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Old 02/06/2010, 07:02 PM   #1
E.intheC
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Eric's 45 Cube Build Thread

I just finished downsizing from a 72 gallon bowfront to a 45 gallon Marineland Cube. There were many reasons for this downsize, but mainly it was to keep everything simple, and use high quality equipment. To me, it's much easier to accomplish these goals with a smaller tank. I'll go into this more when I get a chance.


I love cube tanks, and this is the largest one I can fit in the space of our admittedly small Long Island apartment.

I have a few goals with this tank:

-Have fun!

-Keep everything as simple and automated as possible. This automation will also help keep consistent water parameters which will be crucial when I jump into the world of SPS corals.

-Only buy things that I really LOVE looking at. Iíve spent a lot of money on corals and fish that were only ďOKĒ but not my absolute favorite just because they were cheaper at the time.

-Buy or trade as many corals as I can from other local reefers, thus lessening my negative impact on the oceans. (Also a great way to fulfill the previous goal).

-Do as much DIY as I can. This isnít just to keep costs down (which is a main reason) but also to force myself to go slow and learn a lot about the whole process. In addition, this gives me flexibility and customization that I wouldnít get with store bought.

OK, on to the details:


Equipment list. I've put a lot of effort and planning into the equipment stage, including many, many hours of reading, drawing up sketches, and asking silly questions.

Tank:
-45 Gallon Reef Ready Cube by Marineland. Dimensions are 24 x 24 x 18h.
-DIY stand and canopy. Painted black.
-20 gallon high DIY sump.

Lighting:
-PFO 250 Watt Metal Halide Pendant with Ushio 14,000K bulb.
-Ice Cap Electronic Ballast.
-2x Current Powerbrite Actinic LEDs

Flow:
-Vortech MP20.
-Marineland Utility Pump 1700 return pump.

Filtration:
-Vertex IN-100 skimmer.
-BRS Carbon Reactor.
-BRS GFO Reactor.
-Iím also going to start dosing 2 part and a carbon source (probably vodka, but no need yet. I need to research this a lot more before it happens though).

Other Equipment:
-Reef Keeper Lite to control MH, LEDís, and heater
-autotopoff.com ATO unit.
-(Eventually) a dosing system.

Livestock List:
-2x Onyx Clowns from Sea Quest Marine
-Purple Firefish.
-In the future, I might get a pearly jawfish or a neon goby and a flasher/fairy wrasse. Iím not 100% set on the livestock, but it must get along with current inhabitants who are extremely peaceful.

Corals:
-My tank will be a mixed reef full of corals. Iím going to have mostly LPS, SPS, and Zoanthids.


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Old 02/06/2010, 07:04 PM   #2
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Here are some pics of the progress so far:







And a picture of the sump:




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Old 02/06/2010, 07:07 PM   #3
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Like I said. It's nothing fancy, but so far I am happy with my own work. I used a powerdrill (NICE Christmas present from my future Father in Law ), a hand saw, and Lowe's "craftsman machine saw, doing the cutting for me at the store " I constructed (and painted) the stand, canopy, and sump in the livingroom (thanks Kerrin!)

It was my first time building a stand on my own. I'll have pictures of the finished product up in a little bit.

I hope you all like it. Feel free to post suggestions/comments/etc.


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Old 02/06/2010, 07:13 PM   #4
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Here's a pic of my Onyx clowns.






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Old 02/06/2010, 07:20 PM   #5
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looking good so far, keep up the good work, i myself was looking at that aquarium, now im a little more excited about it. i like that the overflow box does not take up half the tank too!


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Old 02/06/2010, 07:22 PM   #6
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Thanks .. I should clarify that those pics of my fish were in my old tank. I don't have the rock looking that hap-hazard and all over the place.

I definitely recommend this tank. It's very well built. Even comes with black silicone standard.


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Old 02/06/2010, 07:23 PM   #7
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..and I just realized I posted the wrong pic of the sump "D'oh!"




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Old 02/07/2010, 09:46 AM   #8
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I really like the skimmer so far. It's got a bubble plate and a really solid design. It works great, and has produced about a cup of nasty skimmate in the first few days of operation.

My only slight issue is the Resun pump that it comes with. Resun doesn't have a great reputation and it's a bit too loud for my taste. Might get a new pump with the tax return funds, but we'll see.

I'm also looking into dampening the vibrations through other means.


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Old 02/07/2010, 11:13 AM   #9
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Quick question. My entire overflow chamber recently has been filling up, then draining (and creating a loud gurgling noise) then filling up, and repeating the process. Anyone know why this happens, and what I can do to prevent it?


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Old 02/08/2010, 09:02 PM   #10
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OK so I guess I'll post some updates.

Here is a picture of the tank. I'm going to change around the liverock and clean everything up.



Here's a terribly blurry picture of my door:



The inside of my canopy:



And a skimmer shot. Vertex IN 100 after 2 days breaking in with a small bioload. (Just the 2 clowns, 2 harlequins, and a few corals)...




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Old 02/08/2010, 09:10 PM   #11
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Great work Eric!!! I love your tank. I am so happy with my 93 marineland cube. I am in the market for soem onyx's in the next month or so. Where did you get yours? I plan on getting some of mitch's booyah clowns, if I can't find a nice pair locally.


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Old 02/08/2010, 10:03 PM   #12
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Thanks for the complements. I just took a look at the pictures on this thread again.. man.. I need some practice! haha. This weekend there should be some decent updates once I get the LEDs working, the liverock and corals situated to my liking, and a few additions, (as well as my buddy coming down with a much better camera)..... I think I'll be happy with it

Your tank looks like a big brother to mine! (Not to mention a better dressed big brother, lol).

My Onyx clowns look a lot better in person than in the pics, and I'm sure they'll color up even more as they age. They're already starting to show some pairing behavior. I got them locally (picked them up in Queens, NY) so I can't help you out that way.

I've heard good things about the clowns you've mentioned though.

Take a look at Doni's clowns as well. I almost went with a pair of hers.


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Old 02/08/2010, 10:32 PM   #13
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Looks great Eric, very nice stand and hood. I like the way it looks and I love your clowns. I wish you the best of luck buddy


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Old 02/09/2010, 07:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Looks great Eric, very nice stand and hood. I like the way it looks and I love your clowns. I wish you the best of luck buddy
Thanks man. It's a work in progress. I'm happy with the hardware, now I just have to get the rock, corals, and fish rockin'.


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Old 02/09/2010, 07:35 PM   #15
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also, I think I have to raise the skimmer up a few inches to get better production. Looks like it's in too deep.


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Old 02/10/2010, 02:47 PM   #16
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neat pic with the LED's on. This is my view from the kitchen table.




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Old 02/11/2010, 12:58 AM   #17
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LED's
I almost did LED's but I had a hard time getting away from the radium bulb. You have a sweet setup there Eric.
If you look at the most recent tank pic, it looks like your tank has a built in TV. Man your fish are living it up. I might just live in your tank too. lol


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Old 02/12/2010, 11:51 AM   #18
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Quote:
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LED's
I almost did LED's but I had a hard time getting away from the radium bulb. You have a sweet setup there Eric.
If you look at the most recent tank pic, it looks like your tank has a built in TV. Man your fish are living it up. I might just live in your tank too. lol
LOL. My fish are definitely spoiled They love The Office. (That's a shot of "Michael J. Scott's" head )


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Old 02/15/2010, 04:34 PM   #19
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I was finally able to re-arrange my live rock and add a few things. I'll try and post some pictures tonight


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Old 02/15/2010, 05:02 PM   #20
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Hey, its looking good! Nice job


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Current Tank Info: 60 gal SPS cube, with 25 gal refugium, 400W MH, DIY Lumenarc III, DIY skimmer, DIY stand and canopy. 40 breeder LPS with 40 gallon sump, DIY stand, 250W MH
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Old 02/15/2010, 05:08 PM   #21
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I don't know what it is about small cubes, but they get me all happy inside.
If I were to do another tank, which I won't be able to afford, I would definitly so something of this size and do some seahorses and pipe fish.


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Old 02/16/2010, 12:24 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Hey, its looking good! Nice job
Spleify, thanks!


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Old 02/16/2010, 12:45 PM   #23
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by E.intheC View Post
Quick question. My entire overflow chamber recently has been filling up, then draining (and creating a loud gurgling noise) then filling up, and repeating the process. Anyone know why this happens, and what I can do to prevent it?
Have you figured out what is causing this? It almost sounds as if there is a siphon being created in your overflow, so once it is full, there is no air in the downpipe and water rushes down. How do you have your pipe going to your sump? It looks like it goes out the back of your tank, then you probably put an elbow to point the pipe down. If so you may want to drill a small hole on top of that elbow and insert small plastic tubing pointed up, NOTE: make sure the top of this tube is higher than your water!!

I didnt see any pics of the overflow box now that everything is together, so I could be wrong... just wanted to try and help! Good luck!


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Current Tank Info: 75g mixed reef, 30g sump, Little Giant 3MDQ return, split to 5g fuge. ASM G1x skimmer. T5 lighting
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Old 02/16/2010, 01:38 PM   #24
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You know, I actually stopped paying attention to that when the sound went down to almost nothing. I'll have to take a closer look and investigate drilling a hole into the elbow. I'm a bit concerned about leaks though.

Thanks for the help!


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Old 02/28/2010, 02:46 PM   #25
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Eric i like your setup- there is a member here in florida who might sell their cube so it got me into researching.



My question is this-

If you look at your pic it has the return lower than the drain, is this how Marineland suggest to do it? and couldn't you place a "Y" in the return so you can branch and have water spilling from both sides of the overflow? just some ideas... keep it coming bro..


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