Dory's Reef, Upgrading so I can keep her!

Sonja

Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
67
Reaction score
229
Location
Manchester
I acquired a Regal Tang some time ago now, she was being attacked in her former tank as she was tiny. I've never been able to catch her since, the only way will be to drain my current tank and I'd like to keep her so upgrade time it is!

I have the space for a Reefer deluxe 425XL. Ive been reading and compiling a list of equipment, but would really appreciate people looking over it for any big mistakes or items im missing, i know there will be plenty. Im trying to understand reactors right now and failing miserably.

So here it is, my list for Dory's new home with the aim of creating a mixed reef.

Red Sea reefer deluxe, 425XL
Red sea skimmer RSK-600
Reef Wave 45 X2 (do i actually need 2?)
ChaetoMax light
D&D H2O ocean doser
D&D Clarisea roller filter sk-3000 automatic
D&D heating controller
schego 600w titanium heater (is 1 enough?)
Sicce Syncra SDC 6.0 return pump.

That's my starting list, I'm more than happy to be educated otherwise on what i could do differently! I wont be doing the set up alone, my LFS have recommended someone who will do the setup, hes coming out next week to go over what i want, but id like a plan in advance so I have an idea what I'm doing. Thank you in advance for any help and advise. Ill apologise in advance for my lack of knowledge!

Editing to add, my tank is installed, water is warming up, better pictures to follow when I get a lens in the post!

B459E532-7BF8-4CDC-B06D-D43C1A619C2C.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Top Shelf Aquatics

ccombs

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 26, 2019
Messages
1,486
Reaction score
4,178
Location
Nashville
I acquired a Regal Tang some time ago now, she was being attacked in her former tank as she was tiny. I've never been able to catch her since, the only way will be to drain my current tank and I'd like to keep her so upgrade time it is!

I have the space for a Reefer deluxe 425XL. Ive been reading and compiling a list of equipment, but would really appreciate people looking over it for any big mistakes or items im missing, i know there will be plenty. Im trying to understand reactors right now and failing miserably.

So here it is, my list for Dory's new home with the aim of creating a mixed reef.

Red Sea reefer deluxe, 425XL
Red sea skimmer RSK-600
Reef Wave 45 X2 (do i actually need 2?)
ChaetoMax light
D&D H2O ocean doser
D&D Clarisea roller filter sk-3000 automatic
D&D heating controller
schego 600w titanium heater (is 1 enough?)
Sicce Syncra SDC 6.0 return pump.

That's my starting list, I'm more than happy to be educated otherwise on what i could do differently! I wont be doing the set up alone, my LFS have recomended someone who will do the setup, hes coming out next week to go over what i want, but id like a plan in advance so I have an idea what I'm doing. Thank you in advance for any help and advise. Ill apologise in advance for my lack of knowledge!
What are you not understanding about reactors/which reactors specifically, I might be able to help.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics
OP
Sonja

Sonja

Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
67
Reaction score
229
Location
Manchester
What are you not understanding about reactors/which reactors specifically, I might be able to help.
At the moment everything! I initially planned on including a Phosphate reactor, but do i still need that if im setting up the refugium? I have no clue what else i should be thinking about on this topic so any advice would be great! I know this is the area I still have a lot of reading to do!
 

ccombs

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 26, 2019
Messages
1,486
Reaction score
4,178
Location
Nashville
At the moment everything! I initially planned on including a Phosphate reactor, but do i still need that if im setting up the refugium? I have no clue what else i should be thinking about on this topic so any advice would be great! I know this is the area I still have a lot of reading to do!
Ok, so carbon and GFO reactors are essentially a more efficient method of getting water through whatever media you choose to use. They allow you to see the effects of the media quicker, and many would argue that they do a better job.

Media in any high flow area (like a filter sock) will work, reactors just allow you to control flow, keep the media from tumbling, and see the effects of the media quicker. BRS did a cool thing where they compared carbon in a filter sock to carbon in a reactor. Eventually both waters cleaned up, but the reactor cleaned it up way quicker.

Refugiums can have several functions. For me, I use it to harbor pods and try to reduce nitrates by using chaeto to consume them out compete other algae I do not want in the display. It all comes down to what you want to do with a refugium vs. a reactor. A reactor is beneficial because it is more controllable while a refugium is a more natural approach that leaves you at the mercy of the ecosystem in your tank IMO.

The cool thing (and confusing thing) about this hobby is that there are a ton of ways to accomplish the same goal, and you can use the same tools to accomplish different goals.

Hope that helps, let me know if you have other questions!
 
OP
Sonja

Sonja

Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
67
Reaction score
229
Location
Manchester
Ok, so carbon and GFO reactors are essentially a more efficient method of getting water through whatever media you choose to use. They allow you to see the effects of the media quicker, and many would argue that they do a better job.

Media in any high flow area (like a filter sock) will work, reactors just allow you to control flow, keep the media from tumbling, and see the effects of the media quicker. BRS did a cool thing where they compared carbon in a filter sock to carbon in a reactor. Eventually both waters cleaned up, but the reactor cleaned it up way quicker.

Refugiums can have several functions. For me, I use it to harbour pods and try to reduce nitrates by using chaeto to consume them out compete other algae I do not want in the display. It all comes down to what you want to do with a refugium vs. a reactor. A reactor is beneficial because it is more controllable while a refugium is a more natural approach that leaves you at the mercy of the ecosystem in your tank IMO.

The cool thing (and confusing thing) about this hobby is that there are a ton of ways to accomplish the same goal, and you can use the same tools to accomplish different goals.

Hope that helps, let me know if you have other questions!
Thank you so much. Your post is incredibly helpful, and gives me a really good start for further reading. There is so much information out there it can be really hard to get started without getting totally confused.

The Refugium has to stay as i want it for the pods, I do have pod cultures at home already as I've been experimenting with them over the last 10 months. I would love to be able to keep a mandarin pair so need the numbers as high as possible.

Can I ask, with the setup i have above, what would you choose in terms of reactors? From what you've said I'm definitely leaning towards at least having a GFO.
 

ccombs

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 26, 2019
Messages
1,486
Reaction score
4,178
Location
Nashville
Thank you so much. Your post is incredibly helpful, and gives me a really good start for further reading. There is so much information out there it can be really hard to get started without getting totally confused.

The Refugium has to stay as i want it for the pods, I do have pod cultures at home already as I've been experimenting with them over the last 10 months. I would love to be able to keep a mandarin pair so need the numbers as high as possible.

Can I ask, with the setup i have above, what would you choose in terms of reactors? From what you've said I'm definitely leaning towards at least having a GFO.
I am redoing my setup right now and have settled on this reactor. Unfortunately I can't personally review it yet since I haven't put it into service. It can be used for carbon or GFO.

https://www.marinedepot.com/aquamaxx-fluidized-gfo-and-carbon-filter-media-reactor-standard

It seems to be well built and at a good price point. I will be plumbing it off a manifold on my return so it doesn't need a dedicated pump, simply a gate valve.

For what it is worth, I am plumbing 2 of these in my system. I only plan to run carbon at the beginning, but I am keeping a second one ready to go if I decide to do GFO or something. You might want to consider having 2 for more flexibility. I guess you could probably put both types of media in just one of them (not sure if there are any negatives to that), it would just limit space and flexibility on flow rates. In the grand scheme of the hobby, this reactor is on the more budget friendly side.

Also, here is a BRS media calculator.
 
OP
Sonja

Sonja

Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
67
Reaction score
229
Location
Manchester
I am redoing my setup right now and have settled on this reactor. Unfortunately I can't personally review it yet since I haven't put it into service. It can be used for carbon or GFO.

https://www.marinedepot.com/aquamaxx-fluidized-gfo-and-carbon-filter-media-reactor-standard

It seems to be well built and at a good price point. I will be plumbing it off a manifold on my return so it doesn't need a dedicated pump, simply a gate valve.

For what it is worth, I am plumbing 2 of these in my system. I only plan to run carbon at the beginning, but I am keeping a second one ready to go if I decide to do GFO or something. You might want to consider having 2 for more flexibility. I guess you could probably put both types of media in just one of them (not sure if there are any negatives to that), it would just limit space and flexibility on flow rates. In the grand scheme of the hobby, this reactor is on the more budget friendly side.

Also, here is a BRS media calculator.
Thank you again for the help, its all seeming much clearer now, and that calculator will be really handy! I've got the guy helping with my install coming round on the 9th so hopefully I can get everything ordered pretty soon after that.
 
https://www.omegasea.net/

ccombs

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 26, 2019
Messages
1,486
Reaction score
4,178
Location
Nashville
Thank you again for the help, its all seeming much clearer now, and that calculator will be really handy! I've got the guy helping with my install coming round on the 9th so hopefully I can get everything ordered pretty soon after that.
Let me know if you need anything else! If you live in Manchester, TN, we live pretty close. If you live in Manchester, England....not so much lol.
 

SPR1968

Fish & Coral Addict!
View Badges
Joined
Feb 21, 2017
Messages
8,076
Reaction score
51,039
Location
Nottinghamshire England
A bit of advice I had when I built my first aquarium was to make sure you know how every part of it is built up and how it works.

I just mention this as you say the LFS is recommending someone to help you set it up. Just take note of everything they do, or better do it yourself so you will then be in a much better position in the event of any problems, maintenance etc.

On the reactors, you need one for GFO really, and since you have some DD stuff, I can recommend the Deltec FR509 which I have and it’s very well built. I also have the FR512 and run Rhowaphos

You can run activated carbon just in a media bag, that’s what I do and just change it around every 4 weeks. Just saves the need for an additional reactor. If you want to put both carbon and GFO together (in separate compartments) take a look at the NYOS Torq reactors.

And if you are Manchester England, I’m about 1 hour away! Lol
 
OP
Sonja

Sonja

Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
67
Reaction score
229
Location
Manchester
A bit of advice I had when I built my first aquarium was to make sure you know how every part of it is built up and how it works.

I just mention this as you say the LFS is recommending someone to help you set it up. Just take note of everything they do, or better do it yourself so you will then be in a much better position in the event of any problems, maintenance etc.

On the reactors, you need one for GFO really, and since you have some DD stuff, I can recommend the Deltec FR509 which I have and it’s very well built. I also have the FR512 and run Rhowaphos

You can run activated carbon just in a media bag, that’s what I do and just change it around every 4 weeks. Just saves the need for an additional reactor. If you want to put both carbon and GFO together (in separate compartments) take a look at the NYOS Torq reactors.

And if you are Manchester England, I’m about 1 hour away! Lol
Haha, yes Manchester England, where are you?

Yes I plan on putting everything together with them except the stand! I want to know how everything works and be able to do all the maintenance myself, but just have him come maybe once a month until I really know what I'm doing. It will also be handy to have someone familiar with the tank in case i ever go on holiday or there are problems.

I felt left in the lurch over my first tank from the day I bought it from the previous shop, the new one I'm going to buy this set up from gave me more information in an hour than the last one did in three years. They really spoke to me as if to say How dare you ask anything? almost as if I wanted to know their weight or something really personal!

Going to a new LFS really gave me back my enthusiasm for the hobby.
 
OP
Sonja

Sonja

Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
67
Reaction score
229
Location
Manchester
So excited, It's all ordered. Just waiting for an installation date, fingers crossed its going to be here before the end of the month!!!

The best part is that I'm not going to have to take delivery of anything, its all getting delivered to the shop and will be collected first thing by the person helping me with the install. Very relieved I'm not going to figure out how to get this tank in the house on my own.

I've made a few changes to the equipment list. Removing the filter roller due to positioning/plumbing issues, and adding in a UV filter and Ozone.
 
Legendary Corals
OP
Sonja

Sonja

Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
67
Reaction score
229
Location
Manchester
I got my tests kits today, some of them might get upgraded in the future but this is what I'm starting out with! I love the digital probe, that's going to make life easier for sure.

I have an electrician coming out on Tuesday to give me a quote for a power board to keep everything tidy. Does anyone have an idea how much I should expect to pay in the UK? or any pictures of your set up would be brilliant.

reef tests.jpg
 

Do you think "petting your fish" is a good or bad idea?

  • Good idea

    Votes: 61 18.3%
  • Bad Idea

    Votes: 130 38.9%
  • Not sure but in for the comments...

    Votes: 143 42.8%

Online statistics

Members online
2,539
Guests online
9,757
Total visitors
12,296
Build a Better Aquarium at Marine Depot
Top