Waterbox 220.6 mixed reef tank build

marks1630

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I have gone back and forth about starting a build thread, but I suppose if I am going to invest this much time and money into a tank, I should share the experience. Maybe I can share some knowledge that I gain along the way and hopefully get assistance from fellow reefers.

A little background, I have been in the hobby for a little over 10 years and had multiple tanks, starting with the inaugural odd collection of used equipment and cheap fish back in 2010. Lots of failure, but lots of learning back then. I have since had multiple tanks and life changes, to where now I am looking to set up a new tank. We moved into the house about two years ago, and immediately knew there was a perfect living room for a large tank. Other home projects and work got in the way until recently, so after 2 years of window shopping and planning, the project has begun for a Waterbox 220.6 mixed reef tank.

Equipment list
Tank:

Waterbox 220.6 in white

Controller
Neptune Apex

Return pump
Ecotech Marine Vectra M2

Lighting
Aquatic Life 61" Hybrid T5HO 4x80W - white
4x Kessil A360x Tuna Blue
Kessil H160 Tuna Flora grow light

Heater
2x Eheim Jager 150watts

Powerheads
4x Neptune Wav

Skimmer
Reef Octopus Regal 200SSS 8"

ATO
RO/DI Flood Guardian plumbed directly to my RO/DI filter

I think that is all the major equipment, I am also building a permanent water change station and plumbing it up through the house for automatic water changes the the DOS pump. There's been a lot going on the last few weeks getting ready, as we decided to renovate the entire room before adding the tank. I installed recessed lighting, painted and added trim work. Then added two new GFCI outlets for behind the tank, along with a RO/DI, salt and waste water lines run through the wall behind the tank.

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marks1630

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This weekend the aquascape was completed and water is now in the tank. It took a day and a half to manage all the cords and set up the control board. Well worth the hassle, I love the clean look of the board.

I have some turbo start on order, should be in later this week. I also added a pair of Picasso clowns to help start the cycle.
 

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marks1630

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Hey there, would you mind sharing your control board layout? I just ordered this tank and I'm struggling to envision how I'm going to get all of my controllers, apex, trident, dos, etc.. in the space provided.
Absolutely, I went with the Adaptive Reef Deluxe Board, it’s nice, but don’t think it was worth the price. I feel I could have made one of equal quality for about $40, it did save me time just buying it, but it didn’t even come with enough plugs to fill all the openings.

Right now I have the Apex, energy bar, FMM, 1link, vectra M2 control, skimmer control and a DOS for auto water changes. This took me about the entire morning Sunday to sort through and get to look halfway nice. There are a lot of wires for that stuff and trying to keep them organized was a challenge. I drastically underestimated this. The only thing I have left to add to this board is plugging my lights in, I am still waiting on mounts to be delivered.

Hopefully that helps and sorry for any grammar/typos, I am on my phone right now.
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marks1630

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could you post more pictures of the stand and let me know what you think of the build quality of the stand?
The stand is great, the quality of everything is some of the best I’ve seen. My previous tanks were innovative marine and Red Sea, this tank and stand is much higher quality. All the doors are soft close, plenty of access through the back and plenty of run for everything.
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marks1630

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Some tank updates:

I started cycling the tank last weekend, finally had enough water made Sunday morning and got the return pump going. I was hoping to throw in some turbo start, but my LFS was out of stock. It’s ordered and should be here today or tomorrow.


Lighting changes, I was very disappointed with the Aquatic Life T5HO and have made some changes. My originally lighting plan was simply 4, maybe 5, Kessil A360x lights, but after seeing the hybrid fixture I wanted to give it a try. I’ve had great success with growing corals under T5 in the past, but also hated dealing with the bulbs and cheap light fixtures. I received the T5HO and the was some misalignment with the top piece of aluminum, I didn’t think this was a huge deal, as it would not be visible, it turned out to be a bigger issue than I thought. The small imperfection made many of the machine screws not line up correctly and the low quality screws striped easily. Fortunately, BRS took care of it and the fixture is on its way back. Now back to the original plan of 4-5 Kessils, I already have 4 lights and the mounts are on order, hopefully will be here next week.
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Almost everything with the tank and sump is great, I am having an issue with the center chamber of the sump. The removable divider in the skimmer/refugium chamber creates a waterfall and makes the tank noisy. Without this divider the tank is completely silent, but once it is installed and the water level rises to the top slats in the divider the sump is loud. Does anyone have any recommendations? I am hoping to resolve this before order Chaeto, I am also at the mercy of Algae Barn getting it back in stock there, rumor is it will be in stock tomorrow.
 

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So awesome, Waterbox makes the nicest aquariums IMO. This one looks really well set up, clearly you know what you're doing :) what are your stocking plans for the tank?
 
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marks1630

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So awesome, Waterbox makes the nicest aquariums IMO. This one looks really well set up, clearly you know what you're doing :) what are your stocking plans for the tank?
Thanks @Dark_Knightt, I've done it the wrong way many times. lol This tank has been something I have looked forward to for some time.

As far as fish, this is my list so far:

Pair of Picasso clownfish
Blonde Naso
Powder blue tang
Morrish Idol
Blue Hippo tang
Empire Angel
Tailspot blenny
Foxface Rabbit fish
Convict tang
Sailfin tang
Goldrim tang
Melonarus wrasse

This will obviously grow/change over time based on availability and what my wife and kids want to get. They're just as invested in this as me, it makes it fun when they enjoy it too!
 
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Jump started the cycle today with Turbo Start and adding a few fish for the ammonia. This is my first time expediting the nitrogen cycle with dosing any chemicals, a little nervous and excited to add some fish so quickly. I have a pair of Picasso clowns and a blonde naso tang, my family has taken to naming the fish, well see how long that last as we get more and more fish. :D
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I’m setting up a 220.6 right now as well, small world.

I too had a bunch of problems with the Aquatic Life fixture. It’s just not made very well. I stripped out screws on the end caps. I ended up making it work because I got it on sale and did want to pay for the giesemann.

I’m not too crazy about the Waterbox making the stand into three discrete sections. I need to locate a few filters outside the sump and plumbing that isn’t going to be very clean looking.

I’m going to leave the divider out of the sump because my skimmer is too large. I remember thinking the teeth on the divider looked like they may be removable....(i could be crazy ). Maybe this would help the noise?
 
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marks1630

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I’m setting up a 220.6 right now as well, small world.

I too had a bunch of problems with the Aquatic Life fixture. It’s just not made very well. I stripped out screws on the end caps. I ended up making it work because I got it on sale and did want to pay for the giesemann.

I’m not too crazy about the Waterbox making the stand into three discrete sections. I need to locate a few filters outside the sump and plumbing that isn’t going to be very clean looking.

I’m going to leave the divider out of the sump because my skimmer is too large. I remember thinking the teeth on the divider looked like they may be removable....(i could be crazy ). Maybe this would help the noise?

That's awesome, congrats on the new tank!

I am glad to hear that it wasn't me with the Aquatic life fixture, I was excited for the look of the white fixture and mounting it to the wall behind the tank. I may go with the giesemann fixture in the future, but for now I am done messing with the T5's.

I was frustrated at first with the stand design too, I didn't need the ATO reservoir since my ATO is plumbed up directly to my RODI filter. I considered using that reservoir for an external skimmer and having a bigger refugium, but I think I am going to use that side for dosing containers. I saw a thread where someone ran plumbing through the dividing wall, I would assume just a hole saw, not sure I would go that route.

I did get the divider to quiet down this weekend, if I leave about a milimeter gap at the bottom, the chamber fills and overflows through the teeth, but doesn't make any noise. I'm not sure why it can't keep up whiteout doing this, I'm only running the return pump at 30%.
 
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With the tank cycling it is a waiting game now, my parameters are staying stable and everything is low. Good signs thus far, I think it really shows what turbo start can do. I am anxious to add corals and more fish, but I am being patient, as hard as it is.



During this down time, I thought I would talk about some of the prep work that went into preparing for this tank. I was determined to make this a tank that easy to maintain and thoughtfully put together. One of the things I wanted was for my tank to be plumbed directly to my RODI for the ATO, I don’t want to deal with refilling a reservoir every few days and wanted the extra space in the stand. This led to a month-long project, starting with painting, putting up crown molding, adding two new electrical outlets, and plumbing ¼ OD line through my attic. Somehow in the middle of this, I ended up remolding the dinning room too, just because one project wasn’t enough.



As for the plumbing, I ran three lines to the tank, through the wall behind it and out a faceplate. The first two lines I’ll do another write up about in the future, but they’re for auto water changes through a DOS, a new salt water line and a waste water line. The third line comes directly from the RODI filter in the closet, where it is spliced to the water mixing station and the display tank. I put shut off points via ball values at both ends for redundancy and didn’t use any connectors in the attic. I felt that not using any connectors in the attic would minimize the risk of any leaks to null.
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The line is controlled by a XP Aqua RODI flood guardian, I think these are mainly designed for water mixing stations, but it was perfect for my application. IT has an optical sensor for the water line and a solenoid the defaults to shut. Without the apex it would not work well, as you would have to push the start bottom every time you wanted to top off. The flood guardian automatically checks the water level and turns on when initially being plugged in, so the apex toggling an outlet on and off will trigger a top off. I currently have mine set to twice a day, 5am and 5pm, and it has been working well for the last 2 weeks.
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