A journey towards a decent size reef tank: Waterbox Marine X 90.3

LgTas

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So I thought i'd start my build thread to document some of the decisions I'm facing.

At this stage I'm trying to decide between the affordability of Waterbox AIO 50.3 or the versatility Marine X 90.3. My current 14g nano is an AIO and I really like it but I want as much width as possible which is obviously compromised by the AIO system. I also want something that will be easier to maintain and it seems the AIO would tick this box.

In terms of lighting, I'm running a Lumini pixie 30 on my nano and, for the price, it's been a great light (though I only have softies and easier LPS). I'm wondering if I can get away with just getting one or two more pixie 30's for the new set up. Any other affordable lighting suggestions would be appreciated.

Other equipment on the list is:
2 x Hydor Koralia 5000
1 x Ripple Nano Optical ATO
1 x Jebao DCS 4000 Return Pump

A pic of my existing planted aquarium which will be replaced with the waterbox to make this post marginally more exciting.

20201216_175717.jpg
 

P-Dub

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I don't know, do you HAVE to replace it? That's a pretty nice AND exciting planted tank. I'd want both if I were you...
 
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LgTas

LgTas

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I don't know, do you HAVE to replace it? That's a pretty nice AND exciting planted tank. I'd want both if I were you...
Thanks! I have a 6 month old who takes up most of our time so I need to limit the number of tanks. I have another planted tank in my study so all is not lost.
 

P-Dub

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Thanks! I have a 6 month old who takes up most of our time so I need to limit the number of tanks. I have another planted tank in my study so all is not lost.
Yup, I can see the need to purge! It's a beautiful tank, though.
 
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LgTas

LgTas

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Ok so I've finally decided and paid for WB Marine X 90.3. Excited to receive it next week!

Equipment will need to be budget stuff for now until I can upgrade. First thing I need is a return pump. I was looking at the Jebao DCT 4000 or a Coral Box DCA 2000. Both around the AU$150 mark. Any other suggestions welcome.
 
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LgTas

LgTas

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Decision was made for me as the Jebao was not in stock. So far the following is on its way to me:
2 x Jebao SLW 20
1 x Coral Box DCS3000 Return Pump

On the short term wishlist:
1 x Bubble Magus Curve 5 Skimmer
Jebao DP 4 Auto doser
Ripple Nano ATO
InkBird Temp Controller


Pics will follow as and when things arrive.
 
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LgTas

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Turns out the Viparspectra won't work with where we are placing the tank. We (my wife) don't want something that looks so bulky and industrial in our dining area.

Returned it today and ordered two Zetlight UFO 8600 55w lights. Will try them out and possibly add a third if needed. Unfortunately I don't have a PAR meter nor is there anyone I can borrow one from in Tasmania so it's going to be a lot of guess work.
 

J_Gard88

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I got into the hobby to have something of my own. Somehow my wife has her hand in how I arrange my rock, what fish she wants me to have etc.... She didnt even like the idea of me getting one until I got it up and running and now she thinks its pretty and took it over lol! Good Luck man!
 
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LgTas

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It arrived! Started setting it up today and will probably get it all done tomorrow.

Waterbox included the wrong size filter socks in the box.

I also received my ripple nano ATO and ufo8600 lights. Will take more pics tomorrow.


20210122_200320.jpg
IMG-20210122-WA0013.jpeg
 
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LgTas

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Struggling to get the cycle started. Sitting at Ammonia 2ppm, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0 after testing across 3 days. This is after adding two different bacterial products (API and Fluval) at the recommended saltwater dosage. I've previously used both these products to cycle a number of freshwater tanks and my nano reef with great success. I've also used local seawater (we live in an area with no pollution or nearby stormwater or river outflows) to fill her up which I would've thought may have helped kicked the system into gear. I would've at least expected some level of nitrite?
 
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LgTas

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We're all good! Tank is reading 2ppm Ammonia, 0 Nitrite and 5 ppm Nitrate so bacteria has started doing its thing. Double dosed API quick start and standard dosed Fuval cycle (had some left over in the cupboard).

Water has cleared a bit.
 

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LgTas

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@LgTas How much rock did you use, roughly? Do you remember the brand and weight?

Also would love to see pics of the finished sump!
Sorry mate. Only just saw this now. Rock was mostly old live rock with a couple base rock pieces that I purchased from another reefer. If I recall it was just over 20 kg's worth.

Will try get a pic of the sump tomorrow.
 
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LgTas

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System has started to settle nicely. Have a good population of copepods and seneye has been showing stable pH and negligible ammonia for a while now. Phosphates are a bit high but I'm hoping the fuge will deal with that. Added more ulva to try and soak them up. Otherwise everything is within range and pretty stable.

Moved some of my corals from my nano across. My sinularia did not enjoy the move and refuses to extend. Developed black bacteria on one of its appendages so did an iodine dip and removed that piece. Hoping it will bounce back. Others are all doing OK.

Livestock list so far:
Pair of black and white ocellaris clowns (ex-nano)
Yellow clown goby (ex-nano)
Pair peppermint shrimp (ex-nano)
3 White glove shrimp that I caught from the bay by my house (love these guys)
2 azure damsels
1 sea mullet fry that I mistakenly captured when collecting seawater. He's taken well to captive life and has doubled in size. Feed him freshwater fry protein food
 

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WHAT DOES THE TERM "GOOD WATER QUALITY" MEAN TO YOU?

  • Your aquarium water is in acceptable ranges measured by consumer level water tests

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  • Your aquarium water is in acceptable ranges measured by ICP type testing

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  • Your aquarium water is good based on how your corals are growing and look

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  • Your aquarium water is good based on how little nuisance algae is growing

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