My 150g Cube Journey

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bakbay

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Hello all - just sharing my journey as a fellow "reef addict". I've had many tanks over the years but so far, my latest 150g (combined water volume) is my pride & joy.

Tank: 36" x 36" x 24", 3/4" low-iron glass on 3 sides, euro-braced bottom
Sump: 20g glass with 3 compartments: filter media, skimmer, return pump (KISS principle)
Lighting: Kessil AP9x
Circulation: 3xNeptune WAVs (btw: it's very challenging to get flow right in a cube)
Calcium Reactor: Korallin C1502 (yes, it's very old but works! ha)
Kalk: 10g reservoir using Tunze ATO
Brain: Apex + Trident

I will add more pics shortly...
 
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bakbay

bakbay

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Initial setup.

Aquascape: started with dry rocks

Sump: I siliconed (but not plumbed) a 20g breeder to the main sump. This is used to (hopefully) contain the leak should some equipment leaked out to the wood floor!
 

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bakbay

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Built myself a panel to mount the Apex, EB, controllers.

Full view “under the hood”.

I used to run a biodenitrator (now removed)
 

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bakbay

bakbay

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Let there be light! Well, only one Kessil AP9x for now over a 36x36 tank. I’m contemplating to switch it out for 2xRadion G6s but I love the clean look (and shimmer) of the AP9x.
 

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bakbay

bakbay

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My goal is to automate as much as possible and have a thriving and successful “lazy reef”. It’s an oxymoron right? I used to do WCs but just dose. IME it’s the most dreadful part of maintenance so I’ve stopped doing WCs.

Anyway, my routines:
1. Clean the glass every 3 days
2. Clean the skimmer cup weekly
3. Throw away the filter floss weekly
4. Replace DIY bag of carbon monthly
5. Replenish CaRx media yearly (or depleted)

Only time will tell if I can grow SPS into large colonies with minimal effort…
 

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My goal is to automate as much as possible and have a thriving and successful “lazy reef”. It’s an oxymoron right? I used to do WCs but just dose. IME it’s the most dreadful part of maintenance so I’ve stopped doing WCs.

Anyway, my routines:
1. Clean the glass every 3 days
2. Clean the skimmer cup weekly
3. Throw away the filter floss weekly
4. Replace DIY bag of carbon monthly
5. Replenish CaRx media yearly (or depleted)

Only time will tell if I can grow SPS into large colonies with minimal effort…
Will have to keep an eye on this and see if it works. Lazy reefing with no water changes is definitely the dream. Interested in learning more about the maintenance routine as it progresses.
 
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bakbay

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Will have to keep an eye on this and see if it works. Lazy reefing with no water changes is definitely the dream. Interested in learning more about the maintenance routine as it progresses.
My 60g was running fine without a WC for 6+ years, although it was mainly a softies tank + a few chalices. From my exp, I have not killed anything by not doing WCs — in fact, I think I’ve caused more harm than good! So I just stopped completely and the tank was more stable. It’s not for everyone but for me, this has worked over the years.

The new 150g, SPS dominated, has not seen a WC since it went online with tap water + Prime 18 months ago. I think it’s all about keeping Alk stable. I like to hover around 8.5 to 9. I don’t even check for N & P anymore.

Latest tank params below
 

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bakbay

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Chasing pH — yes, I’m on a relentless pursuit to get my pH from 7.9 - 8.1 to 8.2+
I run a CaRx + Kalk in ATO but still not there yet.

Last week, I pumped air into a CO2 scrubber. Accomplishes two things:
1. Battery Backup (primary goal)
2. Get a little pH boost

if someone has some ideas, do let me know! I might feed the CO2 scrubber from the skimmer air intake but it kept flooding the cup — might need to raise the skimmer after all? Ugh
 

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bakbay

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Current coral list

Acros
RC Poison Envy
PC Rainbow
PC Superman
WWC Yellow Tips
ORA Blue Voodoo
ORA Blue Iris
ORA Hawkins Echinata
ORA Cali Tort
JF Green Goblin
JF Tubbs Stellata Monti
JF Pink Cadillac
Purple Stylo

Chalices
JF My Miami
JF Goldmeister
JF Raja Rampage
Rainbow
Mummy Eye
Misc No Name frags

Favorite coral: PC Rainbow is prb the highest on the list.

Sorry for the poor iPhone pics. I need to get a decent camera with an orange filter.
 

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Printed Reef - Custom Reef Accessories

scott_the_reefer

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Good morning Bakbay. I’m curious about your cube tank. I’ve been thinking about getting one and wanted to know a little more about yours. Have you had any challenges with a cube instead of a regular rectangle shapes tank, ie issues with aquascaping, lighting, flow, etc? Is there anything you’ve found that works better with the shape? Also how long have you had it going and what fish have you put in it and what are your future goals to have in it?

Thanks,
Scott
 
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Good morning Bakbay. I’m curious about your cube tank. I’ve been thinking about getting one and wanted to know a little more about yours. Have you had any challenges with a cube instead of a regular rectangle shapes tank, ie issues with aquascaping, lighting, flow, etc? Is there anything you’ve found that works better with the shape? Also how long have you had it going and what fish have you put in it and what are your future goals to have in it?

Thanks,
Scott
Hello Scott - I’ve had cube tanks for at least 10 years now. Nearly 2 years ago, I upgraded from a 60g cube to a 150g cube. There are always pros/cons, like everything in life right? Pros: does not take up a lot of lateral space, it’s “different”, good frontal/side deep view (at 36”), and IMO it’s pleasing to the eyes. Cons: like you’ve guessed — it’s flow & lighting! Aquascape is depending on preference really.

Flow: it’s challenging to get it right at 36x36x24! I have 3 WAVs but might need to add 1 more. I suppose I can add a gyre but mount vertically? Again, you’ll really have to play with it. My old 60g (24x24x24) was easy with 2xMP40s btw.

Lighting: I’m not happy with both spread and depth with one Ap9x. This is because my tank is rimless and I want a clean look. I’m seriously considering to get 2xXR30 Blues next week (who cares if you have those arms on top of the tank!). We shall see though…The old 60g was very simple with one XR30 G4 Pro

My other tank (RedSea Reefer 250) is rectangular and I think it’s way easier to implement both flow & lighting. Many manufacturers built gear for a 24” width.

Bottom line: I do like cubes, esp given our kitchen area’s space. However, I prefer rectangular tanks if I have the room.

Future plans: make this a 100% SPS tank and move everything else to the RSR 250. OR: do a major house remodel and build a massive tank inside the wall (sorry, I’m dreaming again)!!!
 

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Ya I agree everything has its pros and cons, just need to find the right combination that works for the situation. The layout of my house is a little tricky, but I’ve found a spot where a 3’x3’ footprint works well. I could possibly fit a 4’ tank but not without some added work. What did you use for a sump and were there any challenges associated with that?

Thanks for the info, I greatly appreciate it.
 
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Ya I agree everything has its pros and cons, just need to find the right combination that works for the situation. The layout of my house is a little tricky, but I’ve found a spot where a 3’x3’ footprint works well. I could possibly fit a 4’ tank but not without some added work. What did you use for a sump and were there any challenges associated with that?

Thanks for the info, I greatly appreciate it.
Sump was relatively easy - I got a 30” glass sump for all the dosing gear and skimmer. Additionally, I put another 20g breeder underneath the stand for the calcium reactor & other reactors. This was for a little insurance should something leaked.
Overall, I’m happy with it — it served my purpose given the space constraint.

Good luck with your build — I’m sure that it will be spectacular. Let me know if you have additional questions / feedback.

Cheers!

EA931CF2-D915-4A85-B018-EB829034A128.jpeg
 
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Lighting Upgrade: well, I’ve taken the bait and in the process of upgrading from 1xKessil Ap9x to 2xG6 XR30 Blues. I’m waiting for the rail kit to arrive this Thursday.

I’m curious as to what people use as an optimal lighting schedule on their SPS-dominated tanks? Just AB+ at 80%?
 

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scott_the_reefer

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Sump was relatively easy - I got a 30” glass sump for all the dosing gear and skimmer. Additionally, I put another 20g breeder underneath the stand for the calcium reactor & other reactors. This was for a little insurance should something leaked.
Overall, I’m happy with it — it served my purpose given the space constraint.

Good luck with your build — I’m sure that it will be spectacular. Let me know if you have additional questions / feedback.

Cheers!

EA931CF2-D915-4A85-B018-EB829034A128.jpeg
Thank you for your help, I greatly appreciate it.
 
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bakbay

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More toys…more joy! ;)
Got new G6 Blues and my corals grew like crazy now — j/k

Before and After shots
 

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Ecotech - apologies but please upgrade your Mobius dev team vs more LED spectrum? The app is horrific — very hard to adjust intensity for idiots like me. I will rtfm but it’s definitely not intuitive. Perhaps I’m the only idiotic reefer on earth?
 
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Ecotech - apologies but please upgrade your Mobius dev team vs more LED spectrum? The app is horrific — very hard to adjust intensity for idiots like me. I will rtfm but it’s definitely not intuitive. Perhaps I’m the only idiotic reefer on earth?
I think I’ve figured it out. Going to run 80-90% peak using AB+ Template.
 
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AquaCave

How have you used eggcrate in or around your aquarium?

  • Aquarium lid

    Votes: 61 30.7%
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  • Skimmer stand

    Votes: 65 32.7%
  • Sump Divider

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  • Other (please describe in the discussion)

    Votes: 31 15.6%
  • I have not used eggcrate in or around my aquarium

    Votes: 52 26.1%
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