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firedancer414

Brian's Red Sea Reefer 170

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Current Status (May 2018)

Tank: Red Sea Reefer 170 - 34 gallon display, 9 gallon sump = 43 gallons total (with rock + sand, closer to 40 gallons water volume total)
Light: Hydra 26 HD
Heat: Cobalt NeoTherm 200 Watt (rated up to 55G) set to 78, + Cobalt Neotherm 100 Watt (rated up to 29G), set to 76 as backup

Controller: Neptune Apex
ATO: Tunze 3155 ATO Osmolator (1.5g reservoir)

Dosing: GHL Doser 2.1 4 pumps, Triton method
Flow:

  • Return: Syncra Silent 2.0 568 gph (14x turnover rate)
  • Ecotech Marine VorTech MP10wQD (controlled by Neptune WXM Module)

Filtration:

  • Substrate: Live Sand + 40 lbs of (Synthetic) Real Reef Rock
  • Skimmer: Tunze 9004 DC
  • Refugium: 6 gallon (15%) (9.75" x 16.5" x 8.5" deep) w/ custom lasercut acrylic chamber/weirs from Ponoko. 0.25" black acrylic, template links below if you want to do the same thing:
  • Bag of ROX 0.8 carbon in the sump (no reactor)

 

Stock: 

  • Fish
    • 2x Ocellaris Clowns
    • 2x Purple Firefish (one MIA)
    • 2x Orange Spotted Gobies
    • 1x One Midas Blenny
    • 1x One Blue/Green Chromis
  • Inverts
    • 1x Blood red cleaner shirmp
    • 1x Cleaner shrimp
    • 2x of electric orange hermits
    • 1x halloween hermit
    • 2x of electric blue hermits
    • 1x Pistol shrimp paired with gobies (currently MIA)
    • ~5 more hermits / ~20 cerith snails / ~5 nassarius snails / ~5 trochus snails
  • Coral: (all in quarantine)
    • Zoas:
      • Rainbow Morph
      • WWC Blondie
      • WWC Twizzlers
    • LPS 
      • Golden torch 
      • Acan 

 

Display:

 

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Sump: 

 

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Quarantine:

 

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Original post:

 

Hi! Have been eyeing getting into reefing, watching YouTube videos for years ! Had a freshwater tank maybe 5 years ago. Saw a used setup for sale that had most of what I wanted and couldn't resist!

 

Current status: 

  • Day 4 of cycling. Skimmer going absolutely nuts clearing out the gunk from the hardscape 2-part epoxy. Got a shrimp rotting in there, with a Hercules clown and a crab helping get the cycle going.
  • Refugium? Trying to figure out the best refugium path. I want to make a 4-5 gallon fuge happen with a Kessil H380, hoping to pick up on eBay or Facebook marketplace. Want to get figured out before I get livestock in there in a few weeks. It seems like the options are:
    • Partition skimmer section into skimmer -> fuge section. possibly raising the water level to increase the volume. My initial calculations are that I could have a 4 gallon fuge following a skimmer section.
    • Rejected Options
      • Find a thin hang-on fuge to put next to the main sump - or make it custom. It would be tight. The space to the left of the sump is 4.75" width x 14" length, and to get to 4 gallons it would need to be 14.5" tall. That would be awesome to use the whole cabinet but not sure if I will be able to find a tank that size. At first glance, the small Aquafuge2 (which would fit) is 2.5 gallons. Trying to figure out what Lisa did here: http://www.ultimatereef.net/threads/lisas-reefer-170.799956/ This looks like exactly what I would love to do!
      • Convert 1.5 gallon ATO to fuge - not close to enough volume, and I don't want to lose the ATO
      • Make new sump from scratch since don't really need filter sock if going big fuge - This seems like more work than I'm willing to put in
      • Make an inception stand with a stand in the stand, holding a fuge above the main sump - Seems like it would make it really hard to work in the stand

 

Any feedback? 

 

 

First night of scaping progress:

 

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Night two of scaping, flooded and cycling:

 

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Hard scape walkaround, after final finishing touches

 

 

Sumps gone wild! Skimmer is processing all the gunk from the epoxy. At least got my light screwed in. You can also see a shrimp in a media bag helping me cycle the tank.

 

IMG_3112.thumb.JPG.804f16ab50b89f46c61ec71e3c02bf57.JPG

 

 

 

 

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Following.... I want a refuge in my 170 and want to use the stock ATO but I’m rubbish at DIY.... ? I would def invest in a new ATO, the reefers ones are not reliable, I went on holiday for a week and came home to a burnt out heater and return pump due to the ATO not working.. I bought the aqua smart ATO micro, had it for 2 years now with no problems.

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6 hours ago, Lynton said:

Following.... I want a refuge in my 170 and want to use the stock ATO but I’m rubbish at DIY.... ? I would def invest in a new ATO, the reefers ones are not reliable, I went on holiday for a week and came home to a burnt out heater and return pump due to the ATO not working.. I bought the aqua smart ATO micro, had it for 2 years now with no problems.

The micro is awesome! I have had it for over a year and it rocks!! 

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8 hours ago, firedancer414 said:

 

  • Refugium? Trying to figure out the best refugium path. I want to make a 4-5 gallon fuge happen with a Kessil H380, hoping to pick up on eBay or Facebook marketplace. Want to get figured out before I get livestock in there in a few weeks. It seems like the options are:
    • Partition skimmer section into skimmer -> fuge section. possibly raising the water level to increase the volume. My initial calculations are that I could have a 4 gallon fuge following a skimmer section.
    • Find a thin hang-on fuge to put next to the main sump - or make it custom. It would be tight. The space to the left of the sump is 4.75" width x 14" length, and to get to 4 gallons it would need to be 14.5" tall. That would be awesome to use the whole cabinet but not sure if I will be able to find a tank that size. At first glance, the small Aquafuge2 (which would fit) is 2.5 gallons. Trying to figure out what Lisa did here: http://www.ultimatereef.net/threads/lisas-reefer-170.799956/ This looks like exactly what I would love to do!

 

 

I spoke with Lisa (she was so nice!) and confirmed what I had suspected - that it was in fact custom made by her. I'm interested in that route, so will talk to some people probably this weekend. I measured this morning and I would want to get a sump that's 4.75" width x 15.5" length x 14" deep x 0.25" thick glass.

 

The Aquafuge2 would be 2.5 gallons, I think that by going custom it would be in the 3 - 3.25 gallon range. I guess I could change the depth if I wanted to 15 - 16" (making it taller than the sump) if I wanted some more capacity. The display is 34 gallons.

 

Anyway, thinking!

 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, Indiana Reefin said:

The micro is awesome! I have had it for over a year and it rocks!! 

Yea for such a small ATO it’s great, never have to worry about it failing and it doesn’t take up no room in the sump... winner!! ?

 

will def keeping ehe on your fuge build @firedancer414

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8 hours ago, Lynton said:

Yea for such a small ATO it’s great, never have to worry about it failing and it doesn’t take up no room in the sump... winner!! ?

The aqua smart ATO - it just hooks up to the existing reservoir?

 

Brian

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Looking good so far :)  

 

.....but you really shouldn’t have any fish in there yet. 

 

 

 

 

 

:lol:

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20 hours ago, Lynton said:

Following.... I want a refuge in my 170 and want to use the stock ATO but I’m rubbish at DIY.... ? I would def invest in a new ATO, the reefers ones are not reliable, I went on holiday for a week and came home to a burnt out heater and return pump due to the ATO not working.. I bought the aqua smart ATO micro, had it for 2 years now with no problems.

I agree on the stock ATO. I didnt trust it to even try and put in a tunze from day 1.

 

I didnt want a large refugium just a small section for rock rubble and some macro algae so I used the stock ATO reservoir I saw someome else do from google searches as the stock resorvoir fits perfectly in the sump.

 

Its a basic overflow. Small 100gph pump, plastic tubing and pump water from the main sump into the refugium area anf let it overflow into the sump.

 

I am not a DIY guy so the more complicated ones I saw online that involved drilling and such was not an option.

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16 hours ago, firedancer414 said:

The aqua smart ATO - it just hooks up to the existing reservoir?

 

Brian

I use a 25litre drum I make for my ro water as my ATO it lasts almost 2 weeks and the little pump fits perfect in the hole when putting in the drum..

12 hours ago, squamptonbc said:

I agree on the stock ATO. I didnt trust it to even try and put in a tunze from day 1.

 

I didnt want a large refugium just a small section for rock rubble and some macro algae so I used the stock ATO reservoir I saw someome else do from google searches as the stock resorvoir fits perfectly in the sump.

 

Its a basic overflow. Small 100gph pump, plastic tubing and pump water from the main sump into the refugium area anf let it overflow into the sump.

 

I am not a DIY guy so the more complicated ones I saw online that involved drilling and such was not an option.

 

I will never trust them now even when I get a bigger reefer I’ll do wat I did with the 170 and cut the whole thing out as it gave me so much more room to put reactor in the back also but still plenary room in the front for my skimmer...

 

oh  that sounds like a good idea, have you got any pics of that in your sump then @squamptonbc? If so, I would love to maybe do that with mine...

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I drilled the ato on my RSR nano Anand left It where it is, not sure if it does a while lots but it’s something 

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7 hours ago, Lynton said:

I use a 25litre drum I make for my ro water as my ATO it lasts almost 2 weeks and the little pump fits perfect in the hole when putting in the drum..

 

I will never trust them now even when I get a bigger reefer I’ll do wat I did with the 170 and cut the whole thing out as it gave me so much more room to put reactor in the back also but still plenary room in the front for my skimmer...

 

oh  that sounds like a good idea, have you got any pics of that in your sump then @squamptonbc? If so, I would love to maybe do that with mine...

I posted a photo in my build thread. I don't have much in it at the moment but some left over live rock I smashed into small pieces and there are a couple hermits, I'll add some cheato in the future, but for now it's not a bad set up, and it was an idea I got from seeing another thread on another forum where someone did the same. The drilled versions I have seen was just not something I wanted to attempt....lol

 

 

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Mini update, 8 days into cycling.

 

Update on my fuge plans. I've been hemming and hawing on what to do about my fuge.

  • After pricing out some custom tanks to go to the left of the sump - the 1) bizarre dimensions (4.5" across, 15.5" deep, 20" tall to fit a bulkhead next to a 14" sump, roughly 4.5 gallons), 2) cost, running $300-400 for tank, pump, and plumbing, and 3) tons of drilling and bulkhead installation ... decided to bail.
  • So I'm going with option 2: split the main reactor chamber in 2, with custom laser cut 0.22" black acrylic from Ponoko ($90) with wiers in them, 14" tall (the full height of the sump) to block the light from the H380 getting all over the sump. The tank sump will flow from 1) Drain -> 2) Protein Filter -> 3) Fuge -> 4) Bubble Trap -> 5) return in a clockwise fashion. I will swap my Bubble Magus G5 (anyone want it?) for a Tunze 9004 DC protein filter.
    • Filter Sock: The filter sock "chamber" won't work anymore, since I'm raising the water level in the adjoining skimmer chamber. From what I've read this should be fine given my refugium.
    • Skimmer Chamber: 5.5" x 4.5" x 9 5/8". I need to switch to a smaller footprint skimmer, and settled on the Tunze 9004 DC. I also needed to raise the water level from 7.5" -> 9 5/8" to cover the suggested immersion depth range of the Tunze. 
    • Refugium Chamber: 7.5" tall x 11 3/4" wide x 9 7/8" long (3.8 gallons volume against a 34 gallon display, 11%). 

 

So I ordered my Kessil H380, the glass, some silicone, and my Tunze DC.

 

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Heater: Went away for the weekend, turned off the heat in my house -> came back to an aquarium that had dropped from 78 -> 74 F (had 100W heater). Picked up a 200W cobalt neo-therm used for $40 from Amazon, using the 100W heater as a backup in there set to 76 F.

 

Cycling Update 

We have nitrate! And I don't have an ammonia test kit for some reason. Looks like somewhere in the teens. Little shrimpy doing its job. Need to get the refugium sorted before I can think about adding fish, since the new glass will required turning off the pumps for a few days. 

 

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The skimmer is still going crazy. Calming down but still crazy. The drain hose is wide open, air set to lowest setting, but at least the cap can go now. 

 

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Week 3 update !! 

 

Got my custom cut pieces of acrylic from Ponoko, couldn't be happier with how they turned out!

 

If you want to do this to your Reefer 170, here are the templates so you can make your own through Ponoko:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fbx673wfhpdxw07/sump_short.eps?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qowjn1px65wnbx6/sump_long.eps?dl=0

 

 

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Drained my sump (effectively a 20% water change) and dry fit test with my Tunze 9004 before I made the world's biggest silicone mess. They fit like a glove.

 

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Not going to quit my day job anytime soon to be a full time aquarist I guess, silicone mess! DIY life ...

 

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Super super happy. Waiting 48 hours to cure. Total cost of 4 gallon refugium: $75 laser cut black .25" acrylic, $258 shipped for a Kessil H380 from Ebay open box.

 

I'm a little nervous that I'm going to discover that the first DIY weir can't handle 568 gph flow (like the rest of the tank). If that's the case, I'm just planning on drilling a bunch of holes in it below the water line.

 

Cycling update. I've been doing the Red Sea Mature Pro Kit, after I did the shrimp for a week and it started to stink. Had live sand and the synthetic "Real Reef Rock". I think that I destroyed my Bubble Magus G5, it never calmed down after 2 weeks from all the bubbling insanity due to using 2.5 tubes of 2 part epoxy to make the hard scape. I have had the lights completely off, to try to avoid a massive algae bloom in the display - was hoping that the chaeto would get to eat it all up in my fuge, which arrives in 4 days. 

 

I'm at 0 ammonia (yay!), however nitrates are a bit of a different story (!!)

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So ... my chaeto ball and H380 will have their work cut out for them when they come early next week. 

 

Looks like I'm still a few weeks out from even getting a cleanup crew in there!

 

In other news, I was hoping to do the Triton method thingy but it looks like it's impossible to get the reagents? Got a few weeks to figure it out I guess.

 

 

 

 

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Sump flooded again and rolling! Looking super sharp. Got the new Tunze 9004 in there and running. I dosed my Reef Mature Pro in the fuge and could clearly see that there's tons of circulation in the main refugium chamber so should be good there to turn my chaeto when that comes in a few days.

 

The bad news is there really isn't much room for anything else in the sump, if I ever decided that I wanted something like a carbon reactor, or ozone, or what have you.

 

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The smaller weir is holding up great against the full 568 gph flow, I was a little worried at first.

 

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So now just waiting on Algae Barn. 

 

Still thinking about
1) what my dosing strategy will be (2 part or Triton), and manual vs pump

2) how I want to fix my ATO (Tunze? where to put larger reservoir?)

3) whether I want to get an Apex for peace of mind. 

 

Considerations: I'm hoping that I can leave town for a week (hopefully 2) without needing to intervene for work/vacation. I'm not anticipating trying to "advance the hobby" so I don't think I'm going to have super sensitive livestock/corals (honestly I haven't thought about livestock very much at this point).

 

I've been working through the BRSTV Ultra Low Maintenance series. They were talking about setting up backups for the heater + return pump. I decided to put both my Cobalt NeoTherms in there, with the the 200W set to 78 and the 100W set to 76 as backup. I gave a little bit of thought to what it would take to add a backup return pump - not sure if anyone has done that on a Reefer 170 I couldn't find anyone by Googling.

 

I'm going to Europe for a week for work week after next, so hoping when I come back that nitrates/phosphates will be at more reasonable levels and ready for cleanup crew.

 

Other random note: when setting up my wiring, I bumped the emergency overflow downpipe a few times and it immediately started slow leaking. I would twist it back a little bit and it would stop. Not sure how super concerned to be. Even if it was leaking it would just go into the sump (although it's currently not). 

 

I'm not sure how much people care about / enjoy non-livestock updates but I've been really really enjoying the build process =) 

 

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Lastly installed my H380 in the fuge today - a short metal chain from Amazon is also on the way so I can lower it a bit to concentrate light on the fuge. Although I just watched the BRSTV fuge lighting episode and it's at roughly 1300 PAR at dead center currently so ... might already be too much light!

 

Just needs a disco ball!

 

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ALL OF THE LIGHTS

 

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Scape

 

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Slowly dialing in the skimmer

 

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For my own notes: hanging just from the hook, the H380 is 14" above the water surface, which is just the 9 measurements at the center of this diagram essentially. Pretty toasty right in the center.

 

 

 

 

 

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Looking really good @firedancer414...  looking forward to see how well the new fuge works out, I want to do something similar but using the stock ATO on my 170, just gotta pluck up courage to do it has I’m no diy man ??

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8 hours ago, Lynton said:

Looking really good @firedancer414...  looking forward to see how well the new fuge works out, I want to do something similar but using the stock ATO on my 170, just gotta pluck up courage to do it has I’m no diy man ??

It's really not that bad! No cutting (Ponoko does it all for you) - you just need to silicone it in. I honestly felt like, even if it leaks - who cares, the majority of the water is still going in the right places. Whatever floats your boat =)

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1 hour ago, firedancer414 said:

It's really not that bad! No cutting (Ponoko does it all for you) - you just need to silicone it in. I honestly felt like, even if it leaks - who cares, the majority of the water is still going in the right places. Whatever floats your boat =)

Haha That’s very true least you know it’s not going to leak out the sump.. 

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Also ... I was so proud of my sump design, and just realized after reading

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/red-sea-reefer-nano.307826/page-2

 

image.thumb.png.c14097c7d8a8d9355c81e9bd709c8a3a.png

that I could potentially remove the small wall, move the Tunze 9004 back into the drain compartment, and get the fuge 50% larger (up to 6 gallons from 4). Not sure if it's worth it, or keep the extra compartment for if I want to run some other type of filtration/reactor at some point. Any thoughts?

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You would have to lose the ATO container to make that work right?

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2 hours ago, xiaoxiy said:

You would have to lose the ATO container to make that work right?

I can still keep it - the skimmer is 3.5" wide, so the current ATO reservoir would need to move forward roughly 3.5" (leaving 2.5" between the front of the sump and the end of the ATO). 

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