Walt's 45 cubes build.

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Walt's 45 cubes build.

Postby WDLV » Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:44 am

I'm gonna do this one the way I usually do and allow the pictures to do most of the talking. That said I'm gonna give the background info up front.
The project is to create homes for several "special" clown pairs. For this I decided to go with 45 cubes made by Marineland. I decided to get the standard tanks 'cause frankly I think the RR version sucks. The bulkhead is positioned in such a way that you'd be left with 6" of pipe hanging out of the back of the tank. So, I went with the standard version and built faux walls instead of bulkheads. The purpose was two fold. One the equipment is hidden as it is in a reef ready tank but you don't have this ugly black plastic piece protruding off the back wall. Two, this method was specifically designed with the idea of keeping anemones out of intakes. The pictures below are of the prototype. This was put up last night with "Rambo" the cycle fish. I'm using water from the old reef. So, hopefully cycling will be fast and corraline spores will find their way into the system. I plan to do each tank a little different but all will have the same basic concept with the faux walls.

*Note. The rockwork was soaked in FW for five days and was rinced several times during the curing process. Also the tank was soaked in old reef water for three days before being set up to allow natural microbes to populate the surface and decrease the hardness of the fresh "aragocrete."

Here's how I did it.
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- Walt
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Re: Walt's 45 cubes build.

Postby C-Aquafarm » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:05 am

Very nice work.
I like it, although I use only glass, water and flower pot.
Did you messure your's water ph? Isn´t it a little bit hight?
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Re: Walt's 45 cubes build.

Postby WDLV » Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:12 pm

Thanks.

I got tired of looking at the sterile flower pot tanks I was running. I'm ready to have a display tank again and feel that with the uncommon clowns I have that they will photograph better in a more natural looking environment.
I don't typically test my water unless it's an established system and something is arye that I can't figure out through observation. I expect the pH is high. I have used this stuff in previous systems and I like it because I don't have to adjust the pH up for several months. At this point it is good enough for clowns but I would not dare add a cnidarian. I need to give it at least two months before I add some sacrificial corals like zoos or GSP.
On the next tank I plan to soak it in vinegar for about a week to expedite the curing process. I may splurge and buy a pH test kit just to share the actual levels with others interested in doing similar projects.

For now, the tank is starting to get its first hint of diatoms. When I see green algae I will begin adding starter corals.
- Walt
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Re: Walt's 45 cubes build.

Postby C-Aquafarm » Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:41 pm

I must agree with you when you say you've got tired of looking at the sterile flower pot tanks, but if you have a producion of several thousands each month (like I have), you must save some work.
I asked about your water ph because, when I do some rockwork for my friends, I always have a ph around 12 for at least two weeks. After that I soak the rocks in vinegar for some time before I mesure ph again.
Keep posting your news about this work.
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Re: Walt's 45 cubes build.

Postby WDLV » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:09 pm

I've been through the diatom phase already. Now I have blue/green cyano covering all the rocks. I don't know if there are phosphates being leached out of the rock or if it's just because it's an un-established bio filter. I decided pretty early on to swap the perc that was in there with my ocellaris pair. Sunday I decided to remove the sculpture in favor of more unobstructed flow and more swimming room.



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Re: Walt's 45 cubes build.

Postby WDLV » Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:54 pm

Version 2.0 is oficially in the works. This time I added a bulkhead for the return complete with spray bar. Next I will be adding the first batch of aragocrete and trimming an egg crate overlap mistake. This tank will be bare bottom.... Well sort of. It will have something on the bottom. It just won't be sand.
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Speculating

Postby WDLV » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:49 pm

Maybe LR in the sump is not the most beneficial thing I can do for my system???



Pros:

- more denitrifying bacteria

- more pods and other food sources

- more biodiversity

- more organisms to break down uneaten food



Cons:

- instead of weekly or bi-weekly detritus removal from the sump, food is broken down into POM then into DOM which remains in the water column.



I started thinking of this because the tank I'm running is filthy with diatoms and is growing hair algae. I don't want to continue this trend. The system philosophy of my 210 was to keep all detritus in the main display suspended until it made it's way into a polyp's mouth or down to the sump where it could be syphoned out weekly or bi-weekly. That system never really had an algae problem. The last system did have an algae problem despite both systems having tangs to remove algae.



The main difference between these systems is the rock in the sump. So, I'm thinking that before the next tank goes online I will remove the rock and restart the process of manual detritus removal. My only concern is that I have very little surface area in the main displays for bio-filtration. This could go one of two ways.

1. The skimmer will work harder, water quality will improve and the algae will stop growing.

2. The ammonia will spike and stuff will die.



Here's another factor. I'm planning to add macroalgae or sea grass to one of the displays as part of a lagoonal biotope. Perhaps this will help with nutrient export???
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Re: Walt's 45 cubes build.

Postby WDLV » Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:07 pm

Performed a function test this morning. There were a couple of tweaks to the original plan that happened mid process, but it's pretty close to what I envisioned.
I will be picking up the Rit dye soon.
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Re: Walt's 45 cubes build.

Postby WDLV » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:51 pm

Li'l update.

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Re: Walt's 45 cubes build.

Postby enigma » Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:49 pm

Cool idea, nice Job. What did you use to bind your aggregate.
With reasonable men, I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost. --William Lloyd Garrison--
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Re: Walt's 45 cubes build.

Postby WDLV » Sun May 23, 2010 1:38 pm

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Saved the best for last.
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Re: Walt's 45 cubes build.

Postby Midnight Angel » Mon May 24, 2010 12:03 am

Way to go Walt :!: :D I missed this here but just saw it on RC. You are no longer (and never were) a failed breeder :wink: Good luck with these guys.

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Re: Walt's 45 cubes build.

Postby WDLV » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:23 pm

It seems the new food mash I've been using is working out well. My thielleis are fattening up well.
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...and my melanopus clowns spawned after being added to the common system about two weeks ago!
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Re: Walt's 45 cubes build.

Postby Midnight Angel » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:47 pm

Good for you Walt :!: I'm very excited for you and can't wait to see more pics. You have done a damn good job taking care of those fish and you should be very proud. :wink:


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