in warmer tanks.

Enigma
09-16-2012, 05:27 PM
I just made the cutouts in the hood a bit bigger: in the event more equipment is squeezed in, and for the airline for the skimmer to poke out.

With the pH issues in these little tanks, I decided it was definately worth running the airline for the skimmer outside the tank. This could be risky, but as long as the airline stays above the waterline it shouldn't siphon any water out. I'll zip tie the airline to the power cord for the skimmer, so it doesn't fall.

Enigma
09-16-2012, 05:34 PM
This is looking pretty cool so far.



FYI (I found out the hard way) blue spot jawfish generally survive better in colder water tanks, 72-73. They are very prone to disease in warmer tanks.

Bummer. :( I'll be running this system at 79F.

I'm very glad that you chimed in about the temperature issue, as that was something I was totally unaware of. I did know that they require a VDSB, as they build their borrows four inches deep in the wild.

Now I really don't want a VDSB . . . The only consolation in it for me was the potential to house a blue spot jawfish.:(

If I have a hard time filling the void, I may slip in some pieces of dense base rock underneath the dry rock. I have given myself a half gallon of wiggle room, but I don't want to use any of that.

Salt2Death
09-16-2012, 05:46 PM
I love your work on this tank build up!



Sent Via Pirate Ship.......

fishoholic
09-16-2012, 05:51 PM
Bummer. :( I'll be running this system at 79F.

I'm very glad that you chimed in about the temperature issue, as that was something I was totally unaware of. I did know that they require a VDSB, as they build their borrows four inches deep in the wild.

Now I really don't want a VDSB . . . The only consolation in it for me was the potential to house a blue spot jawfish.:(



I was totally unaware as well until the one I bought started fading in colour then stared getting blotchy patches then stopped eating then died :sad: After asking around about what on earth could of caused it, I found out about their issues with higher temps. Totally made sense to me as when I 1st got my BSJ it was early spring and was cool outside and my tank sat around 76. Unfortunately as summer hit and the house heated up so did my tank but it was sitting around 79-80 so I didn't think to much of it. Until I noticed my BSJ going downhill fast and found out they do better in colder tanks, sadly by then it was to late to reverse the effects :sad: Now I try to let others know so they don't have to go through what I did.

Enigma
09-16-2012, 07:38 PM
It's a shaved down pill bottle cap with a hole in it . . .

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120916-00132.jpg

An itty bitty switch . . .

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120916-00133.jpg

And a bit of #24 wire . . .

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120916-00134.jpg

This may be the part of the build that I think is the most clever.

No. I'm not telling you what it is, yet. ;)

Enigma
09-17-2012, 03:03 PM
One of the "salvage" parts of this build is the stand.

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120831-00068.jpg

It is one of those old cabinet end tables, that my parents purchased from Sears in 1976. We lived on CFS Holberg (now closed down) at the time, on the north-western tip of Vancouver Island (by Coal Harbour).

Here's the date from the bottom of the table.

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120831-00070.jpg

Now, I know the table is ugly. I don't want to discard it, and I think it will make a very functional stand for this build.

Here's the back before I started hacking it up.

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120831-00069.jpg

The first hole . . . and the rest of the holes laid out in black china marker.

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120831-00075.jpg

The top holes are for the cables running into the stand. The bottom holes are for the cables running out of the stand.

I learned how to use a jigsaw (it made my hand numb) . . .

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120831-00077.jpg

A little crooked . . .

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120831-00078.jpg

The rectangular cut out is for a vent.

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120831-00080.jpg

The stain isn't a perfect match . . . but the vent was "salvage" too. It should perform its job.

These fans from Modular LED are being mounted on the inside of the vent (to disapate humidity from the topup reservoir and the heat from the Apex and powerbars:
http://www.modularled.ca/antec-truequiet-120mm/
I'm short a fan power adapter and power supply, but those are now on route from Martin. I should have them tomorrow of the next day. Then I'll get the fans installed.

Cheap black schedule 40 bulkheads are going into the holes, to pretty them up a bit and to protect the wires. I ordered those cheap off of eBay. I'm sure they'll get here eventually. :o

The tank is a nice fit on this table. I'm kind of thinking that the table needs to be painted black . . . but I'm on the fence about actually doing it.

Enigma
09-17-2012, 03:06 PM
This may be the part of the build that I think is the most clever.

No. I'm not telling you what it is, yet. ;)

Oh . . . kinda messed this part up. Reboot!

nanoreefnewbie
09-18-2012, 11:08 PM
Everything in this build is soo well thought out keep up the great work:biggrin:

riceboy
09-18-2012, 11:26 PM
i must say you are a very handy gal, my gf doesn't even know how to use a screw driver lol, but i guess thats where i come in :lol:

fishoholic
09-19-2012, 12:07 AM
The tank is a nice fit on this table. I'm kind of thinking that the table needs to be painted black . . . but I'm on the fence about actually doing it.

Cool I like the table stand, I think it would look more modern painted black, but that's a lot of work and looks ok as is.

Enigma
09-19-2012, 12:48 AM
Everything in this build is soo well thought out keep up the great work:biggrin:

That's because I learn from my mistakes, and I've made a LOT of them on pervious builds. :o

i must say you are a very handy gal, my gf doesn't even know how to use a screw driver lol, but i guess thats where i come in :lol:

I'm an old broad on husband #3. I've had to figure out how to take care of some things myself. :lol:

Cool I like the table stand, I think it would look more modern painted black, but that's a lot of work and looks ok as is.

I've picked up black paint and nickel hardware for it, based on feedback from a thread I posted in the DIY forum. It is a big task, and there are actually two of these tables (the other is hexagonal, and will become a stand for a hex tank in the future), so the task is more then just this one table. It will look much better, I think. The tank and stand will certainly match more closely then before.

fishoholic
09-19-2012, 01:02 AM
Ya the work it takes to paint will pay off in the end.

reefwars
09-19-2012, 03:25 AM
a post has been made in all the contest forumns regarding contest rules via the timeline, everyone should read this post as there seems to be some confusion.

Enigma
09-19-2012, 03:26 PM
I'm thinking about flow.

A very common practice when dealing with these cubes is to replace the stock return pump with a Maxi Jet (a 900 or even a 1200).

If the water volume is 19.5 gallons, and optimal flow rate through a "sump" (filtration chambers, in this case) is 6.1x display volume, the optimal flow rate for the return pump in this system is ~120 gallons per hour. The stock pump has a flow rate of 290 gph. Replacing the stock pump with a higher flow pump seems foolish, based on those numbers. Ergo, I'll be using the stock return pump and relying on powerheads to supply the flow that the corals require.

I've presently got a Tunze 6015 as the powerhead for this tank. While it is a little large as far as how much room it requires in the display, it is 476 gph. I need at least 20x the water volume per hour for system flow: 400 gph. Combined with the return, I'll have 766 gph, which should be suitable.

I've been testing an "Innovative Marine Spin Stream Return Nozzle" for this system. I think it is a huge improvement over the stock return nozzle: which blasts the water out and has very limited positional range.

reefwars
09-19-2012, 04:27 PM
great job so far shelley, looks like your putting alot of thought into this:)


cheers

nanoreefnewbie
09-19-2012, 11:31 PM
Yeah I agree with reefwars very well thought out...i cant wait too see if tank with live stock more and more

Enigma
09-20-2012, 12:03 AM
The more I think about it, this system might just be stocked with coral and inverts. The reason being that fish are pretty messy for the most part (at least all of the gluttons I've got, anyway). If I find a fish or two that aren't messy pigs I'll consider putting them in here.

nanoreefnewbie
09-20-2012, 12:17 AM
The more I think about it, this system might just be stocked with coral and inverts. The reason being that fish are pretty messy for the most part (at least all of the gluttons I've got, anyway). If I find a fish or two that aren't messy pigs I'll consider putting them in here.
Well never thought about that..fish are messy...:wink:thanks for the thoughts..Humm now do I want fish lol coral are easy through fish in whole new ball game

Enigma
09-20-2012, 02:14 AM
Have I mentioned that I hate painting?

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120919-00136_zps1cdface9.jpg

It would look better, but I got stoned on the fumes.

It looks better than it did, and it will match the tank better. It certainly isn't perfect, however. I think I'm going to have to sand a couple of spots and touch it up.

Edit: I need to pick up some of the black melamine furniture edging strips, as four of them were in terrible shape and I pulled them off.

Enigma
09-20-2012, 02:19 AM
Well never thought about that..fish are messy...:wink:thanks for the thoughts..Humm now do I want fish lol coral are easy through fish in whole new ball game

I spoil my fish (food=love ;)) so my main display system is very high nutrients. LPS and softies do well in it. When I had an overstocked 10 gallon LPS and softies did well in there, too. I need this system to be lower nutrients, especially as I won't be running fluid reactors.

Enigma
09-20-2012, 04:19 PM
http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120920-00137_zps4263f36e.jpg

The tank's brain.

Admittedly, this is a huge cash sink. And, I could probably get very similar results without it. But, as I'm looking at this being a long-term setup, I decided it was worth it.

This tank was going to get the full Apex, but when I considered all of the logistics involved in swapping the full Apex from my main display system, I decided to suck it up and add a VDM module to the Lite and use the Lite on this tank.

I've screwed everything to the piece of plywood that was originally the shelf in the stand. There are some issues with the placement of the bars and modules, but I think it will suffice. The display will be mounted on the front or side of the stand. When looking at that photo I can see that the VDM cable is shifted at the EB8. I need to fix that.

Due to the low wattage of so many of the devices in this build, I had to add an EB4 to the set up. Even still, I may have not have enough relay outlets. I can probably combine the return pump and skimmer on one outlet.

Oh, the stand looks quite good this morning. I don't think any touch ups are required. It is going in our poorly lit rec room, anyway. ;)

Enigma
09-20-2012, 08:25 PM
The stand is done. :)

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120920-00139_zpsdbb19343.jpg


http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120920-00138_zps806dcfd4.jpg

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120920-00140_zpsd254a35a.jpg

The handles on the doors look like they're at very different heights in the photo. They don't look like that when I'm standing in front of it. If they are really that out, I'm not worried about it: as the table has been in my life since 1976 and I've never noticed before.

SeaHorse_Fanatic
09-20-2012, 08:42 PM
Wow looks great. Totally doing the opposite of my "spend almost no money" planned nano.

Enigma
09-20-2012, 08:52 PM
Wow looks great. Totally doing the opposite of my "spend almost no money" planned nano.

:lol: My Spec failed. I forgot to top it up for a week. Yours is going to be awesome.

After six months of reefing, I'm starting to figure out my style. I'm a gadget geek and a control freak. And, due to my stupidly busy life I really need to automate as much as possible to keep things thriving.

I wish I could do simple, but it makes me hyperventilate.

Enigma
09-20-2012, 08:54 PM
I forgot to mention . . . The fans inside the stand, the splitter cable, the 12V adapter, and the 12V power supply all came from Modular LED.

fishoholic
09-20-2012, 08:54 PM
Wow this is coming along nicely! Amazing what a little paint and new hardwear can do.

Enigma
09-20-2012, 08:57 PM
Wow this is coming along nicely! Amazing what a little paint and new hardwear can do.

Thanks, Laurie. :) It isn't perfect, but it is so much better than it was! I'm very pleased that the canreef folks pushed me to go ahead and do it.

sphelps
09-20-2012, 09:27 PM
If those are 12V fans and you have 12V power supply consider wiring the two fans in series so they run at 6V instead of 12V. It'll be much quieter and still more than enough air exchange. I always find such fans to be overly noisy if run at full power.

Build looks good so far, curious to see the final LED layout :wink:

Enigma
09-20-2012, 09:33 PM
If those are 12V fans and you have 12V power supply consider wiring the two fans in series so they run at 6V instead of 12V. It'll be much quieter and still more than enough air exchange. I always find such fans to be overly noisy if run at full power.

Build looks good so far, curious to see the final LED layout :wink:

Hmm. These fans have two settings. They seem pretty quiet. If I decide to change it, would Memory Express have the required cable?

LED layout:

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120920-00141_zps1d337d8f.jpg

They don't actually work yet, however. :cry:

Excuse my ugly epoxy mess. :o

intarsiabox
09-20-2012, 10:08 PM
The stand looks great! Makes me think I may have to build a stand for my entry to compete, I was just going to throw mine on an old dresser in a spare bedroom.:sad:

Enigma
09-20-2012, 10:20 PM
The stand looks great! Makes me think I may have to build a stand for my entry to compete, I was just going to throw mine on an old dresser in a spare bedroom.:sad:

My 40 gallon started off as a 10 gallon, on an old dresser in my bedroom. I really liked it there. :) It fit on the dresser perfectly, and the moonlights were very nice at night.

sphelps
09-20-2012, 11:07 PM
Well if they are quite then nevermind :razz: but if you do need to slow them down it's an easy option instead of buying another power supply. No cable but easy to rewire by taking red wire from fan 1 to + power, black wire from fan 1 to red fan 2, followed by black fan 2 to - power.

LED layout looks good, why doesn't it work?

Enigma
09-20-2012, 11:22 PM
layout looks good, why doesn't it work?

I'm guessing I did something wrong. I haven't figured out what, though.

The Apex works. The VDM appears to work. The lights on the eln-60-48p drivers don't work. The issue isn't with the lights, as when tested independently of the drivers they work.

I'm thinking it may actually be an issue with a splice: specifically the ones that run to the VDM. I'm going to pull all the wiring apart, redo the splices, and check again. Hubby is going to help me trouble shoot this.

In the event we can't get it fixed, I may need to recruit a guy I know (*cough**cough*) who happens to be really good at this stuff. ;) While I really want to do it myself, this is very much a make it or break it part of the build.

sphelps
09-21-2012, 01:04 AM
Not to point out the obvious but you know ELN-60-48P drivers are PWM controlled right? Shouldn't you be using ELN-60-48D drivers which are 0-10V? I actually haven't done that much with meanwell or APEX but I believe APEX is 0-10V based and you need the D drivers.

Enigma
09-21-2012, 01:23 AM
Not to point out the obvious but you know ELN-60-48P drivers are PWM controlled right? Shouldn't you be using ELN-60-48D drivers which are 0-10V? I actually haven't done that much with meanwell or APEX but I believe APEX is 0-10V based and you need the D drivers.

Oops! My bad. It is the 48D drivers that I've got.

Everything looks like it should work.

sphelps
09-21-2012, 01:36 AM
Have you tried supplying the meanwells with a straight 10V signal?

Enigma
09-21-2012, 01:42 AM
Have you tried supplying the meanwells with a straight 10V signal?

Not yet. When I get the opportunity to work on it again I'll try a 9V battery to start. From what I've read, that is what most people do. I have wiring to do that, I just don't have the batteries yet.

I have a 0-13V VDC moonlight driver (for the four blue LEDs), but I'm hesitant to try that. Do you think it would supply too much power? Or, would the variable nature of that driver render the experiment useless?

This has been a huge exercise in frustration. I'm electrically stupid, and no matter how much I read, or how much I try, I just don't get it. My brain just isn't wired for it. ;)

sphelps
09-21-2012, 02:42 AM
You could use a potentiometer with that power supply to test the dimming. Not sure I'd hit it with 13v even though I doubt it would cause any damage but without knowing for sure I just wouldn't.

So how did you get the lights working without the drivers and how did you verify the Apex and dimming module are working correctly?

Enigma
09-21-2012, 03:17 AM
The moonlight driver lights up two boards at a time. All of the boards were tested with that. And, the meanwell drivers will light up a few of the boards at a time when dimming power isn't supplied, but not everything in the string. One of the drivers will light five boards and the other one will light four (these are very dim, however). There are seven boards (14LEDs) on the RB series. There are six boards (12 LEDs) on the CW/NW string. According to the specs, the drivers will run 8-14 LEDs. The two blue boards are on a the little moonlight driver, and they work (at least something works!).

I'm thinking it has to be an issue with the apex dimming cable splice. The Meanwell drivers supply power (one supplies 24V and the other at 16V).

I reviewed the "Unofficial User Manual", and followed the instructions in that. I also consulted threads in the Neptune forum on RC. I'm 99% sure that the Apex and/or VDM aren't the issue. But, if the 9V test works, the issue will have to be with the original splice, the Apex and/or VDM. If it works, I'll just try hooking up the Apex/VDM again to see what happens. If it doesn't work with the second splice to the Apex . . . then it is the Apex.

I used the 3M Scotchlok connectors on the splice: which was dumb. I should have verified that everything worked before I used those. Now I have to cut those out, which I have to admit that I'm trying to avoid doing. The connectors are cheap, but I hate to lose any wire length.

I don't think there is a potentiometer in the house. I should pick one up. I just didn't realize it would be a good thing to have for troubleshooting purposes.

It has taken three Modular LED orders to get to this point. I'm hoping there won't be a fourth. Of course, I've totally modified the original kit . . . so the number of orders reflects my level of preparedness and understanding: not Martin's kit. :o

Enigma
09-21-2012, 03:21 PM
There's a surprise on my desk this morning. :) It must have arrived yesterday, when I was off work taking care of my little guy (who was ill).

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120921-00142_zps11e718fa.jpg

Aquarium supply retailers are trying to make me fat:
http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120921-00143_zps6dda51b6.jpg

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120921-00145_zpsf281e568.jpg

I was going to build the media basket out of egg crate for this build . . . but these media baskets are so pretty and nicely made. I just couldn't bring myself to do use egg crate.

So I guess this is one thing that wasn't an absolute necessity that I bought anyway. :o

nanoreefnewbie
09-21-2012, 11:39 PM
That is pretty nice :biggrin:

Enigma
09-22-2012, 03:11 AM
Woohoo!

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120921-00147_zps5a28e64a.jpg

I've been fighting with these for a while. Hubby and I just completed a marathon troubleshooting session.

In the royal blue string, there was one bad connector and one bent connection pin. In the white series there was a bad dimming splice.

It looks like I'll be dimming the whites a lot more than the royal blues. My white ratio is higher than it really should be. But, I've got the Apex all programmed and figured out for this, so that'll be easy.

There are four blue LEDs that are being run off of a little moonlight driver.

Now I just need to get them mounted. :)

(The concise details of this build, and the materials list, will be posted at a later date)

Acipenser
09-22-2012, 03:41 AM
Thats freakin awesome. - I am very tempted to build a set of lights !

fishoholic
09-22-2012, 04:44 AM
Glad you got the lights working that must be a relief.

Enigma
09-22-2012, 04:43 PM
Thats freakin awesome. - I am very tempted to build a set of lights !

Now that they're working I can say that I would certainly do it again. The learning curve was pretty big for me, and by Thursday evening I was ready to file them under "G" and reassemble the original lighting. Thankfully, hubby intervened.

Glad you got the lights working that must be a relief.

There is still some tweaking to be done (supplemental LEDs, heatsink installation in the hood, etc.), but you're right. Having them turn on when power is supplied is a huge relief. It is such a make it or break it part of the build. My entire purpose for this build (an SPS appropriate system) was hanging on this.

I almost made a hysterical phone call to sphelps from an electronic supply place yesterday (but reason intervened :lol:). Neither hubby or the gent behind the counter could figure out what potentiometer was required, and I didn't know enough to give them the info they required. In the end, the one we purchased worked.

Enigma
09-23-2012, 01:37 PM
I'm mulling over fish. Does anyone know of nano suitable fish that aren't overly messy? Being that this system needs to be low nutrient, I don't want to add a really messy fish.

In looking at my display tank, my green chromis are probably the least messy. I could put them in here (my 40 is overstocked . . . But it will become a ~100g in Feb-March). I'm not fond of them, however. They hide most of the time, and aren't particularly interesting.

I just don't know. I've posted three threads, on three different forums, and I'm just not gettting answers. Maybe there is no answer?

fishoholic
09-23-2012, 04:52 PM
Purple firefish maybe? They are pretty and not messy. Also trimma gobies and clown gobies are cool. If you want to keep the tank low nutrient you can also run the prodibio biokit for nano reefs.

JDigital
09-23-2012, 05:03 PM
Catalina Goby
http://www.liveaquaria.com/images/categories/product/p-70990-catalina-goby.jpg

Yellow Banded Possum Wrasse
http://www.liveaquaria.com/images/categories/product/p-90160-Banded-Possum-Wras.jpg

Or white Banded..
http://www.liveaquaria.com/images/categories/product/p-74611-white-banded-possum-wrasse.jpg

Tanaka Pygmy Wrasse
http://www.liveaquaria.com/images/categories/product/p-74616-tanakas-possum-wrasse.jpg

Enigma
09-23-2012, 05:06 PM
Wow! Some nice options. Thanks, both of you. :)

fishoholic
09-23-2012, 05:22 PM
Catalina gobies are cool but also need cold water temps 68-74 to survive long term.

Enigma
09-23-2012, 05:29 PM
Catalina gobies are cool but also need cold water temps 68-74 to survive long term.

Drat! Another one that likes those temps. Maybe I should investigate keeping a lower temp reef.

Boxboy
09-24-2012, 01:13 AM
There is tons of goby options for small tanks. I love the neon gobys and trimma gobys :)
Also glad to read about your light working correctly!

sphelps
09-24-2012, 02:00 AM
Nice work on the lights, should look great on the tank.

Enigma
09-24-2012, 05:09 AM
Nice work on the lights, should look great on the tank.

I'm feeling very pleased right now . . .

(the whites are dimmed in this photo, while the RB and B are 100%).

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120923-00164_zpsfe45fe1b.jpg

You know your help was invaluable, right? Claymax and Ross were a huge help, too.

For those who missed it . . . this is how the LED placement evolved:
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=89518

sphelps
09-24-2012, 05:14 AM
Mmmmmmm... Fancy

intarsiabox
09-24-2012, 05:14 AM
Nice! Even the picture of the lights is bright on the eyes!

Enigma
09-24-2012, 05:18 AM
The lights are so bright that at 100% they make you feel like throwing up. Seriously. Hubby, my #1 son (who is about to turn 19), and myself all had to fight the urge to hurl when hubby and I were troubleshooting them. #2 son (who is about to turn 4) wasn't even allowed in the room.

They may be dimmed a lot on the tank.

intarsiabox
09-24-2012, 05:35 AM
The lights are so bright that at 100% they make you feel like throwing up. Seriously. Hubby, my #1 son (who is about to turn 19), and myself all had to fight the urge to hurl when hubby and I were troubleshooting them. #2 son (who is about to turn 4) wasn't even allowed in the room.

They may be dimmed a lot on the tank.

That's intense! (little pun there) Wow, 15 years between kids, good for you. My girls are 5 years apart, after the second one was born my wife sent me off to the doctor to get cured for that thing that causes pregnancy.:sad:

Enigma
09-24-2012, 09:07 PM
24 Gallon Nano Cube LED Build

Materials List
(All Items Except “Additional” Purchased from Modular LED)

Heatsink

1x 5.9x9 inch aluminium


LEDs

4x Cool White XP-E Modular LED (8 LEDs)
2x Neutral White XP-E High Efficiency Modular LED (4 LEDs)
7x Royal Blue XP-E Modular LED (14 LEDs)
2x Blue XP-E Modular LED (4 LEDs)


Drivers

2x Mean Well ELN-60-48D
1x 350mA Constant Current Moonlight Driver


Connectors & Cables

10x 4inch Standard Connectors
1x 6inch Standard Connector
1x 2inch Standard Connector
3x Start & End Kit Connectors
9x 12inch Extension Connectors
1x 2 Channel Apex to Light Dimming Cable
2x Power Cord
2x 3M Scotchlok - Waterproof Power Cord Connector
Arctic Alumina Thermal Glue


Additional

Homemade ground cords [2x Ground Wire Eyelets, 2x 36inch 16 Gauge Wire] (Active Electronics)
Electrical Tape (Hubby's Toolbox)
10x Insulated Butt Connectors (Hubby's Toolbox)
2x 14x1x1/8inch Barstock Aluminum [cut from 8foot piece] (Princess Auto)
High heat dual stage epoxy (Hubby's Toolbox)



Gutting the Hood

Gutting the hood was pretty easy. It really just boiled down to removing all of the screws.

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/hood1.jpg

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/hood2.jpg

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/hood_zps146480ce.jpg

The hardest part was getting the switch out of this hole:

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120908-00105.jpg

Yes, there is an ugly hole in the top of the lid. We'll come back to that sometime in the future.

The Unboxing of the first Modular LED order
(there were three orders in total)

Aquarium supply retailers are definitely trying to make me fat (I love chocolate):

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120907-00089.jpg

Not everything in this image was used in the LED build:

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120907-00090.jpg

LED Placement

With the help of fellow Canreefers, the LED placement evolves from this:

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120907-00091.jpg

To this:

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/LED_placement_zpsaca69126.jpg

The evolution of the light placement is documented here:

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=89518
Some supplemental LEDs may be added at a later date.

The royal blues will be on one dimmable driver, the whites on the other, and the blues on a little moonlight driver.

Assembly

I assembled what I had:

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120907-00098.jpg

I used waaaaay too much of the Arctic Alumina Thermal Glue when I attached the LEDs. Good thing I doubled my order on that in my first order. I have a hard time showing restraint with adhesives. The LED connector wires were very easy to use.

I then ordered what I still required in the way of new LED boards, wiring, and a little moonlight driver. The second order arrived, and I realized that I'm an idiot (I had forgotten the start/end kit wiring for the blue string that was going on the little moonlight driver!). I placed order #3.

After order #3 arrived, I completed the LED layout and wiring.

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120920-00141_zps1d337d8f.jpg

They didn't work. Or rather, the lights didn't light up with the Meanwells. All of the lights were tested using the moonlight driver, and they all appeared to work correctly.

As it turns out the first problem in getting them to work was in not completing the dimming circuit (according to Martin from Modular LED that is a very common mistake). With the Mean Well ELN-60-48D drivers the dimming circuit MUST be completed for the lights to turn on. The easiest way to do that is with a 9V battery. I had tried to complete the circuit with the Apex VDM module, but trying to figure out how the VDM (Variable Speed/Dimming Module ) worked and troubleshoot the lights proved to be fruitless.

Additionally, after a marathon troubleshooting session with hubby, I had one bad splice on the dimming circuit for one of the drivers. There was also one bad 4inch Standard Connector and one bent connection pin in one of the plugs on the LED boards.

Once all of the circuits were properly completed . . . we had liftoff!

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120921-00147_zps5a28e64a.jpg

And, just an FYI, hubby and I trying to troubleshoot the lights together was actually WORSE than us trying to get the travel trailer hooked up and or/backed into a space. I'm going to do my best to forget 90% of the crap we said to each other while working on these lights.

I did something dumb when I originally wired everything. I used all of the little 3m Scotchlok Waterproof connectors (http://www.modularled.ca/3m-scotchlok-waterproof-connector/ ) from Martin before I tested anything. During the troubleshooting process they all had to be cut out. I had to use insulated butt connectors and electrical tape stolen from Hubby's toolbox to complete the wiring. The two big ones (http://www.modularled.ca/3m-scotchlok-waterproof-power-cord-connector/) for the driver power cords didn't have to be cut out. It is definitely a good idea to test the wiring before making permanent connections.

I opted to build my own ground wires, to get the length that I needed for them.

Mounting the Heatsink to the Hood

Here is the original discussion with regards to mounting the heatsink:
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=89546

It gets pretty dicey here. I suggest no one take the same route . . . until mine has been thoroughly tested!

I cut two 14” pieces from an 8' length of 1x1/8” flat-bar aluminum.

Then I drilled holes in the two pieces that aligned with the screw hole locations in the hood.

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120923-00156_zps810041ad.jpg

Then I attached the flat-bar using the original screws.

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120923-00158.jpg

Then (you're going to be really horrified, now), I used a flexible, two-stage, high heat epoxy to attached the heatsink to the aluminum flat-bar. I sanded both before hand. I believe it was a Lepage product. Hubby handed it to me, and insisted that it was what I should be using. I was going to use JB Weld. At this point, I don't know how much faith of have in this installation.

If the heatsink falls off, it is his fault. ;)

I screwed the acrylic cover back on . . . and I'm done!

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120923-00162.jpg

Both Meanwells at 100% and the moondriver:

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20120923-00163.jpg

I'm pretty sure a 747 could be landed using this fixture for guidance.

Enigma
09-24-2012, 09:34 PM
That's intense! (little pun there) Wow, 15 years between kids, good for you. My girls are 5 years apart, after the second one was born my wife sent me off to the doctor to get cured for that thing that causes pregnancy.:sad:

:lol: Oh, I didn't plan it that way. It just "kinda happened." :o I've been trying to convince hubby to get "cured" . . . it isn't working. I turn 40 in Feb. He turned 40 in August. We're done! I can accept it. He's not convinced yet. :eek:

Boxboy
09-25-2012, 03:02 AM
Very good retro on the lights and the only thing being "cured" should be the rocks lol
Oops pun attack.

fishoholic
09-25-2012, 02:31 PM
Those lights look awesome and complicated! Amazing how it all fits in there :thumb:

Enigma
09-25-2012, 03:11 PM
Very good retro on the lights and the only thing being "cured" should be the rocks lol
Oops pun attack.

Those lights look awesome and complicated! Amazing how it all fits in there :thumb:

Thanks, both of you. :)

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/20gallon-1.jpg

I was mucking around with something called the "Marine Compatibility Guide" (http://www.marinecompatibilityguide.com/) yesterday, and I think I worked out a potential stocking list. The screenshot is above. I chose "25 gallons" when working through it, as I find that many times the minimum recommended tank size for fish is pretty generous.

The way it works is that you start with one fish, then "Find Compatible Fish," choose another fish, find more fish, choose more fish, . . . it is pretty neat. In reading through care information with regards to the chosen fish, and where they live in the tank, I think it looks alright.

I think the Pygmy Wrasse will be very hard to find. To complicate things further, if I stock this with fish I would like to find all of the fish from the same source, at the same time, and before any corals of inverts are added to the system. That way, if I need to do hypo, PraziPro or Paraguard, I can do it in the cycled display. I've had a couple of very unsettling events in my QT in the last month.

It returned four Wrasse options for me: Pygmy, Yellow Banded Possum, White Banded Possum, and Pink Streaked.

Enigma
09-25-2012, 03:34 PM
I'm playing around with the guide some more, with the tank size set to 15 gallons. It will let me choose all of the same fish, but it won't give me the option to add a clownfish.

I entered all of my stock for my 40 gallon into it . . . and I got a great big note on the screen telling me that a 40 gallon was not appropriate for one of the fish (it isn't, and I know this).

Overall, a very neat tool.

JDigital
09-27-2012, 08:49 PM
This system is looking bad-ass Shelley! Nice job on the LED.

Thanks for posting that link above. I've been playing around with it a bit here on my lunch break

Enigma
09-27-2012, 09:13 PM
Thanks, Josh. :) I have nearly hit my limit when it comes to the work I've done on this thing. :lol: I've still got a couple of little things left to do, and I'm having a hard time finding the motivation.

I've decided that it is getting one of the MP10s off my 40B. I'm honestly not fond of the things . . . they just weren't the right choice for that system. I'm hoping it will work nicely on here.

The more I play around with that link the more I like it. The recommendations it gives appear to be really solid.

JDigital
09-27-2012, 09:15 PM
Thanks, Josh. :) I have nearly hit my limit when it comes to the work I've done on this thing. :lol: I've still got a couple of little things left to do, and I'm having a hard time finding the motivation.

I've decided that it is getting one of the MP10s off my 40B. I'm honestly not fond of the things . . . they just weren't the right choice for that system. I'm hoping it will work nicely on here.

The more I play around with that link the more I like it. The recommendations it gives appear to be really solid.


If you ever wanna get rid of an MP10... shoot me a pm.. :lol:

Enigma
09-28-2012, 03:43 PM
If you ever wanna get rid of an MP10... shoot me a pm.. :lol:

When/if I get my Tunzes. :)

Enigma
09-28-2012, 03:52 PM
Soapy's posts of inspirational shots have inspired me to post my own.

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/Inspiration.jpg

I'm hoping to achieve a similar look with this build, though that is a 29 gallon.

soapy
09-28-2012, 05:10 PM
Soapy's posts of inspirational shots have inspired me to post my own.

I'm hoping to achieve a similar look with this build, though that is a 29 gallon.

Oh hey, well reefwarz got me thinking about inspirational photos so it is just getting passed along. Good luck with your goals. Cheers.

soapy
09-28-2012, 08:07 PM
BTW, if you are specifically looking for that red monti cap like in the inspirational photo, I have some and could break you off a piece if you like. Of course it will have to be a trade or sale in order to comply with the rules...

Enigma
09-29-2012, 01:28 AM
BTW, if you are specifically looking for that red monti cap like in the inspirational photo, I have some and could break you off a piece if you like. Of course it will have to be a trade or sale in order to comply with the rules...

I have a green one that has a purple rim that I was going to try on the sandbed. But, the red would be awfully nice. :lol: A frag of the red one is something we can talk about later. :)

Enigma
10-14-2012, 11:27 PM
:lol: Despite the fact that this is a terrible photograph . . . here is my "official" empty tank shot.

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20121014-00197.jpg

I do think it looks great on that table, though!

The tank is sitting in my very dark basement. It is still without water, and I'm hoping I make the November 1st fill date. We're redoing the floors upstairs and painting the bedrooms. The room this tank is going into hasn't been started yet. It was supposed to be done today.

The Grizz
10-15-2012, 01:14 AM
Well I must say Shelly you have been very busy on the build of your nano and very well done thus far. I have not had much time to check out other contestants threads until tonight.

:thumb: great job

Enigma
10-15-2012, 01:23 AM
Thanks, Greg. :)

I bet you're going to beat my fill date, even though you just started building your tank. :lol:

The Grizz
10-15-2012, 01:45 AM
I highly dought it :lol: but I do have my rock already cured as its been in my 165 sump for at least a yr. :biggrin:

mrhasan
10-15-2012, 02:55 AM
The build is looking good Shelly :D

nanoreefnewbie
10-15-2012, 04:06 AM
Great job so far cant wait too see live stock in it:biggrin:

Enigma
10-17-2012, 02:53 AM
Thanks, guys. :)

The paint is going on the walls in our bedroom. The second coat has just gone on. Hubby is sanding the floor tomorrow, and he'll get at least a couple of coats on it. I may be able to fill this puppy this weekend. :)

Enigma
10-21-2012, 01:42 AM
We got the last coat on the floors last night, and she's been moved into place!

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20121020-00211.jpg

I gave up nightstand to have the tank in our bedroom. Our bedroom isn't very big in our old bungalow.

Enigma
10-21-2012, 01:49 AM
Two inches of this sand has gone in:

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20121020-00210.jpg

(Photo taken before the last of the sand was added)

15lbs was new, and 5 (or so) pounds is from my 12 gallon Nano Cube, which was "retired" in June.

My rock structure has been glued together, and is curing on the bathroom floor downstairs. I *think* it will hold together long enough to get it up the stairs and into the tank.

As my rock is not live rock, I think I'm going to break a rule and add it before the water. The water will come from my main display system, over the course of a couple of water changes. I think.

JDigital
10-21-2012, 02:15 AM
Looking good Shelley! I thought the sand would be deeper than that.

Boxboy
10-21-2012, 02:32 AM
Looking good :)

Enigma
10-21-2012, 02:33 AM
Looking good Shelley! I thought the sand would be deeper than that.

:lol: It might wind up deeper: a lot deeper. I'm not yet sure how much volume the equipment, filtration media, and rockwork will take up.

Enigma
10-23-2012, 03:50 AM
Official "fill" photograph:

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20121022-00220.jpg

17.5 gallons!

Had I any idea how much displacement there would be, I might have tried an NC29. :D

Enigma
10-23-2012, 03:51 AM
Yes, my rock is in there already. I'm prepared to take a points hit for that, as it was the best course of action for me.

JDigital
10-23-2012, 04:06 AM
Is that salt on the sandbed?

Enigma
10-23-2012, 04:07 AM
Is that salt on the sandbed?

Yup. It is dry rock. No worries. :) I don't use live rock.

I've added the salt directly to the tank before when first filling.

JDigital
10-23-2012, 04:09 AM
Was just curious. :lol:

intarsiabox
10-23-2012, 04:11 AM
Yes, my rock is in there already. I'm prepared to take a points hit for that, as it was the best course of action for me.

Just take the rock out for minute to snap another picture and label it "prior to adding rock" photo. I may or may not be doing that.:lol:

Enigma
10-23-2012, 04:13 AM
I'm impressed that you caught that. Good eye! When I add the salt directly to the tank I give it longer to mix before I add anything else to the tank. I'll start dosing "Stability" in a week or so, with fish food to kick start the cycle.

Enigma
10-23-2012, 04:14 AM
Just take the rock out for minute to snap another picture and label it "prior to adding rock" photo. I may or may not be doing that.:lol:

I can't do that. The rock structure doesn't fit out the top of the tank. It is all glued together, and I'll need to try to get it apart when/if I remove it from the tank. Funny story (or not). I'll tell it later. ;)

Enigma
10-28-2012, 07:05 PM
Well, she is now officially cycling. :)

I'm adding Stability. I've got another bottle of Microbacter7 on order, and when that arrives I'll use that as well. I think there is value in using a variety of bacterial sources. I'm adding a big pinch of fish food pellets a day: more than the fish in this system will get to eat. I'm not going to test for ammonia or anything until mid-November. The last tank I cycled this way took 19 days, but I didn't add bacteria daily past the first week: I just kept ghost feeding the tank. I suspect this one will cycle more quickly, as I'll be adding bacteria daily. This tank will be a nitrifying beast by the livestock addition date.

Worth noting is that this tank is cycling hot at 83F. I believe this is a better temperature to cycle at, as it is said that the bacteria multiplies more quickly in warmer temperatures. I wouldn't cycle that warm with live rock, but as this rock is dry rock there is nothing worth trying to preserve on it.

Also, we should talk about phosphates. Dry rock is a phosphate bomb. People may advertise otherwise . . . but don't believe it. I am heading for a MAJOR GHA issue. I'm not worried about it, as I've been through it before. But, in an attempt to mitigate the phosphate damage, this rock was soaked in RO/DI for several weeks. In addition to that, I've added Phosbuster Pro to the water, and I'm using Pura Phoslock. Despite that, I expect this tank to go really green and hairy within eight weeks.

Enigma
10-28-2012, 08:32 PM
http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20121028-00235.jpg

I've only got the blue LEDs turned on in that photo. The Royal Blues aren't working again. I need to trouble shoot those. And, the whites really aren't required while cycling.

I'm incredibly pleased with the way my scape turned out. It really loses something in the photo. I'm sure that as it is filled out with coral the depth and dimension of the scape will become more obvious.

Here's a top down shot from before I added the water:

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20121021-00213.jpg

There are nice shaded spots, as well as spot that will be lower flow. There are an abundance of places to put coral. I think this will work out well. :)

Enigma
10-28-2012, 08:37 PM
I had originally built the scape outside of the tank. I carefully made all of my measurements, and I methodically glued it all together.

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20121019-00203.jpg

I brought it upstairs to put it in the tank after the glue had cured . . . and it didn't fit! It must have shifted ever so slightly after I had glued it.

I had to take it partially apart, and rebuild it in the tank.

http://i1035.photobucket.com/albums/a435/Iasgair/IMG-20121021-00212.jpg

It isn't 100% what I had originally, but it is pretty close.

fishoholic
10-28-2012, 08:43 PM
The aquascape looks good, but should be seeded with at least some live rock. IMO dry rock takes 6 months to start to cycle and over a year before becoming fully live and having enough beneficial bacteria to support a reef system properly.

Enigma
10-28-2012, 09:15 PM
I won't be putting any live rock in this system to start. Some live rock may wind up in it once corals are added: if the corals are on rock. I'm not 100% sure how I'm going to manage that. If corals can be removed from the rock easily, then I won't be putting any in.

I'm actually very "anti" live rock. While I did start my first system with eight pounds of live rock, and I still use that in the sump of my main display system, I try to avoid it when possible.

While it is true that live rock and dry rock are very different, if one is aware of the differences and is willing to compensate, dry rock can become very efficient very quickly. The difference is in that the bacteria needs to be added to a system using only dry rock, and quite a bit of it. The fuel for the bacteria needs to be added, too.

My NC12, by day 19, was processing a cube of mysis a day. It was so efficient that when I lost two clowns to brook (and never found their bodies) three days apart that there wasn't even a blip in the ammonia reading for the tank.

I'll be adding a lot of Stability and Microbacter7, and a lot of fuel to feed the bacteria. The ammonia in this tank will probably get horrifyingly high at some point, and the tank may start to smell pretty bad, too. The cycle may even stall at some point if the ammonia gets high enough to kill the bacteria. I'm guessing it should be just about cycled by the 23rd of November, though. :)

fishoholic
10-29-2012, 12:24 AM
I know a lot of newbies that have had lots of issues with their tanks from using dry rock. Not many people have the patience to go slow enough with dry rock and their tank suffers because of it. Guess you can say I am anti dry rock, but to each their own.

Enigma
10-29-2012, 01:00 AM
Dry rock certainly presents its own set of challenges. It's easy to use when one knows what to expect and is prepared to deal with the downsides, but if one doesn't know what's coming it can be incredibly challenging and frustrating.

mrhasan
10-29-2012, 03:08 AM
Great aquascape Shelley. Really liked the way you came up with it :D

I myself used aquacultered live rock which is guaranteed to be pest free. But over the time, pest did find a way in my tank (aiptasia through frags) but they also have to drink lemon juice as soon as I find them.

I prefer dry rocks for not being pest-free (aquacultered LR are pest free too) but because I can choose my own preference regarding shapes of rock which is not always the case with LR and aquacultered are not really available through LFS.

JDigital
10-31-2012, 05:33 PM
Coming along nicely Shelley! The rockscape looks great.

fishoholic
12-02-2012, 05:53 PM
Any updates? It's been over a month since the last one, just curious how the tank is doing now.

nanoreefnewbie
12-07-2012, 05:52 AM
Dry rock certainly presents its own set of challenges. It's easy to use when one knows what to expect and is prepared to deal with the downsides, but if one doesn't know what's coming it can be incredibly challenging and frustrating.

I personally know this:biggrin: