Recycling a 12g Nano Cube - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Recycling a 12g Nano Cube

I'm starting a journal thread to share my experiences and also for my own good, it's nice to have a way to look back at the progression of a project.

My 12 gallon Nano Cube started it's life out as a reef tank. It was my first aquarium, well first since I was young and I always wanted a reef tank so I figured I would start out small to keep the expenses down....ha.

(I will post a link to a thread of my 12g becoming a reef after I get enough posts to be allowed(made that mistake once, went to post, it said no and I lost like 20 minutes worth of writing) A lot of the pictures are gone but you can get the just of it.)
http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/inde...opic=75278&hl=

After getting the 12g going and spending time looking at reef forums I got the urge for something bigger, guess starting cheap is fine if you stay there haha. After doing a lot of research and all that I decided to build a 70ish gallon reef.

(Again a link will be provided once I am can post time if you would like to see the 70 gallon being built.)
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=660682

Originally I planned to keep both the 12g and the 70g going but soon realized I was spending most of my time on the 70g and the 12g got neglected so I decided to move everything from the 12 to the 70. The nano cube spent most of the last several year collecting dust in my basement occasionally getting the chance to do some work as a quarantine tank for new fish waiting to go in the big tank.

My brother recently set up a fresh water tank and it got me to thinking about setting up a planted tank of my own. I had always seen them at the store and in the back of my mind I though it would be cool to have on so I decided to dust off the old nano cube and give it a go. I don't have a lot of space and I would like to keep the expenses down(again as you can see from my reef threads ha) so the 12g Nano Cube should be perfect.

To get the tank ready I let it soak for a few days with a 1:10 mix of vinegar and water to remove the coralline algae that had built up on the black wall. I gave the tank a good rinse and then had to silicone some of the dividers in the back that had come loose. After the cleaning it looks as good as new minus a few scratches in the glass.

I have spent the last few days here checking things out on this site and have decided to start with a bag of black eco-complete for substrate and I picked up a cool looking piece of mopani to use as my hard scape.

Here is a picture of the mopani and the cleaned up tank.



I will have to trim it down a bit (it looks smaller in person) to get it to fit right but it should end up looking pretty nice. Right now its soaking in some fresh water to get it ready to go.

I am going to remove a couple of the lights I added to the hood and probably start out just running one bulb. Eventually I plan to add some type of CO2 system either DYI or store bought and then I will probably run 2 bulbs to give me more plant options

Once the silicone is dry I will add the substrate, hard-scape and let the tank cycle for a bit before adding any livestock. While the tank is cycling I will have time to research what livestock and plants I want to go with.

I am used to a reef tank were it's basically live rock and a protein skimmer so I still need to research filtration more but I think I will use bio balls in the back chambers along with a sponge filter and maybe some carbon.

Anyways that's the start of my project, any questions, comments or suggestions are always welcome.

Last edited by Lenthan; 05-31-2010 at 12:57 AM.
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Should this be in the tank journal section?
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-31-2010, 12:13 AM
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Looks like you're off to a good start. Personally, I suggest using Purigen instead of carbon since 1. carbon requires frequent changes and 2. carbon will absorb some nutrients beneficial to plants.

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Should this be in the tank journal section?
Both this forum and the journal forum are used for journals and picture threads, so you're fine.


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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-31-2010, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like you're off to a good start. Personally, I suggest using Purigen instead of carbon since 1. carbon requires frequent changes and 2. carbon will absorb some nutrients beneficial to plants.



Both this forum and the journal forum are used for journals and picture threads, so you're fine.
Thanks I'll check out Purigen, I used chemi-pure before when the tank was reef but I'm not sure it's suitable for a fresh water tank. I have a lot of bulk carbon that's why I was thinking about using it.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-31-2010, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm, after reading some more I might bake or boil my wood. Right now its just in a tub with a power head and fresh water. A bit of brown has come out but not much.

*posted links in first message*
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-31-2010, 01:21 AM
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Nice looking reef tanks. Kudos for starting off with saltwater, damn. I'm just now getting back into aquariums, and starting planted for the first time. I've always loved SW tanks too, but have still never tried one.

I'm thinking this will be a good one


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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-31-2010, 02:08 AM
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Quote:
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Hmm, after reading some more I might bake or boil my wood. Right now its just in a tub with a power head and fresh water. A bit of brown has come out but not much.

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Boiling seems to be the fastest method to remove most, if not all, of the tannis. Carbon and Purigen will also remove it from the tank's water, but the wood will likely keep on leaching tannis for a long while so it is best to remove as much as possible before putting it in your tank with the final scape.

Nice saltwater tanks, BTW.


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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-31-2010, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks chaos and dj2005.

I was going to boil the wood but I didn't have anything big enough to boil it in so I ended up just boiling some water and pouring it over it. I'm sure it will not take all the tannis out but I guess it will help. I'll just run purigen or carbon to clear up the water if it browns once I fill the tank.

I have been working on the hood for the tank. For my reef it had 4x24 watt pc lights which I will no longer need so I went ahead and removed 2 of the bulbs. I also removed the moon light and put the fans on the switch that the moonlight was connected to so I can turn the fans off if needed. The fans have a adjustable power supply so I can turn them down a bit to eliminate noise. With only 2 lights heat should not be as much of an issue.

Here is a picture of the before and after.






The original power supply for the lights had a switch that turned both on and off at the same time so I decided to used the second ballast and switch that I installed for the additional light to power one of the 2 lights so they can be turned on and off independently.

A couple pictures





the larger ballast was the original, I simply capped off the extra leads from it.

I was going though all my bulbs for the hood, I have several different options including 10k, 7100, 50/50 and actinic. I assume 10k is probably the best for plants and maybe the 7100 but I will have to do some reading on that. For now I plan to run 1 10k bulb.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-31-2010, 05:39 PM
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Holy!! keep on posting.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-31-2010, 05:49 PM
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Anything between and including 6500K and 10000K should produce very similar growth (I think even bulbs in the 5000K range would as well). It is mainly what looks good to you. I personally enjoy a mix of 6700K/10000K or just 10000K.

Spectrum is what deals with what the plants will use. Plants do not make use of actinic so that bulb would not be a wise choice.

For further reading, this thread is quite good: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...nt-growth.html

There are many other topics about this subject made on this forum, too, but they all basically repeat the same answers.


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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-31-2010, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dj2005 View Post
Anything between and including 6500K and 10000K should produce very similar growth (I think even bulbs in the 5000K range would as well). It is mainly what looks good to you. I personally enjoy a mix of 6700K/10000K or just 10000K.

Spectrum is what deals with what the plants will use. Plants do not make use of actinic so that bulb would not be a wise choice.

For further reading, this thread is quite good: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...nt-growth.html

There are many other topics about this subject made on this forum, too, but they all basically repeat the same answers.
Thanks for the info, I will have to play around with different combos. I am used to blue lights in my reef tank so 10k looks really yellow.

I am trying to decide if I sould start some plants emersed, hc as an example. It seems like a pretty good way to get things going. The down side is the impatient side of me will not be able to add water to the tank soon. I guess I'll do some more reading and see if my impatiance wins out....it probably will.
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-01-2010, 02:40 AM
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If you're trying to get an HC carpet, then definitely go the emersed route. It'll fill in much faster and algae growth will be minimal. If you're not planning on growing a carpet, then don't bother with emersed.


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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-01-2010, 04:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, think ill just add water and go from there.....

I put in the eco-complete and cut the wood to fit. I'm pretty happy with the way it ended up looking.

The spot it's in the room it will be viewable from all 3 sides.








You can see some of the fine scratches from the tanks life as a reef, I'm hoping with water you will not notice them as much.
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-01-2010, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Well I added water to the tank last night, this morning I have a nice tea brewed up. I guess the boiling water poured onto the wood was not nearly as effective, ah well. I will just run some carbon or purigen to take care of the brown color.

With the eco-complete should I give it a stir to help it "separate"
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-01-2010, 03:00 PM
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What do you mean by separate? To have the larger particles on top?

With eco-complete you just pour it in and that's it. The finer stuff will sift to the bottom over time.


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