AquaCave

OldRed1

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Hey everyone! My name is Galen. Thanks for stopping by my build thread. First time Reefer here, so please feel free to offer your thoughts, comments, critiques, etc.

**Current Tank & Critter Shots (fish coming soon!!)**

656D52F7-9066-460C-8652-FCA4568624A3.jpeg

F4BEADB6-8DBA-4BD7-AAD8-FD3A2653F279.jpeg

082F6310-8D9C-4DDA-BF23-FC75D3E095B2.jpeg






This is my very first reef tank, and I chose a 25g Waterbox Peninsula AIO. A complete build list can be found at the end of this post. The peninsula style worked well for our space, since I am going to be using the tank as a make-shift wall.

Tank Left.png
Tank Right.png


The water where we live isn’t great, so I am using a 6-stage RODI (with the water saver unit) from BRS to make my own salt water. In our apartment we do not have room to permanently install a RODI unit. Instead, I created a "RODI On Wheels" storage solution which can be packed up when not in use.



RODI Full.png
Pressure with Booster.png


Stored RODI.png


I have an order of live sand and live rock arriving on 8 September from Tampa Bay Saltwater. Specifically, 23 pounds of live sand and 16 pounds of base rock (nano-sized).

Thanks for stopping by my build thread, and I look forward to sharing additional updates as I have them!


The Complete Build List (ongoing):
ComponentName
TankWaterbox Peninsula Mini 25 (Local Fish Store)
StandUNS P90 (Local Fish Store)
Tank LidKraken Reef Overflow Screen V2 w/ feeder and filter cup (Kraken)
Heater System100W Titanium Aquarium Heater System (Bulk Reef Supply)
Heater100W Titanium Heater Element (Bulk Reef Supply)
PowerheadNero 3 (Used)
ATO SystemSmart ATO Nano - AutoAqua (Used)
RO/DI System6 Stage Deluxe Plus 150 GPD Water Saver RO/DI System (Bulk Reef Supply)
Lighting SystemPrime 16 HD LED Reef Light - Black Body - Aqua Illumination (Used)
Lighting SystemPrime Flex Arm - 12 Inch - Aqua Illumination (Used)
Lighting System3D Reefing AI Prime 16HD Diffuser (3D Reefing)
Testing EquipmentHanna Checker - Alkalinity (Bulk Reef Supply)
Testing EquipmentHanna Checker - Phosphate Ultra Low Range (Bulk Reef Supply)
Testing EquipmentSalifert Nitrate Test Kit (Bulk Reef Supply)
Testing EquipmentRefractometer w/ calibration solution (Bulk Reef Supply)
Return PumpSyncra Silent 1.0 Pump -- Sicce (Bulk Reef Supply)
Salt MixRed Sea Coral Pro Salt Mix -- 175 gallon bucket (Bulk Reef Supply)
Rock16 lbs Base Live Rock - Nano Sized (Tampa Bay Saltwater)
Rock10 lbs Premium Live Rock - Nano Sized (Tampa Bay Saltwater)
Sand23 lbs Gulf of Mexico Live Sand (Tampa Bay Saltwater)
Mixing BucketBrute Trash Can (32 gallon)
Heater100W Marina Heater -- Salt Mixing Bucket (Local Fish Store)
Mixing Bucket PumpAQQA 265-800 GPH Submersible Aquarium Water Pump
CleaningPython Pro-Clean Gravel Washer
 
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Nano sapiens

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Looks like you are certainly well organized!

As a 1st time reef keeper, you'll be encountering a whole lot of information thrown your way (some good, some not-so-good).

One thing you'll find with most of those that have been successful in this hobby over the long haul is that they practice the KISS principle. Basically, the simplest solution that appropriately addresses an issue/concern is typically the best. IMO/IME, follow this and not only will you have a greater chance of long term success, but you'll have less stress and save a lot of money, too! :)
 
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OldRed1

OldRed1

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Looks like you are certainly well organized!

As a 1st time reef keeper, you'll be encountering a whole lot of information thrown your way (some good, some not-so-good).

One thing you'll find with most of those that have been successful in this hobby over the long haul is that they practice the KISS principle. Basically, the simplest solution that appropriately addresses an issue/concern is typically the best. IMO/IME, follow this and not only will you have a greater chance of long term success, but you'll have less stress and save a lot of money, too! :)
Thank you for the advice! This has been an expensive journey so far, that’s for sure.
 
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MONTANTK

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Question for other Reefers with AIO systems: Where do you place your temperature probes for an Inkbird temperature controller?
I don’t have an ink bird but I put my temp prob in the chamber with the pump. I think it’s probably better off in one of the other chambers if you have the space but I did not
 
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OldRed1

OldRed1

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I don’t have an ink bird but I put my temp prob in the chamber with the pump. I think it’s probably better off in one of the other chambers if you have the space but I did not
That's what I was thinking too, but since water evaporates from the return chamber, I wondered if that would cause lower temps in that chamber compared to others.
 

MONTANTK

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That's what I was thinking too, but since water evaporates from the return chamber, I wondered if that would cause lower temps in that chamber compared to others.
I think it would make the temp read higher than it actually is. Whenever I turn the pump off the temperature spikes due to the heat from the pump. I don’t think it makes a huge difference because I’ve never had any issues
 
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kingoftheHiLLpeople

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Galen! That is a sweet stand! Does it open on the left side of the tank? Appears to be doors? If so that is awesome! One thing i regret (should’ve done) was build more storage into stand! Awesome buddy! Ok back to reading the rest of your post!
 

kingoftheHiLLpeople

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Sorry for the horrible pic - but inTank in chamber 1. Double heaters (redundancy) may be overkill but hey - in chamber 2. Return pump w/ ato sensor and grounding plug in chamber 3.
D7E4C292-7D50-49FA-A68B-AEC6D9C8501A.jpeg
Wow that is a horrible pic. Not sure why it turned like that. Not how i intended.
 
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OldRed1

OldRed1

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Galen! That is a sweet stand! Does it open on the left side of the tank? Appears to be doors? If so that is awesome! One thing i regret (should’ve done) was build more storage into stand! Awesome buddy! Ok back to reading the rest of your post!
I do really like this stand, but it was expensive haha. Yes, the doors open. The narrow sides each have two parallel openings, and the side opposite the doors has a sizeable access cutout as well. Currently getting my equipment hooked up, so please excuse the tangle of wires!

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58B78B1A-0C2D-4DCD-BB50-14A63E6F4059.jpeg
 
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OldRed1

OldRed1

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Have no experience with those heaters - interested to hear (read) your experience as time goes on.
What I like about these titanium heating elements is that they do not have a temp sensor of their own. Rather, they plug into the Inkbird temperature controller.

The controller designates one heating element as primary and one secondary, and then there are two temperature probes that will sit in chamber 3. This controller is extremely reasonably priced for the amount of peace of mind it offers!

ACB179F3-D16F-4244-8E8A-9D8C404E4C1F.jpeg
 

robo_reef

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What I like about these titanium heating elements is that they do not have a temp sensor of their own. Rather, they plug into the Inkbird temperature controller.

The controller designates one heating element as primary and one secondary, and then there are two temperature probes that will sit in chamber 3. This controller is extremely reasonably priced for the amount of peace of mind it offers!

ACB179F3-D16F-4244-8E8A-9D8C404E4C1F.jpeg
Looks very well organized! Will definitely follow your build.

I've had some bad experiences with the Inkbird - the probe will go haywire and you'd have to replace the entire unit since the probes are not removable. I've eventually moved on to the Apex controller - for this and other reasons.

You didn't mention the electrical setup - have you thought about a controller, or perhaps just wifi power strips to make turning on/off equipments easier?
 

kingoftheHiLLpeople

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What I like about these titanium heating elements is that they do not have a temp sensor of their own. Rather, they plug into the Inkbird temperature controller.

The controller designates one heating element as primary and one secondary, and then there are two temperature probes that will sit in chamber 3. This controller is extremely reasonably priced for the amount of peace of mind it offers!

ACB179F3-D16F-4244-8E8A-9D8C404E4C1F.jpeg
I too have an inkbird and i love it! Have not had any issues w/ the sensor/probe - yet. For someone more tech savvy than i apex may be an upgrade down the road as @robo_reef pointed out.
 
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OldRed1

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Looks very well organized! Will definitely follow your build.

I've had some bad experiences with the Inkbird - the probe will go haywire and you'd have to replace the entire unit since the probes are not removable. I've eventually moved on to the Apex controller - for this and other reasons.

You didn't mention the electrical setup - have you thought about a controller, or perhaps just wifi power strips to make turning on/off equipments easier?
Thank you for sharing your experience with the Inkbird, definitely something I will keep in mind. As far as electrical goes, I have a power strip mounted along the inside wall of the stand. If needed, I can switch the whole unit off or unplug whatever piece of equipment is causing the issue.

A72ADAB8-86A4-4021-95C4-D8DF38753ADC.jpeg


I’m making sure to leave enough slack on all the chords coming from the tank allow for drips just in case.

If I go the route of adding dosing pumps, then I would like to invest in a controller so that I have mobile control over everything. What equipment do you have running through your controller?
 

KonradTO

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Thank you! If you don’t mind sharing, what have been some of the most important lessons you learned from your tank?
Hard to say. I still get "kicked in the balls" by the hobby quite often after 1 year. But I think something many people told be when I started and I understood only with time was that patience is key. The tank goes through many ugly phases and crisis and sometimes the best thing to do it's just waiting. The tank needs time to build some balance and every time you perturbate the balance (e.g disturb the sediments or change lights) you end up with some mess.
 
AquaCave

Do you have any special reefing plans for the fall season?

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