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Sky Reef's Nano Cube Mod Diary (JBJ Nano Cube 28-Gallon HQI)

Discussion in 'Reef Chronicles' started by SkyReef, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. SkyReef

    SkyReef New Member

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    Hello, all:

    I am modifying my JBJ Nano Cube. I am ditching the rear sump, in favor of an external sump, situated below the display tank, in the aquarium stand. I am also building a separate refugium, in a side tank (a BioCube 14), which will share the Nano Cube's sump. In the end, I will have a side-by-side tanks, one a refugium, and the other a live reef aquarium, both mediated by a common sump.

    Here is my diary of Phase I of the mod: removing the sump-partition wall located in the rear of the Nano Cube 28. Hope this proves helpful for anyone who seeks to do the same. Your comments, suggestions, and insights are welcome! Thanks!

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  2. PIMPALA

    PIMPALA New Member

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    Yup
    lookin good man!! I cant wait to see the finished product!


    I love "show" fuges, thats why i did it on my 150. I really think it adds a lot to the whole look of it.
     
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  3. Uslanja

    Uslanja New Member

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    That is a pretty serious modification! Following along to see how it all works out. Nice photos and documentary!!
     
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  4. SkyReef

    SkyReef New Member

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    Thanks, Pimpala. I can't wait to see the finished product, either. The show refugium should be sweet, standing next to my live reef in a separate tank that has a similar cube design.

    My next step is painting the back glass panel black, on the outside, and then I will order my diamond-encrusted drill bit, to drill holes in the tank per the design developed by BeanAnimal, a very smart aquarist at: Silent and Failsafe Overflow System - Reef Central Online Community.

    But before I order the glass drill bit(s), I need to decide upon what flow rate I want out of the tanks, and what diameter PVC I will be using. Maybe 1-1/4 or 1-1/2 inch diameter on the drain lines and 3/4, 1, or 1-1/4 on the two return lines. Any suggestions would be helpful.
     
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  5. SkyReef

    SkyReef New Member

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    Thanks, Uslanja! I appreciate your following along to see how it works. Hopefully, I can keep up the photo-documentary in a similar detailed manner as for Phase I. Have you ever done any mods to your aquarium? Care to share?
     
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  6. SkyReef

    SkyReef New Member

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    Very Psyched. Just ordered me a set of diamond-encrusted, "glass-hole" drill-bits for my aquarium from Glass-Holes.com. Soon I will be drilling 62-mm holes in the back of my aquarium, to accommodate 1-1/2" bulkheads and PVC pipes for my drain lines. The aquarium modification continues. It will be awesome when completed!
     
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  7. shark32

    shark32 Active Member

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    Good luck!! I am tagging along with this one! And I'm sure it will be awesome when it's complete!
     
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  8. SkyReef

    SkyReef New Member

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    Howdy, all:

    Okay, I have drawn the glass-drilling plan for this tank, incorporating a Calfo/Coast-to-Coast skimmer-overflow-box as well. Please note that the bulkhead+overflow-box design was created by BeanAnimal, utilizing a set-it-and-forget-it, failsafe design: (1) an emergency standing tube; (2) an siphon standing tube; and (3) an open-channel standing tube. For more information on BeanAnimal's design, please see: Silent and Failsafe Overflow System - Reef Central Online Community.

    This drawing is to scale, and the other portions of the design will be submitted soon. All comments, suggestions, and questions welcome!

    Thanks, all!

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. SkyReef

    SkyReef New Member

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    Thanks, Shark! Sounds good, stick around! Hopefully, all will turn out well!
     
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  10. Uslanja

    Uslanja New Member

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    That looks nice. I like the fact that the overflow is only 5 inches deep and pretty much the width of the tank. That should give some good surface skimmimng and not take away from the view of your reef. Nice design work, great drawing! Good luck with the drilling!
     
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  11. tnwillia

    tnwillia New Member

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    WOW!!! Great documentation. Are you going to do the same with the 14, I might have missed that? Tearing tanks apart and modding them is some of the best fun I get out of this Hobby. You've opened a new door for many on possibilities with the pictures to prove it can be done. Looking forward to following this thru to it's full operation. Thanks for posting it for us!
     
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  12. SkyReef

    SkyReef New Member

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    Howdy, all:

    Progress continues. I have drawn the plumbing plan for this nano-tank, incorporating BeanAnimal's design. His design calls for a 3-Standpipes (emergency, sipon, and open-channel) in a Calfo/Coast-to-Coast skimmer-overflow-box. For more information on BeanAnimal's design, please see: Silent and Failsafe Overflow System - Reef Central Online Community

    This drawing is to scale, and the other portions of the design will be submitted soon. All comments, suggestions, and questions welcome!

    Thanks, all!

    [​IMG]
     
    #12
  13. SkyReef

    SkyReef New Member

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    Thanks, Uslanja! Actually, the overflow is a Calfo/Coast-to-Coast skimmer overflow that I will be making, myself. Therefore, it is actually the entire width of the tank. (The smaller measurement number for the length of the overflow box is the inside-tank distance, as opposed the larger measurement number on the backside of the glass.) I agree, this will help skim the surface, hopefully improving the water quality. Thanks for your kind words. My drill bits will arrive any day now!
     
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  14. SkyReef

    SkyReef New Member

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    Thanks, Tnwillia! I am trying to document all as I go along. Next step in documentation will be painting the back of the tank black. As for the 14-gallon Biocube, I think I will tear out the false-partition wall and the sump chambers, as I did for the Nano Cube. The BioCube is going to be a refugium, and I'm not sure there would be any benefit to keeping that rear sump. I agree that modifying tanks is fun! Thanks for your kind words and enthusiasm. I'll have more to share soon!
     
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  15. Uslanja

    Uslanja New Member

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    Looking good! From the drawing, do you run all three pipes simultaneously and then adjust the valves for balance? Will all three pipes flow independently to destination or will they connect through a manifold?
     
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  16. Eric

    Eric Google Warrior
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    That's cool, do you think the wall and dividers you removed had any structural properties?
     
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  17. SkyReef

    SkyReef New Member

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    Hey, Eric:

    Thanks for the question. I would say yes, I lost structural support by removing the partition wall and sump chambers. How much structual loss was actually caused here, I can't rightly say. However, please keep in mind that, after installing the new Calfo/Coast-to-Coast skimmer-flow-box (a two-piece structure of glass that forms the shape of an L"), new structural support will be added back to tank, given that the flow box will connect the the right and left sides of the tank. So this will ADD new structural properties that were not there before. Ultimately, the add/loss calculation escapes me. I am hunching that I'll be fine.

    Also, please note that the Nano Cube is basically two pieces of glass (not 4)--the front and sides, being one, single, "bent" piece of glass, and the back side of the tank being the second, sealed pane. Hence, I am guessing that this bent-glass design imparts greater structural strength, as compared to four pieces held together by sealant. However, I have no science handy to back that up, just pure supposition on my part. I could be wrong on that point.

    But I'll be the guinea pig, and let you know! Did you have any impression one way or another as to whether I will be able to do without the structural support offered by the stock partition-wall-sump-chamber assembly? Please let me know. Thanks!
     
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  18. SkyReef

    SkyReef New Member

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    Hey, all: glass drill-bits arrived today. Here's more on that:

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    I'll keep you posted on the actual drilling, after that work is done. I think I have to paint the back of the tank black before I drill holes. Hopefully, I'll have more updates this weekend.

    Thanks, all!
     
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  19. SkyReef

    SkyReef New Member

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    Hi, Uslanja:

    Thanks for your post! No, the design doesn't really do the things you suggest. BeanAnimal's design is best explained by the master, himself, at the post where he first described it at: Silent and Failsafe Overflow System - Reef Central Online Community.

    It works like this: (1) the Emergency Standpipe (far left pipe) stays dry and is only used if the other two pipes clog or fail, causing the water to rise to the upturned-elbow level, at which time it would fully sipon down the emergency standpipe, preventing a flooded tank; (2) the Siphon Standpipe (middle pipe) runs all the time and is set to slightly less than full drain capacity (even if that means the valve is closed almost all the way--it just depends how closed the valve needs to be, to meet the goal of draining most of the water that is being pumped into the tank, from down below in the sump)--and given that it is a siphon, it will move a LOT of water out, even in a small, 1.5" pipe; and (3) the Open-Channel Standpipe (far right pipe) carries the small remainder of water not being handled by the Siphon Standpipe, mixed with air (Durso effect accomplished by the red airline hose that allows air into the pipe, preventing a siphon under non-flooding conditions), to prevent excessive noise.

    Yet, the red airline hose has a dual feature, whereby it stops allowing air to pass through its bent end that hangs over the water, when its "straw"-like, open end is suddenly displaced by rising water in the overflow box (as in a flood situation). If the water in the overflow box rises to the level of the downturned, red, airline hose on the middle standpipe, the airline hose will be "clogged" by water. Once clogged by water, the red airline hose would no longer allow air to pass through it. This would convert the open-channel standpipe from a durso (air/water) pipe to a complete siphon pipe, greatly expanding its flow rate, to evacuate excessive water in an emergency situation. It sends that extra, would-be, flooding water quickly down the standing pipe into the sump. The theory is that a water siphon (pure water, no air) flows MUCH more water than water passing down an open-air drain.

    So Bean's design here aims to prevent floods, which I cannot have, given that I am going to set up my tank in my work office. Only the valve in the sipon line is really necessary, to dial back the flow just a bit. I could remove the valves in the other lines, but I may keep them for testing purposes. Plus, the tru-union quick disconnect feature is necessary because I am flood testing the set up at home, and, once it passes muster, I will break it down and set it up in my office. So portability is accomplished by the tru union ball valve disconnects.

    I showed my drawing to Bean on his thread and asked him for his comment. Bean advised me to scale down the size of the bulkhead and piping from 1.5 to about 1.0 inches. His theory is that the 1.5" plumbing system is beyond overkill, becoming an eyesore for such a small tank. So I will slightly modify the schematic of what I am drilling.

    These drains will not connect, but remain separate, to perform their independent, check-and-balance functions. If they were to be joined in a manifold, the open-air channel would send air through the siphon channel, thereby defeating it. Other problems could arise, if the manifold became clogged or failed in any way. The three lines need to be separate and inviolate. They will each terminate below the surface of the water in the sump below. I hope this all made sense. I just learned of the design only last week, and it took me many readings to understand it. :turntable

    Thanks for a good question!
     
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  20. Uslanja

    Uslanja New Member

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    Nice explanation! Clearly allot of thought has gone in to the design, and probably some trial and error along the way. The hole saws look quality! Looking forward to the next round of photos!
     
    #20
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