AKAGuyver's custom bulkhead/sump/refugium co2 scrubber with hybrid t5 LED AI hydra 26 on red sea max e-170


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Dec 19, 2019
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Hi guys, i figured it was about time i started a build thread for my e-170. I've seen lots of reefer builds but few for the e-series. I've had my tank up a couple months now and am ready to pull the trigger on a couple grand in equipment, as well as building a custom sump/refugium. After months of research and YouTube videos, I've put together a setup I'd like to run by you. First off here a current pic (disregard the rock on top right, when i install the sump I'm doing a full aquascape and busting up a lot of the rock and adding lots more, to build a front to back gradual incline with the circle on top, or we will see what happens when i break the hammer and chisel out

first item: the plumbing: i really don't want to shell out $100+ for red sea metric plumbing for the sump/ato. I've seen lots of threads on adapting reefer plumbing but not connecting the bulkhead of a E-series to standard U.S. fittings. I've read red sea uses 32 mm plumbing that comes out to dang near 1.25" but measuring the bulkhead ( rough measurement with water in) gives me 1.75" if anyone has any experience here i would love some feedback. once i figure out the plumbing i'm at the sump:

second item: the sump / refugium: spent half a day to drive to acrillex in NJ to buy some sheets of 1/4" acrillex both white and clear and got a small piece (compared to a 4'x8') sheet of black cast acrylic in 1/8" to make adjustable baffles. style wise its going to resemble: https://premiumaquatics.com/products/bashsea-20x20x16-cube-signature-series-sump-black-white.html with the euro bracing. I've heard the clarisea can mount over the euro bracing on the trigger system. heres a rough design of refugium im going to order all parts and do a mch up before a use weldon to fix pieces in place:
refugium diagram.png

Third item: I was looking at going with the ghl profilux 4 controller running 1 or 2 doser's the ghl Ion director when available (thinking about preordering for the discount. sold on ion director, not so much kh director is there a cheaper method of auto dosing alk? reefbot? too bad mindstream went bankrupt but glad i didn't preorder :/ .

fourth item: Pump and power head control. i was looking at 1 maxspect gyre but i think it would be more economical to add 2 tunze 6040 or 6055. ive heard the 2 pumps will provdide better gyre/flow for roughly similar cost to the maxspect. any opinions on one vs the other? i like the mp10s but are pricey with ghl controller. also can i buy pumps as slave? do slave come with 1-10v connections or do i need controller for 1-10v.

fifth item: im looking at upgrading the AI Hydra 26 to a T5 LED hybrid: the aquatic life t5ho or dx18. the dx18 looks alot cleaner, but functionality wise can the t5s be controlled with the ghl with a timer that's visible in myghl pros/cons to each setup appreciated. thinking of running my existing AI 26 Hydra towards right side and aquascaping ramping to that side so sps can stay on top right and lps dont get bleached on left.
sixth item: protien skimmer: due to the small width and cost im thinking of running the existing red sea e 170 protien skimmer in the sump. i havent been able to find any reviews on the AIO skimmers at all and def no comparisons to other low profile skimmers. just realized i am thinking of adding a recirculating co2 scrubber but my ph has been a steady 8.2 ( I live in an apartment were heat is on all the time so my windows are open even in winter, might change in summer) any thoughts on removing existing skimmer and adding new skimmer and co2 reactor and decreasing refugioum space much appreciated.

final notes: Ive been putting all waking hours not working ( and some still at work :p ) planning this, have all sump materials but would like some feedback on changes before i finalize all other purchases thanks in advance for your help and feedback :)

Thanks for any help ive got the sheets of acrylic in my living room, itching to start cutting them up :) im a carpenter of20 years so the sump will be a fun project ut i want to make sure ive got everything worked out first.

When you feed your fish do you feel like your feeding the algae as well?

  • Yes I feel I'm feeding too much

    Votes: 8 17.4%
  • Yes but not much

    Votes: 23 50.0%
  • No

    Votes: 15 32.6%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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