My journey starts

Arabyps

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I want to share with the community my new reef tank build. It is my first serious venture into the hobby and I want to take things slowly. Accordingly, I am following the BRS 4-month cycle with lights out, fish in (https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/video/view/5-minute-saltwater-aquarium-guide-ep16-cycling-part2/ ). So, let’s get started.

TANK
The tank is a Waterbox Peninsula 5526. This decision was based upon watching many YouTube videos from various posters. I felt the panoramic possibilities with a peninsula tank made the most sense and reinforced by Reef Dudes ( ) and Puff Daddy ( ). For rock I selected both base and shelf rock Marco and CaribSea). Rock was placed in the aquarium first and CaribSea Fiji live sand next. This was to insure the rock was directly placed on the tank bottom without the risk of fish disrupting the rock-scape digging under the rock through the sand. I have on order a cover from ClearView Lids which is probably 30 days out.

UNDER THE HOOD
This is probably less interesting to the experienced reefers as I am not yet into all the complexities of dosing and monitoring. But, here we go:

(1) LIGHTS/ACTION: Current USA LOOP system with (1) dual Orbit Marine Pro IC led fixtures with Bluetooth control, (2) 2 eFlux wave pumps, and (3) eFlux DC flow/return pump. I really like the control offered using my phone, the special effects with audio playback through a sound bar in my cabinet. It is a very good price/performer albeit may not work for serious SPS cultivation (not yet my goal).

(2) SKIMMER: My skimmer is the Coral Box D500+ with controller for variable speed operation among other things. I chose it based upon information from Reef Dudes who highly recommend its bigger brother the 700 model. Also, for a DC skimmer the price cannot be beat. One feature I really appreciate is the float valve with alarm to shut down the skimmer before it overflows (already saved my life).

(3) SUMP: The sump is standard Waterbox configuration with 4 filter socks, refugium chamber, skimmer chamber, return chamber and ATO reservoir. Sump is all glass and very high quality as expected from Waterbox.

(4) REACTOR: I wanted a simple AIO solution so I opted for the Lifegard Aquatics R800128 Medium Side Flow Turbo Reactor. It has a very small footprint, sits in the return chamber along side the return pump. I use it with carbon but certainly will support other media over time as needed.

(3) REFUGIUM: I have a base of Biohome Ultimate media for bacteria colonization and 4 bio bricks. I will be adding chaeto when the nitrate/phosphate levels rise sufficiently for the chaeto to survive and grow. Refugium light is via an Innovative Marine ChaetoMax 2-in-1 Refugium LED.

(4) HEATING/COOLING: Heating is via a Finnex HMX 500W Heater. I installed a chiller since in Palm Springs this may be essential on an occasional basis. I have the Active Aqua 1/10 HP. The house is air conditioned so the inside temps will not become dangerously hot but the “smart” thermostats will allow the temperature to rise if no one is home. Also, we have a whole house power backup with Tesla Power Walls so no fear of outages. The control is through the Inkbird heating/cooling power strip unit.

(5) AUTOMATION: We have a whole house automation system so I use Insteon modules and Alexa to turn devices on and off mostly by verbal commands. Some day I suspect I will get something akin to the Neptune Apex but not there yet. The Current USA LOOP system makes it very easy to control the lights and pumps from my phone.

(6) INTERIOR CABINET LIGHTING: 2 motion sensing LED strips (one in each compartment). Just stick my hand or head in and the lights come on.

(7) POWER PROTECTION: APC Surge Protector Power Strip with USB Ports, P11U2, 2880 Joules, 11 Outlet Power Strip Surge Protector.

(8) AUTO TOP OFF: XP Aqua Duetto Dual-Sensor Complete Aquarium Auto-Top-Off

LIVESTOCK
Following the BRS method, lights are to stay off for approximately 4 months while beneficial bacteria colonize the rock. Fish should be added to the tank at the beginning and as they say “enjoy your fish with the lights OFF”. So, here is what I have to enjoy for the next few months:

Fish:
Purple Tang 1
Yellow Tang 1
Ocellaris Clown x2
Red Head Solon Fairy Wrasse 1
Royal Gramma 1
Yellow Longnose Butterfly 1
Purple Firefish 1
Flame Angel 1

CUC:
Halloween Hermits 2
Conch 2
Red Leg Hermit 3
Cleaner Shrimp 1

PICTURES
Not much to show yet but this is it after 5 weeks. In the stand you'll see the chiller. Behind it all the power supplies and power strip are mounted to the back wall and labeled. Cables are generally routed through clips as best I could.

Fish 1.jpg
Sump skiller.jpg
Refugium.jpg
Chiller.jpg
Tank front 2MP.jpg
 

ndrwater

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Great start!! Tank looks great!!

If I were to offer one piece of advice, move the chiller outside the stand. When they run, they create hot air which, in turn, will make the tank hotter, which, will make the chiller run more often and so on.. A vicious cycle ESPECIALLY in Palm Springs with summer coming..

Keep the updates coming!!
 
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Arabyps

Arabyps

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Great start!! Tank looks great!!

If I were to offer one piece of advice, move the chiller outside the stand. When they run, they create hot air which, in turn, will make the tank hotter, which, will make the chiller run more often and so on.. A vicious cycle ESPECIALLY in Palm Springs with summer coming..

Keep the updates coming!!
Thanks for your input. It is funny the manufacturer shows this compartment for a chiller but your recommendation makes total sense. In fact, I have a place directly outside that compartment and I plan to relocate the chiller in the near future. Best to you.
 

YurgiReef

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I am back into the hobby after 15+ years and ALSO been taking things slow. My tank arrived in mid-January and I just got my aquascape into the tank tonight. Hoping to get wet next week.
I too have been following the BRS suggestions and am planning the 4 month cycle. Yours looks pretty great at week #5!...
MyFirstFishTank.com just posted a video last week on using a chiller. He's located in NV and I suggest you take a quick look, very relative to your situation. Chiller info starts at 16:10 in the video. https://myfirstfishtank.com/that-reef-show-episode-02/
 
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Arabyps

Arabyps

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Great start!! Tank looks great!!

If I were to offer one piece of advice, move the chiller outside the stand. When they run, they create hot air which, in turn, will make the tank hotter, which, will make the chiller run more often and so on.. A vicious cycle ESPECIALLY in Palm Springs with summer coming..

Keep the updates coming!!
Chiller is now relocated outside of the stand. Thanks for your input.
 
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Arabyps

Arabyps

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Time to do a 3 month update.

Hello R2R! I am 3 months into the BRS 4-month cycle with lights off but the fish are in. Things have progressed very well. No fish or inverts lost.

Here's what has been added these past couple of months (pics below):

  1. Carbon reactor: I used the Lifeguard Aquatics RS800128 medium side flow unit running BRS RX 0.8 but will change to Seachem Matrix Carbon for ease of handling.
  2. Algae Scrubber: Rain2 with 4 GEM5 lights and water supply through the manifold which comes with the Waterbox 5526.
  3. Tank Cover: Clearview Lids Tsunami which has a model specifically designed for the Waterbox 5526.
  4. Sump Power Head: This is to stir-up the detritus to get it into the filter socks.
  5. Heater/Chiller Power Controller: Ink Bird ITC 308S to turn the heater and/or chiller on and off based on programmed temperature settings.
  6. New Livestock: 5 Threadfin Anthias, 4 Chalk Bass, 1 Orchid Dottyback, 1 Splendid Dottyback.

One more moth and the lights go on. Wish me luck!! As always, feedback welcome. Corals to follow.

Aquarium 1.jpg Aquarium 2.jpg Ink Bitrd.jpg Lid.jpg Rain2 Scrubber.jpg Reactor.jpg Sump Power Head.jpg
 
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FreakPrism

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Looking nice. 2 questions:

1. In the pictures there seem to be 2 led strips that are on the DT. Was that only to take pictures? Or you kept those on and only did not activate a certain spectrum.

2. Same as #1 but was your refugium light on and if so, what purpose is that serving since I did not see any chaeto?
 
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Arabyps

Arabyps

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Looking nice. 2 questions:

1. In the pictures there seem to be 2 led strips that are on the DT. Was that only to take pictures? Or you kept those on and only did not activate a certain spectrum.

2. Same as #1 but was your refugium light on and if so, what purpose is that serving since I did not see any chaeto?
Thank you for your interest. The LED strips are my dual Orbit Marine Pro IC led fixtures with Bluetooth control. They have been off for the BRS 4-month cycle. Only on here for the picture.

As shown in the update, the refrugium has been updated to a RAIN2 so there will not be any chaeto.
 

When you feed your fish do you feel like your feeding the algae as well?

  • Yes I feel I'm feeding too much

    Votes: 7 19.4%
  • Yes but not much

    Votes: 15 41.7%
  • No

    Votes: 14 38.9%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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