Waterbox MarineX 90.3 Build Thread.

FastAG

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Alright folks. After a false start a year ago and watching hundreds of YouTube videos, it's time to start a build thread for real. The tank was ordered last month (still waiting for a shipping notice :(), so who knows when it will actually show up but the equipment and supplies have started being delivered. I'm excited!

So here's equipment list:

Marine X 90.3
Reef Octopus VarioS-4
Kessil AP700 light panel
Marcorocks dry rock
CaribSea Special Grade Arag-Alive!
6 Stage Deluxe Plus 100GPD RO/DI System
2x Icecap 2K Gyre Flow Pump w/ dual pump controller
XP Aqua Duetto
2x Finnex HMX Titanium 300 WATT aquarium heater w/ controller
Ultimate refugium starter pack - Large
Tunze Eco Chic Refugium LED Light 8831
25 Watt Classic UV Sterilizer - White Body - Aqua Ultraviolet
VarioS-2 Controllable DC Pump (792 GPH) - Reef Octopus
klir Di-4 Drop-In Fleece Filter System

I've been following Ryan's new tank videos over on BRSTV and YouTube with great interest. The video they did with Colby Johnson of Aquabiomics was pretty fascinating (though the audio problems make it almost unwatchable. you've been warned). But the idea that the biggest problem with starting with dry rock is that the bacterial supplements (like Fritz turbo start and Dr. Tim's) that we use to cycle new tanks do not supply microbial diversity to the system is fascinating. And kinda obvious once you think about it. And the bacterial blooms, dino, cyan and algae outbreaks (i.e. new tank syndrome) seem to be a direct result of the lack of diversity. From watching those and other videos, it seems to me that the way to go is to cycle the tank with bacterial supplements but then quickly (in the week or so) put in some softies and a hardy LPS or two (from different sources) hoping that they will bring along microbial hitchhikers to add diversity. And then add couple clown fish (or other hardy fish) to add ammonia to the system for the microbes and the coral. I also plan on setting up a QT system for the fish and dipping the coral first of course! Tidal Gardens recently posted a couple of QT videos where they use prazipro for internal parasites and then formalin instead of copper for ich, velvet, etc. I'm going to give that a try. Anyone else try formalin yet? What was your experience with it?

You'll notice that I don't have a skimmer on my list. I've decided to just go with filter socks and a refugium to start and the switch over to Klir Di-4 after a few months once I have a few more fish in there. Algae barn has a refugium starter pack that I'm going to order. I'll keep a close eye on my nutrients and see how things go.

I am also going to add a UV sterilizer and plumb it into a manifold with it's own VariouS-2 pump. From the BRS investigates series, it looks like running a UV for bacteria and algae (at least when starting with dry rock) isn't terribly effective. So the plan is to run at fish parasite killing levels (400 gph for my setup) using its own pump. The second pump also adds redundancy.

I was planning to go with Tropic Marin Pro Reef salt but it looks like everyone is out right now (I'm guessing pandemic related) but I'm not sure yet what I'll do there. I'm guessing that I'm still a few weeks away from getting the tank so I can afford to be patient about that. What do you folks think in terms of alternatives?

I'm really interested in hearing about your experiences with QT using formalin and your thoughts about microbial diversity and way to achieve it. Otherwise my next update will likely be when I get a shipping notification from Waterbox!
 
BRS

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Excited for you!
 
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FastAG

FastAG

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So still no shipping notification yet from Waterbox :( but there is an exciting (for me at least) development. I was on the Aquabiomics website and noticed a section talking about live reef rubble! Turns out they sell "live rock" with a carefully nurtured community of nitrifying and eukaryotic microorganisms. That is, pest free live rock! The holy grail for starting up a new tank with dry rock!

I neglected to take pictures of the unboxing (noob mistake!) but here's a shot of the rubble below. I set up the QT system so I can keep it alive and kicking unstill the 90.3 shows up and I have it all set up.
IMG_0382.jpeg


I know. Looks boring right? It's the stuff that you can't see that sooo exciting. I'm going to add some marinepure spheres and occasional drops of ammonium chloride so that I have a thriving community all ready to go once 90.3 finally shows up!

Here are some shots from the certificate of analysis from Aquabiomics showing the microbial diversity:

IMG_0383.jpeg


and
IMG_0384.jpeg


Because of this, I expect the initial cycle should go pretty smooth but the real test is going to be how the ugly stage goes and whether I have any issues with dinos, etc.

I've received most of the equipment, so the next post will consist of the obligatory equipment beefcake shots. :)
 

pandry15

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yup! the wait was a bit frustrating but it did give me time to plan the build and get things ready - tank arrived Thursday and just finished setting it up yesterday...
 
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FastAG

FastAG

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Look what got delivered today!

IMG_0410.jpeg

And most of the other equipment has also arrived.

IMG_0412.jpeg

I added some Marinepure ceramic media to the reef rubble (I mentioned in an earlier post) to get it fully seeded and that's going really well.

IMG_0413.jpeg

It's at the point where it fully breaks down a dose of Dr. Tim's ammonium chloride in less than 24 hours. So once the tank is wet, I plan on putting the media in the sump and mixing the original reef rubble in with the aquascape to get the dry rock seeded.

And speaking of aquascape:

IMG_0411.jpeg

Got started on that yesterday. Using Aquastik stone grey epoxy putty to join the chunks of rock together and then super glue and rock dust to cover the putty. I decided not to go with the airy negative space aquascape that's all the rage these days. Mainly because I want to make sure my fish have plenty of living and hiding spaces amongst the rockscape. I'm at least as interested in the fish as I am the coral. I'll post more pictures of the aquascape once I'm satisfied with it.

Once I get the tank filled, I'm going to do a 100% water change on the QT and go get a pair of clownfish. Cause, of course, I have to start with them. The kids would disown me if I didn't.

I'll also get a few corals. I'm thinking some zoas, a frogspawn or hammer, a GSP, and maybe some purple clove polyps if I can find them locally.

But before I can get the tank wet, I need to rearrange my laundry room and set up the RO/DI system, etc. And then do some custom plumping to account for a UV sterilizer. Still not certain if I'm going to just put it in line with the Varios4 that I already have or add a second pump just for UV (and redundancy). I may set up the plumbing for dual pumps and add in the second pump later once I've started adding in more fish. I am also not sure yet whether i can actually fit two pumps in the 90.3 return section). I plan on getting an APEXEL and adding a flow meter to make sure I'm pushing the right amount of flow through the UV.

The next few weeks (months even) are going to be so much fun!
 
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FastAG

FastAG

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It's been busy around here.

The tank is wet and has been for about 6 weeks now.

Here is a shot right after I had dialed in the return and transferred the reef rubble and ceramic media into the sump. Everything looks sparkly clean.

IMG_0433.jpeg

One strange thing that seems to have happened is that transferring the media seems to have restarted the cycle. I'm not entirely sure why cause I basically just moved the container you see above from the QT to the sump. It definitely did not have a chance to dry out. When I added some leftover food (from feeding the fish in QT) over a few days and then tested the DT, I found ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings. Don't remember what they were at this point but I was surprised to see anything other than some nitrate. I added what was left of the Dr. Tim's that I used to cycle the QT tank and just let things be for a while. When I tested again a week later, I was still reading ammonia and nitrite. So I ordered some Nitrobacter7 (just to introduce some other bacterial strains, etc) and have been dosing that for the last week. No rush since the fish will be in QT for a while longer.

In the meantime, I received some corals from Corals Anonymous last Thursday, dipped them in Biocomplete Insect Killer & Seachem Dip, took a toothbrush to them in between, rinsed off everything multiple times, and stuck the frags into the sand. 3 zoas, a purple tipped red acan, a pair of hammers and a clove polyp coral. All easy and inexpensive. I can't get a useable shot of the acan, but there are decent pictures of the rest:

IMG_0496.jpeg


IMG_0498.jpeg IMG_0500.jpeg

The hammers, zoas and acan opened up and looked pretty happy by the next day. The clove polyps took about 3 days before showing any signs of life at all and the picture above is on the 4th day. I fed everyone frozen brine shrimp yesterday and that seems to have perked everyone up. I've also been dosing phtyoplankton everyday and have added copepods to the sump.

There's a dusting of diatoms and even some hair algae on the rocks. I'm hoping the microbacter7 kicks in soon and the cycle completes so I can add in the first CUC.

That's all I have time for now. The next update will include details about the macroalgae refugium setup, the UV, and the QT schedule for the fish.
 

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Fritz

NewEvo13

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Hi, how's the tank shaping up now? I am getting my WB 90.3 any day now so watching with interest!

I already have a small Fluval Evo that has been up for over a year now as a learning experience. It was going so well until I bought a fish from a new store and introduced Ich to the tank! Never again will I not use a QT tank. The evo is going to become that from now on. Only problem is I'm now stuck as have loads of corals I want to transfer to the WB. Will dipping kill ich!?
 
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FastAG

FastAG

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Hi, how's the tank shaping up now? I am getting my WB 90.3 any day now so watching with interest!

I already have a small Fluval Evo that has been up for over a year now as a learning experience. It was going so well until I bought a fish from a new store and introduced Ich to the tank! Never again will I not use a QT tank. The evo is going to become that from now on. Only problem is I'm now stuck as have loads of corals I want to transfer to the WB. Will dipping kill ich!?
Tank is moving along. Going through the ugly phase at the moment. Diatoms and hair algae! I'm manually removing the hair algae but it's been a battle. I figure slow and steady wins the race.

I've added a couple of clowns and a lawnmower blenny. Plus some CUC. The refugium (a mix of sea lettuce and cheato) is doing well. Last I checked nitrate were <5 and phosphates at 0.03. I don't have a skimmer. Just filter socks and the refugium. Will probably add the Klir Di-4 at some point. I've also added a couple of hammers, an acan, 3 zoas and a clove polyp. Feeding them reef roids once a week and the fish twice a day. A mixture of flake, pellets and frozen mysis and brine. So far so good.

As to your question about ich. Based on everything I've read, dipping will not kill it. Your best bet is to set up a separate QT tank (I just got a 10G from petco with a cheap heater and filter) and put your fish in there for treatment. I'm following the QT routine outlined in a Tidal Gardens QT video. The ich treatment outlined there is 10 days long. And then you'll want to let your Evo sit fallow for (I think?) 76 days. That will allow the ich to naturally die out since it won't have a host available to reproduce. Personally I think the Evo is too nice of a setup to use for a QT tank. Maybe convert it to a frag tank? Or a softie tank? Or you can eventually sell it once you move all the livestock into the 90.3. What ever you decide. Good Luck!

One other thing I've done that worth mentioning here is the UV I've installed. It's a Coralife Turbo Twist 18W that I got from Marine Depot. I've plumbed it using a cheap Tunze pump from the sump into the DT to that the return is hidden behind on the the DT return. I'll add a post with some photos so you can see some the corals and how I plumbed the UV.
 

What percentage of blue versus white lighting do you think makes the best coral growth combo?

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