Reeftwincities forever system build - Red Sea 525 xl g2

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reeftwincities

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I'm starting this build thread to document what I like to think is my "forever system". I'm sure the tank sizes will change over the years but my goal is that the fish, coral and rock I have started keeping this past year will form the foundation of my future tanks.

Right now, I have several different systems. A coral/frag 40g with tons of stereonepthias and other soft corals. mostly from Marine Farmers. I also have a 20g long filled with Tampa Bay liverock and another 10g system with about 10 lbs of "Australian" live rock from uniquecorals. These have all been started this past year.

Livestock includes two marine bettas, two court jester gobies and a filefish from Biota. I also have a 10+ year old black and white clownfish I just recently inherited from my brother who had to break down an aquarium I set up when I lived near him over a decade ago. Pretty neat to have her back!

The big event the next couple of months will be moving and transporting all of the above mentioned livestock to Minneapolis this fall. It'll be about an 8-10 hour trip.

The big question for me is trying to determine what size tank to get for the new set up. Ideally, I would like to combine everything I currently have into one system (and maybe a second 5-10g nano tank with some of my more exotic mushrooms). On the wishlist for future livestock is either a pair of regal angels or venustus. I am thinking of purchasing a Cade aquarium--maybe the 900 or 1200 series but would be curious to see what size people would recommend. Unfortunately, I will be in a condo for the next 1-2 years but I'm on the ground floor which is concrete so not as concerned with weight or spills as I would be otherwise in a rental but size and space are still issues.

Hopefully, I can get better at reef photography too! :cool: Thank you in advance for any advice or suggestions!

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Not a big update but I have broken down most of the tanks that were up and running and placed everything into a 50gallon rubbermade tub.
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I intentionally left some hair algae for the urchins! :cool:

The marine bettas seem fine from the move. The blue highlights are really starting to come in.
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Well, it seems everything survived the move except for a few mushrooms (tho 1 or 2 were jawbreakers ouch!) that jumped and some zoas. I then ended up going on a two week vacation to the Oregon coast. Here are a few photos from the trip I'm finally settled and will be focusing more on the tanks the next few months. But until then -- here are some photos from vacation.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium

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And the dogs

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Last photo is wallpaper worthy
Hey, thank you! That old dog's name is Trapper and he loved the sea immediately. I basically couldn't keep him out of it which gave this midwesterner quite a bit of heartburn. :grinning-face-with-sweat:

Wildlife photography is another hobby of mine. I'll be focusing on the tank this next year but would eventually like to get some macro lens and explore aquarium photography. This is from Cabo earlier this year.

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One of the benefits of living in South Dakota the past couple of years were scenes like this -- will miss the bison for sure!

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Another small update -- I was browsing stores online last night and nabbed two Venustus angelfish from Biota. I've had great luck with Biota and these two were definitely on my "dream" fish list so went for it! I'm excited to see their size as Biota generally delivers pretty tiny fish which is my preference, especially trying to pair angelfish.

I'll try to post some photos next week when they arrive. I'm tinkering with maybe getting a third but not sure I have the space either in the short term (I only have a 40g rubbermaid set up right now) or in the medium term (I'm likely maxing out at the 120g with the new build for the next 2-3 years). This definitely puts me on a shot clock though for the new tank and I'm really leaning toward ordering the Cade 1200 series unless someone talks me out of it. I've gone back and forth on going a little smaller or a little bigger but I think this is a good compromise on size in case I have to move but will allow for a fun stocking list. More updates soon.
 
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Couple of updates -- I finally made a decision and ordered a Red Sea 525. I like the extra foot length due to the stock list I'd eventually like to keep but wanted to stay around a 100g display.

Have you visited Reef Collective and New Wave Aquaria?

I recently visited New Wave Aquaria. Very cool people and probably the nicest fish store I've ever visited tbh. Thanks for the recommendation!

Here's a view from the mushroom garden which is slowly but surely growing.

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I finally moved the mushrooms from the small 5 gallon holding tank I had been storing them into a fluval 13.5 gallon. It also allowed me to move some of the stereonepthias I’ve collected into an aquarium I can actually view. It’s been a few months in rubbermaids but they seem no worse for wear and some have grown a decent amount. I’m not sure if this aquarium will be incorporated into the larger build or kept separate. The bigger build will have all the bells and whistles so in theory should be more stable but it’s much easier to control flow and find a loose expensive mushroom in a smaller tank.

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Only other comment is that I used the Hawaiian black caribsea reef sand in this tank to highlight the shrooms. Definitely larger than typical sand grain and sort of reminded me of freshwater gravel. Not in love with it but it’s a neat change for a small mushroom garden.
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Another shot of the stereonepthias. A purple polyp yellow stalk and “mulberry” as Marine Farmers calls it. Most of my coral are from Pablo at Marine Farmers. He’s always treated me well and his frags are big and healthy. I probably have one of every soft coral he sells with a couple exceptions. I have multiple stereos though as they are my favorite coral. I remember live aquaria used to sell super tiny frags of the yellow/purple kind years ago so was excited to find another seller especially with premium frags. Some of his other leathers have become a good size in the Rubbermaid so I will be excited to enjoy them soon.
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A small update on the mushroom nano tank. The middle rhodactis is from New Wave Aquaria’s anniversary sale today.
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another rhodactis from the sale. It matches the purple/yellow stereo pretty well!

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Oops - double post so I'll edit to include the equipment list for this build. So far, I've ordered the following:

Red Sea Reefer 525 G2
2 XR 15 Radion G Pro 6 with RMS Track Lighting Mount/XR 15 Slide;
1 XR 15 Radion G 5 Blue (from previous build)
Reef Mat 500 Fleece Roller Filter
Reef Octopus Regal 150INT Protein Skimmer
Apex A3 PRO System and Trident Bundle
Neptune Apex display
Vectra M2 Centrifugal Pump DC (2000 GPH) - EcoTech Marine
Helio Universal Aquarium Heater Controller
Tunze Osmolator 3155
ReefWave 25 Pump with Controller (1980 GPH)

I have a couple fish on reserve -- two captive bred regal angels and one captive bred goldflake. Unfortunately, Biota canceled my venustus order before delivery, but informed me they will soon be in stock again.

I also ordered 40 lbs of Australian liverock from @uniquecorals which will be delivered next Wednesday. This is in addition to the 25 lbs I ordered from Tampa Bay Saltwater and an earlier 10 of Australian from Unique Corals earlier this year. I also have another 30-40 lbs of "dead" live rock sitting in boxes from old tank breakdowns and some random marco rock I've collected along the way. I filled up a 5 gallon tank I had laying around with some of the base rock earlier this week. Hopefully the new tank will be set up within the next month or so, but thought I'd get a head start cycling the rock.
 
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Today, I received from @uniquecorals 40 lbs of the Australian live rock. Great shapes and sizes! I have it cycling in two tubs. When I came home from a work event tonight, it stunk very badly in my apt. Lol! I think that means it’s working??

It has to pass these guys’ smell test first.
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The rock

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Just a random shot of the nano tank — I added two helfrichi fire fish which is my first time with fire fish. Love how active and out and about they are.
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Does it matter to you whether your fish are captive-bred or wild caught?

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