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Waterbox Clear Mini 6 DIY AIO


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Long time lurker, I've finally decided to post a tank journal...  I’ve been doing freshwater for 30 years or so (as long as I can remember), and started a 20 gallon nano about a year and a half ago.  I'm going to try to hit the highlights and keep this short and simple because I do have a tendency to ramble.  


I used a Waterbox Clear Mini 6 to build a custom AIO using 1/8" acrylic.  I originally planned to have this tank at work but they decided it wasn't allowed so It's going on my bedside table.  I started cycling with dry rock, sand, and ceramic discs in a 5 gallon bucket maybe 2 months ago.  I occasionally dosed microbacter 7 and added some fish/coral food here and there.


Display: Waterbox Clear Mini 6 with custom diy AIO

Rock: US Live Rock 5# (Plus some dry rock I had laying around for support)

Sand: CaribSea OceanDirect (left over from last build and no longer ocean direct)

Salt: Reef Crystals

Lighting: Noopsyche K7 Mini

Return Pump: 165 gph cheap amazon pump with 1/4" VCA random flow generator 

Heating: 50w amazon heater with led display.

Wavemaker: None, but I may add a hygger mini if when I need more flow

Filtration: Small bag of ceramic discs, filter floss, carbon/gfo as needed.  Mostly relying on planned 50% water changes.

Top Off: Amazon Knock off

Aquarium Lid: Some glass left over from another tank that's not in use right now.  I might rig up something that fits a little nicer in the future.

Doser: Manual (in the future if needed)

Dosing: All for reef (I use AFR on my 20 gallon.  Its not really needed on the pico yet, but when the time comes that's what I'll use)


Current clean up crew: 2 tiny hermit crabs, 1 nassarius snail, 1 trochus snail, 1 cerith snail, 1 hitch hikin feather duster


For livestock I’m planning on having a clown goby (probably green clown goby).  Maybe a pom pom crab or cleaner shrimp at some point.

Corals are mostly soft corals at least to start.  Probably ricordea, zoas, duncans.  I would love to get a few rock flower anemones too!  Next time I accidentally break frag the montipora digitata in my 20 gallon I’ll include some of that just to see how it does.  Maybe some cyphastrea or other encrusting coral as well… 


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  • 2 weeks later...

A short update... I've added some more clean up crew from reef clears after getting diatoms and some other algaes growing on the live rock. I've also found 2 more tiny feather dusters.


I'm most excited about the Money Cowrie I added!  I've read a lot about them and it sounds like he'll be a great addition!



Money Cowrie

Dwarf Ceriths

Florida Cerith


ZigZag periwinkles (they're cheap and small so why not?)


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I added 5 rockflower anemones and a cyphastrea (not pictured) from SaltCritters!  I feel like I got an awesome deal on them because they were on discount since they still needed to color up.  I think the color looks great so far and I cant wait for them to get even better!  I forgot to mention I added some pods from Jay's Reef Pods a few weeks ago.  Sorry for the poor pictures, I was on my lunch our and didnt have much time after floating!




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The RFA have moved around a little bit.  I've also turned the lights down to a max of 17%blue 5%white 20%violet (from memory, might actually be a little different) because they looked like they were trying to pull themselves really tightly into the rocks during the day.


I think the blue and yellow is my favorite color morph so far.  We'll see how much the colors develop as they get settled in.


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  • 1 month later...
Some updated pictures! RFAs have moved around a bit. They are definitely coloring up more, though it’s hard to tell in the pictures. I wish they would come out of the rocks more and puff up larger. Maybe the lights are too bright? I was hoping if they didn’t like the lighting they’d move further away…

Where would you put the cyphastrea?








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On 11/25/2023 at 2:43 PM, SantaMonica said:

Love rocknem's. Not seen a nano with just them before.

Me too!  I've got a few other things in there, they're just not nearly as bright or large as the nems.  Still very early goings in this tank, I'm looking forward to everything growing in!

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