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blizzardscout2

Reese's Blue Spot ate my sticks 170

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blizzardscout2

Okay I have drug my feet long enough. This is my next serious attempt at reefing. My plan is to successfully keep a SPS reef with a good variety of fish. The first challenge was to find a good spot where I wanted to put the new reef. The previous location wasn't an option as the years of salt exposure has started to rust my steel railing for my stairs. The most obvious location would be to place it where my family and I spend a lot of our time so it could be enjoyed more. I wanted to put in near the kitchen and living room but I have wood floors, but ultimately I decided with great care it was worth the risk to place it there. So the only spot that made sense limited me to a specific size and the Red Sea Reefer 170 fit the bill. My LFS was having one of their annual sales in November which included the Reefer Series so I jumped on this opportunity and ordered one. Since then I have been acquiring equipment for the build.

 

Water Quality:

I wanted to have crystal clear water without using a lot of carbon so I wanted to run a UV sterilizer. I found a 15w Aqua UV sterilizer for half the price. Then I wanted a 302 aquatics algae scrubber to keep nutrients down and suppress any algae growth in the DT. I ended up removing both and I keep the UV sterilizer on hand in case of a bacterial bloom.. Current skimmer is the NYOS Quantum 120.

 

Flow:

Next was to add another MP10 to be on the back wall with my existing MP10: found one locally for half price. Since I added an additional MP10, upgraded to the MP40 and then went back to the MP10 as the MP40 was just too much flow for the 170. Had an Vectra M1, ultimately downsized to the S1 which is a perfect fit for the 170.

 

Power:

I had been given an Apex Classic and used it, however I upgraded to the newer Apex.

 

Lighting

I have been an admire of Dave's Nanobox lights for awhile now. Turns out he had his personal prototype available for sale of his Wide Quad so it was meant to be. I would mount this suspended by cables. In keeping with most of my other Ecotech products I changed to the Radion G4 Pro.

 

Heating:

I have 2 Eheim TruTemp 150w heaters that will be controlled by my Apex.

 

Rocks:

I will transfer some of my 8 year old rock from my previous system, but I wanted to make a cool aquascape for this build since the first one had random stacked rock. I ordered 50lbs of Reefcleaner rock to work with. I am going for more of a minimalist look so I will be placing MarinePure cubes in my sump. I understand that they leech aluminum but other than leathers I haven't seen anyone have any negative effects.

 

Dosing:

I have an Eshopps doing pump and an Advanced acrylics 2 part dosing container that fits an entire jug of Bulk Reef Supplies 2 part solutions. 

I changed to dosing Kalkwasser which has helped me with my lower pH around 7.8. I use the Avast kalkstirrer that is dosed by an Apex DOS. I also dose vinegar with PE Aminos mixed together daily in small amounts.

 

Top Off:

I have a Tunze Osmolator that was also given to me. I have 5 gallon carboys that I will use for now. The plan is to plumb from my RO water system. I moved to the Apex ATO which I enjoy since I can see if the optical sensors are open or closed while at work.

 

RO Water:

Another WONDERFUL gift from my brother in law. He got out of reefing but he made an outstanding water production system that includes 2 60 gallon holding tanks, a mixing pump, an RO filtration system, etc. He even had extra filters for me. Thank you!

 

Well I guess that does it, the only thing missing are pictures so I will get to work on that. Thanks for checking out my journey and I appreciate any feedback or advice.

 

As you can see the Christmas tree should give you an indicator of when I received this shipment. I have been told to go slow, does that include setting it up? :D

 

 

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WhiteWulfe

Whoooo, another Reefer 170 going up ^_^  Any stocking plans yet, or playing that by ear for now?

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blizzardscout2

With space being limited and my desire to limit the number of motors in my sump I was determined to make a manifold to run the scrubber, UV sterilizer, biopellet reactor (possibly) or GFO/Carbon reactor (another possibility). So I researched what other Reefer owners had come up with and borrowed from a lot of ideas. Here is what I came up with:

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1 hour ago, WhiteWulfe said:

Whoooo, another Reefer 170 going up ^_^  Any stocking plans yet, or playing that by ear for now?

Well I have some rocks with mushrooms I am moving over; mainly green and blue. My maxi and rock anemones I traded with a guy locally for a bunch of zoa, lps, and sps frags. I will get some pictures of those up soon. My main focus is to successfully keep SPS like Acropora, Millipora, and Montipora. I still want some diversity though with zoas and lps. I really wanted to keep my anemones, but I was worried that the fish I would acquire would eventually have an accidental brush up with them. Even one of my clowns met his demise from a maxi so what chance would any other fish have.

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brianinak

I am close to pulling the trigger on a reefer 170.  I am looking forward to see how you set up your sump.  Look forward to following your build

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blizzardscout2
On 4/23/2017 at 1:43 PM, brianinak said:

I am close to pulling the trigger on a reefer 170.  I am looking forward to see how you set up your sump.  Look forward to following your build

Do not hesitate to buy one of their systems. The build quality is excellent and they look stunning.

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blizzardscout2

After I received my Reefcleaners rock I played around with them to get a rough design and chose my two bottom pieces for an arch (I love arch aquascapes). I was also toying around with a skinny column scape but in the end I would of regretted not going with an arch. I took the two bottom pieces and ran down the street to a tile shop and one of the shop workers hooked me up and cut them in half where I drew the lines. After taking them home I used E Marco cement to bond the scape together. I waited 24 hours before manipulating it, but it pulled free on one part so I used the giant tube of super glue from BRS and went to town on that joint. Problem solved. I then was able to move the strong one piece unit into my tank. I did measure the height before I finalized the scape and compared where it would end up in my tank with sand. I wanted to have enough room above the rock to grow out some decently large SPS colonies (for a 34 gallon that is). One pet peeve of mine was having stuff crammed in my Biocube 14 was that I could never clean the glass completely so I made sure to leave enough room for a magnet cleaner all round my scape.

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blizzardscout2

A few hours after getting it wet.

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blizzardscout2

This was after the cycle was complete and I finally stopped putting off hanging the light. I borrowed my father in law's laser level which was fantastic for mounting a cable hung light fixture. I hadn't secured the power cord yet so it is a little crooked here. Plus I didn't clip the wires as I hadn't decided on a height yet.

 

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blizzardscout2

So I will add a lot more updates but I picked up a beautiful fish today. Here is my daughter checking out her new friend. She named her princess. ? I only went with one due to aggression with other Anthias and there isn't enough room for 3. 

 

 

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blizzardscout2

I picked up 3 new frags a few days ago: a deepwater acro (still trying to ID exact type), purple Milli, and a rainbow chalice. I haven't posted any pictures of the frags I traded for so also so here is a few photos. 

 

 

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I will have to wait to load more photos. I have a cool picture of my Starry Blenny lounging on my fuzzy mushroom. ?

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blizzardscout2

?

 

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blizzardscout2

Every time I see this I wonder... is he dead or asleep? Okay definitely asleep, good good. Wrasses are cool. ?

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blizzardscout2

I placed an order from Reef cleaners for a cleanup crew plus a few extras. Should be here tomorrow. Just in time as I have some cleanup for them. 

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Christopher Marks

How's the new cleanup crew acclimating, are they still floating? You have a seriously cool fish and coral lineup @blizzardscout2, how is everything doing these days? FTS! FTS! omgomgomg 

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blizzardscout2

Sorry Chris, busy with life. The package did great except the urchin didn’t make the trip. However the striped hermit is absolutely cool. And absolutely scared the bajeezes out of me when I was pulling out the bags one by one and placing them in the water by my face and there was what I thought at first glance was a tarantula. I resisted the urge to throw it 😆. We named him Tamatoa after the hermit crab in Moana. 

 

Unfortunately between a significant pH drop to 7.42 from dry ice 5 ft from my reef (Amazon Fresh order placed in sink by my mom not knowing what that would do) and pushing my PAR levels too high I bleached all of my SPS. 😞 chock that up to another bone headed move by moi. So I’m figuring out where I want to go from here. The one thing I missed most from this Reef is a puffer. Now that I don’t have SPS to worry about, I added a new friend with my kids help. 

 

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blizzardscout2

So I have made a few changes:

  • My sump was cramped with my ATS and was nutrient limited so I pulled it for more room to work
  • I am pulling my twin MP10s for a single MP40. MP10's worked great but were quite loud running at 100% for best flow
  • I plan to only run my Aqua UV 15w for bacterial blooms should they occur
  • I am going to start dosing Sodium Nitrate as my Nitrates are always 0 causing an imbalance with my phosphates
  • I started dosing Kalkwasser instead of 2 part. I found this much easier to keep my levels stable with the added benefit of a higher pH
  • I will not be putting my bare hands in my tank EVER again and I will use a great pair of gloves by Coralife

So many state you shouldn't stick your hands in our reefs and I was honestly about to start following that advice as I had just bought the gloves to start using. Of course the next time I needed to do maintenance I looked at them and thought about the loss of dexterity and so I decided against using them this time. This time of year I have a problem with keeping my skin from drying out from the cold winter, wet conditions, washing dishes, washing my hands a lot at work throughout the day on top of changing diapers at home. Well on Saturday I went ahead and performed an hour of maintenance, pulling algae, water change, skimmer cleaning, etc. By 2100 I had pain in my wrist and thought nothing of it. The next morning I had a red spot on my right thumb muscle and by Sunday morning the the redness is what you see below. My ER Doc I work under immediately recognized it as Cellulitus and sent me on my way to Urgent Care for antibiotics. The entry point wasn't any scrape, cut, or puncture. It was dry skin, so be very careful and use gloves! If not be absolutely certain the integrity of your skin is intact before you do. Most of the swelling and redness is gone. My 5th finger still has Cellulitus but I expect that to go away within a few days as well. My hand is noticeably weaker and still has pain though it is improving. Yesterday I was doing some sump maintenance and yes I used gloves and it wasn't so bad. In fact the gloves are pretty nice and comfortable to wear and easy to get on. They shed water almost completely so keeping them clean shall be easy.

 

I don't have any pictures of my tank to add to this, but I will soon. I will take a few tomorrow with my Fuji. Other happenings in my tank:

 

  • Tomatoa my awesomely huge hermit crab died. I have a feeling that he was molting and my puffer and Candy Hogfish had their way with him
  • My shark nose goby Shark nose (my son names them lol) got caught in my MP10. Poor guy broke his back, I had to put him down.
  • My Ruby Dragonet although very fat died. Not sure why as no disease was present.
  • I bought a beautiful Bicolor Dwarf Angel, but it didn't survive the stress. After more reading they can be very difficult to establish but once they are they do great.
  • I now have a very beautiful Coral Beauty Dwarf Angel that initially showed signs of stress but after eating very well has become quite healthy.
  • All the other inhabitants: Clown, Starry Blenny, Blue Spotted Puffer, Bimaculatus Anthia, Candy Hogfish are also doing quite well and live harmoniously together. My goal was to have a friendly community reef with lots of fish as they are the best part of reefing IMO and so far so good other than a few lost friends over the last year. I will add another Sharknose goby for parasite control as they are uniquely capable of controlling them. Oh I did include a quick shot of 2 new Acans; a red with white stripes and an Orange with Green/Orange centers. 

 

 

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Asureef

Great start, that manifold is killer!  

 

One tip, don’t put zoas on the same rock as your sps!  Eventually, the zoas will take over.  I’m running into that problem right now.

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blizzardscout2
1 hour ago, Asureef said:

Great start, that manifold is killer!  

 

One tip, don’t put zoas on the same rock as your sps!  Eventually, the zoas will take over.  I’m running into that problem right now.

That is a good tip. I have some Palythoas that would have taken over a spot I had a few last summer. I plan on adding some sticks when I get a better handle on stability of all nutrients where I want them. Oh and I forgot to add that I toasted my SPS frags with my light not understanding how powerful LEDs are last year. I haven't bought any more since.

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blizzardscout2

The cellulitis is gone now, however my hand feels like I have arthritis when I wake up now. Awesome...

 

Since my Sharknose goby died, I wanted another, but would instead add 2. My LFS informed me they got a few in so I picked them up yesterday. I figured they’d go there separate ways once in the tank, but they don’t leave each other’s side now. I’m curious to see if this continues. Now I need to ask my kids what to name them. ?

 

I also sold off my Apex classic for the 2016 that is coming next week. I’m using an Apex Jr I bought for a new project until then. I am utilizing a new Neptune ATK ATO as well which is very nice, though takes up a lot of room if using the float valve. I like seeing whether the optical sensors circuits are open or closed. I’m going to add another sensor in my ATO reservoir as it just plugs into the ATK module. So far I like it. The biggest plus is the alarm is not absolutely obnoxious like the Tunze Osmolator is. The Tunze was great but that alarm... ?

 

 

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blizzardscout2

So my Shark Nose Gobies have been creating a burrow lately. 

 

 

 

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Aaron Gustafson

How are you finding the MP40 for this size tank?

 

PS - Saw you’re in Seattle. I just moved here & would love to know about any reef club activity.

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blizzardscout2

Hello Aaron, sorry I have been busy the last month. The MP40 is extremely powerful. I would say 1 MP40 would be enough without an MP10. However I had 2 MP10s and perhaps that was the better fit as the MP40 moves your sand around the tank. That said for SPS it would be great. I have had difficulty in keeping SPS so I am pretty much giving up on it. With my work schedule I just am not home enough to adequately meet the needs of them.

 

I live near Seattle in the Snohomish area. I don't know of a reef club around here, but there is a facebook group for this area and a PNW club that is mostly made up of reefers in the Portland region with some members up here. Let me know if you find out that there is one. Welcome! The weather is fantastic this time of year as you are finding out.

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Christopher Marks

How have you been @blizzardscout2? What's new with your RS170? Hope you're well!

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blizzardscout2

 

On 11/24/2018 at 10:10 AM, Christopher Marks said:

How have you been @blizzardscout2? What's new with your RS170? Hope you're well!

 

Hi Christopher! I am doing well thank you, I hope the same to you too! My RS170 is doing great. I have a few newer corals since my last update. I have a Macro lens I have been meaning to play around with so I will take a few photos tonight and show you my progress. My fish are all doing well except one of the Sharknose gobies died unexpectedly a few months back without any warning. The other little guy is doing great though. I have a few new project in store for my sump with the addition of a refugium using the stock glass ATO. When I have time that is!

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blizzardscout2

 

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