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JDA Build-Off Competition Entry - 60g MBP&S Cube

Discussion in 'Competition Entries' started by jda123, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    60g Cube - MBP&S, LPS and few Z&P

    Current Photo (old photos in thread)
    Screen Shot 2019-12-31 at 8.03.13 PM.png

    Original Photo:

    • 60g cube
    • AquaMedic Ocean Light 250w HQI - 14k Phoenix Bulb
    • Laguna Return
    • Random Flow Generator on Return
    • Trigger Systems Sump (came with tank & stand, I don't know much about it)
    • 150w Aqueon Heater on Medusa Controller
    • TBD Flow Pump in Tank
    • Reliability using low-wattage AC pump, dual power strips with long cords that can reach two outlets on different circuits, heater with internal thermostat on Medusa temp controller, 1.5 full-gravity drain.
    • Modified Berlin. Real live rock, 3 inches of sand, random flow and good protein skimmer. Will do monthly water changes.
    • Probably Chaeto in the Fuge with a clip-on CFL light. Won't add this until the cycle is done, if at all. Decided against a fuge, mostly since it is in the sump - not needed and I hate that the light grows algae everywhere down there
    • Halide Lighting for best performance and also very cheap when buying used.
    • Montis, Birdsnest, Pocilipora and Stylophora (MBP&S)
    • Euphyllia
    • Zoas & Palys (Z&P) - decided against this and never added any
    • CUC and Fish from Florida Keys (mostly) - probably focus on Shrimp and a few small fish that can live their whole lives in this tank like Pygmy Angelfish, Chalk Bass and Royal Gramma and a pair of YT Blue Damsels (I know that these are from the Pacific, but they are some of my favorite fish).
    • All of this is subject to change, of course. Went MBP&S since I don't allow them in my current tanks and nobody could accuse me of cheating. :) Not really, I chose them because they are good starter corals that can be both interesting and hardy.
    Ongoing Maintenance
    • Will dose Baking Soda and Calcium Chloride by hand - ended up with Calcium Reactor, but you still need these on hand
    • Will top off by hand - if there is enough budget later on, then maybe a nano ATO
    • Water changes every month.
    Costs Worksheet - Will be Continuously Updated
    Photo Album - Will be Continuously Updated
    Please ask any questions. If anybody needs help doing anything that I have done, please ask. I have diamond hole bits, tools, welder and always willing to help.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
  2. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Got everything tested and wired today. Wet run too.

    Sump with 2 thrift shop power strips. Got lucky and one has about a 15 foot cord. Sump is three chambered with skimmer compartment, fuge and return compartment. Medusa Controller in here too for redundancy with heater.

    Got the tank out front of Animal Attraction. 60g Cube, probably Marineland. Had stand, sump and return pump. Drilled the bottom of the tank with 1.5" drain and put in standpipe with black ABS. I like standpipe more than an overflow because they take up less space in the tank, inhabitants think that it is fun to hide behind them and I can make them 1.5" instead of 1.0 or 1.25".

    Can adjust the water level in my stand pipe by turning the bulkhead. I usually remove some of the slats on the small side to allow water into the drain easier. This will still keep snails out.

    Got a pair of these on eBay for $125 shipped with m80 ballasts. Will probably keep it aluminum color, but don't be shocked if I paint it black. If I had more budget, I would have it powder coated. I got some bent-up shelf rails at the metal recycling in Longmont. Straightened them. welded them up and painted black. I made the height adjustable with a friction overlap in the back.

    Wet run with lights.

    I will let this run for a week and if no leaks, then I will clean everything up, touch up the stand and get it ready to start running next month.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
  3. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Here are some of my online finds.

    Got this for $40 on CL here in town. That skimmer is a AquaEuro USA, which is a second generation EuroReef. It is a really good skimmer that is probably better than most new Needlewheels - it is why I bought this stuff. I was really excited to get this skimmer. I did not use the sump, but will be using the test kits and heater. I used some bulkheads out of the sump too. I traded a brand new Mag test kit for an Alk. Figures the sump worth $20 on this deal (no idea)?

    I was going to use two of these, but I probably will not now. 4x Tunze 6105s with Controller for $125 on eBay - magnets, spare parts. I might use one. Not sure yet.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
  4. DyM

    DyM Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Cool - BTW 4 6105's on a 60gal. Holly whorl wind... ohh I think you're saying to use one... that makes sense.
    jda123 likes this.
  5. JuanGutz

    JuanGutz Shark M.A.S.C Club Member

    Looks great so far!
    jda123 likes this.
  6. geekengineer

    geekengineer Copepod

    Your the Ebay King.. Looking like a great start!
    TheRealChrisBrown and jda123 like this.
  7. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Water and sand in, tank clear. I have more rock than this, just trying to decide how much room to let the weeds grow.

  8. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Day 8: some algae coming in. Have a pair of YT Blue damsels in there. Probably some easy corals next week to test stuff out. Usually like to wait until I see some coralline, but with the one-year deadline, going to start with the film algae.

    The MJ on the magnet that I got in a free bin is too loud and rattly and it will not work. Purchased a Tunze 6020 to be used in a 15 minute light timer in 30 minute intervals. Will update the budget when it gets here. Otherwise, I am happy with the equipment.
    TheRealChrisBrown likes this.
  9. Dr.DiSilicate

    Dr.DiSilicate Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    What are you planning to grow?

    Sent from my iPhone using MASC - Marine Aquarium Society of Colorado
  10. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Montis, Birdsnest, Poci and Stylos... maybe a few LPS. Stuff that I do not allow in my other tanks to save room for acropora.
    Dr.DiSilicate and JuanGutz like this.
  11. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Day 9: Looked for a LONG while and found some test kits that I never use. No ammonia or nitrite... so no cycle. Live rock really is amazing.
    Dr.DiSilicate likes this.
  12. Dr.DiSilicate

    Dr.DiSilicate Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Live rock puts you at least 6 months ahead of the game imho. I have a few of those things in my tank I (as you already know just by me having them) I need to trim. You are welcome to Frags if you are in town.

    Sent from my iPhone using MASC - Marine Aquarium Society of Colorado
  13. JuanGutz

    JuanGutz Shark M.A.S.C Club Member

    Yeah that’s a huge advantage!
  14. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Day 13: Test frag is in. Birds of Paradise, or equivalent... 13 days is too soon for most tanks, so buyer-beware on this if anybody is following. I would normally wait until I saw some coralline, but I kinda got to speed this up. I need to break the branch off with the algae on it - did not even notice until I looked at the picture. Live rock is looking OK with the purple coralline doing well.

    SynDen, Cake_Boss, SkyShark and 4 others like this.
  15. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Placed an order with ReefTopia for some Caribbean fish and some shrimp. I will eventually need a CUC from the too, but not yet. Got a Pygmy Angel, Creole Wrasse and Royal Gramma... hardy, beautiful and easy on the wallet. Also got a pack of peppermint shrimp, but they are going to need to live in my frag tank downstairs for a while until they get larger. I got some urchins for my other tank too. Photos when they come in.

    I feel comfortable adding more fish with the film algae already in the tank - like always, watch what you feed in a fresh tank.
  16. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Day 17: added Caribbean fish from Reeftopia. Pygmy angel smaller than a US quarter, a pair of Creole Wrasses (ordered one, but got 2) that are about 3/4 inch and a normal sized royal Gramma. Need to figure out how much these cost and update the spreadsheet.

    Creole Wrasses are one of the few fish that will actually school and shoal in captivity. I am not sure why they are not more popular.

    The fish are going to have to pick at the rocks for a few more day... not going to really feed them too much since I am still worried about the tank being only 17 days old. The white stuff in the background is algae, so it is maturing nicely, but still want to be cautious.

    Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 3.01.01 PM.png
  17. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Those do look beautiful.
  18. Cake_Boss

    Cake_Boss Orca M.A.S.C Club Member

    Didn’t know that about the creole wrasse. How many can you safely add?

    Sent from my iPhone using MASC mobile app
  19. scchase

    scchase Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    I might have to get a school of those wrasses, maybe 10 will do
  20. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    These are not even an inch... or just at an inch. Small. You are going to need to grow them up a bit. So far, they look pretty cool. The YT Blue damsel is way larger than them. They also get to 6-7 inches in the wild, but I know that this is no issue for Scott. They have some pretty variable patterns - check them out on google images.

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