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mcarroll

125 Gallon – Tunze Reefpack "all-in-one" (125 Gallons)

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mcarroll

My 125 Gallon is already a so-called all-in-one system, as it lacks a sump.  But it also lacks any extra filtration...no skimmer, no filter to run carbon, etc.  So far it's been just live rock, LED lights and as much flow as I can give it.

 

This 125 was an upgrade itself almost a year ago. 

 

I originally (11-ish years ago) had a 37 gallon+sump system for SPS...no fish. 

 

After a few years I added a second display (50 Gallon) to that system for more coral space. 

 

About a year ago all of the contents from both tanks were consolidated to the 125.  I did have to add new lights to accommodate the increased tank length.  The old sump and skimmer along with a little rock and the original sand bed were left behind.

 

I'm upgrading now for a few reasons.

  • I'd like to have the aeration from running a skimmer again.  I have more algae growing that I have historically and I think corals are suffering from the day/night pH/oxygen swings. 
  • I'd like the tank to get a little better flow from a lot fewer pumps.  Currently there's a mix of six smaller Tunze powerheads. 
  • I'm also upgrading the (still new) lights, but mostly for the superior form-factor.  I like having excellent access to the tank for maintenance and the current lights are large for the space.

 

OLD

(all gear used at various times and listed roughly in order, ending with the most recent)

Lights:  Coralife 2x 150 watt halide Radium, Ecoxotic, DIY, Maxspect Razor, Ocean Revive

Flow:  Hydor Flo's, Hydor Korallia Gen 1 model 3 and 4, Seio Prop pump, Ecotech Vortech Gen 1 or 2, Tunze 6045 multiple generations

Return Pump:  Quiet One 2200 (Italian), Mag 7, Quiet One 4000 (Chinese)

Skimmer:  Oceanic "Plus Series" Model 6 (classic!!), AquaC EV-90, Tunze 9410

 

NEW

Lights:  Three Kessil A360x's

Flow:  Two Tunze 6105's

Skimmer:  Tunze 9012

Also gaining a Tunze Osmolator ATO and Multifilter in the upgrade.

 

More info once I have the gear installed.

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mcarroll

Here's what I have so far:

 

Lights

image.png.b645d0fd507b98141d6d9e12b26d16cf.png

 

Kessil A360x's are mounted 3.75" off the water.  Seems perfect.

 

The system just came off a 7 day light acclimation cycle and I'm still making final tweaks to the software.  I'd be done already, except...

 

I wish they had better docs.  There's nothing in the box for the controller.  

 

Online, all they seem to offer is a downloadable 13-panel infographic that covers everything from unboxing to boilerplate safety information...but which covers none of the controller's lighting features. 🤷‍♂️  Sign of the times I guess?

 

Flow

image.thumb.png.6d7d4f348e3fbba86c961d5efd8876a0.png

 

The Tunze Stream 6105 is legendary for a reason.  Wow that's a lot of power.

 

I've had smaller Tunze 6045's and 6095's.  I've had Rio Seio's.  I've had Hydo Korellias.  I've had MaxiJet Conversions.  I've had a pair of Vortech mp40's.  

 

Comparing the 6105 with these pumps would be wrong – like comparing Thor's hammerimage.png.9d75d5309fee12d82167c5d33a77bfc6.png to this hammer image.png.0fc372de357cc915269c9b01f90d7379.png.

 

The fact that a proxy for Thor's hammer (the 6105) goes for only $280 is amazing.  Even more-so when you consider you could actually pay more for a regular hammer....er, lower-power pump.  

 

I really like that the 6105 comes with the "XX-wide" cowl pictured in the comparison above as well as the "Stormbreaker" standard-wide cowl for more power:    image.png.a2ae0e7dd43e29eb0cbc539c5fea94fa.png

 

In case that hammer analogy is getting too deep (or wearing thin), here's the boring manufacturer pics for the two cowls:

Stormbreaker – Mjolnir (XX-wide)

Mjolnir – Stormbreaker (standard-wide)

 

Right now I have one pump configured each cowl.

 

With a price more like a "regular old hammer", the 6105 has a bang-for-your-buck ratio that is through the roof!  

 

You could compare an mp40 at almost $390. Or a Tunze 6095 at $234, just to give two "regular hammer" examples.  But a single one of them isn't going to make more than a dent on the required flow of a 72" tank whereas a single 6105 can pull the whole load without even being set at max.  

 

The only reason for having two 6105's is to simulate the tides where the pumps alternate together with each one being on every several hours at a time before they switch and the second pump turns on for several hours.

 

Love them.  

 

I suspect I will switch to have the currently XX-wide pump (Mjolnir) mounted with its Stormbreaker cowl the next time I have a reason to touch the pump, so both pumps will be in the same configuration.

 

Reef Pack 500

image.png.875082469f98b7e7089b763d0ac97e0c.png

The 9012 skimmer is excellent.  

 

Performance-wise it feels to me very much like running the 9410 sump skimmer, which is a pint-sized beast.  I had a quarter cup of skimmate in the 9012 before I even had the rest of this system set up.  In typical Tunze fashion, it's very easy to clean and the lid works as a drip-catch while moving to the sink area with the drippy skimmate cup.

 

The 3168 Multifilter module is easy to set up.  The optical sensor for the Osmolator is pre-mounted.  Running it with the included mechanical floss media for now, which is very easy to remove for cleaning.  

 

I'd like to have one of the two setups they offer for this filter to allow it to run bagged or loose media, so that'll be a future upgrade.

 

The Osmolator was pre-mounted with the optical sensor mounted to the multifilter and the high-water sensor on its own magnet mount.  This made it pretty simple and fast to set up considering all the connections and pieces involved.

 

BTW, I have my old 5074 kalkwasser dispenser (not part of the Reefpack kit) hooked up to the Osmolator, but not filled yet.  

 

Unfortunately I have no working check valve (thought I did) that I can install to prevent kalk backflowing into the Osmolator's pump between cycles and I also cut the 5074's feed tubing too short by accident.  So I have a couple more steps to take before kalkwasser is online.

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mcarroll

Really liking the all the new gear so far!

 

I did a 50 gallon water change today with the new box of Instant Ocean I ordered from Premium Aquatics....and while the water level was low I finally swapped the XX-wide flow cover for regular wide-flow cover on the 6105 mentioned last post.

 

More History

I think I forgot to mention that for fish I have a Yellow Tang, a mother-daughter pair of Black Mollies and for the moment a baby Talbot's Damsel.  All of these are pretty new.

 

The system had virtually no fish at all for its first ten years when it was split into 50 Gallon and 37 Gallon display reef running on a common sump.  Just stony corals.

 

It was mostly Montipora's and birdsnests at it's various peaks, but I have a Hydnophora and a Favia that were rescues that I'm very fond of as well.

 

The tank had a long period of time where it was essentially on auto-pilot while we got our family started.  Mostly that period of time went surprisingly well, but there were some incidents that each took their toll.  

 

A power outage early one morning wiped out every shred of orange monti across both tanks, for example, while leaving every other coral unharmed.

A slow-creep salinity spike related to two-part dosing (a normal side effect that needs to be countered by water changes) had my specific gravity up to 1.031, which seemed to kick off a nasty algae outbreak.

 

The first major bloom in the tank's history, it was probably chrysophytes somehow triggered by the salinity spike, or maybe by the bacterial shift/die-off that would have resulted from salinity being that high.  I also had NO cleanup crew at this point, aside from Asterinas, microbrittle's and tiny grey limpets – all hitchhikers, which I assume allowed the bloom to get started.   

 

Chrysophytes will eat your corals, so don't sleep on them.  I did for a while since (as mentioned) the tank was on auto-pilot.  But I eventually saw the damage that was being done to my Hydnophora so I started attending the tank daily with a toothbrush to keep the corals cleaned off, and I occasionally siphoned out as much as I could.

 

This is where I got my education on tank nutrients.  I dosed some nitrates to get some healthier things growing....ultimately the chrysophytes gave way to cyano and then a gnarly hair algae outbreak (Derbesia I think) that for some reason folks tried to ID as Lyngbia, which sorta threw me off on my initial efforts to clean it up.

 

The hair algae persisted, as it does when you don't have a cleanup crew and you can't be in the tank pulling algae every day....until I upgraded to this 125 Gallon and started making time about once or twice a week to go in and start pulling algae by hand.  I also bit the bullet and road-tripped an hour to a few different fish stores for some cleanup crew, which is now rocking.


Algae is now in check.  

 

Unfortunately, during the battle with algae when growth was sometimes massive I was still running the system without a skimmer or filter of any kind.  I think the pH and relataed oxygen/co2 swings along with the increased competition for the system's low levels of nitrate and phosphate (no fish back then either) caused by the large stand of algae actually caused damage to my remaining corals.  My ORA orange-skin green-tip birdsnest that was the size of a basketball died off pretty fast after the last/final bloom of algae happened...probably because a lot of the algae was growing from his "live rock" undersides.  My pink birdsnest (also roughly basketball size) has been looking stressed and has been losing tissue slowly since that time as well.

 

This is ultimately what prompted the new flow, skimmer and lights....just hoping the improvements didn't come too late....hard to say I've seen any improvement yet even though I'd like to say I have.

 

Thankfully my Hydnophora seems mostly unfazed by all these latest happenings.

 

And suprising as all heck in the midst of what feels like all these corals bowing out, I have a Pavona coral that is making a comeback after being apparently-dead for 5-10 years.  It was a rescue coral like the Hydnophora and Favia I mentioned earlier but I was never able to make it happy or get it to grow more than it receded....until finally it was just a piece of live rock.   Even knowing how corals can come back from seeming to be dead, this seems extreme to me.  Amazing.

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mcarroll

As long as I can remember to keep my darned C/A/M jugs filled, the reef finally seems to be settling nicely.

 

I think this is about 13 months or so since the re-home of everything from my old dual-display system.

 

That Pavona is still chugging along. 

 

The hair algae is 100% gone and the cyano almost is as well.  (The turbo snails massacre it on a daily basis....I can tell they're hungry.  Looking for a new home for the biggest one as I type.) 

 

I haven't been doing a thing aside from the occasional glass scraping, but I'm purposefully lazy even about that.

 

But the Mollies had an incident. 💝  The larger one disappeared into the reef one night as usual but didn't show up again until two days later looking worse than Laura Palmer.  The smaller fish (daughter) never disappeared, but acquired a swimming disability at the same time (as near as we can figure) as Mom went missing.

 

🕵️‍♂️

Image result for twin peaks

 

I suspect it was one of the two larger hermits...both are "common striped hermits" (vs blue- or red-legged) that I've heard get big (confirmed).  I don't trust crabs anyway, and with the lack of algae-food this makes these two brutes the leading suspects. 

 

Pretty much what reefcleaners lists as "this striped hermits"...they say "up to four inch shell": 🆖

thin_striped_her_4f93400b16283.jpg

 

I do have (up to) three Emerald crabs "on the loose" in there, but I'm hoping they're not-guilty since they'll be a lot harder to catch than the hermits.  🙄

 

So the smaller fish now has to live in a catch cup with daily 100% water changes until I can set up something else for her.

 

I've also upped feedings to 2-3 blocks of frozen per day to make sure EVERYONE stays as happy as possible, and I make sure to hit the Eheim auto-feeder (set a tick wider) at least once on a day when I won't be able to do frozen as often.

 

I'm gonna experiment with a regular but conservative iodine dose now that I've been skimming and running a little more activated carbon than "normal" and not doing water changes.

 

Last time I tested nitrates and phosphates, they were "high" at 0.1 ppm PO4 and 25-50 ppm NO3.  I'm happy with the lack of algae growth.  🙂 

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mcarroll

@TamberavI just tried to upload a bunch of photos and every single one of them was automatically flipped upside down for no apparent reason.

 

😑

 

Photos are so not worth the effort.

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Tamberav
4 hours ago, mcarroll said:

@TamberavI just tried to upload a bunch of photos and every single one of them was automatically flipped upside down for no apparent reason.

 

😑

 

Photos are so not worth the effort.

 

Just flip em on your phone and save lol or just upload them upside down and we can all turn our heads irl.

 

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mcarroll
On 3/6/2020 at 10:04 PM, Tamberav said:

Just

Thank you for emphasizing my point as to how absurd it is to get a photo on here.   Time spent.  Photos taken.  Photos even got posted.  But not in usable condition. 👎  

 

I have yet another inane step to do...for what benefit I can't even say....and still have no photos posted.   You must have no idea how many plain text posts I could make in the same amount of effort.....even including some research time.

 

That said, circumstances have improved and here's another try at posting those photos...

 

Bumped into 25 MB limit, so time spent selecting photos wasted.  Again. This is hilarious (not).

 

Here's one photo I'll give as a reward for the wasting of time....I'm sure one will work.  

 

FYI the stones in the concrete are about 3/4"-1" in diameter...just to give you perspective.

 

IMG_2484.thumb.jpeg.58ff76f4d1e2626d2817a9300fefe26f.jpeg

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mcarroll

Ok....at least one tank photo is getting posted...

 

IMG_1486.thumb.jpeg.4f8ecfeece1768b207a731a0cb5af331.jpeg

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GraniteReefer

@mcarroll

I see you make a lot of opinionated recommendations and can’t seem to find a build thread to back up your credentials.  What gives?  

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mcarroll

?

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Tamberav

I came across one post of your tank or one of them... I think on reef2reef in an old thread. Was of a huge fast growing monti. It was like finding a unicorn!! 🦄

 

I was like... ah ha!! So he can take pic's... pfft. 

 

Also I have one of those giant striped hermits, haven't seem him bother anything but nori... but yes he got HUGE. I was thinking about sumping him but so far left him alone as he seems pretty content just to eat nori. 

 

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mcarroll
6 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

I came across one post of your tank or one of them... I think on reef2reef in an old thread. Was of a huge fast growing monti. It was like finding a unicorn!! 🦄

 

I was like... ah ha!! So he can take pic's... pfft. 

That was with my old point and shoot Casio more than likely.  Only 2MP....got it brand new in 2000...took brilliant photos.  I'd buy another one if they still made them.

 

Possibly it was from a phone before they changed the white balance algorithm to the lameness that it is now.  👎

 

6 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

Also I have one of those giant striped hermits, haven't seem him bother anything but nori... but yes he got HUGE. I was thinking about sumping him but so far left him alone as he seems pretty content just to eat nori. 

Did I have a striped hermit??

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mcarroll

Gotcha!

 

Interestingly, I haven't seen ANY of my crabs in MONTHS.  Three emeralds and ? hermits....all vanished or hiding in the rocks.  Odd cuz I at least used to see the tiny blue-legged hermit I have every few days. Hermits aren't really known for being shy.

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mcarroll

Took a panorama shot with my iPhone SE, no mods other than shutting off the flow during the shoot.  Couldn't get the camera to shoot all the way to the right-hand wall for some reason though, so it's missing the last 6" or 8" of the tank on that side.  🤷‍♂️

 

IMG_0470.thumb.jpeg.4a46de8d2ed7e6e6ad530b95a027ea74.jpeg

 

You can sorta make out the haze on the water surface...that's the algae bloom I posted about on another thread.  Another 🤷‍♂️.

 

Recently refreshed my RODI filters and will get back into 10% water change schedule again...hopefully that'll help.  I suspect it was brought on partly by those old RODI filters and partly (mostly) by the auto-feeder I had recently added more cycles to AND switched from flake to pellets.   Was too big of a change, so I've gone back to just frozen foods for now, with only occasional (manual) pellet feedings.

 

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jservedio

You....you actually added a photo? With water and light?!?

 

What's the huge green coral?

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mcarroll
3 hours ago, jservedio said:

What's the huge green coral?

Some type of plating Hydnophora.  

 

Haven't been able to positively ID it...the hydnphores on it look like at least a couple of the ones listed on Corals of the World, but mine has never done anything other than plate and every species listed has a more or less non-plating structure.  🤷‍♂️ 

 

It was purchased as a rescue from a tank of "Frags" for something like $20 at the (deteriorating) size of a nickel many years ago.  My best guess has been H. bonsai.  You can see him in this old vid (and others on my channel):

 

I *think* he was under a Maxspect R420R at that stage in time.

 

The other green coral next to him in the panorama photo is a "baby" Hydnophora plate that fragged off of the main colony after a massive hair algae bloom.  Not sure of the correlation, but his skeleton was infested with hair algae during/after the transition into the 125 Gallon...and when I was pinch-cleaning algae, one little pinch of algae "grabbed" that whole Hydo plate and transferred enough force to snap it right off the mother.  It doesn't normally "shed frags" at all.  Baby Hydno has grown pretty fast.  😉

 

The green-tip birdsnest skeleton that he's sitting on (😔) didn't survive the hair algae bloom.  He was very infested from too deep inside the colony to hand pull and I think he was being impacted by a lot of factors not the least of which was reduced flow through his core.  (You know how birdsnests can be about their flow.)  He was about the size of a soccer ball or maybe volleyball when he was transitioned into this tank and had been with me since the halide days.  He grew for years at the bottom of a 19" deep 14,000 lux tank before moving over to the 125.

 

The Hydnophora (and anything else big you see in the pic) has been through the wringer:  the switch from halide to LED, which was my worst moment of reefing...waaaaaay under-informed and killed 80% of my plating Monti's, which were literally growing up out of the water everywhere and filling about 75% of the tank space (was a challenge to flow properly...and makes a good anecdote on flow now); the Hydnophora got really chewed up during a Chrysophyte outbreak (there's a vid);  thankfully it was relatively unphased by a tank-clearing power outage that wiped out every shred of orange M. digitata I had.  The Orange digi occupied 1/3 to 1/2 of my old 50 Gallon (post-Monti phase), mostly in one massive plate-shaped colony (which you can see in an earlier phase in one of the vids).

 

Almost all of that (save the LED transition) has happened since starting a family and putting the tank one the back burner....so I'm lucky that's all the "bad" that's happened.  (As lucky as I am to have the limited time I do to post here.)  As many corals do, that Hydnophora has demonstrated an amazing ability to come back from pretty heavy stress events many times, including the day I bought him where he appeared to be receding off of his tiny skeleton.  

 

You can also see the green pigments (I think you may have seen me comment on elsewhere) being expressed in the pink birdsnest at the far right of the tank....about the size of a basketball coming into this tank from the old system.  The green pigments are where I drop the food in the tank AND where he's buffeted by a Tunze 6105 with the X-wide shroud that's about 12" to his right and aimed just over him.  He made a big adjustment in lighting in the move to this tank as well though so that could be related as well.  In the old tank he was a perimeter coral (and 100% red/pink!), but had a carp-load of flow in that tank, including a 6020 pointed right at his core from about 3" away.

 

(I probably mentioned some of this in prior posts on this thread.)

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mcarroll

HVAC died for the nth time this season.  🥵

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mcarroll

Whelp...my Hydophora's daughter colony got large enough that the flow in the tank was able to lift it out of it's resting spot the other day.

 

Unfortunately, it flipped over and settled on my Favia colony like it was a hat...and I didn't see it until morning.  

 

Yep....the Favia is sloughing all that tissue now....looks like 2/3 of the Favia colony is going to be toast.  :sad:

 

Hydnophora does not play around.  No apparent stress to the Hydno at all.

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mcarroll

This "erases" about 5 years of growth on the Favia, BTW...and it was a perfect mound shape.  

 

I'm still very very bummed.

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mcarroll

This shows the damaged coral...and the photobombing capabilities of a Black Damselfish and a Yellow Tang:

 

170C569C-F3D7-4F74-A97A-2AC3476846B4_1_105_c.thumb.jpeg.c8355c05ca50c192c5b7436c12d4d202.jpeg

(Not perfect color or focus, but thanks to my Akaso EK7000 Pro cheapie-cam I didn't have to jump through any hoops to get the shot!)

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mcarroll

A full tank shot from a not-cheapie-cam:

20B209D5-C9CC-4161-AD01-EE05B3CD6A2F_1_105_c.thumb.jpeg.fabffd4ae543fac78f48fe4a251c6a1e.jpeg

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5*Chris

How are you liking the Tunze reef pack setup? I was thinking of using one of the smaller versions for a 20g long frag tank. There's not a lot of info, reviews, or videos on the Tunze comline filters available. But I've been eyeing the 3162 and the 3163.

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