McGster's Red Sea Reefer 200XL Build

mcgster

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I guess this is round 2 of rekindling my passion in the hobby after almost 10 years without a tank. After a failed attempt to revive an old Oceanic Biocube which leaked and was beyond repair i ordered a Red Sea Reefer 200XL. Ordering a system like this is a big departure for me as prior to leaving the hobby i built most of my own tanks and sumps and pieced systems together over time. I was able to pick up the entire setup 20% off and it arrived much sooner than expected. The packaging was top notch and there wasn't a bit of damage. The assembly was pretty straightforward and the tank looks great so far.

Thanks for checking out my "build" i'll keep everyone updated as it progresses.

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Top Shelf Aquatics
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mcgster

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Much to my relief the tank had no issues with the leak test and i was able to get it filled and ready for the base. I went with the CaribSea Arag-Alive x 3 bags. I put this in last week and it stayed cloudy for some time but it has cleared up quite a bit now. This is definitely a new way to seed a tank for me but it seems like it is pretty tried and true.

A couple progress pics of the tank and my skilled helpers :)

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I dug out all my old "live rock" from storage, some of it was quite worse for the wear but most of it looked pretty good. I gave it all a good pressure wash and it removed most of the old algae (and new algae as one of the storage containers leaked). In total there ended up being about 95lbs of usable rock.

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mcgster

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Things have been moving along nicely with the tank.

I struggled with what return pump to get for the tank, i debated the basic mag drive pump vs what seems to be the most popular choice for this setup a Vectra S2. In the end i went with the Vectra out of a concern that without the tight flow control i would end up with a constant gurgling/sloshing of water in the overflow.
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I've had the tank cycling with some rock for about 2 weeks now while i find the time to tackle building a more permanent rock structure for the tank.
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The tank is slowly coming along, after scrolling through endless YouTube videos and R2R/Instagram pictures of aquascapes i decided to bite the bullet and construct an aquascape using the deepwater tonga rock i had. My idea was a central branching coral/tree to provide a striking look but leave me with lots of places for corals and tank inhabitants.

I built a frame out of some old 3/4inch pine so i could avoid getting too close to the glass or too high in the tank.

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Then found a suitable base and started to test out different rock pieces to build the main structure off of. My goal was to drill and use plastic dowels to support the pieces then hold them in place with marine epoxy.

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Some of the smaller pieces i had to flatten an edge to drill and fit together but it went well for the most part.

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I used a disposable icing bag to pipe in the marine epoxy and now to wait to hope everything holds.
 
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mcgster

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Everything felt pretty secure this morning with the combination of the epoxy and plastic dowels so i tacked a few more pieces on and i'm going to let it set for 24 hours before i risk picking it up and transferring it to the tank!

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Hopefully the epoxy holds and everything feels solid tomorrow so i can get this into the tank in 1 piece!
 

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