Red Sea 425XL Build, Colorado

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Kayanarka

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Hi there, new member with a new Build.

I recently got bit by the bug to do a new fish tank. I have been doing freshwater on and off for 28 years now. I went out to a local mom and pop fish store to see what they had to offer. Little did I know I was walking into a coral store.

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I did not even know these existed. They had just opened up a year ago near my auto repair shop. It was dark like a blacklight night at a bowling area, and the coral displays were filled with vibrant colors.


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My eyes kept pulling me over to look at the brand new, never been filled, 250XL tank they had on display. Now in my mind I had already been trying to justify spending 500 or a bit more on a larger fresh water tank (I never did end up pricing 50 gal or larger "regular tanks" so do not know how far off I was or what that would have gotten me). The 250XL had a 1700 price tag. I called my wife. She wanted a tank also so she was game. Still to me it seemed like a lot for what was a very small tank for salt water standards.

I walked around the store some more, and started asking about pricing on larger units. They showed me some brochures, but the owner could see I was still struggling. That is when he said "We can sell you our old 425XL display tank with the pump for 1700. I replied "Done".

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He showed me some lights and we agreed on two 48" Nicobars. I also picked up a 500 watt Aquatop Platinum heater, some rocks, and an Icecap 4k Gyre pump.

We set up install for Saturday.

The next day I took my wife to the shop to view our new tank, and we took the lights home so I could get them installed.
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Kayanarka

Kayanarka

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The next day I picked up some hardware and a set of electric blinds to do my light install. Electric blinds! For a light install! What is going on here.....

I wanted an easy way to raise the lights up for working in the tank, while also being able to adjust my light mount up and down as I add more lighting and need to adjust for proper par. I also wanted to hide the wiring, control boxes, and the door behind the tank. Hence this contraption was born. I am definitely more of a function over form kind of person.

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It actually works well, though it needs some help going up. Everything is mounted very securely to the beams, and you can just about hang off the thing.

Then Saturday came and it was install day.
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The Reef store guys liked the light setup, and mentioned another client who had done a motorized light bracket.

They finished filling with the already established water, set up a rock scape, and we were all set to begin the cycle wait.

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Kayanarka

Kayanarka

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Of course, waiting is very hard. The wife and I had been binge watching all sorts of reefing videos. BRStv and Inappropriate reefer are two of my current favorites.

Also, after getting over the initial fear of even breathing on the tank, the rock scape was promptly torn down and re built. Then torn down and rebuilt again.

Then I convinced the wife we were going to need a Goby and pistol shrimp combo, so more sand (80lbs more) was in order. Our new reef store supplied us with another Box of rocks also.

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I forgot to mention the DI system install also. It is set up in our bathroom, which shares a wall with the tank, so in the future I can drill a hole and have the DI lead straight to the top off tank.

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Kayanarka

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Yesterday afternoon I placed the remainder of the sand into the tank. My wife did the final placement of the rocks. In the evening I flushed out the filter material in the cups (The tank came with the slide in cup replacement for the socks) and almost all the cloudiness is gone this morning. I did not pre rinse the sand, which I initially regretted, but the filters were able to clean it up amazingly well and quickly.

A tiny peice of Coral was left behind, and he has so far survived the tear down, transport, and rebuild of the tank, Our multiple dust storms from re doing rocks, and all the added sand. We have all grown quite attached to him and the girls say goodbye to him each morning.
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And we have what looks like the start of some algae growth. Test kits arrive this week so I can see what is in my water.

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I placed my first fish order today. We are getting two regular clown fish, and two snow white clown fish. We ordered them from our local reef store. They will quarantine them for us for a month for $89. I assume this means $89 for the order, not $89 per fish quarantine fee, but I need to clarify that with them.

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Our little Zoa has been doing so well, and our water tests are very good. We picked up three dosing pumps, and set each one up for 10mg/day over 6 doses of Aqua Forest component +1 +2 +3.
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We bought a Long tentacle Anemone and a Bubble Anemone. I want to find out where these two want to live before gluing down Coral Frags.

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The paper around the Bubble Anemone is my attempt at getting him to come out on his own.
 
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I have added a quarantine tank, and have two tiny aqua cultured mandarins in quarantine.

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I am hoping all goes well and I can drop them in the Display tank for Haloween. We are going to the FSS today to get some medicines to do some prevention while they are in quarantine.

I would like suggestions on what I can treat the display tank with while there are corals and anemones in it. I would like to treat the water just in case something survived the tear down and set up. The main display will be fishless for about 5 weeks, so I hope anything that might be in their should be dead by then. We dipped all out corals and anemone before adding them.
 
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Lazy update tonight, our clowns came out of quarantine today. We have all sorts of little frags now. I picked up a skimmer, the new Jump skimmer, and added a third LED bar. We have quite a few fish in the tank now. The little baby mandarins did not survive, but we got a bigger one and he is doing great. He is very shy, comes out in the mornings. My LTA died but the BTA is doing good.

I picked up te skimmer because I had trouble keeping phosphates down, and I did not want to use chemicals to control phosphate. I do have Cheato in my sump, but it was just not enough to keep phosphate down to .05, we were hovering between .2 and .3

I did increase the sump lighting schedule to try to help the Cheato do its thing, but I wanted a skimmer eventually anyway.

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TIL that you can lower phosphates and nitrates with vinegar. I found a dosing chart I will have to share later on. I feel like eventually I could write a book on this stuff lol. The skimmer is working well, and all fish and coral seem very happy.

I will try to get some more photos in the thread this weekend.
 

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Looking good!! Sorry to read you got ich. Definitely get a temp/hospital tank to treat them. It's totally beatable.
 
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Looking good!! Sorry to read you got ich. Definitely get a temp/hospital tank to treat them. It's totally beatable.
Holy cows a reply on my build thread, Super exciting, I was starting to wonder if I was talking to myself lol. Thanks for stopping by! Come on in, can I get you a drink! Take a seat get comfortable :)

I picked up a quarantine tank. I hope to do the eradication method with 45+ days in medication and quarantine, leaving the coral tank fallow.


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For this I picked up the 250 that initially caught my eye at my LFS. The tank that started this whole adventure. It is right next to my bed and I have enjoyed waking up next to it so far. It takes me about 1.3 hours to fill a 5 gallon jug with RO/DI so the fill is taking a while. We did pre fill it with sink water to check for leaks.

I fill buckets with measured out salt, using Aqua Forrest Reef Salt. Then I fill the bucket with RO/DI, leaving enough room to adjust salinity if needed. I had to buy another Box of salt to be able to make another 65 gallons. One box makes 200 gallons, so I must have made over 150 gallons for water changes and the small QT since I have had my tank.

I then add a heater and a bubbler. I use the heater because it seems easier to dilute the salt in warm water, and the salinity checks go faster when you do not have to wait for the tester to get to various temperatures.

When I finished making water last night I placed an air stone and heater in both the display and the sump to keep the water moving and warm. I have two bowls of sand in the tank for the sand dweller fish, and I added a bio block and some turbo start to both sections.

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I am hoping this will make the long quarantine much easier, as well as making it super easy to quarantine and treat and new fish in the future.

The current quarantine tank:

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Powder Tang still waiting to be removed:

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Some shots of the main display, it was feeding time, so lots of food bits flying:

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I lost the notebook that I keep my parameters in, so I figured I would start keeping a digital record of my parameters in my build thread. This way I can link to the build thread anytime I have a question and people ask.

For future reference:

Hanna checkers for Salinity, Calcium, Alkalinity, and Phosphates, Nyos for Nitrates, Halifert for Magnesium, Hydros probe for PH, Temp, and ORP.


Salinity = 1.024 @ 77.6F
Temp = 77.6F
PH = 8.16
ORP = 328mv
Calcium 468
Alkalinity 10.2
Phosphates 0.08
Nitrates 12ppm whoah
Magnesium 1350




Changes made: removed 1ml daily of KH+ Aquaforrest , dosing 5ml daily now.

Water change after tests, 20 gallons.

Removed 1ml/day of calcium+ Aquaforrest, now dosing 13ml/day
 
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I am re setting my dosing pumps using Aqua Forrest method of testing Alkalinity, Magnesium, and Calcium today, then again tomorrow exactly 24 hours from now. This will give me my total daily drop of each compknent. Then I can enter the component that drops the least into aquaforrests calculator located here:


And this should tell me how much of that component to dose daily. Then I match all 3 of my dosing pumps to this daily dosing rate.

What I was doing wrong was having each dosing pump at different rates. Today I learned that when using Aqua Forrest +1 +2 +3 system, all 3 components should be dosed equally based on the rate of your tanks lowest component consumption.

Today's Alkalinity was 9.0,
Magnesium 1350
Calcium 479

I will report back tomorrow's test results and what the calculator tells me to dose daily. In order to do this I had to turn my dosing pumps off for the day.
 
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Mjenks100

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The build looks great! If i could do it all over id start with same redsea tank you got. I can tell u coming from freshwater 2yrs ago myself shoot for stability and make any changes slowly. Dont rush anything just leads to coral and fish deaths. After af dosing is done strongly consider brs 2 part. Get all my dry goods from them. I have same rodi takes about 50 mins for 5 gallons. I had to buy ro buddie booster pump because of low water pressure.
 
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The build looks great! If i could do it all over id start with same redsea tank you got. I can tell u coming from freshwater 2yrs ago myself shoot for stability and make any changes slowly. Dont rush anything just leads to coral and fish deaths. After af dosing is done strongly consider brs 2 part. Get all my dry goods from them. I have same rodi takes about 50 mins for 5 gallons. I had to buy ro buddie booster pump because of low water pressure.
Thanks! How long was it taking before you installed the buddie booster? I might have to look into that. Shaving 30 minutes off making 5 gallons would probably save me some decent amount of waste water, as well as shave 2 hours off my 20 gallon weekly water change prep.
 

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Thanks! How long was it taking before you installed the buddie booster? I might have to look into that. Shaving 30 minutes off making 5 gallons would probably save me some decent amount of waste water, as well as shave 2 hours off my 20 gallon weekly water change prep.
It took about 20 mins. Mostly double checking the ports on the pump are connected correctly. It was worth it for me for because it i have low water pressure. If you do itll help if not then save the $130. It also has an auto membrane flush that runs for 20 secs everytime you plug it in. I have everything ran to brute trash can with ro buddie float valve that u drill into brute. Now that is best $20-$30 ive ever spent. Saved my floors a couple dozen tines already
 
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It took about 20 mins. Mostly double checking the ports on the pump are connected correctly. It was worth it for me for because it i have low water pressure. If you do itll help if not then save the $130. It also has an auto membrane flush that runs for 20 secs everytime you plug it in. I have everything ran to brute trash can with ro buddie float valve that u drill into brute. Now that is best $20-$30 ive ever spent. Saved my floors a couple dozen tines already
Sorry, I meant how long did it take you to fill 5 gallons prior to installing the booster.

It currently takes me about an hour and twenty minutes to fill a 5 gallon jug.
 
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