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Azure Phoenix Reefing

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About Azure Phoenix Reefing

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  1. Azure Phoenix Reefing

    Waterbox nano media baskets?

    I saw the mail when I woke up this morning, awesome! 🎉 Just placed an order for the Cube 20, first chamber media basket. Great way to start off the weekend!
  2. Azure Phoenix Reefing

    Ocean gathered corals.

    @Joevember & @mattitheowl Thank you for your honest and kind replies! Guess that is my idea as well. When I started reading about keeping a reef aquarium, back in 2018, I never read much about where exactly all the corals and fish actually came from. Seeing the decline in natural reef health, the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef (and other ones as well) and general trouble the marine ecosystems seem to have, I assumed most of the livestock would be aquacultured. So after receiving my first coral, last week, I started thinking and wondering where it came from. Finding out it came from the ocean, was kind of a shocker. But had me wondering if I were the only one seeing it like that. Now knowing this, I will keep it in mind when I go look for new corals and will contact the vendor/importer beforehand, because they also sell many aquacultured corals. On a side note, do you guys perhaps now of any projects concerning the well being of the oceans? Say for example, where the aquaculture corals and return them to the reefs? I'm from Europe, but still, I'd love to read up on them and learn about how they try and help out our seas.
  3. Azure Phoenix Reefing

    Ocean gathered corals.

    Hello fellow reefers. I may have a somewhat ethical question for you. Recently I bought a gorgeous, small, piece of Euphyllia paraancora. Being curious where it came from, I contacted the retailer. A well known, European store. They were very helpful and honest in there answer, saying that the coral came from the sea, instead of a coral farm or aquacultured frag system for example. Now, I am very new to the hobby and guess I have to get used to the idea of corals gathered from the seas. However, I do care greatly for our oceans and their fragile ecosystems and I am wondering how the Nano Reef community thinks about this. The thing is, being so new, I have not met many fellow reefers yet to swap or buy frags. I have visited several (inter)local LFS's and I can't say that their livestock and aquariums looked healthy and well cared for. The online retailer on the other hand received many great reviews and my experience with them so far is really great. The packaging is awesome, everything I ordered was alive and well and they were very helpful and responsive as well. So, here is a penny for your thought(s) 🙃, please let me know how you think about this and if I am overly concerned or if my worries are justified.
  4. Azure Phoenix Reefing

    Waterbox Nano Owner's Thread

    It is not "that" noticeable, but I can imagine it will bother some reefers, especially the ones looking for a clean look. I'll see if I can take a picture later today, to show what is visible and what not. Since it does bother me a bit, I'll be adding some Green Star Polyps (Pachyclavularia Violacea), with high hopes of it covering the backplate of the display.
  5. Azure Phoenix Reefing

    Waterbox Nano Owner's Thread

    I have indeed bought the Cube20, I'll write you a small "review" later today or tomorrow. The short answer however, is that I'm quite happy with it! So yeah, I'll edit this post, since I am not a big fan of double posts. So here goes. I bought the Waterbox about 2 months ago. It was done cycling about 5 weeks after the initial buy and has livestock in it for exactly a week now. Two clownfish (Amphiprion percula) and a cleaner shrimp (Lysmata Amboinensis). Now, as for the Waterbox. I like to split my experiences with it into to parts. The aquarium itself and the supplied accessories. The aquarium itself is wonderful really. It feels well built, the Starphire glass looks really nice and the overall design is very clean and "simple", in a less is more kinda way. Yet I do have some issues with it, the measurements in particular. In my honest, yet newbie-ish, opinion, the sump in the back is kinda small and not in balance with the frontal part, or display. I mean, when you go for a nano tank, you know you will lack some space for equipment, especially if the sump is in the back. However, with the Cube20, I feel like a couple of centimeters extra, would make a world of difference. Last week I tried to set up a skimmer, the Hydor Slimskim, which should be one of the smaller skimmers, didn't fit all that well, and the resonance of the pump, made this annoying, pretty much unbearable low humming noise (which made me return the skimmer). While, according to most reviews the Slimskim should be dead silent. Same goes for the return pump. I have one the smaller Tunze pumps, which barely fits. The filter sock is alright, yet, I am eagerly awaiting the release of the Intank media rack. Then again, I have seen fellow reefers in this thread with a Cube20 and for example a Cadlights skimmer that fits and read somewhere else the tanks are handmade, meaning there is a difference in measurements among individual tanks. On a scale like this, even .5 centimeters makes quite a difference, so I might just have a tank with a smaller sump part. Now, the accessories, like the bio balls, the carbon and the filter sock, feel kind of cheap and currently I am only using the filter sock, until the Intank media rack for the Cube20 is released. I mean, for the price, I wouldn't expect anything else really. Also, keep in mind, that the supplied return pump, is only available in the US. Over here in the Netherlands, you will receive the Cube20 without a return pump. So yeah, being my first reef tank, I am really happy with it and enjoying the hell out of it every day. Would I buy it again? Probably not, I feel like the back part of the nano tank is just a tad too small to be really useful, other then the smallest versions of equipment or a refugium for example (which I am considering at the moment). The sad part is, that over here in the Netherlands, there aren't all that many alternatives. I mean, the Red Sea Max nano is slightly bigger, comes with more equipment, bit is quite a bit more expensive as well. Manufacturers like Fluval or Innovative Marine aren't readily available over here. So yeah, there you have it, my two cents. My honest two cents really. I am very content with the Waterbox and even though I have some issues with it, I'd gladly recommend it to anyone looking for a smaller tank, where you can save some money on supplied equipment and choose your own favorite manufacturers of skimmers, ATO, Lights etc. I plan on continuing my "Azure Melancholia" thread soon, where I will add more of my experiences with the reef aquarium hobby and specifically the Waterbox aquarium and other equipment I currently use and plan on adding in the future. If you have set up your Waterbox, throw me a message about your experience, I'd like to read your findings as well!
  6. Azure Phoenix Reefing

    Concerns about my cycle

    Thank you @Clown79. What surprised me is the speed of my first cycle. Reading up on cycling, I prepared for 4-6 weeks of cycling and testing, before introducing a clean up crew. I'll be sure to keep checking my parameters next week and see if the nitrites will go down and both ammonia and nitrite will remain stable. Then I'll do a major water change of 95-100% and see if all remains well, before introducing a clean up crew. On a side note, as much as I like the biology behind it, I doubt I'll use the shrimp method again, I agree with you @Clown79 and @MrObscura, it's rather dirty. The water actually "looks" dirty as well. Next time I'll give the bacteria dosing a try!
  7. Azure Phoenix Reefing

    heaters

    From my recent research into equipment, I found that both the Eheim Jäger and Cobalt Neotherm seem to be used a lot, with generally good reviews and experiences. So you might want to look into those two some more? I picked the Eheim Jäger, because the Cobalt Neotherm is hard to come by in The Netherlands, or so it seems.
  8. Azure Phoenix Reefing

    Concerns about my cycle

    Thanks a lot @Donny41 & @MrObscura that is quite the relief! 😀 I will keep an eye on the nitrite concentration and see if I can find some ammonia to add and watch what happens after 24 hours. I am also glad that my first theory seems about right and that the algae are not showing up cause of the lack of light. It kind of confirms my understanding of this part of the cycle/hobby.
  9. Azure Phoenix Reefing

    Concerns about my cycle

    I have got a question about my cycle period and if everything is going as it should be. I've read several topics and questions on NR on cycling, but seeing as every aquarium is different and this is going to be a home for live animals, I want to be sure everything is alright. So I hope you guys and girls don't mind me asking a question that's probably been asked a thousand times over. So here goes. I've started with Dry Rock from Caribsea and Arag-Alive 1-3mm live sand, from CaribSea as well. No skimmer, no light, just a filter sock and heater, in a 20 gallon Waterbox Cube. The cycle started ten days ago, I added the water and a piece of raw shrimp. Two days in, the smell in the room was pretty foul, haha, so I figured everything was going well. I removed the shrimp on day 4 and added another piece of raw shrimp to be sure the bacteria had food enough. That piece of shrimp is still in the aquarium at the moment, planning on removing it later on today. Now, as for the numbers, I tested ammonia pretty much everyday, sometimes twice, cause I like testing and was curious how things were coming along. Later on I started testing nitrite and for the last couple of days I started testing nitrate as well. The thing is, I never really saw the ammonia spike most people talk about. It spiked up to about 2ppm, same goes for nitrite, which reached 1ppm at one point, but just like ammonia, it's decreasing now. My last test was about 1 hour ago. That showed pretty much 0ppm ammonia and about 0.4ppm nitrite. Nitrate is a different story however, that has showing 100+ over the last couple of days. Salinity at 1.025sg and temperature at 79°F. I have two theories, about this cycle. The first one involves the live sand, already holding the beneficial bacteria, which multiplied because of the ammonia source and the population is now large enough to eat away the ammonia. The nitrate eating bacteria are growing in population, seeing as the concentration of nitrite is decreasing and now we wait for the algae that will eat away the nitrate. The second theory is that the spike wasn't high enough and the bacteria are dying off and there aren't enough nutrients to see an increase in ammonia/nitrite. I'll add the graphs from the app I am using as well. Ammonia Nitrite Nitrate What do you guys think? One of my concerns is that I am not seeing any algae yet, be it diatoms or green hair. Might that be because I am not using any lights? (I have and AI Prime HD at the ready) I hope everything is going as it should be and if not, I can help things along with your guys' input. Thanks a bunch! Quick edit: I forgot to mention I am using Salifert test kits.
  10. Azure Phoenix Reefing

    William

    Congratulations! I am currently cycling my first reef tank (first aquarium in general really) and reading your story and notes on soft corals, especially the leathers is quite educational. As the other members have mentioned, the feel of depth and colorization is spectacular and quite the example of how I'd like to setup my own future reef. Bookmarked and subscribed to your journal for future reference and the eye candy of course!
  11. What a great idea, too bad I'm in Europe and only joined the community recently, but I'm wishing you guys tons of fun with this Secret Santa! p.s. @Pinner Reef loved that Dr. Who Christmas special!
  12. Azure Phoenix Reefing

    My first reef tank: Waterbox AIO 20g cube

    Great to see the tank is back up again, with some good looking corals. I'm on the brink of buying a Waterbox 20 gallon as well, so I'm looking forward to see how your waterbox evolves!
  13. Azure Phoenix Reefing

    Waterbox Nano Owner's Thread

    I'm currently in the phase where I'm deciding on which aquarium and equipment I'm going to choose. Seeing as this will have quite the impact mid to long term, I'm reading up as much as possible. Right now, I'm either going for a Red Sea Max Nano AIO (20g), or a more out of the boxcustomizable option. Over here in the Netherlands it is quite hard to find a decent nano tank with a sump in the back, however the Waterbox Cube 20g seems like a nice contender. I have a few questions though for our fellow reefers who own or have experience with a Waterbox. How moddable is it in terms of the chambers in the back? i.e. can the filter sock easily be replaced with a media rack or the pump(s) in the back, is there enough room for the more silent third party pumps? I'm planning on buying the Tunze 9001 skimmer, together with the Tunze Osmolator later on, I'm guessing there should be enough room, however I'd like to be sure before buying, seeing as I am completely new to the reefing hobby. As for the lighting, I am thinking the AI Prime HD. Am I missing something? Do you guys perhaps have any other tips concerning the Cube 20? Love to hear from you guys and cheers for the feedback!
  14. Azure Phoenix Reefing

    Azure "Melancholia"

    @Nano sapiens & @WV Reefer Thank you for the kind welcome! Your displays are so inspirational and were one of the first I saw on Nano-Reef, really liked the stories behind the tanks as well. I mean as a total beginner, without an aquarium and all of it's peripherals, it can be quite overwhelming getting your head around setting up a tank and imagining having a tank in the near future. Stories like yours make it a tad easier to get a grip on what is needed, what to expect and how to prepare. Aside from being lovely reads!
  15. Azure Phoenix Reefing

    Azure "Melancholia"

    Goodday kind reefers! Before I jump over to my future plans and the setup I have in mind, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jeff, 33 years old and I'm from the Netherlands. My interest in the reef aquarium started a while ago and it kind of hit me by surprise really. A few months back I went through some pretty rough times and during one of many sleepless nights I bumped into an article about the "Walstad Method" for freshwater tanks. From there I started reading about freshwater tanks, first the low tech ones, then the high tech ones and sooner rather then later, I saw a video about saltwater tanks...Now that was when I truly became fascinated. So much so, that even though life wasn't treating me all too well, I would find so much distraction in reading and learning about saltwater tanks. The different kind of fish, so many different types of corals and other inhabitants like invertebrates, but also the water parameters, light and flow needs of the reef and feeding habits. That In all honesty it was one of the main things that pulled me through the last couple of months, my significant other being the other. And the best part of it? There is still so, so much to learn! Because I have read that patience is one of the most important characteristics of a successful reef, I figured I would buy something new for the setup every week, while in the meantime I would keep reading, watching and making plans for the final setup. Right now I have the following bits and pieces; 4 Stage RO/DI unit 4 Salifert test sets (Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and pH) Salifert Refracto check Refractometer TDS/EC meter Flipper Nano Two Sicce Voyager Nano 530 gph (2000 l/h) flow pumps Turkey Baster The fun I got from picking all this was amazing and it really had me looking forward to the following weeks every time, yet it also gave me time to read up on things. I am planning on buying the aquarium itself and the sand/rocks all at once, so I am almost there. Next up are the buckets for mixing my saltwater and a heater. For the aquarium I am not entirely sure yet what to do. Either a combination of the following; Waterbox Cube 20 (20 gallon) Tunze DOC 9001 Skimmer Tunze Osmolater 3155 AI Prime HD light or a; Red Sea Max Nano, 20 gallon AIO As for the sand and live rock, I am leaning towards a combination of dry rock and live sand from Carib Sea. Seeing as SPS is considered a lot less beginner friendly and I have no aquarium experience whatsoever, I will start with soft corals and perhaps some LPS. The plan is to dive into both types of coral and other livestock, when the tank is cycling. Dosing, a possible refugium etc. will be of later concern. I am definitely interested in those concepts however as I would like to create the best possible environment for both corals and fish. The reason I named the tank (and journal) "Melancholia", is because years ago I was fortunate enough to dive at the reefs of the Maldives. That was when I first got fascinated by the sea and all of it's habitants, never imagining that years later I would have my own bit of reef at home. Thank you for reading my first journal post and I hope you guys could occasionally help me out with the beginner troubles I will definitely run into.
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