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James's 60 Gallon Cube Reef

I have recently jumped into the world of saltwater. I was really into planted tank over the last couple of years but after moving in the spring I thought I'd go for a change. I started with a 47 gallon tank but quickly jumped on an opportunity to upgrade to a proper tank with a great stand. I have been meaning to start a journal for it for weeks now but haven't gotten around to it. I am really new to all this so I am excited to get everyone's input and help.



The stand is huge! It's almost 7 feet long and makes the tank look tiny. I really wanted the ability to be able to do whatever I wanted with a tank but couldn't put a huge tank in my apartment so this is perfect for me.



As you can see, there's so much room for activities. Here's a mechanical rundown:

Sump: 36" acrylic
Skimmer: Bubble Magus that I got an upgrade kit for and now it is super solid
ATO: Hydor Smart Level Auto Top Off Controller
Chiller: TECO Seachill TR10 1/8 HP Chiller
Return Pump: Lifegard Aquatics Quiet One Pro 5000 Water Pump
Controller: Neptune Systems Aquacontroller Jr.
Light: 24" Vertex Illumina SR260 LED Light Fixture with Red, Green and UV modules.
Circulating Pump: Ecotech Marine VorTech MP10w ES Water Pump
Water: Vertex Puratek Reverse Osmosis (RO) Filter

The 10 gallon tank in the middle is the reservoir for the ATO. The whole stand is metal and everything connects to it by magnets. It's pretty great.



Here are the controls. They are sitting on the wall to the right of the tank. You can't see them in the pictures above. The one on the left is for the LED lights under the stand.



I can't seem to get a decent picture of the tank itself. Does anyone have any tips for how to take a good full tank shot? I have a Nikon d5100.

Fish and Invertebrates:
Clown Fish, Six Line Wrasse and a Royal Gramma Basslet.
Cleaner Shrimp and an Arrow Crab.
Lots of red and blue legged hermits and some snails.

Coral
I adopted a bunch of corals from someone and don't know the exact details of them all.
Hammer, Big Green Mushroom, lot of little mushrooms, 3 Acans, 3 Zoas, whatever the tall one behind the Kenya Tree, and what I think is a Brain Coral on the left side.

I am planning on putting all SPS on the higher rocks once I get the tank balanced and feel much more confident.

Thanks for looking. I am loving this project and would appreciate any input, ideas or help that people have to offer. I will try to keep this updated.

James
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I am also hoping to get some help with the first of many problems.



I have a bunch of this string algae on the sand and on some of the rocks as well as some kind of thick brown algae that's growing on a lot of the rocks. I don't really know enough to know what's causing it. I need to get a phosphorus test kit and see if that's it. I am using RO water, not RODI water. How big of a deal is that?
 

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Great looking tank!!
I'm always amazed at how much gear is necessary to run a great SW tank. I'm also impressed with how neat all your gear is set up under your stands :)
 

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ahh!! This explains why you wanted to sell that 47G beautiful tank!! :) nice set up.. I believe that it was the seahorse tank from another forum member.. very nice tank!!! :) We( I and my daughter) are also getting into salty.. just upgraded it to 34G :) I'm having the same(Diatom) issue but I don't have that stringy algea.. Probably other saltwater experts can help you on the algea..
 

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I was wondering why you abandoned the 47g so quickly... looks amazing. Always tempted to switch to salt but all that equipment (and associated cost) scares me. I won't ask how much money you spent on the switch :) How are you finding the maintenance aspect for salt vs planted?
 

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Great looking tank!!
I'm always amazed at how much gear is necessary to run a great SW tank. I'm also impressed with how neat all your gear is set up under your stands :)
Thanks! Yeah it takes a lot to do this. Always more than I think.

ahh!! This explains why you wanted to sell that 47G beautiful tank!! :) nice set up.. I believe that it was the seahorse tank from another forum member.. very nice tank!!! :) We( I and my daughter) are also getting into salty.. just upgraded it to 34G :) I'm having the same(Diatom) issue but I don't have that stringy algea.. Probably other saltwater experts can help you on the algea..
Yeah this was that seahorse tank. I am very happy with it. I'm hoping that I can clean this algae out and it will be fine. Fingers crossed.

I was wondering why you abandoned the 47g so quickly... looks amazing. Always tempted to switch to salt but all that equipment (and associated cost) scares me. I won't ask how much money you spent on the switch :) How are you finding the maintenance aspect for salt vs planted?
Haha yeah... couldn't turn down the opportunity to upgrade. I love having all the room underneath. I think I like the project more than the results so it's perfect for me. So far it seems that the maintenance is similar. I am trying to automate things as much as I can and will be setting up automatic dosing soon. So in theory it should take very little maintenance once I get it all balanced. The auto-top-off helps a ton.
 

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What a great tank! I've always wanted a bigger sump than my setup :) The cube looks very stylish too i love the simplicity.
 

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Well after a two and a half day blackout, I scrubbed all the rocks with an old toothbrush and pulled out what algae was left and now the tank looks great. It's been uncovered for 3 days now and there has been no new algae. I'm pretty happy about it.

My next projects are:
- 2 part dosing. I have a 3 pump dosing pump left over from my planted tank days. Seems to be the easiest way to go. Looking into a calcium reactor instead though as I still have a couple of co2 setups.
- I have been doing a lot of research into carbon dosing and may also try out slowly starting vodka/vinegar dosing.
- SPS. I want to get a starter frag or two and start filling out all the empty space in the top half of my tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Long overdue update. I totally forgot I had this thread here. Definitely missed a few updates. I have a thread on canreef if you're interested in seeing more.

Here's where things stand right now:



As you can see, there have been some changes. I added another small tank to the system and redid the main tank completely. The small tank was the planted tank that I used to have at my office.

First the big tank:



I have been wanting to change the look of this tank for awhile now and had inherited all kinds of problems with the second hand rock that I started with and really wanted a clean start. Eli, at fijirock, was fantastic. I told him what I wanted and he mocked it up for me and then sent it out. Couldn't be happier. That fijicrete stuff is amazing for putting rock work together.

I am not 100% sure what I am going to do with the shelf. Right now I have a couple of acans from before and I might try to go that direction. Or maybe a bunch of different zoas? Anyone have some ideas for me?

I also traded my vertex illumina for a Kessil a360we. I'm really happy with the light. The vertex was great but was a bit too much for the tank and more than I needed.

I'm really excited to see it start filling in. Once I've made sure all my parameters are still dialed in and start to see some growth I will add some more corals to the shelf and to some of the outcroppings.



Last update I hadn't really started working on this one. I got the rock from Eli again and am super happy with how it turned out. There is another torch on the left side that you can't really see as it's retracted from me using the turkey baster to clean up a bit.

I really wanted it to look like a multi colored tree with some pseudo grass on the bottom. I'm hoping the GSP will grow to cover the bottom and stay there for the most part. I went without sand for this one as I've found sand to mostly just be a nuisance.

I have an AI Prime over it and I am really happy with it. It's a great little light and is the perfect size for this project.

My next step is to get a fish or two for it. And maybe a small clean up crew? I'm not really sure what I have to have for cleanup if anything... Anyone know? Also, I need to figure out a fish out two for this setup. It's 17 gallons and it'd be great to have something novel in here that I couldn't have in the big tank. I'd love any suggestions.

The overflow is an all glass mame overflow. I was a little leery at first about this but I really wanted something that wasn't a big eyesore and couldn't really find anything else that was as nice. I was planning on drilling the tank but all the overflows are big and black and that wasn't what I was going for. It's pretty dirty right now but cleans up really easily and works like a charm. It self starts with no problem after being turned on and is pretty quiet.



Here is the whole corner of life and such that I have going on in my apartment. I really happy about the place that the tanks are in. For the first time in a long time, everything is stable and hunky dory.

Thanks for looking.
 

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Love your cubes. I love cube tanks in general but a nice cube reef is just "the cat's meow" as they say. Thanks for the update.

BTW, my home office/desk is also surrounded by fish tanks (93g cube reef, 60g cube fancy goldfish, 3g CRS shrimp). I wouldn't have it any other way.

Anthony
 
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