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Medium (Display volume 31-100 gallons / 131-450 l) Add your tank details and pics here.

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  #1  
Old 11-08-12, 22:09
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Nox Nox is offline
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Nox's Bommie in a cube - now rescaped!

Current fts 31/01/2013













After a break of a couple of years or so, I got back into keeping marines this year. I was prompted by the birth of my first child to find a more housebound hobby, with most of my time having been taken up by fishing and other outdoor pursuits.


My last tank was an Aqua Medic Chromis and I found the 2'x2'x2' size quite managable without being restrictive. But before I took the plunge fully I decided to start small. I bought an Aquel 30l nanocube. I filled it with a well cured piece of live rock that took up a lot of room inside the tank but because it formed a nice structure I didn't let it bother me too much.


(Please excuse the algae , I left it for the pods to eat!!)
As I slowly filled the nanocube with various small frags, it made me realise how much time and fuel I used to spend, driving around the East of England, and how much I missed it, even the wife has said she missed it. At the same time I knew I was getting hooked on reef tanks fully. So I took the plunge and sold a lot of fishing tackle and various other bits to fund the upgrade I craved.


I had already decided how I wanted to run my upgrade. I had a HOB refugium on my chromis with chaeto growing in it. I ran it skimmerless and loved the diversity it provided. I wanted my new tank to have a sump giving me a greater capacity and again wanted to run skimmerless with a refugium using caribsea mineral mud as the substrate.

I liked the size of the chromis so I wanted a similar sized tank again. The only issue I had was the fact that the position the Chromis was in was no longer available due to having a large swivel chair where I used to have a single seater. I had my nanocube sitting on top of an Ikea table that fitted snuggly beside the sofa. This proved to be the only space anywhere in my house where I could fit a bigger tank. The Ikea table measures 22"x22". Which posed a problem as I couldn't squeeze in another 2" length at all. This made things a little difficult as it would have been very easy for me to buy a 2ft cube off the shelf. So I decided to do a custom sized tank using the Ikea table as a foundation for the size. I also thought that to get me a little more involved in the building of my little slice of ocean I would build what I could.


I not only used the table dimensions as a guide for the tank size but actually went and bought another table to use in the construction of the cabinet. It was only a fiver and formed the foundation for me to build the cabinet on. I built the cabinet using a framework of 34mm x 34mm softwood with the uprights providing the main weight bearing of the frame. I clad the frame with 12mm MDF forming the back, sides and the door. I used 18mm for the base and the Ikea table capped the cabinet off. I fully primed the inside and out and used watered down PVA on the edges to give me clean crisp edging when sanded. I spray painted the outside using Plastikote satin black and kept the interior white with gloss.


I filled as much of the cabinet as I could which gave me a sump sized 18"x12"x15" with a max volume of 53 litres. I used just one tub of mineral mud giving me the 1" recommeded depth. This was capped with another 2" of caribsea arag-alive sand. The piece of live rock I had in my nanocube had a couple of different types of caulerpa growing on it so I used that in the sump.


I became very interested in LED's as a lighting option and the fact they can be DIY'ed further fueled my interest in them. I ran a 150w halide on my chromis and used a 20k bulb but although I didn't have an issue with over heating I felt it wasn't a lighting option I wanted to use again, I was really drawn in by LED's. I did a lot of research on DIY LED builds and decided that definitely I wanted to build my own unit. At the time I thought that I could do something comparable to what is available or better for a lot less. I liked the idea around the Radion using different coloured LEDs and stumbled across some great pictures of other peoples builds using other combinations than royal blue and cool/neutral white.


I read a really lengthy thread somewhere about "full spectrum" Led builds and it essentially went full circle from no different colours just rb-nw/cw as you couldn't get them to mix properly (probably more to do with the plain boring symectrical rows of blue and white) to include other colours but cluster them to blend well. So this definitely sold it to me. I've gone with a large number of royal blues combined with cool whites but these are supplemented with some neutral whites and a small number of blue, UV, deep red and turquiose. I also wanted to have the Leds laid out in a cluster like on a Radion.

This is a picture of the layout of my LED fixture, it has changed a little since and has eight more UV and two less whites, and totals 56 LED's running off four drivers.

I have 14 Royal blue Cree XT-E on one driver, 8 Cool white Cree XP-G and 8 Neutral white Cree XP-G on another. 14 420nm UV on another driver and 6 Blue Cree XP-E, 4 Red 660nm, 4 Turquoise 495nm on the last driver.

So on to the tank its self. I wanted a cube again and as the tank would be 22"x22" i figured it might as well be 22" tall. New to me was the X-Aqua overflow system. I saw quite a few videos on YouTube showing how it worked and I decided that it would work for me. It had the qualities I wanted; a small footprint mainly and the pulsing effect was a pleasant bonus. I bought the X-Aqua from H2o and sent it to the chap who was making my tank. I had the tank made rimless with black silicone and it is made with 10mm glass. although the tank is far from perfect the price was good for me and I tend not to notice the little roughness around the edges so to speak.

This is the tank in position minus the cabinet door. I used a D&D H2oceanflow 3000 as a return pump. In my old chromis I had an Ecotech Vortech MP20. I loved the versatility of this pump. I was surprised to find Ecotech no longer made the Vortech in the 20 size but the Mp10 was still more than adequate for my needs. But to give me more control over flow pattern, strength and direction I bought two MP10's.

I used the 2x11w PC light that came with my nanocube to light the refugium as I had bought a TMC AquaRay Micro LED 200 which was woefully inadequate. I have had good growth from the caulerpa but as yet haven't harvested it.

I bought around 12 kilos of LR form a fellow reefer and I kept this in a 60 litre tank whilst I was getting everthing for the new tank sorted. I kept the LR lit as it had some mushies and zoas on. I set the tank up using newly mixed water, but didn't fill it completely, I let the salinity stabalise and let the tank run for a day or so. All of the water the rock was kept in went in to the new tank and did some mini acclimatising of the LR. I set the rock up roughly how I wanted it but couldn't do the finished placement until the large piece from the nanocube went in. I had also added some coarse grade TMC coral gravel to ive the substrate a mix of grain size.

Once the rock was in I added the caribsea live sand, this took a day to clear. During this time the mud and sand was also settling in the sump. I let the tank settle for a week before adding the remaining piece for LR along with the livestock from my nanocube.
This is my cube soon after everything was in and settled. 13/07/12
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Last edited by Nox; 22-02-13 at 14:42.
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  #2  
Old 11-08-12, 22:14
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daffydase daffydase is offline
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Took your time making a thread
Looks a good size tank, how's the xaqua? Did you drill it? The lay out looks good
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  #3  
Old 11-08-12, 22:22
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Nox Nox is offline
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Yeah, I think I actually tried to do one about three times. Love the X-Aqua, dont find it particularly noisy. The pulsing creates some nice ripples giving a great shimmer. I got the fella who made it to drill. I think the lay out is a little different to the last picture.
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  #4  
Old 11-08-12, 22:27
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CurvBall CurvBall is offline
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Nox's Bommie in a cube

Very cool overall.

Can you give more specific details on your DIY led unit - looks really good.
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  #5  
Old 11-08-12, 22:30
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Nox Nox is offline
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I did start a thread about it on the DIY section. It's title it could have been cheaper to buy a radion. Any questions just ask.
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  #6  
Old 11-08-12, 23:19
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CurvBall CurvBall is offline
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Nox's Bommie in a cube

Ah, cool will check it out.
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  #7  
Old 12-08-12, 08:23
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Looks good very well thought out...
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  #8  
Old 12-08-12, 08:46
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Nox Nox is offline
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Nox's Bommie in a cube

Thanks. I did take my time with this tank, I do tend to rush into things so I'm pleased that I restrained myself.

I've never really been a fan of walls of rock but I am every do pleased with the rock work. As I sit right next to it it was important for it to look right on more than one side. I'll upload so more pics soon.
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  #9  
Old 12-08-12, 11:16
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HullTiger86 HullTiger86 is offline
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Very nice set up mate
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  #10  
Old 12-08-12, 11:23
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ady1966 ady1966 is offline
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Looking good Nox
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clam, diy cree led, mixed reef, wrasses, zoas

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