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Jays AquaOne Reef 275 Cube


Hi everyone :thumbup: well I'm new here but thought id make a diary to keep a log of my tanks progress :cool:

How I started.....

I'm not new to marine reef keeping, but it has been over 10 years since I closed down my 400L reef tank due to moving :sorry: and I've been wanted to get back into it for a while, and thought it would be great for my 2 girls to experience. So back in October 2014 after much consideration I purchased my AquaNano Marine 36, a small but very well set up technically to get me of the ground. I wanted to set up a tank to see if I could keep both fish and corals, and after selecting a couple of clown fish and some live rock I was off :dance: carful monitoring of water conditions I soon introduced some soft corals and a few more fish and it just grew and grew from there.
Click here to view more pictures of my AquaNano Marine 36
AquaNano Story by JaySO78 | Photobucket

I made some additional light modifications to the tank and ventured into hard coral territory! :whistling: this were for a short wile going very well, but it was soon evident I needed something more suitable, and my wife also was wanting to move towards a bigger tank.

Soooooooooo..... Introducing my AquaOne Reef 275 Cube:-d

These tanks are usually sold at an eye watering price :swoon: good spec but there are many very nice tanks out there such as the TMC signature tanks etc. that I was also considering, but I managed to pick this one up by chance 2nd hand for a very reasonable price and a significant step up from the nano. So I soon got it set up.....

Sump Modifications..

I made some modifications to the sump set up and the sump was in not such great condition see pic, and the protein skimmer was too noisy for the living room.

So I took the opportunity to put in an extra divider and weir slots in the 2nd chamber to make a refugium. The down pipe from the tank I also extended to be below the water line in the 1st chamber, again to make it quieter. This 1st chamber has about 2kg of rock with some of the standard bio balls it came with, these I will be gradually removing in favour of rock and on top and not in any water is just some foam currently to minimise any evaporation. Under the 1st chamber is the 1st heater and a powered to keep things from settling. The 2nd chamber has the skimmer, I went for the Bubble Magus C3.5 which is a bit more compact and much quieter than the V2 compact 500 the previous owners used. I also added a make shift silencer on the air intake, you can't hear it running now!. The 2nd chamber also has a V2 auto top up switch, which is feed from the 4 litre container of RO water at the front. 3rd chamber has the refugium which has a deep sand layer with some Miracle Mud. In here is a variety of Algae, and live rock for breeding live food. This is lit by a 30cm Arcadia stretch LED unit. And the final 4th chamber has the 2nd heater, powered and the return pump going through the UV steriliser and back into the tank. The basic plan was to make it as maintenance free as possible by minimising any filter foams and chances for organic sediment to build up in chambers 1,2 and 4 (shrimps and other critters will deal with any food waste that's collected in the refugeium or main tank), as well as making it as quiet as possible which seems to be working very well, as I've seen various comments on how these tanks can be noisy.

Lighting Choice and Mod

The lighting set up is a 4x 24Watt T5 array, i quite like the look of the V2 Lumenair 900 but thought id give the T5 tubes a go first as see how it go's, but may switch to LEDs. I've fitted the following tubes...

1x Arcadia Blue
1x Arcadia Deep Blue
1x Arcadia Pink
1x Arcadia Hybrid - though this one will be changed in a few days to the White.

these are either on or off and cannot be selected, so I have added 2 blue LEDs to the centre bar which give a moon like appearance to the tank when the main lights are off.

Moving in day for the nano stock

I finally filled it with water, rock etc.. waited for temperature to settle etc.. and then moved everything in from the nano along with some newly purchased live rock. it was sad seeing the nano now empty and was soon obvious that I needed more, a lot more rock!!

Nano Before

Nano After! :bye:

Cleaned out ready to sell to a new home

All in the AquaReef Cube

so Jump forward a few weeks, the addition of a Regal Tang, Pistol Shrimp and Goby pair, and lots more rock it now looks like this and ready for a variety of more interesting reef specimens ....

Future Modifications

In no particular order...
1) Addition of a reactor in the return pump chamber if needed
2) change the return pump hose to soft silicon tubing and replace the pumps suction cups to completely eliminate any vibrations
3) Add LED lighting system (V2 Lumenair 900 is current contender)
4) Fit 2nd wave maker powerhead (currently only one working which in on a 20 second ON/OFF sequence need the other so it comes on when the other is off and vice versa)
5) I'm sure my list will grow!! :whistling:

anyway hopefully I'm going about things the right way and more images can be seen here if the links work?.. and I will try and update as often as I can and hopefully see it grow, hopefully to standard close to some very nice setups you all have Worship

Click Hear to see more pictures of my AquaReef 275 Cube http://s30.photobucket.com/user/JaySO78/AquaReef/story



Hope it all goes well,this hobby is a constant learning curve,here's what I've done with mine.. image.jpg
Except upside down


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:clap:Don't be daft [MENTION=20322]warby[/MENTION] its the old glass of water and paper trick Hysterical couldn't even turn my tablet upside down as it just span it round :lol: tablet on table walk round over side bingo , nice start to your tank mate :thumbup1:


Very nice, how long has it taken to get to that stage? mine is very thin on coral species ATM but I'm going to let the BTA find its happy place before adding more corals


Had the water levels checked today, other than a slight drop in KH all good so far, decided to quickly knock up water change system this morning using a spare barrel, couple of meters of tube, a power head and some sealant. Worked a treat [emoji108] processed 60 litres through the 20 litre barrel in an hour, with no disruption to live stock or water level, and I didn't have to anything but put the pipes in and switch it on. Not bad I thought for something knocked up out of bits I had kicking around.



I ask picked up a couple of small cheap frags from my LFS to see how they would fair before I commit to my coral shopping list.



1st casualty [emoji17] my wife's tiny sailfin tang which she bought at the weekend got caught in one of the power heads after power went out and back on this afternoon[emoji53] unfortunately she didn't realise it was missing until I got home. any ideas on how to lessen the chance of fish getting caught in powerheads?



Light upgrade update! I've been mulling over the iLumenAir LED lights for some time, something I was considering with my nano but never got around to it. Was in my LFS with my wife and saw one being demonstrated. Both very impressed, more so the wife and we decided to get one even though I've just bought a new set of T5 tubes about a month ago.

I had to modify the metal mounting bars do it would fit the tank securely as the iLumenAir 900 is the same width as the tank, but happy with the end result. But what a contrast!!! Colours of fish and corals pop and the white light is so much brighter. A couple of weeks my coral frag order is shipped so looking forward to seeing how they develop under these lights [emoji4] any setting recommendations will be greatfully received.


Ohh and got a replacement tang for my wife after the powerhead incident [emoji31]


Got home to find my refugium algae all pale and tank cloudy!!! What's happened since this morning!


Made a few changes since my last post, some coral additions as mentioned in my earlier post and some tank improvements. Here are some pics of the frags that arrived earlier this week.





To help keep the levels stable I'm opting to add in some additional dosing, only downside is limited room in the cabinet. However, a bit of cunning and I've managed to get around the problem by fabricating my own dosing tanks and rack.

Here is the area I'm going to make use off:


Bit of measuring and planning


then made my order for cut to measure acrylic sheets. Once arrived construction commences [emoji4]









Left to cure for a week and ready to install [emoji39]





All in and works a treat [emoji106]


The plan will be to dose with NO:pO-X, calcium and alkalinity in the 3 tanks, and Magnesium will be added to the RO water top up. I'm going to use the Fauna Marin Balling Light and see how it all goes, at the moment all the levels are bang on but as things grow I will have to make more use of the dosing capability.

The other added advantage is that the cover on top of the dumps 1st chamber has reduced the noise even more. I also changed the return pump tube from the stiff green tube for a soft food grade silicon version, getting rid of any transmitted vibration. The tank is now virtually silent [emoji4] only thing I can here now is the fans on the light unit when it's on full power.

The other change is the wave pumps, I've opted for the Jabeo wave pumps Jebao Wireless RW-8 / PP-8 Wave Maker I've got 2 and are certainly quieter than the previous ones I had, very powerful so currently on minimum setting. The BTA was not a fan so is walking round the tank at the moment, but now they are set lower hopefully he will be much happier and settle again.

That kind of conclude this update [emoji39]


Looking good ,Your sump layout is very similar to mine,I also dose nopox ,kh,and calcium through doser,rowaphos in reactor,although going to stop using this as phosphates are to low at 0 and softies don't look happy,have tried cheoto in sump but it didn't grow/last


Well I thought I'd try getting my clownfish to recognise the BTA today, may or may not work but thought I'd try. Would have preferred to do this in a bigger container but the BTAs foot is buried deep behind rocks I can't get to.



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Clowns escaped the netting on the first night when the anemone shrinks down into its rocky hideaway, will try again one day when the BTA can be freed from its rock or just wait until it decides to split. I could get another anemone! Though not to sure about having two in my tank, so I will sit on it for now.

Some new additions this weekend, so beginning to take shape.






I also noticed rice sized hammer coral tips laying in the gravel 3 in total, they are tiny in comparison to the other heads. I managed to suck them up and place them in a holding tank with a piece of rock. 2 seemed to move into a crevice and the other is resting on the top, are these dead heads or is it doing some sort of asexual reproduction?

Managed to get a pic, it's the green glowing bit

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May Update... Well yesterday night I finally got a chance to catch my BTA (Sheldon). I had upped the flow on one of my powerheads which was pointing in his general direction, after about 3 days he finally decided to go and find a new spot. Only by chance as I was heading to bed I spotted him on the rock he had been hiding behind. so gloves on and time to tickle his foot! 45 mins later and one very saw arm and neck he finally let go! So I popped him into a basket. This morning caught the clown fish and put them in with him. my last attempt trying to pen in the fish failed as I couldn't get anything under behind the rock, so they made there escape when Sheldon shrunk back for the night. This time there is no escape! No guarantee it will work either but have to try.

This is them all together:

Other tank things: starting to get to grips with baling, coral frags appear to be responding well


New heads

Strange bubble thing growing, algae I suspect? So needs removing if bad?

The blue cheek goby vanished on the 2nd day never to be seen again! So I suspect he has been recycled!

As for the slime algae, well it developed into a big unsightly mat, so I've sucked out what I could and treating with ultralife red slime remover. Tested NO3 (5) and PO4 (0.05) so not entirely sure what's causing it at the moment, so just need to keep eye out for developing patches! May be a flow thing so have up that today, so will see what happens.

This is how it's looking today, scape plan will be to add some sort of rocky bridge as its a bit of a wall at the moment so would be nice to have a few more coral mounting points and something for the fish to swim around.

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Well a week on and things are looking good with The BTA and clown fish, they are swimming and rubbing themselves through his tentacles more and more each day. The BTA I think is having a bit of a hard time with the extra attention as closes and opens up several times a day more than it did before, and been a bit less keen on his food. But when open looks happy enough, I wondered if it was because its closer to the lights or the clowns just irritating it a little?

Also while at my LFS looking for a sea hare to deal with the hair algae that's in places I came across a flame scooter, my daughter has wanted me to find one so I grabbed it and scored some extra daddy daughter brownie points :)


The sea hare, not the most attractive of things but useful, once he's had his fill and the hair algae gone, he will be going back to the LFS as he will starve if I keep him. The emerald crabs can keep the smaller shorter stuff under control from there. The shop has a good policy that they will accept live stock back for the same value in store credit.

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2nd attempt trying to get my clownfish to host in the anemone, this time no escape! And a week in and looks like we're winning [emoji41] Coral (the female clownfish) is snuggled in nicely [emoji106] (sorry poor colour, iPhone and LED lights don't mix well but will try to get a better pic/vid in the daytime)https://vimeo.com/166730990

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