Blaxsun's Abyss: Red Sea 750XXL

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blaxsun

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June 12. Who Framed Roger Rabbitfish
And I decided to pull the trigger on a One Spot Foxface Rabbitfish that I've been eyeing all week. He's just a little guy (under 2"), but super friendly (and hungry). We've decided to call him "Roger"... "Roger Rabbitfish". Yes, I'm starting to amass an assortment of cheesy fish names. :grinning-squinting-face:
800px-Who_Framed_Roger_Rabbit_logo.png
Here's Roger just finishing up his acclimation. Hope he makes some new friends right off the bat...

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Addendum: So Roger survived his first day despite the bicolor cleaner wrasse being a jerk and taking a few pokes at him. He found a great sleeping spot and made an instant friend with the coral beauty dwarf angel, with the two of them hanging out in one of the caves.
 
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Sean Clark

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June 12. My God... It's Full of Snails
My LFS got a large invert shipment in this morning so of course I had to drag myself out of bed and check it out. Low and behold - Nassarius snails! I've only got a handful of the regular adults and about a dozen babies - so the addition of 20 more adult nassarius snails should really boost the sand sifting.

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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.
 
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Sorry for the glitch - R2R was tinting my images again... It's a several step process to work around this, so I'm still finishing up a few images. While I was working that out I figured I'd clean up the contrast and colors in Lightroom and Photoshop. I finally decided to save a preset in Lightroom that does the base kelvin correction and a few other minor tweaks for me (it was getting repetitive!)
..........

"Bandit", the Flame Hawkfish. He's very inquisitive - even came up to pose for the camera!
4.jpeg


"Sway", the Lamarck's Angelfish - coming out of her den (the main cave) as she's not a big fan of the cemera.
5.jpeg


"Betta", the resident Marine Betta - trying to do his best impression of a moray eel (he still needs practice). And yes, this is the tail end of the fish... Like xenomorphs, he only comes out at night. Mostly...
1.jpeg


"Sparkles", the Lubbock's Fairy Wrasse (one of the wife's favorites).
1 (1).jpeg


Close up of a toadstool leather.
1.jpeg


"Absolem", our resident pink & green sea cucumber. No hookah yet, but a 3D-printed one is planned.
2.jpeg


A rare branching red goniopora (ring cowrie in the lower left for scale).
6.jpeg


Condy anemone in all its splendor. These change color throughout the day, from white in the morning, pale green to light blue later in the day and light purple-magenta in the evening just before sunset. It's like having several anemones in one! @i cant think - wanted to get you a photo as I know you were interested in these.
3.jpeg
 
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nice shot of the marine betta ;) the yellow and pink sea cucumber is looking great! i'm tempted to keep another (or another sea apple) now that i'm culturing phyto
Absolem really enjoys calanus, brine and Reef Roids. He's become quite adept at lurking until the fish are finished their semi-daily feeding frenzy at which time he sets up shop for an hour to reap the scrap rewards.
 
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"Sway", the Lamarck's Angelfish - coming out of her den (the main cave) as she's not a big fan of the cemera.
5.jpeg
I just picked up a Lamarck's Angel! Any advice you can offer? It's eating, but I've noticed it's a bit picky.

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I just picked up a Lamarck's Angel! Any advice you can offer? It's eating, but I've noticed it's a bit picky.

AM-JKLWbcVz26H4JhEHpI8PbQ7sTtdRxzngY3eDAN4H046mwggjc5hHQf4A6yf8IU8EBXi1JnpVWWH0Gt-szS-Qk_f_7XXi3aIsvZOBhcBR8jx0-2kKUhuaHQpWUz84BajPYgeklEpDaVkutwxJQ3AooZTh4gw=w2288-h1287-no
They are a very graceful, peaceful fish from what I've found. Mine likes frozen mysis and brine, as well as NFS Algae pellets and TLF SeaVeggies Green and Red. I've got 4 angels, a sailfin tang, parrotfish and now foxface who all like seaweed - so I usually put 3-4 rocks with seaweed wrapped on them so everyone can get a turn. I just a feeder tube for feeding, and once fish figure out that's where the nummies come from they usually follow it around eagerly. On the "pig" feeding scale, lamarck's angels are somewhere in the middle (neither absolute hogs or very shy).
 

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They are a very graceful, peaceful fish from what I've found. Mine likes frozen mysis and brine, as well as NFS Algae pellets and TLF SeaVeggies Green and Red. I've got 4 angels, a sailfin tang, parrotfish and now foxface who all like seaweed - so I usually put 3-4 rocks with seaweed wrapped on them so everyone can get a turn. I just a feeder tube for feeding, and once fish figure out that's where the nummies come from they usually follow it around eagerly. On the "pig" feeding scale, lamarck's angels are somewhere in the middle (neither absolute hogs or very shy).
Appreciate the advice. It's eating, but seems to lose interest quick with mysis. I have not fed live baby brine or nori yet. My two spot tang mostly ignores nori, so I haven't fed it in a while. Won't be surprised if the tang regains interest if it sees the angel chowing down. ;)
 
Coral Mania

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Sorry for the glitch - R2R was tinting my images again... It's a several step process to work around this, so I'm still finishing up a few images. While I was working that out I figured I'd clean up the contrast and colors in Lightroom and Photoshop. I finally decided to save a preset in Lightroom that does the base kelvin correction and a few other minor tweaks for me (it was getting repetitive!)
..........

"Bandit", the Flame Hawkfish. He's very inquisitive - even came up to pose for the camera!
4.jpeg


"Sway", the Lamarck's Angelfish - coming out of her den (the main cave) as she's not a big fan of the cemera.
5.jpeg


"Betta", the resident Marine Betta - trying to do his best impression of a moray eel (he still needs practice). And yes, this is the tail end of the fish... Like xenomorphs, he only comes out at night. Mostly...
1.jpeg


"Sparkles", the Lubbock's Fairy Wrasse (one of the wife's favorites).
1 (1).jpeg


Close up of a toadstool leather.
1.jpeg


"Absolem", our resident pink & green sea cucumber. No hookah yet, but a 3D-printed one is planned.
2.jpeg


A rare branching red goniopora (ring cowrie in the lower left for scale).
6.jpeg


Condy anemone in all its splendor. These change color throughout the day, from white in the morning, pale green to light blue later in the day and light purple-magenta in the evening just before sunset. It's like having several anemones in one! @i cant think - wanted to get you a photo as I know you were interested in these.
3.jpeg

Awesome shots!

Your making me want a cucumber more with each passing photo!
 
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blaxsun

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June 14. Stuck on You
One of the great things about having a large tank with lots of fish is that there's never a dull moment. Of course, the flip side is with that much activity you spend a lot of time glueing things down. Especially with a Quoy's parrotfish that can't tell the difference between rock and frag plugs... Today I found myself glueing 4 frags that were otherwise getting knocked out of their slots by various reef inhabitants (certain snails can be really adept at dislodging stuff).

coral-glue.png I've tried umpteen different glues and putties for semi-permanently adhering corals and frag plugs. All of them continuously fall short of expectations, with the exception of EcoTech's Coral Glue Gel (the irony of a light manufacturer making excellent glue isn't lost on me here). You can apply it wet or dry, and provided you have good contact with the surface it generally adheres within 30-60 seconds. I apply it in two manners: for rocks that I can remove, I place those in a small container of saltwater, briefly remove onto a towel, glue the base of the frag plug and then add a few drops around the edges where it meets rock to ensure a solid hold (these will shortly be covered with coralline algae). Where I can't remove the rock, I smother the frag plug or base in gel glue, insert into the crevice or against the rock face and hold for 1-2 minutes. Sometimes if there's an uneven surface you need to occasionally remove the plug and add another layer of gel glue after the first layer has hardened and molded to the rock contour.

The EcoTech gel glue has so far been completely reef safe (when you first dip anything with glue into the water you'll get a small amount of film on the surface that's quickly sucked down the overflow). Even though EcoTech recommends refrigerating the glue after opening, I've found just keeping it at room temperature works best.
 
Reef Chasers Aquaculture
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June 15. R-Day
My Red Sea ReefMat 500 arrived today! Months of eagerly awaiting will soon pay off dividends... I picked up the ReefMat 500 unit, a spare fleece roll for the 500 and the sump modification kit. Now I just have to wait a few days and let the in-cabinet RO drain. This unfortunately isn't going to be "plug & play", ie:

• I have to drain and remove the 7-gallon sump RO and disconnect the Neptune ATK.
• With the tools, I have to completely remove the filter sock partitions/glass.
• I have to cut the main overflow piping to fit the ReefMat intake hose (not looking forward to this).
• I have to remove all the media from the refugium/media chamber, scrub the new (extended) chamber clean, reinsert the media and then reposition a Sicce Voyager pump to provide circulation.
• Remove the return pump, clean (maintenance) and scrub the return pump chamber (I'm only really able to do this when the in-cabinet RO is removed). Optional (depending on how I feel): replace braided hose with silicone hose to reduce vibrations.
• Wire the ReefMat, position the unit, connect and test with Reef Beat app.
• If all goes according to plan, re-insert the in-cabinet RO, reconfigure with the Neptune ATK and fill RO.

Based on past experiences I'm fairly certain I'll be repeating one or more of these steps. Yay! At least it's supposed to rain this weekend...
 

Woodyman

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June 15. R-Day
My Red Sea ReefMat 500 arrived today! Months of eagerly awaiting will soon pay off dividends... I picked up the ReefMat 500 unit, a spare fleece roll for the 500 and the sump modification kit. Now I just have to wait a few days and let the in-cabinet RO drain. This unfortunately isn't going to be "plug & play", ie:

• I have to drain and remove the 7-gallon sump RO and disconnect the Neptune ATK.
• With the tools, I have to completely remove the filter sock partitions/glass.
• I have to cut the main overflow piping to fit the ReefMat intake hose (not looking forward to this).
• I have to remove all the media from the refugium/media chamber, scrub the new (extended) chamber clean, reinsert the media and then reposition a Sicce Voyager pump to provide circulation.
• Remove the return pump, clean (maintenance) and scrub the return pump chamber (I'm only really able to do this when the in-cabinet RO is removed). Optional (depending on how I feel): replace braided hose with silicone hose to reduce vibrations.
• Wire the ReefMat, position the unit, connect and test with Reef Beat app.
• If all goes according to plan, re-insert the in-cabinet RO, reconfigure with the Neptune ATK and fill RO.

Based on past experiences I'm fairly certain I'll be repeating one or more of these steps. Yay! At least it's supposed to rain this weekend...

Can't wait to see your review of this after some real time use!!!
 
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Can't wait to see your review of this after some real time use!!!
Here's my wife's preliminary review: "So does this mean I don't have to help wash the stupid filter socks anymore?" and "Great - does this mean you'll finally stop using my washing machine for your fish crap?" :rolling-on-the-floor-laughing:
 
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Woodyman

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Here's my wife's preliminary review: "So does this mean I don't have to help wash the stupid filter socks anymore?" and "Great - does this mean you'll finally stop using my washing machine for your fish crap?" :rolling-on-the-floor-laughing:

Sounds about right...
 
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June 16. R-Day +1
In preparation for my ReefMat upgrade I decided to unbox everything, find out what parts are all included, how everything works and goes together and how the actual installation and removal process for the fleece roll works. From what everyone says, the ReefMat is light years above the other fleece rollers - and the fact that even I could figure it out in a few minutes probably speaks volumes. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:

This is everything you get with your Red Sea ReefMat 500 (minus the German Tropic Marin salt and the PVC adapter from Home Depot that's too big for the locking collar immediately adjacent to it). You even get carbon!

71729CAE-CD5B-4406-B557-F3ED540D31F9.JPG

But let's get the nitty gritty stuff out of the way. For a non-G2 Reefer setup with at least the 625 models and up (and possibly the 425 and 525, but I'm not sure about the overflow pipe diameters on those) - it comes with everything you need (except the sump modification kit). When you cut the main overflow pipe Red Sea provides a locking collar adapter with gasket that the ReefMat hose simply screws onto. You only need to find a 1-1.5" piece of PVC to glue the collar to your existing overflow pipe (don't worry - I'll post pictures of all this before I do the install). On the other Reefers you can just slip the flexible tubing over the overflow pipe (after cutting) and affix it in-place with either sealant or zip ties.

Addendum: It looks like a 1-1/4" PVC adapter will fit the overflow pipe « » locking collar, but I'll confirm later. Home Depot didn't have anything smaller than a 2" diameter so I'll have to hunt around.

The flexible hose for the ReefMat screws onto this collar (lefty tighty in this case), and since you can unscrew the collar you have the option of either sealing the flexible hose to the collar with the included sealant or leaving it (I'll probably opt for the latter since it's basically gravity fed and there's actually a fairly tight seal already).

The ReefMat is ambidextrous - meaning you can install the tubing, motor or sensor on whatever side of the unit makes the most sense (the motor and sensor do have to go on the same side, though). I'm opting to run everything on the right of the unit - even if this means I have to slide it over slightly to the left to access the controls (this saves about 1' of wiring that would otherwise have be placed behind the unit). All the necessary plate and pipe covers are provided to seal up whatever side of the unit you don't utilize.

Size-wise it's smaller than I expected (a good thing), and takes up roughly the same space as the 8x4x4" MarinePure media blocks in my media chamber. It will block a bit of direct viewing and access to the pair of Nyos reactors I run in the back - so I'll have to view those from an off angle (this isn't something I regularly do anyway - other than to occasionally check on the flow).

Minor gripes: packing was great, but I wish that Red Sea would place the ReefMat unit itself in an inverted plastic bag just to keep the dust (etc.) off everything. A quick wipe/dry remedied this (it wasn't too bad). Everything else was bagged, boxed/sealed and bubble-wrapped so this seemed like an odd oversight. As with most Red Sea instructions these can be somewhat lacking, so if you're confused about a specific part you may need to refer to the Red Sea website section for the ReefMat. I definitely recommend pre-assembling and trying out the unit on "dry land" as opposed to trying to do this after you've placed it in the sump - as it will be a much dryer and less 'colorful' experience when you invariably screw something up.

My wife gave me a hand reviewing and setting everything up along with advice on how I should "blow out/discount all the old filter socks and trays" (do you think someone's anxious to see this installed?), and took the opportunity for a joke at my expense about replacing the fleece rolls. I think this sums up her impressions best:

977533a5479ac170a9eb0e5437a8eff3.jpg

The in-cabinet RO is half empty, so it looks like I'll probably be looking to install this on Sunday at the earliest.
 
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blaxsun

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June 17. R-Day +2
Ok, here are the exact parts you need to retrofit any Red Sea Reefer with a 40mm overflow pipe for the ReefMat. At least in North America (US and Canada).

1-1/2" ABS Cleanout Adapter SPIG x F ... RLN105-015 ... $3.70 CAD (Home Depot)
1-1/2" ABS Male Adapter SPG x Hub ... RLN111-015 ... $3.10 (Home Depot)

These are the parts Red Sea provides you with... The next image are the two fittings from Home Depot.
F8822EEB-E87B-49CB-A49C-55ADEC62C891.JPG 50FF8745-F51E-414E-BA64-833119114E7E.JPG

These are how each set goes together... And how they look put together (shortened overflow pipe goes in top and the flexible tubing just screws on the bottom coupler. I just grabbed some Oatey premium ABS cement.
95D4342F-B5AD-4AAD-B354-CE772BA26927.JPG 563C6C45-B91B-48BA-B46B-4A3A9BEFE236.JPG

One advantage with this setup is that even after you glue this together with ABS cement, you can still unscrew both the the bottom and middle sections for any future maintenance, cleaning, etc. Note that I am only retrofitting the main overflow pipe - the emergency overflow pipe is being left as is with current length, etc. I'll be pre-cementing the lower portion tonight or tomorrow so it's ready to go for Sunday and will update with a few more pictures then.

Red Sea should really (hint, hint) include an adapter that you can just ABS cement to the overflow pipe, but $6.80 CAD isn't a huge investment. Bonus: it comes in black so it will look great and perfectly match with the older dark grey plumbing and black gate valve.
 
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June 18. What's Up Doc?
This is quite possibly the largest hobbyist sea hare I've ever seen - so naturally, I had to have it to keep my abalone company! When stretched out, he's between 7-8" in length. "Slug Life" doesn't really do this particular slimer justice! We're calling him "Bugs", of course. :grinning-squinting-face:

95DF9FE6-738E-46A4-B7F4-6F121016F954.JPG
 

How many different food items do you feed your fish?

  • Only one food

    Votes: 6 6.2%
  • 2 Foods

    Votes: 12 12.4%
  • 3 Foods

    Votes: 22 22.7%
  • 4 Foods

    Votes: 12 12.4%
  • 5+ Different Foods

    Votes: 27 27.8%
  • 10+ Different Foods

    Votes: 18 18.6%
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