this rookie first " trying to join the big kids " reef tank build! 50.3 AIO waterbox!

thebootreefer

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Little intro/ background
first, let me say thank you for checking out my build! I hope you follow along and feel free to give input! ( I hope ya do! ;) ) my bank account and I jumped into the deep in with this hobby just a little over a year ago, and it's been a screaming battle since! I started with freshwater when I was a kid, but once becoming a young adult and young adult money ( plus my own place) with my 35-gallon bow front freshwater pretty much running itself I got bored! so one day....took a trip to PetSmart and got very basic reef/saltwater items! With not-too-shabby success, I later made the big perchance of the Waterbox 50.3 AIO, which has been up for almost a year! further ordo lets get this show going..I do have huge upgrade plans list ill add for may and post when the time comes stay tuned!

current setup and equipment list

- Waterbox AIO 50.3/aspen stand

- about 40 pounds of Caribsea Arag-alive Fiji pink sand

( so far not to bad right :grimacing-face: )​

-corallife Aquarium fish tank marine saltwater Seascape LED Adjustable light with remote control, 48"-54" ( its really not too shabby but plans to upgrade this in May! nice starter light)

- about 30-40 pounds of Caribbean life rock ( still fine-tuning the scape so the rock is added/taken away all the time, but pretty sure I got it where I want to keep it!)

- 1 hygger mini wave maker aquarium magnetic DC powerhead with LED display controller for saltwater tank, 1600 GPH Aquarium water Circulation pump 5 to 30 gallons. ( I really like this wave maker I have two, but one does such a good job :) )

the back chambers/filter setup flow chart

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right now on the far left and right inlet are Waterbox 2.75 filter socks ( these are becoming a pain and keep bombing my nitrates, plan to change this part soon)

- 2ed chamber in on the left side I have a small fluval protein skimmer ( super underpowered, but was cheap and the protein skimmer scares me figuring out wize. lol, this guy is not to too bad better than none, open to ideas on this one!)

- under 2ed chamber protein skimmer is a sponge, into Cem blue and some carbon. ( open what would be best to add into this part, are these two items ok?)

under my cem blue and carbon bags, one more sponge into some bio balls to my return pump.

- In 2ed chamber in on the right side I'm running a sponge, into my Cem blue and carbon, normal more are in this chamber due to more space without the skimmer.

- The 2ed chamber right side under my carbon and Cem blue is another sponge into a bigger load of bio balls, again cuss a little more space without the skimmer ( open to ideas on this! kinda of what just found works best ig! with what I know! into my return pump/chamber.

-The return pump chamber holds my heater ( nuthin fancy) and my sicce syncra silent 1.5 multifunction 357 GPH submersible water pump.

Current tenants!
- two clowns! ( no idea the breed )
- cleaner shrimp
-watermen goby
- 4 blue cromes

( I plan to really just keep low fish stock, I love the look of a nice garden with you gotta look up close to see the life among it! so no plans to really add any more tenants, besides some clean-up crew!)

Coral

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two hammers
- little torch
- little zoea garden!
- and a bubble tip!

( I have three little islands I started to make Hammer Island in the far right, Zoe Garden front, and middle. and my torch garden to the far left! and plan to grow these gardens onces the upgrades are made in may!)

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( I turned my lights on for this! so lot is closed and not the best photos, but if interested I can def take better photos of things when lights are on, on!)

my nitrates are high as I had a decor crab go hide and die under a rock a few days ago, and I never noticed so things are struggling just a tad but been dosing to lower )

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Water/water perimeters

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I buy pre-made salt water from pet co in 5-gallon boxes, my tap water is not the best and I'm to scared to make my own hahah more on that later... ( also why I haven't done a water change because I haven't been able to get water due to the store being out ... i know ... i know try not to judge to hard here....)

- with water top off, I just use a cup and tap water ( again... I know not the best .. working on this lol but just don't have a way for RODI yet in my apartment, though I do treat once a week for tap water in the tank )

now.... water perimeters... As I said I buy my water, I have a basic idea of water cem, ph alk etc etc. and kinda of what each of these do. my fall short is learning how/ how much to dose to get levels where needed or to lower them. For example if ( random numbers not my real ones) my alk was 230 and I needed it at 530 how do I close that cap, how much do I add? etc!

this is something I'm learning atm! I test and have a basic understanding by the act of doing it ehhhh....
( feel free to judge but also be open to input as this is the biggest thing I feel I need to get over to really let this thing ride!) iv been winging it and really for someone just kinda of letting it do its thing I'm shocked at the success this tank has been having!
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Upgrades people upgrades! ( in may!)

I have some upgrades planned for May! as I been learning, and finding my shortfall in things I could step up! my big three are fine-tuning the filter, better lights, and adding water cem into the mix.

filter upgrades
- found two roller mats that a guy makes on Etsy for waterbox to replace the socks!
- fine due to the order of things
- maybe the skimmer? or adding another on the other side?

Lights upgrade
-- two AI prime 16 HD ( open to the best program, set up when the time comes!)

water cem/perimeters
- I have the test and such and cems but need to work on my understanding of how much etc as talked about above.

OUTSIDE THE WATERBOX upgrade ( 2ed tank plans !)

- the mini frag tank from reef casa 6-gallons, I have a small office I want to add this in, just to have a place for smaller frags to grow out/ learn and test things before the main reef tank. Also just to have a backup/ hospital tank. but also you just gotta have a small office tank right?

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When people ask why fish, I say it's like living art to me! a good place, and taken care of fish tank can make any room stand out and be an Amazon add-on! I don't think I'll ever have more than the main tank and hospital/office tank as for time and it'll be too much for me! but I'm excited to make these things and push the order button in May!

this was super long-winded and I hope you enjoy and follow along with my first tank build thread/ big post on here!
 
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thebootreefer

thebootreefer

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I have done many different scapes with different heights, though iv came to adding more "land" and building it around the coral as I added :) as I'm not confident to glue my rock or anything. and don't want anything falling form to high smashing the bottom out of my tank! as I don't 100% trust the waterbox stand it was made/put on.... but I def plan to build up a tad more!
 
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thebootreefer

thebootreefer

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I was thinking maybe going with something like this! gives me levels through the whole tank and a nice little shelf going up in the middle! though if I do, Id be what I have now or take that out and just have that peace in, At some point I plan to invest in a scape but the most creative person! thoughts/ input, supper open to ideas and such on it haha ! https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/liferock-coral-tree-aquascaping-kit-caribsea.html
 

CoralCrafted

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I was thinking maybe going with something like this! gives me levels through the whole tank and a nice little shelf going up in the middle! though if I do, Id be what I have now or take that out and just have that peace in, At some point I plan to invest in a scape but the most creative person! thoughts/ input, supper open to ideas and such on it haha ! https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/liferock-coral-tree-aquascaping-kit-caribsea.html
I know budget is a huge factor in anything in life but there is a lot of new and established rockscape designers. I used a local guy for a tank build I did a few years back and man.. I don't think I'm ever going back lol.
 
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thebootreefer

thebootreefer

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I know budget is a huge factor in anything in life but there is a lot of new and established rockscape designers. I used a local guy for a tank build I did a few years back and man.. I don't think I'm ever going back lol.
I have always wanted to just have an rockscape guy just make and glue, and have a super nice scape that works and I don't gotta worry to much! but the closest anything fish to me is petco an hour away until I get into driving 3-4 hours ;/ or I would 100% go that route!!
 

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