Cnidus’ cube build w/ reef

cnidus

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So I’ve been out of the hobby for about 6years, had a couple of tanks in Sydney previously, with mixed success.

This tank has been sitting dry with me for 4 years, moved between 3 apartments in SF. With the quarantine, figured I’d finally get around to building it out and cycled.

Goals:
* Fish-only (atleast for first year)
* ULM / highly automated (no carrying water etc)
* Testbed for Reef-pi tinkering (I have some ideas...)
* safety/redundancy on anything that could leak.

In previous builds I had everything manual and got really sick of the amount of labor on handling water changes / top off, I also travel a decent amount, so don’t want to burden the family with those things while I’m away.

planned stocking:
* Puffer
* Mandarin dragonet
* yellow tank
* Nassarius snails
* urchins
* other fish that help clean (TBD)

Equipment list:
* 2ft cube tank, came with basic sump, return pump and cheap skimmer.
* diy LED panel from previous build (probably will upgrade later)
* retrofitted hard pluming and drilled a secondary emergency drain
* robotank premium reef-pi controller (kickstarter)
* HS300 power strip

I’m actually really excited to play around with reef-pi, it will be one of the key ways to automate the “undifferentiated heavy lifting” that I wasn’t a fan of in previous builds. ATO and AWC-macros is going to be fun.

I went with the robotank controller board as I really like the packaging r&d he’s put into it and want to support that project. I’m capable of putting the hardware together from components, but would prefer to spend my time iterating on the Software and the control logic (macros etc).

One thing I was thinking of was building a cloud back-end api for telemetry / alerting (push notifications), basic remote control and possibly a basic IOS app. I work for Amazon (AWS) as my day-job, so that sounds like a fun merging of worlds. If that Dev works out, I’ll provide it back to the community.

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cnidus

cnidus

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Managed to drill out the stock feed hole to 45mm to accommodate an extra emergency drain. Couldn’t fit 3 holes, so will be skipping the ‘full siphon’ pipe of a bean-animal.

The returns now loop over the back as you can see in previous photos. Uses a lot of bends, so hopefully doesn’t add too much head pressure....

I had a couple questions:

1) The overflow tower/box has slots cut down The bottom, about 3” from the base. I guess that helps pick up detritus etc from maybe bottom, but wouldn’t it also mean of the tank would almost fully drain if the bulkheads ever leaked (or needed to be replaced)? Do people use these or should I block them with silicone?

2) Do people usually glue the drain upright pipes to the bulkheads? Or just friction slip fit them in?

While I’m waiting to get the 60g setup, I through together a Nano in the kitchen to start cycling some rock/bio-media. Hopefully it helps me get a bit of a head start, I’ll be using all this rock in the cube later to help seed it.

next step: setup the brs rodi in the laundry (need to figure out fittings) and start aquascaping. Rock, RODI and few other things arrive on thursday :)

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cnidus

cnidus

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Finished up scape, plumbing and got the reef-pi setup to work with a Kasa hs300 powerstrip.

Almost ready for a leak test.

Thinking about blocking off the lower holes in the overflow box. In its current form I calculate will drain approx 9.5gallons to the sump with a return pump off, (based on the level of the return pipe in the overflow box) which seems like a lot. If I block the lower holes, probably less than a gallon.

the trade off is those lower overflow ports would allow some more flow under the rock work...

it seems like most newer tanks just have overflows at the top of the tank, so maybe this isn’t a big deal? Open to thoughts


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cnidus

cnidus

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Leak test passed. Installed the RODI line along top molding temporarily. Started filling :)

also cleaned up the wiring a little. Think I’m gunna need another HS300 powerboats eventually.

Cameo from my daughter that seems pretty happy about it.

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Michael Lane

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I like the look of the rockscaping.

I'd also be conflicted about those bottom slots in the overflow. I would not personally glue in the uprights since I've had to pull them out to catch a clown that had gotten into my overflow before. I have a valve on the drain, so I was able to stop the flow, but even without the valve it would only drain the overflow instead of the whole tank!
 
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cnidus

cnidus

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Turns out the bottom slots actually have a baffle that directs it to the top, so it doesn’t cause a full drain that I was worried about... the baffle was clear where the rest of the overflow box is black... so I missed it, but worked nicely when I leak tested.

I decided not to glue the uprights as well, they seem to seal ok with just friction fit and as you say, might be reason to remove them without screwing around with the bulkheads.

Fill is taking forever!
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Also been working in sketchup on an ATO/AWC sensor bracket. Thanks to Robsworld for the starting point :) Idea is a high/low (close together) optical sensor for ATO at the top, plus a backup float, then a lower sensor for level for AWC to drain down to, that’s adjustable to set the volume of the water change.
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cnidus

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Filled, added salt, MB7 and some seed live rocks I’ve had in my nano for last few weeks.

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Waiting on RoboTank board and some sensors, then it’s automation time....

Starting to think through how to integrate my jebao wavemakers to reef-pi as well. I’m gunna need to practice Go...
 

Michael Lane

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I was interested in integrating the jebao wavemakers too. I started a thread to see if anyone had done something like that, but didn't get a promising response.

I think the Go programming wouldn't be too bad, but the hardware changes may be the tougher challenge. I'm happy to help if you have any Go or React questions.

I'm 100% interested in how you approach the wavemakers!
 
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cnidus

cnidus

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I was interested in integrating the jebao wavemakers too. I started a thread to see if anyone had done something like that, but didn't get a promising response.

I think the Go programming wouldn't be too bad, but the hardware changes may be the tougher challenge. I'm happy to help if you have any Go or React questions.

I'm 100% interested in how you approach the wavemakers!
I have a pair of older jebao WP10’s, it seems like the hardware to connect them to regular 0-5v (or 0-10 with a voltage divider circuit) PWM is pretty straight forward.

I was going to take a stab at that first, and use @Ranjib ‘s suggestion on setting up as a light first, then mess around with the API to get an appropriate wave profile.

seems the newer wavemakers are more complex due to stepper motors? Not sure if I’m oversimplifying or if this path is not all that applicable to modern wavemakers...
 

Michael Lane

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That seems like it should work just fine. The pump I looked at seems to have a different control signal for brushless DC motors.
Keep us posted on your progress.
 
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cnidus

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Got a 2nd hand Kessil a360we and a new bracket from BRS installed yesterday.

I’ve always wanted one of these lights, opted for the older model for the 0-10v control to allow integration with reef-pi later.

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cnidus

cnidus

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Received delivery from AlgaeBarn to setup the refugium. This will be my primary nutrient export, as I’m planning to not run the skimmer for now.

I’m using a ‘cannagrow’ 100w light in the fuge. It’s cheap and hopefully effective, seen a few other folks using them with great success.

Chose this path as I really want another mandarin this time around, so ‘fuge should help keep a steady supply of pods. Will also be looking into a spot feeder tube for brine shrimp.

One of my jaebo wp10s stopped spinning randomly. Not sure if it’s the controller or the impeller, I cleaned it and it works for a while but seems to stop after a while or on startup. Might be time for a new one. But that puts a bit of a damper on reef-pi integration of them...


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Top Shelf Aquatics

robsworld78

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No problem, glad you got it. I don't see the small yellow jumpers, did you see those floating at the top of the box in a small bag?

That's stinks no power supply, hope it arrives soon.

I have a couple of those WP10's, I had them running on an Arduino 5v PWM pin so they'll be ok. I also have one with the same issue you're having, sounds like a common problem.


Your setup looks great BTW.
 
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cnidus

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No problem, glad you got it. I don't see the small yellow jumpers, did you see those floating at the top of the box in a small bag?

That's stinks no power supply, hope it arrives soon.

I have a couple of those WP10's, I had them running on an Arduino 5v PWM pin so they'll be ok. I also have one with the same issue you're having, sounds like a common problem.


Your setup looks great BTW.
Cheers! Link on the jebao mod looks promising, I’ll give that a go over the weekend. 12v and 24v PSUs should be here anyway now, so should get to play with the robotank soon.

I did find the yellow jumpers and put them in the bag with the green plugs for safe-keeping :)

Really curious on this ‘big build’ you mentioned in the reef-pi Dev thread, that sounds cool as hell. Particularly what you do with the flow-meters, I had some ideas around using them to trigger backup return pumps etc, but obviously have to wait for reef-pi support and probably the macro-rewrite (IFTTT type logic?).
 

robsworld78

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Cheers! Link on the jebao mod looks promising, I’ll give that a go over the weekend. 12v and 24v PSUs should be here anyway now, so should get to play with the robotank soon.

I did find the yellow jumpers and put them in the bag with the green plugs for safe-keeping :)

Really curious on this ‘big build’ you mentioned in the reef-pi Dev thread, that sounds cool as hell. Particularly what you do with the flow-meters, I had some ideas around using them to trigger backup return pumps etc, but obviously have to wait for reef-pi support and probably the macro-rewrite (IFTTT type logic?).
I have a customer who's getting into breeding so he has a garage full of tanks and wants to have it on one system. I tried with my controller but couldn't deliver as I was having issues with code and overall reliability so I never sent him anything but now I think I can pull it off, thanks to reef-pi of course.

The tricky part is it requires a lot of I2C devices, my previous attempt I used cables and buffers which worked but at some point interference would get in and everything suffered, another device like a power bar would switch some outlets when it shouldn't have, things like that. This time I'm going to put everything on one board with good isolation and placement so it can run with no chance of interference. Once it's proven to work I'm going to attempt to split it out in modules again. When I get the board finished I'll post about it.

I'm not really sure what his plans are for the flow meters and that's the last on my list but I think there very cool too. I did a brief search and it looks like they connect directly to Pi which is great as it can be added later. When I get time I'm going to start testing and try and get the number in reef-pi and maybe others can integrate it at some point, not sure I'm up to that just yet but can get the ball rolling.
 

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