My Red Sea Reefer 425XL Rewind

Dolelo96

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A little backstory. Got into the hobby by accident. We bought our daughter an Innovative Marine 30l for Christmas 2014. Set it up in January. It was hers until one day, she was moving a Duncan and a piece of food landed on a polyp. Freaked her out how fast the polyp closed around the food. It became my tank after that. In March of that year, a mason jar got into a fight with the tank. The jar won. Caught the corner of the tank and sent a crack down the seam, so at 5pm on a Sunday I was at the LFS to replace it. Came home with an IM Fusion 40. I figured this would be a could time to sneak in a bigger tank.;Happy
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As time went on, It amazed me that I had created a little piece of the ocean in a tiny glass box. I was done for... This hobby had me, hook line & sinker. I learned a lot with this tank. Replacing water evaporation with fresh, not salt water to keep the salinity stabilized. How the levels of alkalinity, calcium & magnesium affected each other and the stability of a reef tank and the health of the inhabitants, so test often. That said tests were not always easy to read, especially when your definition of pink or blue may not be the same as theirs. Over feeding = excess nutrients = algae outbreaks (Had plenty of practice with this one). Those 5 gallon buckets got really heavy carrying in from the car and I needed to rethink getting an RO/DI unit. This hobby was not only addictive, but could get really EXPENSIVE (my first Reef-A-Palooza about did me in). I could go on, but you get the picture, and even with all this, I wanted a bigger tank.

My IM Fusion 40
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I started the build for the RSR 425xl June 2017. Actually, it was more my LFS that started the build. Unexpected surgery meant I had to depend on them to set it up. They did everything, including the rockscape, transferring and placing my corals from the old tank, moving fish, etc.

My RSR 425xl during the cycle process
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Equipment list when build started...
Red Sea Reefer 425xl
Sicce pump
MP40WQD & MP10WQD (from old tank)
Vertex Omega 150
Neptune Apex Controller, WXM, Temp & PH Probe
Giesemann Aurora T5/LED (was on backorder. Got it the end of July)
Cobalt Neotherm Heater
Added/Upgrades
New Apex Controller
Neptune DOS/DDR
Bulk Reef Supply 6 Stage Deluxe RO/DI
A second MP40WQD
IceCap 1K Gyre Pump
Red Sea Sump Baffle Kit by Octo Aquatics, red-sea-sump-baffle-kits
Quarantine/Hospital setup
Innovative Marine Lagoon 25 to use for future quarantine (got an amazing deal)
MP10 from old tank
Cobalt Neotherm
...Still need Hobe Filter and meds
Livestock moved from the old tank...
Black Ice Snowflake Clownfish x 2 (lost during Velvet outbreak)
Flame Hawkfish ( Named Hawkeye, and my daughter's personal favorite. He didn't take well to new tank)
Blue/Green Chromis
Additions after setup
Blue/Green Chromis x 3 (They all played nice for a month then the original Chromis turned into a bully and went after the other 3. New ones didn't make it and the bully went back to the LFS)
Lyretail Anthias x 3 (velvet outbreak)
Bar Goby x 2 (think one of the others picked at them too much and they stopped eating)
McCosker Wrasse (velvet outbreak)
Melanarus Wrasse (velvet outbreak)
Whitetail Bristletooth Tang (velvet outbreak)

Had the regular ups & downs, until November 2017. The Giesemann decided it didn’t like my programming and started randomly turning off & on. After going back & forth with Coralvue & Giesemann, Coralvue asked me to send it back in December so they could look at it. January 2nd they informed me they couldn’t recreate the problem, so they were sending it back. Received it, set it back up and in 1 week it started again. A representative from Giesemann in Germany contacted me to go over all the problems and came to the conclusion it had something to do with the fact I was using a MacBook Pro to connect & program the light. Since they guaranteed me it would work with Apple products, they finally agreed to send me a new light. I decided to play it safe and spent $100 on an Android tablet. Wasn’t going to take the chance it wouldn’t play well with my Mac. Finally, on March 6th I got my new light. They packed it so well…
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It wasn't packaged much better on the inside. Unbelievably, there wasn't any damage, and things were good again until September. Since the beginning, I have only purchased fish & corals from my LFS & Jason Fox Corals. On a rainy Saturday, I was on R2R and noticed there was a coral “live auction" and figured I would give it a try. That wasn't a very smart move on my part...I came away with 10 new corals. Received my pretty new corals, acclimated & dipped them and added them to the tank. Since I knew my LFS and Jasons quarantine procedures, I never got around to getting a quarantine tank...I bet you see where this is going. A few weeks after adding the new corals, I noticed my Tang looked like it had white spots on his body. Sent a video to LFS & they said it looked like ich and sent me some ReefMedic. After a week of no change, he came out and said it looked more like Velvet, to keep using the ReefMedic since I didn’t have a quarantine set up and wasn’t able to set one up having had another surgery on my foot. I turned to R2R, and they confirmed Velvet (a big thank you to @HotRocks for his help). My LFS had a tank they used for quarantine and said he would help catch the fish and quarantine them for me. Took another week to catch all the fish. Here’s the tank before catching fish...

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and after...
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Took almost a week to get them all out. Tank ended up with quite a few scratches and some corals were damaged. On September 27th they were all in quarantine. Unfortunately, by October 5 they were all dead. To say I was devastated is an understatement. I learned a critical lesson, if you are in this hobby MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A QUARANTINE SETUP IN PLACE!!! I have no doubt I would have been able to save some of my fish if I had been prepared. The following articles are, in my opinion, a must read...

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/how-to-quarantine.189815/
https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/fallow-periods-going-fishless.190324/
https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/coral-invert-quarantine-time-frames.334584/

During the fallow period, (it was over 12/31) I spent a lot of time on R2R reading, looking at all the great setups wishing I had done some things differently. A manifold would organize my sump, and with a better pump, I wouldn't have multiple pumps taking up space. A refugium would help with nutrients, a UV sterilizer might have helped with diseases, and having a QUARANTINE/HOSPITAL TANK may have saved my fish. So I decided to start fresh and rebuild (rewind) my tank from the ground up, which brings us current.

I want to literally take the tank apart and scrub it clean, pumps, pipes everything that touched water. It may be overkill, but between the Velvet and all the algae, Hair, Bubble (it's in the overflow too), I don't want to take any chances. I'll use water from the main tank to fill the 25 and move most of my corals to the Lagoon 25. My LFS said they will hold on to the bigger ones for me. I'm taking out all the live rock and replacing it with Caribe Sea Live Rock. Im not sure what to do with the sand. Originally thought I would keep some to use when setting the tank back up, so I wouldn't have to go through a full cycle, but I'm afraid to use it. I've read stories of Ich or Velvet coming back as soon as fish are put back into the tank. My tank has been fallow since the end of September. Any thoughts?

This may be a slow process, hoping to start this week. I have Multiple Sclerosis and have a bad habit of doing too much at one time, then can't doing anything for days;Dead

Thank you for reading my story. I will definitely be asking for lots of advice. That's one of the best things about R2R...the willingness of so many to help people they don't even know:)
 
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VB313

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Following I want a reefer 425xl so bad!!beautiful tank!! I stare at it in my LFS every time I think I almost have my girlfriend convinced into letting me get it soon fingers crossed ;)
 
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Dolelo96

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Have you ever have one of those times, when you've made plans to focus solely on something you enjoy, caught up on everything so that you could do so without guilt and then something happens like, for example, your one week old washer chews up a load of shirts? Yup, that's my evening. Was going to sit and relax while writing up my plan of attack for my build. Tomorrow is another day. Keep your fingers crossed;Wacky
 
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Dolelo96

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Well after a week of washer troubles, I'm ready to start planning this rebuild out. Just a recap...The main reason I'm doing this is because of the velvet outbreak in my tank back in September. I've been fallow since September 2018. During this time I decided to rebuild my tank from the ground up. Need some advice:

My plan is/was to fill Fusion 25 gallon tank with water from the display tank so I won't have to wait to move corals. They will stay in this tank until I finish with the main tank. It's an AIO tank, so it has the filter. I have an MP10, Radion XR15, and a heater. Can you think of anything else I need?

My LFS is taking my live rock. Until they can come to get it Ill be keeping it in a brute container. Does it have to be kept in tank water or can I just make some salt water and keep it in that? They are going to "scrub" it when they get it, so I don't know if it makes a difference

Since I want to start fresh, I'll be cleaning/scrubbing the tank, sump, plumbing, etc. What is the best way to get all the crud cleaned out of everything? Cleaning will be done in the house. I doubt I'll be able to carry it out to the garageo_O

Want to get a UV sterilizer. Looking at a Pentair Smart UV 25 watt (BRS) or an Aqua UV 25 watt (Marine Depot). Does anyone have any experience with either of these? Likes or dislikes? Should I run it with its own pump?

Thanks everyone!!!
 
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Dolelo96

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CAA572EF-6718-4A87-8865-F37EB241317E.jpeg

Getting the evil eye..he’s not fond of anything getting more attention than him, especially the tank. As far as he’s concerned, it’s just a big square bowl of water:)
 
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Dolelo96

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Following I want a reefer 425xl so bad!!beautiful tank!! I stare at it in my LFS every time I think I almost have my girlfriend convinced into letting me get it soon fingers crossed ;)
Maybe laundry, cooking, dishes for a month?;) It really is a great tank
 
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Dolelo96

Dolelo96

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@Humblefish and anyone else who has experience with Velvet, I could use some advice. I was at my LFS today and discussed plans for my tank. They don't believe I need to completely tear it down to clean it since it's been fallow since September (except for 2 Emerald crabs), I'm planning on replacing all the live rock and possibly the sand too. Reading your article "Why a fallow period will sometimes fail" is a big part of why I decided to take the tank down and thoroughly clean it. I know the article applies more to ich than it does to velvet, but after losing all my fish, I'm a bit paranoid!
 

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patience is... oh look an acro pack fs!
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Man I know your feeling... check out my last build thread update... same problem. Only thing I haven't updated is that 3 fish have passed this morning since getting them into qt. One day of fallow down.
 
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Dolelo96

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reacclimating 2 the hobby

patience is... oh look an acro pack fs!
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Dolelo96

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Yes I have read that and other threads. All my fish have passed from the velvet except two clowns. I'll have qt setup going forward and meds readily available. Hate losing them.
I’m so sorry, unfortunately I understand...
lost 2 Black Ice Snowflake clowns
Melanarus Wrasse
McCosker Wrasse
1 male & 2 female Anthias
Whitetail Bristletooth tang
 
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Dolelo96

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Sorry, it has been a while since I've been able to post. Well, things have moved along a bit out of order. LFS called one morning to say they could come to pick up my live rock and deliver my new Caribe Sea Life Rock..that afternoono_O. Initially, I had planned to take the tank down and scrub everything, but LFS said that they believed that was unnecessary since the tank has been fallow since Sept 2018. Taking that into account and the fact my health stinks, I didn't want to turn down the help, so I said sure! Unfortunately, I still hadn't set up my frag tank to move the corals too. Matter of fact, the room I was setting it up in (my daughters old play room), was still a mess...

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30 minutes later...
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I was able to move water from the main tank to the frag tank, but they got there before I could get my corals moved. Luckily, they didn't mind helping me move them over. I'll apologize ahead of time, my pics stink. I was still flying around trying to find some of my old frag racks and directing rock removal and placement...
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After all was said and done, I went from this...
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to this...
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Took these the next morning
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I couldn't move my JF Space Invader Pectina & JF Slow Burn Monti to the other tank. They are too big:).

I'm happy with my new scape. I wanted something that left more room for the fish to swim, better circulation and not be so difficult to keep clean. There were a lot of dead spots in my old setup.

Having them help me took a big load off my shoulders. There was a lot of heavy lifting because of the rock, and I know I would have overdone it. My problem now is I had not finished building the manifold, so it wasn't installed before we did this. How big of an issue will it be to so it after the fact? I know I'll have to drain the sump, but will I have to empty the tank too? Sorry if this sounds like a silly question. Plumbing is definitely not one of my strengths:confused:. Also, I want to get a UV sterilizer. Looking at a Pentair Smart UV 25 watt (BRS) or an Aqua UV 25 watt (Marine Depot). Does anyone have any experience with either of these? Likes or dislikes? Any other suggestions? Should I run it with its own pump? Speaking of pump, I will need a new pump to run the return and reactors. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!!
 
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Dolelo96

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2 more things..

-I only took 1/2 the water out of the display tank, left about an inch of sand, have one of those biological filter plates in the sump, LFS had me add a dose of Microbe-Lift Nite Out II, and according to CaribeSea, the LifeRock is "safe for all fish and inverts, and is an aragonitic base material (does not contain cement), requires no curing, and is infused with spored, live bacteria. Once placed in water, the dormant bacteria will come alive and begin to colonize". Should I be adding anything else?
-When we moved everything around, I took my skimmer apart and cleaned it and the pump. It sat dry for a week. I put it back in day before yesterday and it won't stop overflowing. Let it run 24 hours, but still wouldn't stop. Could it be from the LifeRock? The new set up has only been running for 12 days, but I thought leaving enough of the "old" in would stabilize the tank faster.
 
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Dolelo96

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Well, now I’m pretty sure I have hair algae. Any suggestion on what the problem may be. No fish in the tank, just the CaribeSea Life Rock & a couple of corals. I’ve added RedSea a&b twice for the corals that are there & LFS had me add Microbe-Lift Nite Out ll.
Parameters..
Salinity 1.026
Ca 435
Kh 8.15
Mg 1305
Ph 8
Nitrate 0
Phosphate 0
No Ammonia or Nitrates
I knew there was a possibility of a mini cycle because I took out old live rock and part of the water, but sand is clean. When I had to switch my 30 gallon to 40 gallon, I did the same thing on only had diatoms. Actually, I have never had anything other than diatoms & a little bubble algae.

Never had any of these problem with my 40 gallon. Sucked the wind out of me when I lost all my fish. May sound stupid, but they were part of the family too. I’ve never thought about throwing in the towel, but I am now. My MS affects my cognitive & reasoning skills. Up until this point, this hobby has been “my happy place” (along with my Choclate Lab), but now it’s just frustrating because I can’t seem to figure this stuff out anymore
 

VB313

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Battling a small hair algae war right now my method is manual removal and weekly water changes also running more carbon , Are you making your own rodi ? Might wana start there for the source of it
 
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