Biocube 29, The Resurrection

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by revnull, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. revnull

    revnull Guest

    Well, it's been about a year since I intended to take down my 90gal garage tank (old build thread). I just found it too hard to let go of my clowns. Heck, they are older than my kids. :) I contemplated the challenges of keeping them in my 10gal QT tank and decided is was not worth the hassle. Just as I was about to post the "Please give my clowns a new home" thread, I came across great deal on a de-rimmed Biocube 29. This AIO tank seems to be the perfect compromise in size and available space for gear. The design is old enough where many people before me have solved common issues and vetted out the "best" equipment for the job. With the hood and rim removed, it has a look similar to more contemporary tanks at a fraction of the cost.

    I'm about 4 weeks into my tank cycle. I started with 30lb of dry sand and another 20-30lb of dry rock from my very first tank (literally had to clean dead spiders out of it). I have seeded the tank with Dr. Tim's on and only and based on recent testing, I'm nearing the end of my cycle.

    [My Equipment Plan]
    Controller: Neptune Systems Apex Classic (from old build), IM magnetic probe holder
    Heater: 100w Neo-Therm
    Skimmer: AquaticLife Mini 115 or Tunze DOC 9001
    Filtration: InTank media basket, filter floss, Chemipure Blue, whatever else
    Return: Cobalt MJ1200, IM Spin Stream
    Flow: 2 x Jebao PP-4, Jebao/Apex Link Adapter
    ATO: Tunze 3155 driving an Aqualifter from 5gal reservoir, 2nd Aqualifter for Kalk (pH stability)
    Light: Kessil A360we (from old build), Kessil 90 degree mount
    Power: American DJ 8 Switch, Apex EB8, Cyberpower UPS

    Picture taken on day 1 of my cycle:
  2. Joey Chen

    Joey Chen Guest

    looks great man!!! Can't wait to see more!
  3. revnull

    revnull Guest

    Thanks Joey!

    I have a bit of an odd request. Does anyone have a Kessil A160WE or A360NE I can borrow for a few hours? My current A360WE's light spread is a bit too wide for the BC29. I'm getting light bleeding over the edge onto nearby walls and casting shadows. I'd like to try one of the lights with a more narrow beam to see if that resolves the problem.
  4. revnull

    revnull Guest

    4 weeks to the day, aaaaannnnnnd I'm cycled. As an added bonus, the small flake of coralline algae I added a couple of weeks ago seems to be spreading. I have spots of pink/purple on my sand bad. :)
  5. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I believe I have an extra A160 you can borrow. I"m in Almaden Valley which isn't too far from you.

    Let me know if you want to borrow it.
    Gablami and revnull like this.
  6. Calde0920

    Calde0920 Guest

    This tank looks great going to follow along. Very interested in what people do with their nanos
  7. revnull

    revnull Guest

    Day 28 of my cycle:
    pH: 8.25
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 20ppm (before post cycle water change)

    Initial bloom. Bring on the clean up crew.

    My silver lining, coralline. Please ignore the brown sludge.
  8. Kremis

    Kremis Supporting Member

    Looks good so far. Do you have in mind what fish you are planning to add?
  9. revnull

    revnull Guest

    I'd like to extend a great BIG thanks to @Vhuang168! He graciously lent me his A160WE within 10 hours of my initial request. It's amazing how friendly and helpful members of this club are.

    Sorry for the bad pic, but I think the 160 is the perfect amount of light for the BC29.

    It's currently about 6" above the surface of the water with zero light bleed over the edges of the tank. If I recall, Kessil wants 8"-12" for the A360WE. Dose anyone know if there is any harm in running the A160 WE at 6"?
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
    TacomaTung likes this.
  10. revnull

    revnull Guest

    The plan so far is to move my pair of clowns and 3 indestructible nems (used to be 1 from @jonmos75). Add a couple of snails and crabs, because that is what you do with a new tank. :) I'm going to keep it that way for a while to make sure I can stay regimented with my maintenance schedule. Anything I do that makes the living room stink will invoke the wrath of my wife, thus ending my reefing career forever. ;)
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
    Gablami likes this.
  11. revnull

    revnull Guest

    Busy day today. The stars aligned and I was able to catch both of the clowns in my 90gal tank. 2 out of 3 nems where resting nicely on a plastic frag rack and came along for the 3 hour acclimation ride. The 3rd nem has clung to the last piece of rock in the display tank and will require a bit more work to get moved out. So far, my clowns and nems seem happy exploring their new, albeit smaller, home.
    This marks the beginning of the end for my old 90. I've already started removing and cleaning non-essential gear. Over the next week or 2 I'll be siphoning out the sand into buckets and transferring the live rock to a holding bin. Then I can start the final break down a vinegar bath of EVERYTHING. Still debating on parting it out or offering a "haul it all away" price. We'll see.
  12. revnull

    revnull Guest

    Question about bristle worms. I have quite a few in my 90gal. Should I add a few to bc29? Are they still considered beneficial in a nano? I assume like anything else, they can overwhelm the tank over time.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
  13. Ashalye

    Ashalye Webmaster

    I thought bristle worms are an unwanted pest?
  14. roostertech

    roostertech reef noob

    Really? I always thought they were useful, though ugly. Their population should remain in check unless you overfeed the tank. Bobbit worm on the other hand....
  15. revnull

    revnull Guest

    So, what do you do when your 9 year old Tunze Osmolator's pump gives up the ghost? Buy a replacement of course. Unfortunately, the newer pumps can/will over draw the reset-able fuse on the original controller PCB.

    My workaround for use with my apex B.O.B.

    I'm using the 12v power (red blade connectors) that usually runs osmo pump to trigger a standard automotive relay. This shorts the other pins (blue blade connectors) on the relay together signaling the mono plug on my home made apex breakout board to "close" the apex switch port. I use this as a trigger for enabling my aqualifter to start my top-off. When it reaches the correct water level, the osmo kills voltage to the relay, the switch port opens and the apex kills the aqualifter.
    This allows me to continue to take advantage of the Tunze Osmo's superior sensors and level logic while gaining additional control over my ATO with apex fail-safes.
  16. revnull

    revnull Guest

    I don't think that anyone has ever ordered bristle worms as part of a clean up crew package. :) But I've seen them consuming many dead things in my past tanks.
    I think I'm going to forgo the intentional introduction of bristles for now. If they come organically as hitchhikers later, so be it.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  17. revnull

    revnull Guest

    This little guy has been breaking in on my 90gal tank for the past couple of weeks. Before it ever touched water, I added the extended airline mod with a small ball value from an old full size skimmer.

    Was hopping the larger bio load in my 90gal would help work out the micro bubbles, but even 2 weeks later, it was still spiting. I found another youtube video that showed adding filter floss to the water return chamber helped with micro bubbling.

    This did resolve the micro bubbles, but created too much back pressure causing the cup to overflow no matter what position the adjustment knob was turned to.


    Instead I opted to pull the filter floss out of the skimmer and placed it just outside of the water return to prevent any escaping micro bubbles from entering the display.

    Getting much better control and foam now.
  18. revnull

    revnull Guest

    Updated photos:

    Reaching the home stretch. I have almost all of the equipment I'm planning on using installed.

    Next stop, cable management.

    Magnetic Tunze ATO and IM nano probe mount fits well, but I wish the Kessil mount was not so intrusive. Thinking of trimming the retaining screws and installing the extra standoff blocks to gain a little more room in the 2nd chamber. Maybe adding the CPR nano tumbler.

    Pics of the happy couple.


    The nems still have not found a proper home. Currently hiding in the shadows. Maybe I need to dim the lights a bit while they acclimate.
    Ashalye and jonmos75 like this.
  19. revnull

    revnull Guest

    ~24hrs later

    The good news, we are skimming. I still need to dial it in for darker skimmate.

    The bad news, it looks like I may need a CO2 scrubber. This just started after I added the skimmer. The pH started to recover after opening the front door in the living room (where the tank lives).
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016
  20. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    The skimmer should have increased O2 exchange (and so increase PH) unless your house is sealed pretty tightly and it has elevated CO2 levels.
    Coral reefer likes this.

Share This Page