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Ashton

Ashton's Waterbox 15

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Hey everyone!

Finally excited to start a build thread for my new Waterbox 15g.  The system is currently cycling so other than turning the lights on to take pictures and testing water parameters, I'm remaining hands off on the tank for now.

Equipment:

Tank: Waterbox 15g 

Light: AI Prime HD

Return pump: Will be a Sicce 1.0, Amazon ran out of stock and canceled my order so I need to order one from somewhere else. Also contemplating getting a spin stream

Heater: Cobolt Aquatics Neo-Therm 75W

ATO: Smart Micro

Back compartment filtration: only using the filter stock while the tank is cycling. Once cycle is finished I'll switch over to filter floss, chemi-pure blue, and eventually chaeto in the middle compartment

Rock: Reef-Savers dry rock

Sand: Fiji Pink Live sand

Water: Using water from RCA until I can get an RODI system ordered and set up

Cycle Additives: Dr Tim's Ammonia + Biospira

Stand: Hacked together two separate pieces of Ikea furniture to make a stand that both fit the dimensions of the tank, and also gave me room to store supplies and an ATO container

 

Future Plans:

In previous Nano's I've had, I loved a lot of movement, so I'm definitely planning on getting some Euphillia like hammer & torch corals.  Additionally I love the look of Ricordea. 

 

Livestock wise I don't have anything decided.  I've always liked the idea of having a small pistol shrimp and goby pair, but that might be a problem in a smaller tank where I'll want to utilize the sandbed for corals.  

 

Current pictures (you'll have to forgive the messy wiring, buckets, and dirty glass, I took pictures pretty fast after getting everything set up):

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Front:
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Left:
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Right:
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Top:
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Very nice.  I just set up a Waterbox 10 in my office this past weekend.  Following along. 

Welcome to ARC, by the way!

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5 minutes ago, Sierra Bravo said:

Very nice.  I just set up a Waterbox 10 in my office this past weekend.  Following along. 

Welcome to ARC, by the way!

Thanks :) I really like your 120 build thread, I've been slowly making my way through it as well as many of the other really detailed build threads here.  I don't know what it is about ARC members posting really detailed pictures of their build, but I love it! 

Think you'll make a thread for your 10 gallon, or will I just have to settle for occasional pictures on your other thread 😛

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18 minutes ago, Ashton said:

Thanks :) I really like your 120 build thread, I've been slowly making my way through it as well as many of the other really detailed build threads here.  I don't know what it is about ARC members posting really detailed pictures of their build, but I love it! 

Think you'll make a thread for your 10 gallon, or will I just have to settle for occasional pictures on your other thread 😛

We're all anal-retentive and stricken with OCD.  😛

I don't know if I'm going to do a second thread here or not.  I cross post on here and R2R for my main tank and trying to do four separate threads doesn't sound all that appealing.  Now that I know we have similar tanks and start dates it might be fun to do one, though. 

Here is a link to the one I started over there if you want to see the initial setup:  https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/sierra_bravos-waterbox-cube-10-office-nano-adventure.537788/

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Oh that's no problem! I frequently lurk on R2R too so I can follow your progress there as well.

 

I noticed you asked about media baskets in your thread. I spoke with the InTank people over on nano-reef and they said they're actively working on the waterbox 10/15 baskets and it hopefully shouldn't be too long. I believe they're also building stuff that has black acrylic so you can black out some of the smoked glass to prevent lights from bleeding through.

 

I asked to be emailed when they were ready so if you're interested I'll let you know when I hear something.

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16 minutes ago, Ashton said:

 

I asked to be emailed when they were ready so if you're interested I'll let you know when I hear something.

I'd be grateful.  Thanks.

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Great start, and I really like the rockwork, simple and well balanced!

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I have 3 Sicce 1.0 pumps. I have not had an issue with any of the three. I think I got them from Avast Marine. I am not sure if they still sell them separately or not though. It was several years back when I purchased them. 

Nice start on the tank. Looks good. Welcome to ARC. 

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It looks really good so far! I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

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So now after looking at more and more tank builds here I'm wondering if maybe I messed up going with dry rock.  Wondering if I'm going to miss out on a lot of the beneficial filter feeders, sponges, worms, etc that come with good live rock.

Any opinions on getting a small piece of good live rock to put in to seed the other rock?  I figure if it's small enough I can potentially avoid some of the nasty hitch hikers, but maybe at that point I'd miss out on most of what I mentioned above so maybe it's not even worth it?

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I started with 100% dry rock. I think it contributes to a harsher ugly phase (my tank went through diatoms (normal), but got a pretty heavy cyano and dinos outbreak). Things can get interesting (awful) on a bacterial level before everything stabilizes.

But two years later, my rock is encrusted with coralline (and a thousand other things) and teeming with pods, sponges, worms, you name it, it's in there living and thriving. Life will find a way as you add coral from a thousand different systems over the life span of your tank.

Don't feel bad about the dry rock decision! I did it too and will continue doing it for future tanks.

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I started with dry rock and its no big deal. it has been less than a year and I have tube worms, sponges, coraline, mini brittle stars, asterina stars, pods and who knows what else. You did good my friend. You still have the option to do a seed rock if you decide its wanted. If you did it at start up, you could not now undo it.

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2 hours ago, eddius-maximus said:

I started with 100% dry rock. I think it contributes to a harsher ugly phase (my tank went through diatoms (normal), but got a pretty heavy cyano and dinos outbreak). Things can get interesting (awful) on a bacterial level before everything stabilizes.

But two years later, my rock is encrusted with coralline (and a thousand other things) and teeming with pods, sponges, worms, you name it, it's in there living and thriving. Life will find a way as you add coral from a thousand different systems over the life span of your tank.

Don't feel bad about the dry rock decision! I did it too and will continue doing it for future tanks.

 

1 hour ago, Dogfish said:

I started with dry rock and its no big deal. it has been less than a year and I have tube worms, sponges, coraline, mini brittle stars, asterina stars, pods and who knows what else. You did good my friend. You still have the option to do a seed rock if you decide its wanted. If you did it at start up, you could not now undo it.

Thanks for the info you two.

I was thinking I wouldn't end up with a lot of the other organisms since they'd have no way into the tank.  I guess I underestimate how many may come in with coral.

However since this is a very small system, I'll have less coral going through it over it's lifecycle which means less chance to seed it with good things.  Might still consider getting a seed rock either from one of the stores around here (or maybe from one of the members here :))

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I would be careful getting it from a store. I guarantee it will find a way in your tank. I would just stick to the method you are using. These little ecosystems we run are amazing at coming up with all the right stuff with just a little time


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Update: Ammonia is down to near 0ppm, Nitrite is 0, and Nitrate looks like it's somewhere between 10 and 20 (slightly hard to read with the cheap API kit I got for these tests). 

Feels weird to have cycled in one week, but this is my first time doing a dry cycle with bottled ammonia and Bio Spira.  Maybe this is okay? Honestly not entirely sure what to do at this point.  Tank has no algae so I feel like a cleanup crew would starve.  Should I just get some hardy (and cheap) softies and wait for algae growth before adding a CuC? 

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Wait. There is no need for a clean up crew until they have something to clean up. What I do recommend is you get a coral or 2 to bring in some algae bacteria. You can also get some chaeto or other macro algae for your sump and that will do the same thing. Once you id the stuff growing you can get the clean up crew guys that will clean up that particular type. And dont forget to throw in some pods.

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5 minutes ago, Dogfish said:

Wait. There is no need for a clean up crew until they have something to clean up. What I do recommend is you get a coral or 2 to bring in some algae bacteria. You can also get some chaeto or other macro algae for your sump and that will do the same thing. Once you id the stuff growing you can get the clean up crew guys that will clean up that particular type. And dont forget to throw in some pods.

Sounds great. Have a few followup questions:

1. When I get pods, do I put them in the back sump with the Chaeto, or just dump them straight into the main display? Maybe they're small enough to go through the return pump without problem? Are these something I can get at a LFS? In the past I never seeded my nano's with them.

2. I didn't really think this through before but I really like GSP and figure it would be a good one to start with because of how hardy it is.  However, I hear it spreads like weeds so I'm wondering if I can still put it on some of my rock work and take it off later or if I shouldn't even bother with the hassle and either skip it all together or glue it onto the back wall?

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1. When I get pods, do I put them in the back sump with the Chaeto, or just dump them straight into the main display? Maybe they're small enough to go through the return pump without problem? Are these something I can get at a LFS? In the past I never seeded my nano's with them.

You can buy them online. I get both Copepods and Amphipods. You will need to feed them some phyto until the green film algae takes hold in your tank. They will find a way into your tank from the sump, however I seed both.

2. I didn't really think this through before but I really like GSP and figure it would be a good one to start with because of how hardy it is.  However, I hear it spreads like weeds so I'm wondering if I can still put it on some of my rock work and take it off later or if I shouldn't even bother with the hassle and either skip it all together or glue it onto the back wall?

GSP is fine. It does spread and you will need to try and keep it contained. It. does look great on the back wall of tanks. If you dont like it there you can scrape it off. Some people keep it on a rock island. Christyef likes it and has good success keeping it inline.

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Added a small frag of Zoas, a leather, and some GSP last weekend.

Zoas have been doing great but the leather and GSP aren't doing so hot.  I'm guessing it's just due to a fast change because I didn't realize my salinity was pretty high when I first added them due to evaporation.

 

My BRS RODI unit came in last night so after setting that up I got the ATO in place and have the salinity back where it should be.

Any recommendations on where to order pods from? Reading online it sounds like a lot of places tend to sell free swimming, freshwater, or cold water species that I want to avoid.  I've heard Tisbe sp. are the ones I want? Would something like this be my best bet? 

Also, I checked the Nitrates this morning and they're pretty low.  Is that normal after a cycle due to the low bioload? I had expected them to be pretty high at the end of the cycle, but I've always cycled with live rock in the past which brings more stuff with it. 

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57 minutes ago, Sierra Bravo said:

Try Pod Your Reef.  He's local (Selma) and supplies all the LFS here in San Antonio.  $20 a bag and a good quantity of pods.  I don't know if he supplies the Austin stores, but he does sell online as well.

 

https://www.podyourreef.com/

Great suggestion, thanks. Another dumb question:

 

Do I really need to feed pods phytoplankton? I've never intentionally fed pods before and they seem to do fine on their own, but maybe I was wrong?

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I actually just messaged PodYourReef on Facebook and Josh responded within minutes saying there's no need to provide phytoplankton in my tank right now and the pods should be fine feeding off detritus.  Talk about customer service! 

I went ahead and ordered some Tisbe pods and Chaeto to put in the back :)

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In a tank that small, I would avoid GSP like the plague.  It is bulletproof and will grow like the weed it is, so unless you put it on it's own little island*, it's only a matter of time before that entire rock structure is covered.

 

*If  you do make an island, I would suggest raising it up out of the sandbed and hovering it.  GSP grows towards light, so it won't go underneath in the shade.  If you leave a GSP rock on the sandbed, it will eventually grow out onto the sand as well.

 

 

Welcome to ARC!

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3 hours ago, Ashton said:

I actually just messaged PodYourReef on Facebook and Josh responded within minutes saying there's no need to provide phytoplankton in my tank right now and the pods should be fine feeding off detritus.  Talk about customer service! 

I went ahead and ordered some Tisbe pods and Chaeto to put in the back :)

They can eat stuff off the chaeto until you start feeding your tank. You wont see big population growth without feeding unless you have an established tank.

Josh is great, I just got in on the 2 for 1 pod deal from them.

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