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BehindGlass

The 7 Gallon Waterbox Story

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BehindGlass

So I recently found myself in a Goldilocks situation. I had a space between the couch and the recliner that I wanted to put a small aquarium. Problem was I didn't want to go to big as it would create a wall of sorts between the two making conversations a bit difficult. 

 

First I looked at the Fluval 13.5 . I could turn it sideways and slide it up against the wall, but this meant someone would be looking at the equipment end. Turn it so it comes off the wall like a peninsula and it created that wall effect. Also the hood limited what corals could be grown, though seems like softies and LPS may do fine, SPS will struggle. I could remove the lid and use a A350w over it though, but that would not give me the clean lines I'm looking for. However I did find the tank (used) for 100.00 with skimmer and koralia nano pump. I'm still tempted to buy it at that price for a small QT tank.

 

Second I looked at the Nuvo 10. This tank seems to have a huge fan base and looking into I could see why. But again size became a factor and it would stick off the wall further than liked. Not to mention once I added up all the equipment, stand and all the bells and whistles I wanted (I'm the person who tries to buy once and plan ahead for the future at the same time) the price for it bumped the 1400.00 range.

 

With that shock factor in mind I wondered if I could go old school with a simple aqueon 10 gallon tank. I priced out a HOB filter, power head and refugium. By far this is the cheapest route. But alas the tank again would stick to far off the wall again, equipment would be visible and noise was a concern.

 

However while pricing out equipment I came across a site (SaltWaterAquarium.com) with the 7 gallon Waterbox AIO cube. It's marked as discontinued and price tag of $89. After researching it I discovered that there was little info on it when it came to prior tank setups on the forums. What  little there was seemed to be plagued with factory pumps not fitting in the chamber. Seems WB was quick to resolve these issues, but then it was a toss up as to what pump you may get. However the dimensions were what I was looking for at roughly 12 inches square and display area of 12 x 9 3/4 inches.

 

So using this knowledge and reading what others had used in the rear chambers I was able to find that a Cobalt MJ606 would fit and so begun the equipment shopping carts on various sites, though most was on Amazon to be honest.

 

Here is a list of what was bought:

WB 7g Cube

Cobalt MJ606 Return pump

Hydor 50w Neo Heater

KPS Wave Maker Powerhead

Tunze 3152 ATO

 

Inkbird ITC-306T Heater Relay (so if the heater sticks, I won't boil the tank)

Bimini Pink Sand

Flipper Nano Magnet Cleaner

Salifert Master Reef Testing Kit

JB Weld waterweld epoxy for aquascaping

Penn Plax Heater for salt water mixing

Pump out of tank will be used for the water mixing as well

Coral Pro Sea Salt (Large bucket) Plan on a 40 Breeder in the near future

Kessil A350w & goose neck (used)

Aqua FX 5 Stage RODI with TDS (used)

Refractometer (used)

 

Stocking plan will include:

5.5 Gallon Clean Up Crew (CUC) from Reef Cleaners

Yasha Goby

Pistol Shrimp 

Sexy Shrimp

Various LPS and SPS

Probably at least one not well thought out impulse buy

 

On a side note I gave thought to the InTank media basket, but given the small nature of the tank I'll be doing weekly water changes of 50% to 70% which will head off any stability issues. 

 

Now to figure out what to use for a stand.  Needs to hide a ATO tank/container and tuck away the cords and controllers. 

 

Any ideas? Leaning towards a wall cabinet from Ikea. 

 

Stay tuned and let the fun begin....

 

 

 

 

  

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Matteo

Pics or it didn't happen 👀

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BehindGlass
2 hours ago, Matteo said:

Pics or it didn't happen 👀

They will be coming. Right now everything is in transit to me. The only thing I could post a picture of right now is a used A350w or a AI Prime and a Seneye Reef, which I'll use to adjust out the par so as not to cook the corals.

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BehindGlass

Well everything has come in bar the sand and rock. I'm still unsure if I want to go with the Bimini Pink sand. It's only a 7 gallon tank and I don't want to create a blizzard of sand in the tank or have it all get pushed out of one corner and into another. So I'm now trying to figure out exactly what I want to use or a may use a combination of such.  Guess I can order some from Petco and just return what I don't like. 

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BehindGlass

Well The tank is slowly coming together. Included some pictures of it, the stand (from Target) and the equipment boxes. The tank is still wrapped in its plastic. Once I'm ready to get it wet I'll remove that. Not shown was a 7 gallon water jug from Amazon and the salt. Excuse the mess of wires, that rat nest will be cleaned up before it gets wet, once I locate a small surge protector.

 

I'm not sold on the Prime HD mount. It causes the tank to sit further off the wall than I wanted. This is due to the tank not being very big and the rail having to be slid back. If it was a deeper tank I wouldn't have this problem. I tempted to either cut the mount or buy a goose neck mount. I'm thinking goose neck, but I'm not sure I can arc it enough to where again the bend doesn't get pushed up against the wall. Maybe I'll look into a DIY solution. Not like I won't be able to move the tank once full. 

 

The sand I've decided on is Caribsea Aragonite and Caribsea Super Naturals. Well i say I've decided, but I do have some other on order. Like I said I'll choose which I like best and return what I don't like. I also have a Nuvo 40 and Nuvo 25 in the works (stay tuned for threads on those in the near future), so it's not like I won't need it. I have no fear of mixing a couple of types together. 

 

I had bought a used 4 Stage RODI unit. While the filters were probably good I didn't want to take any risk and ordered replacements. Those arrived today So the RO water is in the process of being made up. Though the temptation to buy ready made since it's such a small tank is there so I can go ahead and get some LR I saw today, before it disappears. 

 

I do not have the box for the KMS in the photos as I've not decided on if I want to use it or not to be honest. I have a SW-2 power head and if I can get away with it, then I'll most likely return the KMS and use the money from it towards odds and ends for this tank and the others that will be going up soon, though not much is left to buy for this 7 gallon one now.  I just need a ATO reservoir which will probably be a cheapo DIY solution. I can't see paying a stupid price for a fancy acrylic one, that will be hid away behind a closed door. A salifert master test kit, I'll spend the extra money on this kit as water quality is crucial in such a small tank and I need to be spot on.  I'll need a decent surge protector other than the cheapo power strip I'm currently using. The summer is upon us here in the South and we are getting 2-3 thunderstorms a week now. I'll also need some Live Rock. I saw a couple of pieces at Petco today while picking up the sand and a 20 gallon long for a QT Tank (1$ per gallon sale going on right now). I cringed at the prices of their LR, but the pieces were nice, fully cured and ideal for the tank size with plenty of mounting areas for frags.

 

Probably won't be another update till the water, rock and sand all go in. Which with luck may be this weekend.

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Wonderboy
On 6/30/2019 at 4:34 PM, BehindGlass said:

Probably at least one not well thought out impulse buy

LOL - looking forward to this! Love yashas! Equipment and plan are well thought out - good job!

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Krish87

Awesome setup! I have the 7G too :smilie:

 

How are you planning to set the MJ606 return pump? I believe it requires some modification to the nozzle?

 

The stock pump (I got the Aquatop) is pretty much lifeless! :blink:

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BehindGlass
4 minutes ago, Krish87 said:

 

 

How are you planning to set the MJ606 return pump? I believe it requires some modification to the nozzle?

 

The stock pump (I got the Aquatop) is pretty much lifeless! :blink:

I've already put the hose onto the pump if that's what you are talking about. My hose was a frosted clear colored one that is pliable. I heated it up in boiling water and then slipped it over the nozzle piece. Mind you it was hot and my fingers felt the burn. I do have to remove the suction cups from the bottom of it though. Otherwise it will be a nightmare to remove since I can hardly get my hand in that return chamber. I'll most likely put just put the fuzzy side of velcro on the bottom using some adhesive glue. This should reduce any vibrations. 

 

The aquatop will be used for the salt mixing bucket. I figured that was about all it was good for. 

 

I'll have to go checkout your tank now. finding threads on the 7g are few and far between, especially since the tank is no longer made.

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Krish87

@BehindGlass Yes! That’s what I was referring to.

I had a tough time doing that and then I wasn’t very comfortable to continue doing so, hence I dropped the plan and stuck with the stock pump. I have a Nero 5 in there, it takes care of everything for me! 😀

The other reason I thought of sticking with the Aquatop is for cleaning purposes (you are right on - the chamber is so narrow, we can barely get our hands in). 

Oh sorry, I forgot to mention this in my previous reply.

 

For the ATO, I have the XP Aqua Duetto. Replacing the sensor for the 2nd time now. 1st time, the sensor failed and the pump didn’t push the water. 2nd time it was a disaster - the sensor failed and it was a tank overflow. Thankfully, I was able to save all the livestock. Jeez!!! I’d say that their support is good. Easy to work with. And quite cooperating. I have a Smart ATO Micro in my BioCube. Pretty good so far.

 

I need to update my Waterbox thread with some pics and a few other topics. One of which is lessons learned from the XP Aqua Duetto ATO. 

 

So good to have you along the 7G journey now 🙂 It will be fun to exchange notes!!!

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BehindGlass

Well today was a eventful day. Decided to go to the LFS, which isn't exactly local being a hours drive, and look at their live rock. Their live rock was more or less marcorock and other brands of man made rock with fake coloring. When you looked at it, it appeared that it was taken out of the box and tossed in the tank and it went from dead rock to live rock the moment it hit the water. There was zip life growing upon the rock. A far cry from what I call live rock.

However I continued to dig through the vat of rock and after moving chunks of purple rock around I found a few small pieces of real rock and dead coral tops. I ended up with 12lbs of rock, with one piece being a shelf/plate piece to large for this 7 gallon, but ideal for the Nuvo 40 that I'll be working on next.

So I had them wrap it up in paper and put it into a styrofoam box. I also bought a 2 gallon jug and a 4.4 gallon jug of Nutri seawater. Now if you haven't seen this stuff it is pure seawater straight from the ocean. It along with the live rock that has already been cycled means ZERO cycling time. So I get home with the rock and water and grab the sand that I planned to use. I head outside with the sand in hand to a 5 gallon bucket. I used roughly a 70% of the aragonite and 30% of the other sugar grain sand. I washed it out till the water basically ran clear. I used at best a total of 4 pounds of the mix.

Added the sand to the tank and then got the LR out and started working with it. I ended up with a cave with a rather flat area on top and a outcrop. All ideal for coral frags. Poured in the water (just over 5 gallons) and had very little cloudiness thanks to the pre-rinse.

Now the day wasn't over. I was to go collect a Nuvo 25g Lagoon with IM skimmer and stand for $200.00. The wife wants a frog fish and this will be ideal for it. When I went to collect it, it had a bottom full of sand and roughly 10 gallons of water still in it. However it had a large chunk of LR in it covered in Green, watermelon and blue/purple mushrooms. A leather tree coral and some unknown birdsnest SPS. Oh and a snail and blue leg crab. Well this wasn't planned on however a nice surprise, but then came into play where the heck am I going to put this. I couldn't just leave it all out and let it die and to buy a rock like this locally with 20 plus heads on it would cost a easy $100.00. I had a 5 gallon bucket for the sand/water and a 5 gallon container for water. So I gathered all that I could loaded it into the car.

Well Petco still has there $1 per gallon going on so I stopped by there and picked up a 10 gallon tank. Got home, dumped everything into the tank and tossed in a heater and powerhead. Fingers crossed that it all survives. However I did add the leather and a few free floating mushrooms to the 7 gallon in a small specimen cup plastic lid and reduced flow in the tank to low. I think one blew off behind the LR, but the others are staying put for now.

So now that you've read about the days events here are some pictures of the tank prior to water going in:

 

 

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Wonderboy

That was definitely quite the busy day! It sounds like you handled everything very well - I think everything will make it. Good job and great finds!

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Krish87
4 minutes ago, BehindGlass said:

Well today was a eventful day. Decided to go to the LFS, which isn't exactly local being a hours drive, and look at their live rock. Their live rock was more or less marcorock and other brands of man made rock with fake coloring. When you looked at it, it appeared that it was taken out of the box and tossed in the tank and it went from dead rock to live rock the moment it hit the water. There was zip life growing upon the rock. A far cry from what I call live rock.

However I continued to dig through the vat of rock and after moving chunks of purple rock around I found a few small pieces of real rock and dead coral tops. I ended up with 12lbs of rock, with one piece being a shelf/plate piece to large for this 7 gallon, but ideal for the Nuvo 40 that I'll be working on next.

So I had them wrap it up in paper and put it into a styrofoam box. I also bought a 2 gallon jug and a 4.4 gallon jug of Nutri seawater. Now if you haven't seen this stuff it is pure seawater straight from the ocean. It along with the live rock that has already been cycled means ZERO cycling time. So I get home with the rock and water and grab the sand that I planned to use. I head outside with the sand in hand to a 5 gallon bucket. I used roughly a 70% of the aragonite and 30% of the other sugar grain sand. I washed it out till the water basically ran clear. I used at best a total of 4 pounds of the mix.

Added the sand to the tank and then got the LR out and started working with it. I ended up with a cave with a rather flat area on top and a outcrop. All ideal for coral frags. Poured in the water (just over 5 gallons) and had very little cloudiness thanks to the pre-rinse.

Now the day wasn't over. I was to go collect a Nuvo 25g Lagoon with IM skimmer and stand for $200.00. The wife wants a frog fish and this will be ideal for it. When I went to collect it, it had a bottom full of sand and roughly 10 gallons of water still in it. However it had a large chunk of LR in it covered in Green, watermelon and blue/purple mushrooms. A leather tree coral and some unknown birdsnest SPS. Oh and a snail and blue leg crab. Well this wasn't planned on however a nice surprise, but then came into play where the heck am I going to put this. I couldn't just leave it all out and let it die and to buy a rock like this locally with 20 plus heads on it would cost a easy $100.00. I had a 5 gallon bucket for the sand/water and a 5 gallon container for water. So I gathered all that I could loaded it into the car.

Well Petco still has there $1 per gallon going on so I stopped by there and picked up a 10 gallon tank. Got home, dumped everything into the tank and tossed in a heater and powerhead. Fingers crossed that it all survives. However I did add the leather and a few free floating mushrooms to the 7 gallon in a small specimen cup plastic lid and reduced flow in the tank to low. I think one blew off behind the LR, but the others are staying put for now.

So now that you've read about the days events here are some pictures of the tank prior to water going in:

 

 

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This is awesome!!!

 

I like the aquascape. Looking forward to your coral selection.

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BehindGlass

Corals will come soon enough. I may leave the loose mushrooms in the tank if I can find a corner with slow enough flow in it. The SW2 is putting out amazing flow even on low and I've not even plugged in the 606 yet. The heater is just hanging out in the display right now. The 606 and the Spin Stream may prove to be enough on its own. Which would be nice not to have a powerhead in the display. 

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TatorTaco

Looks good man!

 

I had the same issue with my Orime mount on a pico. I ended up using a dermal to hack off a few inches of the excess to get the tank to fit closer to the wall. I was a bit scary, but I’m glad I did it. 

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BehindGlass
4 hours ago, TatorTaco said:

Looks good man!

 

I had the same issue with my Orime mount on a pico. I ended up using a dermal to hack off a few inches of the excess to get the tank to fit closer to the wall. I was a bit scary, but I’m glad I did it. 

I'll most likely end up cutting it. I'm in no rush... I can still easily move the tank back even with it full of water.... now if it was my nuvo 40, well then that may need to be done prior to filling it up with water.

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TatorTaco
1 hour ago, BehindGlass said:

I'll most likely end up cutting it. I'm in no rush... I can still easily move the tank back even with it full of water.... now if it was my nuvo 40, well then that may need to be done prior to filling it up with water.

It’s janky (I can post a pic later if needed) but I put my tank on a foam pad that’s bigger than the tank to prevent spills. I just tug and slide the tank around with it on the foam and that’s super convenient. I kept slashing around when I’d pick it up. 

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BehindGlass

Well upon coming home this evening, like any new tank owner I went straight to it... check the temp, check to see the light came on, check out the inhabitants ... and on that note I found a unwanted guest... Well found two of them side by side. The dreaded Aptasia. Both on the same rock. This isn't the first time I've had to deal with the things. Normally I use Joe's Juice if I can't remove the rock, but in this case I could. 

 

So I removed the rock, grabbed the pipette from my refractometer and turned on the hot water kettle. Boiled some water, sucked it up into the pipette and targeted the aptasia and watched them melt away. This way I didn't damage the rest of the life on the live rock. Figures the only thing with decent life on it also has the aptasia. 

 

I placed it back in the tank, just on the sandbed for now. I'm still not overly happy with the rock layout so I'm still toying with it some before I decide to glue everything into final place. Trying to find that happy medium of places to perch the SPS and enough ground floor room for LPS.

 

I decided to remove the right side dead coral top from the tank and open up some sand real estate back up. It still leaves me with a decent over hang and cave though.  

 

You'll also see my lid of mushrooms, the finger leather and SPS as well in the pictures below. Nothing mounted, just laying out.

 

Still on the hunt for a ATO water container that will fit into the cabinet. I have a 5 gallon water container, but the dang thing is about 1 inch to wide. So the hunt continues. I'm thinking I may be able to find a large acrylic food container of some sort that may work out.

 

Got the Spin Stream in today as well. Went to add it to the tank... Ummmmm nope, even with the adapters it will not work as the connectors won't match up. However I did crank up the 606 and that thing is putting out pretty good flow for such a little pump. Between it and the SW2 I can't see a reason to keep the KPS. I know the KPS gives me wireless options, but how often am I likely to mess with it once I have it dialed in to what I want. 

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Krish87

What are you running your AI Prime at? Did you figure out a good setup?

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BehindGlass

in that pic I've got the whites cranked up for the photo... I'm running it at the default setting. Still need to get a copy of your setup.

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Krish87
29 minutes ago, BehindGlass said:

in that pic I've got the whites cranked up for the photo... I'm running it at the default setting. Still need to get a copy of your setup.

Send me your email in a message. I'll send it across.

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Krish87

I really love your aquarium stand by the way! :smilie:

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Krish87
10 hours ago, BehindGlass said:

in that pic I've got the whites cranked up for the photo... I'm running it at the default setting. Still need to get a copy of your setup.

The setup is in your email. I sent it over last night!

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BehindGlass
10 hours ago, Krish87 said:

The setup is in your email. I sent it over last night!

Received it and will install it either later tonight or tomorrow.

 

thanks for sending it my way!

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BehindGlass

Well they say 3rd times a charm right? Well I reworked the rock yet again. Like I said I wasn't 100% satisfied with it. I wanted more coral real estate on the sand bottom and still have a rather flat surface area to mount SPS up higher. I can't go to high with the rock as it will put the SPS to close to the top with no grow out room. So I completely removed all the rock from the tank and started from the sand up so to speak. 

 

What I ended up was with a large cave area. Plenty of room on either side for growth outward and still allowing for cleaning room. All of it locks together naturally, except one small piece which is located in the front top. It is a small plate section (the one with the yellow/orange sponge in the center) that while it holds in position now, later when I add corals to it, it's going to fall without a doubt. So I'll end up glueing that into place once I pick up some super glue gel. 

 

You'll notice that I've moved the mushrooms to the rear corner and there was a hole in the rock which the foot of the leather tree fit into perfectly. I'm undecided if I want to leave it there. It was free, one of the first corals in the tank, but it may be that one not so well thought out choice. The SPS is just left laying on top for now. I haven't a clue what it is... what I do know is that it's brown and half dead. 

 

The small rock in the left front is ... well just there for time being. It's a bit of a coral top that broke off one of the three pieces I bought. The bozo that packed the live rock put those under the larger pieces when packing. Not the brightest bulb on the tree. 

 

The idea behind the current scape is SPS up top and acans/zoas/mushrooms across the front and sides. Let everything fill in with time. As things grow in it should conceal the cave even more. I had originally thought about going with euphyllia coral across the bottom (I may still where the coral top is in the front corner), but given the small size of the tank, those corals could send out their feeders and easily sting the SPS above them once things grow in.

 

I moved the SW2 from the right to the left and that opened that side up more for SPS to grow into. It also creates a cross flow in the tank since the return from the 606 is on the right side. 

 

I'm going to replace the Hydor heater with a Jager 50w and a backup Aqueon 50w as well. Reviews on the Hydor are hit and miss and given the size of the tank a heater failure would be a disaster. I've had that happen before in a small tank and with such little water it will cool down VERY quickly. Call it overkill .. I call it playing it safe.

 

I also ordered a Coralife Marine Clip On light to go on the 10 gallon. I wasn't looking for expensive for a simple holding tank.  This will keep my mushrooms out of the dark and anything that I may add in the future. I've got a timer which I'll add to it to control the cycle. 

 

Also ordered a small 6 plug surge protector outlet to go in the cabinet so I can start cleaning up the medusa hair of wires laid next to the cabinet.  I wanted to find something small enough, but with enough plugs and with 6 outlets, I'll end up with one spare after all said and done. I meant to order some strong adhesive velcro strips to mount everything with, but forgot. Guess I'll be making another amazon order shortly. Thank goodness for Prime! 

 

Still haven't located a container to go in the cabinet for the ATO. I mean I have looked at what others have been using, so that counts as putting some effort into it right?  I'll probably hit the tupperware aisle at Walmart and see what turns up there. Something that holds a couple gallons will be fine for now and I may later build my own out of plexi so as to maximize the space. 

 

Well not much else to write about tonight. 

 

 

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Wonderboy

Looking great! Keep an eye out for one of those square 5G buckets that tidy cat litter and/or chlorine tabs come in - not sure of the dimensions you're dealing with, but those have been quick and handy IME.

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