Grumblez Red Sea Reefer 250 build thread

Grumblez

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Background / Introduction
Skip to the next post for the build

Hello some background on me first I guess, long time lurker of various reef forums, first time posting on one. Going to use this thread to introduce myself first and then the build :). I first started a fowlr tank 3 or 4 years ago, I knew I was gonna be moving a couple more times in the years to come, so didn't wanna dive in to corals yet really. Only coral I currently have is a Toadstool I've kept alive for the past year. Fairly successful keeping fish so far.
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My first set up before any of the "ugly" phases of cycling. The two clownfish are still around today. Unfortunately I lost the chromis about 6 months ago who was my very first SWF.

I got really into the idea of trying to breed clownfish, and picked up an adult pair of black clownfish that where trade ins at my LFS. By the time they actually laid eggs 6+ months later I only had time to try and raise a few batches that would have time to grow big enough to sell or move with me. I came really close and learned ALOT about saltwater fish in general but none ever made it. When I moved the only way I could make it work was to move the fish in with my brother and drive back down to load up a U-Haul and clean out my rented place. That left a gap of 2 weeks the fish would be in my brothers care. He keeps a large cichlid tank, but no marine experience. 3 out of 4 fish from the main tank survived, but the black clowns tank went through a bacteria bloom that was fatal.

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"Black Coral and Marlin"

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Bubble Babies




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Lost this guy right at the start of Meta :(

In the 18(?) months living back in WV I've mostly kept it simple (being in a LFS desert didn't help), picked up a single toadstool and a pair of bangaiis from live aquaria. Unfortunately one of the Bangai's died within a couple of days. I blame fedex for keeping the livestock in the truck for like 8 hours. Shoutout to live aquaria though they gave me a credit big enough to cover the entire purchase price, and shipping for a new pair.


That turned out a bit lengthy, got a little caught up in the past.
 
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Grumblez

Grumblez

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Buying a house

Finally bought our first house this March. While my wife was concerned about the new paint color, furniture, and replacing the cabinet knobs; I was stoked to finally set up a proper not Nano sized tank. I decided to purchase my Reefer 250 from a LFS to instantly earn a lot of rapport. Roanoke while being a smaller city is lucky enough to actually have 3. One of the reasons I wanted to move here lol. The one I went to told me he actually had a customer selling him one back that he only used for 6 months and was upgrading. Said it would be a few weeks before he got it which was fine because I need to wait for my new floors to put any fish tanks in.

In the meantime I picked up a JBJ 15 gallon rimless from Marine depot to set up as the secondary tank and a temporary home for my 2 clowns and Bangai. In the new tank half the size the clowns started bullying and did some pretty good fin damage to the slow Bangaii, so I had to dig out the old Evo. A course of antibiotics and some high-quality foods later and Billy-Bob the Bangaiis doing great.

He finally got the Tank a few weeks ago, said it looked brand new and came with a turbine duo 9k pump for 1300. I almost had a last minute change of heart and had him order me a reefer 350. I wanted a little more length to more comfortably keep some tangs without being arrested. Ultimately I decided with the spaces in my house to work with and keeping the wife happy of not having a tank totally overwhelm the room I went with the 250.

Its gotten late, tomorrow I'll post where I'm actually at with the tank build, and hopefully get some really good suggestions as far as livestock, equipment, etc.


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The JBJ rimless 15, the stand was a pain in the butt to build but love the tank. I was worried my CUC might start starving, I've never seen all their shells clean before, I also had a healthy clump of culuerpa that they ether ate or melted. Finally some film algae is growing for them, I need to adjust the light down and pick up a new magnetic scrapper. Does anyone have a suggested lighting profile for the Fluval Wing Nano?


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The Tank home and setup. I picked it up the weekend off the 7th, got It plumbed and almost ready for water last weekend.
A 350 could have fit right here but would have been borderline overwhelming for the rest of the room, I'll try and take some full room shots.
 
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Grumblez

Grumblez

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Almost Set up

Currently I work 4 hours from where I live, so I'm only home 2 or 3 days a week. I didn't hate missing out on alot of painting but its been painful now waiting 4 days to work on the tank. A few weeks ago I drove 3 hours from where I work to Cincinnati to pick out my new rock. I called several fish stores listed as retailers of Marco rock and this was the closest one with any of the "Shelf Rock" in stock. If your anywhere near Cincinnati, Aquarium Artisians is hands down the cleanest fish store I've ever been in.
https://goo.gl/maps/YxrTCzT1YvuipK4F9.

I tried my best to get everything set up last weekend, including picking up about 50 gallons of saltwater from a LFS, and 5 gallons of NutriSea water (Finally having my own RODI setup is gonna be awesome but haven't had time yet). Ran out of time while I was playing with the aquascape, so had to pack everything up and head out.

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Close to the final aquasacpe I ended up with, only change really being a smaller rock on top to make the arch, close to mimicking it. I'm using the Marco mortar to make the towers, and gonna use reef welder to stick the arch on top once its in the tank. After watching some other youtube videos I realized now my mistake was mixing the mortar to thin. Seems like from watching youtube videos you want closer to a play-doh consistency, which makes sense so it doesnt seep down and just fill in your pores of your live rock.
 
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Grumblez

Grumblez

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Equipment

Equipment

Flow
- Vortech MP-40qd
-turbine duo 9k pump (I've thought about replacing it with a ECO tech pump eventually)
I didn't think MP-10s would work, becasue of the whole glass thickness thing but I've since seen videos of them on reefer 250s so I guess I'll pick one up for the 2nd pump.

Lighting
Current USA 36" reef light-bar
- I'm planning on upgrading to radions when the tanks good and ready for corals in late July and I'm living at home full time.

Filtration
- First time using a sump, mine came with 1 filter sock and 2 cup-holder looking things. I guess the cup-holder looking things are if you don't want to use socks you can stuff those full of filter floss. I've never used a skimmer, will probably set one up in July. I'm open to any suggestions, my primary concern is small to have other room in the sump to do other things if I want, and quiet. Not planning a crazy large bio-load in the tank.

One thing missing from the tank is the float valve for the auto-top off. I might pick a new one up to use the stock ATO temporarly, Definitely gonna set up a ATO next to the sump eventually though.

Livestock
My current fish are 2 clownfish, 1 Bangai, and I prematurely purchased a captive bred yellow tang who's roommates with the bangai now. I kind of freaked out when I saw them in stock and pulled the trigger last weekend. This little guy is the cutest fish I've ever seen in my life, in less than 4 hours he was cruising around his new temporary home grazing on algae.


I was originally going to put a pair of Bangaiis in the JBJ cube after the clowns move out, but now I'm thinking about keeping the clowns in the cube and doing 3 bangai in the reefer. I think in a 55 gallon theirs enough space I shouldn't have to many aggression problems with the Bangai?.

Aside from the Yellow Tang I'm really not sure what I want to put in the tank other than a neon goby, cleaner shrimp, and a new chromis. Looking for suggestions

I'm thinking on the island rock in the front left doing a kenya tree in the middle and growing GSP around it. Otherwise Corals are basically new territory to me so no idea what I wanna do with that other than following bosses orders "a tank in my living room better be pretty".

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Grumblez

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Filling the Tank and cycling

Last weekend (may 22nd) I finished my aquascape, filled it with sand and water and put the aquascape in.
I didn't do a leak test of the entire tank, just poured a gallon of RODI water in the plumbing around the return. I had a leak from my emergency return, taking the bottom part of plumbing off and tightening it from the bottom fixed the leak.

My next even more annoying problem was I wasn't getting water out of my return. I fooled with the pump for 3 hours taking it apart and putting it back together several times, somehow the 9k liters per hour pump wasn't able to make it through the 5 feet of return plumbing, It was moving water just not enough even with everything set on max. I had to run out and grab a cheap Sicce 4.0 AC pump. Frustrating because I wasted 3 hours and I could have ordered a nicer pump I actually wanted online if I knew this one wasn't going to work before filling it with water.

Don't get this pump lol. I'm curious if it ever worked for the previous owner, or if it didn't why he kept it and didn't return it. 80% of retail is a lot to pay for a used tank even one in mint condition, but the included 200$ pump was what pushed it over to a reasonable price for me. :(

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Initial Aqua-scape, I ended up deciding it needed another layer but it would have to wait for memorial day weekend. The main towers are put together using Marco Mortar. The bridge is just gently held in place using this cool reusable epoxy called reef welder.

On Sunday right before I left I poured in a 4oz bottle of DR tims, and dosed some ammonia to ~2PPM.
 
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Grumblez

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Price?

Going to do the forbidden here and keep a rolling tally of the direct costs of the reefer 250. Shipping and tax will be included in price if applicable

Primary Equipment
Used Reefer 250 and Pump (pump ended up not working) - 1300
Vortech MP-40QD - 380
Vortech MP-10QD - 315
Clearview Tsunami lid - 165
Finnex HMX Titanium 200 Watt Aquarium Heater w/ Digital Controller - 50
Sicce 4.0 Pump - 130
Waterproof 10000K LED Tunze (fuge) - 90

Aquascape
40lbs Livesand - 60
Marco Shelf Rock - 300
E-Marco Mortar x 2 - 100

Misc
Replacement Stock ATO valve - 20
Filter socks x 4 - 40
(6/8/21) Various Filter Media - 50

Total to date - 2980

Livestock

Captive Bred Yellow Tang - 150
7 snails - 20
Cleaner Shrimp - 30
Bangaii Cardinal - 30

Total - 230

Not included is consumables like saltwater/rodi/saltmix, coral-dip/medications/bacteria, and food etc because those will vary so much person to person anyways. Also not included is any livestock/ equipment I already had (which isn't much)

You know after starting this tally I'm on board with not knowing is better lol but I'm committed now.
 
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Grumblez

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Memorial Day Weekend
Finally 4 days to finish everything up.

Thursday night for good measure I added a bag of ceramic rocks from my existing tank to the sump to speed the cycle along.

Friday it was time to finalize the Aquascape. Definitely easier to do without water in the tank! My plan was to use reef welders epoxy to add the layer to the main towers. One side used 2 smaller rocks to finish the tower and I got those to a point I felt comfortably secure with using this.

The other side was going to be one large rock, and after a hour or so of trying I realized the reef welder wasn't going to work. Its great little stuff but doesn't work for heavier weights. Especially when using underwater it sets extremely fast. I reluctantly realized I would need to drain half the water and then use the E-Mortar if I wanted it to be safe from being tipped over.

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(Ignore the temporary green algae covered rock)

Sunday with my nitrates at 20, I did about a 20 gallon water change then added my yellow tang to her new home for hopefully at least the next few years.

Last weekend I did some work on my other tanks, but did add a small piece of macro algae from the fuge I set up on my nano. I got this one specifically because tangs are supposed to eat it so would be nice to have home grown food. So far she hasn't shown any interest in eating it, I think it's to big for her to eat right now. She loves little sprouts of hair algae though!

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I only turn the lights on very low blue for now at night/evenings when I'm home so I can admire the tank when I'm watching TV at night.

I did dose some copepods in the tank. Trying to get a healthy population going before more fish move it. I've got a light coming in to get a proper fuge set up in the sump this weekend coming up!
 

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@Grumblez great start!! I’ve got a Reefer 250 also see my build thread. I’m following your thread. Congratulations on the new house. I recommend the Reef Octopus Essence 130-S skimmer. $100 less than the Nyos and more innovative features. Do a YouTube search on that skimmer. Then there’s the super space saving skimmer line the Bubble Magus line of Z-skimmers. Separate from their other lines. Affordable prices too.
 
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What is your most favorite type of shrimp for your reef tank?

  • Peppermint Shrimp

    Votes: 3 1.9%
  • Banded Coral Shrimp

    Votes: 12 7.4%
  • Snapping or Pistol Shrimp

    Votes: 18 11.1%
  • Harlequin Shrimp

    Votes: 11 6.8%
  • Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp

    Votes: 49 30.2%
  • Blood Red Fire Shrimp

    Votes: 39 24.1%
  • Sexy Anemone Shrimp

    Votes: 12 7.4%
  • Camel Shrimp

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 3 1.9%
  • NO shrimp in my tank

    Votes: 14 8.6%
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