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Thread: cptbjorn's 3g Cube Pico

  1. #1
    Amphipod

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    cptbjorn's 3g Cube Pico

    I just found this forum a couple weeks ago during BR's anniversary sale and figured I would post my pico to get this nano forum moving a little and show what I've done with my 9" cube. I started out in July with 5 sheets of glass from Perkins Glass, a tube of black silicone and a couple pounds of white cement rock and got this put together:





    What I have so far:
    9x9x9 cube (2.5g actual water capacity, 3g with HOB)
    1/4" glass with lightly beveled edges and smoke gray back panel
    Elos style black silicone (kinda)
    Drsfostersmith surface skimming HOB modded with whisper 40 motor
    LED fuge light
    Jalli 100w heater (for now)
    Couple pounds of DIY white live rock
    1/2-3/4" live sand
    3 royal blue / 3 cool white LED Light in acrylic enclosure
    Simulated sunrise/sunset by arduino controller with 16x2 LCD

    I'm currently working on finishing the hardware and have started on the software for the arduino controller that is integrated into the lighting fixture; so far plans include an LCD and keys, ATO, automatic light control/dimming based on season and lunar cycle, temperature probes and full heater control, and data logging among many other ideas.

    Here's the tank progression up until now:


    Current livestock is 9 or 10 types of zoas, a couple blue mushrooms, 4 ricordea florida, blue cloves, GSP, palm cloves, green maze brain, green and red/white acans, green and blue candy canes, green birdsnest, 2 blue legged hermits, half a dozen virgin nerites and 15 or so dwarf ceriths. Still on the lookout for the right encrusting/cap montipora or two, something like the Garf bonsai acropora and another lps or two like a blastomussa or chalice and more acans.

    Here's some pics from today:








    I'm still figuring out how to make everything happy with the LED light, it'll bleach just about anything near the top at full power and it's very difficult to get pictures of but I'm slowly figuring it out. The sunrise/sunset effects and the simple dimming plus no bulb replacements make it worth all the trouble though.

    I'm getting decent growth out of everything and I feel like it's just about at the point where it's going to take off and fill out nicely

  2. #2
    Cleaner Shrimp
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    welcom to RF!

    very nice, i love the light.

  3. #3
    Teen Reefer
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    Nice!

    Awesome light man!

  4. #4
    Shoulda been a fish!
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    Welcome to RF i was drooling over your lighting setup over on NR very awesome!
    -Shawn
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    Canon T1i, 100mm Tokina Macro Lens

  5. #5
    Emerald Crab
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    wow very nice.

  6. #6
    Lionfish
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    Wow welcome to RF! That is a sweet looking pico!
    40 breeder
    lighting-250w halides w/ lumenarc reflector
    Skimmer- CPR Bak Pak w/ MJ1200 meshed
    Flow- Wavysea w/k2 attatched , k3 and k4

  7. #7
    Amphipod

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    Very nice setup. Did you make the rock yourself.

  8. #8
    Amphipod

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    Thanks everybody

    Yeah I made a kiddie pool full of rock this summer and I still have about the same amount to make again before it gets too cold/wet and the white cement goes bad. It's kinda fun because you get to pick exactly what rocks you make but it's hard to make small interesting rocks that don't fall apart. Medium-large ones I can stand on without breaking but I've got almost a full stick of magic putty in this pico now lol.

  9. #9
    Hermit Crab

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    Wow thats a really nice tank!
    but im confused did u make that fixture? or did u buuy it?
    Checkout My Tank *ALOT OF PICS* Tell me what u think
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  10. #10
    Amphipod

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    Thank you, the fixture is just some smoke gray acrylic bent around a 2x4 with end caps cemented in and filled up with an old computer heatsink and various schematics I found on the internet. Still a work in progress but yes I did make everything in there as "from scratch" as I could. That's my favorite part of having an aquarium

    I'm planning on doing some sort of writeup on the light once I get it closer to being done but there is a lot of work to do yet...

  11. #11
    Amphipod

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    With the LED's do you get the shimmer like mh. Looking foward to reading the write up

  12. #12
    Amphipod

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    Yes there is a lot of shimmer, I just have to be careful about how I set up my flow and water level because with LEDs the blue and white are coming from different points so they shimmer separately and it can turn into an undesirable fast disco ball type of effect instead of a slower pleasing one. It is not too hard to find a nice setting though and the flow valve on my HOB filter is essentially a "shimmer dial" with the way the tank is set up.

  13. #13
    Cleaner Shrimp
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    i was woundering what LEDs did you use for this, i was looking on the net and found some that are 5mm, 3.6v, 20ma. they come in blue 460nm and white, would they work for some thing like this? you should start a DIY thread on that light.

  14. #14
    Amphipod

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    The LEDs that most people are using successfully over saltwater aquariums right now are Cree XR-Es which actually can do 1000ma at full power, they are on a whole different level than the regular 20ma LEDs on computers and electronics etc. They will give you spots in your vision for hours if you aren't careful when testing them...

    The cool white ones are fairly easy to find online but the royal blue ones are more difficult. Right now there are only a couple places to get them; I got my royal blues from nano-tuners.com. They are 6.29 each currently which is cheap enough for a pico when you only need 6 but starts to get real spendy in upfront costs for bigger tanks. Pays off in bulb replacements etc though.

    Besides the LEDs you need a heatsink and fan(s) to cool them down, a power supply to run it all and LED drivers to regulate how much current the LEDs get.

    I've been thinking about doing a DIY writeup but I'm not quite there yet. I still have some basic changes to make such as adding a UV LED to help with fluorescence and possibly to help with SPS coloration.

  15. #15
    Cleaner Shrimp
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    Quote Originally Posted by cptbjorn View Post
    The LEDs that most people are using successfully over saltwater aquariums right now are Cree XR-Es which actually can do 1000ma at full power, they are on a whole different level than the regular 20ma LEDs on computers and electronics etc. They will give you spots in your vision for hours if you aren't careful when testing them...

    The cool white ones are fairly easy to find online but the royal blue ones are more difficult. Right now there are only a couple places to get them; I got my royal blues from nano-tuners.com. They are 6.29 each currently which is cheap enough for a pico when you only need 6 but starts to get real spendy in upfront costs for bigger tanks. Pays off in bulb replacements etc though.

    Besides the LEDs you need a heatsink and fan(s) to cool them down, a power supply to run it all and LED drivers to regulate how much current the LEDs get.

    I've been thinking about doing a DIY writeup but I'm not quite there yet. I still have some basic changes to make such as adding a UV LED to help with fluorescence and possibly to help with SPS coloration.
    cool, thank you. i'll also be looking forward to that writeup as well.

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