Shaun's 2000 Litre (530 USG) Living Reef & Red Sea Max S 650 LED Design & Build

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SPR1968

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You may recall that I had a go with a full refugium but removed it because of the mess it was making in the sump, with unattractive things starting to grow which I didn’t like the look of. The light was on in the sump as a whole so it just looked nasty after only a few weeks.

I’m doing far less water changes these days now the system has matured. I just find it upsets the water chemistry to much but I really like the idea of the refugium still. With less water changes, and already way over maximum doses of Nopox, this hopefully will be the solution to nutrient control and is certainly the way to go if and when I do the major upgrade which I’m still undecided about.

The idea is to maintain current Nopox dosing, and then reduce this as the refugium cuts in and then just balance it all out.

So I’ve just ordered:

ALR2 algae reactor
Eheim compactON 2100
Chaetomorpha Chaeto Linum 250 grams

The ALR2 is big, but it has much more capacity at 12.7 litres compared to the ALR1 at only 4.5 litres which I guess means it would need emptying a lot more often.

I’ll wait until it arrives to see the actual size for the sump, but for ease of maintenance I might actually have it outside the sump on a window to the left behind the tank which would be partially hidden anyway. It would then make maintenance much simpler rather than scrambling around in the sump.

I should have it Monday so will get it all set up once I decide we’re to put it, but outside the cabinet seems the most attractive way.
 

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You may recall that I had a go with a full refugium but removed it because of the mess it was making in the sump, with unattractive things starting to grow which I didn’t like the look of. The light was on in the sump as a whole so it just looked nasty after only a few weeks.

I’m doing far less water changes these days now the system has matured. I just find it upsets the water chemistry to much but I really like the idea of the refugium still. With less water changes, and already way over maximum doses of Nopox, this hopefully will be the solution to nutrient control and is certainly the way to go if and when I do the major upgrade which I’m still undecided about.

The idea is to maintain current Nopox dosing, and then reduce this as the refugium cuts in and then just balance it all out.

So I’ve just ordered:

ALR2 algae reactor
Eheim compactON 2100
Chaetomorpha Chaeto Linum 250 grams

The ALR2 is big, but it has much more capacity at 12.7 litres compared to the ALR1 at only 4.5 litres which I guess means it would need emptying a lot more often.

I’ll wait until it arrives to see the actual size for the sump, but for ease of maintenance I might actually have it outside the sump on a window to the left behind the tank which would be partially hidden anyway. It would then make maintenance much simpler rather than scrambling around in the sump.

I should have it Monday so will get it all set up once I decide we’re to put it, but outside the cabinet seems the most attractive way.
Really looking forward to following this addition.
 
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SPR1968

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Really looking forward to following this addition.
Me to Brian. I’ve always liked the idea of it but this way it’s all self contained as a separate system.

I’ve had the ALR2 in my ‘shopping basket’ on the site I use for about 6 months and nearly pressed the buy button a few times. I just thought it was something else to maintain so held back.

But with less water changes I need to increase and turbo charge nutrient export so I think this may be the way forward
 
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SPR1968

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what a great tank you have mate ,let me know how you get on with the ALR2
Thank you Richard and thanks for stopping by

The ALR2 arrived today so Im going to set it up and Ill do some pictures and a review

Its a very sturdy piece of kit, and very well made.
 
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Do you still have your probes in the overflow area?
Yes the Apex probes are in the overflow area at the back left with one of the magnetic Apex holders
 
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SPR1968

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I’ve installed the new ALR2 algae reactor and I must say it’s well built, from sturdy acrylic. It’s very much a quality product.

The ALR1 is much smaller with a capacity of around 4.5 litres whereas the ALR2 is 12.7 litres and as space wasn’t to much of an issue I preferred the higher capacity.

It probably would just about fit in my sump, although it’s quiet big, but I wanted ease of maintenance so I’ve put it at the rear left of the tank on a window sill and unless you look around the back you can’t see it.

I’m using Chaetomorpha as the algae of choice and added 250 grams into the 3 sections of the reactor. You may recall I experimented with a small refugium before, and used Caulerpa Prolifera, but there is a small risk it can go sexual, albeit not common, but I don’t need to take the risk

As far as installation, it’s sat in a ‘modified’ Red Sea bucket, which my wife made having been asked ‘do we have a container for it’ bless (she liked Blue Peter as a child!lol). I might modify this at some point, but I’ve put it in the bucket just in case of any leaks, but I have metal hose clips on both inlet and outlet hoses so they should be fine.

I’m fairly confident the hoses can’t come off, because during installation I put the hose on, and then realised I had not put a fitting on, so had to pull/carve it off. An hour later, pliers and knife in hand I eventually managed to pull it off! And that’s without the hose clips.

Just as a further precaution I’ve moved the Apex leak detector to the bottom of the bucket, so if anything leaked, and it would likely come from the main body if anywhere (the hoses can’t come off with those clips) Apex would turn off the pump, and all would be well......

So light spillage. Yes there is light spillage and if it were in my sump I think it would cause other things to grow and this was the reason the original refugium was removed because I didn’t like the look of the other things that were growing. In my case because it’s behind the tank all you can see is a low light glow to the side. This isn’t an issue at the moment as it’s light nights. If it becomes an issue in winter I’ll just get some of the black out curtain material and drape it over the reactor body.

I also realised during filing it, how much water it needed, because it drained the sump to the point I had to quickly turn the main return pump off as it ran dry, and the reactor pump!! The fish were swimming around with a tank full of bubbles!! Lol. So then I thought, best add 12.7 litres of water before turning it on again.....

So all in all I’m very pleased with it, and hopefully it will be the solution to long term nutrient control. I’m already way over the maximum Nopox dose, so I’ve started to reduce this. The idea being that the ALR2 will take over most of the control, with a maintenance dose of Nopox.

The fan you can see is my ‘chiller’ and yesterday the temperature was amongst the highest recorded, but the fan managed to keep the temperature down, just within maximum tolerance (30.6c). Apex was going crazy as it alerts over 29.5c, and I had to watch is didn’t switch off the heater controller (were the fan is plugged in) because at 31c Apex will cut the power in case of heater failure. It’s like a third redundancy system for that

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