29g Biocube

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Copingwithpods

Copingwithpods

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Today I tried to tackle rear chamber flow problems. I have the intank media baskets and although they are great I found one major issue with them. When using a fine filter floss they clog easily and restrict flow dumping all the water straight over to the refugium.
20200127_134417.jpg


The 10 or so holes just dont work correctly with the filter floss sitting right on them. And I'm not even putting alot of flow through it (using the mj900).

So after alot of thought here's what I came up with.

20200127_143240.jpg
20200127_143236.jpg


20200127_143146.jpg


It increased the surface area almost 3 fold and it now allows the floss to sit up off the bottom allowing flow from 3 sides. I hope this resolves my flow problems for good. What do you guys think?
 
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Katrina71

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You can put the tank in an ottoman right in front of the tank if you have space. Only the tubes and cables would be slightly noticeable.
Cool idea.
 

Katrina71

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Today I tried to tackle rear chamber flow problems. I have the intank media baskets and although they are great I found one major issue with them. When using a fine filter floss they clog easily and restrict flow dumping all the water straight over to the refugium.
20200127_134417.jpg


The 10 or so holes just dont work correctly with the filter floss sitting right on them. And I'm not even putting alot of flow through it (using the mj900).

So after alot of thought here's what I came up with.

20200127_143240.jpg
20200127_143236.jpg


20200127_143146.jpg


It increased the surface area almost 3 fold and it now allows the floss to sit up off the bottom allowing flow from 3 sides. I hope this resolves my flow problems for good. What do you guys think?
I've had the same issue. I drilled more holes in mine, but yours looks optimal for flow. Nice.
 

Treenk

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I think I'd like to put my chaeto in the back compartment like you did. Can you explain which compartment it's in. Also how you keep it from clogging whatever filter, or even worse getting out of the compartment?
 
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The cheato is in the center compartment in the In Tank brand refugium basket (which I will be modding soon) right next to the intank media basket you saw above. I haven't had any issues with it getting out as it's a pretty big ball. I'll get a picture of it in the basket for you tomorrow. Small cheato pieces do break off every so often so if you aren't going to remove the filter sponge before the pump I recommend it be cleaned often. I removed it and haven't noticed any problems with pieces reaching my pump and clogging it as it has a pre filter. With a similar set up in the 14 I found myself cleaning the pump about once every month and a half to 2 months. This new tank is too new to tell if that will change but so far so good.

A few notes on the in tank refugium basket. It's open sides do allow flow but there's a problem. With the media basket in place the cheato is boxed in on all sides and will not wonder but once you lift the basket out to change your carbon out or filter floss the cheato becomes free to move around the center chamber. This means that every so often when you go to slide the basket back in you'll find the cheato moved over and you'll have to go in push it back in its basket and slide your media basket back in place. Huge problem? No, but it's annoying and I mean to fix that in the near future.

With that said the refugium basket is only like $30 so with a few simple mods I would still recommend it.
 

Treenk

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The cheato is in the center compartment in the In Tank brand refugium basket (which I will be modding soon) right next to the intank media basket you saw above. I haven't had any issues with it getting out as it's a pretty big ball. I'll get a picture of it in the basket for you tomorrow. Small cheato pieces do break off every so often so if you aren't going to remove the filter sponge before the pump I recommend it be cleaned often. I removed it and haven't noticed any problems with pieces reaching my pump and clogging it as it has a pre filter. With a similar set up in the 14 I found myself cleaning the pump about once every month and a half to 2 months. This new tank is too new to tell if that will change but so far so good.

A few notes on the in tank refugium basket. It's open sides do allow flow but there's a problem. With the media basket in place the cheato is boxed in on all sides and will not wonder but once you lift the basket out to change your carbon out or filter floss the cheato becomes free to move around the center chamber. This means that every so often when you go to slide the basket back in you'll find the cheato moved over and you'll have to go in push it back in its basket and slide your media basket back in place. Huge problem? No, but it's annoying and I mean to fix that in the near future.

With that said the refugium basket is only like $30 so with a few simple mods I would still recommend it.
Seems pretty straight forward, thank you. So this is my make it or break it question. When the filter floss gets dirty does it back up and make the water level in the tank rise? After the mod I did the water level sits pretty high, if it will rise anymore I risk over flowing.
 
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No chance of overflow at least not in the sense that your tank will overflow and spill water on the floor. If the sponge filter gets clogged over time chamber 1 and 2 will start to rise and flow over the baffle in the back into your pump chamber bypassing your refugium and the clogged sponge as designed. In my 14 I could tell by ear if this was happening as my ATO would go off more frequently than usual.
20200128_102253.jpg


Here what I meant about the basket being open on 2 sides. When in the tank it's boxed in pretty good but if you remove the medía basket it gives it a chance to wonder.
 
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Got a few more critters and corals.

Finally got a Monti cap and I can't wait to mount it I've always wanted this coral but my 14 just didn't have the space for it , also got a small frag of some cool zoas just as a space filler. The tank is at the point where if I don't fill in empty spots corals will just take them over and leave me with no real estate.

I did run into some issues shopping the biggest of which was the state of the LFS near me. I went to 4 and 3 of them were over run with cyano, GHA and bubble algae. And I do mean over run, in every tank and on every frag it was very disappointing. I won't post the pics I took as I don't want to bring them any bad publicity.

So I ended up driving an hour north where I purchased a few things and here again I ran into an issue. I asked for a Dwarf blue legged hermit and the owner by mistake gave me an electric blue hermit. Much too big for my tank and I am still unsure what I am going to do with it. Apart from the crab I picked up a Super Tongan Nassarius Snail and a sand sifting star fish. More on these in a bit. All in all it wasn't a very good day apart from the Monti.

Upgrade update :

It's been almost 2 weeks since the upgrade and I've noticed a few things I didn't expect. First was the sand, it never dawned on my that the sand in the 14 (8 months old) was a very stable astablished sand bed that had already gone through its ugly stages. Most importantly through stiffening I had rid it of all its fine dust. Although the tank didn't go through so much as a mini cycle the sand seams to be going through the motions. I can see what's the start of a diatom outbreak which points to new live sand containing silicates? I don't know what else it could be as my rocks, feeding, livestock and nutrient export haven't changed. So heres where the snail and starfish come in. Full disclosure here, I know full my sand bed is far too clean for a star and I will have to supplement feed, I've kept one before so this won't be too difficult. I'm hoping between him and the snail and the constant nightly foraging and sifting will reduce the diatom stage greatly. I could be wrong (probably am) but I thought it be a cool harmless experiment. My fighting conch is actually doing a great job of cleaning them up right now as well. If it fails I'll have 2 new critters I actually like and the sand bed will just do its thing.

Critter Loss during/after tank transfer:

A day after the transfer we noticed 2 blue legged hermit missing,and I do mean missing. They aren't in the new tank, the old tank, the transfer containers or anywhere in between. A true mystery.

We also had a death. A few days after the transfer I saw the pompom crab carrying away a nassarius snail. I don't think he killed it just merely scavenging what was already dead. A few days later the shell appeared on the other side of the tank empty, I'm sure my clean up crew had a 3 day rager with it.

Refugium adjustment:

My cheato is also going through the motions as is my refugium chamber. Currently growing some film algae in the back. I'm not too worried about this as it happened in my 14 when I first set up a refugium. For now I selected a snail for the night shift through him back there and he should have it cleaned up spotless in a few days.

Let me know what you guys think about the diatom situation.
 

Katrina71

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Expect diatoms again. It'll be shorter than in a brand new tank though.
 

vetteguy53081

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Very nice cube build. Should be a successful system. I would not dose but rather monitor parameters until your numbers call for dosing and you have corals that are consuming alk and ca.
 
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Thanks Katerina and yeah I expected as much, sucks because I was finally getting used to a clean sandbed.

Thanks vetteguy, I'm currently monitoring parameters with no dosing as I am letting everything settle in. Even though it's been 2 weeks some corals are still recovering. In my 14 I was loosing 1dkh every 2 days and about 30ppm calcium in that time. Have yet to see what it will be in this tank as it's been all over the place the past week. Couple that brs not returning my emails for a week about some missing items in my order and I'm stuck playing the waiting game.
 

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Tanks looks great. Your whole set up is apparent a lot of thought went into in.

with your diatoms: I think within a few weeks you should be back to a clean sand bed. This is same thing that happened to me when I added sand to existing sand bed. Not sure if it helped me thru the process, but I really tried to mix existing sand and new sand. 1st week looked pretty good followed by about two weeks of “some” diatoms. I didn’t do much to stop it and it resolved its self once new sand cycled. Took about 3 weeks or so from the day I added until I stopped seeing the diatoms.

but your obviously doing a lot of things right: seems your corals have good color and seem happy in the photos.

if it was me I would just focus on a slow and steady adjustment to your parameters until it’s stable and consistent, but sounds like your already doing that.

keep up the good work my friend
 
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@Bfragale thank you!

I'll be honest, I have no clue what I'm doing most times. Alot of this build specially the stand and aqua scape came from hard learned lessons with the 14. It's very hard to emulate others success on a budget but I'm doing my best.

Reminds me of this
dont-worry-im-5bf62a.png
 

clffthmps

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Hello everyone, I've been back in the hobby for about 7 months now after an almost 10 year break. Back then I had a 10 gallon tank with t5s with the only form of stability management being frequent water changes. Now I've gone from a 14 to a 29 and I'm running into some issues. Any help/advice is greatly appreciated.

I figured I would break down my tank and hopefully you guys can tell me what I'm doing right or wrong.

20200119_143932.jpg


I guess we can start at the stand and any potential problems I might run into here. This has been a budget build. Tank and stand were purchased used, I repainted the stand, raised it 12 inches by adding a storage area underneath it, added new hinges, a shelf, and frosted plexi to the door for a cool effect.

OK so first off I'm new to dosing (starting this week) for this I got 2 kamoer x1 pumps for calcium and alk, figured since mag is so rarely dosed I could do it manually and save myself a few bucks(am I correct on this?) . Picked up a 3 chamber dosing container and the red sea pro test kit for the 3 elements.

***problem #1 the output on the dosing container and the dosing pumps seamed to be different sizes, I used the airline hose that came with the pump and slipping it on the dosing container almost made me leave the hobby all together (even after a hot water dip). Question is the x1 says the ID on the tubing is 3mm and the container I'm guessing is 5mm.what can I do about this?

#Water top offs

ATO is the aqua duetto and I am currently working on upgrading the resevior, currently it's a 4L airtight food saver.

#Powerstrips and timers

For power I have 2 power strips, the main has the ATO, pump, heater, uv sterilizer, and the light, all things I can easily turn off while doing water changes so nothing runs dry made very easy by the fact they all have their own on/off switch . The second is a smart (wifi controlled) strip that has the dosing pumps, refugium light and a pump I'm currently using as a powerhead all on timers.

#the Refugium

My old fuge ran on very weak leds I found on ebay, this one got a bit of an upgrade while still working on a budget. It's a 30watt grow light with what seams to be the correct spectrum (660nm,630nm and 460nm) it's only been running 2 days so not sure how well it's working. From light intensity alone this light is 100 times brighter than my old diy setup so fingers crossed. I'm running cheato in the intank fuge basket.

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The heat sinks were my attempt to make this last a bit longer as it does get a little warm. They helped out quiet a bit but I might add some fans to this in the near future, 2 40mm fans should do the trick. Or am I over engineering this?

#Temperature control

I'm running a 100w titanium heater and a 5w 80mm fan through a temperature controller. In the summer it gets very hot here (socal) and that fan has been invaluable (at least in the 14 it was) it would drop the temp by 1 degree in just a few minutes. With a bigger tank now I might have to upgrade to a bigger fan or dual 80mm fans
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#Light

No diy here it's the AI prime hd. In the 14g it was great, perfect in fact, now that it's in the 29 I'm noticing some issues. Mostly due to my aqua scape. I basically scaped around the lights Hotspot, I may be jumping the gun here as my corals are still a little stressed out from the move but my guess is the corals on the outer rim aren't too happy.

***problem #2 I'm having to run my light higher than I'd like and even with the light shades I'm getting some light spill into the room. What are my options here? A better light shade, should I get a second ai prime? (is the 16hd the same as mine?) or should I upgrade to the new ai 32?

***problem #3

Mounting the prime to the tank hasn't been ideal. The thicker lip on the tank makes for some janky mounting. Can I cut the lip off without compromising integrity?

#Filtration

In the overflow chamber I only have the temperature probes (one for the controller and the other for a backup thermometer) and a mangrove, not really for nutrient export I just kinda like it. Although it has been growing steadily since it's purchase.

In chamber two I have the media basket with filter floss and chemipure followed by the refugium basket with cheato.

***problem #4

Flow through the intank media basket. I've noticed my fine filter floss which is great at polishing the water quickly restricts flow through it and overflows into the fuge. This was never a problem in the 14 with the same floss. Should I just get a less fine floss and call it a day or am I doing something wrong here. I did tie the bag of chemipure to the rack above it light suggested by the manufacturer.

Chamber 3 houses the heater, uv sterilizer and

***potential problem #5

I'm using the mj900 from the 14g and although I can clearly see it isn't even enough flow to completely fill the display, this is already too much for the media basket so I'm sure upgrading to let's say the mj1200 will only compound the problem. Are there any DC options worth exploring that will allow me to dial in the flow?

20200119_144225_HDR.jpg
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Finally my final obstacle here is flow. I'm on the fence about which powerhead to go with, AI Nero 5 or the Mp10. On one hand the Nero is infinitely adjustable but on the other hand the mp10 will keep my tank cooler in the summer months and has the option for a battery backup which is something I'd love to have as we get some power outages here usually lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to an hour. My current power outage plan is my utility app that notifies me of an outage where I can run home and hook up a USB powerhead and a USB air pump to a large always charged power bank. Not ideal but it's what I got.


And if you've made it this far I thank you, I'm trying really hard to make this tank as easy to maintain as possible while working within my budget so any suggestions, comments or even critiques are all welcome
Maybe bring temperature down to 78°.
 

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