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Shell Island - Rookie Waterbox Reef 100.3 Build Thread

DothanReefer

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Well, we did it. My 2 1/2 year old daughter chose the color (white) and I clicked the order button yesterday (actually signed the freight doc today via docusign so it's on the way already)!! I am as new as new gets to the saltwater aquarium world. In college, I kept a 40g freshwater system for years and loved it. Ever since breaking that system down and moving on, I've wanted the opportunity to dive into world of reef keeping. We've decided to name the tank "Shell Island" because that's a place my wife and I have grown up snorkeling and boating during the summer months. It's a long island directly off the coast of Panama City Beach and we have sooooo many incredible memories of time spent there - we're hoping to create our piece of Shell Island right here in our home. Anyway, back to the building part of this. Our daughter has fallen in love with Finding Nemo and this just seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to sneak the idea of a saltwater system into discussion - and it worked :)

As I mentioned earlier, I have no experience keeping anything in a saltwater aquarium alive so I am expecting quite the challenge. It will not help that the closest saltwater aquarium store to our town in southeast Alabama is about 4 hours drive away in Atlanta (Premier Aquatics). I was in Atlanta early February on business and stopped by to see what they had - I was blown away. The staff was super helpful and their store was immaculate. I'm sure I'll visit them again in the future but throughout this build I will not have the luxury of a local fish store to rely on for emergencies nor purchases of equipment/water/fish/corals/etc. EVERYTHING will have to be researched, sourced and purchase online. Any recommendations for online dealers/shops are welcome. I've ordered a few things from Bulk Reef Supply and SaltwaterAquarium.com, and of course, WaterBox. Speaking of which, HUUUUUGE shout out to Emily at WaterBox!!! She's got to be sick of me calling going through dimensions, recommended equipment, noise levels, sock sizes, etc. Anyway, thank you Emily, you were a big part of my decision to go with the WaterBox.

So at this point, I've got quite of few shipments on their way and I'll break-down the equipment list in a moment. I wanted to try to get most of the essentials ordered because I realize this Covid-19 thing could slow supply chains for a few weeks - hopefully not, but I also hope those same people preparing and executing those shipments are able to keep themselves and their loved ones safe and well. Time will tell, but my prayers first and foremost are for the health and wellbeing of us all - Shell Island can wait if it has too.

Alright, that said, our goal in this tank is simple so far. We want a couple Clownfish and some soft corals. If we can squeeze a tiny "Dory" in for a couple years, that would be bonus for the little but I realize this tank size will pushing the minimum requirement for a Blue Tang. Outside of that, we don't have anything picked out yet. I feel like I need to do a lot of research to find out what is compatible with what? Any input here would be much appreciated and at some point requested... :)

So here's the equipment breakdown:

Tank
WaterBox Reef 100.3 w/ white cabinet

RODI
BRS 4-Stage Value Plus 150g/d
Brute Can w/wheels

Salt
Tropic Marin Pro Reef Salt 200g

Rock (do i need more?)
Caribsea Liferock - 40lbs mixed
Caribsea Liferock - 20lbs shapes
Marco Rocks Pedastal - didn't use

Mixing Station Heater/Pump
150w Eheim Jager
Koralia 3G 1350gph

Protein Skimmer
Nyos 120

ATO
XP Aqua Duetto

Testing
Hanna Salinity Checker
Hanna Alkalinity
Hanna UL Phosphate
HM AP-1 TDS Meter
Red Sea Marine Care Test Kit
Red Sea Reef Foundation Pro Test Kit
Seneye Reef - Ammonia, pH and PAR


These are the things I know I still need, but have not ordered. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. The items listed are the ones i'm considering:
UPDATE 3/26/2020: ordered and received the following...

Sand
Caribsea Arag-Alive Fiji Pink 10lbs
Caribsea Arag-Alive Bimini Pink 40lbs
Caribsea Arag-Alive Special Grade 20lbs

Tank Heater
Finnex HPG 300w (x2)

Wave Pump
Ecotech MP40

Return Pump
Ecotech Vectra M2

LIGHTS
Ecotech Radion XR15 Pro x 2

Mixing Station Pump
Sicce Syncra 3.0



So, so far that's where I'm at. Barring further slowing/shutdown of freight/shipping lines, most of the ordered equipment should be delivered next week. I figure it will take a few days getting the RODI system primed and operating smoothly to create my saltwater mixing station. Soon after, hopefully the tank will be here and I can begin the build and then the cycling process. I have not purchased any Fritz or Dr. Tims bacteria enhancer stuff, should I?? If so, which one?

Anyway, that's all for now. If i am missing something that you think would help me be successful, please do not hesitate to reply and help a rookie out :) !!! Thanks for taking the time to check out the infancy stage of my build and I hope you'll follow along because, Lord knows, I'm going to need all the help i can get from this site!! As soon as things start coming in I'll be posting pictures and probably questions...haha. Until then, stay safe and happy reefing!!!

~DothanReefer
 
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Bigwrasse

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Congratulations on the setup and the introduction to the addiction. I live in Panama City beach and visit Shell island on a weekly basis and it’s definitely a family favorite. I have a Waterbox 130 and a 50 and they are great tanks. If you find a tiny Dory it should be fine for a few years in your tank. It is a challenge in this area not having good LFS but with online and shipping it isn’t really necessary. Watch all the videos on Bulk Reef Supply as they are very helpful and this forum is as well
 
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DothanReefer

DothanReefer

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Congratulations on the setup and the introduction to the addiction. I live in Panama City beach and visit Shell island on a weekly basis and it’s definitely a family favorite. I have a Waterbox 130 and a 50 and they are great tanks. If you find a tiny Dory it should be fine for a few years in your tank. It is a challenge in this area not having good LFS but with online and shipping it isn’t really necessary. Watch all the videos on Bulk Reef Supply as they are very helpful and this forum is as well
Sweet! I'm jealous!! An hour and a half ain't that bad though. Good to know someone on the forum is close by, thanks for the input! I've been living BRS videos for weeks. It's getting a little overwhelming, but I know I can do it...I'm gonna give it one hell of an effort anyway. Just scheduled my delivery for the Waterbox - itll be here WEDNESDAY!!!! I'm hoping I can talk the driver into placing it inside my garage - Southeastern Freight says standard delivery is adjacent to the vehicle. Might need to go to the ATM

Hope you and your loved ones have recovered alright from the hurricane, I know the area was beat up pretty bad to the east. We lost our boat to the barn collapse at Pirates Cove. It still hurts!

Thanks again for the input, I'll search for pics of your setup. Did you make a build thread?
 
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DothanReefer

DothanReefer

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The tank made it! And in perfect condition at that. Southeastern Freight was awesome, took such good care and placed it in our garage for me.

I've made some decisions on equipment and will update the first post for equipment purchased. Decided on Echotech pumps and lights - it may be a little while before I can purchase a controller so the ability to link their products via an app on my phone was appealing.

At this point, I think I have everything I need to get the cycle started except a powerbar. I've been researching, but does anyone have a recommendation? Also, changing the outlet to GFCI this weekend before water goes in (should be Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, waiting on sand shipping).

I built the cabinet and got the tank inside. It looks soooooo clean! Hopefully, I can keep it that way. Though, I'm a little worried about space in the cabinet for all the cords and cables. Might have to get some sort of box to sit next to the tank to house that stuff, not sure yet.

The cabinet was pretty easy to build by following along with a YouTube video. The only thing that took a min to figure out was that there were 8 white leveling feet and the other 20 or so were black. I finally figured out the white feet go on the sides of the cabinet and the black go on the base (first step is to build the base, so only use the black ones for the base, then later you'll use the white ones for the sides of the cabinet). Other than that, it was straight forward.

Here's a couple pics of the new tank!!
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20200327_084936.jpg
 

dohc97

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congratulations, the look on your little girl above im sure makes it worth the trouble. You do seem to be making great headway and i am impressed that you are doing what a lot of newbies skip, research! I did not see where you have picked sand but wanted to chime in and give you a small piece of advise. If you have not decided on a coral plan this would be the right time, it can greatly influence your choice of sand. I run an sps system and as suck i use caribsea special grade sand, grain size is 1-2mm on average and it can take a lot of flow before it creates sand storms, others such as fiji pink are a smaller grain and do tend to go crazy in high flow. If you do think you will do high flow at some point get a sand that averages to 1mm-2mm, you will be much happier.
 
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Bigwrasse

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Make sure you leave it far enough off the wall to allow room for access of wires and power heads. I recommend 4 1/2”. You will be happy with the Ecotech products as it is definitely to cry once and get the proper equipment from the beginning.
 
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DothanReefer

DothanReefer

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congratulations, the look on your little girl above im sure makes it worth the trouble. You do seem to be making great headway and i am impressed that you are doing what a lot of newbies skip, research! I did not see where you have picked sand but wanted to chime in and give you a small piece of advise. If you have not decided on a coral plan this would be the right time, it can greatly influence your choice of sand. I run an sps system and as suck i use caribsea special grade sand, grain size is 1-2mm on average and it can take a lot of flow before it creates sand storms, others such as fiji pink are a smaller grain and do tend to go crazy in high flow. If you do think you will do high flow at some point get a sand that averages to 1mm-2mm, you will be much happier.
Thanks for the input! I've been thinking it'd be mainly soft stuff because we like the wavy/flowy look. I'm sure that could expand in the future, but for now going for LPS and softies. That said, ordered 3 types of sand to see what we like and potentially use a mix of them. We'll see. But thank you for the input, would be nice to get that part right the first time!!
 
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DothanReefer

DothanReefer

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Make sure you leave it far enough off the wall to allow room for access of wires and power heads. I recommend 4 1/2”. You will be happy with the Ecotech products as it is definitely to cry once and get the proper equipment from the beginning.
Wow. Really!? 4.5 inches!? Geez, I was thinking like half that...uh oh. Might need to consider an alternate location if it requires that much rear clearance. Mind sharing why u recommend 4.5"? Certain equipment? Water splashes? Just access in general?
 

dohc97

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your clearance is going to really depend on what is hanging back there, it seems your tank has an internal overflow? which probably means it is bottom drilled? is the mp40 going to be on the back or sides?
 
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DothanReefer

DothanReefer

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I just measured my clearance and i am at 4.5" off the wall but i have an external overflow box as well as plumbing in back
It's an internal overflow, tank is drilled. The MP40 hasn't found a home yet...not sure on where it will rest. I've gotta research flow patterns for my tanks footprint...I know it needs about 2.5in for the motor outside the tank.
 

Charles4400

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Congrats on the WB 100.3! I ordered one as well in white! Good luck on your build, sounds like you are off to a good start, sure it will all turn out amazingly! I chose the WB over the red sea due to the extra width.

I would plan ahead for a cabinet or some sort of storage area to store a controller, modules and even dosing containers for the future. I don't know how much room is in there to mount everything. Even if you don't plan on a controller like an Apex right now you might later on (I highly recommend a controller even for a softie tank).

Maybe even drilling behind that wall to mount things on the other side for a super clean look (from the tank view anyway).
 

Bigwrasse

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Wow. Really!? 4.5 inches!? Geez, I was thinking like half that...uh oh. Might need to consider an alternate location if it requires that much rear clearance. Mind sharing why u recommend 4.5"? Certain equipment? Water splashes? Just access in general?
MP40’s are the cleanest when installed on the back and you need room to get your hand behind them to remove. I also have plumbing and wires running behind and definitely wouldn’t want it any less
 

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