Red Sea Reefer 200XL Build

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design.maddie

design.maddie

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Full Diagnostic Check-up:

  • pH 7.9
  • Ammonia 0
  • Nitrite 0
  • Nitrate 15
  • Calcium 350
  • Alk 9.9
  • Phosphates 0.31
  • Magnesium 1200
  • S.G. 1.025

I would like to see lower numbers in the Nitrates, but I did feed about 1 hour before the testing. Still want to be around 5-10. I'm going to have to take a look at nutrient input.

I have been using All-For-Reef for a month. It has not touched my Calcium numbers. It does keep my Alk locked in at 10. They do make an add on for Calcium but then I should just be doing a two part. Ugh.

Phosphates are also higher than I want but that will be addressed with the nutrient input I believe.
 
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design.maddie

design.maddie

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It is Sunday and the normal day of the week that I do water changes. I had some investigating to do. One I had a really annoying hum coming from under the stand. Two, I have a nutrient issue someone. It must be a trapped/build up some where.

IMG_20200809_123925.jpg


Water is mixed, tank is ready, let's get to this.

Found the humming. Protein Skimmer. Going to turn it off until I can get to cleaning it probably tomorrow. Any tips on doing that type of thing would be appreciated.

Also found what I believe to be the nutrient problem.
IMG_20200809_143428.jpg


I didn't even realize this filter sponge was right here. Is it necessary? Should I clean and dry it out? Would owning two help with cleaning? Can you even buy another one? Took it out and squeezed it a few times in so RO/DI but this thing is/was super clogged with gunk.

Finished what I had set out to do and time to sit back and enjoy my piece of ocean.
IMG_20200809_143720.jpg
 

Hasted

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XL 300 owner here.

That sponge is part of the bubble trap. I had it out a few days and I could hear the water falling over the skimmer chamber lip into that section. Was annoyingly loud for me. As soon as I put it back it went silent.

Mine is still clean it seems. I don't have much in my sump yet and my filter socks / filter floss seem to be keeping it clean down there.
 
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design.maddie

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That sponge is part of the bubble trap... my filter socks / filter floss seem to be keeping it clean down there.

Good to know about the bubble trap. That is pretty much what I assumed. I do not run a filter sock except on Sunday-Tuesday. (about 48hrs a week) Clean up the water column right after disturbing everything after the weekly water change. I do run a pouch of carbon in the spot of the filter sock. To think that this sponge has been there 6 months collecting all this gunk. I am wondering if I take it out and rinse it out thoroughly and dry it out over the course of a day or so. Just dealing with the sound. Will it lower my Nitrates and Phosphates? Will it cause a small cycle?
 
Coral Mania
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design.maddie

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I have a rainbow favia that I have been trying to observe actively feeding. I could not witness it with my own eye so I decided to record it in 4k and as a time lapse. You will notice the Reef Roids being dispersed in the water column a few seconds in. Once this happens the rocks come alive with multiple forms of stars, worms, and pods. There are 3 fish in the video can you spot all of them? You can also notice the coral changing colors near the end. Most of this is due to a simulated storm coming overhead.


If you enjoy this type of video please let me know and I will do more.
 
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design.maddie

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On June 4th I had a rock slide. Nothing was killed but a few corals had some bumps and bruises. Put every thing back in a new (similar) spot as before. I had never handled SPS corals before this tank and was shocked by how fragile they really are. It really IS sandstone. I noticed my Appleberry Monti looked rough. While I was worried and saddened by it, it was a free coral that was given to me only weeks after having the tank cycled. I never had any hope for it. So I went about my day.

Here comes June 13th. I am moving a rock while still aquascaping the tank at 4 months old. I noticed what looked like an SPS skeleton of the "Finger Coral" my family lovingly calls the Appleberry Monti. I pick it up and pull it from the tank. I notice that it is still a bit fleshy. I tell the wife to come look and that it is pretty much dead, and that there was no hope for it. Even someone as experienced as myself *pfftt laugh* couldn't get this frag back to life. Wife pleads the case of the coral and I glue it to a frag plug and stick it in a bare spot on the rocks.

beforemod.jpg



The flow in this area is moderate. Nothing direct but there is a bit of a jetty above it. The frag is 12" from the surface and 10" off center from the ReefLED90. I do not target feed but did watch. I was also curious of what was to come. Days turned to week and the little hopeless frag received the nickname "Frag" I know I know not very original but my blenny was called Blenny the Blenny.

My feeding regiment is 1/4 teaspoon of my mix twice a day. My mix is 10mL of tank water add in 1/4 teaspoon of ReefRoids and 2 cubes of Emerald Entrée. This will last me about half the week.

I take photos of my tank probably every 4-6 days. Almost twice a week. This past week I had a question pop in my head. How has my documenting of coral growth shown the Frag's resilience
after.jpg
.

I figure it has tripled it's mass.(August 22nd) The base has bulked up the most but every section has grown out. Polyps are always out and glows in the evening blues. Pretty astounding. Water change is happening today so expect test results later.
 
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design.maddie

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Hurricane Laura in 4k from my home.

I would like to preface all this by stating I have been searching for a proper backup system, and shame on the industry for not providing better options. Battery tech has come leaps and bounds over the last few years yet no such thing exist for the fish/coral keeping industry. I don't run Ecotech and shouldn't be forced to one company just to have a modern day solution to keep my critters alive in the event of power outages.

Damage report is I lost part of my back porch, a massive tree snapped in half and fell inches from my fence, water rose half way to the house, lost my front patio door, and my flag pole snapped off the anchor and plowed through my wooden fence knocking off 2 boards completely.

We were without power for 18 hrs, without cellular 22hrs, without internet for 28hrs, and still working on the water.

After explaining what will happen to the coral and other inhabitants of my tank the family stepped up and decided that the best course of action was to stand watch and stir the tank with a plastic spoon every 15-30 minutes to keep the tank moving. There were times everyone was sleeping though. We were hot and tired from a long night. Everything went well and everything looks to be okay. The 2 corals that seemed most effected was Mystic Sunset Monti and the Duncan. As for inverts/verts the shrimp looks horrible. I even thing he dropped a "feeler". I don't think I am out the door just yet but everything should present itself in the next couple days.
 
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.. most of your tank inhabitants seem to have made it through okay?

Yeah all have made it through. I feel lucky. Now without the storm this month I was going to order some new corals. I need some filler corals. I have most of my big show pieces I want to grow out. I need some ground cover. This is always the part of this hobby I have the most issues with being successful.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics
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design.maddie

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I bought a fish and by the time I had arrived home (~10minutes) the fish had lost the ability to swim. It couldn't control which way was up and down. It was floating at the top of the water column upside down. I could see some red discoloration on the abdomen but nothing that really seemed to stand out. I felt like I was searching for it to be the issue. Hospital tank was instantly set up.

Temp acclimated the bag to the tank and started a drip. It dripped for 4 hours. At the point of 2 gallons(7.5l) in the tank I put in an air stone and heater. The air stone was too strong which caused the helpless fish to float all over the place. Turned the valve down and let the fish relax in O2 concentrate water. I grabbed some rubble in my display which is there for this purpose.

The rubble is covered in various algae, pods, worms and snails. Most natural live food for most fish. Now I don't have to worry about food for a few days. Fish slowly finds its way to the rock and digs in and sleep. Normal monitoring around the clock. Fish has recovered nicely. I would give out a percentage of survivability over night to my family. The first night was 30% second day was 10% second night 40%, you get the idea.

The store. Petco. My closest LFS is a 5 hour round trip if you are rushing through everything. I did make that trip 2 days ago and was embarrassed for them at how HORRIBLE their stock was. Those poor creatures. Petco is in my town. I know what I am dealing with there. That being said, I had mentioned to the family that if this type of fish shows up I will be buying it immediately if it looks good. There were 2 there and I picked the better looking one. I sat and observed it for about 10 minutes before the purchase. It looked a bit in shock but it had just arrived that day. It was in their tank less than 24 hours.
It has now been 4 days. The fish is swimming much better. It appears to be just sleeping a lot. He made his first cocoon last night. I tell my family that it isn’t going to be fast, minimum of 2 weeks. They are caring and enjoying watching me take care of this little bitty fish. I’m doing my best and keep telling myself if I didn’t take that fish when I did it would probably already be dead in the store.

New antibiotics will be in tomorrow. I am hoping to have him eating something by tomorrow so I can medicate him and start the real recovery time.

I made up 5 gallons(20l) of saltwater and every two day will pull 30% of water and replace it with fresh.
 
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Well on day 14 in my care the wrasse passed away. Stressed and hungry. So sad. I have never had such bad luck with fish. Since I started this tank I have lost 3. 4 if you include the old man blenny. I don't know if I am doing something wrong. I keep going over my process and never have I had a single loss. Maybe I was just lucky. But we must move forward.

Protein Skimmer.

I hate my protein skimmer. I can't mention anything good about it's design that makes it worth keeping. It is loud, ineffective, and a hassle to manage. I feel as if I have been complaining about this skimmer since the day I put it together. Would this skimmer be more effective on a higher bioload/larger system? Maybe.

So now the quest is on to find a protein skimmer sized for my tank. Any suggestions?
 

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Protein Skimmer.

I hate my protein skimmer. I can't mention anything good about it's design that makes it worth keeping. It is loud, ineffective, and a hassle to manage. I feel as if I have been complaining about this skimmer since the day I put it together. Would this skimmer be more effective on a higher bioload/larger system? Maybe.

So now the quest is on to find a protein skimmer sized for my tank. Any suggestions?


I see that you have the RSK300 skimmer. It is the same skimmer I have on my XL300. I currently am not even running mine anymore due to my low bioload it my nitrates dropping to 0. I only have 2 clowns and a YWG at the moment.

However, I did have it running for a while and didn't have any issues with it other than it being a hair louder than what I wanted. Other than the sound, what issues are you having with it? You mentioned "ineffective and a hassle" and was curious.
 
REEFTIDE

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Well on day 14 in my care the wrasse passed away. Stressed and hungry. So sad. I have never had such bad luck with fish. Since I started this tank I have lost 3. 4 if you include the old man blenny. I don't know if I am doing something wrong. I keep going over my process and never have I had a single loss. Maybe I was just lucky. But we must move forward.

Protein Skimmer.

I hate my protein skimmer. I can't mention anything good about it's design that makes it worth keeping. It is loud, ineffective, and a hassle to manage. I feel as if I have been complaining about this skimmer since the day I put it together. Would this skimmer be more effective on a higher bioload/larger system? Maybe.

So now the quest is on to find a protein skimmer sized for my tank. Any suggestions?
I am ready to join you. I too have a XL200 with the 300 skimmer and cant seem to get this dialed. I am interested what you find.
 
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design.maddie

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I am ready to join you. I too have a XL200 with the 300 skimmer and cant seem to get this dialed. I am interested what you find.

What do you feel the problem is with yours? I do have so ideas on where to go from here but I'm so out of the loop on skimmers. I don't know how to read their metrics and put them into a real world mindset. I always wanted to own a Reef Octopus so I am leaning that way right now. Only real option I see that way is the Reef Octopus Classisic 110.
 

tundra420619

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What do you feel the problem is with yours? I do have so ideas on where to go from here but I'm so out of the loop on skimmers. I don't know how to read their metrics and put them into a real world mindset. I always wanted to own a Reef Octopus so I am leaning that way right now. Only real option I see that way is the Reef Octopus Classisic 110.
my main issues are the inconstant skimming(constantly adjusting) and skim is always super wet. I have only had two other skimmers and they both produced some nasty thick skim.
 
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How close to perfect, for you, is your reef aquarium?

  • IT'S PERFECT NOW

    Votes: 4 2.8%
  • It's getting close

    Votes: 21 14.9%
  • It's about half way there

    Votes: 24 17.0%
  • It's slow but progressing

    Votes: 45 31.9%
  • It's not even close

    Votes: 42 29.8%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 5 3.5%
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