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squamptonbc

Red Sea Reefer 170 Build.

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squamptonbc

I had originally planned on using a 20L that I already had, but it's since turned into a QT for the new arrivals as I decided in the end to just get a Red Sea Reefer 170 as I wanted a sump, but didn't want to fuss with drilling and plumbing since DIY isn't my specialty...lol Plus I like the look of the reefers. 

 

I got the tank home last week, and finally got it filled and running a few days ago, no livestock in it, but mostly all equipment is up and running, everything except the ATO.

 

The current residents in the 20L will be making the move into the reefer.

 

Equipment consists of:

 

Rio 2500 pump for the return, eventually I'll likely get a Sicce but for now using a pump I already had.

 

Reef Octopus Classic 110 skimmer.

 

AI Hydra 26 HD lighting which comes with the deluxe version of the 170.

 

ATO I decided not to use the stock one as I don't like it, so will be using a Tunze with my own reservoir.

 

The stock reservoir fits perfectly in the sump so I am using it as a sort of refugium, and using a small pump to pump water into it and let it overflow back into the sump. Got the idea from someone who had done the same that I found on google images.

 

2 sicce circulation pumps in the display.

 

digital thermometer in the display.

 

Aqua Top titanium heater with controller in the sump.

 

Also using Marine Pure plate in the sump.

 

For now I am using a red sea filter sock, but will be changing to a media cup soon as I don't like the sock.

 

I haven't decided if I will be going bare bottom or adding sand, leaning towards bare bottom though.

 

Using rock that I had sitting around, I bleached it, and cleaned it back in November and then placed it into saltwater not long after, and also added 10 lbs of live rock from a local store to seed it.

 

I like conducting mini-experiments and new products to see how well they work, so decided to buy some Coralline Algae in a Bottle from ARC to give it a try. Normally i don't buy things such as this but curious as I am, decided to see if it does what ARC says it does.

 

 

This will be a fish only with live rock as one of the residents doesn't play nice with inverts and is known to pick corals.

 

 

 

A few thoughts from setting this tank up.

 

AI Hydra 26 HD has very poor connectivity to the wifi network. I am in a 550sq foot apartment so not exactly huge and nothing else has issues, but plugging in a wifi extender next to the tank seems to have fixed that issue. 

 

The piping on the reefer is a bit of a pain and small leaks took a couple of days to resolve. The O rings Red Sea uses are small and frankly don't seem to seal all that well, some use of teflon tape solved the issue, and some online have had to resort to silicone glue to seal but I didn't want to use silicone as that would make the tank a pain to move in the future.

 

The return hose is metric apparently, and while Canada is metric country most of the aquarium equipment is built for the US market and as such the return pump connections don't fit well with the metric sizing of the hose, with some flame to soften the hose and some brute force you can get the hose connected but would be nice if Red Sea made these tanks more market specific and didn't use metric sizing for North America.

 

The stand was relatively easy to build, but would be nice if Red Sea put labels on each piece such as A. B, C etc so you know for sure which piece is what since some look similiar but overall not difficult and easier then your typical Ikea furniture.

 

Overall I am fairly happy with this tank so far but it's too early to know how this tank will hold up long term.

 

I'll update as things progress with more photos.

 

 

red sea 4.jpg

red sea 1.jpg

red sea 2.jpg

red sea 3.jpg

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squamptonbc

Finally got a photo of my fuzzy dwarf lion.  He is one entertaining dude and one great personality.  I don't have a fancy camera so forgive the basic looking photos...lol 

lionfish.jpg

lion fish 2.jpg

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Indiana Reefin

Nice!! I love the Red Sea reefer series!!! 

Dwarf lion is cute. Is that the only fish you are going to have in there? 

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squamptonbc
1 hour ago, Indiana Reefin said:

Nice!! I love the Red Sea reefer series!!! 

Dwarf lion is cute. Is that the only fish you are going to have in there? 

Yep, just him.  He is like a water dog, always at the glass begging for food...lol

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squamptonbc

Adding a photo of my little refugium another forum member asked to see. I used the stock reservoir and a small pump. I got the idea from a photo I saw online that another red sea reefer on another forum did. I am not a DIY type so this was a more feasible way to create a little separate area.

 

 

sump.jpg

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Lynton

Thanks for the pic @squamptonbc doesn’t look to bad tbh... will defo see if mine will fit in as my skimmer is rather big so hope they will both go in together... 

 

I read that your looking at getting rid of your socks and going for the cup option? I did this and tbh honest with you I went back to the socks as they don’t catch as much crap as you think... I had to clean out my sump twice before I went back to socks. 

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squamptonbc
4 hours ago, Lynton said:

Thanks for the pic @squamptonbc doesn’t look to bad tbh... will defo see if mine will fit in as my skimmer is rather big so hope they will both go in together... 

 

I read that your looking at getting rid of your socks and going for the cup option? I did this and tbh honest with you I went back to the socks as they don’t catch as much crap as you think... I had to clean out my sump twice before I went back to socks. 

I decided in the end to keep the mesh sock, they are super easy to clean and are doing a good job. I think some who complain about socks are using the felt variety which I agree can be a pain to use, but the mesh variety, I bought 3 change them every couple of days, rinse, and takes me maybe 5 mins tops.

The cups are not available in Canada, and DIY isn't my thing, and frankly after shipping and exchange rate they were going to run like $50 a pop which is waaay too much for a plastic cup...lol

 

I just put my media (carbon and purgien) in the section that Red Sea has the sponge for bubbles, when I trial ran a skimmer without the bubble trap, I got very little bubbles, so I just took that sponge out.

 

I don't have a skimmer currently as I was not happy with the reef octopus, so as its fish only, I am just doing water changes and not using a skimmer at all.

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Lynton
5 hours ago, squamptonbc said:

I decided in the end to keep the mesh sock, they are super easy to clean and are doing a good job. I think some who complain about socks are using the felt variety which I agree can be a pain to use, but the mesh variety, I bought 3 change them every couple of days, rinse, and takes me maybe 5 mins tops.

The cups are not available in Canada, and DIY isn't my thing, and frankly after shipping and exchange rate they were going to run like $50 a pop which is waaay too much for a plastic cup...lol

 

I just put my media (carbon and purgien) in the section that Red Sea has the sponge for bubbles, when I trial ran a skimmer without the bubble trap, I got very little bubbles, so I just took that sponge out.

 

I don't have a skimmer currently as I was not happy with the reef octopus, so as its fish only, I am just doing water changes and not using a skimmer at all.

Yea I use the felt socks and I think they do a great job tbh better than the mesh ones, I have 4 of them and when I’m on the last one I soak the dirty ones in bleach for 24hrs put them on a highest temp wash on the washing machine and they come out like brand new... I like to dry them out 1st then leave them in a bucket of RO water till I need to change them as and when as I found if you don’t soak them the skimmer goes mental for a few days.

 

I think mine cost £25 with delivery so yea expensive for a plastic cup ?, mine just sits in cupboard now, I could Ave got 2 more filter socks for that ?...

 

i too run carbon the same way, the black sponge was just a nitrate trap for me so took it out,  I run the bubble magus curve 7 on my tank, took ages to dial it in and it’s a bit over kill for the 170 but It does pull out some nasty crap without throwing bubbles in the tank.

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squamptonbc
3 hours ago, Lynton said:

Yea I use the felt socks and I think they do a great job tbh better than the mesh ones, I have 4 of them and when I’m on the last one I soak the dirty ones in bleach for 24hrs put them on a highest temp wash on the washing machine and they come out like brand new... I like to dry them out 1st then leave them in a bucket of RO water till I need to change them as and when as I found if you don’t soak them the skimmer goes mental for a few days.

 

I think mine cost £25 with delivery so yea expensive for a plastic cup ?, mine just sits in cupboard now, I could Ave got 2 more filter socks for that ?...

 

i too run carbon the same way, the black sponge was just a nitrate trap for me so took it out,  I run the bubble magus curve 7 on my tank, took ages to dial it in and it’s a bit over kill for the 170 but It does pull out some nasty crap without throwing bubbles in the tank.

 

I have a felt one as well that I bought by accident as it was on the wrong spot, so will give that one a try as well to see which I prefer.

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squamptonbc

Finally got my skimmer. Had to special order as its not carried locally and I would rather the money go to my LFS vs online vendor 2,000km away.

 

Its been set up for a day. Currently just letting it overflow as it breaks in. 

 

Nice build quality and doesnt feel cheaply made at all.

 

Already glad I went with the Somatic 60s over the reef ocotpus space saver.

 

And reef octopus costs more.

 

Its a big skimmer but it fits in the red sea 170 sump even with my little refugium. Rated to 80 gal lightly stocked.

 

I am pretty heavy stock wise so perfect fit.

 

 

20180305_170806.jpg

20180305_170841.jpg

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squamptonbc

I don't have photos as I simply have no method of taking good ones at the moment, but the tank is slowly coming together and I am going to try and get photos.

 

I added a DD Aquarium cover which is just a DIY thing like many others, works well, fairly easy to assemble and cut the frame.

 

I decided the skimmer I was using was too big for my liking, so replace it with a Tunze 9004 which seems like a good fit for this tank. The main sump is not deep enough for the Tunze but the section where the water enters the sump is deep enough, does require a little DIY and not using the magnets but it works. I use a bit of egg crate to raise it, and a some egg crate pieces to hold the skimmer in place, so far so good.

 

I have added some mushroom corals as well. I plan to only have softies in this tank.

 

I currently have a flame hawk fish, took a year waiting to finally get one.

 

A clown goby, Orchid dottyback.

 

2 PJ cardinals.

 

I have also added a phosphate reactor.

 

 

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squamptonbc

Changed things up a bit.

 

Skimmer is now an Aquamaxx WS-1 and works perfect in the tank, and so slim works well for the small sump, took a week to break in and skimming, but it skims well.

 

Fish include 2 ocellaris clown and a lawnmower blenny in addition to the fish above.

 

Corals include brown mushrooms, green mushroom colony of some sort, a ricordea, hammer coral, torch coral, and a bubble tip anemone.

 

I have chaeto in the sump and after trying IM Cheato light with eh results, I put a freshwater current USA LED light I had over the sump, and the chaeto has taken off like a weed.

 

I added sand today as the bare bottom was annoying me, hard to keep clean of algae and kind of a pain.

 

The anemone photos were taken on the first day, and 1 month later. Its moved tiny amounts, but seems to like the rock its on. The clowns don't have an interest in it however, maybe one day....

 

The colors are are way nicer in person, I don't have a fancy phone or any filters, so yeah not the best at photo taking.

 

green colony.jpg

torch.jpg

clown goby.jpg

anemone.jpg

bubble tip.jpg

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squamptonbc

I'll add a full tank shot once it clear, a bit cloudy from adding the sand.

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squamptonbc

Video from May 30th.

 

 

 

Video from August 12th or around there....

 

 

I have since added sand as I got tired of the bare bottom look. The anemone also split a couple weeks ago, but they seem to like their spot, they never move.

 

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brianinak

I also have a reefer 170.  I just purchased as in sump refugium.  I really like the idea of stock top off reservoir as fuge as you have it.  Looks like you just let the pump over flow it into the sump.  Does create much noise?   Are you happy with it?

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