Biocube 32 Build Begins

wrz0170

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This is my Biocube. There are many like it but this one is mine. So after a 15 year hiatus we committed to the 32 and stand and forward to the build. At hand, we just have the tank and stand. I’m hoping for the community’s assistance on some fill in the hole items to get the tank water ready. Things I’m looking at:

Safety: Shock Buster GFCI Adapter plug + Ground Probe
Power: ADJ 100A power strip
Lights: Kessil A360x Tuna Blue with arm and WiFi Dongle (I‘m sure stock lights are ok, but would rather start off with a good light from the start)
Top: Mesh top to keep any fishies in and add to aesthetics when the top goes.
Heater: BRS 100w Titaniun heater with Inkbird controller
Rock: Dry Rock like Caribsea Life Rock or MarcoRocks
Sand: Caribsea Aragonite Live Sand, 20#
Powerheads: Nero 3, should I get 1 or 2?
Filtration: Intake media basket
Media: For the cycle, Bio Balls bottom of media basket
Cycle Method: Dr Tim’s fishless cycling kit OR my local Petco does have Imaginarium Pacific Water but I could be hindered by available stock.
Testing: API Saltwater Master Test Kit
Testing: Milwaukee Digital Refractometer.
Salt
RO/DI: Suggestions welcome if there is something like portable one to hook up to utility sink when needed. then disconnect when not needed.

I’m sure I’m missing something to just get water ready for the cycle. Overall I’m hoping to avoid a skimmer/UV lights with weekly 10% WC. I may had a mini reactor to supplement with media basket with floss on top with Bio Balls On bottom.

Any and all suggestions and advice welcome!

William

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IKD

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Great start and you did a bit of research already! For test kit, I would look around at different brands like Hanna or Red Sea.
 

scattered

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I just consolidated 3 nano tanks in to a BC 32 myself. So far so good.

Yeah a better test kit than API for certain. The return pump is weak, I would look at at the Sicce Silent 1.5. The stock lights are not enough, I supplement with a single AI Prime, the Kessel should be great, are you going to get lens to narrow the focus? I stay away from bio ball type media for the most part, but I might be in the minority. FWIW, I haven't used a grounding probe in almost 20 years. I use the water from Petco myself out of sheer laziness. Good luck and have a great time!
 
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wrz0170

wrz0170

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I just consolidated 3 nano tanks in to a BC 32 myself. So far so good.

Yeah a better test kit than API for certain. The return pump is weak, I would look at at the Sicce Silent 1.5. The stock lights are not enough, I supplement with a single AI Prime, the Kessel should be great, are you going to get lens to narrow the focus? I stay away from bio ball type media for the most part, but I might be in the minority. FWIW, I haven't used a grounding probe in almost 20 years. I use the water from Petco myself out of sheer laziness. Good luck and have a great time!
Thank you for your reply!! I will definitely check out the Sicce 1.5. I was wondering how the stock pump was!

What is your filtering strategy in your BC-32? So many ways to go it can be overwhelming. But fun.
 
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wrz0170

wrz0170

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Minor update:
35lbs and three small base rock came in. Marco Rocks from BRS. Everything came in pretty much intact. There’s some minor chips here and there. But no worries because I can use the dust and chips for fill In. Let’s say the rock survived better than the box!

Also on hand:
-BRS 100w Titanium heater with Ink Bird controller
-2x Nero 3 Powerheads from LFS
-Kasa Smart WiFi 6 plug strip. With luck, setup as a skill with Alexa to turn off/on any individual pumps during feeding or cleaning.
-Intank media basket. On the fence whether to go bioballs or small ceramic on bottom shelf.

Ordered and/or on its way:
-Kessil A360X with bracket and WiFi dongle
-Red Sea Master test kit
-BRS 4 stage, 150gpd plus version ro/di with TDS and pressure monitor.
-Custom mesh top from Kraken Reef (2-4 weeks lead time).

More updates to follow as the build continues to get the tank ready for the cycle!
 

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Oldsman

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Nice start !! I swapped out the stock return pump for a IM mighty jet 536. I really like the different modes for flow, but only running it at 30 percent or its a sand storm.
One lesson I learned , I bought the fine figi pink live sand..wish I'd bought their special grade . Its slightly larger grains .
My filter arrangement is just floss on top of the intank rack, and bag of chem pure elite on the bottom shelf. I have several fish w high bioload, so I added the cheato basket w fuge light . Thats helps keep nutrients down w/o skimmer

Looking forward to your updates !
 
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wrz0170

wrz0170

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Nice start !! I swapped out the stock return pump for a IM mighty jet 536. I really like the different modes for flow, but only running it at 30 percent or its a sand storm.
One lesson I learned , I bought the fine figi pink live sand..wish I'd bought their special grade . Its slightly larger grains .
My filter arrangement is just floss on top of the intank rack, and bag of chem pure elite on the bottom shelf. I have several fish w high bioload, so I added the cheato basket w fuge light . Thats helps keep nutrients down w/o skimmer

Looking forward to your updates !
Thank you!! Still working on the aquascape and for the rest of the “stuff” to get here. I believe once the scape is done, it will domino fairly quickly. I can then give a proper update!

Right now I have a filter bag filled with Seachem Matrix on the bottom and will use filter floss from Intank on top. I’m leaning towards the IM Media reactor. I’m hoping that combo I can avoid a skimmer (along with weekly 10% water changes). If the reactor doesn’t work, I will move to using a fuge.

I was lucky! My LFS had Special Grade in stock so I snagged a 20# bag. Hoping to avoid a snow globe. Lol.

The stock return pump is still up in the air. I may use it at the start to see what it can do. On paper my turn over rate should be 8.28. Although a little more probably wouldn’t hurt with an adjustable return pump. Hmmm

More updates hopefully soon!
 
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Update: Short story, tank is cycling! I knew once the aquascape was done, it would go quick. Big props to my talented wife for the aquascape. She loves quilting so her quilty mind was able to put together the formations, arches and swim through caves. WAY better than I ever could. She also did the gluing and mortaring the joints. I got to mix the mortar and smash big rocks into little rocks and little rocks into sand.

For water, I used Imagitarium Pacific water from Petco. About 25.5-26 gal. I wasn’t feeling the love of buying some huge 30 gal garbage can and mixing or waiting several hours for my ro/di unit to make water and mixing 5 individual 5gal buckets.

The following is a running tab of what I have and still looking at.

Tank: Biocube 32 and stand
Safety: Shock Buster GFCI Adapter plug
Power: Kasa 6 outlet Smart strip, Alexa controlled
Ro/DI: BRS 4 Stage, 150gpd
Lights: Kessil A360x Tuna Blue with WiFi dongle
Top lid: Custom Kraken Reef (shipped!)
Sump Cover: Intank
Heater: BRS 100w Titaniun heater with Inkbird controller
Rock: Marco Rocks (dry rock)
Sand: Caribsea Arag-Alive Special Grade, 20#
Return Pump: Upgraded to Sicce Syncra 1.5 for a little more oomph.
Powerheads: 2, AI Nero 3 Powerheads
Filtration: Intake media basket with Intank Filter floss, Purigen + Chemipure Elite
Filtration 2: Intank Fuge basket with Seachem Matrix
ATO: Tunze 3155 with typical 5 gallon jug
Cycle Method: Dr. Tim’s One and Only + Ammonia. Only Matrix being used for cycling.
Testing: Red Sea Master Kit
APPs:Testing Pocket Marine and ReefTrace for logging parameters /maintenance schedule etc.

Still looking at: Battery back up like the Ice Cap, while power outages are rare, it happens.
Good cooling fans. If anyone has any recommendations?
Aqua Gadget 5 gal Reservoir. Combo of form and function.
Pick a salt to be ready for my first WC after the cycle is done.

Of note; One of the two Nero 3s rattles while the other is whisper silent. Have a ticket into AI. S&%t happens but I do hope to get a replacement being less than 2 weeks old.

Light is on only for pics. Tank going dark for quite a while until I’m passed the ugly stage.
 

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wrz0170

wrz0170

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Great start. Your are a lucky man with a talented wife - excellent job on the rock scape!

Have you thought about a UV light? Helps with ugly stage and keeps water crystal clear.
Hi Peter and thank you! I have thought about the UV and may be a tool in the arsenal. My fear is UV is indiscriminate; killing the good guys as well as the bad?
 
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wrz0170

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Hats off to the wife , beautiful aquascape ! I
really need to remove the top and upgrade lights, more airflow and better lights than stock
Your Kessil looks perfect on the biocube
Thank you! There are some options if you go topless. The sump shroud from Intank and mesh lids. I will post my review of sorts of the the Kraken Reef mesh lid when I get it tomorrow.

If you go Kessil, get the WiFi dongle. It really opens the door on customizing the light to your liking. The only issue you will face is the middle hinge of the Biocube won’t allow a dead center mounting. However, even with the mount off center, the Kessil A Series mount allows you to adjust it easily back over center. Becomes moot.
 
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Quick update. Received my mesh top from Kraken Reef. The fit is absolutely perfect and well made. Those of you who went topless and considering some type of top. Go for it!!
 

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wrz0170

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Update: I decided to go pretty much in on the Hydros Controller. That includes replacing my current ATO and powerhead to maximize the potential. I’m also hoping it will replace controlheads and freeing up plug space as well as monitor my tank

-Control 4 kit with WiFi outlet strip, temp sensor and PH monitor.
-Wave Engine
-Command bus cable and Terminator so the C4 and WE can be in a collective with just one power supply.
-Hydros ATO
-Hydros WiFi feeder
-Reef Octo Pulse 2- it will be a direct connect into the Wave Engine.
-Rope leak sensor
-extra water sensor. Most likely put it in my ATO reservoir to let me know when its thirsty.

I’m still getting all the pieces parts. I will update again when I set up, install and initial impressions. I will include some pics.

Be well everyone.
 
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Thank you for your reply!! I will definitely check out the Sicce 1.5. I was wondering how the stock pump was!

What is your filtering strategy in your BC-32? So many ways to go it can be overwhelming. But fun.

Sorry for the late reply, I'm not here daily.

Since this was a consolidation of 3 tanks which entails stirring up some nasties and re-using some substrate, I was pretty diligent about heading off any big cycling event. I ran a hang on back on my main tank for a few weeks and used that cartridge to double seed bacteria. I used the HOB on the BC32 for a while to polish water and give me a little extra piece of mind. In chamber two I have an inTank media rack and for once actually went with bioballs during the first few weeks. Now it is just foam in there. Along with that in chamber two I have a good amount of live rock rubble and a little mangrove. I am lighting it up at night opposite the daytime lights to keep ph stable, and will likely add some chaeto when I can but I've never relied on a refugium for nutrient export as much as for a convenient area to dose and raise pods. Aside from that I have an inline UV filter keeping nuisance algae from gaining a foothold, and this tank, strangely for me, has been running skimmer less.

The biggest issue with any tank I've had < 90 gallon has always been a reliable top-off. I need to upgrade the return in my ATO as it is just not strong enough for the head height I've got it at right now. An ATO may be the most important piece of equipment in this hobby. Stability of water chemistry equals health and growth.
 

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Quick update. Received my mesh top from Kraken Reef. The fit is absolutely perfect and well made. Those of you who went topless and considering some type of top. Go for it!!
Wow, The lid looks Terrific! Now I'm thinking maybe I should go with Topless. I love the Kessel's have 6 of them on my XXL625.
 
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Wow, The lid looks Terrific! Now I'm thinking maybe I should go with Topless. I love the Kessel's have 6 of them on my XXL625.
Thanks! I say go for it! While I have no metrics to prove it, I‘d like to think the tank runs a bit cooler with the lid off. I’m currently monitoring evaporation with lights on and seeing how many days I get from a 5 gallon ATO reservoir. I cycled with lights off and got nearly 2 weeks. YMMV

Love the Kessil shimmer. Only small downside is the light bleed because of the wide angle. I’m wondering if that Kessil reflector which narrows the light would work but it also increases light intensity.
 

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Thanks! I say go for it! While I have no metrics to prove it, I‘d like to think the tank runs a bit cooler with the lid off. I’m currently monitoring evaporation with lights on and seeing how many days I get from a 5 gallon ATO reservoir. I cycled with lights off and got nearly 2 weeks. YMMV

Love the Kessil shimmer. Only small downside is the light bleed because of the wide angle. I’m wondering if that Kessil reflector which narrows the light would work but it also increases light intensity.
The narrow beam reflectors will increase the light level for sure so you will definitely need to turn down the insensitivity. I have 4 with the reflectors pointed on the Acros and 2 without for the rest of the tank. Best shimmer out there.
 
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The narrow beam reflectors will increase the light level for sure so you will definitely need to turn down the insensitivity. I have 4 with the reflectors pointed on the Acros and 2 without for the rest of the tank. Best shimmer out there.
So the reflector will narrow the beam but just turn down the intensity. That’s easy enough!
 

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