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About firedancer414

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  1. Brian's Red Sea Reefer 170

    Ended up doing two big water changes (15/40 gallons, and 25/40 gallons, replacing about 75% of the water). Nitrates showed at 10ppm, so ready for some stock! As a bonus, clearing my nitrates (and really vacuuming out a ton of garbage in the sump) calmed down my skimmer a _ton_, which I now have on the maximum air setting. Put a red fire shrimp in the tank today, hoping to pick up two more cleaning shrimp tomorrow. Rest of the cleanup crew arriving on Tuesday from LiveAquaria: Shrimp (3) Fire Shrimp (1) Cleaner shrimp (2) Snails (5) Nassarius Vibex Snail (Caribbean) (1) Cerith Snail (Aquacultured) (2) Super Tongan Nassarius Snail (1) Banded Trochus Snail (1) Crabs (5) Electric Blue Hermit Crab (Indonesia) (2) Electric Orange Hermit Crab (2) Halloween Hermit Crab (1) I based my stocking decisions on this video, since I'm sort of obsessed with Youtube + BRSTV: Turned on my AI Hydra 26 for the first time today, since the chaeto seems to settling in fine, my nitrates/phosphate are fine, and the cleanup crew will be in place soon. Got it on the default schedule. Starting to make stocking decisions. My main question is: Where is the most premium online place to buy fish? I'm willing to pay a significant premium, if it means you get healthier livestock and I don't need to quarantine. Vivid aquariums? I think my salinity is a little low (measured 1.023 on my new Milwaukee digital refractometer). I might try to bring it up by putting salt water in the ATO.
  2. Brian's Red Sea Reefer 170

    Hi friends - update on the build! WHAT'S HAPPENING TO ME I'VE HAD A FISHTANK FOR 3 WEEKS AND ALL I HAVE IS A PET ALGAE So I now have a 6 gallon refugium with a ball of clean chaeto from Algae Barn in there. There are also now apparently 5,280 copepods swimming around but I don't feel like I can see them. Also now have phaetoplankton living in my fridge. 24 marine pure 2" blocks for the "substrate". Skimmer is settling in nicely in the back by the drain. Running the H380 from 8pm-4am, still haven't turned the main light on. Bring it on hair algae! I somehow got my hands on Triton reagents so I'm figuring out my dosing strategy. I bought plastic containers to hold it, since I've read that the Triton containers tend to leak. Rapidly running out of space! Few fails to share since it's not always well and good ... Tunze ATO alarm going off at 4am because I had set the return location lower than the reservoir, and it started siphoning. Now have a sweet water feature since the return is at the top of the ATO! I picked up a short piece of PVC so I can mount the return super high and never have this problem again. I removed the old ATO and some other glass/plastic from the sump to make it cleaner. I made a big splash and then the breaker tripped. Isolated it down to the MP10 that was shorting. Thought it might be permanently broken. Finally looked at the power brick and realized that there was water sitting between the cathode and anode. Drained it, everything worked again - having gotten a free pass. So ... immediately raised all my cords above the sump, and now intend to build an even higher shelf to hide all the cords near the mounted power strip. Nitrates still insane between 40-80ppm, so let's see how chaeto + skimmer do. After I get back from traveling next week will just default to large water changes, no big deal.
  3. Brian's Red Sea Reefer 170

    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).
  4. Brian's Red Sea Reefer 170

    Also ... I was so proud of my sump design, and just realized after readinghttps://www.reef2reef.com/threads/red-sea-reefer-nano.307826/page-2 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?
  5. Brian's Red Sea Reefer 170

    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 =)
  6. Brian's Red Sea Reefer 170

    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! ALL OF THE LIGHTS Scape Slowly dialing in the skimmer 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.
  7. Brian's Red Sea Reefer 170

    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. The smaller weir is holding up great against the full 568 gph flow, I was a little worried at first. 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 =)
  8. Brian's Red Sea Reefer 170

    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 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. Not going to quit my day job anytime soon to be a full time aquarist I guess, silicone mess! DIY life ... 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 (!!) 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.
  9. Brian's Red Sea Reefer 170

    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. 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. 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.
  10. Brian's Red Sea Reefer 170

    The aqua smart ATO - it just hooks up to the existing reservoir? Brian
  11. Brian's Red Sea Reefer 170

    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!
  12. Brian's Red Sea Reefer 170

    Current Status (March 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 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 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: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qowjn1px65wnbx6/sump_long.eps?dl=0 Light: Kessil H380 Substrate: 24 Marine Pure 2" Cubes Algae Barn: Clean Chaeto, Phyto, + Pods Not planning on socks / reactors / carbon / GFO at this point ... 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: Night two of scaping, flooded and cycling: 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.