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SCA 50 gallon cube build *PIC HEAVY*

mr70ss

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Well here is the back story... My wife and I were lucky enough to get picked for an adoption a little over a year ago, and boy what fun it has been to this point.. Recently I took our daughter to the local pet store, and she went crazy over the fish. That got me to thinking about starting up a reef tank. After some research I ended up deciding on SCA 50 gallon cube. Here is the info on the tank package...

  • Tank: STARFIRE Glass (only front 3 pieces) Size: 24"W x 24"L x 20"H
  • Thickness: 10mm
  • Accessories included: filter media, bio-balls
  • One pair of return loc lines
  • All necessary piping and tubes included (Druso Stand Pipe is included)
  • Bulk head connectors (1/2" return, 1" drain) "You can request extra bulkhead in Standard SCH40 size for free"
  • Special features: high volume and quite over flow system with dual return, each piece of glass have high quality diamond polished edges.
  • This tank is salt water ready,
  • Items included: One 50 gallon STARFIRE Glass cube tank with high volume over flow.
  • One 3 camber glass sump (19-3/4"W x 16-1/2"L x 13"H)
  • One SCA-301 65 Gallon skimmer with PH1100 needle wheel pump.
  • One PH2500 utility return pump

I called SCA and talked with them, and after doing so I placed an order but had the overflow drilled for a herbie (3 x 1") and upgraded from the stock mdf to oak plywood stand. Now on to the pics..










More to come...
 
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mr70ss

mr70ss

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So the next step was to start planning the layout of the sump area. I've been looking at build pics from others and after doing so I knew I wanted to install some raceway for cable management. Here is what I came up with.



While doing research I also decided I wanted to run a tank controller, so I ended up with an apex classic (EB8, and netgear wifi). Here it is mounted up.



More to come...
 
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mr70ss

mr70ss

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Well step three was getting the plumbing installed.. Seems how the tank came with a dorso plumbing setup, I had to make an order. I ended up using schedule 80 fittings and schedule 40 pipe, mainly cause I wanted that custom look. While I was waiting for the parts to be deliverd I happen to check craigslist and found a new in box Sicce 3.0 return pump. I bought the Sicce, and will use that for my return, and I'll use the Atman 2500 the system came with for mixing water. I also like the idea of having a backup on hand.



While working on getting the pluming installed i realized real quickly i was going to need some sort of light. I picked up a 24" led bar at my local ace hardware store, and it made things alot easier. I also picked up a break out box for the apex, and i'll use a mag switch on the cabinet door to turn the light on when you open the door. Here is a pic of the plumbing being installed.



I also wanted to add some sort of filter to the main overflow. I ended up picking up a sock-it 4" mount and got it installed.



More to come...
 
Lazys Coral House
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mr70ss

mr70ss

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Well I got the Tunze ATO installed along with the PH and temp probes.



Next I started working on my aquascape. I ordered up 40 pounds of Caribsea Liferock. Here is what I came up with. I may add some more later. I'll also be using 40 pounds of Caribsea Fiji pink live sand.

 
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mr70ss

mr70ss

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So I got the rock and sand added. Yea it was a mess, next tank I'll add the water last. After about 24 hours it was cleared up.



So here is what it looks like today.. I added a pair of Jebao pp-4's along with a Jebao/apex controller. I have to say I sure like the flexibility the apex add's to tank management, and it's nice to see a live status when you are away from home.



 

Vincent100

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Very nice you have done a brilliant job on the whole tank
What your thoughts on fish and coral stock ?
 

TheEngineer

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Love it! I have the same tank with almost the same setup. You're gonna love it!
 

Eggyoke

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I have the same tank. For the sump, I pulled the center divider out and run it backwards. It gave me more room to put a reactor and more water volume. I switched out the return pump for a Jebao DC. That pump drove me crazy with the vibration noise. The skimmer works good enough, but I'm a believer of not over skimming the tank.
 

sromero287

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mr70ss awesome picts and narrative, following for sure!!! Quick q's where you order or bought the raceways to do the cable management/hiding? State of art ocd, lol
 
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mr70ss

mr70ss

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Thanks everyone, it has been a blast thus far. As for stocking not sure to be honest... I know I want a pair of clowns, flame angle, and a 6 line wrasse. As for corals, most likely mixed, I prefer softies and LPS. Most likely go with what strikes me and cool looking and fun. The raceway I used was 1.5"x 1.5" and I got it from digikey.com. But be forewarned it's not cheap from them. I ordered 3 sticks I think they were 5', and ran around $15.00 ea, but it was like 40 to ship them, but what in this hobby is cheap. If I was to do it again I would have gone with a 2" x 2". As for the quality of the tank, I'm very happy with it and would buy another. I'm in the middle of the hard part now.. the tank has been up and running for 10 days now, and it feels like weeks.. it's so hard not to get excited and start stocking it.
 
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mr70ss

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So I forgot to mention it but once I got all the rock and sand installed, I also added bio-spira (60gal), and have been dosing 2ml of ammonia every other day. I've tested the water every other day and still have not seen a ammonia spike, but the nitrite hit 1ppm (about 7 days ago), and the nitrate spiked at 50ppm (5 days ago). I did a 10% water change, and tested again (2 days ago) nitrite was .5, and nitrate's were 20ppm. I did dose 2ml's of ammonia again, and will test everything again tonight. Is it me or could my tank really have cycled in 12 days?? I've read great reviews on bio-spira, and people have claimed they cycled in 7 to 10 days.. Just sounds too good to be true, so I though I'd ask what everyone else thinks.
 

Acan Skywalker

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Thanks everyone, it has been a blast thus far. As for stocking not sure to be honest... I know I want a pair of clowns, flame angle, and a 6 line wrasse. As for corals, most likely mixed, I prefer softies and LPS. Most likely go with what strikes me and cool looking and fun. The raceway I used was 1.5"x 1.5" and I got it from digikey.com. But be forewarned it's not cheap from them. I ordered 3 sticks I think they were 5', and ran around $15.00 ea, but it was like 40 to ship them, but what in this hobby is cheap. If I was to do it again I would have gone with a 2" x 2". As for the quality of the tank, I'm very happy with it and would buy another. I'm in the middle of the hard part now.. the tank has been up and running for 10 days now, and it feels like weeks.. it's so hard not to get excited and start stocking it.
Be sure to add the Flame Angel last
 
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mr70ss

mr70ss

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Well just tested the water again and here were the results...

PH = 8
KH = 8
NH3/NH4 = 0
NO2 = 1
NO3 = 35
SG = 34
temp at testing 77.9
 
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