New Waterbox 20 Cube Build

GATOR DAVE

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So I am new to R2R and also new to the salt water aquarium world. I am starting small with my first tank, a new waterbox 20 cube. While this is my first saltwater tank, I have a goal to have a very high end SPS reef aquarium with this setup. So maybe some things may seem a little overkill for a small tank, but I think I have been slowly collecting all of the right parts to make this tank a stand out attration at my home, but feed back is always appreciated in this aspect!! The actual build will start in a few weeks so this gives me a little time to do even more research with the suggestions and help of this forum. Speaking of research, I have done tons of it and am very lucky to also have a work colleague who has a very established reef tank who has offered to help with getting me all setup once we are to that point. So here is a list of items that I currently have or still on its way.

Waterbox Cube 20
Sicce Syncra 1.5 Pump: I upgraded the return pump to a SICCE Syncra 1.5 Pump as I have read alot of issues on the pump that comes with the tank
In Tank Media Basket: I plan on removing the socks bracket and running filter floss, and chemipure blue in chamber 1 of the Waterbox sump
Tunze Comline DOC Skimmer 9001: I plan on running this skimmer and possibly a heater in chamber 2 of the Waterbox sump
Vortech MP10wQD power head

So questions that I have????

I plan on adding a dosing pump and have been really leaning toward a Jebao DP-4 (Mostly good reviews) for this little tank. The real question is, instead of an ATO, and once I can establish an evaporation rate for the freshwater, can I just program one of the pumps on the Jebao to add the makeup water for the tank. What are the risks of adding makeup water this way instead of having an actual ATO system?

I am still unsure of the led light that I want to use with this setup. Waterbox suggests the AI Prime 16HD Reef and it reviews well. I was just seeing what others are using with this setup.

The stand, I am leaning toward building my own stand instead of buying the actual Waterbox stand for this tank, as they are very proud of this stand and the pricing shows. Looking for other suggestions or what others have used for stands for the cube 20 before I start building my own.

Any help and feedback is very much appreciated!!! Once the build starts, I will start sharing photos to show progress of the tank.

Thanks to all!!

GATOR DAVE
 
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Dave I can’t really help with your dosing question but can I ask why you want to start with sps? I’ve been doing this a long time (8 years) and I just now felt comfortable moving into LPS. SPS is hard to keep in my understanding. Not saying don’t do it, just wondering. There are some stupidly beautiful LPS and softie corals that are much easier to keep. I have like 30 varieties of zoa for example and wouldn’t trade them for anything. And my candy cane colony is the show piece of the tank.
 
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GATOR DAVE

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Dave I can’t really help with your dosing question but can I ask why you want to start with sps? I’ve been doing this a long time (8 years) and I just now felt comfortable moving into LPS. SPS is hard to keep in my understanding. Not saying don’t do it, just wondering. There are some stupidly beautiful LPS and softie corals that are much easier to keep. I have like 30 varieties of zoa for example and wouldn’t trade them for anything. And my candy cane colony is the show piece of the tank.
The real reason is that I have access to SPS at a reasonable cost due to my work colleague needing to make space in his aquarium. His tank is very well established and the SPS he has obtained over the years has grown to the point where he has break off frags routinely to make room. Only with his experience and him showing me the ends and outs of this hobby would I attempt SPS at such a newbie level.
 

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The real reason is that I have access to SPS at a reasonable cost due to my work colleague needing to make space in his aquarium. His tank is very well established and the SPS he has obtained over the years has grown to the point where he has break off frags routinely to make room. Only with his experience and him showing me the ends and outs of this hobby would I attempt SPS at such a newbie level.
I wish you luck, if SPS doesn’t go well go with zoa. You can get super high end zoa as well
 

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An SPS 20 nano is an expert level tank, it would be very hard to do (and high maintenance) for many of us who have been in marine aquaria for decades. While a larger tank gets easier to keep with maturity, things can take a turn in such a small tank real fast and lead to a crash. I would say the odds are against you to be successful in a tank that small with SPS if you are inexperienced with reefkeeping. It’s good you have access to someone with knowledge, but nothing beats some first hand experience first.

Not saying it can’t be done but it is going to be challenging to say the least. Lol take the SPS frags he gives you and sell them for Zoas/LPS!
 

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Welcome to R2R! I wouldn't use a dosing pump for evaporation. The rate will change you don't want to run low or high. ATO will operate much better for stability and keeping water off the floor. For lighting if you want high end sps you'll probably want 2 of those lights or at least a hydra 32
 
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GATOR DAVE

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GATOR DAVE

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Today is like Christmas in March. Lots of goodies have arrived and I am getting closer to getting the tank out together. New pictures to come soon!
 
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GATOR DAVE

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So today I am working in the stand. I am mocking up everything before I paint it to match,
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but just trying to keep everything super clean for ease of maintenance. I flush mounted the power strip and made a shelf for the dosing pump. There will be one more shelf in the front to hold the dosing bottles but haven’t finished building that yet. I plan on adding a light in the stand and will need to figure out somewhere to put all the controllers for the MP10 and Skimmer. In the back on the bottom i made a simple box to hold all of the power cables for the aquarium. Should make everything pretty neat and tucked out of the way.
 
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GATOR DAVE

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Completed my stand insert for the waterbox 20 cube build and it turned out pretty good I thing. Included is a shelf for dosing containers and above is the dosing pump. I am in the hunt for reef rock now to start building my aquascape. What does everyone think???
 

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GATOR DAVE

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Welcome to R2R! I wouldn't use a dosing pump for evaporation. The rate will change you don't want to run low or high. ATO will operate much better for stability and keeping water off the floor. For lighting if you want high end sps you'll probably want 2 of those lights or at least a hydra 32
Thanks for your input. I have been looking around and doing some research for which ATO I would like to add. I am still building out the tank but getting closer to adding water!!
 

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Your build is looking good so far! Waterbox tanks are great and 20 gallons is a good size starter tank IMO. An ATO is a good investment to keep your tank more stable. I'm a bit hesitant on your ambitious SPS plans. Most tanks take around a year or even longer to stabilize. SPS needs very stabile water and fluctuations can cause it to bleach. I would suggest starting of with more forgiving corals so you can learn the ins and outs of reefing.
But it's your choice and I wish you all the best in this awesome hobby!
 

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I have the WB10 in my office as well as main Glass Cages 90g in the main living space. The tank has been running for about 3 months, and I love that little WB! I used a large rock from my main display, as well as live sand so there was minimal cycle. I use the Duetto ATO on my main tank, and love it. I am currently manually topping off daily on the 10g since all my $$ goes into the 90g. Not ideal, I know, but it works for me.
For lighting I have the Kessil 160. I have one SPS Stylophora frag in there that is growing like a weed. My LPS candy cane coral has 3 new heads in the 2 months I have had it. I have started a ricordia garden that fluoresces like no other under blues.

I am not going to attempt anything else, but LPS and softies. Not afraid of SPS, and have them in my main display, but I can tell you from experience, SPS is so much easier in a larger tank. I am not trying to deter you from your plan, but you will need to up your lighting for serious SPS. The AI Prime is similar to the Kessil 160 in regards to PAR; however, I have a smaller tank. I highly recommend, as others have, to start out with some softies and LPS for a few months. You will learn tons from these gorgeous guys,

Here is what I have learned/done:

1. I ditched the Tunze Skimmer in the 10g. I am no stranger to skimmers, but it was more trouble than it was worth. I religiously do 10-15% water changes weekly. The nano size tanks really doesn't need a skimmer if water changes are done regularly.

2. Get a top for the tank. Due to the short heights of the tank, fish will have a tendency to hurl themselves out onto your floor. I have a custom Clearview lid which should be shipped soon. I currently have a egg crate cut to size in the interim. Not attractive whatsoever, but it works as a temp solution

3. I hated the back chamber showing all the equipment, cables etc. I got one of these and love it. They make one for the 20G . Intank Chamber Cover

4. You are wise to ditch the sock for Intank Media basket. I did the same. I am running with floss, Chemipur Elite and Purigen.

You will love the WB! Thinking of going with one of their rimless Peninsula tank for my next build, but that will not happen anytime soon.
 
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GATOR DAVE

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No not fully automatic. In the beginning you will have to test daily (at the same time) to determine how much chemical use (aquarium loading demand) are changing based on sps,lps, etc. use and dose manually. once you determine the usage drop per day you can set the dosing pump to add the chemicals daily automatically. Dependent on how much in additional coral, lps, and growth will determine how often you need to reset your baseline and do another full week of daily testing. I’m not to this point yet but I have discussed this a bit with my work colleague that is helping me get the tank established. Hope it helps a little bit. Your tank is looking great.

What did you think of the tank insert that I built for the my tank??
 
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GATOR DAVE

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Hello all!!!
So I haven't posted in a couple of weeks, but I have been very busy getting my tank up and going.

First I finished my stand and got all of the equipment installed. It make for a very clean install with all the controllers mounted on the door. The only other wiring and tubing is for the ATO and dosing tubing. Other than that, I think that this was time well spent prior to adding water to the tank and moving the stand around.

I have had water for almost two weeks. I was very lucky that I have a friend that has a very mature tank that I was able to take 20 gallons of water from during his bi-monthly water changeout in order to start the tank off. I kept the filter sock in the waterbox for about 2-3 days to take all the cloudiness and sediment out of the tank from the initial fill. Once clear I removed that sock and started the skimmer for the first time. I had a little protein build up but not enough initially to keep it going. As my tank matures I am sure that I will be using the skimmer all the time. At the 4-5 day mark I added just a few creatures to the tank to continue to help it grow. A couple of normal snails and a trumpet snail to find his way through the sand. I also added both a red and blue legged small hermit crabs. Everyone is quite happy thus far. The addition of the snails was perfect as I was starting to see algae on the walls of the aquarium already, maybe the biggest benefit of using mature water with all the bacteria in it. I also added a bottle of copepods at this point with all the filters and skimmer turned off. So really all that has been running in the tank for the last 2 weeks is the return pump and the power head.

Testing the water has been an almost daily occurrence as I am making sure the tank isn't doing anything crazy. All the other parameters are well within specifications, and have even allowed for some trend analysis as far as use of dosing chemicals. I know things will continue to change as I add new stuff but I am quite happy so far with how the tank is reacting to everything. So much in fact that as of today I added a small piece of sunset montipora and a golden hammer coral. These are really test pieces to really see how things are going in the tank.

So one issue I am having so far and need help with. I was wanting to do a Y return, but the return that comes with the Waterbox cube is 3/8ID. I have been looking for a converter to either take the return up to 1/2, or down to 1/4 with the 2 lines. I haven't found anything from Loc-Line so any suggestions with this is appreciated.

And now, everyone loves pictures.
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