Other 60 Cube - Mixed Reef Build

Users who are viewing this thread

I'm moving my build thread over from that other site, so this will be a bit of a process because it goes back about a year. I will try to make sure I get most of the info that may be interesting (I'll also include the bad stuff I had to deal with because I think this is the stuff that actually ends up helping other people).

I've had saltwater tanks on and off since I was 15 (back when we used undergravel filters with an air pump ;) ). I kinda got out of the hobby for about 10 years and focused on growing orchids. Then about 5 years ago I started checking out all the new equipment available for tanks and realized you don't need metal halides anymore to grow coral and I got excited! I started with a 10 gallon IM nuvo, and used this as my learning tank. I know everyone says to start big, but I wanted something small so that It would not break the bank if something went seriously wrong or if we had a hurricane, plus it wouldn't break the bank to fully stock it. I had this tank for years and was finally ready for a larger tank. It's was just so difficult to keep stable parameters in a 10 gallon. Plus I wanted to get some fish and more corals:p

60 Cube Tank, Stand & Equipment:
Tank: Started with a Used Deep Blue 60 cube, Currently a Custom 60 cube (24"x24") starfire glass
Stand: Used Stand and I did a DIY project to spruce it up a bit
Sump: Used Pro Clear that I made some DIY changes to create a refugium section
Lighting: 2 Hydra 26 (added ATI T5 Hybrid with 2 10,000k Korallen-Zucht Coral Light T5 Lamps, 1 ATI Coral Plus, 1 ATI Blue Plus)
Return Pump: Skimz QuietPro 4.0 DC
Skimmer: Used Eshopps Axium X-120 (currently not using)
Wavemakers: 2 Jebao OW-25's
Dosing Pumps: BRS 1.1ml/min
Timers: Kasa Power Strip

Here is a recent pic of the 60 cube
thumbnail_IMG_5908.jpg

thumbnail_IMG_6011.jpg


And the old 10 gallon cube (I am now using this as my coral QT)
thumbnail_IMG_3043.jpg
 

smsreef

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
I bought a used 60 cube aquarium with the stand and sump on Offerup. Leak tested it in the garage for a week and everything was good to go. got it all cleaned up and scraped all the old coralline algae off.
thumbnail_IMG_2356.jpg


The First thing I wanted to tackle was the stand (which still doesn’t have a door) I’ll get to that in another post...

I made the opening bigger, added some additional support for the bottom, It was bowing pretty bad. I also wanted to get some cool trim to wrap the stand and paint it really glossy white.

I used Kilz to prime and used multiple coats of Rustoleum Marine Coating - Topside Paint.
stand3.jpeg
stand1.jpeg
stand2.jpeg
 

smsreef

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
Now that I had the stand done, minus door... It was time to focus on the sump plan.

My sump is divided into 3 sections and I decided to use the large first section as a Fuge. I really want a mandarin someday and I need a pod factory with macro so I glued in a piece of acrylic to raise the water level in the fuge section. That left a small compartment for protein skimmer and one for return.

I bought a Tunze Axium skimmer used. It perfect for the small compartment. For return pump I bought a Skimz QP 4.0.
The Blue Sea only has two holes and I really wanted a backup drain, so I decided to have return come up over the back edge.

I happened to post a pic of my stand in a DIY thread. And commented I still need to figure out the door. @Silent replied to me and suggested led lights in the stand and colored plumbing. He sent me some awesome pics of his sump and helped me decide on plumbing to match the blue in my sump. Maybe I won’t need a door after all.
stand with sump.jpeg
 

smsreef

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
January 18, 2020

My aquascape is getting the final touches today and hopefully gonna fill the tank with water tomorrow.
I built the scape in 4 pieces that fit together and can be detached. 2 pretty large sections and then 2 smaller pieces that go in with acrylic rod. This way if I need to change tanks later, I can do it easily.
I really liked working with the E-Marco mortar. It’s really strong when cured. Hopefully when I get coralline algae growing you won’t even be able to tell what was mortared.
ACAF1531-5BC6-4568-AF09-0598E08F23D2.jpeg
ACAF1531-5BC6-4568-AF09-0598E08F23D2.jpeg
10BF1380-D808-4901-94A9-31C159D0195C.jpeg
ACD89982-1B21-4608-8016-772F4B9C387F.jpeg
2D498799-974F-4D94-9625-17A7B6F77B81.jpeg
 

smsreef

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
What a beautiful setup. Am so jealous. My setup is like a war zone LOL
Thank you so much! Your tank is frickin AMAZING!!!
But we can talk about War Zones... Just wait till you see what happens in the next post or 2 ;)
 

smsreef

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
January 21, 2020

The tank busted on the side in the middle of the night. I’m sure it’s from me using razor to close to silicon seams or stressing it when moving alone. Thank goodness I was home. I woke up to the sound of a waterfall in the living room. Was able to get some buckets and siphon out about 30 gallons from the tank and had about 30 gallons into my hardwood floor. Luckily there is only a dirt crawlspace underneath and there are gaps in the wood. Also lucky I installed GFCIs because my husband and I were both barefoot in puddles of water while doing this. He was holding towel up against the side of the tank to slow the leak. It was a nightmare:cry:
I had even leak tested the tank again with fresh water for a week inside the house and it was fine... But better it happen now than when I have it filled with coral and fish.
I rented a huge dehumidifier from home depot for a week and luckily the floors did not bow.
thumbnail_IMG_3790.jpg
 

smsreef

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
January 31, 2020

Got my side stand completed to hold the top off water and am now using a brute trash can to cycle my rocks. Decided to have a custom tank made with 1/2" thick glass with starfire glass. Decided this is not gonna stop me.
I'm not digging the red light in the sump... gonna need to change that eventually.
thumbnail_IMG_3891.jpg
 

smsreef

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
I really need to transfer the rest of this from over on the other site so I can get this thread up to date.

4/20/2020
I’m planning on using the same aquascape. It’s cemented together in a few pieces that fit together. Everything has been cycling in a brute trash can.

My new tank is finally built. I really like it. The corner overflow is bigger because I wanted an emergency drain too. Hopefully my scape still hides it.

I plan on setting everything up in a few weeks when life slows down. At least the scape has cycled for a few months so should have plenty of good bacteria populating the rockscape by now. Hopefully when I set it up I don’t get the uglies too too bad when I turn the lights on.

C9605535-347C-4273-A552-40E2C0EF91BC.jpeg
 

smsreef

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
5/20/2020
The cube is finally set up and my first fish are out of quarantine and in it.

unfortunately my rockwork that I had mortared together didn’t quite work in this one due to the overflow in back. But I only had to break a piece off.

I need to order more Emarco400 to finalize it.
6B29B969-0CCB-4F2F-9E4C-42CD89D7E3D9.jpeg



I also have a temporary screen on top to keep my fish in. I used bird netting, 4 layers that are staggered since it is 1/2”. Used binder clips with some tape on the inside of them to make sure I don’t scratch the glass.
I know, it’s not pretty. But at least the fish Are in and will not jump. I had a yellow coris wrasse jump through a space that was smaller than he was, so I’m gonna be extra cautious.
A0E606D1-B7B1-4152-A933-42103958BFC8.jpeg
 
Last edited:

smsreef

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
5/31/2020
My tank is going through ugly stage right now. I knew it was coming, even with everything cycling in the brute for 3 months. Diatoms on the sand and some kind of stringy yellow brown algae (thank goodness it’s not Dino’s)! I am dosing nitrate and phosphate to keep PO4 above 0 and Nitrate at 5 to 10. Today I’m seeing some green algae so I think I’ll cut back on dosing until I can get my larger clean up crew out of quarantine.

I am not happy with the sand I got. It was gorgeous before powerhead started going up in power. It blows all over the place. Gonna start another thread and ask for suggestions.
my nano is bare bottom, but I really like the look of sand and I have a sand star and yellow wrasse that sleeps in the sand.
I also have snails in quarantine that will stir it.
2A24FF3F-2186-40BA-A7FC-E41456152443.jpeg
515CA159-3F97-4F79-83BD-8C8D38C6F605.jpeg
 
Last edited:

smsreef

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
6/30/2020

Just updating build thread, even though ugly stage has gotten worse.

Switched out the fine sand because it was blowing all over everything. Went with caribsea special grade due to other reefer suggestions. It for sure is better and not blowing nearly as much.

Had to bring the flameback angel back to LFS because he was terrorizing everyone. My yellow watchman jumped through a gap in screen. My tailspot blenny was killed. And this murderer also tried to kill my naked ocellaris when I put him in, and blew his swim bladder. He is doing a little better

I'm dealing with chrysophytes (the yellow/brown stringy algae I posted about in last post which were IDed by @taricha) that have taken over all the dead rock and new sand. I'm suctioning it out quite often, but it comes back within a day. Its really frustrating.
AE8DC466-A4B8-42BD-B383-184F0D7C4307.jpegD8C2B821-B82D-4F2F-9381-D650D9CBA1CE.jpegA041CC26-578B-4ADF-B72E-A90428A3C59A.jpeg
Quarantining a couple pieces of live rock, hermit crabs, snails and some macro algae that I will be putting in the cube August 1. I cant wait!!!hopefully with more diversity the chrysophytes will lose their foothold on the tank. Interestingly, the refugium rock that has been lit for months now does not have any.

I've tried to seed with better bacteria, ZEObac, Microbacter 7, and a bunch of others, but its just not working. Dosing to try to keep PO4 around 0.05 to 0.01 and nitrate at 5 to 10. It's just gonna take a lot of time I think.

Adding some tank shots.
Live rock will be rearranged. I put it in center to hopefully seed the dead rock with good stuff.
3F726FAF-9823-4C2F-AA48-CF66208CD951.jpeg



Refugium is doing well
0983A052-7838-4F7D-BADF-FD7AA7009761.jpeg


Quarantine tank. I'm liking this tank better than my display...
4C2BBD46-3894-49BC-8A87-FA19A1199AA0.jpeg



And quarantine for live rock
D2C44EBC-212A-46DC-8E68-7C5B68854644.jpeg
 

Attachments

  • 59704FD5-32E4-4977-9065-4799AA70A570.jpeg
    59704FD5-32E4-4977-9065-4799AA70A570.jpeg
    263.9 KB · Views: 20
Last edited:

smsreef

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
7/12/2020

Tank is doing better. I put the live rock from my nano in so it is looking more like a reef.

Chrysophyte issue is finally coming under control. Daily manual removal was not working and problem was just getting worse so I did a deep clean and tried fluconazole, which seemed to slow it down a bit but not much. I reached out to another member that had same problem. Based on how he battled and won, I took macros out of refugium and added vibrant. The next day miraculously the chrysophyte is not growing back nearly as much. Protein skimmer is offline to help keep nutrients up and keep Dino’s at bay. My goal for nutrients is PO4 0.05 to 0.1 and NO3 5 to 10.
3EE7CBEC-9EFD-469D-825A-B37BE4AAC902.jpeg


Still need to aquascape it, but I wanted to get some good views of everything first. I’m glad I did because I see a couple of aiptasia on one of the rocks. I’ll pull them back out and use Frank’ f-aiptasia.
 
Last edited:

smsreef

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
8/23/2020
Tank update.

Last weekend my new live rock, Macro algae, hermits, and some live sand was through quarantine and I cleaned the 60 trying to get as much of the chrysophyte out that I could.

The live rock is really nice and from a LFS near me.
The sand, macros and hermits are collected from the keys.

The sand in the 5 gallon bucket quarantine smelled really bad, but the whole point of this was to increase my biome in the tank, so I rinsed it once with fresh saltwater and then scooped the stinky stuff into my tank.

I was hoping this would make a difference, but the change is HUGE! The dead rock actually looks good this week.

I think all this new live stuff helped to build up the biofilm it needs. Today I am seeing small spots of coralline algae and even a sponge growing on the dead rock. I guess it’s not dead anymore:D

Only problem is that I have too much rock in the tank now. But I’m ok with that since my fish are all small and no large corals.

Im still not sure which way I’m gonna go with corals yet. I love the look of mixed tanks.

I went shopping this weekend and prices have gotten beyond crazy, so I’m gonna let the tank mature more rather than kill hundreds of dollars of coral. After this COVID crap is over I expect prices to go back down and my tank will be more mature too.

The middle rock in my scape is already drilled for 3 acro frags that I plan to be centerpiece of my scape. (that’s why you see pieces of acrylic rod in it).
DBB25421-3846-4290-A929-758341E33C50.jpeg
F670CCC7-42D3-4561-9DB2-3A33D0520A1C.jpeg
 
Last edited:

smsreef

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
9/5/2020
Weekend update

Tank is still doing well now. The live rock and some live stinky sand was the trick. I love the extra life in the tank now like the feather dusters. Any future tank I start will have a base of Marco that I can cement for base structure and 1/2 live rock.
69C4C74D-5F67-482B-9818-B0A1C7656279.jpeg

some of my corals that were decimated by the Dino’s finally look like they are taking off.
This monti looks like it’s bleaching out the coralline to start growing.
33ACDE10-9361-417D-95C6-E5273411B851.jpeg


And finally my clam. I love this guy.
1CA8D3C4-7E6D-45E6-B510-75046EBAF14C.jpeg
 
Last edited:

smsreef

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
9/26/2020
tank update.
1985C877-6815-43BD-9659-A8B50290D0B3.jpeg


my throchus snails had lots of babies. I have a bunch of little guys all over the tank. Hopefully they don’t find their way into my pump.
21BEF075-05F1-479E-BDA8-F2BA93ADF3F6.jpeg

I bought a bunch of corals from a few different reefers. They are in quarantine now.
4F56A300-DD8D-4BF4-B25B-003D8E109B05.jpeg
The decorator crab I got while snorkeling likes the clove polyps. He’s gonna look super cool in a few weeks. He’s really hard to see now that he added all the polyps, but you can see some of the hairy legs.
D16022AF-FC5A-4442-AB63-2FE9DC306F98.jpeg
 
Last edited:

smsreef

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
11/8/2020
Tank update:
922CE9F7-4698-4D67-9FDE-F1CC1E7EEAAC.jpeg

dosing All for reef.
dosing phosphate in ATO RODI water to keep PO4 about 0.04
Dosing nitrate to keep about 4 ppm
I noticed the aiptasia that I thought I killed with F-aiptasia in the nano are now getting more light and nutrients in the 60. I see some growing back even bigger and now babies on the sand and live rock.

I got 3 extra large berhia nudibrach 2 weeks ago. I have not seen them since, but the biggest aiptasia is gone. They must be in there... I hope they are in there...

Also just bought a filefish from @Biota_Marine which I have not seen eat any aiptasia yet, but I still have hope. Plus he is now one of my favorite fish even if he doesn’t eat aiptasia. Also bought 2 peppermint shrimp for my sump.
DB0F7E7E-A2F6-40EA-BC5F-A23BAD26534A.jpegC4847DE8-20C1-433C-B88B-B620F3EFA775.jpeg

corals in the quarantine are doing well. No signs of any pests. I don’t want to add to display until aiptasia is gone.
1BFEB8CD-72B4-4D94-918F-FE31ED6DAF29.jpeg


macroalgae and inverts quarantine are doing amazing as well. no pests and it is Pod central. I added a mandarin from biota and he is doing great. Trying to get him bigger so I can add him to the cube. I am in absolute love with this little guy!
2BF4158A-AFF2-4BB0-921E-8455B3ACAE10.jpeg
 
Last edited:

smsreef

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
11/28/2020

I’m getting ready for a big order of coral from Pacific East and 3 torches from the same guy you just got yours from. I spent too much on Black Friday:p

They are beautiful torches. I don’t run a blue tank so I got this pack. He said these will look good under a whiter light. I do get pretty blue in the evening so I’ll get a little bit of this at night too.
CDC34580-B124-4EA3-899C-90CC3F31DAA2.jpeg


Added some of the corals from the quarantine to the cube today. Making room for the new corals coming in this coming week or next.

I gave the space invader pectina a place of honor (and distance from other corals due to the killer sweepers).
D3A9E8F5-C0BE-4A0A-B193-DF7C42E25E56.jpeg
05BBC0C3-8379-479C-9DAF-746060B9D94B.jpeg
Aiptasia are all gone. Berghia did their job. Filefish was eating my duncan so it had to be traded into LFS.

C97FBD0F-B72E-4052-861B-E6394850272E.jpeg

1831602-20a803adaba7fb8d2f84e64f5422c828.jpg
 
Last edited:

smsreef

Well-known member
Thread starter
Country flag
12/4/ 2020
So Excited!!! Package from @PacificEastAquaculture just arrived. Frags are really nice size!
My coral quarantine is gone be pretty full.
I’ll get pics tomorrow once everything is acclimated and dipped.
18573C27-4F79-4C78-BD43-5919B1745C4F.jpeg742D9871-566B-4025-9881-9AA9DD048163.jpeg
Took 6 months for my Clown Goby to lose some of his skittishness. I’ve never been able to get a good pic. This morning he felt comfortable modeling on top of the space invader.
5188CD8C-3F57-4C5C-999E-599FAB7D927E.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Top