Innovative marine fusion 30l build

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after weeks of waiting my IM fusion 30l has finally arrived.  This tank is a warranty replant to my nuvo24 which sadly cracked around the bent glass corner. As traumatic of an experience as that was I’m happy to have the new tank

The 30l is a very sleak looking all in one. The glass is Much thicker than the nuvo24 and is is very high in clarity (low iron). I splurged for the stand as well which wasn’t cheap.. But matches the tank perfectly.
Loading up the goods!

 
  The stand in its freshly unboxed state. Every panels is a thick what looks to be MDF covered In veneer
Mid way through the stand busing I decided to leak test the tank.. All was well except a small leak from the bottom of the second baffle to the center on One side.. It was a small leak relative to the 99% that would spill over the top..so I choose to ignore it and continue my build 

  

 

Well deciding to be proper and do things right I swapped out the power receptacle for a GFCI

  
And level the stand. Luckily it was perfect right off the bat!

  

 Once the stand was build I wanted to have an easy power center to turn things on and off and prevent trying to find pump or heater cords during a water change. I settled on a DJ light controller.. Unfortunately it was a little to wide and nasty to cut!! The hacksaw barely put a dent in it… I Ended up resorting to a circular saw with a metal grinding blade to get the jon done 

  
  Next I needed to make a groove for the cabinet latch to slide it in

 
This take is in my living room and mode of a show piece… I wanted it pretty inside and out so I added a wall board to mount my controllers and hide the wires, plugs and UPS.

 
The end result worked out great!

And I do say this is one of the cleanest my reef supplies have been in ages. My next few projects will be a dosing pump stand and an acrylic dosing reservoir  
 
Next steps will be building a doser stand and an acrylic dosing container 

 With the stand level and my master power center setup it was time to start transferring the goods the temporary tank to their new home. 

 
Let’s just say the rock was cooperating and I was up until 2am arranging it until I found something I liked.

I still need to place all the sand bed corals, slowly but surely.

  
For filtration I’m using chemo pure blue, stock return pump connected to 2x soon steams.   

Tomorrow I’m going to try connecting 1 pump to each nozzle to double the flow. The mail man is slated to bring me gifts of ball vaves so I can dial it down a tad :)

Finnex Planed+ 24/7 unboxing and review

My Finnex Planed+ 24/7 just showed up in the mail so i figured i would do a quick unboxing and review. The light it self is very astetically pleasting. Is very thing and has a low profile. the cord is much longer on this model compared to previous finnex lights i have owned. The light has 2 outer strips of 7000k white leds with a row of RGB leds down the center. The remote lets you adjust the intensity of the white/red/green/blue.. which is nice to fine to to your desired hue.

The light has a IR sensor wire out the side of the light with seems to be a bit of a waste and takes away from the sleekness of the light. i would have preferred to have it built into the light or atleast to have the wires on the same side as the power wire rather than having to run wires on both sides of the light.


    

6′ Custom shallow Reef

I’m currently in the process of designing a 6′ custom reef. today’s first attempt at a design.

The dimensions are 72″x18″x16″ (LxWxH).  The overflow is coast to coast with a 1.5-2″ channel for the water to flow into with a larger chamber in the back left to accommodate the pipes.(still need to determine the width) It will be either a herbie or bean overflow. So 2-3 drain pipes and 1 return)

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Phytoplankton Copepods and micro organisms 

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phytoplankton is one of the building blocks of life in the ocean. A little further up the food chain we get tk pods, Copepods, and rotofers.  Adding this blend of goods will create a natural food source for your fish and corals.

To initially load your tank its recommended to do it with the lights off and pumps off to give the miniature life forms a chance to hide and get settled. Once settled they should start to reproduce and provide a flow of snacks for your fish and corals.

Adding phytoplankton every few days will help feed your pods and corals

  

Innovative marine custom caddy review 

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the stock media baskets that come with the innovative Marines are garbage.  They “work” but are a huge pain in the but to open and close (you will fight it!!).  

I bought some for my 24g salty tank and fell in love. They were a bit expensive for a media basket but the adjustability and ease of opening/cleaning is might and say compared to the dinky stock ones. 

The other added bonus is the basket fill the full chamber and maximize your space for extra media.

Today I picked up another set for my Nuvo 16 tank

   

 Previous purchase for the 24g

 

The stock baskets (they work but are a pain to open and close)

  

Tiger pistol shrimp Digging and bulldozing 

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I recently picked up a decent size tiger pistol shrimp and am constantly entertained by this little (big) guy.  He’s constantly making tunnels and dragging live rock rubble around to make his new pad. The only downade is he main steal some frag plus to sue as building blocks so glue your stuff down to avoid it being stolen bythis  master bullied!  I have even watched him try and stack a snail on his pile. Haha

Diy drip acliminator

I was tired of using  binder clips and clamps to hold my airline in place and hope nothing slides out… I though to my self.. there must be a better way? Why yes there is! I made a rigid u shaped tube out of some left over acrylic pipe from mounting my DIY Osmolator sensors to securely hang over the edge of my tank.

I used a heat gun to heat up the acrylic pipe and simply bend at the warm/soft area to the desired shape. Be sure to do this very slowly so dont kink the inner tube. You will also want to keep moving the heat gun so you dont get bubbles in the rod from to much heat.

For the adjuster i razord the edge of a airline valve to a point (took off the excess bulk) heated up the end of the acrylic tube and worked it in.  I then superglued the fittings together to ensure there was no chance of a leak.

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Simply connect the airline from the bottom to your bucket and acclimate away!  no more clips to fiddle width, scratch your glass or slide out of place!  Simple and very effective.

DIY auto top off – arduino Optical ATO

Evaporation and increased salinity levels is one of the fastest ways to crash your tank.. An ATO, auto top off or technically an osmolator will automatically add freshwater back in to your tank to keep the water level constant and compensate for evaporation.

Since a fancy auto top off can cost 100-200$ I decided to make my own extremely accurate version for a fraction of the cost.

Rather than using just a standard float valve (which can fail) I went with an optical water level sensor, which is very accurate and detects when water touches the top of the sensor. I also added a float valve as a backup.

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The microprocessor will only activate the pump of both sensors are not detecting water. If either one senses water the filling sequence is skipped

I also added a Hold switch to the box. When this switch is hit the arduino goes into a loop of blinking the LED as a reminder to turn it back on. This Hold mode will be useful when doing water changes.

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I may add a third safety of only running the pumps for so many second per fill. But this is dependant on if I do micro topoffs 24h/day or hair have the ATO check every few hours or at times I’m not around.

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I need some form of a 6 pin connector but came up short and decided to go with a DB9 connector as they are cheap and readily available.(null)

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Once i soldered the sensors on to my wire i covered the last half of the wire all the way down to the sensors  in heat shrink to seal it up and have a nice black wire to blend in with the back of the tank.(null)

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Motor on the left,  12V power in the bottom right. DB9 connector for the sensors and USB in case i want to adjust the programming at a future date.

I found a thin acrylic rube which was about the size of an airline. This allowed me to use an airline holder as my mount.  The beauty of this method is i can very easily raise and lower it to set my water level.

 

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Once i fill the tank ill trim the rod to about the level of the tank. to clean things up.  I do love the simplicity and adjust-ability of this method of mounting it.

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Side view of the sensors in the tank. I plan on keeping the water level slightly below this overflow into the pump chamber. This should minimize nose :)

 

DIY Automated water changes

Arduino aquarium water changer:

Water changes seems to be the hardest or most time consuming part of keeping an aquarium.. So why not automate it?  In a previous write up i build an automated dosing system i called the Arduino auto doser.  I plan on using the same concept to build an automated water change system with a bit of a twist.

Most water changers simply drain water out than add water back in.  Since my nano reef is a 12G Fluval edge this system would create air bubbles in the top of the tank taking away from its clean aesthetics.  In this system I plan to take out water as the same time i add it. This should keep the water at a consistent level having less impact on the tank while maintaining that elegant look.

For this project I will being using a triple head dosing pump. For now we are only going to use 2 of the heads.. however a third may be useful down the road if i ever decide to do a frag tank. and fill it with water taken from the main nano.

The pump I decided on an industrial Watson marlow pump which i picked up off ebay for about $55. I originally order some cheaper ones from over seas but worried about how precise they were.. this made me lean towards a higher end pump.

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The pump head ever has an adjuster to fine tune the output.  This should allow me to calibrate each line to push an identical amount of water.
The pump was previously used for what looks like ink so all hoses will be replaced.

Once calibrated you could automate this with a simple digital wall timer.. however I tend to like safety precautions so I plan on using arduino as my timer with a sensor to kill power to the pump if the water level gets to high.

The fluval edge only has a small collar to work with so everything must be precisely calibrated.

 

 

Fluval edge reef rim

I’m still waiting for the pump to show up in the mail.. So check back often or sign up to our email list at the top of the page as this project will be updated once i receive the goods :)

The pump and my optical sensor finally showed up. So far so good for the initial testing.

The ensure for the pump side is complete. Not the prettiest but it eo do the job. It’s enclosed to keep it quiet and prevent and possible leak!

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I made a water level sensor holder only to realize my aftermarket led light hits the wires!! Rats. I’ll have to make a second one and hold a sensor on each side of the aquaclear to get around this. Tomorrows project!

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March 20 Update.

I moved this tank into a Nuvo 24 and no longer had access to a water line.  I convertered this into two projects.  The first is an auto top off (link to come) and an auto water change that works with Buckets.  Tank water is pumped into an empty bucket at the same time as water is pumped in from a bucket of fresh water.

Nano reef marine fish

As I’m starting my first nano saltwater tank I have been on an endless quest to find the perfect “nano fish” for my little reef.  In efforts to make everyone life easier I decided to build a guide of nano tank friendly fish.. My mini reef is going to be built inside of a 12G fluval edge.My main goal is to find fish around 2″ or less that will work in a nano tank.  If you have any suggestions or additions leave me a note in the comments

Side note: this page will be for ever growing as i discover more interesting nano fish ill update the site.. with out further ado we shall start off with my first fish:

Yellow Clown Goby
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These cute little guys are a nice bright yellow, and fairly active.  They grow to a maximum of 1.5″ adn are very peaceful.  Its recommended to have a tank that is a minimum of 10G.
Having now had one for a few weeks, they are extremely cute but picky eaters. So far mine only really likes to eat mysis.  The only other downfall is they may nip at the polyps on SPS corals.

 

 

Green Clown Goby

Green Clown Gobys are another small nano fish that will only grow to about 1 3/4″ They are fairly peaceful and will be happy in a tank 10G or larger.  Their diet is similar to the YCG above and enjoy meaty foods such as mysis, brine shrimp and other frozen foods.

 

 

 

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