Red Sea 200 XL

Skross

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Hello everyone.
This is my very first time on R2R, and even my first time on any forum of any kind. I don't even have a Facebook account or anything similar. I have had a few tanks in the past, ranging from 55 gallons to 200 gallons. Most of which were fish only tanks, but the last one I owned was a "fell in my lap" situation and was an already established softie tank. I decided to try and start adding a couple of LPS's to it and that was all it took, I was hooked. Obsessed and addicted is a better way of putting it. Since then, I was needed across the country, so unfortunately I had to move suddenly and leave that tank behind. I started my first saltwater tank when I was 15, and have loved it ever since. A couple weeks ago I decided I was ready to start a new one again here, so I started looking for a tank that would fit. I quickly found out that getting a tank setup today is not as easy as before, since the pandemic hit us. I was lucky enough to stop in at a LFS and found one that would work for me. It is a Red Sea Reefer 200 XL. Pretty much a 24" cube. This is the first time I've started with an AIO style tank like this. It's only a little smaller than what I had in mind, but it is 24" wide/deep, however you look at it. I learned from the last tank that aquascaping is much easier with a wider area. I have decided to go all out on this one as far as what to stock in it. It will be a mixed reef, but I'm looking forward to getting into sps's with it. The fish have always been my #1 passion , but we will soon see if that changes. I will attach a picture of the tank bare, and I'll add some more posts and pictures of the aquascape design I came up with. Thank you for taking the time to follow my story. More to come soon. Happy Reefing and Tight Lines.
Steve

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Peace River

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#WelcometoR2R!!! Congratulations on the new tank - it looks like you are off to a good start on your new adventure!
 
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Skross

Skross

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I was a little ways into making the aquascape before I decided to start photo recording it, and often forget to take photos along the way. This is some of the build and what I have as finished work. It is in the tank now. I tried to make as many different shelf height
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options as I could, to be able to place corals at different levels. Hopefully it will turn out decent when placing them and as they fill out.
 

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Skross

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It's still a little soon to run a skimmer, but I have it in and ready. I just wanted to share how incredibly well made this skimmer is. It's the Ultra Reef 160. I've started it up a couple of times and the foam amount is already unbelievable. This unit is Solid! Not a cheap piece on it. The price kinda reflects that as well, but I am not regretting the choice at all. If anyone is on the fence about it I can say it's worth it.
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Skross

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I went with the reef octopus varios for the return pump. So far so good. It's pretty quiet, even at its highest flow.
I did put in a one way check valve in the return line, which did not come with the Red Sea set up. Honestly, I think that is something Red Sea should have included. Even with the original, small return flow nozzle it would suck down so much more water, then blow air back out when the pump came on.
Before I set the tank and stand in place I moved some of the baseboard molding, drilled some small holes, and ran 3 seperate 1/4" lines through the floor. Then I notched out the molding and put it back. One line taps into a drain for waste water. One goes to my RO tank, and the other to my saltwater tank. This way I can set up the ATO and auto water changer in a different room.
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Skross

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I've had these guys in for almost a week now. All are eating good and seem to be doing well. I'm pretty happy about this, since the tank is still cycling. I really like all the cool patterns on these new designer clowns. A lot different than when I first started this hobby.
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Skross

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So this is everything I have decided to start with to get this tank started off right. At least I hope it does? Some items I have in and running already, but the task over the last couple of days has been to install the rest. I was torn between going the Apex route vs the GHL. Every local store where I'm at had some selection of Neptune systems but there were no GHL units or parts on any shelves, so I went with the Neptune Systems. I'm hoping I made the right decision. I have a feeling I will need help understanding the format of inputting line code commands. I was so impressed with the Ultra Reef skimmer, that I picked up one of their macro algae Reactors. I have not put it in the Sump yet, and I have been running it with the waste water from my water changes. The Chaeto seems to have doubled in the last week. Does anyone know when I can put it in the Sump, and when I can fully turn the skimmer on? I've had the fish in for 12 days now. I also have 2 of the full size 1" Marine Pure blocks in the Sump, along with pieces of rock chuncks I could fit in . I still show a small amount of ammonia and nitrite when I test for it. I still think I need another Echotech MP10. I also need a Dos pump or two. They have been out of stock pretty much everywhere. So have the prefabricated control boards, so I've been making my own. Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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Skross

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So far it's been impressive. I originally got interested because of the tunze. I went with the Ultra Reef because it has 3 seperate chambers. Going to attempt putting different algae in each section. I do like the light spectrum better on the tunze though. I bet it has a fast grow rate.
 
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There should be labels on reefing products that say "caution, very addictive". I had the idea that starting everything out complete from the start would be best. Not going to lie though, it has felt overwhelming a couple of times putting all this together. I don't know how any of you could do it if you had any time restraints, or livestock waiting? I've had Tanks up to 200 gal before, but never this complex.
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PeterC99

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Breath and don’t let yourself get overwhelmed!

We’ve all been their with the learning curve. Very satisfying when you start figuring things out and simplifying your reefing experience. Don’t be afraid to post your questions on R2R. We will be ready to help!
 
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Skross

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Breath and don’t let yourself get overwhelmed!

We’ve all been their with the learning curve. Very satisfying when you start figuring things out and simplifying your reefing experience. Don’t be afraid to post your questions on R2R. We will be ready to help!
Thank you. I was just leaving a reply on your page at the same time.
 
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I keep thinking I'm making progress but it sure doesn't look like it. I built this little hang on the wall box, but I want to sand and paint it still, so I haven't been tying the wires inside it yet. I might have gone a little overboard with control products.
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I'm finally about finished with this wiring project. It's hard to believe from the whole mess before it doesn't look like a lot now. I just have a few loose ends to clean up and make look better. I know I'm going to need one or two more Dos pumps, so I left room in the box. I have the Dos pump that's installed doing auto water changes. It works pretty slick for it, and seems to be accurate for what I told it to do. The level in the Sump hasn't changed at all and it's going through 5 gallons a week of new saltwater.
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I do have a question if anyone knows. The Apex has been going for almost couple weeks now, and I've been seeing all but the temp probes changing from how they started out. I read that this can be normal. It's the pH reading that makes me nervous. It still fluctuates throughout the day and night and the orp graph is opposite the pH. In the last day though the pH has dropped down to 7.3 and the orp is 345. When I started monitoring with apex the pH was 8.2 and orp was between 150 and 180. I did a 5 gal wc today, on top of the auto changing, and I could see the pH rise up to 7.7 but it's gone down to 7.35 again and could still be dropping. The orp is still rising. Is this something normal with the Apex? Is it a normal tank cycling issue? I've had the clowns in it for 3 weeks or so now.
 
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