60 gallon cube build

SMSREEF

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Hello R2R!

I've been working on this tank for a while, purchasing equipment slowly. And planning what I want to do based on all the fantastic tank examples and information on R2R.

I bought a used Blue Sea 60 cube with stand and sump for $200. Woohoo!!!! And I figured it would be fun rehabbing into something cool looking. Stand needed fixin and sump needed some attention.

this thread will be pic heavy to show progress along the way.

This is tank when I first bought it and leak tested it.


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wanted to make stand door opening much larger to remove sump from the front and have lots of room to work. lots of room is relative, especially for a 24” stand...I guess I mean as much room as possible, lol.

Ill be doing some posts today between mortaring my rockwork to update my thread to the point I’m at now. Just about ready to add water!
 

Ron Reefman

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Good looking supply of used hardware you got. What kind of tank are you planing to make it? A regular mixed reef or something more specialized?

I had a 40g cube and loved it. But it became so full I decided to make one last tank (I'm retired and 70 years old) so I'm setting up a 90g (36"x30"x20") tank. It will be mostly zoas and Rock Flower Anemones (I have about 40+ from full size adults to tiny 1/8" diameter babies).

This is my old 40g cube from back a year ago.
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SMSREEF

SMSREEF

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Thanks Ron!

Your tank is gorgeous! I love the colors.
My plan is something mixed. I love the look of some of the thinner branching sps like the different color dragons.

I also love the movement of LPS.

I also am on your plan... this is second to last tank. I’m doing this to see if I can/want to go bigger.

Right now I have a 10 gallon and it is impossible to keep alk, calc and mag stable over time. I’m hoping the 60 with another 10 gal in sump will do better.
This is my 10.
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The 60 will have sand because I like the look better. I know it’s harder to keep clean, but planning on CUC to hopefully move the sand around.
 
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The First thing I wanted to tackle was the stand (which still doesn’t have a door anymore) I’ll get to that in another post...

I made the opening bigger, added some additional support for the bottom, It was bowing pretty bad. I also wanted to get some cool trim to wrap the stand and paint it really glossy white.

I used Kilz to prime and used multiple coats of Rustoleum Marine Coating - Topside Paint.


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I also decided the bottom needed some waterproofing so I added a small piece of trim to the back and uses two coats of white Flexseal. I think it should hold about 1/2” to 3/4” of water before anything spills over.
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The whites don’t match but I was sick or painting

Edit: had to edit Kilz because phone changes it to kill
 
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SMSREEF

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Now that I had the stand done, minus door... It was time to focus on the sump plan.

My sump is divided into 3 sections and I decided to use the large first section as a Fuge. I really want a mandarin someday and I need a pod factory with macro. That left a small one for protein skimmer and one for return.

I bought a Tunze Axium skimmer used. It perfect for the small compartment. For return pump I bought a Skimz QP 4.0.
The Blue Sea only has two holes and I really wanted a backup drain, so I decided to have return come up over the back edge.

I happened to post a pic of my stand in a DIY thread. And commented I still need to figure out the door. @Silent replied to me and suggested led lights in the stand and colored plumbing. He sent me some awesome pics of his sump and helped me decide on plumbing to match the blue in my sump. Maybe I won’t need a door after all.

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That blue and white looks very nice and the leds really make it stand out. Its so nice you might just want a piece of glass or acrylic to show it off for a door.
Big tranformation from when you got it.
Thank you so much for your help figuring things out.

I’m planning on the sump being on a reverse light schedule to help with PH up at night, so I’m wondering if the light spillage will disrupt fish sleeping patterns.
 

Ron Reefman

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IMHO it won't. Most fish find dark spots or protected spots in the rocks to sleep. Besides, if you've ever been in the water snorkeling or diving with a full moon...
 
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IMHO it won't. Most fish find dark spots or protected spots in the rocks to sleep. Besides, if you've ever been in the water snorkeling or diving with a full moon...
Thanks Ron,
I haven’t been night diving yet but it’s definitely something I want to try.
They have full moon dives here in Miami and I’m planning to do one this year.

thinking about it, some nights with full moon are pretty bright.
 

Radman73

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Love it so far, good score. Loved my 60 cube, unfortunately a seam started leaking so it's sitting out back. Looks like I have the same stand so good chance I steal some of your ideas lol! I'm planning on throwing a 45 cube back on it. Wife misses having a tank in the family room in addition to my office :).

Regarding the return, if the glass isn't tempered, you can drill the return on the back of the tank into the overflow area. Did on my cube and worked very well.
 
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Love it so far, good score. Loved my 60 cube, unfortunately a seam started leaking so it's sitting out back. Looks like I have the same stand so good chance I steal some of your ideas lol! I'm planning on throwing a 45 cube back on it. Wife misses having a tank in the family room in addition to my office :).

Regarding the return, if the glass isn't tempered, you can drill the return on the back of the tank into the overflow area. Did on my cube and worked very well.
Thanks Radman!
I don't think the glass is tempered, I really thought about drilling it but decided against it. I've tried to drill holes before in glass vases being used as planters and glass tiles. I was not very good at it... I like working with wood, where if I mess up a little, wood putty and caulk can fix it, lol.
Now that the plumbing is done, it doesn't bother me too bad, the cords to my powerheads and backup air pump go over the edge as well and everything is zip tied to the pipe. It will probably drive me nuts later, and if I had some practice with drilling tanks, I would have drilled it.
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My aquascape is getting the final touches today and hopefully gonna fill the tank with water tomorrow.
I built the scape in 4 pieces that fit together and can be detached. 2 pretty large sections and then 2 smaller pieces that go in with acrylic rod. This way if I need to change tanks later, I can do it easily.
I really liked working with the E-Marco mortar. It’s really strong when cured. Hopefully when I get coralline algae growing you won’t even be able to tell what was mortared.
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Looks unique. It will look much better with corals on it. I know that struggle all to well. I also like that you painted the bottom tank trim white so it blends in with the stand.
Thank you!
That was my intention with the trim.
I tried to think about coral placement with the rock. I didn’t want to start with too much and give plenty of space for them to grow.
I also did not want much rock on the sand.
 
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Question for everyone... Would you cycle at a lower salinity like 30 ppt? I was reading that bacteria multiply faster in lower salinity.
Or should I just cycle at 35 ppt?


I put my LEDs on, filled up the tank and put sand in.
The accent chest that’s gonna go next to the tank is not done yet. That’s where I’m gonna keep the 5 gallon ATO and my dosers.
T
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Well it’s time to update the thread...

the tank busted on the side. I’m sure it’s from me using razor to close to silicon seams or stressing it when moving alone.
Thank goodness I was home. I started a different thread when this happened.

This is not gonna stop me. I ordered a new custom cube. Starfire glass on the 4 sides.

for now, this is my tank...
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