My Reefer XL425 build

kruler

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Welcome to my first build thread. I started in the hobby a year and a half ago with a biocube and am now upgrading to a Redsea Reefer XL425. A lot of the inspiration for this build came from Broadfield and SuncrestReef so thanks to those guys.

Equipment:
- RSR XL425 V3 white cabinet
- Vectra M2
- Clarisea SK-5000 auto filter roller
- 2 x MP40, 2 x MP10
- Aquaticlife 36” hybrid with 2 x Radion XR30 G4 Pro
- Apex 2016
- Neptune ATK
- Cobalt Neotherm 200w and 150w
- Lifegard Aquatics 55w UV sterilizer
- Aquamaxx media reactor
- Nyos Quantum 120 skimmer
- Neptune ATK V2

I'm using Caribsea Liferock shapes for the rock. I am a big believer in the benefits of established live rock but I really wanted to spend my time with the aquascape and you just can’t do that with live rock. It is very easy to scape with the liferock but it’s heavy and not porous at all. I will probably put a piece or two of established live rock in the sump to hopefully introduce some good bacteria. There will also be a Brightwell Xport Bio brick an in there as well.

I was really on the fence between sand and bare bottom. I have some Tropic Eden reef flakes I was going to use but ultimately decided to try bare bottom. I figured it would be much easier to add sand later than to remove it. I got a sheet of 1/8” black textured ABS and cut it to fit the bottom of the tank on my friend’s CNC. You could easily cut this by hand with an acrylic knife but with the CNC I made the edges 45 degrees so they mate with the beveled edges in the tank bottom perfectly. It fit so tight I probably didn’t need to silicone but I did to keep detritus out just in case.

Today was my first attempt at hard plumbing an aquarium. The layout of the V3 version of the sump creates more challenges for plumbing than the previous version. I thought about flipping the sump around which might have been better. I’d love to get some thoughts on this before I finalize and glue the plumbing together.

Here is what I got done today. The white pipe is just temporary so I could rough it up without cutting the pricier orange pipe. Ignore the foam and stuff I have supporting things and don't worry I will make everything straight and level when I finalize it. I would appreciate if those with experience could let know If you see any potential problems with the plumbing layout and whether there is anything you would have done differently. The Clarisea will go in the front chamber once I remove the stock filter sock holder.

ADD96420-1959-4460-9F2C-0D7DC722443F.jpeg

E32AC3DC-1851-4692-A304-7845A3BAB3FA.jpeg
image1.jpeg
 
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kruler

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Here is the final aquascape:

Scape 1.jpeg
Scape 2.jpeg
Scape 3.jpeg



Overall I am very happy with how it turned out. I think it has interesting structures, lots of spots for coral placement and lots of caves/archways for fish to swim through. To secure the rocks together I used a combination of super glue (BSI) and epoxy putty. I had three types of putty that were given to me when I bought used equipment from local people - Instant Ocean, Two little fishies Aquastik (coralline red) and Tunze Coral Gum. The IO seemed to be the strongest but it dries white so I only used it where it would not be seen. The Aquastik was also strong and the red color matched the rock better but still noticeable. The Tunze Coral Gum matches the liferock very well but stays flexible or "gummy" when dry. Where I needed a strong joint in a visible area, I used to IO and then skinned it with a layer of the Tunze gum. I will definitely use the Tunze putty for coral mounting down the road as it was the easiest to work with, blends in with the rock the best and sets the fastest. I also like how it comes with the two parts in separate ends of the container instead of in a stick like the others.

It's hard to appreciate the scape from photos so here is video which hopefully gives a more 3D view:
 

90's reefer

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Here is the final aquascape:

Scape 1.jpeg
Scape 2.jpeg
Scape 3.jpeg



Overall I am very happy with how it turned out. I think it has interesting structures, lots of spots for coral placement and lots of caves/archways for fish to swim through. To secure the rocks together I used a combination of super glue (BSI) and epoxy putty. I had three types of putty that were given to me when I bought used equipment from local people - Instant Ocean, Two little fishies Aquastik (coralline red) and Tunze Coral Gum. The IO seemed to be the strongest but it dries white so I only used it where it would not be seen. The Aquastik was also strong and the red color matched the rock better but still noticeable. The Tunze Coral Gum matches the liferock very well but stays flexible or "gummy" when dry. Where I needed a strong joint in a visible area, I used to IO and then skinned it with a layer of the Tunze gum. I will definitely use the Tunze putty for coral mounting down the road as it was the easiest to work with, blends in with the rock the best and sets the fastest. I also like how it comes with the two parts in separate ends of the container instead of in a stick like the others.

It's hard to appreciate the scape from photos so here is video which hopefully gives a more 3D view:
I used 50% live 50% caribsea. The color faded in about 5 months but they look like live rock now with all the coralline growth.
It will be interesting to see how your color holds up.
Love your scape!
 
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kruler

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I used 50% live 50% caribsea. The color faded in about 5 months but they look like live rock now with all the coralline growth.
It will be interesting to see how your color holds up.
Love your scape!

Thanks. Was your live rock "live" when you made your scape? Saw you mentioned you used Turbo Start and didn't have a cycle and wondering if it was just from the Turbo Start or because you used established LR.
 

Futuretotm

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I am glad you got your replacement sump ordered! I wonder how they ship to the GTA.

Do you mind telling me what you have in that very first chamber of your sump?
 
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kruler

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Do you mind telling me what you have in that very first chamber of your sump?

That's just some styrofoam that was temporarily supporting the rough plumbing. Not some fancy filter that I came up with :) When I get the replacement sump, the filter sock holders will be removed and a Clarisea SK-5000 will go in their place.

As an update, I now have the plumbing 90% finished but I did something stupid when gluing the last unions so waiting for new ones before I can finish it up. In the meantime, I filled the display just up to the overflow and its currently cycling with Brightwell Microbacter Start XLM and Quikcycle. It's day three and Ammonia is 1.0ppm and Nitrite is 0.2ppm.
 

paul.brandon83

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Here is the final aquascape:

Scape 1.jpeg
Scape 2.jpeg
Scape 3.jpeg



Overall I am very happy with how it turned out. I think it has interesting structures, lots of spots for coral placement and lots of caves/archways for fish to swim through. To secure the rocks together I used a combination of super glue (BSI) and epoxy putty. I had three types of putty that were given to me when I bought used equipment from local people - Instant Ocean, Two little fishies Aquastik (coralline red) and Tunze Coral Gum. The IO seemed to be the strongest but it dries white so I only used it where it would not be seen. The Aquastik was also strong and the red color matched the rock better but still noticeable. The Tunze Coral Gum matches the liferock very well but stays flexible or "gummy" when dry. Where I needed a strong joint in a visible area, I used to IO and then skinned it with a layer of the Tunze gum. I will definitely use the Tunze putty for coral mounting down the road as it was the easiest to work with, blends in with the rock the best and sets the fastest. I also like how it comes with the two parts in separate ends of the container instead of in a stick like the others.

It's hard to appreciate the scape from photos so here is video which hopefully gives a more 3D view:

Looks awesome! How many pounds of rock did you use?
 

dblhelix

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Great job! I'm using your idea to plumb my Lifeguard Aquatics 25w UV into the cabinet area next to the sump. I have 3 questions. 1) Did you have to enlarge the hole at the top of the cabinet divider to run your UV pipe through it? 2) What size pvc did you reduce down to for your UV plumbing? By the way, I'm going to try to set up the UV plumbing where I can isolate the UV so I can turn it off when I want as I don't plan to use it 24/7 but would like to still run it off my main return pump. I may end up using a stand alone pump for the UV. I dont know yet. Depends on how much room I have. You know the drill right... 3) Last, where did you find the orange PVC fittings? Im using blue pipe and all I can find is the gray schedule 80 fittings like BRS carries. Lots of questions and I hope you don't mind.
 
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kruler

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Great job! I'm using your idea to plumb my Lifeguard Aquatics 25w UV into the cabinet area next to the sump. I have 3 questions. 1) Did you have to enlarge the hole at the top of the cabinet divider to run your UV pipe through it? 2) What size pvc did you reduce down to for your UV plumbing? By the way, I'm going to try to set up the UV plumbing where I can isolate the UV so I can turn it off when I want as I don't plan to use it 24/7 but would like to still run it off my main return pump. I may end up using a stand alone pump for the UV. I dont know yet. Depends on how much room I have. You know the drill right... 3) Last, where did you find the orange PVC fittings? Im using blue pipe and all I can find is the gray schedule 80 fittings like BRS carries. Lots of questions and I hope you don't mind.

Hi. 1) I did not need to enlarge the hole in the cabinet. There is room for both the UV intake and return pipes to pass through it. 2) 1" PVC goes in and out of the UV. The UV has actually not been on for many months with water still flowing through it. 3) I think I got all of the orange fittings at aquariumspecialty.com
 
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