Crystal Dynamics 135 Gallon Cube Build

PhoenixReef91

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Ok...here we go. I recently moved and bought a 135 gallon Crystal Dynamic aquarium. The tank is 36 by 36 by 24, and it has a stand a canopy as well. I have had reef tanks since I was about 15 and about 15 years later finally decided buy my first new tank. It definitely came with a price tag, but I am very impressed with the craftsmanship from CDA. This build thread will be another first for me. "I'm a long time listener first time caller" if you will with R2R, and have loved reading through and watching others builds throughout the years. This thread will be more for me to keep track of progress, and failures along the way, but hopefully some of you will enjoy reading about the journey as well...Anyways, specs for the build are as follows:


Tank:
135 gallon 36" by 36" by 24" starphire glass
Glass is 1/2" thick and tank is eurobraced with 1/2" by 4" glass as well
The stand is a steel stand wrapped with white "shaker style" wood.
Canopy is 16" and matches stand

System:
Dual returns and Modular marine 18" overflow
Trigger systems Trition method 20" by 20" sump
Apex Wifi Controller system
Neptune COR20 return pump
Neptune ATK-v2 (ATO)
Trigger systems 10 gallon ATO reservoir
Nyos 160 Skimmer
JBJ 1/10HP chiller
Eheim 250W heater

Powerheads:
(4) MP40 Quiet Drive Power heads Controlled through the Mobius app.

Lighting:
36" Aquatic Life T5 Hybrid system. (4 bulbs- blue plus x2 , True Actinic x1, purple plus x1)
(2) Radion G5 Pro Controlled through Mobius app

Aquascape:
80 pounds of artistic aquarium man made rock.
bare bottom system


The tank came in two crates and weighed a stupid amount! First crate was canopy, stand, and some equipment which was about 550 pounds. The tank itself weighed in about 450 pounds. This Summer in Phoenix has been brutal and I didn't want to chance leaving the tank out in the sun at 117 degrees so right when the crate arrived we got to work. It took about 4 hours to get it inside (we had to remove some uncooperative sliding glass doors) but once inside we had it on the stand in no time. Tank is going to live in the living room and can be seen from the kitchen, and acts as the focal point when you walk through the front door. It is going to be against a window, but the house is kept at 75-78 degrees, and the system will have a heater and chiller hooked up to the apex making it easy to keep temps dialed in.

I had already done the aqua-scape on a piece of cardboard before the tank came, but once it put it inside the tank I wasn't a fan. Spent an hour messing around with it and finally got it to a point where I am really happy with it. Going to keep it the tank dry for another week with the lights on to make sure I really do love the scape.

Here's a few pictures of the tank. I need to center it between the wall and couch better, but wanted the extra room while I get everything set up. I only have one Radion on ATM, I need to mount them properly but need a 2nd set of hands. If all goes to plan, we should have water by Saturday.
 
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PhoenixReef91

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Tank1.jpeg
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Tank3.jpeg
Tank4.jpeg
Tank5.jpeg
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Tank7.jpeg
 
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PhoenixReef91

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Got water in the tank today....Had done a water test and all was good, but after the return pump was running we developed a small leak (like a dripple of water) from the external overflow. Tightened the bulkheads and checked the seals, but still just have the smallest of leaks. So annoying. Went out and bought some silicone to seal it off. and have it curing now. Should do the trick.

Have two MP40's running at the moment to keep the flow moving so we get less cloudy water in the tank.

I had to buy 3 new chips for the MP40s because only one of them was new enough to accept the mobius update. Mobius app is pretty wonderful so far though. Lights and 1 mp40 are linked and working together off the same schedule. excited to get all 4 on there.
 
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PhoenixReef91

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Also, drilled more holes in the rock to have enough holes for 20 frag plugs to go directly into. easy to plop it in and let it encrust over the plug. Then if it dies for any reason I can simply remove the plug.

After I drilled I re-worked the scape once more and decided to remove about 15 pounds of rock. Like the look much better now.
 
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PhoenixReef91

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Ok...After some more plumbing issues I finally have the tank running as it should. Had to actually drain the water and re-do some of the overflow components as a micro leak would just not go away. As beautiful as the tank is the plumbing that came pre assembled by crystal dynamic was not the greatest work. The back of the glass also had spots where it was not painted all of the way black. I repainted the back as well when I fixed the plumbing. Not the end of the world, but for the money this thing should have been PERFECT.

But...life goes on. Tank has been wet and cycling for over a month. Today I added two a pair of mated clowns to the tank. They are the very first inhabitants. Will wait another few weeks before we add anything else to be sure, but working out a stocking list with my LFS now. The fish store agreed to quarantine the fish for me as long as I purchase them all from them and pay a premium for the quarantine process.

Thinking Stocking list will be as follows

-Clown Pair
-hippo Tang
- Yellow tang
- Coral Beauty
- Chalk Basslet
- 4 anthias (lyretail )
- 2 neon gobies
- pyramid butterflyfish
 
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PhoenixReef91

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Today was fun. Finally set up Apex and control board with the panel on the side of the tank. Also had a local reef shop who does fabrication create a custom ATO box that matches the sump and fits perfectly next to it. 20" tall by 20" long by 9" wide. Just about 15 gallons of RO to top off (using an ATK). Calibrated all probes and have all 4 MP40s finally set up on Mobius. Skimmer was turned on today for the first time as the cycle is completed. Was letting the water get a little "seasoned" if you will lol, but probably time for a water change next week. I did do about 20 gallon water change on it when we finally get the plumbing fixed as well since some of that water sat stagnant for a bit in the sump. I was going to do weekly WC, but I think I will do bi- weekly as the ATO should last two weeks and I can just do everything all at once twice a month.
Really happy about how clean the system is below the DT, that has always been an issue for me. Reef Gardens based out of PHX is the company who made the control panel display and the ATO box, check them out, they make all types of custom aquarium gear for really reasonable prices.
Behind Panel.jpg
Pre Panel.jpg
Control Panel.jpg
 
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PhoenixReef91

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awesome looking setup. i run a similar tank same footprint but mine is a leemar tank. have had it running for 5 years.

Nice! I had a 90 gallon leemar before this set up. Did you find any issues with the footprint? I know some people have issues with flow and rockscapes in cubes.
 

RichtheReefer21

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Agreed on the rescape. And with the par ull be getting under the AL fixture that lower center-table-piece will have a ton of room for growout colonies.

The plumbing issue from a brand new rr system and poor painting would be unacceptable to me personally. But at least its in the past and ur ready to rock again.

Here to hang in for the build. GL goin forward.
 

cubereefer

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Nice! I had a 90 gallon leemar before this set up. Did you find any issues with the footprint? I know some people have issues with flow and rockscapes in cubes.
no i didnt find much issues with it. for flow i use 2 maxspect gyre 250s vertical on the back wall and i placed my rockscape in front of my center overflow. i will take some pics later today. i guess its time to do a build thread lol .
 

jopalmighty

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Nice looking setup. Interested to follow the build. I’ve got a relatively new 93cube running two xr30 gen 5’s as well. Curious if you’ve done a par reading on your footprint. I need to do one myself but haven’t come across a par meter to borrow yet.

(Sorry for the orange filter in the pic)
1606356801660.jpeg
 
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PhoenixReef91

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Nice looking setup. Interested to follow the build. I’ve got a relatively new 93cube running two xr30 gen 5’s as well. Curious if you’ve done a par reading on your footprint. I need to do one myself but haven’t come across a par meter to borrow yet.

(Sorry for the orange filter in the pic)
1606356801660.jpeg
Hey man,

Nice set up! I actually have not measured par as of yet. I was waiting until I added my T5 bulbs into the tank. They arrive Friday and once I have them I will dish out the money for the par meter rental.

I will say that I am going for heavy SPS so I have my radions on AB+ and set at 100% right now, the few started pieces I have in the tank are loving it so far.
 
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PhoenixReef91

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no i didnt find much issues with it. for flow i use 2 maxspect gyre 250s vertical on the back wall and i placed my rockscape in front of my center overflow. i will take some pics later today. i guess its time to do a build thread lol .
I'd love to see pics sometime. I almost went with the Gyres, but have always had success with Vortech.
 
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PhoenixReef91

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Ok...So I have been slacking on my updates. Things are happening.

As far as stocking goes:

Added a purple tang and hippo tang since the last time I posted. Made the choice for the purple tang rather than yellow tang. Both were on antibiotics and QT for 2 weeks before going into the tank. Both are healthy and happy, eating without issue. Both are juvenile and aggression has been minimal. (normal tail whip here and there). 95% of the time they are friends. I went with the BRS route of adding utilitarian fish first.

Modifying the stocking list overall. I am going to skip the anthias and add 3 chalk basslet instead. I also am thinking of adding a flasher wrasse to the mix, but will need to put some tuperware with sand in to provide a place for it to sleep. Thinking of not doing a butterflyfish at all either. I just feel like the shape of the body will be an issue with the two tangs being similar in shape and having them been in the tank for a while already.

Equipment:
I added a sunsun cuv-172 UV sterilizer. I have owned emperor aquatics UV in the past and I am curious to see how this performs in comparison. The sunsun is 1/5 the price, and is a Chinese brand. I am thinking ( and hoping) it will be a similar situation to the Chinese LEDS that many people have found great success with. The main expense in an UV is the bulb, the rest is pretty similar across the board. Running the water through this slowly, around 100 GPH to hit the parasites rather than the algae.

I also added a Xport Bio-brick. I seeded this with brightwells Microbactor in a saltwater bath for 24 hours and then added it to the sump. Once I did this I saw an immediate drop to my nitrates which was the last parameter that was still slightly out of line from the tank cycle.

I have added a few pieces of coral from fellow reefers frag tanks to get started. All have been dipped in revive before entering the tank. I have a frogspawn, some goni, a few zoas on the one rock that will be softie/lps area of the tank. I got a small acro frag, and a decent size piece of red digi and green slimer to see how they do. Will wait another few weeks to make sure we don't see any tissue receding or decay.

Completed a 30 gallon water change about 2 weeks ago, and will another 30 gallons on Saturday. WC's suck right now. I've got to figure out a better way to do it. Process is clunky still, and I don't want to get an RO system or mix my own salt...and by I, I mean my wife won't let me get an RO system in the garage. Figuring out a better way to store it and transport the water from the store. Almost want to just pay someone to bring the water every few weeks. Working through all of this.

Flasher Wrasse will probably be the next addition to the tank, then coral beauty, and then 3 chalk basslet to finish out the stocking list for the fish.
 
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