Waterbox 100.3 - From 2.5gallons to 100 gallons - A Relatively Experienced Reefer Review and Build

dochow

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Back into reefing after a 4 year hiatus due to travel, moving and work.

I’ve made mistakes, I’ve had success and getting back into the hobby I’m trying to avoid my mistakes and do things right from the start. So I’ll document my journey here and I’ll give some reviews of products and things to troubleshoot. I’ll leave a pic here of my last reef tank back in 2016 that I had to sell everything for penny’s on the dollar that I sincerely miss!

Many pics to come, reviews to come on the 2.6 gallon Fluva nano, Waterbox 10 gallon Cube, Waterbox 20 gallon cube and Waterbox 100.3! Have been looking forward to this build thread for a while.

Please ignore misspellings and grammar since I’m going to do most of this posting on my iphone.

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This was a Marineland 75 gallon with a trigger system sump. This was pretty close to the end of the tank before I sold. Kole tang, Butterfly, sunburst anthia and many more amazing fish. Mixed reef. Lots of great stuff. Lit by Kessil 360’s and supplemented with T5’s.

Will continue this thread over the next few days starting with a little 2.5 gallon “gateway” nano tank. I’ll drop some info on upgrading the pump, getting better circulation and overall how it performs!
 
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dochow

dochow

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Tank 1 - The Fluval Spec III 2.6 Gallon:

About 6 months ago, I started my "gateway" tank as my wife would call it. I bought this little Fluval 2.6 gallon back in 2017 and ran it for about a year before giving my corals away to Petco. Was basically a coral only tank except for pistol shrimp and shrimp goby. Lots of fun.

I put this Fluval 2.6 gallon back together in September and I started my gateway back. Quick review. This all in one tank is beautiful, comes with clean lines and a pump. Upgrades which make it a real pico/nano tank and more functional for a reef tank. I will say that the light is not really functional for a "reef" unless you just want to leave it on and put it on a timer. That can work. I do have a Seneye that I can give you some PAR output if people are interested. I personally had an AI Prime that I put over it which was overkill but I tuned it back.

Fluval Spec III 2.6 Gallon $49.99

Self Leveling Mat - $19.99
Cut to fit. Works like a charm.

Filtration Upgrade - inTankMedia Basket for Fluval Spec $48.99
Fits like a glove. Working perfect. Filter floss up top, carbon in middle, whatever you want on bottom. Works flawless.

Pump Upgrade - Cobalt Aquatics Mini MJ 606 Pump 159 gph $37.24
Fits perfectly in the return pump chamber. Powerful! A little noisy at first but breaks in pretty quiet. Maybe not next to your head in the bedroom quiet but nice

Return Nozzle Upgrade - Innovative Marine Spin Stream Universal Nozzle $22.99
This is amazing unit. Fits not only my Fluval 2.6 gallon, but also my Waterbox 10 and 20 cubes. Love it. In such a small tank this does a good way of creating some "random flow" without having to put in another pump. Also a little 'Noisy" as you can hear it "crank." But honestly it is basically silent. Only can hear if you are very close to it. I have had no issue with this at all. Love it. Use it.

Overall this set up works. Good flow. Good filtration. Nice hospital tank. Nice Pico/Nano reef. Upgrades are not necessary but gives you customization. Hopefully these amazon links help and people can jump to these things if they are interested. Pics to come.

Enjoy!!
 
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dochow

dochow

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Pics of the Fluval 2.6 gallon Spec III
 

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dochow

dochow

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And teaser of the next tank to come for review, the Waterbox 10 gallon cube.
 

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Corey Shelk

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Best of luck! I’ll be following along as I’m interested in doing this myself. Does you fluval 2.6 have an ATO? I noticed the lid isn’t solid so I would be worried about evaporation causing unstable parameters
 
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dochow

dochow

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No ATO, not enough room. With the top there isnt much evaporation and unfortunately the “industry standard” Tunze 3155, the regular size ATO which is super reliable, I’ve had mine for 5 years with zero trouble, is not going to fit appropriately in the Fluval 2.6.

With that being said I didn’t see wild fluctuations in salinity with keeping a gallon of RO near tank and topping off every other day. Gallon of RO lasted at least a week.

I was able to very easily grow Acans and Zoa’s. Didn’t keep it long enough to try other things though.

If you run the above set up which I outlined, you’ll have a nice nano. I would however upgrade the light with a Kessil A80. I haven’t myself used it, but with the A360’s I used in the past you will love the Kessil. At least I did.
 
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dochow

dochow

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Best of luck! I’ll be following along as I’m interested in doing this myself. Does you fluval 2.6 have an ATO? I noticed the lid isn’t solid so I would be worried about evaporation causing unstable parameters
See below post, but also, the Waterbox 10 is awesome and will give you more flexibility for not much more of a price. I’ll hopefully have some time this weekend to sketch out the Waterbox 10 and maybe 20.
 

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