My Red Sea Max E-170 Build

WillRuehr

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Hello all,

I have to admit, this is a bit intimidating but it's time to do this! I have enjoyed reading a lot of the build threads over the past few months here. Hopefully, I can help contribute something while learning from all you experienced reefers out there! I'm just about to hit the 3-month mark here of this build. It's my first tank in many years. I figured I will break this up into a few different posts and kind of bring things up to speed.

I always wanted a Red Sea and since I hadn't been in the hobby for many years (I still considered myself a beginner even when I had tanks), I decided to go for an AIO setup. Given the space I had, I went with the Max E-170. I purchased it along with live rock, sand, heater, API test kit (my first mistake of a few I feel), and a coral box qps9 powerhead.

The tank will focus mainly on corals, with 2-3 fish. The fish I want to include in the tank is a common clown, a firefish goby, and a blenny (bicolor or lawnmower). Corals will include a mix of zoas, mushrooms, LPS, and softies.

Here are a few pictures of the initial setup, and fill of the tank. I went for a more minimalistic look on the aquascape.

IMG_2867.JPG


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More to come and please, I would love to hear constructive feedback throughout this thread!
 
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WillRuehr

WillRuehr

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A month after the initial fill, I ended up adding a few more pieces of rock from a friend's tank that he was taking down. He was planning on breaking down the tank in June before moving but lost a pump he couldn't afford to replace. At this stage, I was completely happy with the aquascape. Funny how just a small change can make such a difference. He also loaned me a cloudy damsel that he sold but the person wasn't ready to pick up yet. Biggest attitude on a fish I had ever seen!

IMG_2941.JPG


At this point, I also added an ATO and replaced the stock media basket with the one from inTank. The media I am currently using in the basket is Chemi Pure Blue, filter floss, and ceramic rings. As of writing this, I have a marine pure block ordered to replace the rings.

After a month the stock protein skimmer was still producing microbubbles that were getting into the tank.



With some trial and error, I was able to decrease the number of bubbles but could not remove them all. To this day I still get microbubbles and think I just want to replace the stock skimmer. I am looking at the Tunze 9004 but would love to hear opinions on this or another model. Besides the bubbles, it is a pain to remove the stock skimmer for cleaning the rear compartment. I also thought it might be possible to add a small refugium light to the back so I could add some chaeto in between the smaller skimmer and media basket.
 
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Have you ever had a Angelfish in your reef tank?

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