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kinetic Red Sea Reefer 170 - PAR readings and NYOS Quantum 2 weeks review

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Officially back in the hobby. Hopefully for a good long time.

 

I've had a few tanks, my last setup was terribly expensive and, in my opinion, way too complicated. It was so complicated and automated I lost touch with the tank and everything kept dying. Spending tens of thousands of dollars just wasn't worth it. Now I'm back, but keeping things extremely simple and small.

 

Latest update: (November 13, 2017):
 
NYOS Quantum 120 skimmer review after 2 weeks. Read it in the latest post.
 
Current FTS (November 5, 2017):
 
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Start FTS (August, 2017):
 
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System Equipment Details:

  • Red Sea Reefer 170 (white)
  • Hydra 52 HD LED light (white) w/ hanging kit
  • Simplicity 120 DC skimmer
  • NYOS Quantum 120 skimmer
  • Skimz QuietPro 4.0 return
  • Skimz QuietPro 2.0 chiller + reactor pump
  • Reef Octopus VarioS S-4 return
  • Reef Octopus VarioS S-2 chiller + reactor pump
  • TECO 1/10 hp chiller
  • Eheim Jager 125 watt heater
  • Neptune Apex Jr. controller for heaters
  • Neptune ATK for topoff from LPDE 5 gallon reservoir (Araven colorclip airtight food container, bpa free)
  • American DJ power strip
  • MaxSpec XF130 Gyre with Advanced Controller
  • BRS Mini Reactor for Carbon
  • AquaMaxx XL Reactor + grow lights Algae Reactor
  • AirWaterIce Typhoon III RO/DI

 

System Contents:

  • 10 lbs dead key largo rock from marcorocks
  • 30 lbs of tropic eden mesoflakes (might run bare bottom, we'll see)
  • AquaForest Reef Salt

 

Livestock Plans:

  • H. Magnifica (Ritteri) Anemone (start with 1, maybe get a second, but they grow pretty big)
  • Clutch/harem of 8 davinci or mochadavinci ocellaris

 

Updates

  • New PAR meter readings with the AI Hydra 52 HD.
  • Great news, H. Magnifica made it to the DT. Clowns love it. 
  • H. Magnifica and new BTA have arrived. Mag not in good shape 
  • Neptune AFS, VDM, and NYOS Quantum 120 arrived. 
  • Bacteria bloom. UV Sterilizer to the rescue. 
  • The clowns have arrived!
  • Anemone is out more now, and added geometric pygmy hawkfish:
  • Anemone and Geometric Pygmy Hawkfish added: 
  • First full tank photos, filled and cycling: 
  • Algae Reactor online: 
  • Turning lights on regular schedule: 
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Unfortunately, when I unpacked the tank, I found two cracks on the internal overflow. I contacted Red Sea but no response, mostly because Harvey the hurricane is probably terrorizing them at the moment.

 

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In the meantime, I'm cycling all the rock with Dr.Tim's Ammonium Chloride and One and Only bacteria in a 18 gallon tub. Currently on day 5 at, what I think is 2ppm of Ammonia?

 

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Still enjoying my betta tank while I wait...

 

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Nice pick on the RSR 170 I have the same tank. Red Sea has amazing customer service so I'm sure she they will get back with you once they can. I had no luck with the Ritteri anemones in the past so I just went with Maxi and Bubble tips recently. My tank started as a soft coral but slowly moving back to anemones. Tropic Eden Reef Flakes is amazing sand. 

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Nice setup you have there.  Doesn't seem too simple though.  Haha.  Where are you that you need a chiller?

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1 hour ago, Lawnman said:

Nice pick on the RSR 170 I have the same tank. Red Sea has amazing customer service so I'm sure she they will get back with you once they can. I had no luck with the Ritteri anemones in the past so I just went with Maxi and Bubble tips recently. My tank started as a soft coral but slowly moving back to anemones. Tropic Eden Reef Flakes is amazing sand. 

Yeah, I suspect they will be able to help me at some point, but just not sure when that will be. Crossing my fingers they're all safe and sound!

 

Ritteri ship really badly, and most I've seen need a lot of treatment. I'd say with the correct cipro treatment there's a 80% chance it'll make it. Once they're treated they can last a good long time. Did you lose yours early on during treatment or later on? I haven't heard of anyone who's gotten a Ritteri that did *not* need to treat it. I'm going to have to setup a treatment tank well ahead of time.

 

And about tropic eden, I did a lot of research on it. I'm pretty sure I will use it, though I've used bare bottom tanks in the past (I love a ton of flow, and siphoning detritus all day). I've used CaribSea's Fiji Pink in the past. I liked how white it was, but I had a lot of bald spots on the bottom of the tank. I'll run the tank without sand for awhile (once I get it) and add sand later if it just doesn't look that great. I'm hoping the mesoflakes size will stay put. Reefflakes seemed way too big aesthetically...

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11 minutes ago, TILTON said:

Nice setup you have there.  Doesn't seem too simple though.  Haha.  Where are you that you need a chiller?

You should've seen my past tank! This feels way simpler than what I've done before (custom stand, multiple custom sumps, auto water changes, ATO for my ATO that was ATO'd by a RO/DI, auto feeder, deep sand bed bucket, dual media reactors, basement sump with refugium, all types of probes and monitors, the list goes on...)

 

I'm in San Francisco Bay Area. How hot does it need to be to have a chiller? I'm a firm believer in maintaining good temp for the tank. I cringe when I hear people running around with all types of fans and even ice packs into the sump on extremely hot days. I don't have air conditioning because it's pretty mild here 360 days of the year, and there are the 5 days I wish I had A/C. I also think fans blowing across tanks are usually kind of loud and create a lot of evaporation. Just going to run my existing TECO chiller inline with my reactor and not have to worry.

 

EDIT: just noticed you're in Arizona. So it definitely is ice cold here compared to where you are probably! ;)  Since I have it already, I'm just going to throw it on.

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4 minutes ago, kinetic said:

Yeah, I suspect they will be able to help me at some point, but just not sure when that will be. Crossing my fingers they're all safe and sound!

 

Ritteri ship really badly, and most I've seen need a lot of treatment. I'd say with the correct cipro treatment there's a 80% chance it'll make it. Once they're treated they can last a good long time. Did you lose yours early on during treatment or later on? I haven't heard of anyone who's gotten a Ritteri that did *not* need to treat it. I'm going to have to setup a treatment tank well ahead of time.

 

And about tropic eden, I did a lot of research on it. I'm pretty sure I will use it, though I've used bare bottom tanks in the past (I love a ton of flow, and siphoning detritus all day). I've used CaribSea's Fiji Pink in the past. I liked how white it was, but I had a lot of bald spots on the bottom of the tank. I'll run the tank without sand for awhile (once I get it) and add sand later if it just doesn't look that great. I'm hoping the mesoflakes size will stay put. Reefflakes seemed way too big aesthetically...

I lost mine early on and didn't treat it. It was about 5 years ago. Reef flakes is about the same size as Carib Sea special grade. I like Tropic Eden because it's clean and doesn't need much if any rinsing. It's also really white. 

2 minutes ago, kinetic said:

You should've seen my past tank! This feels way simpler than what I've done before (custom stand, multiple custom sumps, auto water changes, ATO for my ATO that was ATO'd by a RO/DI, auto feeder, deep sand bed bucket, dual media reactors, basement sump with refugium, all types of probes and monitors, the list goes on...)

 

I'm in San Francisco Bay Area. How hot does it need to be to have a chiller? I'm a firm believer in maintaining good temp for the tank. I cringe when I hear people running around with all types of fans and even ice packs into the sump on extremely hot days. I don't have air conditioning because it's pretty mild here 360 days of the year, and there are the 5 days I wish I had A/C. I also think fans blowing across tanks are usually kind of loud and create a lot of evaporation. Just going to run my existing TECO chiller inline with my reactor and not have to worry.

I run my tank at 78 and we keep the house at 68. Pretty sure you will be happy you got a chiller if you don't have AC. 

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1 minute ago, Lawnman said:

I lost mine early on and didn't treat it. It was about 5 years ago. Reef flakes is about the same size as Carib Sea special grade. I like Tropic Eden because it's clean and doesn't need much if any rinsing. It's also really white. 

Ah big bummer. I've been following a pretty great thread on RC about treating ritteri (and other anemone). The guys/gals there are super informative about the whole process. I'm definitely going to setup a treatment take for it and treat cipro for a week with 100% water changes daily (and maybe more if there's discharge).

 

BTAs are really beautiful! I had one but my ocellaris never even looked at it. I know it's a small chance of ocellaris being hosted by a non-natively hosted anemone, so I want to get the ritteri to be sure. I hear it's almost guaranteed that the ocellaris will take to it.

 

I may try a BTA to start, before finding a ritteri, just to get some diversity in there, then introduce the ritteri. Who knows, maybe the clowns will like both.

 

Once the anemones settle down, I'll see if I still have room for some SPS. I'm hoping to just get a few sticks (digitata, a stag, and probably some regular acro or tort). Hopefully a ORA Pearlberry, Hawkins Enchinada, Pink Floyd, Bubble Gum Digi, and some interesting stag. Just let them grow out and hope they don't get walked on by the nems.

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I have a Ocellaris that loves bubble tips. I switched to a soft coral tank and my toadstools shaded a bubble tip to death. I bought a new one a few days ago and she was in the anemone before my hand left the tank. I also have a gladiator clown I just bought from the LFS that was in the bubble tip I purchased. So both of my clowns host he same one. Looking to get 2-3 more bubble tips. I had a 30 gallon shallow dominated with bubble tips. I look forward to watching this tank evolve. 

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1 hour ago, Lawnman said:

I have a Ocellaris that loves bubble tips. I switched to a soft coral tank and my toadstools shaded a bubble tip to death. I bought a new one a few days ago and she was in the anemone before my hand left the tank. I also have a gladiator clown I just bought from the LFS that was in the bubble tip I purchased. So both of my clowns host he same one. Looking to get 2-3 more bubble tips. I had a 30 gallon shallow dominated with bubble tips. I look forward to watching this tank evolve. 

That's pretty cool! Glad they worked out. I'm following along with your thread now!

 

Have you seen melevsreef's way of introducing clowns? He used a huge acrylic tube to basically shuttle them into the anemone.

 

 

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I live in Phoenix.  I haven't needed a chiller with my home ac running.  I have my tank set between 78.8-79.1 with my Apex.  

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10 minutes ago, kinetic said:

That's pretty cool! Glad they worked out. I'm following along with your thread now!

 

Have you seen melevsreef's way of introducing clowns? He used a huge acrylic tube to basically shuttle them into the anemone.

 

 

Thanks for sharing!  Going to try this tomorrow.

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11 hours ago, DaveFason said:

Good to see you back!

Hey Dave! It's good to be back (mostly because of the people... the salt creep not so much ;). I remember back when I was going to setup a new nano tank you were helping me with lighting! I can see that you're doing crazy well now. Congrats!

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Here are some photos from today with the display tank empty. The tank came with a cracked overflow like I mentioned before, and just heard back from Red Sea USA (in Houston!) that they will be sending me a replacement. But in the meantime, I'll take some photos of it and probably list it for sale.

 

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The Crack:

 

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Dry rock cycle: Started August 26, 2017

  • 15 lbs Key Largo from marcorocks
  • 1x MarinePure BioMedia Plate
  • Aquaforest Reef Salt (probably could have used something even more basic)
  • RO/DI from my AirWaterIce Typhoon III
  • Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride (40 drops) and 4 oz. of Dr. Tim's One and Only (added over the course of 3 days)
  • This is all in a 18 gallon Rubbermaide Roughneck tub

I'm testing with a Salifert and Red Sea kit (for comparison). After 3 days, total ammonia levels were completely off the charts. Free ammonia registered at 0. I thought I may have overdosed, even though it was 4 drops per gallon, and I only dosed for 10 gallons (out of the ~16 gallons in the tub). So I did a 80% water change yesterday in case I overdosed. I believe the ammonia is now down to 2ppm (it's hard to tell with these colors, they're not the same). The color is pretty blue on Red Sea, whereas 2ppm is just green. I think it's a bit greener than before so that's a good sign. The Salifert test just shows major purple black colors lol.

 

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Welcome @kinetic, it's really good to see you back!

 

That's too bad about the cracked tank, but I see Red Sea already has a replacement on the way. Hopefully the damaged one will find a good home, nothing a little silicone couldn't fix! I really dig your mnml betta fish tank, wow! Is that a Molekule I see there too? How do you like it? :D 

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1 hour ago, Christopher Marks said:

Welcome @kinetic, it's really good to see you back!

 

That's too bad about the cracked tank, but I see Red Sea already has a replacement on the way. Hopefully the damaged one will find a good home, nothing a little silicone couldn't fix! I really dig your mnml betta fish tank, wow! Is that a Molekule I see there too? How do you like it? :D 

Christopher! I've missed NR and your posts for sure. Always great to see the astronaut dog avatar ;)

 

I'm either going to silicon the cracks, or actually just razorblade off that piece of glass and replace it with a new piece. Then most likely find it a new home (to help fund my livestock!).

 

And you have quite the eye. That is a Molekule! How the heck did you notice? I'm really impressed (with you, and the Molekule). 

 

I've had many different air filters (rabbitair, blueair), and this one is by far the coolest looking one. At first it smelled kind of like ozone for a week, even though it isn't supposed to create ozone. But it went away. The company sent me another one to replace the smelly one, and that one only smelled for a day. Now the air in my home is probably cleaner than ever before and without any odors with two units. I just love how the Molekule units look in the house. No more big ugly boxes, but a slick beautiful cylinder. I'd highly recommend it.

 

I'm supposed to send one back to them, but convinced them to let me keep it if I took some photos for them to use!

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Yeah, some silicone on the backside and it should be good to go! Cutting silicone seams isn't much fun though, I vote for repair over replacement, if only for your own sanity! A black acrylic panel might be a good solution to hide the damage though, even if it was just on the front of the overflow and not the sides it would still look tidy.

 

I've been tempted to get the Molekule but it's just a bit too costly for me, I was waiting to hear reviews after it had been on the market awhile. I first discovered it when it was in crowdfunding, the price was handsome back then, in hindsight. Phoenix has some lousy air quality days, often times it's just particulate from the dusty desert winds, but also high pollen and ozone days. I've never had an air filter but it's always been a curiosity, I tend to have a stuffy nose more often than not. How rad that you have two now! Have you been through any filters yet?

 

We must have a similar eye for photography too, I couldn't miss it in your parallel tank shot :) 

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@kinetic that betta tank is a treat! what brand is it? I have a betta tank but it's fugly

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32 minutes ago, Christopher Marks said:

Yeah, some silicone on the backside and it should be good to go! Cutting silicone seams isn't much fun though, I vote for repair over replacement, if only for your own sanity! A black acrylic panel might be a good solution to hide the damage though, even if it was just on the front of the overflow and not the sides it would still look tidy.

 

I've been tempted to get the Molekule but it's just a bit too costly for me, I was waiting to hear reviews after it had been on the market awhile. I first discovered it when it was in crowdfunding, the price was handsome back then, in hindsight. Phoenix has some lousy air quality days, often times it's just particulate from the dusty desert winds, but also high pollen and ozone days. I've never had an air filter but it's always been a curiosity, I tend to have a stuffy nose more often than not. How rad that you have two now! Have you been through any filters yet?

 

We must have a similar eye for photography too, I couldn't miss it in your parallel tank shot :) 

The first year of filter replacements are free on the Molekule! I actually got a set sent over because they updated them. I also purchased in the crowdfunding stage so the price was much more manageable.

 

In general, filters at home are great in my opinion. There's so much dust and other junk that can build up inside (just like tank water?). After seeing my old HEPA filters after 6 months, I was convinced I would run filters in the home forever. It might be total B.S., but I feel like the air in my home is super clean and breathable.

2 minutes ago, Lugmos12 said:

@kinetic that betta tank is a treat! what brand is it? I have a betta tank but it's fugly

Aquamaxx 2.5G Low-Iron tank from MarineDepot. They're super affordable and look REALLY nice all the way around. I got a random LED light from Amazon and spray painted it white. Then some doAqua lily pipes to a ZooMed 10 canister filter to finish off the look (and filtration). The whole thing was fairly inexpensive and looks great. 

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Following along. Just from the looks of that betta tank I know this 170 is going to look spectacular! 

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Got my Simplicity 120 DC Skimmer today. Just put it in a bath of vinegar and opened the skimmer cup drain. Running it full blast with 100% air for 24 hours. Then I'll run it in RO/DI water for awhile and it should be ready for whenever I set the tank up.

 

I might setup the sump, electrical, and other plumbing ahead of time and just continue my rock cycling in the sump.

Made with Live GIF.gif

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If I ever upgrade my tank, being able to have a nice skimmer will probably be one of the main reasons for doing so.

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After a couple of hours in a vinegar bath, I rinsed off the chiller and test fit it into the sump:
 
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Build quality is pretty nice, though rough around the edges. The acrylic / plastic feels sturdy.
 
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The cheesy sticker sucks. Photographs badly. Simplicity needs laser etching or something:
 
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Also received my Neptune ATK last night. Got it during the MACNA Neptune 10% off deal everyone was having. I was going to wait on it, but 10% off was too good to pass up. Not sure exactly how to mount it. I removed the float valve the tank came with. Unfortunately, without razor blading off the triangle piece, I'll have to tuck it underneath. Hopefully there will still be enough space for the return pump. I might just razor blade off that triangle anyway?
 
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The original ATO float valve hole almost looks perfect for a temp probe... but flow might not be good here:
 
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I put the ATO reservoir into the skimmer chamber. I'm probably going to just plumb the drain of my GFO/Carbon reactor into this little 1.5 gallon area and let it overflow. I'll use it as a refugium, and maybe put a little angler fish in there and spot feed him daily =)
 
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Lastly I added a LED strip into my cabinet (Eshine 12" LED):
 
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Should be getting the reactor/chiller pump today and the mini BRS reactor. More photos when that's getting setup!
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