My Office Waterbox Marine X 35.1 Cube Build

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Gedxin

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Today marks day 7 since cycle start and tank setup. Ammonia levels are looking pretty good to my untrained test eye, but have been steadily declining day to day. Inversely nitrites and nitrates have been sky rocketing.

At this rate, I believe I'll be purchasing two clowns just as soon as my LFS gets them in (tomorrow or Friday.) All my research (mostly done here, on R2R) indicates I have a sufficient bacteria population and can sustain a minimal bioload addition. I plan to perform a ~30% water change (figure I've got roughly 26gal, so that's 8gal water change) before adding the fish.

7/14: Ammonia 0.2ppm, Nitrite >10ppm, Nitrates 40-80ppm
20210714_140248.jpg


Yesterday, 7/13:

20210713_133853.jpg


Reading these cards is so frustratingly difficult.
 
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Today marks day 7 since cycle start and tank setup. Ammonia levels are looking pretty good to my untrained test eye, but have been steadily declining day to day. Inversely nitrites and nitrates have been sky rocketing.

At this rate, I believe I'll be purchasing two clowns just as soon as my LFS gets them in (tomorrow or Friday.) All my research (mostly done here, on R2R) indicates I have a sufficient bacteria population and can sustain a minimal bioload addition. I plan to perform a ~30% water change (figure I've got roughly 26gal, so that's 8gal water change) before adding the fish.

7/14: Ammonia 0.2ppm, Nitrite >10ppm, Nitrates 40-80ppm
20210714_140248.jpg


Yesterday, 7/13:

20210713_133853.jpg


Reading these cards is so frustratingly difficult.
I have the same test and read that as 0.8
 

Micro-Reefs Aquarium

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A few updates. I've installed my Nero 3 power head. Middle right of my tank. I worry due to my scape bulkiness I won't have enough flow for the whole tank, but I plan to only do softies and LPS to start with, so I'll investigate when we're at that point (probably at least 2+ weeks away.)

Installed my white AI Prime 16HD. I had to rotate the latch support backwards because my tank sits right against the wall and there was no room for the screw behind the tank. I've lost ~2inches of depth on the arm so the light doesn't sit dead center of the tank. A little disappointing, but I hope not an issue long term. I may rent a PAR meter at some point.

Ordered an Eheim 1250. I'm just not thrilled with my Sicce 2.0. I've figured out the rattle issue by fitting it perfectly in the sump, but I'm going to use it as a backup and my main will be a lower gph (357 vs 567) that ideally will be quieter. Based on my water volume, the 1250 is plenty.

I've been dosing 6ml of Brightwell MicroBacter7 yesterday and today, and will likely add more until I reach 0ppm ammonia. I think with my live sand and life rock and fritz turbostart in there...I've got enough bacteria diversity.

Water parameters are ever so slowly moving in the right direction:
7/9: 2ppm Ammonia
7/10: 1.2-2ppm Ammonia
7/11: 1.2ppm Ammonia, SG 1.026
7/12: 0.8ppm Ammonia, >1ppm Nitrite

Looks like we're 2-3 days away from 0ppm ammonia if all continues.

My plan is to get down to 0 ammonia and test nitrite/nitrates. If nitrites are still high, I may wait one more day before next steps. Next, perform a 20% water change to reduce nitrates. Possibly then add 1ppm ammonia, and check if it goes to 0 in ~24hr. If it falls quickly, probably ready for a fish! If it doesn't fall quickly enough...wait for 0ppm and then add fish?

Photo update:
20210712_162117.jpg
Huge fan of the white stand on white AI HD 16 prime, I have a similiar setup as yours so I can appreciate that beatiful combo you have.

The Sicce 2.0 will rattle and there is a way to quiet her her down. If it is connected to a strip where you can control off and on with you app, then hit that button a couple times until she restarts with a silent hum.

It will go back to being noisey one in blue moon, just hit the button again.

It is where the impellar rattles where it rotates. Simple jump fixes mine all the time and you get quiet office again.

Hope that helps you out.

Wathing your awesome setup as it unfolds!
 
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Huge fan of the white stand on white AI HD 16 prime, I have a similiar setup as yours so I can appreciate that beatiful combo you have.

The Sicce 2.0 will rattle and there is a way to quiet her her down. If it is connected to a strip where you can control off and on with you app, then hit that button a couple times until she restarts with a silent hum.

It will go back to being noisey one in blue moon, just hit the button again.

It is where the impellar rattles where it rotates. Simple jump fixes mine all the time and you get quiet office again.

Hope that helps you out.

Wathing your awesome setup as it unfolds!

Thanks for the comments @Micro-Reefs Aquarium ! I'm very pleased with the white look (obviously it marries well with my white/gray walls too.) Do you have a build thread where I can see your setup and gush too?! :D

Interesting suggestion to fixing the sicce rattle. That makes sense that the little power on/off jolt would adjust the impeller just enough to quiet it down. If I were keeping it as my main pump, I'd do just that - my Eheim 1250 arrives tomorrow though and I'll be replacing the Sicce with it (to the backup bin you go!)
 

Clo

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I almost went with the Marine X but was worried I would get overwhelmed with a sump.

I wish I had gone with it instead, then I would have so many more options for gear lol. I look forward to seeing how this progresses!
 

Jaden9933

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I can see why you'd say that, but when you compare yesterday and today, it's clear that today is yellower, thus 0.8 isn't appropriate to my eyes.
Oh I’m sorry I thought the second picture was from today. In that case, I completely agree with you!
 
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I almost went with the Marine X but was worried I would get overwhelmed with a sump.

I wish I had gone with it instead, then I would have so many more options for gear lol. I look forward to seeing how this progresses!
Yeah, I agree the AIO/Marine X decisions were difficult to make! I nearly went with the Cube 20, which is basically the 35.2 AIO but smaller. Sump benefits won me over in the long run though. I'd consider your AIO an experiment in micro-hardware and organization skills! Also you've got an entire cabinet for your reef gear - I've instead got a few drawers in my bedroom closet for my stuff - not much room in my sump! :D
 
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Micro-Reefs Aquarium

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Thanks for the comments @Micro-Reefs Aquarium ! I'm very pleased with the white look (obviously it marries well with my white/gray walls too.) Do you have a build thread where I can see your setup and gush too?! :D

Interesting suggestion to fixing the sicce rattle. That makes sense that the little power on/off jolt would adjust the impeller just enough to quiet it down. If I were keeping it as my main pump, I'd do just that - my Eheim 1250 arrives tomorrow though and I'll be replacing the Sicce with it (to the backup bin you go!)
I started off with the Eheim on my 12 gallon build and boy did it become super loud, I had to replace rhe pump with Sicce. Eheim became my loud utility pump.

Here is a nice 1 min video of my white stand with matching white AI 16HD Prime.

I will find my thread it showcases me adding everything I can to an AIO system you can appreciate my build since you have a gorgeous Water Box.
 

Micro-Reefs Aquarium

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Thanks for the comments @Micro-Reefs Aquarium ! I'm very pleased with the white look (obviously it marries well with my white/gray walls too.) Do you have a build thread where I can see your setup and gush too?! :D

Interesting suggestion to fixing the sicce rattle. That makes sense that the little power on/off jolt would adjust the impeller just enough to quiet it down. If I were keeping it as my main pump, I'd do just that - my Eheim 1250 arrives tomorrow though and I'll be replacing the Sicce with it (to the backup bin you go!)
I started my build at the end of January 2021, so you can get a baseline of where I am today with my SPS corals. It's only 12 gallons so I am very careful what fish I chose and now I have a ULNS dosing Bright Wells Neo Phos and Neo Nitro.

Here is my thread when you get a chance you can drop in and comment. I really think you have a gorgeous system WaterBox is up there with RedSea, Mercedes Benz of the reefing community in my opinion.

 
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I started off with the Eheim on my 12 gallon build and boy did it become super loud, I had to replace rhe pump with Sicce. Eheim became my loud utility pump.

Here is a nice 1 min video of my white stand with matching white AI 16HD Prime.

I will find my thread it showcases me adding everything I can to an AIO system you can appreciate my build since you have a gorgeous Water Box.
Nooooo, that's not great news on the Eheim! I read they're super quiet and had really high hopes it would beat out my Sicce. :eek: Guess we'll see how it fares when I test it out tomorrow.

Also super informative build thread. Your tanks look amazing and are definitely what I'm striving for. Thank you for sharing.
 
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Warning, incoming text wall. Yesterday was an eventful day! My closest LFS had originally told me a large order of clownfish would be in Thurs/Fri, but when I called he said the order was delayed until next week. dang. My train of thought then went as follows: how soon could I receive an ordered clown fish from online? Some Saturday deliveries were possible, but it'd be $50, I’d have to be home all day Sat and I wouldn't get to see them, and the fish wouldn't be paired yet. Not ideal. How about other LFS outside of my normal driving range? Called two shops, neither had young clownfish with my requirements (young, and one standard ocellaris and one designer.) Third LFS I called up said they had a bunch of clowns and I should come over to check 'em out. Work day be danged, let's go look at some clownfish!

After slightly begging my wife to come with me to the LFS (no fish purchases without partner input, after all these guys can live for 10+ years), we started our first saltwater fish-buying adventure. I hadn’t heard of the shop, but it had good/above average reviews on Google/Yelp. Great first impressions when walking in. Place is clean and well lit! And wow, the owner was honest about his clowns collection too, there had to be at least 20+ available, some paired and some not, with a great variety of standard and designer. We almost immediately gravitated toward a young bonded pair, female ocellaris and a male misbar black and white ocellaris. A ‘Nemo’ to perk up the interest in my 2.5 year-old daughter and the designer for the adults, perfect! They seemed happy, healthy and eager for a new home. Sold!

If you read my intro, I mentioned I had plans to start with a CUC > Fish > Coral. Getting a fish before a CUC seems like a big no-no. So naturally that needed to be remedied. We ended up also purchasing 5 Nassarius snails, 5 Astraea snails, 5 Bumble Bee snails and 5 hermit crabs. Considering reefcleaners’ 25gal package gets you 48 snails + 6 hermits, I thought ~20 cleaners (for a 22g) was a good compromise, especially considering I have zero algae in my tank today - I don’t want them to die from lack of nutrition.

The owner was super kind and helpful throughout the whole process, suggesting things depending on my comments, but also not too much of a salesman to get me to buy things I didn’t need/want. Because of my larger purchase, he was nice enough to offer to throw in two corals for free! Enter my first foray in to coral care, a GSP and a Zoanthid (WHICH I ALREADY FORGOT THE NAME OF. :cry: ) The zoa has only two polyps, so this baby will take some time to grow. I had absolutely not intended on buying corals any time soon, buuuuuut given these are free, I guess we’ll see how my parameters and care manages! Spoiler alert, I already superglued the wrong side of one (of two) of the GSP frags, doh, I’m such a newb. I did get a chance to use my Coral RX on both of these frags, so that was a smelly and interesting experience.

I also bought some Hikari Bio-Pure Frozen Spirulina Mysis Shrimp. This stuff is fun to feed and watch! My kraken reef lid came with a feeding cup, so I just place it in there and watch it dissolve. I performed a 6.3gal water change and then after acclimating the clowns with a drip (took about ~2 hours to triple the water content as instructions show) I plopped them in the tank and soon after fed them with the frozen shrimp. The female bullied the male a little here, but both of them ate!

With fish poop here and feeding started, I went ahead and ordered my previously planned skimmer. The Nyos 120. Super pricey, but quiet/performance/ease-of-us were my must-haves, and it came highly recommended in those areas.

Last thing, the LFS owner gave me some of his chaeto, which he said should have some copepods in it. Intrigued by this (but also a little apprehensive of what else could be in there, plus I do NOT have a refugium) I gladly accepted, tore off about 1/3 of what he gave me, and stuck it in the back of my DT. I’m ‘hoping’ this is manageable and I don’t regret it. Fingers crossed.

I turned on my AI Prime light this morning and almost immediately the Zoa opened up. The GSP is still looking pretty sad, but I see a hint of green poking out in one spot.

Incoming photos! Note I'm still learning how to take shots.
 
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jhuntstl

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I think it's becoming much more widely accepted that you can start with hardy corals, slowly introduce fish, and build a CUC as needed. Those coral are gonna do just fine. Same goes for the clowns. If anything you could have waited on the CUC.

I got some freebie GSP myself. After some research, I discovered it can be quite invasive! I've isolated mine on it's own rock island. It's a beautiful coral, but apparently can be difficult to manage once it really takes off.

Anyways, I bet you're super excited to see life in your tank! As you should be! Hopefully you're still able to get some work done in that office. =p
 
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I think it's becoming much more widely accepted that you can start with hardy corals, slowly introduce fish, and build a CUC as needed. Those coral are gonna do just fine. Same goes for the clowns. If anything you could have waited on the CUC.

I got some freebie GSP myself. After some research, I discovered it can be quite invasive! I've isolated mine on it's own rock island. It's a beautiful coral, but apparently can be difficult to manage once it really takes off.

Anyways, I bet you're super excited to see life in your tank! As you should be! Hopefully you're still able to get some work done in that office. =p
I heard the same things about GSP, can get super invasive. I had originally intended on NOT getting it because of this, but...how do I turn down free? I've got it placed on its own little island in the front of the tank. If it gets bold and tries to explore, I'll have to cut it back somehow.

You said it, it's incredibly difficult to focus on work with this living tank right behind me!

Forgot to mention I found an asterina starfish hitchhiker last night. I've read they eat algae and 'can' be considered invasive when they inevitably get out of hand. I took that sucker out.

Fed BRS reef chili today, used target feeding on the two corals. I don't intend to do this as often as they recommend (every other day), but good experience for the future.

Water Parameters Update:
pH 7.8 Redsea (this is too low for my liking, my Saltwater station is testing at 8.2! so what the heck. I'm thinking it's a combination of two things: 1) the CO2 in my office, I'm testing ~800-1000ppm in the air.) 2) My cycle and the ammonia/nitrite process releases more CO2.
Alkalinity: 7.5 Hanna (directly tied to my pH)
Calcium: ~430 Salifert (still getting the hang of this test)
 
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Small updates.

Came home from a family event today to find my zoanthids' frag rock upside down. :eek: The horror! Best guess is the rock it came with was too light and being on the sand got it upended by my CUC. My mistake, I should have thought of this. The zoas seemed alright but angry and closed. I've now moved the frag rock and glued it to my scape. This new area will henceforth be deemed 'zoa rock'. I think I may get one or two more zoas this week from my LFS and keep adding to this area. Could turn in to a cool collection.

My clowns, Juniper and Ash seem to be doing well! They've really taken a liking to the back right overflow area. Juniper will occasionally venture out and around the tank some, usually when she sees me or my partner walk up to the tank. I like that she's taking to see us as the food providers :D I'm feeding BRS 1mm pellets in the morning and Hikari Frozen Mysis Shrimp in the evening. Tonight Ash was devouring the shrimp, but Juniper couldn't have cared less. I was slightly concerned so threw in a few of the 1mm pellets to see if she just wasn't hungry. Nope, immediately devoured every pellet she could find. I guess she's not in to the shrimp? I may pick up a different packet of Hikari next time I'm at my LFS, no reason I can't alternate flavors.

My pH is still testing on the low side: 7.8. My Alk is also testing low at 7.5 dKh, which I want to be 8-8.5. While I want to increase my pH, I don't want to add a CO2 scrubber unless I have to (there's just not much room.) I figure I'll try minor dosing first. I added 3ml liquid soda ash yesterday following BRS dosing instructions, which brought me up to 7.8 dKh. Added another 3ml tonight.

Pretty sure I can already tell my chaeto has grown. There's plenty of nitrates still in the tank so that's not surprising.

I've switched my lights to acclimation mode (80% for 4 days.) I've also added a 3d printed diffuser. I've also changed my sunrise/sunset (with ramp-ups) to 10am - 8pm. Photo provided.

20210717_085945.jpg
 

Micro-Reefs Aquarium

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Small updates.

Came home from a family event today to find my zoanthids' frag rock upside down. :eek: The horror! Best guess is the rock it came with was too light and being on the sand got it upended by my CUC. My mistake, I should have thought of this. The zoas seemed alright but angry and closed. I've now moved the frag rock and glued it to my scape. This new area will henceforth be deemed 'zoa rock'. I think I may get one or two more zoas this week from my LFS and keep adding to this area. Could turn in to a cool collection.

My clowns, Juniper and Ash seem to be doing well! They've really taken a liking to the back right overflow area. Juniper will occasionally venture out and around the tank some, usually when she sees me or my partner walk up to the tank. I like that she's taking to see us as the food providers :D I'm feeding BRS 1mm pellets in the morning and Hikari Frozen Mysis Shrimp in the evening. Tonight Ash was devouring the shrimp, but Juniper couldn't have cared less. I was slightly concerned so threw in a few of the 1mm pellets to see if she just wasn't hungry. Nope, immediately devoured every pellet she could find. I guess she's not in to the shrimp? I may pick up a different packet of Hikari next time I'm at my LFS, no reason I can't alternate flavors.

My pH is still testing on the low side: 7.8. My Alk is also testing low at 7.5 dKh, which I want to be 8-8.5. While I want to increase my pH, I don't want to add a CO2 scrubber unless I have to (there's just not much room.) I figure I'll try minor dosing first. I added 3ml liquid soda ash yesterday following BRS dosing instructions, which brought me up to 7.8 dKh. Added another 3ml tonight.

Pretty sure I can already tell my chaeto has grown. There's plenty of nitrates still in the tank so that's not surprising.

I've switched my lights to acclimation mode (80% for 4 days.) I've also added a 3d printed diffuser. I've also changed my sunrise/sunset (with ramp-ups) to 10am - 8pm. Photo provided.

20210717_085945.jpg
Which salt mix are you using? One key that I have learned for Alk, is getting a salt mix that starts you off at a fixed point. For example Red Sea SPS dominant which I mix gives me 8.0 Dkh. They also have Coral Pro salt which is higher 12 dkh.

But my LFS recommend the SPS dominant salt giving me time to raise it higher if I choose to

With Coral Pro you don't have that variance and going up by mistake can cause havoc.

Having said that my DKH is 8.1 and my PH hovers at that range as well.

I dose Bright Wells Neo Nitro and Neo Phos since my tank became a ULNS due to my Cheato out competing my 6 tiny gobies in my tiny 12 gallon tank.

Are you testing daily to see what your cheato is doing, import export nutrients?
 
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Which salt mix are you using? One key that I have learned for Alk, is getting a salt mix that starts you off at a fixed point. For example Red Sea SPS dominant which I mix gives me 8.0 Dkh. They also have Coral Pro salt which is higher 12 dkh.

But my LFS recommend the SPS dominant salt giving me time to raise it higher if I choose to

With Coral Pro you don't have that variance and going up by mistake can cause havoc.

Having said that my DKH is 8.1 and my PH hovers at that range as well.

I dose Bright Wells Neo Nitro and Neo Phos since my tank became a ULNS due to my Cheato out competing my 6 tiny gobies in my tiny 12 gallon tank.

Are you testing daily to see what your cheato is doing, import export nutrients?

I'm using Tropic Marin Pro for my salt mix. I agree that it should be putting me at the right base values. But with my cycle, CO2 and lower pH all combing it makes sense that my alk is going to be low too. I'll test my salt mixing station dKh today to see where it's at by default.

As for import export nutes, Im at 20-40ppm nitrates. I'll test my phosphates today. I've been feeding twice daily, but today I plan to start turning off the return pump during feeds, so much gets lost to the overflow.
 
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