Randy's Redsea Reefer 250 and the rest of the Coral Farm

RandyC

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Been a lurker for a while, but I'd thought I'd start up a build thread and share what I have going on.

I started reefing with a 12G Fluval Edge about 3 years ago and it took all of about 6 months for me to upgrade to my first "adult" tank. My Red Sea Reefer 250 has been running for exactly 912 days as of this posting. I've had many ups and downs and learning experiences along the way, but I've been fortunate enough that I've been on a up for a good while now (6+ months or so)

Tank: Rea Sea Reefer 250 (54 Gallon Display – 11 Gallon Sump – 12 Gallon External Fuge). If I had to estimate, there’s roughly 60 gallons of total water volume. The tank has slowly migrated to an SPS dominated tank.







Lighting: I am currently running three Radion XR15w Pro G4s with diffusers. I get around 350-400 PAR up at the top of the rocks and around 150 on the sand bed. I am using a modified Coral Labs/Ecotech SPS AB+ schedule profile that has around 7 hours of peak lighting (a simulated 18,500K) and then I have 20,000K running during ramp up/down for about 3 hours on each side.

Flow: I am running two Vortech MP40s and an MP10.

MP40: one on the right side and the other on the back left at 50% and 45% power, respectively. I bounce through reef crest, tidal swell and lagoon mode throughout the day just to randomized flow a little. Not sure it really makes a difference though. Reefcrest all day would probably be enough.

MP10: on the back right running at 60%.

Return flow is powered by a Vectra M1 at ~60% (runs external fuge as well on a manifold).

Controller: I have an Apex 2016 with 2 EB832, a PM1 for calcium reactor, a couple of FMMs and ALD for sensor and leak notifications.

Sump: The reefer sump is a small one. Not much room for anything. I used to have multiple reactors running carbon, GFO, biopellets, but I have removed them all because I’m “keeping it simple” (i.e., I’m lazy). There no socks or filter floss. I never clean my sump. And that black sponge between the skimmer and return compartment is lucky to get cleaned once a quarter.

All nutrient removal is up to the 6” Reef Octopus Regal 150INT w/ Avast Marine Automated Neck Cleaner, a media bag of ROX 0.8 Carbon/High Capacity GFO, and the 12 gallon external fuge that is filled with chaeto, pom pom gracilaria, and red ogo gracilaria. If you have a sharp eye, you’ll notice that my 12 gallon Fluval edge come along for the ride during the upgrade to be my fuge. I use two LED grow panels that are side mounted that light up with fuge with around 35W of light for 10 hours a night. BTW, I know I fail at cable/electronic management. I need a potentially less wet spot for all that gear.





My “Fish Room”: Where’s the ATO you ask? My wife has been nice enough to let me take up some space in the pantry that shares a wall with the tank for the calcium reactor and ATO. I am using an Advanced Acrylics 20 gallon ATO with a Tunze Osmolator 3155 that Apex tells me to fill about every 20 days after the optical sensor is triggered open. I have a Geo612 + SMC410 calcium reactor with Two Little Fishies Reborn and Remag media and use a Masterflex 7523-80 to pull water from the sump through the reactor. I use a 5lb CO2 tank with a Carbon Doser Electronic regulator.



Maintenance: I do a 15 gallon water change around every 10-14 days. Calcium reactor takes care of alk/cal/mg and some trace elements. I keep the calcium reactor pH at 6.7 and I’m going through 19ml/min of effluent. I am also dosing some trace elements through Red Sea Trace Elements ABCD. I usually pull a handful of macro algae once a week to make sure it doesn't overgrow.

Water Parameters:
SG: 1.026
Alk: 7.6-7.8
Ca: 420-440
Mg: 1350
Nitrates: ~2.5
PO4: 0.06-0.08

Feeding: I feed LRS Reef Frenzy twice a day, pellet/reef chili mixture is auto fed at 11am & 3pm. Two or three times a week I also throw in some PE Calanus, ROE or Oyster Feast.

Livestock: My fish don’t like me and tend to hide anytime I’m taking pictures or near the tank so most people don’t think I have any. I assure you they are there.

Leopard Wrasse
Six Line Wrasse
Flame Angel
Mandarin Goby
Swiss Guard Basslet
Yellow Tang
Tomini Tang









I love coral! More than fish probably. As with everyone, I do need a bigger tank, but that is what the garage is for....you may find one or two in there.......I also have two 40 breeders connected to a single 40 breeder sump and a 6x3x1' frag tank running.





RR Aussie Gold


PC Rainbow


WWC Helios


CRC Purple Cadillac


Purple with Green Polyps Horrida


RR The Vinh


ORA Hawkins


Montipora Setosa


Candy Cane Colony


Duncan Colony


Wild Goniopora Colony


Goldmeister Chalice


Avatar Chalice


Jawbreaker
 
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Gablami

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Now that’s what I call an introduction! Awesome tank, and in particular, beautiful photos. What are your shooting with? Are you using filters? I hope you keep them coming.
 
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RandyC

RandyC

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Now that’s what I call an introduction! Awesome tank, and in particular, beautiful photos. What are your shooting with? Are you using filters? I hope you keep them coming.
Thanks! I have a Canon 7D and swap between an EF 100mm f/2.8 and an EF-S 60mm f/2.8 lens for coral pics. Occasionally, I use a EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 lens for FTS. No filters used, but I do use Lightroom to adjust the white balance to add the red/orange spectrum back in so it matches what our eyes actually see. I usually take pics under the Radions at a 18,500K setting. I use an Avast marine top down portal so I don't have to turn off the pumps, but it is a little cumbersome because of the three screw mounts that tighten around the lens. I want to try the Building the Obession top down portal because it connects via the camera mount.

Will keep the pics coming and I'll probably throw in some pics from the other frags tanks as well!
 
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RandyC

RandyC

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I love coral! But as my Reefer became more and more SPS dominate, I needed a place to store the rest of my coral. I somehow convinced myself that I needed to set up a grow out/frag tank in the garage.

Enter this little guy and another portion of my "coral farm." Two 40 breeders connected to a single 40 breeder sump. Gotta love those PetCo Dollar per Gallons days - even though technically, 40 breeders are only 50% off, but three 40 breeders for ~$175 after sales tax can't be beat.


And some pics of the coral that got the boot from the Reefer 250 and now live in the garage grow out tank.

Juggernaut Bounce and Discosoma friends.


WWC Sunkist Bounce, Fireworks Shrooms and ASD Aussie Blood Shot Discos


Malaysian Pink Tip Elegance


Rock Flower Anemone


Hammer/Octospawn/Frogspawn Garden


Aussie Gold Torch with a Green Oral Disk (I have rarely seen an Aussie Gold with the green oral disk)


What coral collector is complete without some zoas?

Pink Zipper Zoas


Sunny D's


Spiderman Zoas


ASD Aussie Hallucinations


Pink Diamonds
 
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Gablami

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Thanks! I have a Canon 7D and swap between an EF 100mm f/2.8 and an EF-S 60mm f/2.8 lens for coral pics. Occasionally, I use a EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 lens for FTS. No filters used, but I do use Lightroom to adjust the white balance to add the red/orange spectrum back in so it matches what our eyes actually see. I usually take pics under the Radions at a 18,500K setting. I use an Avast marine top down portal so I don't have to turn off the pumps, but it is a little cumbersome because of the three screw mounts that tighten around the lens. I want to try the Building the Obession top down portal because it connects via the camera mount.

Will keep the pics coming and I'll probably throw in some pics from the other frags tanks as well!
I have the BAO camera portal. It’s pretty good...just wish I had a longer lens. My macro is 60mm. I was visiting WWC and saw them shooting with the BAO one. Imagine they would probably be using the best one.
 
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RandyC

RandyC

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That is super nice.

Wondering if you think your great color is coming more from the radions, tank parameters or both? I have hydra 52hd but think those Radion are sweet
It's probably a combination of everything. Flow, lighting, and stable water parameters. Hydras shouldn't have any problems with providing the right spectrum. Just need to make sure you have enough of them for your tank size. I've seen a lot of great SPS tanks using Hydras.
 
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RandyC

RandyC

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I have the BAO camera portal. It’s pretty good...just wish I had a longer lens. My macro is 60mm. I was visiting WWC and saw them shooting with the BAO one. Imagine they would probably be using the best one.
I think a 60mm is good on a crop sensor camera for most of my tank (21" tall). My 100mm is a little long on a crop sensor camera and I use it primarily for only close up polyp action or coral on or near the sandbed.

The BAO definitely looks like a better design. Makes it easier to swap lenses and adjust the depth of the tube and the lens. Plus you don't have to worry about nylon screws scratching the sides of the lens.
 
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Gablami

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I think a 60mm is good on a crop sensor camera for most of my tank (21" tall). My 100mm is a little long on a crop sensor camera and I use it primarily for only close up polyp action or coral on or near the sandbed.

The BAO definitely looks like a better design. Makes it easier to swap lenses and adjust the depth of the tube and the lens. Plus you don't have to worry about nylon screws scratching the sides of the lens.
Yeah I’m using a full frame. I keep trying to get in closer and once got tank water spilling into the tube. Oops! Maybe my frags are just too small...
 

pelphrey

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Thanks for creating the build thread and sharing with us! I also have a reefer 250 and find my inspiration from other reefer 250 owners! You've got a couple great systems running!
 
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RandyC

RandyC

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Thanks for creating the build thread and sharing with us! I also have a reefer 250 and find my inspiration from other reefer 250 owners! You've got a couple great systems running!
Thanks! Definitely the best way to learn and get ideas. I know I've learned a thing or a million ;) from others' build threads and them posting their reefing experiences (good and bad).
 

tenurepro

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Nice 250 Randy - l love your sps collection!
How is the Walt Disney doing under the radions - do you the par that it likes ? I recently passed on a WD frag because I haven’t seen it under radions ; yours looks lovely
 
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RandyC

RandyC

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Nice 250 Randy - l love your sps collection!
How is the Walt Disney doing under the radions - do you the par that it likes ? I recently passed on a WD frag because I haven’t seen it under radions ; yours looks lovely

Thanks!

My WD sits in around 300 par last I checked. I did dial up my lights a tad since then, so it might be a little more than that, but not much more. I run an 18,500K spectrum during peak hours and take most of my pictures under that setting.

Here's a pic of it under all blues.
 
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