JHunt's 30x30x18 SPS Shallow Cube

AquaCave

jhuntstl

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The Tank

70g, 30x30x18

1/2" Acrylic front and sides, 3/8" bottom and back

4 1/2" Eurobrace, 1/2"

Black back, white bottom

22x3.5x8 External Bean Animal Overflow, 1"

Two 3/4" Returns


The Basement Sump

50g Rubbermaid Stock Tank, 52x31x12

Jebao DCP-15000 Return

Tunze 9415 Skimmer

Oxydator Model A


Control/Monitoring

Hydros X3 w/ temp, pH probe, and leak detector

Ranco w/ two Eheim Jagers(200w & 300w)

Avast Marine Gravity ATO, Solenoid & Float Valve, 44g Reservoir

kH Guardian(monitor only version)


Flow

(3) Tunze 6095 DC

(1) Tunze 6208 Wavebox

(1) RFG Nozzle


Light

CoralCare Gen2
(2) 440nm 50w Epistar
(2) 20k 50w Epistar


Dosing

Kalkwasser (2400ml/day fully saturated)
- Avast K1 Stirrer
- Kamoer X1 Pro T Stepper

All-for-Reef (20ml/day)
- Kamoer X1 Pro 2


The Frag Tank(plumbed to main system)

50g Rubbermaid Stock Tank, 52x31x12

(2) Jebao SCP-150 Gyre

Jebao OW-10 Wavemaker

21led 50w 20k LED & 50w 453nm LED

Aquarium Essentials 50w 20k & 50w 440nm "Add a Light"



Parameters as of 4/11/22

PH -
8.2-8.4
SG - 1.026

Alk - 8.9
CA - 420
MG - 1320

NO3 - 7.6
PO4 - .08

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jhuntstl

jhuntstl

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The Tank

Custom build by Advanced Acrylics. They put a rush on this for me given my circumstances. Took about 3 weeks from payment to me picking up from the local hub. I am very satisfied with the quality.

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jhuntstl

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The Stand

Overbuilt is a bit of an understatement with this stand. I used only what I had laying around and available to me at no expense. Which is kinda of a lot.

The frame is all reused 2x4 with even some 4x8 doug fir in the mix cause why the heck not. I used all 3-5" structural screws and wood glued everything other than the tongue and groove. It is skinned in a Brazilian hardwood called Tigerwood. It is unbelievably heavy. The dimensions are 30x30 and my basement door without weather stripping is about 29". I didn't feel like removing the frame, so I did as much work as possible before having to dolly it out the basement door and up to my front porch. My front door is just barely over 30" wide. I finished it on the front porch on thankfully a beautiful day. Belt sanded the top down flat. Sanded everything other than the tongue and groove sections up to 220. Oiled her up in butcher block oil and in the house she went.

I used tongue and groove for the top, which I do regret. It made for a lot more work flattening the top. Plywood would have been a much smarter choice.

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Mhamilton0911

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Wow the stand turned out really beautiful! Is the butcher block oil something that needs reapplied over the years or is one application enough? I've never used it but I like the matte look of the wood but also protection.
 
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jhuntstl

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The Basement Sump

This was a last minute decision that I am very happy I made. I originally planned on building an oversized stand, probably 60x30x42. I wanted a big sump for a fuge, frag rack, etc. This was proving to be a PITA as I was struggling to come up with a design. I did not have a sump and was kind of at a standstill.

I had a lightbulb moment in the basement one day. I looked up and realized the tank was right above my RO station, a floor drain, and there was an acceptable way of plumbing through the walls, rather than floor.

My basement is about 115 years old. It is not pretty. It leaks a little...used to leak a lot more. It was poorly insulated and a pretty big mess...and still is tbh. But I was decided. I went right to work. I was able to source a bunch of free insulation and even better... insulating spray foam! Got the place sealed up, rerouted some HVAC, and cleaned cleaned cleaned. You won't really be able to tell I cleaned from the photos though...

Moving on. My second lightbulb moment was RUBBERMAID STOCK TANKS. These are available locally. It took about an hour round trip to spend $70 on a 50g stock tank. I also grabbed a 13g brute for my skimmer.

Again, my basement is a hot pile. Why make anything look pretty? This is all function.

Nothing leaks. I used weldon 711 industrial grade pvc glue and weldon p68 eco primer. I got gray colored glue because I planned on going schedule 80. But the cost didn't seem worth it. It only added to the ugly factor, but again...function!

I am a terrible plumber, though. I made a lot of mistakes along the way. Took at least 3x longer than it should have.

Because the last pic is a cluster, please understand the basement is still a MAJOR work in progress. I've made no effort to manage wires yet. I've only gotten them to a non electrical hazard state(at least I hope) before I can come up with a way to manage everything properly.


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jhuntstl

jhuntstl

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Wow the stand turned out really beautiful! Is the butcher block oil something that needs reapplied over the years or is one application enough? I've never used it but I like the matte look of the wood but also protection.
Thanks! I used what I had left laying around. It was only enough for a single coat. Generally you'd want to apply 2-3 initial coats or really however much the wood will take. I intend to add more and yes it will likely need reapplying over the years.

I went with this oil to avoid the fumes and curing times of other traditional stains.
 
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jhuntstl

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The Transfer

I really didn't take many pictures of this. I didn't have time! This was all done yesterday.

The tank was salty on Monday the 13th. I had some aquacultured rock and a bag of established bio media in the 5g buckets by Tuesday. I added a capful of MB7 as well. The rocks had some caulerpa on them that immediately went sexual. The water was fairly milky until I clipped it all off. This I suppose was beneficial in adding some nutrients, but not fun to see in a brand new tank. I did run some carbon and a polyfilter just as a precaution. Mainly for all the fresh plumbing and plastics.

I tested the 30x30 yesterday and registered maybe 2 ppm of no3 and .02 po4. To my surprise, my nano which usually runs around .15 po4 and 5-10 no3 was showing the same nutrients as the 30x30. I've been seeing a lot of growth lately and my only explanation is my feedings lately weren't enough to satisfy the nano's nutrient demand. I had not seen nutrients this low in months. This is my #1 concern at the moment. I have the skimmer running, but I uncapped the drain and currently the fuge is offline with no macroalgae.

I exchanged about 15 gallons of the nano's water with the 30x30. I also reused just about all the sand for the cryptic and fuge bucket. I rinsed most of it with the clean saltwater from my back chamber. It was absolutely loaded with amphipods and copepods. Some big spaghetti worms and some small bristles as well.

Moving the rock was very easy. The largest section is all glued, which made it a breeze. Nothing is officially scaped yet. I have quite a bit more dry ocean rock in the sump to play with if I want.

I've got the CoralCare sitting up real high at the moment while everything settles in.

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Shots from this morning.

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SaltyT

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You've been very busy! LOVE it!! The dimensions of the new tank are awesome, and that stand is a piece of art!

I know some corals are ticked right now but I'm sending positive vibes that everything bounces back quickly!
 
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jhuntstl

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You've been very busy! LOVE it!! The dimensions of the new tank are awesome, and that stand is a piece of art!

I know some corals are ticked right now but I'm sending positive vibes that everything bounces back quickly!
Hurt losing a couple acros today, but I've been here before. I'll get through it. Thank you for the positive vibes!
 
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jhuntstl

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The Reboot...?

Yup, the reboot. Way past due for an update. This will be big.

I had to drain my 30x30 after I couldn't take watching my SPS die each day. Whatever happened had a huge effect on just about all of my SPS.

This shot was taken about 30 hours after the original transfer. A little cloudy, but things were clearing up. PE was fine and everyone seemed happy for the most part.

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The next day I noticed a sharp decline in PE, the water was starting to cloud, and just about every SPS was very, very upset. Fish and inverts showed no signs of stress.

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The lack of PE was as bad as it gets. They just weren't there. My digitata lost all their color and went gray. Pocillipora retracted and nearly went white. I wish I had taken more photos to display just how god awful everything looked.

Seriatoporas and Stylophoras were some of the first to go. I had plans to see these ones get huge in the new build, but it wasn't meant to be.

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Tried saving some small frags. Only one nub was able to hang on. I'll take it.
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The nub off my favorite purple and green stylo. :)
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This was one of the two acro frags I lost after transferring everything out. Their fate had already been decided. They were gone within hours of moving everything back. You can see how the flesh was tearing off.
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Basically in a fit of desperation, I moved everything out. I used 100% fresh saltwater and moved them back in the AIO. I lost a couple acros very shortly after the move, but since then I have had ZERO coral deaths. 12 days have passed since.
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They stayed in this tank with a heater, mj1200, a bag of carbon, and an oxydator for 3 days. I did not light the tank.
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After draining the 30x30, I cleaned everything. I removed the bucket fuges, skimmer, took out the dry ocean rock, and FL aquacultured rock. I kept the LR in a 5g bucket with a heater and pump.

I changed all my RODI filters before refilling. Even bought some Prime in case chloramines were somehow getting through. This was kind of wasteful, but at this point I was desperate to solve whatever the problem is.

After refilling the tank and throwing in the salt to mix for a day, I re-added the marco rock scape I had glued together. I bought one of those marine pure blocks for the sump to replace all the dry ocean rock. A bottle of Fritz Turbostart 900 and a fresh polyfilter.

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On Sunday, the 19th, I transferred everything back to the 30x30. I did reintroduce the FL live rock. The sump is bare bones with the skimmer, marine pure block, and an Oxydator A. I am still dosing AFR, but I reduced it down to 10ml/day, down from 25ml/day.

Still looked pretty dreary... But with each passing day, the water quality and polyp extension are significantly improving. I lost A LOT of color. My digis, some montis and many of the acros have browned or colored down significantly.

But it's bouncing back. And that's all that matters. I have more updates to come, but this feels appropriate for now.

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Gedxin

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Tough tank transfer/reverse panic/crisis, but seems your reboot may have been the fix! Nice quick thinking to not lose everything. So strange that anything was 'wrong' in the first place though.

I'm sure you'll be back to your previous glory in no time!
 
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jhuntstl

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Tough tank transfer/reverse panic/crisis, but seems your reboot may have been the fix! Nice quick thinking to not lose everything. So strange that anything was 'wrong' in the first place though.

I'm sure you'll be back to your previous glory in no time!
I was working nearby and home for lunch everyday that week. Monday through Wednesday, I was jokingly taking bets with my coworkers on how many more I'd find dead at lunch. I was trying to stay positive all week, waiting for it all to pass. By Thursday morning I found another and I just couldn't stand to watch it anymore. I took the rest of the week off to pull things together. I do believe it was the right move!

Thank you for the kind words and support.
 
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jhuntstl

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Soooo any new additions today?
Sorry...I'm a tease. Nothing new.

I decided to bask in the fumes of PVC primer and glue all day instead. I currently have some windows and my back door open despite it being 28 degrees outside...
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock
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