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Red Sea or Waterbox? JK, maybe IM Lagoon 50 EXT

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pricewayne
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Having a really hard time deciding which tank will be best. I want to plan this setup to be well thought out and cohesive before I start making any purchases -- am thinking end of summer will be the earliest I'll start buying. My first tank is the Fluval 13.5g (started this February) and it's going strong & have a 2.5g pico as well. Quite new to the hobby, and yes, already obsessed!

 

Looking in the 40-65g range for size -- Red Sea or Waterbox both *seem* to be the top contenders in both size categories. I do love Innovative Marine tanks -- but seems a better deal to go with RS or Waterbox since they come with cabinet & sump. For setup and stocking, I'm thinking...

  • SPS dominant, but not exclusive
  • NanoBox duo or double duo, if needed
  • I'd like to have a tank that's plumbed for a sump in cabinet & would like to have a refugium in sump for pod population
    • Predrilled tank... I may be handy, but drilling glass & gluing plumbing is a nope for me
  • Fish & equipment specific planning is TBD, dependent upon which tank I decide on

 

 

Questions haunting me in the dead of night...

Red Sea tank glass is so sexy. You know it, I know it, we all know it -- but what are people's impression of Waterbox tank glass in comparison? Generally, is one considered better than the other and why (beyond "branding")? Are there other tanks I should be considering that I just don't know about?

 

Quick tank specs...

Red Sea Reefer 170

  • 43g total volume (34g display)
  • 24.5"x20"x20"

Waterbox Marine 45.2

  • 44.3g total volume (29.6g display)
  • 24"x18"x18"

 

Red Sea Reefer 250 (rectangular shape)

  • 65g total volume (54g display)
  • 35.5"x21"x20"

Waterbox Marine 60.2 (cubed shape)

  • 61.8 total volume (39.8g display)
  • 24"x24"x18"

 

Other tanks I should consider? Thoughts, advice & tips & tricks appreciated 😬

 

1454467107_giphy(1).gif.023a42f7c63948d7e7ea3bc7b65b3da7.gif

Edited by pricewayne
renamed topic title

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Tamberav

I would go with red sea simply because it has more volume and 250 has more length.

 

They are both good systems.

 

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pricewayne
19 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

I would go with red sea simply because it has more volume and 250 has more length.

 

They are both good systems.

 

Yep, the display volume in particular is awesome in the 250. I do think I’m preferential to the cube shape over the rectangular — just have to figure out which is more important I suppose lol.

 

Should see me in the cereal aisle. Decisions... decisions.

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GraniteReefer

Got a redsea reefer 250 in January and my honest opinion is I wouldn’t buy it again.

 The stand is particle board.  The left door isn’t easily adjusted once your sump is placed.  There are no leveling feet on the stand.  There isn’t enough space for equipment within stand while still maintaining easy accessibility.  

The tank glass scratches easily(don’t put a frag rack on the front pane). You have to babysit the overflow or live with it slowly draining more into the emergency drain over time(audible flow). The filter socks need a low amount of flow to actually catch debris( mine stay spotless as I apparently run too much flow).  The included ATO gets in the way and the float valve clogged with small debris within a few months( easily cleaned but I just removed it due to its lack of reliability). Refugium too small, skimmer section too big.  Only spot to comfortably fit a large heater is in the first chamber of sump before socks.  To remove the socks you have to slide out an annoying manifold and they release anything they may have caught and this limits what you can actually put in the refugium area or else it impedes the manifold/socks removal.  

The centered overflow isn’t something I love either especially the returns location.  You will need more lighting than you mentioned you were planning, I run two Kessil 360we’s at 100% and need a T5 hybrid to achieve the light levels I want.  You will need a strong return pump and likely 2 MP10 or equivalent powerheads to achieve optimal flow in the display.  The sump is a detritus trap and has me considering buying one of those power vacs as it is hard to siphon it out when you can’t siphon into a lower bucket.  Gooseneck mounts sit in the water if placed on the tank itself.  You will need a strong magnetic glass cleaner due to glass thickness.  Light spill from stand at night due to gap near the bottom of the stand/doors.  The white stand is ugly and blemished easily(kids crash into it daily and it shows)

There is even more but I think I made my point.  For me owning the redsea has made me realize the husbandry on small systems is easier making it more enjoyable for me so if you’ve only worked with nano tanks before I would warn you it’s a whole different game when above 40g and sumped.  Even my wife was disappointed in the Redsea’s quality as I was hyping about it for years before I pulled the trigger.  You’ll probably need a custom lid too as the DIY one redsea sells is a POS.  The whole setup leaves a lot to be desired for $1400+

Sorry for the negative review but I wish I had been warned of these things in January 

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pricewayne
3 hours ago, GraniteReefer said:

Got a redsea reefer 250 in January and my honest opinion is I wouldn’t buy it again.

 The stand is particle board.  The left door isn’t easily adjusted once your sump is placed.  There are no leveling feet on the stand.  There isn’t enough space for equipment within stand while still maintaining easy accessibility.  

The tank glass scratches easily(don’t put a frag rack on the front pane). You have to babysit the overflow or live with it slowly draining more into the emergency drain over time(audible flow). The filter socks need a low amount of flow to actually catch debris( mine stay spotless as I apparently run too much flow).  The included ATO gets in the way and the float valve clogged with small debris within a few months( easily cleaned but I just removed it due to its lack of reliability). Refugium too small, skimmer section too big.  Only spot to comfortably fit a large heater is in the first chamber of sump before socks.  To remove the socks you have to slide out an annoying manifold and they release anything they may have caught and this limits what you can actually put in the refugium area or else it impedes the manifold/socks removal.  

The centered overflow isn’t something I love either especially the returns location.  You will need more lighting than you mentioned you were planning, I run two Kessil 360we’s at 100% and need a T5 hybrid to achieve the light levels I want.  You will need a strong return pump and likely 2 MP10 or equivalent powerheads to achieve optimal flow in the display.  The sump is a detritus trap and has me considering buying one of those power vacs as it is hard to siphon it out when you can’t siphon into a lower bucket.  Gooseneck mounts sit in the water if placed on the tank itself.  You will need a strong magnetic glass cleaner due to glass thickness.  Light spill from stand at night due to gap near the bottom of the stand/doors.  The white stand is ugly and blemished easily(kids crash into it daily and it shows)

There is even more but I think I made my point.  For me owning the redsea has made me realize the husbandry on small systems is easier making it more enjoyable for me so if you’ve only worked with nano tanks before I would warn you it’s a whole different game when above 40g and sumped.  Even my wife was disappointed in the Redsea’s quality as I was hyping about it for years before I pulled the trigger.  You’ll probably need a custom lid too as the DIY one redsea sells is a POS.  The whole setup leaves a lot to be desired for $1400+

Sorry for the negative review but I wish I had been warned of these things in January 

Thanks for the detailed thoughts. Yeah, I’m really frustrated with the stock stand options.. sort of across the board. Waterbox has a “wood” stand (pretty sure it’s just particle board with a nicer facade) and seems it may only be made for their freshwater line of tanks. Am thinking more and more I may want to build my own stand regardless of which tank I go with.

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William

I’m having the same

question, I’m leaning towards the waterbox 70.2

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Tigahboy

I checked out a reefer's Waterbox 130.4 and I was really impressed.  Very nice quality tank (it is actual Starphire glass as well) and it was really quiet.  I wasn't blown away by the stand, but it seemed a lot more solid and cleaner looking than the Red Sea Reefer's stand which I've checked out at my LFS.

 

The reefer also said the plumbing was very easy to install and works well.  ATO is tiny tho.

 

Side note, he has 2 Nero 5s on the tank as well and those things were silent.  Much quieter than MPs.

 

I'm looking hard at the Waterbox too, but none of the dimensions really speak to me (and I prefer clear back tanks) so having a hard time pulling the trigger.  If there were a size I liked I would have probably bought it by now tho.  

 

 

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Tigahboy
41 minutes ago, pricewayne said:

Thanks for the detailed thoughts. Yeah, I’m really frustrated with the stock stand options.. sort of across the board. Waterbox has a “wood” stand (pretty sure it’s just particle board with a nicer facade) and seems it may only be made for their freshwater line of tanks. Am thinking more and more I may want to build my own stand regardless of which tank I go with.

If you find a good stand builder, lmk.  I may want one too.

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mitten_reef

If both packaged stands and sumps from RS and WB are "issues" so-to-speak, it seems to open up the option of IM INT and EXT tanks.  Just seem like the next logical move, since they don't tie you down with the package deal.    

 

Those IMs also have pretty cool aluminum-framed stand, but can't speak much about the quality as I haven't even seen one in-person.  There are a few people on here that I'm aware of with those IM APS stands, might worth searching for their journals, or just start a thread to see feedbacks.  

 

 

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Jacob319

With my current set up (a 30 gallon breeder tank) I didn’t do a package and I just got the exact hardware that I wanted so I knew that I’d be getting what paying for

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msummerf

From research I did and experience (I got a waterbox cube) is I believe the aquariums are similar and a wash, the Waterbox stands are much more high quality (wood, uv coated, strong hinges etc.), Customer service absolutely sucks for Waterbox and Red Sea has good customer service. So if you want the better product IMO is waterbox only by a slight margin, if you think customer service is very important then go Red Sea. Don't think you can go wrong with either. 

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pricewayne
4 hours ago, William said:

I’m having the same

question, I’m leaning towards the waterbox 70.2

Curious what your plan is for lighting?

 

3 hours ago, mitten_reef said:

If both packaged stands and sumps from RS and WB are "issues" so-to-speak, it seems to open up the option of IM INT and EXT tanks.  Just seem like the next logical move, since they don't tie you down with the package deal.    

 

Those IMs also have pretty cool aluminum-framed stand, but can't speak much about the quality as I haven't even seen one in-person.  There are a few people on here that I'm aware of with those IM APS stands, might worth searching for their journals, or just start a thread to see feedbacks.  

 

 

Yeah, have considered IM tanks but prefer the glass on the red sea and waterbox. Not a big fan of the IM stands, unfortunately. I really think I'll end up building a stand or finding a creative way to mask the RS or Waterbox stand.

 

3 hours ago, msummerf said:

From research I did and experience (I got a waterbox cube) is I believe the aquariums are similar and a wash, the Waterbox stands are much more high quality (wood, uv coated, strong hinges etc.), Customer service absolutely sucks for Waterbox and Red Sea has good customer service. So if you want the better product IMO is waterbox only by a slight margin, if you think customer service is very important then go Red Sea. Don't think you can go wrong with either. 

Great to know. What size cube do you have?

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msummerf

Just the 20 for now, going to upgrade to the 100.3 Waterbox in about a year. The only negative I've found on the bigger waterbox's is the ATO is pretty crappy and small. My suggestion is just don't use it and remove it or drill it and use the ATO as a refugium and then get a seperate ATO. Good luck. Can't wait to watch the build. 

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pricewayne

@DaveFason -- any thoughts on nanobox lighting for these setups?

Know the Duo will work for the Red Sea 170 and assume would work for the Waterbox 45.2 given the similar dimensions. Not sure what best nanobox setup would be for the Waterbox 60.2 given the dimensions. And am guessing 2 Duos would work for the Red Sea 250. Not against a hybrid, possibly ?

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William
23 minutes ago, pricewayne said:

Curious what your plan is for lighting?

 

Yeah, have considered IM tanks but prefer the glass on the red sea and waterbox. Not a big fan of the IM stands, unfortunately. I really think I'll end up building a stand or finding a creative way to mask the RS or Waterbox stand.

 

Great to know. What size cube do you have?

Im most likely going to start off with the Nanobox duo I currently have on my RSR nano, then I plan to Either get a: 1) dual NBR Duo (with the goosenecks mounted on the short sides) 2) the new Red Sea Reefed 90w, 3) Hydra 26 or 52 

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DaveFason
17 minutes ago, pricewayne said:

@DaveFason -- any thoughts on nanobox lighting for these setups?

Know the Duo will work for the Red Sea 170 and assume would work for the Waterbox 45.2 given the similar dimensions. Not sure what best nanobox setup would be for the Waterbox 60.2 given the dimensions. And am guessing 2 Duos would work for the Red Sea 250. Not against a hybrid, possibly ?

Dual Duo or Hybrid for the 60g. The other two will be just fine with the Duo. 

-Dave

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pricewayne
4 minutes ago, William said:

Im most likely going to start off with the Nanobox duo I currently have on my RSR nano, then I plan to Either get a: 1) dual NBR Duo (with the goosenecks mounted on the short sides) 2) the new Red Sea Reefed 90w, 3) Hydra 26 or 52 

Nice. Love your nano (that eel... I want one).

 

2 minutes ago, DaveFason said:

Dual Duo or Hybrid for the 60g. The other two will be just fine with the Duo. 

 -Dave

Thanks, Dave.

I'm leaning more and more into wanting the Waterbox 60.2. For SPS dominant stocking, do you recommend Dual Duo or Hybrid as the better option?

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DaveFason
2 minutes ago, pricewayne said:

Nice. Love your nano (that eel... I want one).

 

Thanks, Dave.

I'm leaning more and more into wanting the Waterbox 60.2. For SPS dominant stocking, do you recommend Dual Duo or Hybrid as the better option?

Honestly either. If hanging is not an option then the Dual Duo it is!

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This guy is extra salty
15 hours ago, pricewayne said:

Having a really hard time deciding which tank will be best. I want to plan this setup to be well thought out and cohesive before I start making any purchases -- am thinking end of summer will be the earliest I'll start buying. My first tank is the Fluval 13.5g (started this February) and it's going strong & have a 2.5g pico as well. Quite new to the hobby, and yes, already obsessed!

 

Looking in the 40-65g range for size -- Red Sea or Waterbox both *seem* to be the top contenders in both size categories. I do love Innovative Marine tanks -- but seems a better deal to go with RS or Waterbox since they come with cabinet & sump. For setup and stocking, I'm thinking...

  • SPS dominant, but not exclusive
  • NanoBox duo or double duo, if needed
  • I'd like to have a tank that's plumbed for a sump in cabinet & would like to have a refugium in sump for pod population
    • Predrilled tank... I may be handy, but drilling glass & gluing plumbing is a nope for me
  • Fish & equipment specific planning is TBD, dependent upon which tank I decide on

 

 

Questions haunting me in the dead of night...

Red Sea tank glass is so sexy. You know it, I know it, we all know it -- but what are people's impression of Waterbox tank glass in comparison? Generally, is one considered better than the other and why (beyond "branding")? Are there other tanks I should be considering that I just don't know about?

 

Quick tank specs...

Red Sea Reefer 170

  • 43g total volume (34g display)
  • 24.5"x20"x20"

Waterbox Marine 45.2

  • 44.3g total volume (29.6g display)
  • 24"x18"x18"

 

Red Sea Reefer 250 (rectangular shape)

  • 65g total volume (54g display)
  • 35.5"x21"x20"

Waterbox Marine 60.2 (cubed shape)

  • 61.8 total volume (39.8g display)
  • 24"x24"x18"

 

Other tanks I should consider? Thoughts, advice & tips & tricks appreciated 😬

 

1454467107_giphy(1).gif.023a42f7c63948d7e7ea3bc7b65b3da7.gif

With the prices of those tanks (for me) it’s cheaper to build it myself 

(coming from a guy who owns a 750xxl deluxe)

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William
9 minutes ago, This guy is extra salty said:

With the prices of those tanks (for me) it’s cheaper to build it myself 

(coming from a guy who owns a 750xxl deluxe)

I’m space restricted in a 1 bedroom manhattan apartment, and have no car, so have to have something premade.  

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pokerdobe
10 hours ago, GraniteReefer said:

Got a redsea reefer 250 in January and my honest opinion is I wouldn’t buy it again.

 The stand is particle board.  The left door isn’t easily adjusted once your sump is placed.  There are no leveling feet on the stand.  There isn’t enough space for equipment within stand while still maintaining easy accessibility.  

The tank glass scratches easily(don’t put a frag rack on the front pane). You have to babysit the overflow or live with it slowly draining more into the emergency drain over time(audible flow). The filter socks need a low amount of flow to actually catch debris( mine stay spotless as I apparently run too much flow).  The included ATO gets in the way and the float valve clogged with small debris within a few months( easily cleaned but I just removed it due to its lack of reliability). Refugium too small, skimmer section too big.  Only spot to comfortably fit a large heater is in the first chamber of sump before socks.  To remove the socks you have to slide out an annoying manifold and they release anything they may have caught and this limits what you can actually put in the refugium area or else it impedes the manifold/socks removal.  

The centered overflow isn’t something I love either especially the returns location.  You will need more lighting than you mentioned you were planning, I run two Kessil 360we’s at 100% and need a T5 hybrid to achieve the light levels I want.  You will need a strong return pump and likely 2 MP10 or equivalent powerheads to achieve optimal flow in the display.  The sump is a detritus trap and has me considering buying one of those power vacs as it is hard to siphon it out when you can’t siphon into a lower bucket.  Gooseneck mounts sit in the water if placed on the tank itself.  You will need a strong magnetic glass cleaner due to glass thickness.  Light spill from stand at night due to gap near the bottom of the stand/doors.  The white stand is ugly and blemished easily(kids crash into it daily and it shows)

There is even more but I think I made my point.  For me owning the redsea has made me realize the husbandry on small systems is easier making it more enjoyable for me so if you’ve only worked with nano tanks before I would warn you it’s a whole different game when above 40g and sumped.  Even my wife was disappointed in the Redsea’s quality as I was hyping about it for years before I pulled the trigger.  You’ll probably need a custom lid too as the DIY one redsea sells is a POS.  The whole setup leaves a lot to be desired for $1400+

Sorry for the negative review but I wish I had been warned of these things in January 

 

I can agree on some of these, but I don't see how a few things are Red Sea's fault? For example, lighting and flow isn't Red Sea's fault... Also, where the overflow and return isn't something that is unknown. 

 

Not trying to be critical, just think that you're being a tad bit unfair on some details that isn't really the company's fault. 

 

My own two cents:

 

I have owned both the Reefer 250 and 750. My experience with the 250 is only the gen 1 250s that have come out, so I'm not sure how applicable they are:

  • Glass quality and thickness is top notch
  • Silicone is top notch
  • Great customer service and company history
  • Non-adjustable/non-leveling feet on the 250. The 750 has leveling feet that are superior.
  • Narrow depth - not something people think about, but I found it rather limiting in terms of scape. The dimensions for me are not very well suited for optimal scaping. Though you could simply attribute this to my lack of creativity. 
  • Stock plumbing blows. Doesn't matter if it's the 250 or the 750. I would suggest replacing all your plumbing.
  • Cabinet door and hinges could be better. 
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pricewayne
1 hour ago, pokerdobe said:

 

I can agree on some of these, but I don't see how a few things are Red Sea's fault? For example, lighting and flow isn't Red Sea's fault... Also, where the overflow and return isn't something that is unknown. 

 

Not trying to be critical, just think that you're being a tad bit unfair on some details that isn't really the company's fault. 

 

My own two cents:

 

I have owned both the Reefer 250 and 750. My experience with the 250 is only the gen 1 250s that have come out, so I'm not sure how applicable they are:

  • Glass quality and thickness is top notch
  • Silicone is top notch
  • Great customer service and company history
  • Non-adjustable/non-leveling feet on the 250. The 750 has leveling feet that are superior.
  • Narrow depth - not something people think about, but I found it rather limiting in terms of scape. The dimensions for me are not very well suited for optimal scaping. Though you could simply attribute this to my lack of creativity. 
  • Stock plumbing blows. Doesn't matter if it's the 250 or the 750. I would suggest replacing all your plumbing.
  • Cabinet door and hinges could be better. 

Great info, as well -- especially on the depth//scape challenges. Thank you!!

 

Right now, am thinking I want the Waterbox 60 -- it's a nice step up in both system and display water volume from the 40ish gallon options, but still the cubed shape I'm more partial to. Don't think I'm ready to commit 100% to it yet -- trying to intentionally take my time deciding... I rushed into buying the Fluval 13g and in hindsight, it wouldn't have been my first choice for a tank in that size range. Not a complete loss since it's a pretty affordable AIO. This build will be a bit more of an investment!

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robbiedob84
8 hours ago, pricewayne said:

Thanks for the detailed thoughts. Yeah, I’m really frustrated with the stock stand options.. sort of across the board. Waterbox has a “wood” stand (pretty sure it’s just particle board with a nicer facade) and seems it may only be made for their freshwater line of tanks. Am thinking more and more I may want to build my own stand regardless of which tank I go with.

yeah every where i looked i saw people complaining about the quality of the stock stands for these brands.  Im not a diy guy so i had my cabinet custom made, it looks great and cost me $120 less.

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pricewayne
3 hours ago, This guy is extra salty said:

With the prices of those tanks (for me) it’s cheaper to build it myself 

(coming from a guy who owns a 750xxl deluxe)

Like, I love a challenge -- but this isn't one I'll regret skipping out on. Nooooope lol.

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pricewayne
1 minute ago, robbiedob84 said:

yeah every where i looked i saw people complaining about the quality of the stock stands for these brands.  Im not a diy guy so i had my cabinet custom made, it looks great and cost me $120 less.

Nice, did you get it made someplace locally? & do you happen to be in SoCal 🤓

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