My Office Waterbox Marine X 35.1 Cube Build

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Micro-Reefs Aquarium

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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.
I like to feed my fish only what they can consume within the 10 min mark the Nero 3 by default spins at lowest setting to distribute the food. I have direct control over my return pump via the Kasa app.

In other words, this inexpensive powerstrip gives us total control over every device we plug into it. Schedule it, timer, turn it off/on and tells you energy data of device all from our phone.

This is just convenient for me, since I don't have cabinet design open door stand to shut off etc.

The outlets are entered from the back and all the cords are hidden from view, just one cable to connect to outlet, thus the app does all the shut/off/on.

Any smart device will do this for you, if you are having to do manually, for your return pump.

That is why, I shut off the return pump by app and then I hit the feed button on AI app and that goes for 10 mins, all 6 of my fish eat what is placed in the tank and within 5 mins the food is gone, next 5 mins any remain of food is circulating with corals/fish.

Once the Nero 3 turns back on to the schedule I turn the return pump on.

I found it so useful sicne I tend to turn off/on UV and cheato is on a schedule thanks to app.

Don't get me wrong manually is great, but not an option for me based on the stands.

Hope that makes sense and can help you out should you want to use an app to control that return pump.
 

Micro-Reefs Aquarium

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Here is when I connected it on, day 1 of my reef. All cords are hidden but you have total control of every device.

I will post a pic of the app and how I labeled them.

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Gedxin

Gedxin

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Thanks for the detailed walkthrough! I actually just set up a zwave controller for my pump/ATO, so I'm thankfully now able to turn it off with my phone as well. Not nearly as sophisticated as Apex, but it'll do the job.

@Micro-Reefs Aquarium do you spot or broadcast feed your corals?
 
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Micro-Reefs Aquarium

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Thanks for the detailed walkthrough! I actually just set up a zwave controller for my pump/ATO, so I'm thankfully now able to turn it off with my phone as well. Not nearly as sophisticated as Apex, but it'll do the job.

@Micro-Reefs Aquarium do you spot or broadcast feed your corals?
Perfect!

Interested in your new findings to bring down those nitrates, with time your Cheato will eat that up. Mine hovered in the same range as yours when I first started early into the reef. With time and good cheato, there are great strains of cheato and cheap strains. I have some crazy good stuff that eats away Nitrate and doesn't die!
 
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Gedxin

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Fed frozen mysis shrimp with the pump off today (had previously just turned off the power head.) Such an amazing experience! The clowns went absolutely crazy, especially Ash. Juniper is still meh about the mysis but was very excited. The best part was watching my Zoa eat some shrimp! The two polyps noticeably grabbed/closed on some shrimp and gobbled it up. My CUC was having a field day as well, especially the nassariuses and hermit crabs. Definitely going to continue the return pump off feedings going forward.
 
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Gedxin

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Updates here we come!

I removed my extra life rock from the sump and replaced it with Eshopps’s new (to BRS) Bio-Lux Ceramic Biomedia (4 pieces.) Main rationale for this is I wanted additional surface area without compromising space. I did a thorough wash of the media, but they still added some cloudiness to the DT.

Added Nyos Quantum 120 Protein Skimmer. Pretty easy set up. Dial-in time is all over the place from what I read across the interwebs, so I’ll report back again soon. It’s well suited for the WB Marine X 35.1 sump, 8 inches is the minimum height the sump can be for baffle overflow, and that’s the height Nyos requires.

Juniper, my orange clown is going absolutely crazy with the micro bubbles and cloudyness of the tank. Like she’s bouncing off walls crazy. Her mate, Ash, is absolutely fine, just chilling in the back. Crossing fingers she calms down by the morning.

Yesterday I got an itch to visit the LFS to buy a few more zoas. An hour later and I came home with: Rasta, King Midas, Captain Planet, Darth Maul and Bam bams. I want to make a zoa garden in the lower left of my tank. It was incredibly stressful dipping and placing the frags on the rocks. I’m still extremely skeptical about my chosen spots and color scheme setup, but crossing fingers in a month or so I’ll be happy with my design. Oh, the LFS owner hooked me up with two more GSP cuts too, hopefully these decide to show off their beauty more than the previous.

I found a hitch hiker on my captain planet zoa frag. Not having a clue what it was, I posted a thread in the hitchhiker forum here. After lots of comments and help from the community, it seems we've settled on a feather duster! Extremely happy it's not considered a pest! We'll have to see how it fares, but I have no plans to eradicate or glue it shut at this time.

Photos of the 'garden!'

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jhuntstl

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It looks like you've got your equipment pretty much dialed in now with the skimmer. Is there anything else you plan to purchase?

The itch will be strong for a while! I'm jealous you can run out so easily and grab named zoas like that. Be careful!

I love a good hitchhiker! Feather dusters were so common when real live rock was the standard. I've grown to miss them popping up throughout the tank. Someone needs to sell a pineapple sponge and feather duster seeding kit. =p
 
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Gedxin

Gedxin

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It looks like you've got your equipment pretty much dialed in now with the skimmer. Is there anything else you plan to purchase?

The itch will be strong for a while! I'm jealous you can run out so easily and grab named zoas like that. Be careful!

I love a good hitchhiker! Feather dusters were so common when real live rock was the standard. I've grown to miss them popping up throughout the tank. Someone needs to sell a pineapple sponge and feather duster seeding kit. =p
If I'm honest, I've been eying the possibility of a refugium or a macro algae reactor. I don't want chaeto in the display tank. But I also don't want to use filter media/chemicals to treat phosphate removal. The smallest reliable reactor I'm finding is Tunze's 3181...and it's still huge, over 16" tall! I'd have to place it externally, and I do not like that option. So for the time being my equipment list is done...while I figure out how to manage this chaeto.

I'm going to try my best to hold out on more coral purchases until Reefpalooza (Anaheim) in August. Everyone says patience is one of the most important components of reefing, so I should slow down a bit to make sure my tank (and I) can handle everything added in the last week.
 
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jhuntstl

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If I'm honest, I've been eying the possibility of a refugium or a macro algae reactor. I don't want chaeto in the display tank. But I also don't want to use filter media/chemicals to treat phosphate removal. The smallest reliable reactor I'm finding is Tunze's 3181...and it's still huge, over 16" tall! I'd have to place it externally, and I do not like that option. So for the time being my equipment list is done...while I figure out how to manage this chaeto.

I'm going to try my best to hold out on more coral purchases until Reefpalooza (Anaheim) in August. Everyone says patience is one of the most important components of reefing, so I should slow down a bit to make sure my tank (and I) can handle everything added in the last week.
I felt like I needed to setup some sort of fuge or reactor when my tank was brand new. I held off and have no regrets. I'd give it time and don't feel pressured with the free chaeto.

Annnnd now I'm even more jealous. Reefpalooza?! I can't wait for that update. =D
 
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Gedxin

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Welp. 99.9% sure I've got diatoms. I bought a cheapy microscope and all my googling of the little pests indicates diatom. I've had decently high nitrates and phosphates (~40ppm NO3 and 0.14ppm phosphate.) Skimmer has been on a week and has taken a huge chunk out of the nitrates, somewhere down to 10-20ppm today.

I bought a stupid amount of coral in the recent WWC sale. Reallllly hoping these diatoms don't hurt my chances of keeping them alive (delivery Thurs July 29.)

Plan of attack: Unsure at the moment outside of slightly more frequent water changes and cleaning up the sandbed more vigorously. I don't want to treat with chemicals unless things are out of control. At the moment my clean up crew is doing a decent job of holding them back. I've also reduced my lighting hours from 10.5 to 9.5 and reduced intensity to 85% as well.

Me today:
Disappointed Kevin Sorbo GIF


Photos

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jhuntstl

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Diatoms are nothing to worry about! Perfectly normal part of your cycle. My understanding is they feed primarily off the silicates in your sand and rock. Those silicates will eventually deplete. Hopefully your CUC will keep them under control in the mean time.

I would avoid any chemical treatments during your cycle.

I am eager to see this stupid amount of coral! From what I've read and podcasts I've listened to, I believe stocking coral earlier than later is the way to go. You are adding beneficial diversity that is sorely needed in dry rock tanks. You likely will lose some coral, though. Accept the loss and move on. Some might look like **** for a while. Be okay with it. Don't make hasty changes and just do your best to keep parameters stable.
 
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CUC is doing great managing my diatoms. I'm needing to clean the glass every 2 days, but I'm super impressed with my 15-invert crew's management of the brown fuzz. There's still a fair amount of algae, but I can tell they're working hard and it'd be a heck of a lot worse without them around. CUC ftw.

I re-arranged my zoa garden (you can see in my previous post.) It wasn't easy and I seriously ticked off my bam bams by being clumsy. I don't love the look of the epoxy either, but I wanted to make a smoother surface area for the zoas to grow. Maybe I'll take it off, but I figure it'll be covered eventually.

I set up my temporary coral quarantine tank tonight. I say temporary because my plan is to acclimate them to my DT params for ~24 (maybe 48) hours in this new tank, and then dip in CoralRx before transferring to my DT. WWC says to not dip recently shipped/stressed corals and suggests you put them in your DT for 12-24hr THEN dip (they mention a QT tank is a better solution.) So yeah, definitely going the QT tank route, I want the least chance of pests. I have no desire to keep a QT tank going for 6 weeks (nor do I want to buy another high end light for that), so this solution seems like a good compromise. I bought a cheapy 30w light on Amazon, I think it should suffice to 'revive' the corals from their shipping ordeal.

20210727_205612.jpg


I'll leave the corals I purchased until Thursday a surprise. For now, suffice it to say I bought 11 pieces. I have zero restraint.

Happy Jimmy Fallon GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
 
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Gedxin

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WWC corals have been delivered!

Here's a photo right after placing everything in the quarantine tank. My flow is a little high with the AC powerhead, but I'm hoping it won't stress out stuff. I'll post again after an hour or so to see how things are adjusting.

Here's the haul I got!

1. WWC Cherry tree montipora
2. WWC Firestorm cyphastrea
3. OG Fire and Ice Zoa
4. Icy Breath Aussie Lord
5. WWC Golden Pavona
6. WWC Astroturf Goniopora
7. WWC Gaia Zoa
8. Bicolor Candy Cane
9. WWC Pulsing Xenia (no weeding please!)
10. WWC Muy Verde Birdsnest (SPS SPS SPS)
11. WWC Purple Poly Birdsnest (SPS fear!)
12. Green Duncan

Total with shipping: $261.

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Looking good so far, just a suggestion since you don't like the epoxy look. If you still can pick out one of the rocks in your tank and get a concrete bit for your drill (assuming you have one) and drill a bunch of frag holes in said rock where you would like the plugs. First it hides the plugs most of the way so you don't see it as much and the zoas will have a very easy time growing right onto the rock. Pop out plug once they move onto the rock and move plug elsewhere or put it in your 2nd tank (it will happen). Epoxy will make your skimmer go nuts as well.
 
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Gedxin

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Thanks for the suggestions @mwil79! I'll definitely be reconsidering how I place these new frags on the rock. I think the majority of them I'll be clipping off the stand of the plug and doing glue > epoxy > glue. The zoa epoxy I have in my garden is for 'future' aesthetic so that they can grow immediately 'out' instead of down and in to some weird rock crevice (epoxy is filling in that crevice.) It's an eyesore, but will serve me in the future :fingers-crossed:

Corals have been dipped and are in the DT! The aussie lord looks angry (one of the sides is like...shriveled?), but everything else handled the dip really well. I saw one bristle worm pop off, and discovered an asterina starfish soon after placing them in the tank. I'd consider that worth the dip effort!

I removed the bottom right rock from the sand and filled in with additional sand yesterday (got cloudy over night, but cleared up quick.) I want more sand/low-light space and that rock just didn't work with my scape ideas.

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Gedxin

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Installed an IceCap Small CO2 Scrubber tonight. The small option was literally the only thing I could fit (not a chance I was getting the BRS 16" in there!) I don't have a precise pH monitoring solution yet, but my Red Sea kits have been hovering around 7.8-8 pH. If you recall from my original post, this tank sits in my office, which is also my wife's office. We have 4 animals (2 cats + 2 dogs) that regularly hang out in the room as well. CO2 can get upwards of 1100ppm throughout the day (drops to 500 if we open the windows.) I want higher pH, a $70 scrubber seemed like a cheap solution. I'm debating on going the recirculating route as well, but that requires me to drill in to the Nyos cap - so still debating on doing it. We'll see how quickly I burn through CO2 medium first.

All the new corals are looking awesome. I'll take another photo tomorrow, possibly with some mounted in their final living places!

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Maxout

What is the best "cleaning product" or home recipe for cleaning reef tank equipment?

  • Water and scrubbing

    Votes: 54 12.8%
  • Citric Acid

    Votes: 209 49.6%
  • Vinegar

    Votes: 131 31.1%
  • Hydrogen peroxide

    Votes: 11 2.6%
  • Lemon Juice

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 15 3.6%
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