The Walk-Around Cube Build and Design

CRJ

New member
Well this will be my project log. I have a 14 gallon bio-cube that got me hooked in the hobby, and now i want to expand to have more fish and a better setup to provide for my fish. Currently i have 3 true perc clowns that are starting to bicker, a spotted manderin goby, 3 turbos, 4-5 hermits, and a pepermint shrimp. The tank is running bioballs, a hidden heater with a bag of carbon. Filter floss in the overflow, a 180gph return with 3 watt in line UV and rotating flo powerhead. Also have a 250GPH powerhead in the display for added flow.

Have a 3 branched hammer coral, a small group of zoas and a couple big mushrooms.




Heres my plan.


30x30x20 4 side starfire. Center overflow with 4 returns (maybe more), a 1000GPH return pump, t5 lighting hung from above, 100% live rock with aragonite bed 3" deep. The plan is super clean, everything inside. Custom made sump to fit cabinet, fuge in line, skimmer, UV filter, and some automation. An ATO system will be a must.


So far ive yet to start collecting pieces, as im deciding if i want to buy something used or grab a new tanks and build everything from scratch.


Any thoughts, ideas or opinions? this is my first time with a rimless tank and a custom build.


NateC
 

sfsuphysics

New member
Think about how you're going to hide that overflow(OF). If you're going to make a 4 side viewable tank, and all your plumbing is coming out of the OF you're going to need a fairly good size OF-box to hold all the pipes (4 + at least 2 for the drains). While 30" is a nice deep tank front to back your OF-box will be in the center, so you'll probably only have about 13" of clearance to the glass right in front of the OF-box, while you could find a way to "volcano" the rockwork, if that's not what you have in mind it could be a problem.

Also think about the lighting, again 4 side viewable means your electricity is going to need to come from the ceiling... or you could get creative with your overflow box and make a "dry pipe" and go through the tank. But it is something to take into consideration.

Lastly 1000GPH pushed through 4 returns, with an assortment of elbows in them will not be very much flow at all. If you get it set up, I would advise trying to borrow a pump from a LFS or friend to test the actual flow.

Going 3 side viewable against a wall is WAY easier ;)
 

Gorgok

New member
If i were to make a cube or donut style tank i would probably go for a closed loop, and minimal turnover in the overflow/return. Drill the bottom for all the return lines (then hide them with rocks), one actual return and the rest for the loop. The suction for the loop i would split into two located about mid high near the center, blended into some rocks, with screened openings.
 

CRJ

New member
Think about how you're going to hide that overflow(OF). If you're going to make a 4 side viewable tank, and all your plumbing is coming out of the OF you're going to need a fairly good size OF-box to hold all the pipes (4 + at least 2 for the drains). While 30" is a nice deep tank front to back your OF-box will be in the center, so you'll probably only have about 13" of clearance to the glass right in front of the OF-box, while you could find a way to "volcano" the rockwork, if that's not what you have in mind it could be a problem.

Also think about the lighting, again 4 side viewable means your electricity is going to need to come from the ceiling... or you could get creative with your overflow box and make a "dry pipe" and go through the tank. But it is something to take into consideration.

Lastly 1000GPH pushed through 4 returns, with an assortment of elbows in them will not be very much flow at all. If you get it set up, I would advise trying to borrow a pump from a LFS or friend to test the actual flow.

Going 3 side viewable against a wall is WAY easier ;)


The lighting power would be coming from the roof, i have a drop ceiling so running a chord isnt an issue.

My plan was to have the returns branch out in the tank, and basicly have a 1.5" pipe out of the tank and a 1.5" into the tank that splits off in 4 directions, each return facing a pane of glass. Then volcano it up against the pipes to cover them. I may surround this all with a 6" round piece of PVC to act as the overflow "box" and have the return punch out through the sides of the box. I can then double seal then and the box to ensure no leakage.

I think im going to make a cardboard mock up of it so i can see what kind of room i have. The idea is it will be in the center of my room, and so i want a 4 side viewable tank, but keeping live rock for filtration and hiding places.

Tank is going in my basement/wreck room. as for pump, how many GPH would you suggest? Id rather go over and use ball valves to tune it.

If i were to make a cube or donut style tank i would probably go for a closed loop, and minimal turnover in the overflow/return. Drill the bottom for all the return lines (then hide them with rocks), one actual return and the rest for the loop. The suction for the loop i would split into two located about mid high near the center, blended into some rocks, with screened openings.

well turnover through the sump i want at atleast 10x a hour.

Can you explain this "loop" a little more in detail? I dont know what you mean by this.


Thanks fr the tips so far guys!
 

hebygb

New member
I will add my .02 about filtration. You were using bio balls before and mentioned that you were going to go with a UV sterilizer. I would advise that you do NOT use bio balls nor the UV sterilizer. Bio balls tend to create bad chemistry. UV sterilizers remove bad bacteria but also the good bacteria which aids in filtration. Live rock and a refugium are the best methods for natural filtration and stability. A UV sterilizer will fight the benefits of a refugium.

So in summation lose the bio balls, and the UV sterilizer... use live rock/sand.
 

Gorgok

New member
A closed loop is basically just a pump that takes display tank water and pumps it back into the display like a normal return. You could take water from near the center pillar and put 4 returns on a manifold on the bottom, near the corners.

Its just in place of powerheads, which would be a little silly on a tank with all sides clean otherwise. The size of loc line and the locations they can go versus where a powerehead must be make closed loops much easier to hide and make a tank look much cleaner.
 

CRJ

New member
Sent an email out to Miracles to see what they want for a tank. Im thinking ill grab 2 vortech mp40W's and a radion LED system. Not for sure, but since it can simulate a natural environment, its perfect.
 

CRJ

New member
Heres a sketch i did to give miracles an idea of what im looking for. I wondering if the tank is large enough to do this, or should i make it a 3 side with rear? What about just scraping the entire design and going for something long and narrow? (im a little indecisive)


CD7D888A-6A7A-47A9-A15F-1DD2943442C9-6722-0000030982BC4B2A.jpg





Heres what i have now. 14Gal Biocube with 3 wat UV, 180gph return, 250gph circ pump, bioballs, 16lbs live rock, 14lbs live sand. 3 Perc clowns, one mandarin goby. Have had it all running since May-ish.

6DFE24C3-BF69-4C15-BF32-1B8971F685DD-6722-0000030997820FA6.jpg

25850063-E7E4-4D85-B0DE-0E2B5CEA4182-6722-000003098E01D6DC.jpg


Im very ready to upgrade and get out of this tiny little tank. One other thing i was wondering is if a 36x36x20 would be better? Hmm....
 

CRJ

New member
Thank you so much!


Heres where the tanks going... Just imagine it without the storage! you can see why its going to be a longer project. im making this an entertainment space.
E0C20C0A-8AD8-4368-B052-A1B42CFEA288-6722-0000031FEB085582.jpg



and after some adjusting today:
1278DE89-2F38-4501-B010-DF455B436C32-6722-0000032018E6FBCD.jpg
 
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