Reefer 170 re-rebuild

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exnisstech

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Hello fellow enthusiast. I've been finding myself hanging out here more lately so I figured its time for a build thread. First off thanks to everyone for all of the valuable information here and the wiliness to share and help others. This build thread is going to be the third generation of my Redsea Reefer 170 hence the title. The tank was set up February 2019 and has undergone some changes. The tank was doing well and really looked good to myself and my Gal and that's what is important since it for our pleasure, then things changed a bit. A little background as to why the 170 has been changing. I also had a 150 gallon and 180 gallon set up sharing a 125 gallon sump in the basement. Those tank were doing very well until marine velvet struck . (Always QT your fish.) I was able to save some very nice fish that I have had for years but I lost more than I saved. After that I decided to tear down the 150 gallon and just run the 180. After the fallow period and treating all the fish we moved them back in. The tank was looking bare so I decided to move some of my nicer LPS and red bubble tip nem into the 180 gallon and have a go at SPS in the reefer 170. I'm a glutton for punishment what can I say :) I can't remember the exact date but it was several months ago. I did leave a few LPS in the 170 and bought what was supposed to be a few SPS frags but turned into quite a few with more to come tomorrow thanks to Tidal Gardens recent sale. They are local so I am lucky in that respect. I'm just not happy with the aquascape I now have in the 170 so this is my plan. I'm sanitizing some rock that I had stored after the teardown and am going to redo the aquascape. The plan is to take the rock once its sanitized and rinsed and cure it with the addition of some seasoned rock from the larger tank. I'm thinking maybe a month or so but am open to suggestions on that as I still consider myself a rookie. I'm going to do the aquascape outside and take my time and look at it quite often to make sure its to my liking before placing it in to cure. I have a couple of stock tanks so I can place the entire structure in one after its all cemented together to cure. Then the fun will begin, well I hope it will be fun but I'm sure there will be bumps in the road. Equipment will be 2 MP10 with a Tunze nano power head in a bottom corner for circulation behind the rock work. Return pump is a Eheim compactON 2100. I'm using the Redsea topoff reservoir but with a JBJ ATO along with an aqua lifter pump for top off. I'm currently running a AquaUV advantage2000+ inline UV sterilizer. Not sure if I'll need it but am leaving it plumbed in so if I do its ready to go. I had chaeto in a fuge until it died off. I have a reef octo 150ss skimmer but have recently taken it off line because nitrates were undetectable. I'd rather run a fuge than a skimmer but we'll see how that goes since I don't have room for both. Lighting is a radion xr15 pro gen4 mounted in a Aquatic life hybrid fixture with 2 coral+ and 2 blue+ bulbs. Livestock not including corals is a copperband, lawnmower blenny, blood red fire shrimp, few hermits and a couple of snails. I'm not really planning much more in the way of fish as I've always wanted a copperband and it is doing so well that I don't want to take any chances introducing anything new, that and I have some cool fish in the 180 gallon. I had sand and switched to bare bottom a while back. I'm debating on sand or not but leaning toward staying bare bottom. My Gal like the look of bare bottom and all the detritus blows into the two back corners for easy removal, but I like the look of sand so that decision hasn't been made yet. I'll update once the rockwork starts. I'm sure I will need opinions as I'm not a very artistic person.
This was Gen 1
20211216_160903.jpg

As it is now
now.jpg
I'll probably keep the trachyphylia as the center piece because it is so darn beautiful.
Future pics to come. Thanks for taking the time to get this far. Happy Reefing.

 
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exnisstech

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The cleansing begins. The should be plenty to get something together that looks like a good. Ordered so emarco cement to give a try. I've been stacking in the past but with the limited space in the reefer 170 I think bonding things together will be to my advantage and allow me to be more creative 20220614_175441.jpg
 
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The cleansing begins. The should be plenty to get something together that looks like a good. Ordered so emarco cement to give a try. I've been stacking in the past but with the limited space in the reefer 170 I think bonding things together will be to my advantage and allow me to be more creative
I miss your anemone.
 
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exnisstech

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I miss your anemone.
I know. I'm kicking myself for even changing the gen1 setup (just gave it that name for reference lol) It was probably the nicest tank I have ever had. My Dad cleans and rearranges furniture, I disrupt and reareange my tanks. We have issues
 
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Rock is all clean getting ready to dechlorinate. Found a few man made branch rock to try and use. Wife said she thinks I need more rock, it is a 36 gallon tank. She's a funny girl. I told her too much is just enough. 20220620_123445.jpg
Plus I have this pile as backup :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes: 20220620_130443.jpg
 
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I put the rock scape together the other day. I wanted to do all branch rock but couldn't justify the cost since I already have so much rock lying around so I mixed it up. I'm not an artistic person, this is what I came up with. I think once I get coral growing it will look ok. I have about 10 inches from the highest point to the water line for coral growth

20220622_072717.jpg
Lower viewing angle
20220622_080951.jpg
I used E-Marco cement and it's seems to be very strong so hopefully it will hold up.
I tried to cover most of the mortar joints with rock rubble and powdered rock. Its not perfect but I think it looks better than just the grey mortar

. 20220622_072639.jpg
 
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Nothing exciting but I figure since I started a build thread I should follow through. I think I grossly miscalculated how much rock I can fit. I had the foot print layed out and thought I had the sides factored in but I was way off. If I do this again I'll build a a box the same size as the tank and build my rock scape in the box so I know it will fit. I think this is probably the only piece I built that will go in. I like it better than the cluttered look I had before. I have room for some rock islands or LPS on the bottom. Would be a great place for a zoa garden if I could only grow zoas I have some encrusting monti and Cyphastrea and the plan is to try and get them to cover the large base. We'll see how it goes 20220705_170323.jpg
 
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Well I was able to get the second rock structure in after all. Need to look at it for a few days to see if I like it before I start glueing frags down. Heck I'll probably end up changing stuff anyway cuz that's what I do when I get bored o_O
20220710_194418.jpg
 
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Not a lot has been going on other than chasing that rockscape that I like. I'm hoping this is it as I break a frag or 2 or 3 everytime I stick my hands in the tank. But I have more frags now because of it lol. I think I'm going to stick with this scape (said that too many times to remember) I love encrusting coral and have several growing out that I'm hoping to get to cover the new rock on the left. I have two new acro frags coming Tuesday that I hope to grow out as the center pieces so to speak. Once I get them I'm going to start glueing the rest of them down and will update them.

20220731_133433.jpg
 
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Not a lot going on recently. I did manage to move the large Trachyphyllia and meat coral out to my other tank. I think it looks less cluttered. Glued a few pieces down and moved a rock in to put my green pavona on and bought a blue one and added it to the same rock. Have the purple pavona out front now so we'll see how they all do. I think the green may like higher lighting than the purple but time will tell. Just used superglue with no putty so I can just pop the plug off if I need to bring it up. Put a couple of encrusting monti on the bottom. Hopefully they'll do as well as the Cyphastrea on the right side.
Still have some gha growing but the urchins and 2 turbo snails are keeping it from getting out of hand. Untill next time
20220807_174000.jpg
 
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Picture of the not so tidy sump. Ive never run a skimmer on this tank, just a fuge with chaeto. A while back all the chaeto died off but I've started dosing sodium nitrate as nitrates and phos were 0. Phos is still reading 0 but obviously there is some as the chaeto has started to take off and I've been able to keep nitrates around 6ppm. Oh, and the hair alage in the display is keeping the urchins and turbo snails fed :winking-face: 20220813_105844.jpg
 
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Just rearranging a bit. My nice trachophylia was not happy in the 180g and would not inflate. Moved it back here and 24 hours later fully inflated and looking happy. Not sure what the deal is. I sent ICP tests out on both tanks to see if there is something going on in the other tank as lighting is almost identical and flow similar :thinking-face: OH well I kinda like it back in here. I'm tempted to bring my big meat coral back in and call it a mixed reef vs sps dominant since it's becoming that anyway :rolling-on-the-floor-laughing: It sure is nice having other tanks to move things to if needed.
20220824_155115.jpg
 
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Last batch of frags are in (at least that's what I'm telling myself). Thanks to @sfg for some really nice big frags. Don't hesitate to buy from him. No little 1/2 nubs in the package he sent me.
20220831_144308.jpg

I think I'm done rearranging for now and am going to let the frags adapt and start growing before I glue them down. I'll try to post a monthly photo of the tanks progression from here forward. Wish me luck :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes: 20220831_144255.jpg
 
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Yeeha hair alage everywhere. I knew it would happen as I saw the signs. N are near 0 and P was 0.02 on an icp. Hair algae and chaeto are growing great tho so I know I'm not truly near 0, or so I'm telling myself. I added two more fish, a Chalk bass and a yellow banded possum wrasse for a total of 4 fish now so I can increase feeding. I have been dosing sodium nitrate every couple of days to make sure N doesn't bottom out. Its strange because even before I re-did this tank it had been running almost 3 years and nitrates were always barely detectable and I don't even run a skimmer.
I went after the algae last night with a hose with the end shoved into my filter sock (thanks to @Jared Bryant for that suggestion) as well as a 4g water change. I was amazed at the amount that I was able to get out just using the hose. I have 2 turbo snails and 2 tuxedo urchins that were not keeping up so I added a sea hare. I'll return the hare when things are cleared up so it doesnt starve.
Sea hare at work
20220910_163052.jpg


I moved the frag rack to the back so the glass is easier to clean.
20220910_161251.jpg

I pulled one of the MP10 and replaced it with an MP40 place on the left back wall. I moved the remaining Mp10 to the right side glass blowing directly on the rocks. This layout is doing a much better job keeping particles in the water column for remove evidenced by the increased need for sock changes more often.

Now a scary thing is I'm considering moving the tank :zany-face: It's kitty corner in our bedroom, and while I love having it in that room being kitty corner is a royal pita to work on all the electrical items. All power supplies and cords are in a pile behind the tank. More to come on that. If I move it momma is gonna want a king size bed so we're not cramped with the dogs at night. Maybe it's not that big a pita being kitty corner :thinking-face: Thanks for following.
 
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Well I think I have the hair algae beaten or at least controlled. The sea hare kept climbing to the top of the tank so I figured it was in search of food. Much of the hair alage has turned a brownish color so perhaps it's dying and the hare will no longer eat it. Ive noticed the turbo snails will no longer eat it either. I moved the sea hare to the sump in my other system that has plenty for it to eat. I'll most likely return it eventually. Still having to dose nitrates to keep them detectable. Phosphates are low 0.02 but I'm holding off on dosing phos. I'm watching my chaeto. I figure if it continues to grow I should be ok with the levels.

I did some more rearranging of the rock work . I think it looks a little more open now and I can actually see the fish and shrimp more now with the opening between the two rocks. Now to see how long I can go with without changing things again. I glued some encrusting monti on the rocks so hopefully it will tank off and add some color.
20220914_153947.jpg
 
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