"Giant Mini Fridge" - Red Sea MAX E-170

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by revnull, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Hello R2R!

    Up until now, I've been documenting my tank progress in a forum managed by my local reef club. A few weeks ago, they had an issue with the software and I feared that the content may have been lost. Luckily, the forum is back online with all content intact, but I though it might be wise to dual post on another forum as a form of backup. I also get the added benefit of the collective experience of the thousands of members in this awesome community. :)

    Please pardon the next series of posts as they will be me re-posting the content from my past thread.
     
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  2. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Mar 5, 2017:

    First, I'd like to extend a big thanks to @scuzy who posted the craigslist for the tank liquidation. The deal I got on the E-170 was too good to pass up (yeah, I just needed an excuse). The seller, Jason, was very accommodating and assured me that if there were any issues, he would "make it right".

    Jason delivered the tank to my office and helped my load it into my car.

    [​IMG]

    When my wife and I got it unloaded and placed it's temporary home in the living room, the first thing out of her mouth was, "It looks kinda like a giant mini fridge."

    [​IMG]

    Now for the game plan. I have none. :) I'm fully open to suggestions. My wife has asked me to get the "other tank" out of the living room ASAP. That gives me a short runway to get things started. I will most likely have to start using the rear sump and later convert to the in-stand sump kit. Also not sure if I should keep the AI Hydra 26 or stick with Kessil. While the integrated power center is a cool idea, I'm probably going to remove it in favor of my Apex.

    Can any current Red Sea tank owners please chime in with how your leveled your tank? Mine came with non adjustable "feet" (dense nylon I assume). 3 on the left and right, 2 on the front and back. I feel like I should remove the feet and shim the cabinet.
     
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  3. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Mar 5, 2017:

    I think I read somewhere that the pad in between the cabinet and the tank is supposed to help level the tank. Not sure I buy it though. I'm missing 2 of the 10 feet and have not been able to find suitable replacement in the local hardware stores.
     
  4. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Mar 5, 2017:

    Not sure it "needs" to leveled as it's not in its final resting place yet. Since my floor is on a raised foundation and we have laminate flooring, it a good bet I will have to level the tank at least a little. i'm still in the planning phase and this thing is too heavy to move by myself, I'l like to make sure I can learn from others experiences before I commit to adding water.
     
  5. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Mar 14, 2017:

    Decided to use the stock feet. 2 were missing from the original stand, but the seller was able to find them and mailed them to me.

    After filling with RO/DI water, everything looks level.

    [​IMG]

    I let the water to cycle for 24hrs and low and behold... LEVEL!

    [​IMG]

    One small hitch, not a show stopper, just something I found when filling the tank.

    [​IMG]

    Using a glass block to align the skimmer seems like a bad idea.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Mar 15, 2017:

    At this point I'm still conflicted with what to do about the sump. As I look at it more, the Red Sea sump seems limited in its design. I've been looking at Trigger Systems and Eshopps cube sumps. The total cost of the plumbing kit and 3rd party sump is the only thing slowing me down. Red Sea sump and plumbing is ~$300, plumbing and 3rd party is closer to ~$500. Is anyone using a 3rd party sump with their Red Sea system?

    On a separate topic, sand... I'm very tempted to go with black sand with this build. I know it cuts down reflective light, but I'm not sure I care. :) I think it looks cool. Aside from potentially reduced PAR, are there any other drawbacks?
     
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  7. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Sep 16, 2017:

    Well, 6 months later and only a small amount of progress. I opted to use the Red Sea sump kit.

    [​IMG]

    Not surprisingly, it's very well built with a foam pad on the bottom to help dampen vibration.

    [​IMG]

    After draining the back chamber, I removed the plugs in the bottom glass and installed the stand pipes from the included plumbing kit. Everything seemed to ratchet click tightly into place and seal nicely.

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    Once everything was plumbed it was time for the leak test. (Can you spot the problem?)

    [​IMG]

    Yes, a slow drip from the return line coupling. I tried resealing it with gobs of plumbers tape and putty, but the dang thing still leaked. I wrapped the return coupling with towels and let it run for a few more hours to make sure nothing else leaked. Both primary and emergency overflow of the herbie worked as expected. Everything was solid except that dang return line.
    Luckily, Red Sea has great customer service. A quick email with pictures and a week later I had a replacement in my hand. Everything installed and leak tested again, no drips.

    One lesson learned from my time under the cabinet, I need more light. I found a set of 3 LED light strips at Ikea. They are meant to daisy chain together, male to female end to end, but the cabinet dimensions would not allow proper installation.

    After removing them from their plastic casing, I was able to de-solder the male connector and add lead wires in it's place.

    [​IMG]

    A little solder and heat shrink tubing later I had a much more flexible configuration.

    [​IMG]

    Since the outer ends would have been left wide open, I 3D printed caps to close things off. I know this solution is not 100% water tight, but it's mostly splash resistant.

    [​IMG]

    Since my 11 year old daughter is working on her geometry, I decided to take advantage and asked her to make me a mounting template.

    [​IMG]

    After a quick dry fit:

    [​IMG]

    I double sided taped everything and removed the template:

    [​IMG]

    Let there be light!

    [​IMG]

    Since I rushed to get everything in place for use with the sump, I opted to use an old Eheim 1260 pump for my return. It was almost a perfect fit for the return chamber, but caused significant "hum" in the cabinet. Following a tip from one of the many BRS videos, I found a silicon mat at Target. After cutting to shape, I zip tied it to the pump and it greatly reduced the vibration hum.

    [​IMG]

    While my legacy equipment pump and skimmer will work, I would love suggestions for more contemporary alternatives. I'm also struggling with what to do for rock work. I'm thinking of buys a box of dry rock and trying my hand and glued/puttied structures. Does anyone have a suggestion as to how many LBs of dry rock I would need to start?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
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  8. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Sep 16, 2017:

    The Setup so far:

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Sep 17, 2017:

    One of the main drawbacks to the Max E-170 is the sump placement. Because it shipped with a "power center" attached to the right side of the cabinet, the sump sits as far to the left as the door hinges will allow. After the power strip is removed (going to use an Apex anyway), this only leaves about 1 useless inch to the left of the sump and about 4.5 inches to the right. There is no way around it, my RO/DI topoff container will have to live outside of the cabinet, but I would still like my dosing containers (kalk/mag) inside with the pumps.

    I found this 1.25gal container at walmart:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Seems to fit just right. When filled to the top the sides bloat a bit, but not enough to interfere.

    [​IMG]

    I'm a bit concerned with with the fill whole (larger white cap) leaking over time or the longevity of this setup in general. Maybe I'll have a custom acrylic container made. Or find a cabinet that can rest on the side of the other that can hold both my 5 gallon RO/DI container and several dosing containers.
     
  10. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Sep 20, 2017:

    I have spent the last couple of nights compiling data about replacement skimmers. Starting to feel like most of the available options are all the same given my sub $250 price point. I know the old EuroReef is a beast, but it's also a little power hungry by modern pump standards.

    Option 1: I can try to retrofit a new pump and maybe a gate valve on the EuroReef making a franken-skimmer that will make me sad everytime I open my stand.... OR

    Option 2: Help me pick a new skimmer :) (sub $250 keeps me sane)
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xt1YUlW3jQfs5B-wbtHordgwEN-VElJcjohC59hl1WA/
     
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  11. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Sept 25, 2017:

    As I get closer to finally starting the cycle on this tank (BRS dry rock shipment arrives in 2 days) I'm starting to put more thought into the logistics of having very little room in the cabinet. There is no way that my 5gal RO/DI container would fit so I just reconciled that it would live next to my tank. then I started thinking about where to mount my apex and other electronics. I've seen others use an additional cabinet on the side to mount additional gear so I started searching but couldn't find anything with the correct internal dimensions.

    This weekend I was cleaning the garage and came across an old Biocube 14 I bought a couple of years ago and just stashed away. The stand seems to be a perfect fit.

    [​IMG]

    The top off container fits great in the lower half and the upper half leaves more that enough room for my Apex and other things I haven't thought of yet.

    [​IMG]

    I told my wife that my hoarding finally paid off. :D
     
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  12. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Sep 27, 2017:

    My rock has arrived! Packed very well.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Time to start bleaching. I've read 10:1 for 24hrs. Sun dry, followed up with a dechlorinator for a week. Any other tips from experienced bleachers?
     
  13. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Sep 27, 2017:

    "If the rocks are dry why bother bleaching?"

    It's BRS pukani and loaded with dust, dirt, webs and other crud. Based on the following, after a good rinse, bleach seems to be a decent middle ground approach to ensuring the rock is not going to contribute to unchecked organics in the tank. But honestly, I figured it can't hurt so why not. :)
     
  14. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Sep 29, 2017:

    My new return pump arrived yesterday.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It comes with slip fit adapters for 3/4", 1", & 1-1/4".

    [[​IMG]

    I'd like to build a return manifold to run reactor(s) in the future. I'd also like to plumb in an Apex flow sensor, but they only seem to come in 1/2" or 1". The return plumbing on the E-170 seems to be ~3/4" (whatever the metric equivalent is). I'm thinking of 1" PVC from the return pump to the main distribution points (core manifold) and 1" to 1/2" reduction "T"s that feed the gate valve regulated reactor outlets. Then one more 1" to 3/4" reduction fitting to feed the display return. (this all makes sense in my head, I swear!)
     
  15. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Sep 30, 2017:

    I plopped the pump into a bucket to see it run before trying to figure out my plumping plan. Man, this thing pushes some water! Since the DC pump has variable output control, I do not think I'll need a control valve near the output. Instead, I'm thinking of a service union high enough that I can swap through different pumps without having to completely readjust my return manifold.

    [​IMG]

    Also got a chance last night to rinse and scrub the rocks before a dip in a 10:1 bleach soak. Planning on a week long bleach cycle, then power wash to strip the dead stuff from the surface. Let that dry for a few days in the sun, then another few days in an RO/DI + Prime bath. Followed by aquascaping/gluing/puttying then in the tank to cycle.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  16. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Sep 30, 2017:

    Started my experiment in return manifolds this morning. Luckily, I had the old leaking Red Sea return fitting. I used a 3/4" close nipple to add a sch80 90.

    [​IMG]

    I removed the o-ring from the old barbed fitting and pushed it down to the bottom seat of the Red Sea fitting. This seems to have filled the gap left once the nipple was fully bottomed out.

    [​IMG]

    Everything seems to fit together nicely.

    [​IMG]

    Most of the plumbing pics I've been able to find are for the reefer 170. The MAX E-170 has the return line pushed all the way into the far left. This means I had to extend the line out and "T" to the right since the return pump is in the back.

    [​IMG]

    Still debating on the final configuration and uncertain how to fasten the manifold to the cabinet. Do you think that long run it accommodate a 1" Neptune flow meter?

    [​IMG]

    [[​IMG]

    Wondering if I should hard plumb all the way down to the pump or use hose barbs and silicone tubing to reduce pump vibration transfer to manifold/cabinet.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Sep 30, 2017:

    Does anyone have a FS100 installed that can tell me how long it is? I read somewhere that you need a few inches before and after the unions for most accurate readings. I feel like this is not possible in such a small cabinet.
     
  18. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Sep 30, 2017:

    After 2 days of bucket burn in, I swapped out my old vibrating Eheim with the DCP-5000. Until I figure out my return manifold, I'm stilling using a barbed fitting and hose.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Oct 1, 2017:

    After a 40 hour bleach soak and a power wash.

    [​IMG]

    After the power wash, I let the rock dry in the sun for a few hours. I dumped the bleach water, gave the trash can a good rinse and scrub. Filled back up with fresh tap water and a double dose of Prime. I'll let that stew for a few days then rinse and repeat with RO/DI + Prime.
     
  20. revnull

    revnull Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Post from Oct 3, 2017:

    After some additional reading on other Red Sea threads, I decided to simplify my cabinet lighting.

    I decided on the OxyLED T-02US
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07216WZZQ

    [​IMG]

    This model has the same features of the more popular 36 LED version, but in a more compact layout (2 rows of LEDs) that fit better in my cabinet.

    [​IMG]

    This photo doesn't do the light output justice.

    [​IMG]

    The adhesive backed magnetic strip makes removing to recharge the light a breeze.

    [​IMG]

    No as bright as my Ikea LEDs, but certainly bright enough to justify the switch to a wire free motion activated solution.

    [​IMG]
     
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