Late to the party. New reefer at 6 months with a WB 20g cube

elorablue

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Good day everyone and welcome to my build. I hope some of you find it interesting and possibly informative as well.
Should have started this months ago but better late than never so here goes.
I've documented and photographed almost every stage in this aquariums life so there may be a lot of info to follow but it will take me awhile to post it all so hang in there :)

I first got interested in marine fish and animals when I was about 12 years old when I saw a photo of a Clown Trigger. This would be around 1976, you can do the math ;) , but life happened and it never got started until March of 2021. All that time I kept reading books on the hobby, then followed along on reef central and it really has been fascinating to see the progression of this crazy hobby. I have great respect and admiration for the pioneers as they were basically flying blind and establishing all the 'protocols' that we take for granted today. Kudos and thank you!

So I guess I'll just get started on this. Thanks for tuning in !
 
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elorablue

elorablue

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First thing to do I suppose is to post a first day pic and a today pic. It’s crazy to me to look at these 2 pics. Lol
612C6537-0E85-46F2-8E10-FE31C799869E.jpeg
DCDC27EA-0E93-4FB1-99D5-67042960B8FE.jpeg
 
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elorablue

elorablue

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Looking good! Looks like your tank has really matured nicely. What lights and pumps are you using? Are you considering a bigger tank?.
Thanks very much. I'm pleased with the progress and a bit surprised as well.
I'll get into the details soon but I have an AI prime and 2 AI Nero 3 powerheads.

and yes, I've ordered a new tank LOL
 
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elorablue

elorablue

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Soooo, tank was started in March with about 15lbs of Marco dry rock and a 20lb bag of Caribsea Fiji pink.
To be honest I didn't even consider using live rock as availability is extremely scarce up here and expensive. I also didn't/don't know any other reefers near me to score some from. Main reason though is I wanted to be in control of what I put in my tank. Not afraid of hitchhikers now but at the start the thought of dealing with the unknown was not something I wanted to deal with. I'm well pleased with my decision.
I chose the waterbox cube AIO because I wanted simplicity right from the start. This has also proven to be a good decision. Only thing I would change is I wouldn't have got a cube. I've ended up really liking the long and low frag tank lagoon style so that's what I'll be going with in the future.
 
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elorablue

elorablue

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Initial equipment list was an AI prime 16hd , which I got bundled with the tank, an AI Nero 3, and an Eheim Jager heater (100w I think). That's it.
I'd already decided I wasn't going to run a skimmer and would rely on weekly 15% water changes. So my mechanical filtration is just a filter sock.
 

James_O

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Where did you get your tank bundle?


Only thing I would change is I wouldn't have got a cube. I've ended up really liking the long and low frag tank lagoon style so that's what I'll be going with in the future.
I ask also considering a lagoon-style for my new tank, as open to a cube. That low tank just looks so nice. :cool:
 
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Amazing looking cube tank, especially for only being 6 months old. Just WOW, and an explosion of coralline over your white dry rock too!

A few questions if you don't mind (I'm 2+mo in to my WB cube.) Did you go through an ugly phase? What sort of CUC do you have? What fish do you have (I can see one clown.) What's your maintenance like and water change amount/schedule? Do you dose anything?
 
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elorablue

elorablue

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Next step was of course the cycling process. After a bunch o' frickin' boring research into this I decided to use the Brightwell dry rock dry sand fishless method. They have a kit which includes ammonia, microbacter start and microbacter clean.
The first 2 items are used for the actual cycling process and the Clean is kind of a maintenance bacteria that is used once a week after the cycle is complete. I still dose the Clean and have every reason to believe it has been effective for me.
The Brightwell cycling system is very simple IF YOU FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS!!!!!!
It worked as advertised for me and the tank was ammonia free in just over a week. I still had some nitrites though and this confused me until I did some more frickin' boring research and found it wasn't something I needed to worry about at such low concentrations.
While cycling all I had going was the return pump and didn't use the filter sock either. Lights off as well.

Sooooooo it was time for FISH!! WOOHOO!!
 
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elorablue

elorablue

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I really like the frags and coral placement. I feel like I made a giant soup with my setup. Everything is scattered about, just because it fits there. ;Bucktooth
Thanks! but you would not believe how many times I've moved corals and rocks around. still doing it ;Facepalm
 
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