Red Sea Reefer 200xl build

monti mike

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Hi everyone! I want to start by thanking everyone on this forum for all the helpful advice and wisdom your shared over the years! I’ve been in the hobby for about 12 years now and I’ve learned so much along the way. I’ve made some mistakes (too much live rock anyone?) and have had some really great success as well, so I thought I’d share my latest build with you all in the hopes that maybe I’ll inspire someone else or get some helpful feedback from my fellow reefing hobbyists. So here we go!

I currently have a 10 gallon innovative marine all in one tank that I started out as my “little hobby experiment”. I’m in a one bedroom apartment so I don’t have a ton of space. I thought to myself, “10 gallons is perfect! It’s small enough to not be too much maintenance and it won’t take up much space. It’ll be fun. I won’t overstock the tank- maybe only one fish. Maybe two, max! And I’ll only get a few easy corals.” Ha. Boy was I naive. I should have known myself better... I started this 10 gallon tank with two percula clowns. Their names are Bill and Sookie. At first I was going to resist the temptation to get an anemone for the clowns. That didn’t last long though. So the tank had two clowns and a rose BTA. The clowns loved their anemone and took to it pretty quickly and that was awesome. It’s always fun to watch them wiggle around in the anemone tentacles. I wanted some more color in the tank so then I added a dwarf angel, named Lady Mary. I also wanted someone to occupy the bottom part of the tank so I got a goby and pistol shrimp pair. I know the tank is crowded but I also planned on the tank to only be temporary. I just couldn’t let the significant other know that was the plan all along ;)

Here’s a picture of the 10 gallon:

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Lady Mary with Sunny D zoa:
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Fast forward a few years later and it’s time for an upgrade! The clowns need a new home!

Ive been eyeing the Red Sea Reefer 170and 250 for a while. They look super clean and sleek. I’ve always had very DIY tanks and I’ve loved building my own plumbing, sumps, etc.. but this time I want to just have a clean easy to look at tank. These tanks really look like art: they’re modern and gorgeous.

I wanted to get the biggest tank I could with the space I have available so I wanted to go with the 250 but it would just be too big for my space. So the 170 it is. As I did more research I stumbled across the Red Sea Reefer 200xl. It seemed like the perfect compromise for me. It’s just a little bit deeper and taller than the 170, but the same length. The extra depth and height gives the system volume extra 10 gallons. More water = just a little bit more stable system. The depth gives a little more room for aquascaping, so that’s also a plus. I also really liked the idea that the 200xl has a cabinet made of plywood. So I placed the order for the tank with the white cabinet and waited patiently for a week for it to arrive. That week felt like an eternity because I was so excited for the upgrade!
Here it is- thankfully it was packaged really well and nothing was broken!!!
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monti mike

monti mike

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The stand is built! It wasn’t too tough to put it together. If you can put together an IKEA cabinet you’ll be able to assembly this cabinet, no problem. I did have a moment of panic during the cabinet build... This tank comes in two boxes and I assumed one box would hold the aquarium and sump, the other would be the cabinet. So I started with the cabinet box and one piece was missing - the top of the cabinet where the aquarium will sit! It would be my luck that something would be missing after waiting a week for it to arrive. So I try keep cool, double check the cabinet box and still can’t find the top. So I take everything out of the aquarium box and eureka I find it! Turns out the cabinet top is at the very bottom of the aquarium box underneath the aquarium. Whew! Mini crisis averted and the cabinet is done:
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monti mike

monti mike

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The tank is up and running! I ordered 50 pounds of Marco rock online and some of the Marco mortar cement. I spent way too much time trying to get the rock right but I think I found something I’m happy with. I really tried to resist the urge to add more rock. My 10 gallon was always super hard to clean because I put too much rock in...it’s so easy to add just one more rock... :p

I was debating on what to get for the return pump between the reef octopus dc pump and the ecotech pump. I ended up going with the ecotech Vectra because I was going to to get a Radion light and I already have a VorTech MP10. I like the idea of having the option to eventually control everything with the Mobius app.

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Vectra S2 and Radion Blue:

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monti mike

monti mike

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Here’s a picture of the sump. It’s still a work in progress. I just want to get the cords organized so it’s not such a mess and a fire hazard down there! Thank you everyone who suggested the motion activated LEDs from amazon. It makes tinkering around in the sump so much easier. They’re perfect because they’re magnetic and you can take them out completely if you need to, they charge from a usb cable, there’s a motion activated switch or fully on option. I’m finding myself spending more time looking the sump than the tank! Ha! I’m also really happy with the Nyos 120 skimmer so far. It went crazy for a few hours and then got to work. We’ll see how it works long term but it seems like others are happy with them. I’ll definitely keep you updated as things progress along. Other possible future projects for the sump:

- Hard plumb the return. The green tubing seems secure enough but I don’t trust it.
- Maybe convert the ATO to a refugium with chaeto only in it. I’m still debating on this project. I don’t know if a one gallon refugium is really going to benefit the tank enough to make it worth it.
-Replace the sump? Who knows. Maybe one day I’ll get the urge to replace the sump with something more custom. The crystal reef aquatic sumps look slick.

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monti mike

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The fish are in! It’s surprisingly how tiny the clowns look in the new tank!

I still have the AI prime light over the tank because the new mounting arm for the Radion Blue isn’t in yet. I was supposed to be delivered yesterday but it wasn’t. Should be here tomorrow. I guess I can wait another day.

The plan is to keep the bubble tip anemone on the island to the left. Hopefully it doesn’t get the urge to move and if it does, I hope it stays on that rock. If it moves I’ll deal with it though, that’s just one of the joys of keeping an anemone.

The tall pillar is where the SPS will go. I really tried to leave room for them to grow. It’ll be interesting to see how things look as everything grows in!

The front right island is for zoanthids/pests that the SO thinks are nice. Already have some sunny Ds but I have a feeling I’ll end up with some more misc zoas there. Thats the price of compromise I suppose. Gotta keep the peace!:p
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monti mike

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Update on Radion Blue light; still waiting for the arm mount to come in. It was supposed to be delivered by Friday and still hasn’t arrived.. kind of frustrating! I have my old AI prime light on the tank now but I’d like to use the new light!

Well since I don’t have the mounting arm yet because it’s back ordered or something... I had the light sitting on a chair next to the aquarium. (probably not the smartest idea in hindsight) The puppy somehow knocked the light off the chair and chipped the top :eek: oh no!!! I emailed ecotech customer service right away and they responded in less than one business day and said they’d mail me out a new sheet top for the light. Wow I am so relieved!!!!

I’m very impressed with the customer service and so glad they could help me get this fixed. I thought I’d just have to live with a chipped lid. Picture of the the damage:oops:
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monti mike

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She’s been jealous of the aquarium since the beginning! Here’s little Gigi trying to steal the Marco rocks when I was aquascaping. I put those cushions up to try to ‘block’ her that obviously wasn’t working! She’d jump over the cushion and steal a small rock and crunch on it. She’s naughty! Ha! :D
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monti mike

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The mounting arm finally came in! My LFS gave me a nice purple plating monti for free because it’s been almost a week since it was supposed to be delivered. That’s was pretty awesome of them and completely unexpected. If you’re in the Minneapolis area I’d highly recommend New Wave Aquaria in Plymouth. The owner Jen is fantastic. She knows her stuff and her store is always immaculate ... and they have a great coral selection! I always eye the scolys when I’m there and have to talk myself out of spending that much money on one coral! She also charges the same prices that you see online - love that!

More pics coming soon when the lights are on. It’s 11pm now so I’ll let the fish sleep :cool:

I also have a marine depot controller board arriving tomorrow.The goal is to mount all of the drivers on the board and hide the cords behind it. I’ve always just had a jumbled mix of cords so trying to be organized may be more of a challenge for me than growing sps corals!

Picture of the tank with the lights off. I love the clean look of everything.
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SmallLebowski

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Looks great so far, looking forward to seeing more. I have a 170 at home and I really like the dimensions of the 200. Maybe time for an office tank...
 
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monti mike

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The anemone seems to be enjoying anemone island. I hammered out a deep hole in the middle of the rock so it would feel secure (and I’m praying he doesn’t go on a tour around the tank!!!) this isn’t the best picture but the anemone has bubble tips again since moving to the new tank, maybe it’s happier with the better flow and better light. Please stay happy and don’t move!
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Here are some other additions:

montipora spongodes- this coral has an awesome neon green color and I like the shapes and texture (montipora setosa in the front was in the last tank. It took a beating from a nearby aiptasia. The aiptasia in the last tank is why I switched to dead rock. I never want to deal with that pest again. Every coral is inspected daily for any small hitchhiking aiptasia. I found a small one on the Christmas monti on anemone island. I chopped off enough rock and part of the coral to feel comfortable that I got rid of all the aiptasia without breaking the anemone into small pieces. *knocks on wood*
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Yellow porites
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Acropora nana:
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monti mike

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Here’s a few other corals that I haven’t posted yet:

Strawberry shortcake acro (photo bombed by the gold assessor)
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Orange lobo brain ( I picked this coral up at a local petco a few years afoand it was UGLY at the time. I thought it had potential though and it’s grown into one of my favorites. The color in person is insane now. It has almost like a lava red color around each mouth.)
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Here’s one more pic of the BTA that I took this morning. Love how it looks! (Also photobombedby the GA. She follows me around the tank and likes to be the center of attention.
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