MJY

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Hi,

And welcome from Australia! After a long hiatus from the hobby (circa 20 years), I decided during the pandemic that I would dip my preverbal toe back into the Aquarium keeping hobby.

The question was just simply, what type?

After much debate, I decided to purchase a Waterbox Cube 20G tank & stand and created a small nano mixed reef to ensure that I had the mental fortitude and patience to go through with the commitment and understanding it takes to be successful in keeping an ecosystem in your own home.

Sure enough, about 3-4 months in I wanted a bigger/better/more comprehensive system. I am sure many here can relate!

Living in an apartment within a capital city and having somewhat limited space left me with limited choices. After much debate, deliberation & masking tape mark-ups on the floor and walls I landed on the Cade Reef S2 600.

From deciding on the tank, the next steps were always going to be what equipment. This has been driven by the animals I want to keep, my desire to have the system as automated and hands-off as possible alongside with my gear addiction!

Being in Australia, and in particular in Brisbane, QLD I have access to some amazing coral selections from some of the best collectors in the country alongside arguably some of the best LFS in the country.

This was always going to be a SPS dominated tank, with a particular focus on Acropora. However, due to their availably (amid now absurd pricing), some LPS will make an appearance being mainly Scolymia.

This is just a brief introduction, in the following posts, I will give you all a detailed equipment list, strategy, timelines, and most importantly some photographs.

Thank you & look forward to becoming an integrated member of this incredible community!
 
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MJY

MJY

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So my first little tank back into the hobby was this little gem!

A Waterbox Cube 20G that proudly sat next to my desk in my home office. It gave me no end of enjoyment and entertainment and reaffirmed that this still is a hobby I love.

It was a basic little set-up so that I could ensure I wanted to continue on with something bigger & more complex.

The set-up consisted of;

Waterbox Cube 20 Aquarium & Cabinet
Aqua Illumination Prime 16HD
Aqua Illumination Nero 3 Wave Maker
Tunze DOC 9001 DC Protein Skimmer
Tunze Silence Pump 1073.008 800l/h Return Pump
Tunze Osmolator Nano 3152.000 Auto Top Up
eShopps 2G ATO Reservoir
Inkbird ITC-306T Temperature Controller
Aquael Professional Ultra Heater 75w

I used to just do the basic maintenance of changing the filter sock every third day, vacuuming the sand bed weekly and doing a 15-20% water change alongside that.

All in all it was a nice way to come back into the hobby, with honestly not too many issues. Fingers crossed preparation and the right methods keep me on that path.

Cheers!

WB 20G.jpg WB 20G 001.jpg
 
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MJY

MJY

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My equipment list has been driven by the fact that I want to control the whole system exclusively via my Neptune Systems Apex.

Understanding that some may say that compromises will need to be made to do this, I appreciate that but my minimalistic design philosophy, desired aesthetic & overall automation requirements outweighed these compromises for me personally.

Aquarium System & Peripheral Cabinets
- Cade Reef S2 600 Aquarium System
- Custom Matching Controller & Electronics Cabinet – Or Potentially a Cade S2 1200 Cabinet
- Hmahli Marine Life Support System 30L ATO


Electronics – Control, Automation & Testing
- Neptune Systems Apex – pH, ORP, Temperature & Salinity
- Neptune Systems EnergyBar 632 (EB632) Schuko Outlets
- Neptune Systems Trident Water Analyser
- Neptune Systems DOS Dosing Pumps
- Neptune Systems DDR Dual Dosing Reservoir
- Neptune Systems ATK v2 Automatic Top Off Unit
- Neptune Systems FMK Flow Monitoring Kit – 2x 1” flow sensors & 2x ½” flow sensors
- Neptune Systems WXM EcoTech Control Module
- Neptune Systems LD-2 Leak Detection Probe x2


Water Movement & Flow
- EcoTech Marine Vectra S2 Return Pump
- VCA Random Flow Generator Single Nozzle 3/4"
- EcoTech Marine Vortech MP10wQD Wave Maker x2 MP40wQD Wave Maker x2

Lighting
- EcoTech Marine Radion XR15 Pro Gen 4 x2
- EcoTech Marine Radion XR15 Gen 4 Diffusers x2
- EcoTech Marine Radion XR15 G5 Rail Slides x2
- EcoTech Marine Radion RMS Tank Mount
- EcoTech Marine Radion RMS Rail 20.5in (52cm)

Mechanical, Biological & Chemical Filtration
- Klir Fleece Filter Di-4 v2
- NYOS Quantum 120 Protein Skimmer
- NYOS Torq G2 & Torq 1.0l Body Media Reactor
- Maxspect Nano Tech Bio-Sphere Bio Media – approximately 3.5kg
- Coral Cartel 3D Printed Bio Sphere Ball Stands x3
- Aqua Ultraviolet Twist UV Sterilizer 25w

Heating & Cooling
- Schego Titanium Heater 300 Watt
- Teco TK500 R290 Series Wi-Fi Aquarium Chiller
- Inkbird ITC-308S Temperature Controller

After reading that some may have some questions around choices, equipment etc. I will try and answer these questions below, if you have any others please ask because I believe I have thought this out and planned this to the best of my ability. However, I am always open to insight.

Aquarium System & Peripheral Cabinets
1) Why are you only having a 24” cube aquarium if you require more space for equipment etc?

- It’s more about physical water volume that I can keep in my apartment due to body corporate legislation & also moving forward the size of space I have for my water mixing station and automatic water change system that I will be installing.

2) What do you need a separate ATO, the Cade tank has this built in via a gravity feed float valve and chamber in the back of the tank?

- For my personal aesthetic I did not want to mount the VorTech MP10s on the sides of the Aquarium, and as such will be mounting to the dry-side drivers within the ATO Reservoir on the back of the tank.


Update 07/10/2021 - MP10s weren't going to work, there just wasn't the adhesion I desired, as such MP40's are coming in place of the MP10s and I will be going back to using the standard gravity feed float valve ATO.

Electronics – Control, Automation & Testing

- This is all completely new territory for me, and as such I have been researching, reading and watching as much as I possibly can to try and ensure that I end up with a somewhat cohesive and easy to operate system that gives me the most controllability and feedback that I desire.

Update 07/10/2021 - Given the lack of availability and support in the Australian market for Neptune Systems my initial plans have changed. I have sold off all of my Neptune Systems gear and will be look at alternatives in the future, however the priority currently is to get the tank cycling.

Water Movement & Flow
1) Why not use VorTech MP40s instead of VorTech MP10s as this will be pushing the limits of there adhesion to the glass being a 10mm thick panel.

- Again, for my personal aesthetic I wanted as minimal intrusion into the tank as possible with equipment, I much prefer the size of the wet-side driver of the VorTech MP10s. Alongside with this I have had some custom 3D printed mounts that will help secure the dry-side of the driver to ensure stability and adhesion.


Update 07/10/2021 - I will be using VorTech MP40s now.

2) You said you wanted an SPS, specifically Acropora dominated tank. Wouldn’t you want/need more flow?

- I will be running approximately 45-65x turnover of display tank volume consistently, I believe this should be sufficient. Once corals grow out that may need to be revisited and I am open to that.


Update 07/10/2021 - I will be using VorTech MP40s now.

Lighting
1) Why are you using previous generation Radions and not something else?

- With my control and design philosophy I wanted to have complete control over the system via one centralised portal (Neptune Systems Apex), as such to utalise the WXM module the most recent Radions one can use are the Gen 4 Pros.

Update 07/10/2021 - Given I now have the lights as per my previous plan, I will stick this out with the Gen 4 Pros. Having water movement/control & lighting within the Mobius app is a plus!

2) How is the single RMS mount going to hold 2x Radion XR15 lights?

- This you will just have to wait and see, we have been working on a few different solutions to ensure the desired aesthetic, ensure adequate coverage and get the PAR required for my coral growth goals.

Update 07/10/2021 - I could not get the single arm mount to work in a satisfactory mannor, as such I have gone dual RMS mounts and a longer RMS brace, this will also allow me to better conceal cable management for the MP40s across and behind the mounting arms.

3) Are you sure that is going to be enough light?

- No, I am not sure, and again if this needs some supplementary help via T5 or LED strip I am also open and willing to look at that. Options include Aquatic Life DX18 T5 Hybrid Fixture or Reef Brite XHO-K15 LED add on supplement LEDs.

Mechanical, Biological & Chemical Filtration
1) What is your philosophy here, and why did you choose this equipment?

- K.I.S.S – While having a filter roller, protein skimmer, media reactor & UV sterilizer may not sound like keeping it simple, these are proven technologies that I am comfortable with.

- I want crystal clear water so I will be running a filter roller, carbon & UV.

- I want a strong biological filter as there will be minimal rockscape and sand in the tank so I will be running a lot of ceramic biological filter media.

- I will be running a recirculating Co2 scrubber for the inlet of my protein skimmer to help with pH stability.

- Within the NYOS Torq chamber I will be running GFO & Carbon.

Heating & Cooling
1) Why are you only running a single heater? Isn’t that a point of failure?

- I live in a very temperate climate that averages approximately 20 degrees Celsius year-round. I also live in a brand-new high-rise apartment building with cavity brick walls, double glazed windows and have a climate control system. There are multiple layers of redundancy here to ensure stable temperatures.

2) Then why do you need a chiller?

- We also have days that the temperature can reach north of 40 degrees Celsius (100+ Fahrenheit), so that is just not a risk I am prepared to take. There is more chance of heat becoming an issue then there is of cold becoming an issue.

3) Why are you running an Inkbird Temperature Controller if you are using a full Neptune Systems Apex?

- Again, multiple lays of redundancy and limited (6 slots) on the Energy Bar has led me down this path. I may choose to integrate the control of this into the Apex yet.
 
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MJY

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Things have been a touch slow as life has been crazy!

So update time... The tank is plumbed, wet and the cycle has started.

Still some cable management and tidying up of the inner workings of the cabinet to go.

I have decided that I am prepared to sacrifice having the dry sides of the MP40s and cabling visible to retain the standard gravity feed ATO. Another small hassle has has been that the UV has had to go into the controller cabinet due to lack of space internally, however as my desk will but up against it you wont really see it.

Cade S2 600 008.jpg Cade S2 600 009.jpg Cade S2 600 010.jpg Cade S2 600 005.jpg Cade S2 600 006.jpg Cade S2 600 007.jpg
 
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A Piece of the Ocean for Every Reef Tank
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MJY

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Well as all good stories go; I am still waiting on some plumbing fittings, and international delivery from Germany, and I have pivoted on my return pump for total Apex control. So I will now be using a Neptune COR 15 return pump.

Also just trying to work out the neatest way of cable managing the tank. I have gotten the lighting and circulation pumps (2x MP10wQD) sorted nicely. It just now about getting everything in the side controller cabinet and within the sump neat, tidy and serviceable.

Ahhh the joys of this hobby!

Also need to start thinking about a QT tank to get the ball rolling on that.

More photographs and updates to follow.

Cheers!
 
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QT Tank has arrived - Waterbox Cube 10. Just a basic little guy as most of the livestock will be small and the single Tang I have planned I will be buying pre quarantined from a local specialist that has an exceptional reputation.

It's a simple set-up;

- Waterbox Cube 10 AIO Aquarium
- Eheim CompactOn 600 Pump
- Aquael Professional 50w Heater
- Kessil A80 Tuna Blue LED (not pictured)
- Kessil A80 Goosneck Mount (not pictured)
- Kracken Reef Polycarbonate Lid (on it's way)

This will be it's temporary home on the kitchen counter! Haha - until I work out a more permeant solution.
 

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MJY

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Awesome!

How is the Kilr working out for you? I've been wanting to get one but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

Thanks mate!

So far, so good... I was trepidatious as well given the reviews and peoples experiences. However at this point it has been good for me. It will be interesting to see the fleece consumption once the tank has some bio load and it actually has crap to remove.
 
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First addition to the display tank today :)

I sourced a fully quarantined Purple Tang. He/She is stunning and has really taken to there new home immediately.

I also have a Yellow Assessor & Melanurus Wrasse in my home QT, they are due to be released into the display tank Friday of this week.

I have done two doses of Dr Tim's One & Only, a dose of MicroBactor7 & three doses of Continum Bacter Gen M & Bacter Gen MD. On top of this I have put in 3 cultures of Copepods. Really trying to start this system off with the best possible leg up!
 

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Abunadeez

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Things have been a touch slow as life has been crazy!

So update time... The tank is plumbed, wet and the cycle has started.

Still some cable management and tidying up of the inner workings of the cabinet to go.

I have decided that I am prepared to sacrifice having the dry sides of the MP40s and cabling visible to retain the standard gravity feed ATO. Another small hassle has has been that the UV has had to go into the controller cabinet due to lack of space internally, however as my desk will but up against it you wont really see it.

Cade S2 600 008.jpg Cade S2 600 009.jpg Cade S2 600 010.jpg Cade S2 600 005.jpg Cade S2 600 006.jpg Cade S2 600 007.jpg
Does the door close with the UV sterilizer there?
 
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Does the door close with the UV sterilizer there?

No it does not, however for ease of maintenance and access I failed to see where else I could place it? The side of my tank also faces away from my living space so it is less of an "eye sore".

I have now just removed the door all together.
 
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In other news, we are 45 days in. I have just added the preverbal Canary down the mine shaft.

Two Queensland wild harvested Acros. A lovely small Strawberry Shortcake colony & a purple/pink Spathulata colony.

Both have settled in and acclimated well, with excellent polyp extension and seem to be colouring up under the Radion AB+ schedule I have set. They are loving the flow from the dual MP40s also.

I am going to continue to monitor parameters and the wellbeing of these two small colonies and then look at the next acquisitions.

Photos to follow when my orange lens filter arrives.

Cheers!
 
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Awesome!

How is the Kilr working out for you? I've been wanting to get one but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

To answer your question, it has been great so far!

1x Purple Tang
1x Melanurus Wrasse
1x Lineatus Fairy Wrasse
1x Yellow Assessor

I feed 3 times a day, and between this and the skimmer my nutrients have been pegged at No3 - 6-7ppm & Po3 - 0.04 - 0.05ppm.

So far I have zero complaints, I am 32 days in and haven't had to replace the fleece yet and it advances on it's own with no issue.
 
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