Avocaadotoast’s CADE Reef 600 S2 - Cycling!

Avocaadotoast

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After months of browsing these forums, I’m finally starting my very first reef tank and I’m super excited! I went back and forth trying to decide which tank to get, looking at the Waterbox Marine X 60.2, Red Sea Reefer 170, 250, and I even made a prior build thread thinking I was getting an Innovative Marine INT 50. I ended up shelling out a little bit more money to get the CADE Reef 600 S2, and so far I think it’s definitely been worth it.

There were many things that made me gravitate towards the Cade. I really liked the fact that the stand was aluminum and glass, and slightly taller than other stands. In fact, the features that came with the stand were the biggest draw. Cabinet doors for easy access to two sides of the sump, a little built-in shelf area to store cords and power blocks, an 8 plug power outlet, each with an individual on/off switch as well as a built-in area for controllers. To top it off, the fact that it came with all the plumbing I needed was too good to pass up. I could probably DIY a lot of these added features myself, but it would definitely not look as good, and for a newbie like me, probably add a whole new level of stress.

I decided to stick with the cube aesthetic for a few different reasons. The tank is going in a corner of my office, and it fits the space better. I also like the look of the slightly taller water column, at almost 24 inches, which I think would contribute to a cool looking reefscape. I know this will put some limitations on some of my fish selections, but I’m alright with it.

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The set up process took longer than I planned, as I had a few obstacles I had to overcome. The tank is delivered in two wooden boxes, with the stand fully assembled. I thought I would be able to use a dolly to wheel the boxes up a couple small steps, but I underestimated how heavy these things are! My poor wife was struggling with her end, so I ended up leaving the boxes in the garage as I had to come up with plan B. I went out and bought a moving harness for us to use, and with that we managed to get the boxes in the door.

After taking the boxes apart, I had the stand in place in no time. I thought it would be a good idea to put it on a polycarbonate mat, which I previously used under my desk for my chair, since we have hardwood floors. The stand has some adjustable legs on the bottom, but out of the box it was already pretty much level, so no need for me to adjust.
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The plumbing was pretty easy to piece together, as there was no glueing necessary. The only part I struggled with was connecting my return pump, a NYOS viper 3.0, to the plumbing. It only came with 1 barbed adapter, which was too small for the included flex tubing, I went to the store to buy a more appropriately sized adapter, but once I got it I noticed the flex tube was actually too short to cover the distance to my return pump (I guess it’s smaller than average), so I had to go back to the store for some vinyl tubing.
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Overall, it has been a great experience seeing everything come together, and I welcome anyone that wants to follow along with my build to do so! I appreciate all of your comments and advice, so don’t be afraid to drop in and say hello!

Next up is building my reefscape, one of the things I’ve been looking forward to doing the most! Stay tuned in the next coming days for the next update.
 
BRS
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Avocaadotoast

Avocaadotoast

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Reefscape Update!
Now that the tank is in place, I get to work on the best part, the reefscape! Algae barn was nice enough to send over a bundle of all of the starter things I needed to get my tank up and running, including a good amount of dry rocks.

After doing some research, I decided to put the rocks together using a very thin glue, and some fine sand. I filled a mason jar with the fine sand, and poked a hole on the top so it was easy to control the amount I poured on the joints. There was a bit of trial and error in figuring out how to position the rocks in a way they would stay together so that I can add a few layers of sand and glue. The best way to do this for me, was to position the rocks on their side, with the joint I wanted to glue together facing up. I then used other rocks to hold together what I was glueing. This method made it easy to pour sand straight into the crack I was sealing. It only took about 10-15 minutes for the joints to become super tight, so it was very easy to move on to the next joint.

As far as the design of the reefscape, my initial idea was to go for the “sleeping dragon” look, which involves having a semi-circle of rocks, with a head one one side, and a tail on the other, connected by a body. I laid out my initial plans on a piece of cardboard, with some duct tape to map the area.
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After seeing what it looked like, I decided I wanted to make the main “body” of the reefscape a taller spire, since having a 24 inch tank allowed me more vertical room to work with. For the “head”, I glued together an arch to act as the neck, with the head resting on the ground, I tried using various rock heights to add visual interest to the spine, leading down to the tail in the front of the reefscape. Finally, I added a smaller rock formation on the tail.

Instead of glueing the entire thing together, I glued together the three main parts separately, and kept a few of the connecting rocks loose. This ended up being a blessing in disguise, because when I went to actually put the rocks in the dry tank, I noticed the dimensions I was working with on the piece of cardboard were incorrect! Luckily, it only took a few little maneuvers to get my reefscape to fit. I also made sure that I could get my magnetic algae scraper to all sides of the reef scape.
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Overall, it might not look like a “sleeping dragon”, but I really like how it turned out. I’m a fan of having a lot of rocks in a reefscape, but I didn’t want it to look like a jumbled mess, and I think I accomplished it!

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I would love to hear your thoughts as well, though now that the reefscape is in place, it probably won’t be changed too much! Next week I’ll talk about setting up all my equipment, and my tank cycle progress. Stay tuned!
 
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Avocaadotoast

Avocaadotoast

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Looking like a fun setup. What are your goals for coral and fish?
Thanks for checking it out!
For coral, I’ll mainly be sticking to LPS with a few soft corals, and maybe further down the road look into sps, but that is a ways out! I’m a big fan of all types of Euphyllia, lobophyllia, and ricordia mushrooms, so that’s where I’ll probably start. I love scolys too, but they’re pretty pricy, so maybe down the road.

For fish, I’m looking to stock maybe 7-8. I’ll have a good variety of what you might expect, like a couple clowns, goby, blenny, cardinal fish, a Pygmy wrasse, and some others depending on what my LFS has.

Since this is my first tank, my main goals are to aim for a peaceful, lower maintenance reef.
 
BRS

TuxUrchin07

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Thanks for checking it out!
For coral, I’ll mainly be sticking to LPS with a few soft corals, and maybe further down the road look into sps, but that is a ways out! I’m a big fan of all types of Euphyllia, lobophyllia, and ricordia mushrooms, so that’s where I’ll probably start. I love scolys too, but they’re pretty pricy, so maybe down the road.

For fish, I’m looking to stock maybe 7-8. I’ll have a good variety of what you might expect, like a couple clowns, goby, blenny, cardinal fish, a Pygmy wrasse, and some others depending on what my LFS has.

Since this is my first tank, my main goals are to aim for a peaceful, lower maintenance reef.
That used to be my plan too! But beware sticks are very addictive
 

danieyella

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Just caught your thread! You're going to love this tank, definitely worth the extra $. And that moving harness will pay itself off fast with other things as well. Scape looks great, excited to see this full!
 
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Avocaadotoast

Avocaadotoast

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Just caught your thread! You're going to love this tank, definitely worth the extra $. And that moving harness will pay itself off fast with other things as well. Scape looks great, excited to see this full!
Hey thanks for checking it out! Yeah I figured the harness would come in handy haha. I love the tank so far, so quiet! It’s cycling currently so I should have another update shortly
 

danieyella

shouldn't have done that...
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Hey thanks for checking it out! Yeah I figured the harness would come in handy haha. I love the tank so far, so quiet! It’s cycling currently so I should have another update shortly
SO quiet. It's amazing. I swapped all my equipment from a 90 to the cade s2 1200 and it's dead silent when it wasn't before. The extra height in the stand is something I didn't think I'd value nearly as much as I do.
 
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Avocaadotoast

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Not too exciting of an update, as my tank is currently cycling, but I thought I would take some time to outline some of the equipment I’m using for the tank, as well as talk about some small challenges in putting everything together so far, as a newbie.

First off, I had previously mentioned that I was using a NYOS Viper 3.0 for my return pump, and I had to buy the correct sized barbed adapter in order to connect it to some flex tubing to get it connected. I noticed a faint gurgling sound that I didn’t think was normal, I thought it might be an incomplete seal where the barbed adapter was screwed in. I took it out and tried tightening the adapter further, and I accidentally cracked the plastic female end on the return pump! Luckily, I had a backup pump that I was using to pump water out of my storage tank, which was an Eheim Compacton 2100. I switched out the pumps, and the Eheim pump was way easier to get a good snug fit. After turning it on, the gurgling sound was gone and fixed! After supergluing the NYOS viper female end back on, I now use it for my storage tank pump.


For my light, I bought a used Kessil 300WE Tuna Blue, along with a gooseneck mount, from a fellow reefer here on the forums. Naturally, I tried to install it in the middle of the back panel, but I noticed that in this particular CADE aquarium, the glass baffle that separates the ATO reservoir and the drain section is located right in the middle, preventing the kessil mount from being able to fully sit. This wasn’t too much of a problem, as I just moved it a bit off center, and it looks fine. There is an aluminum panel in this section, that will not fully sit flat if there are mounts, so I needed to cut a small square in this panel in order to accommodate the kessil mount. Luckily I bought a jigsaw for an unrelated project that I worked on beforehand, so I just needed to go to the store and buy an appropriate jigsaw blade to cut aluminum. After making the cuts and filing down the sharp edges, I think it looks great!
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For my powerheads, I bought two used Ecotech MP10s, one is a QD and the other is a WQD. I situated them facing each other on opposite sides of the tank, in the middle about 2/3rds of the way up. Unfortunately one of the powerheads was pretty scuffed, as the magnet on the dry side of one seemed to be weaker than the other, and it couldn’t keep itself from slipping. I thought I might have to go with a different option, but I went to the store to buy some black zip ties and small black mounts for the cords on both sides. Luckily, the zip ties holding up the cords were strong enough to keep the scuffed dry side from moving, and both seem to be working good. I do plan on buying the WQD upgrade for the driver that lacks wireless capabilities, so that I can take advantage of the two working together.
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For my heater, I’m using one 300w Finnex titanium heater connected to an InkBird controller, letting the heater kick on at 77degrees and turn off at 78 degrees. I had no issues setting up the heater.

I just placed an order for the Reef Octopus eSsence 130 skimmer, as well as a controller for my kessil light, which I will install once they get in. Since this aquarium already has built in media baskets, I bought some mesh media bags that I will be putting in the baskets, to hold both carbon and GFO. I also bought some extra mesh filter socks.

The skimmer, filter socks, and media bags filled with carbon and GFO are my only filtration that I’m planning on using currently, is there something else that I should be looking into? I don’t think I have enough room for a refugium. I thought about buying some bio media spheres to put in the extra 2 media basket cups, but the guy at my LFS said that they are not necessary, as the reef rock should be enough to house bacteria.

That’s pretty much it as far as equipment and small fixes I worked on this past week, hopefully soon my tank will be fully cycled, and I will add my first fish!
 

Have you ever had a reef tank with no sump and how did it go?

  • YES and it was just fine

    Votes: 304 58.1%
  • YES but it was difficult

    Votes: 98 18.7%
  • NO

    Votes: 110 21.0%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 11 2.1%
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