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Connor's Automated Red Sea E170


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Hey ya'll, new here and decided to start a build thread. I'm not starting the thread from the beginning so I'll give some backstory.


I've been in the hobby for over a decade now. Before this most recently I had a Red Sea Max 130, which I thought I'd sell before college but ended up not. I paid my LFS to come out biweekly to do water changes while I was at college, and besides that and my sister feeding the tank, no maintenance was done. Came home for winter break, did a deep clean, tank looked great, and then it kinda exploded. Like the whole side panel just burst open for no apparent reason. I lost most of my fish except for my watchman goby, but everything else survived. My early Christmas present ended up being this beautiful new Red Sea E170 which I have been working on every day so far of summer break.


The goal is to have this tank almost completely automated by the time I leave for school again in three months. I'm planning on installing a webcam to livestream it as well so I can enjoy it.


So far, I've installed a Tunze osmolator and besides the lighting, there's no other automation. On the wishlist is calc/alk/mag/acro power dosers as well as an MP10. I plan to install a drain line for the skimmer, and I'm also running a reactor with GFO and carbon, but there's no way to change that automatically. I thought about a chaeto reactor as well, but fear that the chaeto will grow too fast since I could only trim it every few months. Also considering setting up an auto feeder for frozen foods. I have some ideas but haven't settled on one yet.


Now on to livestock. When I left for school the tank had only softies and gorgonians. Since I've gotten back, I've added several LPS and SPS frags, as well as more gorgonians and a ton of zoas. The LPS are doing great, SPS not so much. Why? Well, not entirely sure. More on that in a second.


Inverts are at the moment a tuxedo urchin, a brittle star, a fighting conch, snails and crabs, derasa clam, two sexy shrimp, a pedersons cleaner shrimp, and an anemone crab. The latter four all share one maxi mini anemone and seem to be getting along well. Very interesting little community.


Fishwise, I have a ywg, red head goby, pink bar goby with a candy cane pistol shrimp, and then the crown jewel, a male orange spotted filefish. I got him from DD a few weeks ago and he is completely weaned onto basically every frozen food I've given him. Very good and aggressive eater. I got him right as I started adding SPS to the tank, so rip acros and stylos. He nips at a digita as well but leaves the undata alone. Only guy he is not interested in is the birdsnest. I've basically accepted that I will have a bunch of SPS skeletons but that's acceptable, the filefish enjoys nipping on even the dead ones.


Here's a FTS for now. I'll be adding more pictures later. Thanks for following along!


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So some quick updates. Have a Tunze 6095 power head coming in as well as a three channel Bubble Magus doser. I also found a pretty cheap mod for my Tunze ATO to add in a second pump for automatic water changes. Will probably try and set that up in a few weeks.


I also added a healthy scooter blenny who has already taken to mysis. He's probably the last fish I'll add.


The only crappy thing is that something, I have no idea what, killed all my clams. I had two derasas and a maxima, and all died for no apparent reason within a week. Not sure what but all I know is that I'm done with clams.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So some updates. Lost my pinkbar goby last night, I found him on the floor :( The doser also was defective out of the box so still looking for one. But besides that everything is doing well. A lot of the SPS are recovering from bleaching from my Hydra being on too high, and it looks like all but maybe 2-3 will pull through.


Also have an order coming in from BZA tomorrow. Wasn't planning on adding more livestock but saw an emperor shrimp for sale for pretty cheap and had to have it. Got a small cucumber for him to host, as well as another fighting conch and a blue stripe pipefish (I have an OSFF and scooter blenny eating frozen, so I may be feeling a bit bold haha). Will update with pics tomorrow.

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Made some changes to the scape, added a new piece of rock on the bottom left for all my SPS frags. Also picked up 4 ricordea and a bunch of zoas today for only $30! The garden is starting to look pretty good.


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The order from BZA was somewhat interesting. The sexy shrimp decided to molt during acclimation and quickly became lunch for the emperor shrimp:unsure: 

I also got sent a tiger tail cucumber instead of a normal one, and he promptly climbed into the rocks and left the emperor shrimp alone. A bit worried about that but the shrimp still ate tonight.



The pipefish was a lot smaller than expected so I got some mesh to cover the overflow and powerhead. The blue spotted pufferfish I got for my other tank is about the only guy I'm not concerned about so we'll see.

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  • 1 year later...

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