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olig

Upgrading to a Red Sea Reefer 170

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olig

Hello all, 

 

As I discussed on my last post on the thread for my fluvial eve 13.5 the time has come for me to upgrade to a larger tank and I have purchased myself a Red Sea Reefer 170 which I collected from my local fish shop yesterday, so this thread will follow the setting up of this tank, the transfer of fish, corals and live rock and future development of the tank. 

 

I decided to upgrade / replace a lot of the kit I have so will be using the following

Tank - Red Sea Reefer 170

Light - Red Sea Reef LED 90 (part of the deluxe package with the tank and light mount) 

ATO - will try with the Red Sea one in the box and see how it goes

return pump - TMC reef pump 6000 - overspec'd so I can add reactors in the future if I feel the need

wave pumps - 2 x TMC reef tide 6000

dosing pump - D-D H2Ocean P4

a heater... can't remember which one off the top of my head

 

and yet to by purchased skimmer which will be a reef octopus 110-s

 

As my living room currently looks like a fish shop I am hoping to get this set up sooner rather than later so we can get the house back to looking nice, and as the new tank is going to go in the same place as my current tank I'm going to need to do the transfer in one day but I have a few things to do before then. 

Firstly I am planning on adding a baffle in the sump splitting the skimmer section in half to give myself a refugium section so I have ordered myself some 5mm acrylic sheet to do that with, it won't be all that big but should help with nutrient export and also as a home for some pod's as one of the little dragonet's is on my dream fish list so I was to see if I can maintain a pod population. 

 

The tank is going to be bare bottom with something similar to my current scape on one side on the tank, and I want to get some more rocks for the other side of the scape ideally something much taller to help fill more of the tank's height to allow somewhere for me to try some more SPS. 

 

The plan is to get the stand built tomorrow evening, pick up the skimmer, rocks and all the salt water I need on Saturday as well as a big plastic box to hold my current livestock, rocks and life-support during the move. This will allow me to get the tank set up and full on Sunday. Things like the dosing pump will be added later once things are are set up properly.

 

 

If anyone has any advice for me please let me know, or if not please just follow along for the journey. 

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Tuan’s Reef

Best advice I can give is to get the real live rock and lots of it.  Then mix it up a little with the man made rocks with caves and arcs for the aquascape.  
 

You’ll get pests for sure but the benefits outweighs the cons .   You’ll end up a much more diverse and stable environment.  And you can QT it and remove the pests in the months prior to setting up your tank

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Wonderboy

Sweet! Looking forward to this!

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olig

Thanks for the advice, my local shop only sells dry rock, but I do have all the live rock in my current tank (been running more than a year) which will be moved across so it'll be 40% live to 60% dry I think. Given that the biological filter I'm moving across supports the livestock i have I'm not too worried. I will be adding some bottled bacteria when I do the move and for the week or so after to minimise any risk of an ammonia spike in the new tank. 

 

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olig

So the stand is built 🙂

People describe the build like an IKEA cabinet, but I feel that is slightly unfair on Red Sea, it's the same methods to assemble it with dowels and locking cams but it feels much more secure. The threaded dowels cut into plastic inserts in wood which makes them more secure and stops them pulling out like I've had from IKEA before. 

The surfaces the tank and sum sit on are covered in foam, and there are strips of foam on the side pieces as well where the sump may touch which is also nice. 

I am slightly disappointed in the surface covering though, there are some blemishes and changes in how the surface feels on the inside of the door, and there's a scratch on the outside of one of the sides. I was carful putting it together so if the scratch was me I'm disappointed it's not more durable, if it came scratched I'm equally disappointed. 

 

None of this is big enough to delay the build with a proper complaint as nothing goes all the way though to the wood. The overall look of the stand is very impressive and I can't wait to get it into its final position and the tank installed over the weekend. Next step is to get the remaining bits I need for the tank transfer. 

 

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olig

The tank is up and running! 

 

The remaining set up of the tank was the first step before I could do the transfer, this meant getting the light and net cover set up. The light and mount were really easy, some of the pieces were a little hard to push together but it feels really solid and reliable. I like how the mount to the glass works where the screws push the aluminium upright against the glass to clamp it in place instead of the screws putting points of pressure onto it. 

 

The net however is a different story given the price of it. The net comes in a cardboard tube and needs to be assembled, and the first major disappointment was every piece of aluminium comes in a standard length which is too long for every piece. This means every piece needs to be cut to size, and given that its an aluminium extrusion cutting it requires a hacksaw and a degree of skill to do nicely. Given that I had a reasonable length of the aluminium left at the end I really don't get why RedSea don't have specific kits for each of their tanks with all the pieces cut to length, I'm sure the extra cost of cutting the pieces to size would be offset by the fact they wouldn't be supplying excess aluminium with each kit.

Once the frame is all cut to size it goes together nicely with plastic inserts, no complaints with this stage. The net then pushes into the underside of the frame and is held in place by a rubber pipe which pushes into a channel ontop of the net. 

The net is my second main complaint, they provide enough for 3 or 4 attempts to cover it and that's required as its so hard to get it right. To make it look good you want the net to be tight, but if you pull it tight before fitting it the net breaks when you force the rubber tube into the channel, leaving it slacker results in ripples in the net which doesn't look anywhere neatly as good. On my third attempt I got it sort of ok looking - I'm not totally happy but its worked and I don't want to try again with it tighter, break the net and find myself having to re-buy the kit. I think an elastic net that is designed to size and which clips to the metal frame would be much better - and look much nicer for people who aren't DIY experts. 

 

The pipework in the tank and sump was really easy to set up and I had no problems with getting it set up.

 

I'm going to stop writing this now, and leave you with a picture of my scape - please give me any feedback that you have. I'll write more tomorrow about the next steps of the transfer that I went through. Please follow me on instagram for more photos of the tank as it develops - I'm better at adding things there than I am here. 

 

 

 

 

 

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olig

So the next steps of the tank move.... 

 

The first job that I had was to move the old fluvial 13.5 out of the position in the room the 170 is now in, to do this I got myself one of 35ltr really useful boxes and syphoned water out of the tank into it, before transferring the rocks, corals inverts and fish into it. To keep them alive whilst in there I also moved the powerhead and heater from the tank with them - basically giving them a new (plastic) tank in a location that was less in the way. 

 

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Once the fish and corals were happy in their new tank I positioned the new tank in position and started to fill it with fresh salt water and built the fresh scape on the right of the tank. At this point I also added the water from my old tank and started heating the water to bring it up to match the temperature the fish are living in. I also checked the KH and Calcium levels in the new water I got from the fish shop and adjusted it to match the water in my current tank. Doing this now allowed me to the make quite a major KH change (8 to 10.5) without worrying about impacting my livestock. Brining the water temperature up took much longer than I expected so the fish were left in there small tank for few hours whilst I took a trip to town so I was glad I had a big enough container for them with the rocks and other life support they needed to stay healthy. 

 

Once I got the water in the tank as close as possible to matching I took a load of water out of the fish tank box and drip acclimatised the fish and corals. Whenever I took water out of the tank / box I added it to the tank to replace the water being added in and to try keep things as common as possible for the fish when I added them.

 

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In the photo above you can see my scape, the idea is that the taller rocks at the back will have mixture of montipora's, both branching and plating with the lower rocks and the plate at the front all being available for more SPS with more colours of Acans and Blasto's and anything else that catches my eye in the fish shops. 

 

Finally once I had let the tanks match in perimeters I added the fish, corals and rocks to the new tank along with a dose of ATM colony to seed the new rocks and and try head off any ammonia spikes. 

 

Noe the fish and corals have been in for two days everything is looking happy, the corals all look really happy and the fish are active and feeding. Both fish seem quite nervous being away from the rocks so they don't like coming up the surface of the water, but I think this is just the change from being in a small tank to being in a larger one with much more room. 

 

The next thing to add here is a request for help with sorting my cables out - see the image below. I had a good plan for the to be all attached at the side of the tank to keep them out of moisture inside the cabinet but currently they all look a mess due to the amount of cable they come with being so much more than the distance I have from the plugs to the controllers. If anyone can advise that will be really helpful.

 

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The final thing is a warning about the mess a new tank will generate, this is what my living room looked like for most of last week from when I collected things till the tank was in place - I had no idea the stuff would take so much room until I had it all unpacked!

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William

How do you like the reef led 90

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olig
36 minutes ago, William said:

How do you like the reef led 90

It's early days, but so far no complaints. It's easy to set up and the app is easy to use. It's got a good acclimatisation mode that can ramp the power up over up to 50 days too which I'm using at the moment so I've not seen full power yet. It's only got 3 colour options and I'm not sure how much I can play with them which might not suit everyone but I quite like not having to play with loads of settings and have enjoyed it being plug and play. 

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Wonderboy

Great work - looks good! You could just use some twist-ties or velcro straps for any extra cordage  :]

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Ratvan

following along, as this is one of my potential home reef systems. 

 

That clear tote is a good idea for transfer box

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olig

Thanks, I'm really happy with the tank. The guys in the shop tried to convince me to go bigger but this is a nice size, it looks good at the moment and there's plenty of space to add more things in. 

 

How long do you think I should wait before adding more fish or corals? 

 

Some photos of the corals in the new tank 😀

 

 

Edited by olig
Grammar error
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afcajax73

looking good mate :) and good job on the updates too!

 

out of interest.. are you UK based??

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olig
17 minutes ago, afcajax73 said:

looking good mate :) and good job on the updates too!

 

out of interest.. are you UK based??

 

Thank you, and thank you. 

 

I am UK based, my local reef shop is reefkeeper in rugby who I can't recommend enough. Are you UK based too? 

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Ratvan
3 minutes ago, olig said:

 

Thank you, and thank you. 

 

I am UK based, my local reef shop is reefkeeper in rugby who I can't recommend enough. Are you UK based too? 

Oh nice, do they ship? 

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olig

I'm not sure, I always go in person so I can dream about fish too big for my tank and have a chat. I've never wanted to buy enough stuff to justify shipping to buy online. 

They don't have a great website so I'm guessing not. 

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Ratvan
2 minutes ago, olig said:

I'm not sure, I always go in person so I can dream about fish too big for my tank and have a chat. I've never wanted to buy enough stuff to justify shipping to buy online. 

They don't have a great website so I'm guessing not. 

Oh it's a Maidenhead Aquatics. 

by the way

@afcajax73 is in Stoke

@Proxo is in Carlisle 

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olig

Yeah it's linked to Maidenhead - but stocks alot that's not on the website. I've not quite worked out how the two reefkeeper stores are linked to Maidenhead. That's cool, nice to know there are other people sort of local

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Ratvan

Yeah there are a couple more that I cant remember of the top of my head but someone is located around Chester and someone else in Newquay and one in Birmingham.

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olig
On 11/14/2019 at 9:41 AM, Ratvan said:

Yeah there are a couple more that I cant remember of the top of my head but someone is located around Chester and someone else in Newquay and one in Birmingham.

Thanks

 

So I've been thinking about what I want to next add to the tank... 

 

Corals wise the plan isn't very detailed and than I want to get some more SPS to put on the taller section of rocks on the right. I think some plating ones off the side and branching ones on the top. On the lower rocks I intend to keep expanding my collection of SPS and maybe expand for some Zoa's. I'm not really in any rush for anything, I'll just wait for exiting frags to come up in the shops I visit. This way I won't run out of space too quickly and buying new frags is a big part of what I enjoy doing. 

 

The second part of the plan is for more fish. I don't really want too many more as I don't want the tank to be too busy and I read so many stories about illness and things within fish I don't want to push my luck adding too many new fish to the tank.

The current plan for new fish is a royal gramma and a ruby dragonet with the possible addition of a blenny that'll eat algae if I need it.

 

This leads me to my next questions, is there any reason these won't work together or with my current clown pair? Also I know to be able to successfully keep the ruby dragonet I need to have a good pod population for it to graze on between feedings - what is the best way for me to help / encourage this along? Once I get my skimmer installed today (the advice on the bottled bacteria was not to run a skimmer for the week after you add it) I am going to look at how I can get myself enough space in the sump for a refugium - it won't be big but I should be able to manage something. Is there anything else I should be looking at doing? 

 

Thanks all

 

 

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