Blaxsun's Abyss: Red Sea 750XXL

Chortanator

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
515
Reaction score
406
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Nova Scotia
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
I've got one for ya! Unfortunately I didn't have the algae to support its voracious appetite

1652672728719.png
 
Reef Chasers Aquaculture
OP
blaxsun

blaxsun

10K Club member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
14,223
Reaction score
15,807
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Abyss
I've got one for ya! Unfortunately I didn't have the algae to support its voracious appetite
That's a big sucker as well! Mine is methodically moving along the glass as we speak (he's heading towards an algae rich environment on the right side of the tank).
 

Erin1971Texas

Just another girl who likes fish
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
2,317
Reaction score
2,451
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Spring, Texas
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
Awww, name her Roz!
 
AS
OP
blaxsun

blaxsun

10K Club member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
14,223
Reaction score
15,807
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Abyss
June 19. Blaxsun's La-bor-atory
The Trident indicated the "C" reagent was low and as "B" was also low I replaced both and topped up "A". I had been running the default 4x/2x/2x testing regiment but changed that to 2x/1x/1x roughly a month ago. So this isn't entirely scientific as this is probably closer to 1.5/3/3 months for reagent changes. These were the results:
..........

Trident Before (12pm noon):
• Alkalinity: 8.26 dKH | Calcium: 466ppm | Magnesium: 1436ppm

Trident After (replace reagents, 4pm):
• Alkalinity: 8.14 dKH | Calcium: 397ppm | Magnesium: 1493ppm

Testing
(post-Trident, 8pm):
• Alkalinity: 8.05 dKH | Calcium: 575ppm | Magnesium: 1500ppm
..........

Dexter.png Analysis: Alkalinity is pretty much bang on as this is about the normal swing during the day (and if we're looking at a variance of ~±0.10 dKH I'm ecstatic). The calcium and magnesium seems to have drifted off by about ~100ppm and ~50ppm over the course of time. What I'm still trying to wrap my head around is that after changing the calcium reagent that it dropped roughly ~70ppm when it should have reported closer to 575ppm.

I do know why both calcium and magnesium tested a lot higher than the Trident: it had gradually been increasing the dosing amount to stay within the specified parameters and I should've rested and recalibrated the Trident a lot earlier (I just assumed this was as a result of new corals, increased lighting and a lot of growth). Just remember the golden rule: trust but verify.
 
Last edited:
OP
blaxsun

blaxsun

10K Club member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
14,223
Reaction score
15,807
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Abyss
June 20. Z-Day Part I: Preparation
Happy Father's Day! In the spirit of using this opportunity to do absolutely nothing today... I'm installing my ReefMat. With the adage of "measure twice, cut once" I measured thrice and cut once. This is my best "guestimate" for where to make the cut, based on where Red Sea indicates and where I could rest the ABS cutter on the glass to ensure a solid straight cut. The ABS cutter is essential - unless you enjoy rough cuts, sanding and all sorts of crab floating around in your sump. Do turn your heaters, skimmer and main return pump off prior - just makes things easier (and quieter). Note the removal of the in-cabinet RO reservoir for my 750 (and yes, I am going to use this opportunity to perform pump maintenance as well as clean both the rear and front chambers.

I snagged a Husky ABS/PVC 1-1/2" Cutter from Home Depot for all of $19.99 (ignore any Home Depot/online reviews - this thing works great, yields a very (near perfect) straight cut and is dirt cheap. Just look at the image below for proof.

15774E22-46DE-42CE-8831-0E8F7C3C0671.JPG DC4EF706-DF20-43BD-B107-C29889B5C7D6.JPG

As it turns out, I managed to cut exactly (!) 12" of the main overflow pipe. Definitely a good omen! To ensure that when the return pumps start up again and I don't turn my sump and cabinet into Splash Mountain, I just used some electrical tape to extend a 1-1/2" (40mm) section of PVP pipe. It ends up sticking down below the water by about 1". And while it's noisy and bubble, there's no mess - and it's only temporary.

A0F8941A-A4B3-4F1F-B72C-18340D7923AD.JPG 5FBB5BC4-4068-4922-B284-8511C9C0C0F1.JPG

Speaking of mess, have you looked at your overflow pipes lately? Yu-uuuck! This is the portion immersed under water so I suspect it's worse than the rest of the plumbing (that may be wishful thinking). And yes, I do have a bumper crop of baby trochus snails which are apparently being well fed.

E1267B13-92A1-42C8-A89A-EF3D27ED6436.JPG EB0FF097-24B8-4301-816E-F2C88DF7A7FC.JPG

I'm using Oatey Premium Grade Yelow ABS Cement. It indicates 15 minutes for initial handing and 2 hours cure time at room temperature, so I'm cementing the ReefMat adapter first. I just placed a layer around each connecting piece, placed together and rubbed off any excess that leaked out (I'll probably go around with some rubbing alcohol to touch up later). Using a Q-tip I also placed a bead on the top edge of the adapter (left image), and I plan to place a bead of silicone around it later once it's completely dry (just to ensure nothing can get through).

B1E5EDD9-EB65-4915-B924-EBB798E39C04.JPG EBD5F4BF-5064-4ADA-A0B6-558C90B7BBA5.JPG

And these are the three components. The top adapter is cemented to the overflow pipe, the center adapter threads to that and the bottom adapter threads to that (the bottom piece and one half of the center piece is what Red Sea supplies with the ReefMat kit). Note the left-handed thread on the bottom adapter which is where the flexible hose for the ReefMat installs (lefty tighty). With the exception of the top adapter everything else can be completely removed and disassembled for cleaning and maintenance - so installation need only be as permanent as you choose to make it.

1F14B564-DE11-4DD0-B30F-0FACACF5782E.JPG

Stay tuned for Part II, where I'll be removing the filter sock trays and cementing the adapter to the overflow pipe.
 
Last edited:
OP
blaxsun

blaxsun

10K Club member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
14,223
Reaction score
15,807
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Abyss
June 20. Z-Day Part II: Installation
I know I hinted at a video but you'll have to be content with a few post-install images. 15 minutes my a**. Maybe if you have an empty, dry sump sitting on a pedestal in front of you under a spotlight. But for most of us stuck working within the confines of the Red Sea cabinet, you should factor in at least an hour + cleanup time going around with a net to scoop up all the tiny pieces of black silicone.

It took me 3.5 hours in total, which included:
* Removal of all my media from the refugium chamber (15min)
* Cleaning off the Neptune probes (5min)
* Scrubbing the sump, decalcifying the waterline in the sump and snail removal (40min)
* Filtering all the crap out in the sump with a Sicce Zero pump into a filter sock (30min)
* Hacking and slicing the filter compartment out (1hr)
* Cleaning up all the excess silicone still left on the glass (20min)
* Running cables for the ReefMat and relocating a Sicce Nano Voyager for the sump (20min)
* ReefMat installation: connecting to ReefBeat, updating firmware, configuration (20min)

I have two minor leaks (drips) in my plumbing which I'm attributing to old silicone, so I'll have to briefly take my system offline again tomorrow to apply a few beads of silicone to seal everything up.

94D9EB90-BC60-4495-9B70-7B39DEAF81DC.JPG


I didn't have the time (or energy) to perform maintenance on the Sicce SDC 9.0, clean that section of the sump, swap out for silicone tubing or replace the in-cabinet RO reservoir (the Neptune ATK is just sitting on one of the reactors in a green bag so it doesn't get any salt creep). I also want to upgrade my heating system to a new Innovative Marine Helio - so I'll need access for this (I won't lie - not looking forward to it).

Right now I'm running between 0.8-1.0" of fleece every 20 minutes. It's picking up an obscene amount of crap and the tank is crystal clear (maybe the clearest it's ever been). I suspect (and hope!) this will start slowing down after the first 24-48 hours, so I'll be following up with an updated graph on fleece usage. The 375ml media tray under the ReefMat 500 has been put to good use with the included Red Sea carbon.

What I wasn't expecting was how much more room I have in my sump. It's actually pretty incredible. The two MarinePure blocks above were previously sandwiched together on the left side - so I have a ton of room for more media. I temporarily threw the 1.5" MarinePure spheres into the media cups for now (I'll need a few more of those or something larger). Although you can barely see it on the right, there's a Sicce Nano Voyager providing flow in the right side of the new and improved refugium/media chamber (there's only a trickle down the emergency overflow so I moved the wavemaker there to ensure a continuous flow in that part of the sump).

I picked up some of the new Polyp Lab Genesis rocks, so once I get caught-up I'm going to populate those and place somewhere in the sump as well (possibly under the ReefMat). They look to be much higher quality (and less chip-prone) than the MarinePure blocks.

Was this worth the effort? Definitely. Is the G2/ReefMat-ready sump worth every penny? Absolutely. For those of us who don't have a G2 system, the Red Sea Sump Modification Kit is an absolute must. And from what I can see so far - the ReefMat is performing beyond expectations.
 
Tidal Gardens 4th Sale 3

NowGlazeIT

Happy to help, Ask away.
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 28, 2017
Messages
5,641
Reaction score
10,176
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Coachella Valley
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
Very nice
 
OP
blaxsun

blaxsun

10K Club member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
14,223
Reaction score
15,807
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Abyss
June 21. Z-Day Part III: Lies, Dang Lies & Statistics
So in the first 24 hours it looks like I used just over 12ft of fleece roll. While that seems like a lot, there are a couple of factors to consider:

* I used the default advance of 0.8-1" for 12 hours and the 0.4-0.6" setting for the other 12 hours. I can't say if I really saw any difference but I'm changing this to 1.8-2.0" for tomorrow so I can make sort of comparison from the data.
* I dosed Reef Roids and scraped my front glass (which was pretty dirty), so this probably accounts for some extra usage.
* I cleaned part of the sump, so despite filtering as much as I could this probably still stirred up some crap yesterday - and there's probably still a lot of crap floating around in the tank that has yet to be filtered out.
* I do have 43 or so odd hungry fish!

Would a ReefMat 1200 make any difference? Yes and no. The rolls have a larger filter area so I'll change them out less often - but as they also cost more I'm not sure there's any savings in the end.

On the plus side, upgrading would be relatively easy as I can use the same pre-wiring and flex hose - so it's just a question of swapping in the new larger unit and reconfiguring in ReefBeat. So that's still an option down the road (I suspect cost will be close to the same, just leas frequent fleece roll changes).

So right now it looks like I'll need 3x 500 rolls per month ($60), but I'm optimistic I can get this down to at least 2x rolls ($40). I'd be ecstatic if I could get this down to 1x roll, but this is probably unrealistic considering that I was replacing 4x 100-micron filter socks every 2-2.5 days previously.

On the plus side, I did find that when I ramp down the return pump for feeding there's no associated mess/splashes from air in the overflow pipe (this is now contained in the ReefMat), and the system overall seems to be running noticeably quieter.

All of my corals looked better today (quite a bit fuller), but it's too soon to say if this is a direct result of the ReefMat or wishful thinking on my part.
 
Last edited:
Tidal Gardens 4th Sale 3
OP
blaxsun

blaxsun

10K Club member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
14,223
Reaction score
15,807
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Abyss
June 22. Rock Sauna
So I decided to give Polyp Lab's new Genesis rocks a try. You get 2 very dense and very compact rocks in a package that are super durable (think cinder blocks - not like the MarinePure blocks which tend to crumble).
genesis.png
As part of the "seasoning" process, I added 4ml of Polyp Lab Genesis and let sit for 12 hours. When the timer's up I simply add to the sump and dump the water it was marinating in.

6 more hours to go and then I can add to the sump. Unlike the MarinePure blocks, these work to combat ammonia, nitrites (on the outside) and nitrates (in the center). A single block is rated for 350 gallons and I'm using two - so this is way overkill. I really like how compact in size they are (5x5") and I won't be adding to the tiny bits of ceramic media that already adorns my sump.

D9CD015E-8E9B-40D9-8A8A-EEF66A269180.JPG

I took some new nitrate and phosphate readings so I'll have a comparison in the coming weeks to see what if any impact these have.
 
Last edited:
OP
blaxsun

blaxsun

10K Club member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
14,223
Reaction score
15,807
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Abyss
June 21. Z-Day Part IV: Once More Into The Fleece
Day 2 of ReefMat operation and it looks like I'm running about the same amount of fleece daily (roughly 10 feet). It doesn't look like changing the amount of advancement to 1.8-2.0" made much of a difference except it runs maybe every 30 minutes instead of every 15 minutes. I definitely think I need to run this for a few more days and compile some more data.

Today I cleaned out the black sponge, return pump chamber and both of my Sicce SDC pumps - so I suspect that despite my best efforts pre-filtering most of this out - some did end up back in the tank. I also added some epsom salts to see if this will help an infection that my female clownfish has developed in one eye. This is probably the last bit of maintenance I need to perform this week, so in theory the worst is behind me. So the next week should be a good indication for "worst-case" vs. "best-case" scenarios in terms of stuff being stirred up.
 
OP
blaxsun

blaxsun

10K Club member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
14,223
Reaction score
15,807
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Abyss
June 22. Fishy Friends
Our Lubbock's Fairy wrasse sadly "flew the coop" (quite literally - I didn't realize these things had wings!), so as it happened my LFS got a shipment of wrasses in yesterday and we found a gorgeous "Sparkles II" (even more yellow and vibrant). The sixline wrasse has taken an immediate liking to him and has been following him around for the past half an hour. They also had the cutest little Clown tang, which I of course couldn't pass up (this would only be the second tang in the tank and the third I've tried).

I had to throw up a mirror to dissuade the bicolor cleaner wrasse from being his usual jerk self - although the Clown tang doesn't seem to be taking any crap from him. Still, less stress = happier fish... I don't think he's figured out what kind of fish he is as he's schooling with all the green chromis (kind of funny to watch). Our sailfin is too enamoured with himself in the mirror right now to even notice the addition of a new tang. Hopefully they all get along.

Fish count now stands at 44 with 1 Rainford's goby still MIA.
 

Woodyman

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
2,205
Reaction score
2,806
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
USA
June 22. Fishy Friends
Our Lubbock's Fairy wrasse sadly "flew the coop" (quite literally - I didn't realize these things had wings!), so as it happened my LFS got a shipment of wrasses in yesterday and we found a gorgeous "Sparkles II" (even more yellow and vibrant). The sixline wrasse has taken an immediate liking to him and has been following him around for the past half an hour. They also had the cutest little Clown tang, which I of course couldn't pass up (this would only be the second tang in the tank and the third I've tried).

I had to throw up a mirror to dissuade the bicolor cleaner wrasse from being his usual jerk self - although the Clown tang doesn't seem to be taking any crap from him. Still, less stress = happier fish... I don't think he's figured out what kind of fish he is as he's schooling with all the green chromis (kind of funny to watch). Our sailfin is too enamoured with himself in the mirror right now to even notice the addition of a new tang. Hopefully they all get along.

Fish count now stands at 44 with 1 Rainford's goby still MIA.

Soooo, where's the photos!?
 
Coral Mania
OP
blaxsun

blaxsun

10K Club member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
14,223
Reaction score
15,807
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Abyss
June 23. The Mat Diaries
So for the last few days I've used an obscene amount of fleece on my ReefMat - which is entirely due to an above higher than normal water level in the sump (and totally my fault). After removing a float valve to clean around the glass, I'd cleaned and reinstalled it - but failed to note it was stuck open. To make a long story short, when I reactivated the primary ATO I ended up adding about 10 gallons of RO water - temporarily raising the water level in the sump and throwing my salinity off (and I didn't noticed this for a few hours).

A day later with the ATO fixed (and off), evaporation has almost negated this and I think I'm a day or two out at most before the water level in the sump returns to normal. However, as a result of this - the ReefMat water sensor has been triggered prematurely time and time again - so my fleece use yesterday was 3x normal (!) and looks to be between 2-2.5x today. It looks like this first roll will end up lasting about a week due to trial and error (mine), so please note that while I'm going into details - this isn't going to be the typical experience.

CD50E4B4-A5B3-4CF4-9FDE-07BCD2A7F593.JPG B9C8D2F7-2BFE-4E79-9E7D-28D11F064E92.JPG 0AB4A503-30C3-4CCF-930D-025F5173FE5B.JPG

Even so, it's never a bad idea to have a spare fleece roll handy (or two) in case you royally screw up some aspect of the ReefMat operation like I did. One thing I did want to mention in passing: the legs that are included with the ReefMat will almost always be too short to be of any benefit on a Red Sea sump unless you're dealing with a scenario where you can't hang it off the side of the glass. Hanging the ReefMat off the glass will almost always give you the greatest height and optimal performance (due to more of the unit being above water). Having the lowest level of water in your sump is also key to minimizing fleece usage - as this lowers the overall water level for the ReefMat.
 
Corals.com
OP
blaxsun

blaxsun

10K Club member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
14,223
Reaction score
15,807
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Abyss
"Rigel IV" our Lawnmower Blenny (for any of you Farscape fans out there).

rigel.jpg


"Russell" our Blue Star Leopard Wrasse.

bluestar-wrasse.jpg


"Greg", one of our two Marcia's Anthias (the other one is "Marsha").

marcias-anthias.jpg


"EMP" our Emperor Angelfish (and thus far reef safe).

emperor-angel.jpg


"Roger" our One Spot Foxface ('Roger Rabbitfish' in case you missed the joke).

onespot-foxface.jpg


And finally our latest addition, "Stripe" - a teeny Clown Tang (apologies in-advance that this isn't clearer - he was moving around really quickly today!) He's about the size of a chromis for comparison and spends most of his time "chilling with his chromies". :grinning-squinting-face:

circus-tang.jpg


The new Lubbock's Fairy Wrasse (which we're thinking about calling "Sunshine") is holed up in a cave. Not unusual as the first Lubbock's fairy wrasse we had did the same thing for a few days. So not photogenic today unfortunately.
 
Last edited:

How close to perfect, for you, is your reef aquarium?

  • IT'S PERFECT NOW

    Votes: 18 3.6%
  • It's getting close

    Votes: 68 13.7%
  • It's about half way there

    Votes: 93 18.7%
  • It's slow but progressing

    Votes: 152 30.6%
  • It's not even close

    Votes: 152 30.6%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 14 2.8%
FM
Top