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mcarroll

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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