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Sump rebuild completed


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Here's a quick update on my Reefer XL 425.  I replaced the stock Red Sea sump with a Trigger Systems Platinum 34 sump and roller mat.  I bleached and cycled my rocks, and put in new sand.  The roller mat is working amazingly well!

It's just about time to start re-stocking the tank.

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11 minutes ago, SuncrestReef said:

I'm just testing them for Neptune as part of the SKY NSI team.

Seriously, though, it looks like a decent light. It would take a lot to get me to switch from ReeFi. In fact, Terence would probably have to pry my Unos from my cold, dead hands. 😀

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Wow you really do have a pretty bare bones set up now.  The roller mat looks amazing but I decided to stick with the filter socks as I’m not very handy and fine I am much happier with only the minimal amount of automation. 

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4 hours ago, Willapa said:

Looking good, John. Did you keep any livestock from your old setup? If so how did you keep it in the interim? 

I lost about 80% of my corals before shutting down the tank.  The corals that survived and all my fish & CUC were moved to temporary tanks during the rebuild.  I have a 20 gallon QT tank for the fish, and utilized the original Red Sea sump as a frag tank for my corals. This was also around the time I was invited by Neptune to be a part of their NSI testing group for the new SKY lighting system, so I mounted a SKY over the coral tank:

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I used the Red Sea sump's overflow chamber as an ATO reservoir for both tanks, and set up my Apex to control two ATK's, one for each tank.  It worked out well.

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I kept everything in these temporary tanks for about 6 weeks until I was ready to move them back to the main display tank.

 

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I was wondering how the switchover was going. Didn’t realize you did a full tear down as part of it but makes sense given all the problems. Like the looks of that new sump arrangement!

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Sorry to hear you lost so much. Great idea on using the old sump. Not surprised you did some Apex controls on it! I’ve gotta move soon and may use the opportunity to do a tank reboot and thin down the livestock in a temporary setup...so curious as to how you did it.

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18 hours ago, Reefsakes said:

Nice. I just got the 39 platinum. How you liking it?

Love it so far.  The roller is doing an excellent job.  In fact my skimmate locker used to fill every 10 days, but so far it's only about 10% full after nearly one month.  My only complaint is that I wish the built-in dosing tube holder was moveable.  I'd rather place it in a different chamber where I can place a powerhead to disperse the 2-part rather than the return chamber because I don't want that chamber's water surface to fluctuate for my ATO sensors.  But that's a very minor issue to overcome.

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23 minutes ago, Higher Thinking said:

Nice work. I didn't realize the full extent of your tear down, either. Glad to see life returning!

For those of you who didn't follow along on my build thread at Reef2Reef, here's a recap of the whole project in photos start to finish:

I wanted to make this 34" sump fit into a cabinet that was only 28" wide due to the Red Sea cabinet's center support panel.

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I figured the safest way to do this would be to drain and remove the display tank from the cabinet, disassemble the cabinet, then replace the center panel with an aluminum frame, opening up the full 46" interior width of the cabinet.

I started by turning off my return pump, moving my heater and probes into the display tank, then draining the sump.  At that point the display tank was self-sufficient so I could disassemble and remove the sump, plumbing, and wiring.  This is the mess created when you unbundle all those carefully routed wires:

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Here's what a Neptune 1" flow sensor looks like inside after 3 years of use without cleaning it:

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I pulled the sump out for a thorough cleaning:

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And then set up the sump and my 20 gallon QT tank to hold my corals and fish while I drain the display tank:

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Next I removed the display tank for cleaning:

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A simple razor blade worked really well:

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Meanwhile, I acid washed and bleached the rocks.  Thanks to @obrien.david.j for loaning me his blue barrel and suction cups that helped immensely in this project!

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The next step was to disassemble the Red Sea cabinet to replace the center support panel with the aluminum frame.  This was surprisingly easy and only took about 30 minutes:

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And now the new Trigger Systems Platinum 34 sump fits perfectly!

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Next it was time to work on the new plumbing.  I stayed with my original use of orange PVC and gray fittings:

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A few hours of sniffing PVC glue and drinking beer is a great way to spend a weekend afternoon!  What could go wrong???

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Luckily everything fit:

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While the build was in progress, I stocked the tank with a couple of 22" bluegill...🤣

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The leak test was a success, so I was able to fill the tank:

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I mounted my Neptune GRO refugium light to the Trigger sump's top crossbar to eliminate the bulky mounting arm:

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And with that, I was ready to transfer my fish & corals back to the display tank:

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Now I just need to start re-stocking the tank with new frags to get back to where the tank was about a year ago.

 

 

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Just now, Higher Thinking said:

Awesome rebuild! Seems like it went pretty smooth. 

It did go smoothly, but very slowly.  I started in January, then got sidetracked with other life events, and had a few bumps along the way waiting on parts delivery.  But 4 months later the tank was running again.  That 20 gallon QT tank and the old sump acting as lifeboats was the key to success.

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Holly hell you have been busy! Nice write ups as always !! Sorry you lost your corals but the silver lining is it makes it the best opportunity to make changes and start new.

Seriously have you ever considered designing an alternate product to Neptune? A little competition is a good thing . With your skill I could see the oceans separating at your feet with what you came up with !

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1 hour ago, albertareef said:

Can't believe you didn't take the opportunity to go bigger while you were at it :ohmy:

I'm still holding out hope to build a room addition on our house at some point in the future with a large tank and dedicated fish room.  I had begun getting bids from builders just before the pandemic, but then had to cancel those plans.  Until that happens, I'm just sticking with the current tank.

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3 hours ago, Emerald525 said:

Holly hell you have been busy! Nice write ups as always !! Sorry you lost your corals but the silver lining is it makes it the best opportunity to make changes and start new.

Seriously have you ever considered designing an alternate product to Neptune? A little competition is a good thing . With your skill I could see the oceans separating at your feet with what you came up with !

The last thing in the world I'd want to do is manufacture a product responsible for life support of expensive corals.  Have you seen how some reefers will blame everything on a product if something dies, even if it's their own fault?  No thank you.

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1 minute ago, SuncrestReef said:

The last thing in the world I'd want to do is manufacture a product responsible for life support of expensive corals.  Have you seen how some reefers will blame everything on a product if something dies, even if it's their own fault?  No thank you.

Yeah - that is an area of irrational liability claims I wouldn't want any part of!

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