Mission Impossible: Reefer 250, 3 reactors, refugium, skimmer, lights, action! Pic heavy.

Butuz

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Well, guys, where do I start. New to the hobby, spent a fair bit of time researching and getting my plan sculpted before pulling the trigger. Was planning on the largest Red Sea Reefer at first, but the warden objected, settled on Reefer 250 with a thought that “if you continue to enjoy the hobby after a year, get the largest one and convert this to QT”. Happy wife, happy life as they say. So, with that, let the build thread commence.

I am not going to post pics of how I put the cabinet together, what the tank looks like, etc. You have seen it all, they are all the same. But, I did want to build something that I have not seen before, so I will document what I think may be of interest to you all.

First and foremost, my name is Wes. I live in The Woodlands, TX (north of Houston). Special thanks to Nick Jr from Oceanlife Aquariums in Houston. My plans were all using the previous generation sump layout and Nick helped me find the Reefer with the old sump layout. I dont think v3 is good for these customizations. Also, Nick Jr is one of the most passionate people I have met when it comes to this hobby. Infectious.

Also thanks to the R2R community. None of what I hae done is new, you will recognize some of your work reflected in mine. I have also seen some of you make constant changes to your setup, that was an extra motivation for me to not rush to fill this thing, but rather take it slow and build it to last and meet any future needs (hopefully). So, here we go.

1. Cant do anything without the cabinet lights, so first thing, installed undercabinet motion sensor LED strips all around.

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2. I also dont like wires all over the place, so got these white rail system from Amazon, a few layers of black high gloss rustoleum, looks like it was made for the Reefer.

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3. Dropped Nyos 120 to start planning around ergonomics. Every inch counts in this small cabinet. Jumping ahead, that is where I spent most of the time, sequencing equipment, ways to be able to fully disassemble without taking everything apart, etc. decided to go with the red theme, replaced socks with these cups and bought Biotek Marine reactors (not in their the final resting place).

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4. The rest of the equipment, hardware, fittings etc started to arrive. I concluded that I didn’t want to get another degree in how to program Apex, so went with eKoral Pro. Very happy with their controller, functionality of the app, simplicity of setup and use. Their customer support is awesome (Eric is exceptional).

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5. Painted the back of the sump using Plastidip. Be sure to use lots of masking tape, that thing gets everywhere otherwise, like mist.

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6. Changed Biotek in and out flow for hard piping. Sealed these from the inside with aquarium sealant, didnt want any leaks.

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7. Have also seen that many have experienced the overflow section leak through the housing/connection at the bottom of the aquarium, so sealed this with the sealant as well.

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8. Started to layout what the manifold would look like. Lots and lots of iterations down the road, but it was easier to do it this way with tape than drawing etc.

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9. Next, started to get all three reactors put together as part of the manifold. One piece of advice, lay a cardboard inside the sump, cut to fit, and this template will make it a lot easier to plan the layout for reactors. Also, if you wants very clean connections with no pvc glue, tape every connection prior to applying pvc cement. Btw, as you are working on any valves etc, good opportunity to lubricate all orings. Will last a long time and will provide a better seal. Finally, when it gets tough, a glass of Aperol Spritz can never hurt.

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Stay tuned ... more to come soon ...

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Butuz

Butuz

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10. Self descriptive photos of this coming together. The pump is Ocot Varios 6, decided to hard plumb it. Added Marine Pure, used the left over in cups. AI Hydra 26 have been connected. Drilled the stock ATO to convert to a refugium. Cut the threads to save space. In addition to 3 reactor valves, added another one that has a hose in sump area to keep detritus off the bottom, do small water changes, etc.

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Butuz

Butuz

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12. Started the electrical box. Bought and repurposed a cabinet. Nothing that a few cuts cant solve.

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13. Due to lack of space inside this future cabinet, decided to mount the eKoral controller below the cabinet.

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14. The only way to use all of the real estate on the door was to mount it as a sliding garage door style. The door lifts up and slides into the cabinet. You can see tha rails on both sides. Also, mounted all power bars on the back panel outside using 3M velcro.

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15. View of eKoral from below the cabinet.

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16. Forgot to mention, also added eggcrate.

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Butuz

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Butuz

Butuz

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Dang man you really ROCKED that plumbing Gig!!! Looks Great!
Thanks, guys. Yes, looking back, cant believe it. If anyone needs any help, please feel free to reach out. Would be a shame not to share the learnings.
 
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Butuz

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3rd eK Power 6 is in (will need two sockets, one for ATO pump and another one for eKoral doser when its out next month). Also, got Neo Therm in place, tucked the wires for it and eKoral probes into the wire guard. Kessil H80 for refugium is in too. Just waiting for my custom ATO reservoir, dosing containers and probe holders from Advanced Acrylics. Installing the Reeflink next.

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Butuz

Butuz

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Guys, got my Reeflink setup. I have these two MP40s on sides, one slightly below the other. Can someone please share your schedules? My head is spinning looking at all the options, tidal swell, reefcrest, etc etc. i have not decided on corals, but I like zoas and other soft stuff that moves with water movement. also, thinking about running these MP40s at 20%, thoughts?
 

nickkohrn

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Guys, got my Reeflink setup. I have these two MP40s on sides, one slightly below the other. Can someone please share your schedules? My head is spinning looking at all the options, tidal swell, reefcrest, etc etc. i have not decided on corals, but I like zoas and other soft stuff that moves with water movement. also, thinking about running these MP40s at 20%, thoughts?
I have a 20g cube that I run two MP10wQDs on. I have one on each side, but they are pointed at each other to produce a nice clash of flow in the center of the tank. I have one on Reefcrest, running at a maximum of 40% while the other is on anti-sync with that unit. It provides the tank with a nice back and forth flow throughout the day. I don’t have any livestock in the tank yet. I wanted to get it dialed in before adding any corals, and it seems like it will work nicely for my system.
 
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