The "sQuid Pro Quo" WB 130.4 Build Thread

qnguyen

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Alright, I am calling this the "sQuid Pro Quo" build of a Waterbox 130.4. Why? Because I promised my wife that I would release the funds to buy her dream handbag (a Chanel) in exchange for letting me build my dream reef tank!

Warning: I travel alot for business so I expect progress to be very slooooow. Come back in February or March if you don't have the patience to watch paint dry!

About me: I have been in the hobby since 2000. Like most people, I started out small with a 15-gallon nano. I then upgraded to a 75-gallon mixed reef. Here is a picture of my old 75G:
Jan 2004.JPG (2)-XL.jpg

I had to give up the tank when my company asked me to move to Japan. So I have been out of the hobby for nearly 14 years (I just moved back to Boston). Back then, I was a much poorer (but better looking) version of my current self. So everything was DIY. The lights was a retrofit kit of power compacts from Champion Lighting. I built my own stand with just a hand-held circular saw (I had Home Depot cut the big plywood pieces for me). The sump, float valves, ATO … everything was done on the cheap. The only thing that I splurged on was a EuroReef skimmer which cost me like a month's salary. Fast forward 20 years and I am happy to say that I am now financially secure (but worse looking) and I am ready to build my dream tank with no expenses spared.

My philosophy for the new tank:
  1. I may not live long enough to see another tank so I am going to build this one as if it were my last one.
  2. No more DIY. Life is too short and so are my skills. Some people are great with their hands and creating beautiful stuff. I am not one of those people.
  3. Full automation. I travel nearly 40% of the time so I need the reef to be as self-sufficient and bomb-proof as possible.
  4. Mixed reef with heavy emphasis on SPS and clams.

The “sQuid Pro Quo” Blueprints

Here I will just rundown the equipment list. I will explain the reason for each of my choices in subsequents posts as well as the alternative products that I did not choose. I have spent over one year researching and planning for this tank. And yet I still feel unprepared and constantly second guessing my choices!

Above the stand:
  • Tank: Waterbox 130.4 in white
  • Lighting: Custom ordered Giesemann Spectra (48” inch, two 250w MH, four 54w T5s, integrated moonlight, custom metallic silver finish). This unit is wired for 220v so I am also buying a Krieger transformer rated for 1700 watts (Giesemann recommended a minimum of 1500 watts).
  • Powerheads: A pair of Maxspect Gyre XF350 with controller
  • Rocks: 180 lbs of Tampa Bay Saltwater aquaculture live rock
  • Sand: Undecided; either TBS live sand or Tropic Eden aragonite. Enough for 2 inches or so.
  • Salt: Tropic Marine Pro Reef
Under the stand:
  • Sump: I will use the Waterbox sump on Day 1, but I plan to upgrade to Geo’s SU24R or perhaps a SU46R-Pro-Plus later down the road once I finish my basement fish room project.
  • Protein skimmer: Deltec 1000i
  • Skimmate locker: Avast Davy Jones Skimmate Locker
  • UV: Pentair Aquatics 25w Smart UV
  • Return pump: Abyzz A100
  • Heater: Finnex 300w controlled by Ranco ETC1110000
  • Cooling fans: GHL Propeller Breeze 3 (4-fan)
  • Emergency back-up power: IceCap battery back-up for the Gyre’s
  • Long-term back-up power: I am still planning this out, but the general concept is to use an inverter with a deep cycle marine battery with battery tenderer to keep the battery fresh.
  • Controller cabinet: Undecided. The 130.4 does not give you a lot of space to work with on the dry-side. So this project may need to wait until I finish my basement fish room.
The Brains: The entire friggin' GHL catalog!! P4 Profilux, KH Director, ION Director, Doser 2.1 with 4 heads, leak detectors, flow sensors, the "oh gawd I spent too much money" sensor, the "holy crap how much electricity did I use" power monitor, etc, etc, etc.

In the basement:
  • RODI: BRS 7-stage with water saver and booster pump with XP Aqua RO/DI Flood Guardian as failsafe
  • ATO: Tunze Osmolator 3155 combined with GHL high and low sensors as failsafe
  • Kalkwasser reactor: Geo KR618
  • SW mixing station: This is about as DIY as I will go. Two Brutes with the re-circulating plumbing powered by Pan World 40px.
  • AWC: GHL Maxi dosers for daily replacement of 2% of water volume (two gallons per day)
  • QT: I will be re-using an old ADA 5.5-gallon planted tank that was another money-pit obsession I had back in the day. One of the perks about living in Tokyo was having direct access to ADA stores. Here is a bit of eye-candy for any of you guys that are into ADA equipment (yes, that is a picture of my tank):
  • DSC_0003_edited-1-XL.jpg DSC_0028-XL.jpg DSC_0004-XL.jpg
Miscellaneous:
  • I will be using B-Ionic 2-part dosing to start with.
  • Cleaning magnet: Tunze
  • Test kits: Reef Foundation, Salifert, etc
Future projects:
  • Frag system in the basement
  • Refugium in the basement

Thanks for following along :)
Jim
 
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qnguyen

qnguyen

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The Tank Dimensions

I always found it frustrating that the inside measurements of a tank and stand are not readily available when you are in the planning phase. We use every inch of space underneath our stands so knowing the exact inside dimensions is more valuable than the outside dimensions provided by the manufacturers. Also, it helps to have these measurements so that you can pre-order, or plan for, custom-made tank lids, sumps, controller cabinet boxes, etc. So here are the exact dimensions for the 130.4:
  • The outside dimensions of the tank: 47 1/4" long by 23 5/8" deep by 21 1/4" tall (measured from the tank bottom excluding the depth of the glass bottom)
  • The inside dimensions of the tank: 46 5/16" long by 22 11/16" deep. Gives you a theoretical total water volume of 96.66 gallons. But the actual volume is closer to 90.69 gallons once you account for the operating height with the 1 5/16" tall overflow teeth.
  • Centered overflow: The overflow is 10 1/4" long and 4" deep. The distance to the left and right glass panels is approximately 18 1/16". I say approximately because one side (the left side for me) is actually 18" and the other side (right side) is 18 1/16". This may differ from tank to tank depending on how they glue in the overflow. But the end-to-end length is 46 5/16".
  • Dimensions of the dry side of the stand (located on the left side in the new models): 12 7/8" long (with full clearance of the door hinges) and 22" deep by 27" tall (measured up to the bottom of the horizontal support beam). There is another 3.5" of space to the top of the stand, but if you want to build a cabinet box to slide in, then it cannot be taller than 27".
  • Dimensions of wet side of the stand: 30 3/8" long (with full clearance of the door hinges).
I hope that this helps other people that are planning for a 130.4.
 
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Don Lidtke

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Alright, I am calling this the "Quid Pro Quo" build of a Waterbox 130.4. Why? Because I promised my wife that I would release the funds to buy her dream handbag (a Chanel) in exchange for letting me build my dream reef tank!

Warning: I travel alot for business so I expect progress to be very slooooow. Come back in February or March if you don't have the patience to watch paint dry!

About me: I have been in the hobby since 2000. Like most people, I started out small with a 15-gallon nano. I then upgraded to a 75-gallon mixed reef. Here is a picture of my old 75G:
Jan 2004.JPG (2)-XL.jpg

I had to give up the tank when my company asked me to move to Japan. So I have been out of the hobby for nearly 14 years (I just moved back to Boston). Back then, I was a much poorer (but better looking) version of my current self. So everything was DIY. The lights was a retrofit kit of power compacts from Champion Lighting. I built my own stand with just a hand-held circular saw (I had Home Depot cut the big plywood pieces for me). The sump, float valves, ATO … everything was done on the cheap. Fast forward 20 years and I am happy to say that I am now financially secure (but worse looking) and I am ready to build my dream tank with no expenses spared.

My philosophy for the new tank:
  1. I may not live long enough to see another tank so I am going to build this one as if it were my last one.
  2. No more DIY. Life is too short and so are my skills. Some people are great with their hands and creating beautiful stuff. I am not one of those people.
  3. Full automation. I travel nearly 40% of the time so I need the reef to be as self-sufficient and bomb-proof as possible.
  4. Mixed reef with heavy emphasis on SPS and clams.

The “Quid Pro Quo” Blueprints

Here I will just rundown the equipment list. I will explain the reason for each of my choices in subsequents posts as well as the alternative products that I did not choose. I have spent over one year researching and planning for this tank. And yet I still feel unprepared and constantly second guessing my choices!

Above the stand:
  • Tank: Waterbox 130.4 in white
  • Lighting: Custom ordered Giesemann Spectra (48” inch, two 250w MH, four 54w T5s, integrated moonlight, custom metallic silver finish). This unit is wired for 220v so I am also buying a Krieger transformer rated for 1700 watts (Giesemann recommended a minimum of 1500 watts).
  • Powerheads: A pair of Maxspect Gyre XF350 with controller
  • Rocks: 180 lbs of Tampa Bay Saltwater aquaculture live rock
  • Sand: Undecided; either TBS live sand or Tropic Eden aragonite. Enough for 2 inches or so.
  • Salt: Tropic Marine Pro Reef
Under the stand:
  • Sump: I will use the Waterbox sump on Day 1, but I plan to upgrade to Geo’s SU24R or perhaps a SU46R-Pro-Plus later down the road once I finish my basement fish room project.
  • Protein skimmer: Deltec 1000i
  • Skimmate locker: Avast Davy Jones Skimmate Locker
  • UV: Pentair Aquatics 25w Smart UV
  • Return pump: Abyzz A100
  • Heater: Finnex 300w controlled by Ranco ETC1110000
  • Cooling fans: GHL Propeller Breeze 3 (4-fan)
  • Emergency back-up power: IceCap battery back-up for the Gyre’s
  • Long-term back-up power: I am still planning this out, but the general concept is to use an inverter with a deep cycle marine battery with battery tenderer to keep the battery fresh.
  • Controller cabinet: Undecided. The 130.4 does not give you a lot of space to work with on the dry-side. So this project may need to wait until I finish my basement fish room.
The Brains: The entire friggin' GHL catalog!! P4 Profilux, KH Director, ION Director, Doser 2.1 with 4 heads, leak detectors, flow sensors, etc, etc, etc.

In the basement:
  • RODI: BRS 7-stage with water saver and booster pump with XP Aqua RO/DI Flood Guardian as failsafe
  • ATO: Tunze Osmolator 3155 combined with GHL high and low sensors as failsafe
  • Kalkwasser reactor: Geo KR618
  • SW mixing station: This is about as DIY as I will go. Two Brutes with the re-circulating plumbing powered by Pan World 40px.
  • AWC: GHL Maxi dosers for daily replacement of 2% of water volume (two gallons per day)
  • QT: I will be re-using an old ADA 5.5-gallon planted tank that was another money-pit obsession I had back in the day. One of the perks about living in Tokyo was having access to ADA stores. Here is a bit of eye-candy for any of you guys that are into ADA equipment: (and yes, that is a picture of my tank):
  • DSC_0003_edited-1-XL.jpg DSC_0028-XL.jpg DSC_0004-XL.jpg
Miscellaneous:
  • I will be using B-Ionic 2-part dosing to start with
  • Cleaning magnet: Tunze
  • Test kits: Reef Foundation, Salifert, etc
Future projects:
  • Frag system in the basement
  • Refugium in the basement

Thanks for following along :)
Jim
I am extremely good at watching paint dry after many years of OS updates and installs so I look forward to this build.
 

DragonWrasse103

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Nice start! I’m in the process of setting up a 130.4 as well. I will be transferring GHL equipment from my reefer 250 eventually (Profilux 4, Doser 2.1, and 2 Mitras LX7s). Thanks for posting the detailed dimensions. I haven’t setup the stand yet and I wasn’t sure on the dims of the dry side. I just measured the internal dimensions of the tank and mine are very close. Have you thought about how you will be mounting the powerbar?
 
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qnguyen

qnguyen

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Why the Waterbox 130.4?

Disclaimer: Reef keeping is highly personal. There is no accounting for taste. What I love, someone else will hate.

Here were my top three choices for tank/stand combo in order of preference (all prices are as of November 2019 inclusive of shipping):
  1. Elos 120 ($4,550 inclusive of the Absolute steel stand which is the only option available as they no longer carry the Classic stands)
  2. Waterbox 130.4 ($2,337, but I was able to buy at $2,103 during Blue Friday)
  3. RedSea Reefer 425XL ($2,399)
Why I chose a 90-gallon tank:
Well, I actually wanted a 120-gallon or 150-gallon peninsula-style tank, but I was constrained by the "wife-approved" spot which can only handle a 4'x2' tank (which sadly ruled out the Elos 120XL). I used an app called Aquarium Plan AR to visualize how the tank would look in the location my wife picked out. You basically enter your tank dimensions into the app and then it uses some sort of spatial 3D modeling to superimpose your tank into the virtual setting. You can walk around and view it from different angles. It is actually kinda cool and I think it was only $0.99 in the iOS app store. Here is a snapshot of the rendering.
IMG_2405.PNG

Why I chose the Waterbox 130.4:

Well, my first decision was to drop the RS Reefer 425XL from contention. It is a small difference, but the WB dimensions is just a wee bit deeper at 600mm versus 575mm for the RS; 1-inch may not sound like much, but just ask my ... never mind :oops:. Also, I am not a fan of RS' sump/filter sock/ATO design nor plumbing (but this was a minor point since I would have replaced it anyhow). Lastly, this was around the same time that RS was having issues on tank failures which deterred me from using them. Please do not send me any hate mails for bringing this up. Also, I am aware that things are apparently resolved now and that RS increased their warranty. I am just being honest about what my brain was thinking at the time.

So then it came down to the Elos versus the WB. To be honest, I had my heart set on the Elos. But at the end of the day, I couldn't justify the extra $2,450 compared to the Waterbox which I got for 10% off during the recent Blue Friday. I don't mind spending $$$, but I do like to feel that I am getting my money's worth. IMO, the four main benefits of the Elos 120 compared to the WB is: (1) slightly better clarity on the low-iron glass, (2) steel frame stand, (3) removable stand panels for easy access and (4) better quality panels. Elos claims that their glass is 8% more clear than standard Starfire, but I doubt that I would be able to tell the difference. Also, the steel frame is nice, but I have no doubt that WB's marine coated plywood will stand the test of time as long as you do not abuse it. The removable stand panels sounds good, but in my situation, only the left panel is accessible so that greatly diminishes the benefit of the removable panels. Also, I like to be able to mount equipment and wires to the inside of the stand and you can't do that with the removable panels. So, after weighing all the pros and cons, I decided that the Waterbox gave me the most value for money. But I won't lie to you. I still wonder if I made the right decision and I will probably have buyer's remorse for not getting an Elos every time I see someone else's sexy Elos set-up.

You may have noticed that I did not list Elos' "quiet drain overflow" as a plus. The reason for this is because it is too much of a blackbox for me. When it comes to reef keeping, I want to know what is going on and how the water is flowing from point A to point B. The Elos overflow scares me a bit. I know that they have a standpipe within standpipe emergency drain system, but I am old-fashioned when it comes to these things. I want to see a full-sized 2nd drain. Also, I heard about people having noise issues and needing to throttle down the drain pipe to make it quiet. I didn't like the thought of having to do this.

I am very happy with the Waterbox. I will make a separate post on the delivery and installation of the tank/stand, but the workmanship is top notch. The silicone seams are perfect. There are no air bubbles or any blemishes. The glass overflow looks fantastic. The quality of the stand is better than I expected, although nothing can beat the Elos. I highly recommend WB for anyone on the fence.

Cheers
Jim
 
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qnguyen

qnguyen

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Nice start! I’m in the process of setting up a 130.4 as well. I will be transferring GHL equipment from my reefer 250 eventually (Profilux 4, Doser 2.1, and 2 Mitras LX7s). Thanks for posting the detailed dimensions. I haven’t setup the stand yet and I wasn’t sure on the dims of the dry side. I just measured the internal dimensions of the tank and mine are very close. Have you thought about how you will be mounting the powerbar?
Thanks for following along. I hope you start a build thread as well. I have read every single 130.4 build thread that I could find on the internet and every single YouTube video and I want more!! I always learn something new from someone else's experiences.

I haven't decided on a mounting cabinet/system for my P4 yet. I may try the Marine Depot cabinet or I might just pay Elder1945 to build me a custom one similar to the one that he is bringing to market. Let me know if you come up with anything ingenious. Or maybe we ask Elder to build us two custom cabinets! ;)
 

DragonWrasse103

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I haven't decided on a mounting cabinet/system for my P4 yet. I may try the Marine Depot cabinet or I might just pay Elder1945 to build me a custom one similar to the one that he is bringing to market. Let me know if you come up with anything ingenious. Or maybe we ask Elder to build us two custom cabinets! ;)
I will do my best to document the build and hopefully create a build tread. Thanks for pointing me to the Elder1945 thread... I just read through the thread and they look amazing. It looks like he is planning to distribute through CoralVue, but I wasn't able to find it for sale yet.

You mentioned the dimension of the dry side to clear the hinges is 12.78". Do you know what the dimension is from the face the hinges are mounted to? I'm wondering if the standard MD 15" controller board would fit.

I also have the pentair 25W UV. Have you thought about how you are going to plumb this? Off the return? I'm wondering how to best arrange this in the sump area of the 130.4 stand.
 
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qnguyen

qnguyen

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You mentioned the dimension of the dry side to clear the hinges is 12.78". Do you know what the dimension is from the face the hinges are mounted to? I'm wondering if the standard MD 15" controller board would fit.
Unfortunately it won’t fit. It is only 13” or so even if you remove the hinge assembly. There is an inside brace on the left side that takes up space. But... I wonder if you can rip the MD controller box down to size. Take an inch off each side or two inches off one side. The face plate would be easy, but I am not sure about the enclosure.
9E6B4453-434A-45EA-BE7C-4EAD6969F40A.jpeg
 
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