Brian's Red Sea Reefer 170 Build

Discussion in 'Nano Reefs' started by firedancer414, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. firedancer414

    firedancer414 Member

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    Current Status (May 2018)

    Tank: Red Sea Reefer 170 - 34 gallon display, 9 gallon sump = 43 gallons total (with rock + sand, closer to 40 gallons water volume total)
    Light: Hydra 26 HD
    Heat: Cobalt NeoTherm 200 Watt (rated up to 55G) set to 78, + Cobalt Neotherm 100 Watt (rated up to 29G), set to 76 as backup
    Controller: Neptune Apex
    ATO: Tunze 3155 ATO Osmolator (1.5g reservoir)
    Dosing: GHL Doser 2.1 4 pumps, Triton method
    Flow:
    • Return: Syncra Silent 2.0 568 gph (14x turnover rate)
    • Ecotech Marine VorTech MP10wQD (controlled by Neptune WXM Module)
    Filtration:
    • Substrate: Live Sand + 40 lbs of (Synthetic) Real Reef Rock
    • Skimmer: Tunze 9004 DC
    • Refugium: 6 gallon (15%) (9.75" x 16.5" x 8.5" deep) w/ custom lasercut acrylic chamber/weirs from Ponoko. 0.25" black acrylic, template links below if you want to do the same thing:
    • Bag of ROX 0.8 carbon in the sump (no reactor)

    Stock:
    • Fish
      • 2x Ocellaris Clowns
      • 2x Purple Firefish (one MIA)
      • 2x Orange Spotted Gobies
      • 1x One Midas Blenny
      • 1x One Blue/Green Chromis
    • Inverts
      • 1x Blood red cleaner shirmp
      • 1x Cleaner shrimp
      • 2x of electric orange hermits
      • 1x halloween hermit
      • 2x of electric blue hermits
      • 1x Pistol shrimp paired with gobies (currently MIA)
      • ~5 more hermits / ~20 cerith snails / ~5 nassarius snails / ~5 trochus snails
    • Coral: (all in quarantine)
      • Zoas:
        • Rainbow Morph
        • WWC Blondie
        • WWC Twizzlers
      • LPS
        • Golden torch
        • Acan
    Display:

    [​IMG]

    Sump:

    [​IMG]

    Quarantine:

    [​IMG]







    Original Post:

    Scape

    IMG_1794.JPG


    Waiting on Algae Barn to mail my pod colony, phyto, chaeto, and marine pure for the fuge (should come Tuesday or Wednesday I think).

    In the meantime putting up some pretty wild nitrate #s (80ppm?). Hopefully the chaeto and the skimmer I just got running will help get that under control before I put my cleanup crew in there.

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    Last edited: May 6, 2018
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  2. firedancer414

    firedancer414 Member

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    Things I'm still deciding (feedback welcome!):
    1. Livestock. Haven't given it much thought. Definitely want a pair of clowns + goby/shrimp. Re: corals, not sure whether I should just own being a beginner and do softies only, or go for it with some hard corals. Also interested in potentially a clam.
    2. Dosing Strategy. I was planning on doing phyto (?) for the pods and need to figure out if there are semi-automated ways of dosing that. Also, do I want to do 2 part or try to find some triton somewhere (?). I'm interested in getting automated dosing set up as soon as the novelty of messing with my tank wears off.
    3. ATO Reservoir. I got a Tunze Osmolator, but is there a way to up the size of the reservoir inside the cabinet somehow?
    4. Apex. I travel a lot, am thinking about getting one for peace of mind.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
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  3. firedancer414

    firedancer414 Member

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    Also ... I was so proud of my sump design, and just realized after reading

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/red-sea-reefer-nano.307826/page-2



    that I could potentially remove the small wall, move the Tunze 9004 back into the drain compartment, and get the fuge 50% larger (up to 6 gallons from 4). Guess I should have joined R2R earlier! Not sure if it's worth it, or keep the extra compartment for if I want to run some other type of filtration/reactor at some point. Any thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
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  4. HolisticBear

    HolisticBear Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Partner Member 2018 Build Thread Contributor

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    That's the first I've read about Tunze 9004 in the back compartment and I've followed R2R for awhile. Interesting idea.

    I have a custom ATO in the small section to the left of the sump. Same height as sump, gives me just over 4 gallons which gets me 5-6 days. I built a small shelf to hold my controller and will use another small shelf for the doser. Two small brackets + piece of lexan from Lowes. I will still require the use of a small ikea cabinet next door for the dosing containers + power bars. The GHL's power bars are a bit obscene in size. I threw away their ATO. A fair number of people drill the ATO and make it into a fuge.
     
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  5. HolisticBear

    HolisticBear Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Partner Member 2018 Build Thread Contributor

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    There are endless threads on R2R debating the need for a controller and GHL vs Apex ******* matches. My recommendation is you would like the Apex. You could buy two water level sensors for your sump. The ability to get an email for temperature problem, low water, or high water in the sump provides me a great deal of reassurance. You could also set up an alert for power usage, such that you get an email if your return pump isn't running or your fuge light didn't run in 24h.

    It's a very expensive hobby, so pick and chose your battles. But I don't think you'd regret the APEX.

    Your custom wall looks great! I made a small box out of eggcrate for siporax (closest to overflow), then built a wall out of eggcrate to separate my sump into a NYOS and Chateo section.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
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  6. HolisticBear

    HolisticBear Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Partner Member 2018 Build Thread Contributor

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    Gross generalization, but clams + hard corals are hard, clowns are easy. Besides softies (which I usually take as leather corals + such), items like mushrooms, zoas, or some LPS will be easier than hard corals. There is the often quoted phrase 'nothing good happens fast in reefing'.

    Welcome to R2R!
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
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  7. firedancer414

    firedancer414 Member

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    Thanks so much for all your feedback, much appreciated. This is all interesting - could think about doing a custom acrylic or glass ATO on the side. I'm so confused as to where people store all their electric wires/bricks, I end up needing to spend a non-trivial amount of space on that. Even just trying to see if I can find a slim 4.75" wide trash can to put on the side.

    Point taken on the hard coral/clams, will take it slow.
     
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  8. firedancer414

    firedancer414 Member

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    Hi friends - update on the build!

    WHAT'S HAPPENING TO ME I'VE HAD A FISHTANK FOR 3 WEEKS AND ALL I HAVE IS A PET ALGAE

    [​IMG]

    So I now have a 6 gallon refugium with a ball of clean chaeto from Algae Barn in there. There are also now apparently 5,280 copepods swimming around but I don't feel like I can see them. Also now have phaetoplankton living in my fridge. 24 marine pure 2" blocks for the "substrate". Skimmer is settling in nicely in the back by the drain. Running the H380 from 8pm-4am, still haven't turned the main light on. Bring it on hair algae!

    I somehow got my hands on Triton reagents so I'm figuring out my dosing strategy. I bought plastic containers to hold it, since I've read that the Triton containers tend to leak. Rapidly running out of space!

    Few fails to share since it's not always well and good ...
    • Tunze ATO alarm going off at 4am because I had set the return location lower than the reservoir, and it started siphoning. Now have a sweet water feature since the return is at the top of the ATO! I picked up a short piece of PVC so I can mount the return super high and never have this problem again.
    • I removed the old ATO and some other glass/plastic from the sump to make it cleaner. I made a big splash and then the breaker tripped. Isolated it down to the MP10 that was shorting. Thought it might be permanently broken. Finally looked at the power brick and realized that there was water sitting between the cathode and anode. Drained it, everything worked again - having gotten a free pass. So ... immediately raised all my cords above the sump, and now intend to build an even higher shelf to hide all the cords near the mounted power strip.
    Nitrates still insane between 40-80ppm, so let's see how chaeto + skimmer do. After I get back from traveling next week will just default to large water changes, no big deal.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
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  9. SlvrZ

    SlvrZ Active Member

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    how do you have your fuge light mounted?
     
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  10. firedancer414

    firedancer414 Member

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    Just a hook from the hardware store drilled into the top of my stand. I then used a set of pliers to "close" the hook best I can, so when I bump it it doesn't fall.
     
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  11. firedancer414

    firedancer414 Member

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    Got some swimmers in there! Exciting. Also updated my scape to be a bit more coral friendly - have some islands for zoas and lowered the ceiling for some sticks at some point.

    My Apex arrives tomorrow, and I have a JHL 4 head pump for my Triton reagents to install after I figure out how to max my space. Getting tight in there. I built an ATO stand extender out of eggcrate.

    Random thoughts and learnings:


    1) I lost both my cleaner shrimp =( Both molted within 24 hrs of being added to the tank, one died in 48 hours. The other died for 1 of 3 reasons: 1) I tried to feed my clowns (they weren't eating in the tank yet) and the cleaner shrimp ended up springing for the food (it was probably too much), 2) I did a 25% water change 4 days after it molted, or 3) an ammonia spike from the first fish/food in the tank. So just the fire shrimp left (which hasn't molted). I also lost two hermit crabs (both electric blue? the Halloween and Electric Orange both survived). Also melted my chaeto. Definitely taking it as a reality check before I get any corals, to get things under control.

    2) My toddler scratched the glass a bit, which I exacerbated a bit by trying to polish them out by overheating a bit. =(



    Looking to getting a purple firefish and yellow watchman goby next.

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  12. firedancer414

    firedancer414 Member

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    Also have a fire shrimp in there.

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  13. Reefer Deez

    Reefer Deez Reef junkie R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    Beautiful tank! I love the custom sump design!
     
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  14. firedancer414

    firedancer414 Member

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    Thanks!

    Also, set up my Apex tonight. First thing I did was put the ATO on a timer so it won't pump all night.

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    I didn't realize that to control my MP10 through the Apex I would need to buy another $125 module, or ReefLink for $100. This hobby, ugh. I'm now looking at whether it makes sense to get that module, or whether I should sell my Vortech MP10W-QD for ~$200 (what they're going for on Ebay), and get a Neptune WAV for $200, or 2 for $400. Seems like a better deal TBH. Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
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  15. Reefer Deez

    Reefer Deez Reef junkie R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    Yea or you could buy a reef link and control the mp10 but I was in the same boat. But when your done and everything is controlled by one device its really nice
     
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  16. Reefer Deez

    Reefer Deez Reef junkie R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    Also congrats on the Apex! I just got one myself around 4 months ago. I feel they should include a mpr with the Apex but I still find ways to rely and depend on it daily
     
  17. firedancer414

    firedancer414 Member

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    Who cares about the display all the action is in the sump

    Built some shelving to hold my Triton reagents and dosing pump. My sump is absolutely packed. Chaeto V2 seems to be doing better than chaeto V1. Nitrates are <5ppm after I fed my pair of clowns all week. Traveling the next 2 weeks so I don't think I'm going to end up with more livestock soon.

    pH super high because H380, between 8.2-8.4 depending.

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  18. Yellow Eyes

    Yellow Eyes Member

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    You could also look into getting the $125 (I think) battery backup for the Mp10 just incase the power ever did go out....there is always somewhere to spend money in this hobby! lol

    Tank looks great. I am trying to acquire a 170 myself. How did you do the screen top? That isn't included is it?
     
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  19. firedancer414

    firedancer414 Member

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    Thanks! The screen top is a kit, you can get it here.

    https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/customizable-diy-aquarium-net-cover-kit-red-sea.html

    I'm in NorCal so the power doesn't really go out much but will think about it! I did order my WXM module and plan to keep the MP10.
     
  20. firedancer414

    firedancer414 Member

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    Weekly update ...

    Chaeto 2.0 is getting huge. Took a magnifying glass and some light and can see a bunch of pods swimming around. Nitrates have been at 0 with my cheap API kit. Probably need to switch to another kit so I can get my 0-5ppm read better.

    [​IMG]

    Added a pair of flighty purple firefish from my LFS. They are absolutely gorgeous. I tried to buy them last Wednesday, but one of them leapt to its near death (it must have been on the floor for 30 sec?) as we were getting it into the bag. They put them both back into the tank and we said that we'd wait until the weekend to see if they were okay. Called again, they were fine + eating again so took them home! Managed to get a picture of one of them at least.

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    I'm also happy to announce my redneck vacation skimmer. I was away for 4 days this weekend, and came back to a full skimmer cup and a microbubble issue. I think the microbubbles were because I switched to a larger ATO reservoir -> I think the Tunze pump was struggling to move the water, -> the return water level was low. I'm going on a 10 day vacation in 2 weeks so I need to get this squared away. I set up my vacation cup for the Tunze and needed something for it to drain into. Found a Listerine bottle in the recycling bin. So testing it this week.

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    Got some replacement electric blue hermits and a pair of orange spotted shrimp gobys + red banded pistol shrimp from Diver's Den arriving Tuesday. As far as fish go I think that's it for now? My long-term hope is that in 6-12 months, I'll have large enough of a pod population that I can get a mandarin.

    After I get back from that 10 day trip it's time for corals!! My current plan is to get some zoas + a torch from WWC to start, then get a 10-frag BattleBox from Battlecorals.

    Also loving my Apex, seeing nice 0.1 - 0.2 pH day/night swings from the fuge.

    [​IMG]
     
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