New build in progress - 60g cube

WiscoFishNut

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I'm picking up the final(I think lol) piece needed to start my new build today! After setting up our first saltwater tank (75g FOWLR) the wife and I both have the bug bad lol. This time we want to do it right and go all in as much as possible.. The footprint we have available for the tank limited our options a bit, so we decided on a cube.

The gear -

Tank : Marineland 60g cornerflow rimless
Stand : Marineland Ventura - wish I was good at DIY, but if I made one it would probably make the leaning tower of Piza look good.. :(
Sump : FijiCube 20 cube
Skimmer : Reef Octopus Classic 150
Lighting : Kessil A360X + controller
Flow : EcoTech MP10WQD x 2 (might grab a 2nd)
Heat : 2 x 300w Finnex Titanium + 2 x Inkbird temperature controllers
ATO : Auto Aqua Smart ATO
ATO reservoir : 2.2g Fijicube and 5g Trigger Systems as a plan B
Return pump : Skimz Quietpro 4.0 to be replaced later(maybe) by a Jebao DCT4000
Fuge light : Tunze Ecochic
Sand : 40lbs Fiji Pink Arab-Alive decided to go bare bottom, made a HDPE sheet for the bottom to protect the glass
Rocks : 50lbs of dry Florida reef rock from reefcleaners
Lid : IM DIY kit
Plumbing : this will be my first attempt at hard plumbing anything..wish me luck lol
Battery Backup : EcoTech Vortech backup(considered switching return pumps to be compatible with this, but couldn't justify the cost)
Problem detection : AutoAqua Smart level/Smart Temp/Smart Skimmer Security sensors

Think that's it for parts I hope Lol. Picking up the stand today, then it's time to paint the back and start on the plumbing. Will post pics when there's more than just a heap of boxes laying around.

Stocking corals -

I'll probably stick with softies and LPS until I see if I can do this without killing everything first [emoji28] I really like zoas and brain corals, so I'll probably start with those and some GSP.

Livestock plan -

Bonded pair of mocha gladiator clowns or mochavinci's
2 x peppermint shrimp
2 x porcelain crabs
Tailspot blenny
Flameback angelfish (maybe..worried about the corals)

2 x lawnmower blenny
2 x banggai cardinals
Royal Gramma
Wrasse TBD, looking for something rare/cool, need suggestions!
Scarlet Skunk Cleaner shrimp

3 x yellowtail blue damsels (adding later to hopefully reduce chances of aggression)
Green mandarin (to be added after copepod farm is up and running)
Bubbletip anemone (to be added after 6 months or so)
Rock flower anemone(s) (to be added after 6 months or so)
CUC of trochus and cerith snails (nervous about big turbo snails wreaking havoc on corals down the road)


I'm really looking forward to this new adventure and will definitely have lots of questions along the way [emoji28] This forum is a great and bad inspiration all at the same time lol
 
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Hitman

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Have you already bought the Skimz 4.0? If not look into the Reef Octopus Varios 4 or 6. Much much better pump then the Skimz. Not many Skimz dc return pumps last a year at best and they are noisy unlike their name states. The Reef Octopus is dead silent and will last you several years easily.

Everything else looks solid.
Leaning tower comment made me laugh as my first stand I built was a full one inch off on one side and I was not smart enough to realize it until the tank was full of water. Lol
 
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WiscoFishNut

WiscoFishNut

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Have you already bought the Skimz 4.0? If not look into the Reef Octopus Varios 4 or 6. Much much better pump then the Skimz. Not many Skimz dc return pumps last a year at best and they are noisy unlike their name states. The Reef Octopus is dead silent and will last you several years easily.

Everything else looks solid.
Leaning tower comment made me laugh as my first stand I built was a full one inch off on one side and I was not smart enough to realize it until the tank was full of water. Lol
Thanks for the feedback man! Unfortunately I already bought the Skimz. I'll try it out, but if it ends up being too loud I'll definitely replace it with the Reef Octopus.

My carpentry skills are pretty terrible lol. If it has a CPU I'm your guy tho [emoji3]
 

Hitman

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You could always use the skims for a water change pump. I just bought a daner mag drive 9.5 as I’m so tired of lifting buckets for my new build. Lol
Yea I would be called sparking pretty fast if I even touched a cpu lol
 
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WiscoFishNut

WiscoFishNut

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The Jebao pump that was supposed to get here 7/22 - 8/12 got here today, so I'll go with that and keep the Skimz for backup ir something else. Gonna paint the back side tomorrow and get things going! [emoji3]
 
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WiscoFishNut

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Delays delays delays! I think I almost have all the pieces needed to get the show on the road. The last thing I'm waiting on are some hose clamps for some of the plumbing. The delays are actually a blessing in disguise as it's given me time to rethink my approach to the build and hopefully do it right instead of rushing thru things like I did on my 75 gallon build. So now I've actually taken some time to plan out how I want to mount up all the electrical bits as well as changed my mind on the ATO reservoir.

For the electrical I plan on mounting the power strip, temp controllers, and return pump controller to the upper back panel of the stand. The battery backup brick is going to be mounted to a board mounted to the wall behind the stand.

The original ATO reservoir I bought is going to go directly behind the sump, which will allow for 5 gallons instead of just a 2.2 reservoir squeezed in along the side.

One thing I still haven't sorted out is how to make a bubble trap for the fuge to return section in the sump. I'm thinking I can come up with something using egg crate and some glue/silicon, but I could use some ideas for this bit.
 
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WiscoFishNut

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Figured out how to make a bubble trap without a true baffle(not sure that's the right terminology..) in the section, gonna use this guy https://intankaquatics.com/intank-all-in-one-surface-skimmer/ and glue it on the return side opening in the sump and wedge filter sponge in the gap between it and the adjustable height panel in the fuge section. will take a picture once I get it installed.
 
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WiscoFishNut

WiscoFishNut

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This thing is packed tight! Just sizing things up to make sure I didnt completely miss something. Still need to mount the EcoTech battery backup and the return pump controller. Thinking about just a simple hook on the from panel by the door or a hinge mount. I'm really starting to see the disadvantage of a cube setup lol
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WiscoFishNut

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Update -

The build is still progressing, but things have been knocked off schedule due to a catastrophic event that wiped out my 75g setup :( Long story short - a 30+ hour power outage caused by really bad storms + a lack of preparation and forethought on my part resulted in a complete tank wipeout. Here's the link if you're interested in how it all went down - https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/new-75g-setup-starting-fowlr-with-intent-to-grow-in-corals.611860/

The upside is that I learned some valuable lessons that I plan to apply to this new build. Here are some of the changes I'm going to implement prior to the tank getting wet. I do have some questions about some of the items.

1. 2 x QT tanks in the basement. 1 for Fish, the other for corals/inverts. I have a question regarding the need to provide 10' of space between the tanks. Is this critical, or can I get by with 5'? Because it's going to be in the basement, there's not a ton of airflow. I was planning on using this shelf system with 1/2" plywood on the shelves - https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-78-in-H-x-60-in-W-x-24-in-D-5-Shelf-Steel-Unit-MR602478W5/203828237

1.a Put together as bullet-proof as possible QT plan for both fish and corals/inverts. This is where I really need advice the most. I know there's a lot of debate over "to QT or not", but from what I've read so far and my poor ability to visually spot/diagnose problems with fish I feel I need a plan that will save me from myself as much as possible lol. I would also rather be safe than sorry, even if it means providing unnecessary treatment to a fish(within reason).

2. Finish the saltwater mixing station in the basement. Already have the parts, just need to plumb everything

3. Consider upgrading water source. I currently have a portable RO unit that is slow as hell and doesn't do DI. TDS averages 3-4ppm. Should I go ahead and make the move to a full RODI unit or continue with this one until the current filters/membranes need to be replaced? I plan on keeping fish, nems, lps, and softies initially.

4. Get a battery backup for the rest of the tank equipment. Right now I only have a battery backup for the powerheads.

5. Consider upgrading generator capability. I bought a Generac 8000 after the storms hit, but it was too late to save the current tank. The wife and I are considering having someone install a whole house generator so the switch-over is automatic in the event that we are away from the house.

6. Gather supplies for a hospital tank so I don't have to deal with sanitizing the QT. Will also need to order the most practical collection of medicine. I could use some advice on this item for sure, everything to the tank equipment itself and the medicines I should buy.

Thanks for any advice you can provide! The crash of my 75 was pretty heartbreaking and I'd like to do it better this time around and hopefully prevent unnecessary losses. If this post should be moved somewhere else for better exposure let me know and I'll copy/paste it.
 
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WiscoFishNut

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Finally an update after a lot of travel for work. Not a sexy update, but given the recent experience with the power outage and tank crash I figured I need to not cut any corners this time around. So, instead of plumbing the cube and setting the scape with mortar, I decided to setup the QT tanks.

I went with 3 tanks. 2 x 29 gal for fish amd 1 20 long for corals/inverts. Might be overkill, but I have an unfinished basement with a crapload of space so why not lol. I plan on keeping the corals/inverts in QT for 76 days. Still undecided on the best plan for the fish. Ultimately I want to play it as safe as possible no matter how inconvenient that may be. Down the road when I'm better at diagnosing problems I may change my perspective, but at this point I just don't have enough experience.

Letting the water settle over night then starting the fisgless cycle on everything tomorrow.

QT 1 in the office
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QT2 in the basement
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Coral/invert QT in basement. Oncr its cycled I'll add the HOB skimmer (Aquatop Xyclone)
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WiscoFishNut

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Started the cycle on all 3 QT's today. Went with Dr Tims fishless cycle recipe. Hoping for a two week cycle, but we'll see how it goes. This weekend I really need to get over my fears and start the plumbing for the DT. I've procrastinated long enough at this point. I'm also considering shopping for a "side" cabinet that I could put all the electronics instead of trying to jam em all in the cabinet. If anyone has ideas/leads on a low profile side cabinet let me know. Will probably scour Wayfair.com and Ikea to start.
 
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WiscoFishNut

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Updated the gear and livestock plans with changes in italics. I'll probably change the livestock plans 5 more times before its all said and done :D
 
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WiscoFishNut

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Well my Coral/invert QT is finally cycled after 18 days of Dr.Tim's program (dose ammonia plus bottle bacteria)! The 2 fish QT's notsomuch.. Gonna do a water change tonight to the nitrates down from 25 and test again in the morning. If all is good I'll be off to the LFS tomorrow to pick up some hardy/inexpensive corals and a small CUC.

I may grab some more plastic bio balls for the 29g fish QT's in hopes of giving the bacteria more places to take hold. In those 2 setups I only have a large filter sponge with air pump, a HOB biowheel filter with carbon insert removed, around 20 plastic bio balls, and 3 pieces of pvc for the fish to hide out in. I plan on dosing the usual meds so I don't want anything porous in there. Not sure what else I can do to speed it up.
 
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WiscoFishNut

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Updates! I'm off of work all week for a staycation, so I've been putting in a lot of time to the new system. I have the first batch of fish, corals, and inverts in their respective tanks. Will add another post with pics later. My electronics cabinet should be done in the next hour, along with the ATO cabinet. I also got the sump completely setup and will do a leak test on it later tonight. Some pics of the sump setup below. It's a FijiCube 20. I made a DIY stand to raise the skimmer up a couple inches to raise the overall water level. With the raised the skimmer will be sitting in 8 inches of water. It also looks like I'll have quite a bit of light leakage from the fuge..

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Crabs McJones

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A suggestion for the light spilling out of the sump, I've never personally done it but i've heard of it being done, pick up some window tint, the darkest you can find, and use that on the outside of the sump to limit the light spill. Or if your comfortable enough paint the area on the outside where the light is spilling out. Similar to painting the back of your tank.
 
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WiscoFishNut

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Here's some pics of everything in QT. The larger clown is a fancy snowflake and the smaller one is a storm. There's also a 6 line wrasse in there who doesn't like the camera. The corals are - fungia, red lobo, hammer, some kind of torch, and some misc zoas that I have no idea about the name lol. Their colors are much nicer in person, I just suck at photography.. In the coral QT there is a reclusive fire shrimp and a pair of turbo snails.

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WiscoFishNut

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A suggestion for the light spilling out of the sump, I've never personally done it but i've heard of it being done, pick up some window tint, the darkest you can find, and use that on the outside of the sump to limit the light spill. Or if your comfortable enough paint the area on the outside where the light is spilling out. Similar to painting the back of your tank.
I like the paint idea, still have plenty left from painting the DT. Thanks for the suggestion!
 
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