Waterbox Mini Peninsula 15 build and impressions

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tharbin

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Time for another update. As I said, I added the reef rubble and changed the lighting schedule to have less red/white and be 5 hours shorter (13 hours down to 8) as well as about 50% lower intensity. I also increased my dosing of phyto to 1.5ml/gallon. That was 13 days ago. Here is a 6.5k shot of the tank today:

IMG_1489-r2r.jpg


You can see the rubble in the front corner of the tank. The GHA is almost gone, what is left the CUC are going after so each day there is less. There is still a little cyano which I'm sure more flow would cure but I think I want to leave the flow alone for now as my future livestock plans were designed around this aquascape and flow pattern, although the Nero 3 has a much narrower flow pattern than I had anticipated. I may look for a wider dispersion pump instead of adding a second Nero 3. Undecided at this point.

I'm very pleased with where the tank is going and all of the corals are showing a little growth. The fish are fat, smarter than they should be, and happy and the uglies are slowly becoming less ugly. I'm probably going to leave everything as is for another week or so and then slowly raise/lengthen the lighting schedule.

I currently have five frags in the tank; 2 Beach Bum Montis, a (I think) sunset monti, a wwc grafted monti cap and an orange monti cap. No I don't like montis, Why? I plan to add one or two digi montis up high a acan/micromusa on the sand and a goni or hammer on the lower rockwork eventually. That will probably be it but...plans change.

Thanks for reading.
 
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I thought I would start a build thread to hopefully give a little back to the R2R community. Hardly an expert but I figured I would document the build and my impressions of the gear I installed in the hopes I would help someone else make a better decision on a piece of equipment. After watching lots of videos and reading lots of the AIO and Nano build threads on R2R, I decided on a Waterbox Mini Peninsula 15 for the tank. The reasons: 1 - it seemed to have good build quality from everything I read, 2 - it fit the footprint of the table I wanted to use as a stand and 3 - I thought I could keep the total build weight to around 150 pounds which I knew was safe for the chosen table.

While I was at it I bought the Plus package which included the AI Prime 16HD Reef. I also bought a 20 pound box of Caribsea Life Rock Shapes and a Sicce Synchra Silent 0.5 Pump all from Waterbox.

20211022_151745.jpg

Current Equipment List:

Tank:
Waterbox Mini Peninsula 15
Kraken Reef Filter Floss Cup (4 inch)
Sicce Synchra Silent 0.5 (removed WB included Hidam AP-1500)
WB included return outlet (removed VCA RFG--for now)
Kraken Reef Lid with Feed Cup cutout
Kraken Reef Feed Cup
Nano Flipper Float
inTank AIO Surface Skimmer

Filtration:
inTank Filter Floss
15gm Red Sea Reef-Spec Carbon
Not currently using the WB included filter sock, 2 sponges, bio-balls or carbon
10 pounds Carib-Sea Arag-Alive Special Blend
About 15 pounds Carib-Sea Life Rock

Heating/Cooling:
Finnex HMS-50 (removed Cobalt Neo-Therm 100 and returned Ebo Jager 50)

Lighting:
AI Prime 16HD Reef

Flow:
AI Nero 3 Wave Pump

Auto Top Off:
JBJ Nano ATO
Mainstays Large Cereal Dispenser (reservoir)

Power Management:
American DJ PC-100

Other:
eShopps Alpha Rack Mega frag rack
hello fellow peninsula mini 15-er!
 
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hello fellow peninsula mini 15-er!
They are nice little tanks and 15 was an almost perfect fit on the table I wanted to use in our living room. I would recommend this tank to anyone looking for a really nice small tank.

Do you have a build thread?
 
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They are nice little tanks and 15 was an almost perfect fit on the table I wanted to use in our living room. I would recommend this tank to anyone looking for a really nice small tank.

Do you have a build thread?
nah, my tank is kinda ugly due to a crash a little while ago and I started before I was on R2R

ive got mine on my desk
 
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Another update. What's working, what's so-so, and what's not working:

Working:

-The tank. I give the Waterbox Mini Peninsula 15 a solid A. The sump area is a very solid design. Nice glass and the glass AIO divider is easy to keep clean. What would I change? I wish it came with a weir gate to adjust display height. I'm using the InTank Surface Skimmer as a work-around but it is not ideal--too easy to knock out of place during maintenance tasks. I also would have made the return chamber .5"wider as most good pumps either don't fit or are a very tight fit. I would also either just include a Sicce pump or dump the pump entirely. The Hidam is just not a quality piece of kit.

-The lid/feed cup. The Kraken Reef lid is really nice and with the feed cup the nicest looking and easiest to use/clean lid I've ever had. Very good purchase.

-The mechanical filtration. The Kraken Reef Filter Cup has proven to be really good. I always keep InTank or Marineland floss in it. I cut it into roughly 2.5" wide strips. I put one 2.5" square in the bottom of the cup and then roll a strip to fill the rest of the cup. Between the square and the roll I usually place either a ChemiPure Blue Nano packet or 15 grams of Red Sea Reef-Spec Carbon. I switch based on my Nitrate/Phosphate readings. With my current feeding schedule they seem to be holding steady at 5.0/0.05. If it starts to go down I switch to just carbon. If it goes up, I switch back to one Nano packet.

-The sand. What can I say? It's sand.

-The ATO. So far the JBJ Nano ATO has been rock solid. The cereal dispenser is working great for a reservoir. It's cheap, fits the area well and is easy to refill.

-The Light. I've come to like the AI Prime 16HD once I learned how, well started to learn, to work with LED pucks.

So-So:

-The rock. The CaribSea Life Rock seems to be settling in and there is a lot less flaking lately but I still think it is not porous enough.

-The return Pump. The Sicce Synchra Silent 0.5 is a nice pump but it is tight in the return chamber so it gets loud (but not real loud) from time to time; but it is dead reliable. I think I wish I had gotten the 1.0 instead as the 0.5 and the 1.0 have the same dimensions and the 1.0 is closer to the Hidam in gph. The 0.5 is fine with the stock return nozzle but doesn't seem to be strong enough to use the VCA 1/4" RFG which was actually a part of my initial flow design. It takes over an hour to bring the return chamber back down to level after a restart with the RFG installed. It may work okay with the 1/2" kit designed for the Cube 20/Pen 25 but I doubt it would have enough velocity to actually create random flow.

-The flow pump(s). The AI Nero 3 is a nice pump and, other than the fish guard, very good. The fish guard eliminates the ability to tilt the pump. Not a good design decision. My problem with the pump is not the pump but rather my expectations. In looking at the pump I figured it had a wide dispersal pattern, like maybe 45 or 50 degrees. It is much narrower than that more like 25 or 30 degrees. It is probably fine with open aquascapes but mine is designed like a fore reef and back reef. With their pattern the only way I seem to be able to get enough flow to the back reef is to blast the fore reef. I have actually added my other Nero 3 last night and I'm playing with putting the second one on the back reef and syncing them. I'm also going to play around more with pulse mode settings. I have avoided them because the pump is louder in pulse than in random. We'll see but I don't like the level of complexity I'm adding to the tank with that solution. The MyAI app though is very good. I may pull them both, get the 1/2" RFG kit and an Aqua Medic DC Runner 1.3 and see what I can accomplish.

-The heater. The Finnex HMS-50 has been very reliable so far. My only issue with it is the suction cups for both the sensor and the heating element. They just have never stuck very well. I've given up even trying to keep the element in place. It just hangs in the chamber with the suction cups dangling uselessly in the water.

-The surface skimmer. The InTank Surface Skimmer works well but as noted above it is very easy to knock out of place.

Not Working:

-The RFG. I really wanted to use the VCA 1/4" RFG but it sits on a shelf. Not it's fault. It probably works just fine with the Waterbox-supplied Hidam AP-1500, a Sicce Syncra Silent 1.0 or a Aqua Medic DC Runner 1.3 or even a cut-down Jebao DCS-1200 or IM Mighty-Jet.
 
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Here is a shot (at 6.5k) of the two Nero 3s in the tank. I'm happy with the results but I really don't like having two flow pumps in a little 15 gallon tank...

IMG_0712-r2r.jpg


I have them both running random and I'm still playing with the settings but the front (right side) is running around 50% random and the rear (left side) is running around 30% random with both throttling down during lights out by 20%.

I gave up on the pulse modes because they were just too loud for the living room.
 
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I haven't given an update in a while so...

I still have some cyano but the diatoms are gone and the GHA is receding. Because of the cyano I've made a small change in my filtration that I thought I would share.

I've been using InTank Filter Floss sheets in my Kraken Reef filter floss cup. What I normally do is cut a strip of floss about 2.5" wide and from that, cut a square from one end. That goes in the bottom of the cup. Then I put either nothing, 15 grams of Red Sea Reef-Spec Carbon or a ChemiPure Blue Nano packet. Then I roll the rest of the strip and place it in the top of the cup. Until this last Wednesday. Since I'm having a disagreement with the cyano in the tank I started changing the floss every day. It was getting expensive and I'm running out of floss.

I had bought a box of Sera Crystal Clear filter medium back in August for another project that I decided not to do.

20220326_092421-r2r.jpg


The Sera comes as filter 'balls' that can be cleaned several times before you need to replace them.

20220326_092346-r2r.jpg


I realized that the 'balls' are almost exactly the right size for the floss cup. I'm now putting one 'ball' on top of my carbon/Nano blue or two 'balls' if no other media in the filter cup and changing it daily. I pluck one out with tweezers and wash it out. I'm running a rotation with one (or two) in the cup, one freshly rinsed, one dry. Then I rotate the next day: dry in, wet becomes the new dry and dirty becomes the new wet. They clean easily and. apparently, completely.

I like them. Wish I had done this sooner.
 

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Here is a shot (at 6.5k) of the two Nero 3s in the tank. I'm happy with the results but I really don't like having two flow pumps in a little 15 gallon tank...

IMG_0712-r2r.jpg


I have them both running random and I'm still playing with the settings but the front (right side) is running around 50% random and the rear (left side) is running around 30% random with both throttling down during lights out by 20%.

I gave up on the pulse modes because they were just too loud for the living room.
I think that two Nero's 3 are overkill for your little tank. I'm positive that you can manage to grow just about anything with just one Nero 3.
 
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tharbin

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I think that two Nero's 3 are overkill for your little tank. I'm positive that you can manage to grow just about anything with just one Nero 3.
Two Nero 3s are definitely overkill for the tank. The problem I am dealing with is that I was not getting good flow on my 'back reef' side due to the design of my aquascape. I'm currently having a disagreement with some cyanobacteria and the second pump is helping keep it in check, not completely, but helping. Once the cyano is under control I'll revisit the second pump.

To tell the truth I'm a little disappointed in the Nero 3s. They are fine pumps but I was hoping for a wider dispersion path than they seem to have and I can't use pulse mode because they sound horrible in our living room environment. If I could use pulse mode to set up a wave pattern I'm sure I could get by with one.
 

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Two Nero 3s are definitely overkill for the tank. The problem I am dealing with is that I was not getting good flow on my 'back reef' side due to the design of my aquascape. I'm currently having a disagreement with some cyanobacteria and the second pump is helping keep it in check, not completely, but helping. Once the cyano is under control I'll revisit the second pump.

To tell the truth I'm a little disappointed in the Nero 3s. They are fine pumps but I was hoping for a wider dispersion path than they seem to have and I can't use pulse mode because they sound horrible in our living room environment. If I could use pulse mode to set up a wave pattern I'm sure I could get by with one.
I use two Nero's 3 in my tank for about 3 months now. I don't know if you knew but if your pumps are new, the AI support is recommending that you do that:
"When the pumps are new and set on a long pulse or in constant mode the surface tension of the new plastics can allow air to collect inside the back of the stator near the bearing and cause the pump impeller to get into a slight wobble. We recommend setting the pump to a shorter pulse, e.g. 3 seconds on 3 seconds off, as this will help to eject the air. Once the pump has been in operation for a week or so the program can be changed back to a long pulse or constant mode if desired."

I did run them on the constant mode for about one week or so, like 30-40% power. After a week bouth pumps went dead silent. If you can keep them up to 50-60% they are really quiet, above this percentage they have a more noticeable sound, but I still have to really listen to hear it.
 
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I use two Nero's 3 in my tank for about 3 months now. I don't know if you knew but if your pumps are new, the AI support is recommending that you do that:
"When the pumps are new and set on a long pulse or in constant mode the surface tension of the new plastics can allow air to collect inside the back of the stator near the bearing and cause the pump impeller to get into a slight wobble. We recommend setting the pump to a shorter pulse, e.g. 3 seconds on 3 seconds off, as this will help to eject the air. Once the pump has been in operation for a week or so the program can be changed back to a long pulse or constant mode if desired."

I did run them on the constant mode for about one week or so, like 30-40% power. After a week bouth pumps went dead silent. If you can keep them up to 50-60% they are really quiet, above this percentage they have a more noticeable sound, but I still have to really listen to hear it.
Thanks. I'll give that a try. I was doing shortish pulses, around 3.5 seconds if I remember correctly, but I gave up after only two days. Right now I have them both in random, one runs around 60% and the other is around 40%. I only hear them when they're above 50%. That's okay but it doesn't let me set up a wave which would help flush the aquascape/sand better. Also two Nero 3s in a 15 gallon tank just seems a bit excessive...
 
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Time for another update.

First I wanted to clarify about the AI Prime 16HD. I'm still not a fan of the app but it is better than I originally thought. You can delete old schedules, although it isn't intuitive. Modifying a schedule is still much more kludgy and fussy than it needs to be. The light works well though. No real complaints.

The SERA Crystal Clear filter media is working very well. One 'trick' I learned is that after I have rinsed one out 5 or 6 times, it is a good idea to kind of pull at it to get it to open up a bit more. The squeezing tends to compress it together.

I still have cyano and GHA but not a lot of either. I just blast the rocks nightly and change the filter ball. Then when I do a water change I pull a little GHA.

The corals are really started to improve. The big change came two weeks ago. I noticed that my water changes were not keeping up with my magnesium usage. Alkalinity was okay and calcium was okay but a little low. I ordered some Fritz RPM Magnesium last time we ordered dog food from Chewy and I started dosing 1ml/gal daily for a week. Then I cut back to every three days. I may up that to every other day but I'm not sure yet. Anyway within a few days the beach bums started to get their color back, the mystic sunset (or maybe its a reverse superman--or whatever) stopped losing the battle against algae and the two monti caps have started to grow a little faster.

IMG_0727-r2r.jpg

IMG_0723-r2r.jpg

20220406_125734-r2r.jpg
 
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Time for another update.

First I wanted to clarify about the AI Prime 16HD. I'm still not a fan of the app but it is better than I originally thought. You can delete old schedules, although it isn't intuitive. Modifying a schedule is still much more kludgy and fussy than it needs to be. The light works well though. No real complaints.

The SERA Crystal Clear filter media is working very well. One 'trick' I learned is that after I have rinsed one out 5 or 6 times, it is a good idea to kind of pull at it to get it to open up a bit more. The squeezing tends to compress it together.

I still have cyano and GHA but not a lot of either. I just blast the rocks nightly and change the filter ball. Then when I do a water change I pull a little GHA.

The corals are really started to improve. The big change came two weeks ago. I noticed that my water changes were not keeping up with my magnesium usage. Alkalinity was okay and calcium was okay but a little low. I ordered some Fritz RPM Magnesium last time we ordered dog food from Chewy and I started dosing 1ml/gal daily for a week. Then I cut back to every three days. I may up that to every other day but I'm not sure yet. Anyway within a few days the beach bums started to get their color back, the mystic sunset (or maybe its a reverse superman--or whatever) stopped losing the battle against algae and the two monti caps have started to grow a little faster.

IMG_0727-r2r.jpg

IMG_0723-r2r.jpg

20220406_125734-r2r.jpg

I added a smallish Mexican turbo a few weeks ago to my nano. He loves the GHA, and I'm no longer picking out pieces here and there as they get long and flowy!
 
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I added a smallish Mexican turbo a few weeks ago to my nano. He loves the GHA, and I'm no longer picking out pieces here and there as they get long and flowy!
I've thought about adding a Mexican Turbo but the tank is so small. I had a couple in my old 40s and all my larger tanks. They were great GHA eaters but they sure messed up the aquascape. I do have a large Trochus in the tank. I rarely see him but I guess he eats well because he is now the biggest Trochus I've seen. My one 'snuck-in-disguised-as-a-nassarius-vibex' hermit is on his fifth shell upgrade.

It looks like it may be becoming a non-issue as the tank continues to mature. There is little GHA left and I always pluck a little (it just makes me feel good) when I do my weekly water change. I'm also seeing less cyano daily and a few of the pieces of rock rubble (from AquaBiomics) I added had a few spots of coralline on them. I noticed that on three of them the cyano is gone around the coralline spots and it looks like they are starting to expand. I think what I really need now (aside from live rock which would have avoided a lot of this) is a better population of copepods and some amphipods. I keep adding copepods but my firefish are real copepod gourmets.
 

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I've thought about adding a Mexican Turbo but the tank is so small. I had a couple in my old 40s and all my larger tanks. They were great GHA eaters but they sure messed up the aquascape. I do have a large Trochus in the tank. I rarely see him but I guess he eats well because he is now the biggest Trochus I've seen. My one 'snuck-in-disguised-as-a-nassarius-vibex' hermit is on his fifth shell upgrade.

It looks like it may be becoming a non-issue as the tank continues to mature. There is little GHA left and I always pluck a little (it just makes me feel good) when I do my weekly water change. I'm also seeing less cyano daily and a few of the pieces of rock rubble (from AquaBiomics) I added had a few spots of coralline on them. I noticed that on three of them the cyano is gone around the coralline spots and it looks like they are starting to expand. I think what I really need now (aside from live rock which would have avoided a lot of this) is a better population of copepods and some amphipods. I keep adding copepods but my firefish are real copepod gourmets.

My turbo was somewhere around the size of a quarter.. now it's approaching a Kennedy half dollar... For some reason it always takes out the same torch! No idea why all the others must either be jammed it just right or he just doesn't like them, but that one torch anytime I pick it up it's down within the next 12 hours. That torch now resides for the moment on a 3" disk on the sand.

Time to get a copepod culture going!
 
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Interesting thought. One of my ideas for the little Tenecor 4 gallon is a copepod/amphipod/macro algae hotel. We'll see.

Just be careful the amphipods don't eat all the copepods!!
 
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I went to my favorite LFS yesterday to trade in some salt mix I'm not going to use and picked up two corals and two pieces of previously-live rock.

These are pretty small and not in great shape, but not bad either. I've got them on a frag rack to see how they do before committing to their locations.

20220414_174515-r2r.jpg


I almost bought a chunk of Marco but saw these sitting on the shelf. I like the Marco much more than the 'Life Rock' currently in the tank but I think it is still very heavy and dense, probably the result of being buried for millennia. I will clean these up a little and I will probably use them to replace one of the Life Rock chunks in the tank. We will see when I try to place them how or if it works out.

IMG_0734-r2r.jpg
 
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I went to my favorite LFS yesterday to trade in some salt mix I'm not going to use and picked up two corals and two pieces of previously-live rock.

These are pretty small and not in great shape, but not bad either. I've got them on a frag rack to see how they do before committing to their locations.

20220414_174515-r2r.jpg


I almost bought a chunk of Marco but saw these sitting on the shelf. I like the Marco much more than the 'Life Rock' currently in the tank but I think it is still very heavy and dense, probably the result of being buried for millennia. I will clean these up a little and I will probably use them to replace one of the Life Rock chunks in the tank. We will see when I try to place them how or if it works out.

IMG_0734-r2r.jpg

Candy Cane and Bicolor Hammer? Or is that an Acan?
 
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You got them right the first try. Just a little anemic. Hammers have always been one of my favorites (along with Gonis) but their pricing has gotten silly lately. This one was a good deal. I've never had a Candy Cane but always liked them. Traded some salt mix for it that I will never use so, why not?
 
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