Waterbox Peninsula 15 gallon Build Thread

Saltydog69

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hey nice build. im currently adding a 20 gal nano peninsula to my collection of reefs. if im not mistaken you can turn the ai prime mount around and have the smaller part of the bulky block in the chamber where the fat part of the bulky black block is located now? lmk how that works. ive decided to go with the kessil a160 for my nano. i think guest will love the shimmer of the kessil also
 
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trevorhiller

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hey nice build. im currently adding a 20 gal nano peninsula to my collection of reefs. if im not mistaken you can turn the ai prime mount around and have the smaller part of the bulky block in the chamber where the fat part of the bulky black block is located now? lmk how that works. ive decided to go with the kessil a160 for my nano. i think guest will love the shimmer of the kessil also
Thank you for the kind words! I did try to reverse the mount, but I wasn’t exactly digging it and it didn’t help my space situation the way I needed it to.

The kessil is a really nice light, I had one years ago and it did an excellent job and was gorgeous with the shimmer. I had a bum controller which was kind of disappointing and kessil wasn’t great about fixing it, so I went a different route this time. If they would have the Wi-Fi built into the light, I probably would have bought one again. Just not a fan of the dongle “money grab” scheme they’ve got going on. Everyone wants WiFi, why not just build it in at this point?
 
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50 Day Tank Update

Livestock - All doing well with the exception of a red leg hermit crab I found dead tonight, missing his shell. Suspect some warfare going on between the 3 (now 2) hermits.

Equipment - Everything is working really well, maybe too well (see parameters). I've added a Kamoer X1 Pro dosing pump for All For Reef. Waiting on my Kraken Reef lid still. Really hope this ships soon, but could still be another week and half.

Corals - Ricordea is still looking good. I haven't added anything else yet since I've been Christmas shopping, waiting to rebuild tank fund after the holidays.

Coralline - Still have some small tiny spots that I saw around day 30, but they haven't really grown. I suspect this is because my Alk dropped super low for a week or so. Some of the spots seem to have disappeared - Hence the reason for the dosing pump addition.

Dosing - I decided to try dosing All For Reef despite the low bioload since the Alk seemed to be so low. I started at a very low dose, 0.5 mL/day. Based on my estimated tank volume of 12-13 gallons, I should be starting at 2.5 mL/day, but I wanted to take it slow. Tried the 0.5 mL/day for a week and Alk continued to drop. I increased it 0.8 mL/day and still dropping, but slower. I decided I also wanted to add Kalkwasser to the ATO reservoir to try to stimulate some coralline growth and further bump the pH. I mixed up the Kalkwasser at 3 grams/gallon or 1/2 tsp/gal (half recommending starting dose. The kalkwasser and All For Reef seem to be helping. My Alk the last 5 days has been: 6.2 - 6.1 - 6.8 (first day of Kalk) - 6.7 - 6.9 (today). Calcium today is 420 and seems stable between 420-440. I would like to try to get the Alk higher, closer to 9 like All For Reef suggests dosing to. However, since I am new to dosing I am taking this slow I also added two dosing liquids (within a week of each other - I KNOW! Bad idea! But, I am testing/watching like a hawk). I am taking it very very slow. I'm hoping by next week I should have things dialed in with the Kalk enough to increase the All For Reef dose some more.

Goal is to get the Alk pretty stable and add some more corals in January.

Nutrients - remains 0... both nitrate and phosphate. I am struggling with this one a bit. I have increased fish feeding to twice per day and even added some frozen spirulina brine shrimp into the routine to feed some of the CUC and "dirty" up the water, but no luck. I'm also increasing the amount of time between changing filter floss since I am using the Kraken reef filter floss cup now. There is some brownish hairy looking algae on some of the rocks (looks like about 2 mm in length, not bad at all, but I suspect this is using up the nutrients).

Current Parameters
pH 8.4
Alk 6.9
Calcium 420
Nitrate 0.0
Phosphate 0.00
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Salinity 35 ppt
Temp 79.3
 

rishma

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50 Day Tank Update

Livestock - All doing well with the exception of a red leg hermit crab I found dead tonight, missing his shell. Suspect some warfare going on between the 3 (now 2) hermits.

Equipment - Everything is working really well, maybe too well (see parameters). I've added a Kamoer X1 Pro dosing pump for All For Reef. Waiting on my Kraken Reef lid still. Really hope this ships soon, but could still be another week and half.

Corals - Ricordea is still looking good. I haven't added anything else yet since I've been Christmas shopping, waiting to rebuild tank fund after the holidays.

Coralline - Still have some small tiny spots that I saw around day 30, but they haven't really grown. I suspect this is because my Alk dropped super low for a week or so. Some of the spots seem to have disappeared - Hence the reason for the dosing pump addition.

Dosing - I decided to try dosing All For Reef despite the low bioload since the Alk seemed to be so low. I started at a very low dose, 0.5 mL/day. Based on my estimated tank volume of 12-13 gallons, I should be starting at 2.5 mL/day, but I wanted to take it slow. Tried the 0.5 mL/day for a week and Alk continued to drop. I increased it 0.8 mL/day and still dropping, but slower. I decided I also wanted to add Kalkwasser to the ATO reservoir to try to stimulate some coralline growth and further bump the pH. I mixed up the Kalkwasser at 3 grams/gallon or 1/2 tsp/gal (half recommending starting dose. The kalkwasser and All For Reef seem to be helping. My Alk the last 5 days has been: 6.2 - 6.1 - 6.8 (first day of Kalk) - 6.7 - 6.9 (today). Calcium today is 420 and seems stable between 420-440. I would like to try to get the Alk higher, closer to 9 like All For Reef suggests dosing to. However, since I am new to dosing I am taking this slow I also added two dosing liquids (within a week of each other - I KNOW! Bad idea! But, I am testing/watching like a hawk). I am taking it very very slow. I'm hoping by next week I should have things dialed in with the Kalk enough to increase the All For Reef dose some more.

Goal is to get the Alk pretty stable and add some more corals in January.

Nutrients - remains 0... both nitrate and phosphate. I am struggling with this one a bit. I have increased fish feeding to twice per day and even added some frozen spirulina brine shrimp into the routine to feed some of the CUC and "dirty" up the water, but no luck. I'm also increasing the amount of time between changing filter floss since I am using the Kraken reef filter floss cup now. There is some brownish hairy looking algae on some of the rocks (looks like about 2 mm in length, not bad at all, but I suspect this is using up the nutrients).

Current Parameters
pH 8.4
Alk 6.9
Calcium 420
Nitrate 0.0
Phosphate 0.00
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Salinity 35 ppt
Temp 79.3
With your nutrients at 0.0 I hope your brown stuff is not dinos.
 
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With your nutrients at 0.0 I hope your brown stuff is not dinos.
Me too. I’ve contemplated purchasing a microscope to ID, but it’s very minimal at this point.

since I’m dosing the Kalk and ARF and the parameters are staying more consistent, I’m holding off on any water changes until the levels are higher. This was impossible before dosing because my Alk was quite low, so I’m hoping to raise them a bit. If they don’t start coming up, I might consider dosing to raise them a bit, but I’d really like to avoid having to do that.

To be honest, I feel like I’m over feeding so I’m surprised they are staying undetectable. This Eshopps skimmer, marine pure gems, filter floss combo of filtration is doing TOO GOOD of a job it seems.
 
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Me too. I’ve contemplated purchasing a microscope to ID, but it’s very minimal at this point.

since I’m dosing the Kalk and ARF and the parameters are staying more consistent, I’m holding off on any water changes until the levels are higher. This was impossible before dosing because my Alk was quite low, so I’m hoping to raise them a bit. If they don’t start coming up, I might consider dosing to raise them a bit, but I’d really like to avoid having to do that.

To be honest, I feel like I’m over feeding so I’m surprised they are staying undetectable. This Eshopps skimmer, marine pure gems, filter floss combo of filtration is doing TOO GOOD of a job it seems.
What are you using to check phosphate?
 
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Uploading a nice picture of my single coral, was finally able to capture the colors well.
Nitrates and Phosphates are still undetectable. I’ve been intentionally feeding more to try to get them slightly elevated, but no change yet.

Here is a short video of what’s growing on my rocks. It seems to be heavier in areas of high flow, right in front of the powerhead and is definitely favoring the areas hit directly by light. Appreciate tips if there is something specific I should be doing.

I’ve contemplated purchasing some nitrate/phosphate solutions to dose, but I’m trying to let things run their course with minimal intervention. Afraid of “feeding the algae.”

Coralline spots that were developing seem to have faded, I think because my Alk got so low for a week or two. I’m hoping now that it’s rising again, I may start seeing some more growth.

Dosing of Kalkwasser and All For Reef seems to be going ok. Alk was 8.0 today running the Kalk and 1.5 mL/day AFR. pH 8.2, calcium 450, mag 1380.


B20F07E5-F1E9-4E47-841B-451AC765431B.jpeg 698E8F9D-1880-4A25-8D40-D4B4DCB4D5B8.jpeg
 
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Day 60 Update

Equipment is all working well. Very impressed with the Eshopps Nano Skimmer. This thing is a work horse. I empty/clean the cup every 4-5 days when it is about halfway full. Very glad I changed my mind and opted to go with a skimmer. Expecting a new lid from Kraken Reef tomorrow! I switched to filter floss with a Kraken reef cup and this is much more convenient than the filter socks. I don't notice much difference in water clarity between the two. Will update with pictures when the new lid arrives.

Chemistry remains a struggle. Nitrates and Phosphates are still testing zero, I believe all this algae is soaking it all up. I cleaned all my rocks today with a toothbrush and removed a lot of brownish hair algae (not exactly sure what species it is). I also noticed some more spots of coralline algae growth on the rocks under the algae. The spots are still small and barely discernible, but they are there. I've stopped doing water changes completely and have been feeding 2x a day to try to increase nutrients. Alkalinity today is 7.5...still dropping and not as stable as I'd like. I'm using 6 grams/gallon Brightwell Kalkwasser +2 per gallon and dosing 2.5 mL/day All For Reef now. Alk decline has slowed down, but I'm still working on dialing it in slowly. Kamoer X1 Pro dosing pump is nice. I'm shooting for 8-9 dkh. Calcium is 420 today and peaks at around 450 when testing. pH has been 8.1-8.4. CO2 scrubber is working well and Kalkwasser has helped. Very glad I started dosing, it seems to be helping and my parameters are already much more stable.

Fish and livestock are doing well. Since the start I lost a nassarius vibex snail, a trochus snail and a hermit. The vibex didn't survive shipping, the hermit was evidently killed by another hermit and the trochus is a mystery. Fish seem happy as ever and look healthy.

I've still held off on adding any additional corals, I'm focusing on stabilizing the alkalinity and growing some coralline. But I'm itching to add some soon.

If you're following along, I would love some recommendations on beginner corals to look for. Some ones I have on my list to get:
-GSP
-Montipora Cap
-Birdsnest
-More Ricordea mushrooms
-Zoas
-Hammer/Torch/Frogspawn of some variety. Unfortunately, these are a little $$$ at the moment, so I think it'll remain on my future list for the foreseeable future .
 
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Full Tank Shot now featuring the lid from @Kraken Reef Very impressed with the quality and fit, it really competes the setup. Also shown is the new dosing pump Kamoer X1 Pro
 

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lubeck

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Tank looks good. Curious to hear other opinions but I wonder if it would be worth turning off your skimmer for 48 hours to see if the pho’s and trates go up. If not, turn it back on.

Once you get corals and start feeding them that should help with your parameters.
 
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Could you post a picture of your diy co2 scrubber? I have the same skimmer
I actually just redesigned mine. The old one worked fine, and I have a thread on it in the DIY section you can find but it was kind of ugly so I made a new one out of a VOSS water bottle. Looks a little more polished and has a smaller footprint. It has a bulkhead drilled in the top with a couple extra holes drilled around the bulkhead. Then I have a piece of air line tubing running down through the media so the air line from the skimmer pulls from the bottom of the container. In the bottom is water with a piece of regular sponge filter keeping the media from soaking in the water.

BCF70518-B39F-4E37-8139-AFF526F49125.jpeg
 
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Day 68 Tank Update

Parameters
pH: 8.5
Alk: 7.3
Ca: 430
Mg: 1320
NO3: 0
PO4: 0
Salinity: 34
Temp 78.2

Algae growth on rocks persists. I try brushing it off and removing via filter floss changes and it comes right back by the end of the day. Coralline growth seems to have stalled/disappeared, I've been having trouble keeping Alkalinity stable so I've increased All For Reef Dosing. Currently using 5.0 mL/day divided in 4 doses plus Kalkwasser at 6 grams/gallon. I'm surprised it's using this much to keep it stable with essentially no corals. Just goes to show, bi/carbonate isn't only used by corals. However, I think I am getting close. It's been 7.2, 7.3, 7.3 for the last 3 days. Fingers crossed tomorrow is similar. I was trying to keep it up around 8.5, but I've stopped supplementing NaHCO3 until I get the All For Reef dialed in. Then will try to raise and maintain at that level.

I've ordered some "beginner" pieces from Fish of Hex because I've lost patience not having any corals in there. Debating about adding some more clean up crew members for the algae growth since my current snails don't seem to be keeping it away. Still not sure what to do about the nitrates and phosphates. My skimmer pump was clogged and it wasn't working all weekend and levels are still zero. Guess I need more fish???

 
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Added a pincushion urchin and a peppermint shrimp last night. The urchin didn’t move for almost 20 hours…. I thought for sure the acclimation stressed him to death. I spent 2 hours drip acclimating him and the shrimp because the Petco salinity was only 22 ppt. The shrimp turned clear as can be, I could barely see him in the bag.

I hate buying from Petco… but unfortunately it’s too expensive to order one or two CUC members online.

I just got home from work and they are moving and seem to be doing well. The urchin hasn’t discovered the algae patches yet, but he’s only traveled a few inches on the dark underside of the rocks. I suspect tonight when lights go out it may be another story since he’s moving now. I hear these things chow down on algae, so hopefully he’ll be a productive member of the tank, although he’s only about the size of a Quarter, so I’m not expecting miracles just yet.
 

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Quick video of one of my newest CUC members. He’s perked up nicely and is moving around the tank, even with the lights on full blast. I think he’s my new favorite inhabitant. Peppermint shrimp is a little camera shy and I rarely see it, although he’s definitely in there hiding under the rocks.

nitrates and phosphates still 0. I thought I had the All For Reef close to perfect, but my alkalinity dropped to 6.7 over the weekend so I may have cut it too soon. Going to try 4.8 mL/day again.
 
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Tank Day 82 Update

It seemed like I had my All For Reef/Kalkwasser dosing dialed in and I ordered some beginner frags finally. Alkalinity was between 7.7-7.9 for 5 days in a row. Then I started to experience some pretty nasty brown sludge on my rocks that looked suspiciously like Dinos from my limited knowledge and thanks to the help of forum members in the nuisance algae forum and a Swift microscope from Amazon, we diagnosed Ostreopsis Dinos.

The tank is currently lights out and I am dosing hydrogen peroxide and bottled bacteria along with water changes and daily floss changes. The rocks appears better already and I've noticed there are quite a few spots of coralline algae on the rocks that was hidden from the Dinos. I'm hoping the peroxide dosing doesn't destroy my coralline progress, but I have to take care of the basics first.

Nitrates and Phosphates have still been bottomed out, however, now that the lights are out Phosphate is up to 0.16 but Nitrate still remains 0.0. I've ordered some DIY chemicals to mix up solutions so I can try to prevent the bottomed out nutrients in the future. I am waiting for them to arrive, but unfortunately the United States Postal Service is anything but reliable and all of my packages are taking 1 week+ to arrive.

Prior to diagnosing the Dinos, I had ordered a beginner SPS frag pack, a green slimer frag, GSP frag and candy cane coral from Fish of Hex on January 8th. Unfortunately, I still have not heard anything back from him and haven't received the corals yet. He posted a YouTube video stating that he is running behind, so I am hoping that they will get shipped just in time for lights to come back on slowly.

Hoping all my marine critters survive this episode. I think I caught it pretty early as the rocks weren't terrible thanks to my diligence (read: obsessive compulsive disorder ;) ).

Side note: I am noticing more and more ghost flatworms in the tank. I see 4-5 on the glass at night when I look closely. They are pretty small and from my understanding they aren't harmful, so for right now I am not worrying about them since I have bigger problems, but will probably start sucking them out once the tank gets more established so they don't take over.
 
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Tank Update Day 88: Dinos Gone

I do realize that I write a book with every update and add to this thread frequently, but I enjoy logging my experiences and I think it is cool for new people to be able to really see how long it takes for things to happen and stabilize in the tank.

I turned my lights back on yesterday after a 7 day blackout and 5 days of doing Hydrogen Peroxide and Bottled Bacteria and doing filter floss changes to treat Dinos. The Dinos appear to be gone, we'll see if they come back or not. However, my Nitrates and Phosphates are not bottomed out anymore and are actually slightly higher than I'd like. My DIY nitrate and phosphate solutions are mixed and ready to go to keep them from bottoming out again. For now I am going to do a water change or two this week to bring them down a bit. I'm expecting I'm probably going to end up with an algae bloom of some sort next since the Dinos are gone, but we'll see. :cool: Maybe I'll get lucky and the coralline will finally really take off.

Parameters this AM:
pH 8.5
Alk 9.5
Calcium 450
Magnesium 1425
Nitrate 8.3
Phosphate .14
Salinity 34.3
Temp 77.7

Corals
I heard back from Fish of Hex and he's still waiting to ship my corals due to cold weather. Hopefully we'll get some warmer weather this week or next so they can get in the mail and I can finally get some frags growing in this tank. I never intended to wait 3 months to add frags, but that's how it worked out. Probably for the best since I had to battle Dinos.

Livestock
All doing great! My clowns are still hosting to front top corner, I almost contemplated ordering them an anemone, but reminded myself I don't want to deal with them walking around again. Hopefully I can add a torch or some other kind of Euphyllia that will host them if I can ever find a frag at a reasonable price.

Equipment
I added an Inkbird Wifi Heater controller for a level of redundancy since I had an Amazon credit. This is much nicer now because I can check on my tanks temperature anywhere and see a temperature log. It's also reassuring to have an alarm system if the temp gets out of wack.

I decided I want some extra space in my rear middle chamber for better skimmer adjustment. To accommodate that, I need to remove the AI Prime goose neck mount clamp. I was looking for ways to accomplish this cheaply, however, I started looking at the Kessils since I miss my old 160. I opted to take advantage of BRS's 3 months 0% interest deal and ordered a Kessil a360x with the A-Series arm mount & extension so I can mount the light to the tank stand instead of clamping it in the rear chamber. I also ordered the Reef Brite XHO-X360 supplemental LEDs with it because I want to be able to use this light on a future tank once I upgrade.

I love the Waterbox, but I am already craving for more space and a real sump. I have my eyes on the Cade 600 tank and I will probably buy one this year when I graduate with my BSN as a gift to myself and transfer this tank into it. The Kessil a360x and Reef Brites will move right over to that tank.

I'm debating if I want to sell the AI Prime or just keep it for when that happens so I have a light in case I want the waterbox to be a QT tank. There's still lots of time to decide on that though.
 
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