60g rimless cube build - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Ok,

Getting started on a new ground-up build on 24" rimless cube planted tank. I'm going to try my hand at an Iwagumi set-up with an HC carpet and a couple of yet to be determined low-light plants for shaded areas. I've done SPS reef tanks for years, but this will be my first foray into high-tech planted tanks. Very excited about finally getting going. Here is quick equipment list:

Aquarium:
AquaMaxx Premium Cube Low-Iron Rimless Aquarium - 57 Gallon

Stand:
DIY -- ¾” Veneer Plywood, pocket screws and glue
2k lbs. leveling feet (8), Euro-style 170-degree cabinet hinges

Lighting:
EcoTech Marine Radion XR15FW PRO G2 LED Freshwater
Custom 80/20 T-slot aluminum parts for adjustable wall mount

Substrate:
ADA AquaSoil Amazonia Normal Type
Lowes natural slate tile for rock structure base (10)

ATO:
Hydor Smart Level Control Auto Top ATO
Innovative Marine HydroFill Ti ATO Return Pump
SpectraPure® Auto Shut Off Valve Float Kit for RO Systems
AquaFX Barracuda RO/DI System w/ Chloramine Blaster Upgrade - 100 GPD

Heater:
Hydor ETH 300 In-Line Heater 300 Watt - 5/8 inch

CO2:
CO2 Art Dual Stage Pro Regulator
GLA Aluminum Inline CO2 Diffuser
5 lb aluminium canister

Filtration:
Fluval G6 Advanced Filtration System
JARDLI Glass Lily pipes
Sunsun Pro Canister 370gph (for ad hoc polishing and back-up)

Dosing:
Jebao Auto Dosing Pump DP-4 – for EI

Hopefully I will have all the equipment set up by next week. Pics of progress so far to follow...

And thanks to everyone in the forum -- I would already have blown it if not for all the good info on this site.

DIY cabinet. Decided to just go 3/4" plywood, but screwed and glued the s#!t out of it. Based the design on the Red Sea Reefer cabinets. Designed to be perfectly flush with the tank with no hardware showing. Basically a featureless black pedestal.

It has 8 adjustable feet that hold 2,000 lbs each. I'm sure I just needed one in each corner, but hey, they come in a pack of 8. Door is attached with Euro-style concealed 170 degree hinges so that the front door overlaps / is flush with the sides when closed.

So, this is the tank as it sits today. I've got the aquascape pretty much the way I want it and should finish installing equipment over the next week.

Now I am going to have to actually decide between dry start method vs. immersed w/ CO2 injection. I'm leaning toward flooding it, letting the ADA AS cycle it and then planting heavy relatively quickly, but still wavering on that plan.
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Last edited by harris611; 07-11-2019 at 03:59 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 08:40 PM
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I love how dramatic this scape it mate, very cool. One thing I will say, from experience with my own hardscape, that very shaded area will be difficult to plant. Even anubis may not survive as it is more like no light than low light. I hope it will work out though!
Good luck!


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Yeah, its a pretty hardcore shadow. I tried to fill it with as much rock as I could, figuring it would be difficult to get stuff to grow there. I can maybe add more stone or some other kind of hardscape to fill it in if its a total no-go for the plants.

Here is the light mount straight, and then swiveled out of the way. Made it out of standard 80/20 parts and it seems like it should work okay. Wife loves it when I drill holes in her walls, btw.
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Last edited by harris611; 07-11-2019 at 02:50 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Update -- so far, so good...

Well, got sidelined for a while, but finally have the tank flooded, planted, and working on establishing the HC. Besides my constant battle to keep the HC anchored in the Aqua Soil, its going really well so far! Two weeks in on the plants. No melting or die off on the HC tissue cultures. No algae at all yet (not sure when that will start, but figure its inevitable). Carpet is beginning to fill in a bit and I do get some pearling on both the high tier and the plants at the bottom.

Have the Radion on a two week ramp-up cycle that started at 50% of 90% power (I put a diffuser on it to help with shadows -- worked better than expected, but cuts PAR by about 25%). Running 8 hour photo-period with sunrise and sunset ramps of about 1/2 hr. Also really pushing CO2 levels since I have not put in any livestock yet. Plan is to go another month or so to try and really establish the HC, then dial down CO2 and add fish and shrimp.

Circulation seems good with the Fluval -- says its only at 70% on flow after I filled media baskets, but it looks sufficient. Have not measured actual output, but I'd guess I'm getting 250-300 gph turnover. So a little low, but even the back left corner plants are pearling, so I'm assuming they get enough CO2 (plus its obviously higher light up there, so maybe that compensates).

One issue was that the 300 watt in-line heater was not enough for the open top in the cold basement (I keep the house at 67 at night, must be like 65 down there). Had to put another 200w in the tank while I wait for a new 500w inline coming next week.

Next week, setting up ATO system. Week after that I'll set up for auto-dosing EI with Jebao DP-4. Still trying to decide what low-light plants to try in the shadow areas.

And, btw. Getting the HC plugs to stay put was one of the more frustrating things I've done in 2019. At least a three f-bomb project.

First pics are right after planting. The clearer ones are at the two week mark.
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Last edited by harris611; 07-11-2019 at 08:06 PM. Reason: typo
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 07:30 PM
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Just subscribed! The tank is awesome man! Personally I'd never be able to do an iwagumi because I lack the self control to limit myself on plant species but with that hardscape and design, I'd loathe to cover it up with tall stem plants. Did you use ohko stone for that hardscape?


Also I might actually do a massive rescape on my tank now because that aquascape is just so nice
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

And yes, ohko stone. Also, I made the hill by taking natural slate floor tiles and breaking them so I could make a stack that tapers / stair-steps in the shape of the hill. That way the core of the hill is really solid and MUCH less expensive vs. ohko or Amazonia. Then built terraces from the dragonstone around the slate to hold soil at the different levels.

Thank you again for the encouragement. I'm trying to enjoy the honeymoon period before things start going pear-shaped as they are apt to do with a new tank...
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Today, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Update

Ok, so some minor changes and replanting, but things are still progressing well a little over 3 weeks in. Plants seem to be doing fine, tank has started to cycle, and no algae at all yet.

About a week ago I decided to add some soil and replant the right front corner (during initial planting it kinda flattened out). I spread the more establish plants from the hill to some bare patches in the back (out of view) and planted some new HC in the revamped front corner.

I've also now shifted to water changes using primarily RO/DI water reconstituted with Seachem Equilibrium and Alkaline Buffer. My water is really hard and I wanted more control. American Water keeps changing the mix of stuff in the tap here in St. Louis.

Finally, I've started to dose ADA Green Brightly Neutral K daily. I'll start adding Micro elements next week. Plan is to start 1/5 dose EI fertz at about the 3 month mark. I am also going to start trimming a little more aggressively to promote lateral growth -- getting a little bushy in spots.

I think I'm going to go another few weeks with heavy CO2 and no fish, just trying to get the HC really established. I was pretty set on Cardinals, but I'm now feeling that they may be a little flashier than I want. Currently, I'm leaning toward rummy-nose tetras instead.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Today, 07:31 PM
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That's a beautiful scape, keep the updates coming!
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