My 40g Cube I Throw $$ Into

T-J

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Greetings fellow reefers! After a 5 year hiatus (due to moving 1400 miles) I’m back in the hobby. My last tank was a 125 with a 100g Fuge and prop system.

Starting over with a new Aquatop 40g Recife AIO. While I’m very comfortable with a number of the upgrades I’ll be doing as I get this tank up and running, the one item I’m torn on so far is lighting.

When I left the hobby, LED was just starting. I was still using MH and T5 when I left. So any suggestions for a 21x21x21 mixed would be appreciated. Currently looking at a Hydra 26, AI prime 90 and Kessil 160.

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Tahoe61

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Welcome back to the hobby.

Great looking cube.

Good luck deciding on your LED lighting. The choices are mind boggling.
 
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T-J

T-J

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The tank has been up for about 3 full days now and it is currently doing its cycle. I used the CaribSea Ocean Direct live sand, and some dry rock and life rock (much more dry to come). I'm also dosing with Microbacter 7.
One of the issues I'm having is cloudy water. I know cloudy water is usually part of the cycle and the settling of the tank, it doesn't seem to be clearing.

I also have this nasty film on the surface. I have some filter floss in the overflow, but the surface scum seems to just by flying by the overflow (video and pics below). I have the return pump aimed at the surface to try an agitate the stuff into the column, but that doesn't seem to be doing anything either.

Suggestions?

Surface.JPG Tank1.JPG
 
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T-J

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I’m happy to say that the cloudy water is now crystal clear. I just let it sit for another two days and it took care of itself.

I threw a few pieces of rock in, but I still need about 30 more lbs.

Been dosing with Bac7 and so far no Ammonia. Not sure if it’s due to the live sand and dosing or if it’ll spike when I add the first livestock next week.

For Christmas I’ll be treating the tank to a Reefled 90! Then corals!

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T-J

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Big update today!

Haven't updated my build/setup in a bit, so I thought I'd let everyone know how it's going.
Since the last update, I've added 25lbs more of rock (great sale at MarineDepot.com). The current layout allows me to have different levels for the corals dependent on their lighting needs:
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I'm sure some of you do this as well, but I have a "Reef Journal", where I document anything and everything having to do with the tank. Date of purchase, names of fish/corals/etc, parameter checks. So far here are the numbers I've had lately:
IMG_7872.JPG


Since I used live sand, and have been dosing Bac7, it appears that the tank has cycled, and so we have added our first fish! It's a clown (surprise surprise!) and his name is Pennywise. Yes, we're that kind of family. He's been in there for about 4 days now and doesn't appear to be having any issues. Eating normal and acting normal.














I've added some ROX .8 carbon from BRS in a filter bag. I put it in the overflow chamber (remember, this is a 40g AIO).
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I'm not terribly happy with the carbon just sitting at the bottom under the black filter, so I decided to come up with something of my own.
I 3D printed a custom overflow hanger! Basically, it hangs on the back glass, into the overflow chamber. I can attached a filter bag to it and put carbon in it to make it a bit more active filtration. I printed it in uncolored (white) ABS plastic, which should be completely reef safe (considering all the other plastics in the tank).
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Other than that, I hate my protein skimmer. SOOOO many microbubbles. I even put a pieces of filter pad into the bottom of it and they still escape. Plus, it doesn't seem to skim very well. I'm sure part of the issue is that there is such a low bio-load, but it still doesn't seem to be any good. Thinking of going with an Eshoppes nano skimmer in the middle chamber, and removing some of the media baskets in there.

Thanks for following along! More updates next week when my new light shows up. I ordered a Reefbreeders Photo V2 16".
 
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T-J

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You got a good start
Thanks!

It’s funny how much has changed in the 5 years I’ve been out. I mean LED lighting alone has completely changed one of the biggest part of the hobby. I can’t wait to see how much cooler and efficient my new LEDs will run vs my old MH and T5 setup.
 

sfin52

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Thanks!

It’s funny how much has changed in the 5 years I’ve been out. I mean LED lighting alone has completely changed one of the biggest part of the hobby. I can’t wait to see how much cooler and efficient my new LEDs will run vs my old MH and T5 setup.
You will love the led. It's easy to burn coral with the led. They are very strong lights. I would suggest under 50% strength.
There are many people who can help with your type of lights
 
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T-J

T-J

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Dude. The 3D printed accessory. Pure genius. I would never have even thought to make my own accesory, and definitely would not have done it in such a sleek and creative way (both in terms of the design and the use of 3D Printer technology). Props to you bro.
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Thanks! What good is all this technology if we don’t use it?? :)
 
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T-J

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While I wait for my new light to show up, I took advantage of some Christmas funds and sales to upgrade the system.

I just ordered a new skimmer, since the one that comes with these systems is junk.

I ordered the Tunze 9001, which I’ll be putting in my third chamber. I’ll end up removing probably 2 of the 4 media baskets for it to fit. I don’t care for all the baskets anyways.

I also ordered the Duetto ATO. Keeping some RODI in a container in the stand that I don’t have to touch brings a smile to my face!
 
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T-J

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A quick update:

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I 3 D printed a hanger for a filter sock in my overflow chamber. While it worked, I noticed I had to make another version with a few mods.
I reduced the size by 2mm because it just barely fit. The silicone bead sticks out enough that I needed to size it down a hair.
I also had to double the length of the hanger, since I noticed it was sitting pretty high up on the overflow.
The pics below are of the current one. The new one is printing and will be installed later tonight.

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WisconsinReefing

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Man that 3D printer thing is fantastic. Do you feel the sponge that was in there is unnecessary?

Also, and chance you’d want to make another of that printed awesomeness and sell it to another aqua topper ?
 
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T-J

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Man that 3D printer thing is fantastic. Do you feel the sponge that was in there is unnecessary?

Also, and chance you’d want to make another of that printed awesomeness and sell it to another aqua topper ?
I feel that that big black catch is just a nutrient sink. Hard to clean and it’s just for trapping macro particles. And I do NOT like Aquatops Carbon covered sponge thingies. That’s why I run carbon in a sock.

I’ll let you know how the new version works out once I print it. Currently making filament for the printer.
 

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I feel that that big black catch is just a nutrient sink. Hard to clean and it’s just for trapping macro particles. And I do NOT like Aquatops Carbon covered sponge thingies. That’s why I run carbon in a sock.

I’ll let you know how the new version works out once I print it. Currently making filament for the printer.

I replaced almost all their media stuff. Using matrix carbon in a bag.

Did you ever consider a second small wave maker since it’s a taller tank ?

And please do let me know id be more than happy to buy one
 
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I replaced almost all their media stuff. Using matrix carbon in a bag.

Did you ever consider a second small wave maker since it’s a taller tank ?

And please do let me know id be more than happy to buy one
I have an Icecap gyere in there. At 10% I’ve got a ton of movement, which I’ll tune as I add corals.
 
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Mini update:

My new ReefBreeders Photon V2+ arrived today! Right now I have it in the default custom schedule, which I will be changing this week. Since I don’t have corals yet, this will give me the perfect opportunity to tune the light. I’ve seen a lot of people go with a 4:1 ratio, which I think I’m going to try out.

Here’s a few pics of the new setup. And yes, diatoms on the rock and sand. I’m in the ugly phase ATM. IME diatoms come and go in 1-2 weeks on their own. Small CUC in there now.

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