AquaTop 24 to Red Sea Reefer 170 Upgrade

HD_Reefer

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Finally getting around to upgrading the wife's AquaTop. She wanted to stay in the 'cube' family and had very specific size requirements, so we ended up going with the Red Sea Reefer 170. Picked it up from the LFS over the weekend and have started gathering parts and planning the build. Unfortunately the LFS scratched the door and broke the lid while loading it in my truck, so those are both on order.

I knew there were a lot of things I didn't like about the 170 before the purchase, so a couple of changes will be done first:

1 - Tiny ATO reservoir and float will be removed and replaced with a larger container and sensor
2 - I dislike the water level in the DT, so replacing the drains with a custom design to allow adjustment & more flow
3 - The gate valve sucks, so the main drain under the cabinet will be replaced with new plumbing & a Spears gate. Plan on leaving the emergency drain as is
4 - With raised water level in the DT, I'll need a check valve or anti-siphon hole on the return line, haven't decided which yet

Parts accumulated so far:

Ecotech Vectra S2 - I love these pumps
Ecotech Vortech MP10QD X 2 - will be mounted on the back wall
Ecotech Radion XR15 G5 Pro
Jaebo Dosing Pump - transfer from the old tank with new tubing
3 section dosing container - Fritz RPM Alk, CA & Mag
InkBird Heater Controller
2x Eheim 75w heaters
eShopps S-120 Skimmer - small footprint for small sump

More to come and pics of the progress....
 
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Made some progress on the 170, then hit some snags!

- Moved the original main drain overflow plumbing to the middle hole and replumbed with 1" blue pvc and Spears gate valve below the tank.
- Removed the main drain silencer and replaced with custom slide in, herbie style pointing down
- Moved the original emergency drain pipe to the right hole and made a custom height adjusting attachment
- Moved the original Red Sea gate valve plumbing underneath to the emergency drain piping
- Kasa powerstrips installed
- Got the return pump plumbed & preliminarily wires routed
- Radion mounted and preliminarily wired
- MP10s mounted and preliminarily wired
- Inkbird & heaters installed and preliminarily wired
- Skimmer in and preliminarily wired
- Dosing pump & container mounted and routed
- LED cabinet lights installed
- Added water for leak test....no leaks in the tank, but wasn't able to confirm the drains or return

Now for the snags....

Vectra S2 was DOA! It connects to Mobius, but never spins up and constantly flashes RED/ORANGE. It's also giving a 'Thermistor Error' in the Mobius app. Spoke with EcoTech this morning and went through the troubleshooting steps with no luck. They're shipping me a replacement today....excellent customer service! If you're interested, the reset attempt was as follows:

1 - With pump powered on, hold 'MODE' and 'SET' until controller flashes RED, WHITE & BLUE
2 - Hold 'MODE' until controller flashes RED & PURPLE
3 - Hold 'MODE' and 'POWER/OPTION' until pump powers off and resets
4 - Retry the pump

2nd snag was the eShopps S-120 Skimmer. Although it does function and has a very small footprint, the pump is very weak. The adjustments don't live up to my expectations and seems impossible to fine tune it. There's no handle on the cup, so removing it to clean is a pain! It's also very loud for such a small skimmer. I'm pulling it out tonight and returning to the LFS. I'll replace it with an AquaMaxx CONES DCQ-2 like I have in the big tank. I know that thing is dead silent and skims like a beast!

Here's a pick of the current setup....which will be changing based on the above. I'll get some pics later of the drain setup.
IMG_0775.jpg
 
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Upgraded ATO reservoir. 2.5g Petco tank, moved plastic trim on bottom, covered bottom in foam and built custom flush mount lid for the top. It will double as a shelf for food & whatever.

Also cut the float off the old ATO system and ran the new AutoAqua Smart ATO tubing through it. I’ll cut the tube to length once I know the water level.

4AFE429D-23E4-4A89-BED9-3A33A8A54BDF.jpeg

9CFB0BEC-0D6E-4945-95CF-ECE15F4D5F8B.jpeg
 

FortLivingRoom

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Upgraded ATO reservoir. 2.5g Petco tank, moved plastic trim on bottom, covered bottom in foam and built custom flush mount lid for the top. It will double as a shelf for food & whatever.

Also cut the float off the old ATO system and ran the new AutoAqua Smart ATO tubing through it. I’ll cut the tube to length once I know the water level.

4AFE429D-23E4-4A89-BED9-3A33A8A54BDF.jpeg

9CFB0BEC-0D6E-4945-95CF-ECE15F4D5F8B.jpeg
Looking good! Any thoughts on radion intensities yet?
 
Zoanthids

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Not yet...trying to get my hands on a par meter
My rental just arrived and I’ll be mapping my tank tomorrow with mostly the ab+ template at various intensities with the goal of 250+ for the top 6” and 100 at the sandbed. I have a g4 pro with a diffuser. I’ll probably post the results in my build page.
 
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My rental just arrived and I’ll be mapping my tank tomorrow with mostly the ab+ template at various intensities with the goal of 250+ for the top 6” and 100 at the sandbed. I have a g4 pro with a diffuser. I’ll probably post the results in my build page.
Sweet! Where did you rent from?
 

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Got the wires all straight inside the cabinet and still waiting on the pump. Had a chat with Ecotech this morning and seems they are running a little behind.....frustrating. Still have this rat's nest to get under control....so they have a little time!

IMG_0824.jpg
 
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Also got the AquaTop moved yesterday. Did a 1/2 water change to lighten the load, then moved it to the other side of the couch where it was sitting to make room for the Reefer 170. Pirated the rest of the parts I needed from it and got it back up and running without issue.
 
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Chatted with @Ecotech again this morning and my replacement pump still has not shipped. I have to say, the customer experience is not what I have experienced with them in the past. Not sure what is going on with their shipping and customer service, but I definitely left that conversation unhappy!
 
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Are you worried at all about saltwater getting on the bricks/outlets? What is is you used to conceal the cords? Looks great.
Cable raceway...

Not worried about the water, bricks are all in the back and plugs are all upside down. I will build a splash guard around the power strips, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Small update....EcoTech finally shipped the replacement pump, should be here Monday.
 

What temperature do you think it too high for your reef tank?

  • 79

    Votes: 43 10.7%
  • 80

    Votes: 70 17.4%
  • 81

    Votes: 73 18.2%
  • 82

    Votes: 91 22.6%
  • 83

    Votes: 60 14.9%
  • 84+

    Votes: 51 12.7%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 14 3.5%
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