Waterbox 50.3 AIO Build Thread

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WhenKeepinItReefGoesWrong

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I'm just getting ready for setup on my Waterbox 50.3 AIO build. I ordered it with the stand and pair of AI Primes that are set to be delivered in a few weeks. I’m not sure why there doesn’t seem to be many threads on this tank, to me it seems to have the most ideal dimensions of any of the AIO tanks (36L x 20W x 18H). The rest of my intended build:

Sicce syncra 2.0 return pump
BRS 5 stage RODI
Eheim Jager 200W heater (x2)
Tunze Osmolator 3155 ATO
Tunze DOC 9004 protein skimmer
InTank media basket
Jebao OW-10 Wavemaker

Instant ocean reef crystals
BRS refractometer
40lb Caribsea life rock
Caribsea Arag-alive fiji pink sand
Red Sea Marine Care Test Kit
Other ancillary equipment (glass scrubber, tank cover, surge protector, more buckets than I could possibly need, etc.)

I am looking for loads of advice, but a couple specific questions:

  • For startup bacteria what does everyone prefer: Dr. Tim's, microbacter, or something else?

  • How much sand would be reasonable? 20, 30, 40lb?

  • I am considering either dropping the skimmer and doing either a DIY refugium or a Santa Monica drop in algae scrubber. I could also do either of those plus a skimmer. Thoughts on the options? I was thinking of starting with either the skimmer or fuge/scrubber and adding the other later if needed.

  • What equipment is missing from my list?

Any and all advice will be much appreciated!
 
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One Reefing Boi

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also planning on getting this tank as well! still planning things out though as I might go with the marine line for the sump. we shall see.

For your questions though:

I use a combination of several for my current tank and it worked great. Dr Tims, API Quick Start, Microbacter, and one other one. You will need an ammonia source and I just thawed a piece of shrimp from the supermarket and threw that in for a day and then took it out. it was only a 15g tank so didn't want to nuke it with ammonia. cycled in about 1-1.5 weeks.

generally it's 1lb/gal of display tank. depends on how deep you want the sand bed

I personally am not a fan of hang on skimmers (hence why I am considering the marine series) but tbh don't really need either if you don't want.

I recommend the orange instant ocean salt if adding corals, have great success with it

good luck and looking forward to the build thread!
 
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WhenKeepinItReefGoesWrong

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Equipment keeps coming in!

Got my RO/DI set up (BRS 5 stage) and made my first ~45 gallons. Tank is scheduled to ship next week and I want to be ready for it. I've actually decided to go live rock instead of dry so I'll be going with 50 pounds from Tampa Bay Saltwater. Not sure if it makes a difference, but I'll wait until my tank gets here to mix the salt. I think the Sicce 2.0 may be overkill for my tank from what I've read, I guess we'll see. I figure I'll need an additional wavemaker but am starting with one to see if I like the Jaebo or want to use something else. Skimmer and ATO will be the next purchase.

We're getting there!

20200911_185948.jpg 20200911_175958.jpg
 
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WhenKeepinItReefGoesWrong

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Wooooo!!! Couple more days and it's time to get started!

I don't think I've read of a single person who didn't recommend the InTank media baskets over the filter socks, so I'm going to start with them. I got both the 3 and 4 shelf versions because the back wall of the Waterbox tank is semi transparent, so light can make it through, and the 3 shelf version is opaque on 3 sides. I'd like the option of trying a refugium in one of the cambers but I don't want light to shine through, so I figured if I orient the 3 shelf basket with the opening to the back of the tank I could peel off the back film from the tank and attach a light, but the basket would prevent the light from bleeding into the tank.

Can't wait to officially get started!

Screenshot_20200918-165042_Gmail.jpg 20200919_084748.jpg
 
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WhenKeepinItReefGoesWrong

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Tank has arrived!!! One issue I had was that the freight company didn't schedule a delivery and just showed up for delivery. Luckily there was someone home to sign for it, but I didn't get a chance to inspect it before he left. However, the tank was packed very well, with plenty of cardboard and styrofoam holding it.

I will say the cabinet was as much of a pain to assemble as other people have stated, with the assembly instructions laughably vague. Luckily I could figure it out eventually, without making too many mistakes. It seems solidly constructed, and the finish is very nice.

Next, I got the tank on the stand and leveled. I removed the filter sock baffles with a box cutter so I could fit the InTank media baskets which was very easy. I've got my sand on order to be delivered in a few days, and am mixing my water currently. I've also decided to go with live rock from Tampa Bay Saltwater after a lot of research. My plan is to get everything setup by this weekend, and get my rock order placed hopefully for next week after a leak check.
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Tidal Gardens
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WhenKeepinItReefGoesWrong

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The tank is filled and sand is in. I've ordered my live rock from Tampa Bay Saltwater and have been waiting to hear back about when I can expect it to ship. It's been a few weeks from the order so I hope to get it shipped soon.

I've noticed the Sicce 2.0 return pump seems very overpowered for the tank. I have to run it at less than half power to get the water levelled correctly.

I've got my skimmer and ATO setup, along with my powerheads. I got a Jebao OW-10 as well as an SLW-30.

For a lid I got the Red Sea DIY kit which wasn't too difficult to put together. I'm genuinely confused as to why the major tank manufacturers don't make lids that fit their tanks, and require DIY, or for you to go with a VERY expensive third party manufacturer.

I also ordered the Hanna alkalinity and ultra low range phosphate checkers.

Not much else I feel I can do until my rock arrives, so playing the waiting game for now.

20201003_180426.jpg 20201003_175952.jpg
 
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WhenKeepinItReefGoesWrong

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Rock is in from Tampa Bay Saltwater! Rock looks amazing!!! This is only the first half of the order, but it already seems like so much rock, I may not end up using the whole 50lb once the other 25 comes in. The amount of life on the rocks is unbelievable. I saw a single crab when adding the rock, but I'm sure I'll keep finding them as things settle in. There are a crazy number of sponges, tube worms, branching corals, etc is crazy. I got the rock stable on the bottom, and have the arches pretty stable, but I'll add some

Right after adding the rock I did a water test and was at 0.3 ammonia, but when I checked about 6 hours later it was down to 0. So it seems the bacteria are already doing their job. I'm sure there will be some more die off, but I'm hoping to keep ammonia below 1 through the whole cycle.

I also checked alk, pH, and salinity tonight.

Alk: 7.2dkh
pH: 8.2
Salinity: 1.023

I'd like the salinity and alk to come in a little higher so I added some more water at slightly higher salinity and am now at 1.024. I'm going to leave it for now until I need to do my first water change, then will try and get it to about 1.026.

Any more advice on cycling would be great!

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WhenKeepinItReefGoesWrong

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Haven't updated in a while so I thought I'd share my thoughts, then add some more pictures once I get home later.

I received the second shipment of live rock from TBS and got it and all the cleanup crew into the tank. I feel like I have plenty of rock in, but didn't even end up using all of it that was sent. There are a lot of awesome things, but one piece has an incredible blue sponge. I know they are difficult to keep alive and most people end up losing them, but I'm hoping that isn't the case. This shipment had a couple gorilla crabs in it as well, but I managed to get what I believe is all of them out. Ammonia jumped up to 0.6 2 days after the new rock was added, but went down to zero shortly after. The shipment included a bunch of hermits, snails, a brittle star, 2 sea slugs, a peppermint shrimp, and a flower anemone. The brittle star and peppermint shrimp didn't even make it a day when I found them ripped apart, I'm assuming because of the gorilla crabs before I got them out.

This week I got my first coral shipment from Tidal Gardens which is 6 types of zoas, and 2 mushrooms. I had a fantastic experience ordering from them, and plan on using them again. Everything opened up in less than a day and is looking great. I used Coral Rx to dip them.

Last night I went and picked up a pair of juvenile Black Ice Clowns and acclimated them into the tank. They seem to be happily swimming around, but I do have a small concern about the amount of flow in the tank. I've got a Jebao OW-10, and Jebao SLW-30 in the tank, and even with both on their lowest setting, it seems like the clowns are really rapidly swimming against the flow, and I'm worried it's blowing them around too much. Is that something I should be concerned about?

Another question I have is with regards to feeding. I've always been told to turn pumps off when you feed. However, when I turn off my return pump the back chambers of the AIO fill up as expected. This overflows my skimmer cup, and sets the alarm off on my ATO sensor. Am I missing something? I'd prefer not to have to remove my skimmer cup and turn my ATO off every time I feed. Using the Tunze 3155, every time you turn it on it primes and pumps a reasonable amount of RODI water. If I feed twice a day that will be a lot of RODI water added and I'm worried it would be constantly knocking my salinity down. Is there another way to handle this?

My plans are to wait about 2 weeks, then add some more coral (probably alveopora and blastos) and either a cardinal fish or firefish.

Happy Reefing!
 
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I
Haven't updated in a while so I thought I'd share my thoughts, then add some more pictures once I get home later.

I received the second shipment of live rock from TBS and got it and all the cleanup crew into the tank. I feel like I have plenty of rock in, but didn't even end up using all of it that was sent. There are a lot of awesome things, but one piece has an incredible blue sponge. I know they are difficult to keep alive and most people end up losing them, but I'm hoping that isn't the case. This shipment had a couple gorilla crabs in it as well, but I managed to get what I believe is all of them out. Ammonia jumped up to 0.6 2 days after the new rock was added, but went down to zero shortly after. The shipment included a bunch of hermits, snails, a brittle star, 2 sea slugs, a peppermint shrimp, and a flower anemone. The brittle star and peppermint shrimp didn't even make it a day when I found them ripped apart, I'm assuming because of the gorilla crabs before I got them out.

This week I got my first coral shipment from Tidal Gardens which is 6 types of zoas, and 2 mushrooms. I had a fantastic experience ordering from them, and plan on using them again. Everything opened up in less than a day and is looking great. I used Coral Rx to dip them.

Last night I went and picked up a pair of juvenile Black Ice Clowns and acclimated them into the tank. They seem to be happily swimming around, but I do have a small concern about the amount of flow in the tank. I've got a Jebao OW-10, and Jebao SLW-30 in the tank, and even with both on their lowest setting, it seems like the clowns are really rapidly swimming against the flow, and I'm worried it's blowing them around too much. Is that something I should be concerned about?

Another question I have is with regards to feeding. I've always been told to turn pumps off when you feed. However, when I turn off my return pump the back chambers of the AIO fill up as expected. This overflows my skimmer cup, and sets the alarm off on my ATO sensor. Am I missing something? I'd prefer not to have to remove my skimmer cup and turn my ATO off every time I feed. Using the Tunze 3155, every time you turn it on it primes and pumps a reasonable amount of RODI water. If I feed twice a day that will be a lot of RODI water added and I'm worried it would be constantly knocking my salinity down. Is there another way to handle this?

My plans are to wait about 2 weeks, then add some more coral (probably alveopora and blastos) and either a cardinal fish or firefish.

Happy Reefing!
I don't turn my return off when I feed, I just feed like one or two pellets at a time in the middle of the tank to make sure most food gets eaten. I do turn off my wavemaker though. I have 1 Nero 5 and love it -- great flow for what I am keeping and I run it max around 30%
 
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WhenKeepinItReefGoesWrong

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Here are some photos of the TBS rock, and the first corals in!
 

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WhenKeepinItReefGoesWrong

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Figured I’d provide an update. I’ve continued adding livestock, and my current fish stock list is:



2 Black Ice Clowns

1 Diamond Goby

1 Cardinal Fish

1 Flame Angel



I think this is going to be my final stock list for the foreseeable future. The flame angel was a recent addition, and so far I haven’t noticed him nipping at any corals. My coral/nem stocking is:



Rock Flower Anemone

Rainbow Bubble Tip Anemone

Duncan

Trachyphyllia

Monti Cap

Blasto

Assorted Ricordea

Assorted Acans (5-6)

Assorted Zoas (9-10)



I had some bad luck with some euphyllia, otherwise everything has been going great. I noticed my phosphates and nitrates climbing (~30 NO3, 0.2 PO4), and rather than being a responsible reefer and cutting back on feeding I decided to pull the trigger on a Tunze algae reactor. I’m plumbing it out of one “skimmer” chamber, down into the reactor in the cabinet, and then plumbed back up into the other “skimmer” chamber. It has dropped my nutrients do a very reasonable 5 NO3 and 0.05 PO4.



I think I’m going to take another crack at euphyllia, but am curious if anybody has any tips on what’s helped keep them healthy for you?



Happy reefing!
 

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is there any cheaper alternative for the return pump for 50.3 aio?
I think the only cheaper alternative you would get is to try and find a pond pump for ~500gph. I found a few on amazon from $20-$100. I don't think those have controllable flow rates as the sicce does. I'm looking into the same thing for my 50.3.
 
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