Red Sea Reefer 200xl build

ShepherdReefer

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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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Like it, awesome
 
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monti mike

monti mike

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The dip is complete. I’ll do this again every 5 days for 2 months. Here they are on their hospital recovery bed. If I wasn’t quarantined and working from home I would probably give up on acros. Montis all the way!
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monti mike

monti mike

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Look at all the crap that came off of them.
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And on a more positive note, the random flow nozzle was the EASIEST thing to install. It just slides ride on to the return. 10/10 if you’re looking to upgrade the return nozzle I’d say this thing is a must have!!
 
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monti mike

monti mike

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All the corals survived the dip so that’s awesome! They look a little angry but I’m seeing a little bit of daytime polyp extension, so that seems to be a good sign. I have an extra frag of the A. Nana because I dropped it on the floor after the dip! Oops! :p LOL
Here they are on their recovery rack today:
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And this was the worst affected millipora. It’s showing a little bit of polyp extension too. I’m hoping it’ll rebound now that it’s not being eaten alive.
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monti mike

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The second melafix dip was today. It looks like a lot less “stuff” came off today. I also soaked the frag rack in RO water to kill off anything hiding on it. This will be the last post on the dips because they all should pretty uneventful and uninteresting. You’re all probably more interested to know if it worked 6 months from now.

dip #2
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Stuff that came off:
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dipping the frag rack in RO water while the corals soak:
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KTrevino

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Acro pest police
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Don’t worry - I’m ordering pods constantly and also raising baby brine shrimp. I’m mixing together live tigger pods and tigger feast (dead pods) and he’s eating both which is great. I would feel absolutely terrible if I let him starve.
How is he doing? Any troubles keeping him?
 
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monti mike

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How is he doing? Any troubles keeping him?
He’s doing great. Getting them to eat frozen food is the hardest part. Thankfully I’ve trained him to eat reef nutrition tigger feast. I’d mix live tigger pods with tigger feast and he learned that the little red bugs are edible dead or alive. Same with brine shrimp. I was mixing in live baby brine shrimp with frozen brine and he’d eat that too. I’ve had him for over a month now. I hope he keeps eating and stays healthy long term.
 
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monti mike

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Alright it’s probably time for an update! I’ve been dipping the acros in melafix once a week and dosing flatworm stop at night for a month now. The first dip was May 21st and I’m actually seeing some incredible results so I thought I’d share with you all.

this was the coral being eaten by the black bugs. It was barely alive a month ago, getting lighter every day and going downhill. I didn’t think this one was going to make it. It’s darkened up a lot and the polyps are extending again. Looking good, hang in there little guy!
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This next acro (front) is the milli that was a flatworm buffet. The flatworm epicenter. It was also getting lighter and lighter and looked super bleached and stressed when the dips started. You can see it’s getting it’s green color back and has a little bit of polyp extension


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And that brings me to acro #3. This one was a dull purple color and had no polyp extension for months. Over the last month it’s started to change color into purple with hints of green and blue.
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monti mike

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Update on the reef octopus light reactor! It’s been a little over a month since I set up the reactor. You can see that picture earlier in my thread if you want to check it out. I filled the chambers with some chaeto, ulva and red ogo. The sections with chaeto grew like crazy! The middle section had ulva and red ogo and it obviously didn’t grow. Here’s the reveal:
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monti mike

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I started dipping the acros weekly in melafix on 5/21/20. It’s been a little over a month now and I decided to put the corals back on the rocks. I’m really hoping and praying it’s not too soon! I’m still dosing flatworm stop and I’ll keep doing that until I run out just as a back up. Every coral that was struggling completely turned around! The colors are vivid, there’s great polyp extension (even during the day), there’s new growth and some of them even changed color. Here’s some of the most drastic before and after comparisons. Sorry for the poor picture quality!

here’s the acro that had the black slugs on it. I haven’t seen any slugs drop off since dip #2. This one has turned a brilliant green and has long bushy red polyps. I never saw any PE before so this has really been a success!

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Next up is this miscellaneous acro that NEVER had any PE. It was just a purple stick, even at night. It’s completely changed color and has great PE at night now. It’s now like a mint green with hints of purple around the polyps.
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last up is where I first found the AEFW, the poor milli. If you followed my thread you’ll see it getting paler and paler. It’s now completely recovered and it’s a very bright neon green:
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