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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey all,

New here but not too new to the hobby. Had a 65G AGA that I built a sump for and had going but due to a sump failure I wound up with an open steel stand which I didn't like too much. I just recently retired (Feb. 23rd) from the FDNY due to 9/11 issues.

Anyway, I have a new boxer puppy coming in June and I didn't want him/her getting into a sump and ingesting tank water and with a skimmer sloshing all the time and all the wires from the skimmer pump, the RKL with 4 PC-4's and the lights and reactors there would be WAY too many dangerous temptations for a young pup exploring their world around them.

Because of that I decided to go back to an all in 1 so it would be a sealed system and decided to go with a Red Sea Max 250. I know it's just a bunch of rocks right now, but I will update each step of the way to have a nice tank diary to look back at.

Well here are the pics of the first steps and aquascaping. So far I really like the tank. I'm leaving a bunch of the sandbed open all the way around the rock to be able to purchase rocks with multiple ric's on them and/or other corals or just to add islands when and where I want them. It's been cycling for about 5 days now so I have another 4 weeks or so to go before any livestock. Hope you enjoy:

After assembly:



Placed the rock:



Laid the sandbed:



When the tank was first filled:



And after adding the last of the rock and scaping it:





I used all Real Reef manmade rock. I'm pretty happy with it.

I know it's an all in 1 but I'm still pretty proud of it, and am glad I will be able to relax knowing the tank is puppy proof open water wise.

Feel free to comment- good, bad or indifferent is all good, I always appreciate feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the welcome.

Yeah I'm nursing my anemone back to health, I'm hoping it'll recover from the crash of my other system. I have one clown-the male from a mated pair I had for 2+ years. Both the clown and the nem are in a 20 long right now while the RSM cycles. The clown is going to a friend that has his tank cycling also right now that came under hard times and has 3 special needs kids.

I'll be purchasing all new fish for the new tank. My plans are:

Fish:

Mated pair of True Percula clowns
Radiant Wrasse
3 blue dartfish
Watchman goby/pistol shrimp pair

Corals:

Dendros
Sun coral
Assorted ric's
Assorted zoas
Torch
Millipora's
Encrusting Montipora
Hydnophora
Elegance
Plate coral

I plan on just placing the frags, moving them until they like the lighting where I put them best, glueing them in place and letting them all just grow out and fight for territory after time like they have to on an actual reef so it will look nice and natural in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Also for inverts. I will have 2 fire shrimp and 3 cleaner shrimp. Forgot to throw that in there in the original post about livestock
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok so the cycle's completed. Happened much faster than thought.
Test results tonight were

Ammonia-0
Nitrite-0
Nitrate-2

So now for a heavy water change in the next few days, additon of a CUC and first fish selection and QT.
 

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Hi Jimmy and welcome to the forum :wave:

It sounds amazing - I'm looking forward to your pics and progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Jimmy and welcome to the forum :wave:

It sounds amazing - I'm looking forward to your pics and progress.
Thanks Romad


Went and got my CUC today 12 snails, 12 hermits and my first coral. Got a couple of small rocks with some orange rics on them. I know it's a small addition but hey new tank, new excitemtent over the little things







 

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Discussion Starter #8
Went and got my 2nd addition . Some GSP's



Also I got the chiller plumbed and operating. Sorry about the still messy wiring it's what's left of the old 65G I had. The board has the ballasts that will go with the Maristar I'm selling and the Vortech MP10 I'll be selling also. Anyway it's a JBJ Arctica and I plumbed it by taking out the stock pump in the right chamber and replacing it with an external Hydor Seltz L40 740GPH pump. I ran the return from the chiller directly to the return nozzle in the tank so it'll chill the whole tank and not just the one chamber because of the heat the pump would have generated so it won't keep cycling on and off to meet demands of what I ask temp wise. I'm going to be mounting the pump on the brick wall with mollies so there's no hum like I get now from it being mounted to the stand and then will secure all hoses on the chiller and pump with hose clamps:





Next is to get the NextReef reactor plumbed, I got two Maxi Jet 900's to run the reactor with. I like to have each thing have it's own pump so if one pump goes south it doesnt affect the function of multiple things. They will be mounted in line with the chillers pump on the bricks as well. This way everything will be easy to service and swap if the need be. Only thing I'm changing is I'm going to use 2 TLF 1/2" ball valves instead of the Fluval ones in the pics- I hate those valves, they're a bit sketchy feeling to me:





For the reactor I'm going to drill 2 holes for the 5/8" intakes of the MaxiJets and then 2 holes for the 1/2" return lines from the reactor. The 5/8" doles will be driled where the acessory plate spouts come down and the 1/2' return lines will be drilled at the top corners right under the rounded corners and all the lines will be ran down by using 90 degree elbows cut down on both sides of the hood to point the lines straight down in the chamber. I still have to shorten the return line from the chiller on the left there so that spout is straight down, tweaking it will be easy though.

 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Been meaning to update the thread. Have a bunch of additions since the last post.

Got the reactor plumbed in:

Came up with the best plan I could for the way the apartment is and where the tank is as well to make maintenance as easy as possible.

Drilled 4 holes with a uni-bit and then dremeled them aout a bit around the acessory kit plate to have the intake and return lines for the reactor. Came out ok:



I ran the intake to the reactors on the bottom:



Ran the returns throught the top holes for a finished product:




The pumps I mounted on the wall. 2 maxi jet 900's. Am going to switch to regular marineland 900's the maxi's don't like being gated back and make a bit of noise. The marinelands were always dead silent. I still have some zip tieing to do to keep all the lines together and a bit neater looking:


I'm pretty happy with what I wound up with, I'm sure I could have done things different but I am working with limited options. I installed different pumps- went with regular marineland nj1100's. No moving parts to leak water but am building a box to go around the pumps just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I had 5 RBTA's in my old 65G that crashed that I haven't really mentioned before on here so I think I'll do weekly updates on them. They're looking better each day little by little. Finally starting to make really good strides that are noticeably better each night I look at them. Heres what 2 of them looked like on 3/30, the other 2 are in spots I can't get clear shots of them but they're happy there so I don't mess with moving them, I just shoot mysis each night so they can eat and they do each night. They never refuse a meal which I guess is another great sign. They're being nursed back to health in a 20 long with a HOB penguin and some phosban with 10G water changes every other day:

Again how they looked when they first came out of the 65G:




How they looked on 3/30:






Sorry about any repition from previous posts.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok, time for the first FISHIE PICTURES!!!

Got a beautiful pair of clowns off of a friend of mine Kathy--THANK YOU KATHY!!!! I love watching them explore their new surroundings.

Here are some pics of my new guys:








They definately seem to like the overhangs and shaded areas under the top rocks. They've been swimming around in tha back and front also but like the 2 swim throughs in the rocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Also added some duncans and 2 heads of dendros:




Dendros aren't open yet but they'll get there

Here they are once they got adjusted

 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Some more new additions. Went to go see my buddy Krys the other day and got a bunch of frags. Some acans and some zoas and one frag of some yellow pollops:












Thanks Krys
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My new skimmer arrived today via FEDEX. It's a Deltec MC500. It fits nicely, I haven't done any of the last tweaks and touches. I'm just letting it break in over the next couple of days and then will do the final adjustments. I have it in a higher position that it will wind up for now and is why the lid will not close(the skimmer lid/flap not the whole hood). After it's broken in I'll lower it a bit so the lid will clear the cup. I replaced the stock skimmer that came the RSM because I hated the adjustment valve on the stock one. It was a bit flimsy it seemed and the knob was extremely tight and they don't specify if it's a 1/4 turn knob or what. I just either got almost no bubbles in the skimmer chamber or I got skimmate that looked like pee and filled the cup up fast with all liquid. I would have kept the stock if it was more adjustment friendly. Anyway here's the Deltec, I can't wait to see after its broken in how it skims:







I'm happy so far, it's sturdy and well built and is highly adjustable between the depth of the skimmer in the water, the air valve as well as the collection cup that can be moved up and down all to help fine tune the skimmer. Worth it in my eyes from what little I was able to tell immediately upon installation.

Also for anyone else looking to put one of these in your RSM250's it doesn't come with any parts list or setup guide. I looked one up just to make sure 100% that I had everything setup correctly.
Here's the link on the skimmer, the setup guide and general guidelines for adjustments that Deltec has for it:

http://www.theaquariumsolution.com/files/Deltec Multi-Compact MC500 (2).pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Also got my ATO water storage container today. It holds 5 gallons and fits nicely on the shelf in the stand of the tank. When the Tunze osmolator gets here tomorrow I'll be able to drill the correct sized hole to run the cable for the pump and the hose through. It's pretty nice, it isn't heavy but is made of UV stabilized polyetheline. Should work out well.


 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wanted to update the thread with some new additions:

Diamond Goby, out and about and in his den(as best a shot as I could get)


Peeking over his hilltop he constructed

And in his den- sorry couldnt really get him focused in

Randalls pistol shrimp who has gone into hiding somewhere, I'm hoping he and the goby find each other

2 fire shrimp and 2 cleaners
 
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