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onthefly

OTF's Waterbox Marine X 90.3

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onthefly

 

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April 5th, 2020

 

After my SPS 20L died in 2007 from A/C going out while we were on vacation (day time highs were 105F), life was way too hectic to start a new tank back up.  Fast forward 14 years, my wife says to me, "wouldn't a reef tank look good there?".  Like the roadrunner, leaving a little dust cloud behind....I moved quickly before she could change her mind!  So, I'm finally in a place (and with consent!) to build another nice tank, but this time I finally have money (and patience) to do it right...So, welcome to the my new tank build.

 

Man, how things have changed in 14 years!  When I left...LEDs were just starting to be talked about (people were building DIY set ups, etc.), but anything other than MH/T5 on an SPS tank was heretical. Now, I can't give away my 250w PFO pendant and 14k Phoenix bulbs.  Seems as though the sand vs bare bottom debate has become more civil, with both having their place in the hobby.  Reef Central has been all but replaced with Reef2Reef. The cost of a hammer or frogspawn...WTH?  Yet, somethings never change.....Nano-Reef looks better than ever!  And, the "how many tangs can I kept in my 20ga?" posts are still full of awesomeness!

 

This time around, I'm thinking of a tank that has something for everyone.  So, a mixed reef with SPS up high...LPS and softies down low...the usual suspects for fish: Clowns, Chromis, Fork-tail Blenny, Gramma Loreta or an Orchid Dotty, Diamond Watchman Goby, etc

 

With all that said....while I painfully wait (starting week 8 now) for my shipping email...here's what I have so far:

 

Equipment

  • Waterbox Marine X 90.3 (DT=65 ga; Sump=25 ga)...fits the space perfectly.
  • Lighting: 2x EcoTech Radion XR15 G5 Blue
  • Return Pump - Jebao DCP-6500 with Neptune Flow Sensor
  • Flow - 2X RedSea Reefwave 25 Gyres on IceCap V3 backup
  • Natural Filtration
    • ~20lbs Marcorocks Reef Saver
    • ~15lbs Marcorocks Shelf
    • ~15lbs Marcorocks Foundation
    • ~20lbs of "good ol' fiji" (by old I mean from 2007...still had the SPS skeletons on it!)
    • ~50lbs Caribsea special grade (dry)
    • 10lbs Miracle mud in containers in the sump
    • IceCap 20W Algae scrubber
    • Patience - gonna run a LONG cycle on it, so I can stock in late Spring
  • IceCap K1-130 skimmer with CO2 scrubber
  • Custom Control Panel housed to the side of the waterbed stand
  • Controller - Neptune APEX EL
  • Heater - 2X Bulk Reef Supply Titanium 300 watt (running alternating 12hr cycles)
  • Dosers - 2x Kamoer X1 pro wifi (for All-for-Reef and ReefEnergy AB+)
  • ATO - Neptune ATK...running from a water station in the basement
  • Tropic Marin Pro-Reef Salt
  • BRS 5-stage RODI (with Booster pump and XP Aqua RO/DI Flood Guardian)
    • Keeping ~30ga of RO/DI and mixed saltwater on hand (basement)
  • AWC - Neptune DOS
  • Auto Feeder - Neptune AFS

 

Aquascape --> BRS thick SuperGlue + Accelerator to start, then Marcos E-450 mortar, and finally covered up the mortar with thin superglue and sand.  

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growsomething

Great post!  

Waterboxes are beautiful tanks.

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Reef Reece

Wow, that aquascape looks amazing, look forward to seeing it wet !

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onthefly

So excited to get this email today!  Been a long 11 weeks...but totally worth it!

IMG_5631.thumb.jpg.cfb8d06b22648cc2fa3750df9de37010.jpg

 

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onthefly

Few updates:

 

Aside from the FTS above....

 

ATK installed and running beautifully...

Leak detection installed...

Miracle Mud and Extra LR frags in the sump...

Cycle started today....

 

Cabinet built & Sump is in:

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Apex is on-line:

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growsomething

Always wanted to try mud from a local backwater flat, not sure how muddy it should be.  What benefits are you expecting from it?

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Nano_Addict

Setup is looking great so far.  Following!

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JustReading

Love the start

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onthefly

I had an "inkling" that household CO2 would be an issue....

 

Tank started at 8.2, and over 3 weeks slowly dropped down to 7.8.  I'm not too concerned, since I'm only cycling.  That said, decided to hook up a skimmer and run it at night (9p to 9a).  pH is back up to ~8....right now I just have the cup drain back into the sump.  I'll eventually have a recirc. CO2 scrubber on there and I have my Apex programmed to turn off if the pH goes above 8.4. 

IMG_5723.jpg

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onthefly
On 3/8/2021 at 7:20 PM, growsomething said:

Always wanted to try mud from a local backwater flat, not sure how muddy it should be.  What benefits are you expecting from it?

I'm not one to buy in to the "full story" of trace elements, and all that.....but the size of the particles, does suggest a denitrifying zone.  I'm going to seed the sump with pods once my NO2 levels drop, so the substrate will also help promote microfauna growth.  The one thing I see as a benefit with your idea....TONS of biodiversity (potentially some harmful, but worth a try) would come in with mud.  In fact, Paul B recommends this!

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onthefly

Loooong cycle with dry rock and dry sand.  Microbacter 7 is starting to grab hold....With the NO3 levels starting to rise....I decided to plumb in my IceCap 20W ATS.  Right now running it 24/7 to establish, but once I have a nice lawn going, I'll run it reverse cycle.  Everything is controlled from the APEX.  Hopefully, I'm a couple weeks from CUC, pods, and couple fish.

IMG_5726.thumb.jpg.f5c22ef2acb192ca1adde3fc131eafc0.jpg

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Nano_Addict

Looking good! Funny, I use the ATO chamber for storage too 😆

 

Any pictures of the display?  I like the additional sand in the sump, is that tray homemade?

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onthefly
Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Nano_Addict said:

Looking good! Funny, I use the ATO chamber for storage too 😆

 

Any pictures of the display?  I like the additional sand in the sump, is that tray homemade?

Yeah...the ATO chamber is uselessly small.  I thought about drilling it and putting a bulk head in and running a small fuge there!  Display looks the same as the FTS above LOL...no lights no nothing yet.  I did start seeing a nice biofilm on the glass, hopefully it's grabbing a hold of the LR as well.

 

That's the miracle mud! I got the 12x6 acrylic trays off Amazon, then made some PVC stands to allow for water flow between them.  Normally, you're suppose to run macro algae with it, but I'm running the ATS.  I might add a small ball just for pod habitat.

Edited by onthefly

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onthefly

Todays Update:

 

Installed the recirculating CO2 scrubber!  Even though its still cycling....curiosity was killing me!

 

IMG_5737.jpg

 

Anyone care to guess when I turned it "on"?

IMG_5741.jpg

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Nano_Addict

I just put a CO2 scrubber on my tank as well haha.  It's not recirculating, but I was shocked at how instant the change in pH was.

 

The miracle mud stands are a great idea.  With the 60.2 sump I definitely don't have the room for them, but like you mentioned the ATO is useless.  I'm thinking of cutting the silicone and using it for extra water volume... might even give me enough space for some of the mud trays. 🤔

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onthefly

Phase 2 of the 4 month cycle...some livestock!  All are from TSM Aquatics, I'm lucky I can do curb side pick up, and skip the QT.

 

Added 2 Ocellaris "Darwin" clowns

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An Orchid Dottyback....already found a suhweet cubby!

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Added the AFS...works perfectly with TDO boost pellets!  Everyone ate really well......Ignore the "ghetto" lid...waiting for the custom TopLids to come inIMG_5780.thumb.jpg.24151db408501803291d2b5430064346.jpg

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