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IndominusHuman

Red Sea vs. Waterbox

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IndominusHuman

Thinking of getting back into the hobby after being away for about three years. 
 

I am going to buy instead of build for aesthetic reasons. (I built a 40 gallon system for my last tank). I was all about the Red Sea Reefer series, but discovered Waterbox Marine X series recently. Any thoughts between the two? They each have similar sizes.

 

I will attach links to both.

 

Red Sea Reefer

 

Waterbox

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farkwar

I don't like the etched text in the front glass of the Waterbox. If it were just an logo, I could buy it

 

The sumps of the Red Sea Reefers are better designed and developed

 

Waterbox can't figure out what their lines are going to be, they have a tank and promote it. Then it's gone from the lineup. Ex: You see a promo or video for a 15 gallon AIO. Go to the website, it's gone

 

Same with their stands. Ex: You see the promo or video for the 20 gallon AIO, they had the stand 5 months ago, they have the tank, but the stand is gone.  Long wait time for build and delivery.

 

Do not like that Red Sea's 4 inch sock is proprietary size.

 

The Red Sea drain valve is too fiddley

 

Red Sea has had a massive PR problem and minor real problem with the stands of their bigger tanks.  Causing seams of the tanks to rip, and leak. It's not a tank issue per se. Not enough support from the stands in the long horizontal support.  They have fixed the stand issue. They have not fixed the PR issue

 

I have two Red Sea systems, Nano Reefer and 170 Reefer. XL200 on order(backorder)

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IndominusHuman
22 minutes ago, farkwar said:

I don't like the etched text in the front glass of the Waterbox. If it were just an logo, I could buy it

 

The sumps of the Red Sea Reefers are better designed and developed

 

Waterbox can't figure out what their lines are going to be, they have a tank and promote it. Then it's gone from the lineup. Ex: You see a promo or video for a 15 gallon AIO. Go to the website, it's gone

 

Same with their stands. Ex: You see the promo or video for the 20 gallon AIO, they had the stand 5 months ago, they have the tank, but the stand is gone.  Long wait time for build and delivery.

 

Do not like that Red Sea's 4 inch sock is proprietary size.

 

The Red Sea drain valve is too fiddley

 

Red Sea has had a massive PR problem and minor real problem with the stands of their bigger tanks.  Causing seams of the tanks to rip, and leak. It's not a tank issue per se. Not enough support from the stands in the long horizontal support.  They have fixed the stand issue. They have not fixed the PR issue

 

I have two Red Sea systems, Nano Reefer and 170 Reefer. XL200 on order(backorder)

I did notice that Waterbox has had a ton of different models over the past years. Seems a bit alarming, but was hoping it was R&D pushing older issues out.

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William

What size tank are you wanting? I have had both and like the build quality of the water box stand, plumbing, and tank better. I think the Red Sea sump is better (except for the filter sock). both a very good IMO. if you let me know what size you are wanting I can better help you pick.
 

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IndominusHuman
35 minutes ago, William said:

What size tank are you wanting? I have had both and like the build quality of the water box stand, plumbing, and tank better. I think the Red Sea sump is better (except for the filter sock). both a very good IMO. if you let me know what size you are wanting I can better help you pick.
 

I am between their 2 & 3 foot models. So either the Red Sea Reefer 170 and 250 or the Waterbox 60.2 and 90.3

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jservedio

I just recently went through the same decision as you and was considering the Red Sea Reefer 200 XL, the Waterbox Marine X 60.2, and both the IM 50-INT and 50-EXT. Having seen all of them in person, I actually ended up going with the Innovative Marine EXT-50 and you should definitely consider the Innovative Marine tanks as well - they are fantastic. In terms of the quality of the tanks themselves, I found the Waterbox to be slightly nicer than the IM INT tanks, but the same as the EXT tanks (the Waterbox internal overflow is really nice) and both of them were nicer than the Red Sea tanks. The Waterbox stands are also nicer than both the Red Sea and Innovative Marine.

 

However, the reason I went with the EXT-50 was because I really disliked the plumbing and sumps of both the Waterbox and Red Sea tanks. Trigger Systems (and similar) sumps are simply head and shoulders above what you get from any of these companies in terms of features and flexibility. That being said, the Innovative Marine had the weakest offering in terms of stands right out of the box, so if you really want to go high-end with the stand, consider having one custom build by a cabinetmaker or customizing the paneling on the stand if you go that route. The aluminum frame of the IM stand is powder coated and really, really nice but the paneling is pretty cheap, but can very easily be replaced with nicely finished wood to really take the stand a step above.

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farkwar
5 hours ago, jservedio said:

Trigger Systems (and similar) sumps are simply head and shoulders above

Personally, I prefer glass sumps over acrylic

 

But this one does look nice, and would fit the stands of the tanks in topic

 

https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/platinum-sump-cube-20-aquarium-sump-trigger-systems.html

 

the roller in the back though will be a PIA to change. And one would have to put the ATO reservoir outside the stand

 

The non roller trigger sumps otherwise seem like bland generic acrylic sumps. Reminds me of wet dry filters

 

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jservedio
1 hour ago, farkwar said:

Personally, I prefer glass sumps over acrylic

 

But this one does look nice

 

https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/platinum-sump-cube-20-aquarium-sump-trigger-systems.html

 

the roller in the back though will be a PIA to change. And one would have to put the ATO reservoir outside the stand

 

I don't see what you see with all other non roller trigger sumps.  Generic acrylic sumps

 

Have you ever seen one of the higher-end Trigger or other custom build acrylic sumps in person up close (and I don't mean the Crystal Triggers or Reef Octopus ones)? There are a lot of subtle features that go into these that you won't notice at first glance, but make management, maintenance, and long-term usability far better than a standard glass box. I also prefer glass over acrylic, but even so, they are better than the standard glass boxes all reef-in-a-box systems come with in terms of features.

 

I've got a Triton 26v2 on my tank (https://www.triggersys.com/ts/triton26v2/) and the biggest selling points of this for me are the fact that the drains enter through bulkheads and it's lidded and contained with easy access. If you've ever had a sumped tank running longer term (or in my case...a decade) you would know just how bad the salt-spay and build up is over the years. A contained overflow chamber is huge. Also, the fact that you are doing the plumbing means the option of using top quality Spears gate valves. The weird one the Reefers come with and even the "good" BRS ones are simply no comparison in terms of durability - gate valves you can't service just aren't going to last more than a few years and are probably the most brittle part on a sump system. Other small features like the built in cable management, probe holders, and dosing/ATO tube holders with quick connect fittings make servicing things and keeping it neat underneath a little easier. Plus, some parts are modular, and things like the e-drain in a bean-animal can be connected in 2 or 3 different spots with a bulkhead. The plumbing between the tank and sump being connected on both ends to bulkheads means it's supported better and is putting less shear on the tank's glass. Again, just another long-term durability thing.

 

Also, an EXT-50 with my sump and plumbing comes in about $50 cheaper than the XL200 which is the closest comparison. If you aren't someone who is somewhat handy, there is no question that a Red Sea or Waterbox is going to be easier. But, if you are good with plumbing, painting, etc., you will probably end up with a slightly nicer product in the end with the IM. All three are fantastic systems and all three deserve a hard look.

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farkwar

.

 

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jservedio
28 minutes ago, farkwar said:

Right away

 

Huge design flaw

 

Dicking around with pipes in dirty poop filled socks.  Nope. I wouldn't use that sump if free.

 

Even I back in 2014 figured out how to do sock chambers the right way.  I posted my designs here back then.  Some manufacturers have that design now. Drain flows into a chamber, then water flows from that chamber over and into the sock. And then out to the skimmer or reactor chambers

Wow! You should have patented that idea back in 2014, you could have made dozens of dollars by now through licensing... There is also this really neat and useful tool called a miter saw that can fix that glaring design flaw if you set things up properly. Or, you know, you could just go with the Sapphire Sump 26 instead with your should-have-been-patented design for $30 less if it really bothers you.

 

Also, my hands are as dexterous as bricks from 20 years of abuse drumming and rock climbing and even I can change them out with my eyes closed after several seconds of practice. Or....I just don't use filter socks...

17 minutes ago, farkwar said:

On the gate valve

 

Mentioned that, it is fiddley

 

Trying to figure out how to run the drain in silicone tubing with a gate valve.  What I envision still, looks silly.  I will obviously figure that problem out before it gets wet.

You should check out the multi-quote feature. Also, do let me know when you have that plumbing epiphany.

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farkwar

TriggerED Sumps

 

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William
8 hours ago, IndominusHuman said:

I am between their 2 & 3 foot models. So either the Red Sea Reefer 170 and 250 or the Waterbox 60.2 and 90.3

Red Sea 200 or 300, or waterbox 70:2 or 100:3 would be the models I would choose from, and I would Say the waterbox would be a slightly better setup, though the Red Sea 200 ans 300 are very nice. I would not recommend the 170 and 250. 

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Coolbreeze

I have reviewed Waterbox, Red Sea and Innovative Marine when I was looking at new builds. I settle on Waterbox for both of my builds. Cube 20 for the home office and Marine X 110.4 for my main display in the living room. By far the stand and glass is outstanding compared to the others. Both Red Sea and Waterbox use metric for their plumbing and you would need to convert if you chose to upgrade your sump.

 

Personally I do not like glass sumps as they can leak over time. I am in the process of changing my to a Trigger Systems Platinum System. This system removes the socks and uses a roller mat and over time it controls nutrients better by rolling out all the crap. This is controlled by water level which is controlled by three floats. Two in the first chamber and one in the return chamber. What this means is as the water level goes high it will forward the fleece, so this can be controlled by moving the first chamber float up higher to remove less waste and lower to remove more. Now if that is not your game then you can purchase the Trigger Systems Triton System and this is controlled by using macro algae in the second chamber. I have or had both of them and both are outstanding in quality and functionality.

 

As far as what model of Waterbox I prefer Marine X as they have made many improvements in stand and tank. First off the stand is painted and not laminated so you do not have to worry about the stand coming apart. I have fully reviewed mine and it is in mint condition when arrived and was easy to assemble. The tank was also improved upon by creating a narrow return area with a removable glass weir system. The quality is outstanding and the narrow return makes it easier to aqua scape.

 

And last thing is I spend several months talking to support before I made my mind up. Support was very responsive to email and phone support. Models have been changed over the years not from issues but feedback from customers wants and needs. It is funny how people turns this into a negative.

 

Good luck on your choice as I do not think you would make a mistake on any of the manufactures you are looking at.

 

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bouquetidealistic

In terms of the quality of the tanks themselves, I found the Waterbox to be slightly nicer than the IM INT tanks, but the same as the EXT tanks (the Waterbox internal overflow is really nice),  TELESCOPIC AND FOLDING LANDING NET - 120CM - BLUE - MZFN03 and both of them were nicer than the Red Sea tanks. The Waterbox stands are also nicer than both the Red Sea and Innovative Marine.

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ssster2020

Timely topic, I'm going to upgrade to either the Waterbox 60.2 or the Red Sea XL200. I have no experience with either company so I'm kind of struggling with the decision. Incidentally those are the largest I can fit into my small space. The way I look at it the difference is the slightly larger display tank in the RS and the much larger sump in the WB. The RS is deeper than the WB by a bit, but I feel a wider shallower WB is maybe preferable. The main plus for me is that I can pick up the RS from my LFS and I'd like to give him the business especially in the era of Covid. The WB is going to have to be shipped. I don't know which way to go maybe it really doesn't matter.

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William
On 11/30/2020 at 1:27 AM, ssster2020 said:

Timely topic, I'm going to upgrade to either the Waterbox 60.2 or the Red Sea XL200. I have no experience with either company so I'm kind of struggling with the decision. Incidentally those are the largest I can fit into my small space. The way I look at it the difference is the slightly larger display tank in the RS and the much larger sump in the WB. The RS is deeper than the WB by a bit, but I feel a wider shallower WB is maybe preferable. The main plus for me is that I can pick up the RS from my LFS and I'd like to give him the business especially in the era of Covid. The WB is going to have to be shipped. I don't know which way to go maybe it really doesn't matter.

Check out the waterbox Reef 70:2

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farkwar
1 hour ago, William said:

Check out the waterbox Reef 70:2

Example of what I was saying

 

Discontinued

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IndominusHuman

I have also been considering a AIO. I had a disdain for AIO as I had/have a JBJ Nanocube 6 gallon and well...meh...

However it seems like AIO have come a long way in terms of size since 2012 and a lot of people have success with them. I also have a custom cabinet maker who could work something up for this for cheaper than the manufacturers price and would look better. 

 

I wish that waterbox would allow you to pass on their stands in the Marine X series, but can understand why they don't allow this option. 

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