Mostly Automated Journey for Waterbox 20

the_goodz

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Have always wanted a reef tank, but the thought it would be impossible to travel with owning one.
I started browsing fb marketplace and a deal too good to pass came up, so I jumped in almost blind.
Being that I got such a good deal, I thought I could make this a budget build. Boy was I wrong :upside-down-face:

Here is the aquascape I decided on. Started the cycle on 10/31/23 with Dr. Tims
IMG_1490.jpg


Equipment:
AI Prime with diffuser
Eheim return pump (came with the tank, but plan on upgrading)
Eheim 100w heater
Inkbird controller
Jabao MLW-5
AutoAqua AWC Lite
DIY mesh lid
3d printed filter basket with filter floss

Caribsea Nano Tree with extra arch
Caribsea Fiji Pink
1 Gallon of MarinePure Ceramic Balls in Back middle chamber
Reef Crystals
RODI filter from amazon


IMG_1614.jpg


IMG_1613.jpg

IMG_1615.jpg

The AWC is hooked up to two 6 gallon camping jerry cans. One for fresh saltwater, the other for waste. I only had 4''~ clearance left, and a 1.5 gallon water jug was the only thing I could find for the ATO. If anyone knows of a higher capacity jug with a 4''~ width, please let me know.

It is currently changing 2 liters every 12 hours. The idea is to get on a system for the 6 gallons to last 2 weeks, so will slowly adjust till I hit that ratio.

Purchase but not delivered:
- Hygger Visual Fish Feeder

Planned upgrades:
- Second MLW-5, to run as child mode and have alternating currents. Will add once I confirm I need more flow.
- Battery backup system, with smart outlets. Have looked at Kasa, but I prefer homekit accessories so might run everything needing automation on Meross plugs. Considering DIY'ing a UPS with a Lithium 100 amp battery, but havent found a good solution yet. Prefer to have everything mounted within the cabinet.

Future Stocking:
- Orange Storm and Black Storm Clownfish pair
- Diamond Goby
- Mandarin Goby
- Maybe a maxima

Planned Coral:
- Red Goni (already purchased from TSA sale)
- Zoas (planning to encrust the bridge on the right of the tank)
- BTA (might get this earlier rather than later so it can pick its spot)
- Gold Torch
- GSP on back wall

CUC:
- Seeded with Tisbe, Apocyclops, & Tigriopus copepods + rotifers (planning to add more every month or so)
- 15 amphipods were added at the same time
- LFS sells stomatella snails, but trying to figure if they are worth it at $9 a pop
- Trochus once I see algae
- Nassarius once I have fish for food scraps they miss
- Dwarf Ceriths, again once there is algae to sustain them

Future Plans:
So with water changes mostly automated, my next project will be automating the mixing station. I have a bunch of brew buckets back from when I brew beer. They seem to work perfect for a nano mixing station, so will have to plan the best setup for it.

Will most likely add a dosing pump for AFR. Will see how my levels do once I add livestock.

Open to any suggestions or criticisms. I know this hobby hates the idea of automated tanks due to poor results, but looking forward to how it turns out!
 

cdemoss01

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Have always wanted a reef tank, but the thought it would be impossible to travel with owning one.
I started browsing fb marketplace and a deal too good to pass came up, so I jumped in almost blind.
Being that I got such a good deal, I thought I could make this a budget build. Boy was I wrong :upside-down-face:

Here is the aquascape I decided on. Started the cycle on 10/31/23 with Dr. Tims
IMG_1490.jpg


Equipment:
AI Prime with diffuser
Eheim return pump (came with the tank, but plan on upgrading)
Eheim 100w heater
Inkbird controller
Jabao MLW-5
AutoAqua AWC Lite
DIY mesh lid
3d printed filter basket with filter floss

Caribsea Nano Tree with extra arch
Caribsea Fiji Pink
1 Gallon of MarinePure Ceramic Balls in Back middle chamber
Reef Crystals
RODI filter from amazon


IMG_1614.jpg


IMG_1613.jpg

IMG_1615.jpg

The AWC is hooked up to two 6 gallon camping jerry cans. One for fresh saltwater, the other for waste. I only had 4''~ clearance left, and a 1.5 gallon water jug was the only thing I could find for the ATO. If anyone knows of a higher capacity jug with a 4''~ width, please let me know.

It is currently changing 2 liters every 12 hours. The idea is to get on a system for the 6 gallons to last 2 weeks, so will slowly adjust till I hit that ratio.

Purchase but not delivered:
- Hygger Visual Fish Feeder

Planned upgrades:
- Second MLW-5, to run as child mode and have alternating currents. Will add once I confirm I need more flow.
- Battery backup system, with smart outlets. Have looked at Kasa, but I prefer homekit accessories so might run everything needing automation on Meross plugs. Considering DIY'ing a UPS with a Lithium 100 amp battery, but havent found a good solution yet. Prefer to have everything mounted within the cabinet.

Future Stocking:
- Orange Storm and Black Storm Clownfish pair
- Diamond Goby
- Mandarin Goby
- Maybe a maxima

Planned Coral:
- Red Goni (already purchased from TSA sale)
- Zoas (planning to encrust the bridge on the right of the tank)
- BTA (might get this earlier rather than later so it can pick its spot)
- Gold Torch
- GSP on back wall

CUC:
- Seeded with Tisbe, Apocyclops, & Tigriopus copepods + rotifers (planning to add more every month or so)
- 15 amphipods were added at the same time
- LFS sells stomatella snails, but trying to figure if they are worth it at $9 a pop
- Trochus once I see algae
- Nassarius once I have fish for food scraps they miss
- Dwarf Ceriths, again once there is algae to sustain them

Future Plans:
So with water changes mostly automated, my next project will be automating the mixing station. I have a bunch of brew buckets back from when I brew beer. They seem to work perfect for a nano mixing station, so will have to plan the best setup for it.

Will most likely add a dosing pump for AFR. Will see how my levels do once I add livestock.

Open to any suggestions or criticisms. I know this hobby hates the idea of automated tanks due to poor results, but looking forward to how it turns out!
Amazing! I would recommend adding some more live rock, Future stocking sounds good but I will say mandarin gobies requires thousands of copepods it eats about two per second according to my LFS.
 
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the_goodz

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Amazing! I would recommend adding some more live rock, Future stocking sounds good but I will say mandarin gobies requires thousands of copepods it eats about two per second according to my LFS.
Thanks! I am planning to add some sort of island of rock in the front left. Won’t have much room other than that unfortunately. I have a gallon of the ceramic spheres in the back chamber. It is filled to the brim. Hoping that creates a little safe haven for the copepods to breed and spit out into the tank.

As for the mandarin, it will be one of the last stocking of fish. I do not plan to sustain one on copepods alone and plan to get either a pellet/mysis trained biota or just train one myself.

I know they are slow eaters, so I might have to come up with a solution with the auto feeder. I am guessing other fish will scoop up most before the mandarin gets a chance, so I have thought of adding a glass pipe to bowl at the bottom for the mandarin to feed on soley. Will take some trial and effort but we shall see!
IMG_1617.jpeg
 

cdemoss01

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Thanks! I am planning to add some sort of island of rock in the front left. Won’t have much room other than that unfortunately. I have a gallon of the ceramic spheres in the back chamber. It is filled to the brim. Hoping that creates a little safe haven for the copepods to breed and spit out into the tank.

As for the mandarin, it will be one of the last stocking of fish. I do not plan to sustain one on copepods alone and plan to get either a pellet/mysis trained biota or just train one myself.

I know they are slow eaters, so I might have to come up with a solution with the auto feeder. I am guessing other fish will scoop up most before the mandarin gets a chance, so I have thought of adding a glass pipe to bowl at the bottom for the mandarin to feed on soley. Will take some trial and effort but we shall see!
IMG_1617.jpeg
Good luck!
 

Purple rock rocks! Do you have coralline algae in your tank right now?

  • My tank is overrun with coralline algae.

    Votes: 15 9.6%
  • I have a manageable amount of coralline algae right now.

    Votes: 62 39.7%
  • I have just a bit of coralline algae right now.

    Votes: 52 33.3%
  • I have had coralline in the past, but not currently.

    Votes: 15 9.6%
  • I have never had coralline algae in my tank.

    Votes: 10 6.4%
  • Other.

    Votes: 2 1.3%
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