First Time Reefer - Waterbox AIO 20 Cube - Build Thread

MeesterClean

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Hey all! I'm starting my first reef tank. I picked up the Waterbox AIO Cube 20 yesterday, setup the sand and aquascape, filled it with Nutri-Seawater (just for the ease of use to get started). Today I added the Fritz Turbostart and Nitrocycle to start the cycling process. Ammonia levels are at 5.0ppm after adding the Nitrocycle.

I'll continue to post here to give updates! But I have a question for you folks, should I expand my aquascape up more to add more room for corals? Or is this a good start for a first timer?

unnamed.jpg
 

BrunoL

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A fellow, new Waterbox 20 reefer. Following as well! In terms of rock scape, there's the rule of thirds which works pretty well. I tried to do something similar for my own waterbox. Here's an example I found on Google:

Aquascape-5.jpg


I think the general idea would be to not go above the midway line, so the top 1/3 of the water column is open space for the fish to swim. BRStv has some really good videos on rock scaping, best practices and errors to avoid.
 
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MeesterClean

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Time for a quick update! I am 9 days into the cycle and the ammonia level is showing near zero with the API test kit. From what I've read, the API tests are known to give a false positive for low-level ammonia readings. I added an additional piece of dry live rock 3 days ago so I am hoping that doesn't extend the cycle much, but I am quite happy with how the rockscape came together for my first build. Now to just give it a few more days before I finally get to clean the glass :)

I plan on getting a pair of clowns next week as long as the ammonia levels stay the same. Hopefully the clowns don't decide to try and make their great escape before my Kraken lid comes in. I am not sure if I'm going to add in a cleanup crew with the clowns or wait for some algae growth so that the cleanup crew has food. My long term plan is to also add a pistol shrimp and a watchman goby.

Now the hard part is going to be waiting to put coral in. I've read mixed advice on how long to wait, so I am continuing to research for a solid answer. My plan is to start with beginner corals and slowly add them, giving time to stabilize the tank in between additions.

One "issue" I am fighting is evaporation. I am going through almost two liters per day (having to fill up the temporary Gravity ATO bottle). I plan on adding an evaporation cover to the Kraken lid sooner rather than later.

reef.jpg
 

rc8t6353

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Welcome to Reef2Reef! Looks like your cycle is almost done. If you don't have a nitrate test kit I would recommend getting one. Once you have some nitrates you'll know your cycle is all the way complete. And beware of the new tank uglies as well. As for EVAP, an ATO system will be your best friend, and help keep your salinity stable. My advice on coral is to add it once you have a stable established tank. The timeline for that is different with every tank. Patience is hey in this hobby. Keep us updated on your progress!
 
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MeesterClean

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I added two clowns yesterday, one storm and one regular ocellaris. They're doing really well so far and began eating the same day I added them. The smaller storm is already showing signs of being submissive and they are swimming together all day.

This week, the AI Blade Coral Grow is coming in the mail. My research found this to be a good and affordable option for my tank.

I'm going to let these clowns stabilize the tank for around a week and then I plan to add GSP and a cheaper zoa frag just to get some color in the tank. I'm still going to wait quite a while before adding more expensive coral.

clowns.jpg
 

luis angel

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I recommend putting the gsp on an isolated rock, unless you want it to take over your entire aquascape. I put mine on the back wall and that way I have more space on the rocks for other corals, but it all depends on what you have planned for your tank, anyway we will be here following the process
 
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MeesterClean

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I recommend putting the gsp on an isolated rock, unless you want it to take over your entire aquascape. I put mine on the back wall and that way I have more space on the rocks for other corals, but it all depends on what you have planned for your tank, anyway we will be here following the process
My plan is to actually place it on the back wall. I really like some of the tanks I've seen like that.
 
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MeesterClean

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When should I start adding pods and/or phyto to start establishing the tank? Is this a while from now once I start adding more coral or should I start this process early?
 

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Yo can look at this thread

 
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MeesterClean

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I received the AI Blade Coral Grow and some other goodies in the mail today. I'm going to be trying to find the right light settings.

Today will also be my first water change and I will be adding in the jar of Ecopods from Algae Barn after the water change. The tank is coming together and getting ready for coral!


unnamed.jpg
 
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MeesterClean

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I took a trip to the LFS today. While their coral selection was slim and honestly unimpressive, they did have a really good deal on this rock flower anemone (I know it's too early to add this guy :grinning-face-with-sweat:). My phone camera cannot get a good picture of the color of this little guy because it doesn't like the lighting, but he makes a great addition to the tank!

rock flower.jpg
 
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MeesterClean

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Today's addition is a NY Knicks Torch that I picked up from a local reefer. I'm nervous that I may have added it too early but I will closely watch it. It did open up fairly quickly after adding to the tank so that's a good sign I suppose. I also picked up some phytoplankton that I'm going to begin dosing the tank with.




I also finished up a few alterations to the rockscape which I am quite happy with.

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MeesterClean

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The ugly phase has started :confused-face:

I have diatoms and red hair algae (I think) growing in the tank. I just added some snails today to help, and a cleaner shrimp as well.

On the coral side, I now have the NY Knicks Torch, Rock Flower nem, zoas, firework clove polyps, GSP and a hairy mushroom.

Overall, things are still going well. I just hope this algae doesn't become too much of a problem.

IMG_9183.jpg
 
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MeesterClean

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I discovered today that my "red hair algae" is actually a cyano outbreak. It's making the tank look quite bad and so far I'm having no luck controlling it.

Is Cyano RX going to be my next step?
 

Ingenuity against algae: Do you use DIY methods for controlling nuisance algae?

  • I have used DIY methods for controlling algae.

    Votes: 32 50.0%
  • I use commercial methods for controlling algae, but never DIY methods.

    Votes: 12 18.8%
  • I have not used commercial or DIY methods for controlling algae.

    Votes: 15 23.4%
  • Other.

    Votes: 5 7.8%
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