Kessil

Max’s Red Sea Reefer 170 tank build

max_nano

Supporting Member
After having the 10 gallon Nuvo for a few months it was time to upgrade. I purchased the tank and stand from @iCon and I have been working on getting it up and running the last 2 weeks.

I am not sure how to properly do a tank journal, but I’ll do my best!

Tank: Red Sea Reefer 170
Return pump: Jebao DC4000
Light: AI Prime HD+, hoping to add a second
Skimmer: Simplicity DC120
Co2 scrubber: BRS model
Testing equipment: Hanna, Red Sea, and some API
Controller: ApexEL

The first thing I did with the tank was remove the Red Sea return line and I replaced it with a union - gate valve - union - barb to connect to the return pump. I followed reef2reef user Broadfield’s build as a guide for how to DIY switch the plumbing to imperial. I got a male slip to male threaded piece and sanded the slip side down enough to glue it into the Red Sea return line. It has not been leaking yet and I believe it should hold up well since it is such a tight fit with how I sanded it. I believe I would benefit from a check valve somewhere on this pipe run to prevent a back siphon from the display from damaging the pump, but that’s not a huge priority since the sump can handle the volume of water that gets siphoned down in a power off situation.

For stocking the tank I put my mighty clean up crew from my old tank(hermits and snails) in the new tank and then added my two CB clowns and cleaner shrimp. I plan on adding some of the following: Blennys, gobys, firefish, cardinals, and a wrasse. Obviously I can’t have all of those in a tank this size, so if anyone has any stand out recommendations let me know. I want either firefish or cardinals for high water swimming, a fairy wrasse, and then some type of goby or blenny to chill on the rocks. I’m really uncertain at this point so if anyone has a favorite fish that would be well suited for a tank this size let me know!

Coral all came from my 10 gallon and I’ve collected pieces from @iCon , @Twisted , AquaSD, and Neptune aquatics. My favorite pieces are from the BAR members!

I will add pictures of the tank in just a little bit, if I missed anything major that a good tank journal should include let me know!


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sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
Tank journals are like writing in a real journal, there's no "right" way to do it, although pictures are a must, some people keep it very short and to the point, others (like myself) write huge paragraphs on the tiniest of details to the point where I can almost hear people reading it going "God damnit, where are the pictures already why did he need to write a 1000 word essay on why he put his valves where he did" :)
 

max_nano

Supporting Member
Tank once I got it before adding any water
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Red Sea plumbing before my DIY addition
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Tank getting some water, mixing 5 gal at a time took me awhile!
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Here’s a photo of the plumbing, if anyone is interested in doing the same I can send you the build log I used for inspiration as well as a parts list from PVC fittings online.
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And finally the money shots with some of the coral introduced, I’m still deciding where things are best suited which is a long process. I’m considering removing pieces from their plugs and glueing them to pieces of rubble. I did that for my toadstool and jawbreaker and I’ve found it is easier to place rock on rock then trying to jam a plug into a hole in the rock. And a rock looks more natural than a plug.
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Twisted

Supporting Member
Tank once I got it before adding any water
View attachment 13767

Red Sea plumbing before my DIY addition
View attachment 13768

Tank getting some water, mixing 5 gal at a time took me awhile!
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Here’s a photo of the plumbing, if anyone is interested in doing the same I can send you the build log I used for inspiration as well as a parts list from PVC fittings online.
View attachment 13772

And finally the money shots with some of the coral introduced, I’m still deciding where things are best suited which is a long process. I’m considering removing pieces from their plugs and glueing them to pieces of rubble. I did that for my toadstool and jawbreaker and I’ve found it is easier to place rock on rock then trying to jam a plug into a hole in the rock. And a rock looks more natural than a plug.
View attachment 13773View attachment 13774View attachment 13775
The tank looks great !! Love the build
 

Flagg37

Supporting Member
Tank journals are like writing in a real journal, there's no "right" way to do it, although pictures are a must, some people keep it very short and to the point, others (like myself) write huge paragraphs on the tiniest of details to the point where I can almost hear people reading it going "God damnit, where are the pictures already why did he need to write a 1000 word essay on why he put his valves where he did" :)
I’m glad you understand this about your self. :)
 

Eugene

Supporting Member
My 2c about fish - firefish are jumpers without cover. Starry blenny is my favorite fish - so much personality for a fish!
Congrats for a great start.


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max_nano

Supporting Member
@Eugene that is what I have heard, I’m planning on getting a net lid eventually. But for now the firefish will wait

Today I visited @Coral reefer so here are some photos including the new additions. I have also placed my carpet nem in a jail, if anyone is interested it is still free for pickup! (Supporting members only)

I added a powerhead to the lower right side of the tank to run on and off cycling each 5 min on Apex. I am hoping the increased flow should help polyp extension, and I placed it to “fight” the flow from the return pump as both pumps will hit the front glass from different directions. I am only using a hydor 426gph “dumb” powerhead, I think I want to eventually upgrade to Nero 5 or MP10 if anyone has any available.

My zoas have had some nice growth and I have a lot more heads, I want to try and frag some soon. The mixed information about zoa fragging does concern me, if anyone has a resource they trust and could share I would appreciate it. I am also interested in purchasing fragging supplies if anyone has a set they have enjoyed.

I hope everyone is doing well and has a great week. Happy reefing!

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max_nano

Supporting Member
Tested today with my Red Sea kit
Salinity 35 ppm (Hanna Checker)
Alk 9.1 dkh
Ca 440
Mg 1500
Ph 7.6-8.1 (from Apex)
Temp 78 - 78.5 (from Apex)

I don't love the swing that pH has during the day, but I am already running a co2 scrubber, might experiment with kalk in the ato but I'm worried about overdosing. I don't want to chase numbers and everything is looking okay besides an encrusting monti that has been losing its reverse superman colors (red with blue spots) and is now just a dark maroon with no more bright blue spots.

I fragged a piece of my stylo and it is growing well on the plug, I went with the sideways mounting method and am interested to watch the growth it has. I also cut a tiny piece of my green toadstool and have that rubber banded to a plug right now, that frag is also growing well. I'm interested in using these frags to test the coral in other spots in my tank just as a learning experiment.

If I can get some decent ones I will add photos to the journal soon
 

max_nano

Supporting Member
I need to get around to updating this. I’ve made some changes and modifications like converting the ATO into a refugium and rescaping.

For now I’d like to share some pictures since I just got an orange lens filter.

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