RedSea Max e170 (re)build


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Jan 28, 2021
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Back in January, I picked up a used e170 that was in "ok" shape. The sand bed was maybe 2" deep, there was not nearly enough rock for the 4 fish at the time (1 Orange shoulder tang, 1 yellow eye tang, 1 blue spot puffer, and 1 Valentini puffer). I'll talk more about the fish in a bit. It had an external sump but I have no idea what he was using for a sump. It was not the RS sump and it would have never held the overflow volume with the pump off. I was told it was a "refugium" setup, but honestly, the only thing that was doing any filtration was the overworked and totally clogged AuquaTop UV Filter. This thing was a nitrate factory and was probably a month or two from full collapse.

After getting it moved and set up, I added 10gal new saltwater and put a canister filter on it to help do some mechanical filtration in the short term. The next day I took a water sample into my LFS for testing and they didn't even have to wait the full time for the nitrate test, "I've never seen one turn that shade of red that fast", "Is anything living in there?" I had my work cut out for me. Below is the list of what I've done since January (excluding many many water changes to get nitrates under control).

Filtration Changes
1. Add RS250v2 Sump (with filter socks, now running cups with floss)
2. Add DC return pump (old one was way way way overkill)
3. Add Skimmer (1st was a used AquaMaxx 180, now a RSK300)
4. Redo plumbing with standard sizing and gate valve (old RS valve was toast)

Tank Changes
1. Add ReefWave 25 wavemaker
2. Remove rear AIO section circulation pump
3. Add 20lbs live sand (after a full sandbed vaccuuming)
4. Add 40lbs rock
5. Add ReefLed 90 (I like the look and functionality, have the 50 on my pico reef)

LIve Stock Additions
1. Yellow watchman goby (Winston)
2. Diamond Goby (Jerry)
3. 2x black/white ocelleris clowns (2pac and Biggie)
4. Long nose hawk fish (Scott)
5. Royal gramma (Herbert)

Livestock Subtractions
1. Orange shoulder tang - rehomed via LFS
2. Blue spot puffter - rehomed via LFS
3. Valentini puffer - passed suddenly

Coral/Invert Additions
1. Various hermit crabs and snails, notable haloween hermit
2. Serpent Starfish
3. 1x Large Long Tip Anenome (10-12" disc when opened)
4. 1x Green BTA (still trying to find it's home)
5. 1x Birdsnest coral
6. GSP
7. Pulsing Xenia
8. 1x Jack o lantern Leptoseris
9. 2x plate coral (mystery items!)
10. Hairy mushroom
11. Anthillia
12. 2x Various leathers

I'm going to work on pictures of the full setup, not sure I have any "before".

What is your most favorite type of shrimp for your reef tank?

  • Peppermint Shrimp

    Votes: 22 4.4%
  • Banded Coral Shrimp

    Votes: 46 9.1%
  • Snapping or Pistol Shrimp

    Votes: 47 9.3%
  • Harlequin Shrimp

    Votes: 45 8.9%
  • Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp

    Votes: 154 30.6%
  • Blood Red Fire Shrimp

    Votes: 109 21.6%
  • Sexy Anemone Shrimp

    Votes: 32 6.3%
  • Camel Shrimp

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 12 2.4%
  • NO shrimp in my tank

    Votes: 36 7.1%