Getting My Feet Wet - My Red Sea Max C-250

Discussion in 'Red Sea Max Owners Club' started by COMMANDO, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO New Member

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    Hi Everyone.

    After years of keeping tropical I have ventured into the realm of marine. In 2013 I was on the verge of purchasing the original Red Sea Max 250 for my home in Cape Town (after many months of research, etc.). A sudden career change from attorney to lodge manager and field guide uprooted us from the city to the African bush so that idea was put on ice. Two months ago my wife and I went snorkeling in the Maldives and this again triggered the bug.

    Despite still living and working on a game reserve we decided that we would overcome the challenges that this presented and commit to again getting the ball rolling. We purchased the newer C-250 model and here we are...

    I am currently on DAY 1 of cycling the tank and I am following the Red Sea Max Reef Mature Pro Kit to assist with the cycle process.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. GobyWanKenobie

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    Your tank looks beautiful already. I think you're off to a great start! Enjoy the hobby.
     
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  3. SPR

    SPR Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to Reef Sanctuary and nice looking tank already!


    The Maldives did it for me too! Lol
     
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  4. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO New Member

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    Thanks so much for the kind words. I'm so looking forward to this adventure!
     
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  5. mr_tap_water

    mr_tap_water Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to RS
    Great start with the rock work.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  6. Pat24601

    Pat24601 Well-Known Member

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    Hiya! I love the C-250. It's an excellent tank!

    Keep us updated on your progress!
     
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  7. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO New Member

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    Today is DAY 3 of cycling and I am still following the Red Sea Reef Mature Pro Kit.

    Parameters today were as follows:
    Temperature - 26.2 'C (this is with the lights running 10hrs per day, and the rear sump fans on during the day)
    Salinity - 1.025 (has been steady since day 1, with slight RODI water top ups each day)
    Ammonia - around 0.6 ppm
    Nitrate - 0.1 ppm
    Nitrate - around 10 ppm

    Administered 20ml Nitro Bac and 6ml NoPoX as per kit instructions.

    Tank is still 'clear' with no signs yet of algae or diatoms, but I am expecting that to change in the next 2-3 days.
     
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  8. Blue Space

    Blue Space Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that'll do it! That's exactly how I got into the hobby. Diving turned me into a reef junky too. :D

    Can't wait to see the reef grow!
     
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  9. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO New Member

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    Update on parameters for Day 5 (testing not required per RS kit for today, but taken anyway):
    Temp 26.3'C
    Salinity 1.025
    PH 8.2
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 20

    Glad to see ammonia and nitrite at zero.

    I am, however, concerned as I have not yet had any signs of algae or diatoms in the tank. This is more than likely due to the fact that I chose not to use wet live rock and went for the dry and man-made eco-friendly live rock combination. The RS kit requires me to add my CUC on Monday (Day 10 of cycle), but I am concerned whether I should proceed if I do not have a high algae load as food for them (guess I could just supplement feed). Any advice would be appreciated ( I also raised this in a separate help post).
     
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  10. StevesLEDs

    StevesLEDs RS Sponsor

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    Commando,
    Sounds like you are off to a good start. I wouldn't worry too much about the diatoms/algae growth. You'll find that pretty much everyone here will assure you that patience is your friend when it comes to establishing a new aquarium (even with wet live rock).

    There is no rush. I would think that adding CUC after only 10 days is a bit premature anyhow, thus, no harm on waiting to add the CUC. You don't exactly need a high algae load to support them, as you are striving for a good natural balance.

    Personally, I wait about a month after the aquarium is established before adding the CUC, and it's been working out quite well over the years.

    Hope that helps?

    Jeff
     
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  11. Pat24601

    Pat24601 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this. To some extent, things happen when they happen when setting up a tank. There's not a lot that can really go wrong except rushing things.

    Patience is definitely your friend.
     
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  12. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO New Member

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    Thanks for the input, guys. Red Sea Kev advised that if my parameters are per the Red Sea Reef Mature regime then I am on track and can continue following it. I am in no rush at all as I reside very far from a LFS (nearest one is over 3hrs drive)... So not much temptation (lol).

    My ammonia and nitrites have been stable at zero the past couple of days... So holding thumbs. I will again be testing parameters later today. The Red Sea kit, as well as the live sand seemed to have helped a lot in this respect.

    P.S. I have noticed some very tiny (1-2mm) strands of life appear here and there on the dry rock... So my CUC might have more to do by the time I get a few next week.
     
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  13. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO New Member

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    Update on parameters for today (Day 7 of cycling) after a 5% water change:
    Temp 26.31'C
    Salinity 1.025
    PH 8.2
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 10

    As per Red Sea Reef Mature regime added the following today:
    20ml Bacto-Start
    10ml Nitro Bac
    6ml NoPoX
    10ml KH Coralline Gro (maintaining KH at 8.4)

    So far the RS regime has been spot-on, with my parameters actually looking better than required and I suspect this was due to me using Red Sea's live sand in the initial setup, giving an added bacteria boost. As stated in my previous post (as well as a separate help thread), my use of dry live rock and man-made rock has drastically reduced the anticipated algae and diatom bloom... An initial worry turned into a blessing.

    As my ammonia and nitrite levels have been at zero for 3 days now, as well as the daily reduction in nitrate, I am on track to be adding the first few members of my CUC early next week (as per the RS timetable)... But no rush from my side.
     
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  14. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO New Member

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    So today is DAY 10 of cycling. I am still following the Red Sea Reef Mature Pro kit and herewith my parameters:
    Temp 26.5'C
    Salinity 1.025
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 20

    I also administered the following Red Sea products as per the regime:
    10ml Bacto-Start
    10ml Nitro Bac
    6ml NoPoX
    10ml KH Coralline Gro

    According to the RS regime the nitrate should be around 10 today, but it seems to have gone from 10 to 20 the past three days. The lack of visible micro algae may have contributed to this increase.

    Still happy with the consistent zero ammonia and nitrite. Hoping for a reduced nitrate level when I next measure the parameters.

    Today I was supposed to add the CUC as per the regime, but I am going to be holding off on this until early next week as my LFS only receives stock on Friday. No rush from my side, other than my OCD in following the RS regime.
     
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  15. Pat24601

    Pat24601 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like it's going great!
     
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  16. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO New Member

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    So yesterday was the tank's TWO WEEK anniversary with parameters as follows after a 5% water change:

    Temp 26.0'C
    Salinity 1.025
    PH 8.2
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 20
    KH 6.5

    I am still a bit concerned with the level of nitrate in the tank as I am following the Red Sea Reef Mature Pro Kit and it should've been in the region of 5ppm on day 14. I think the main reason for this is the fact that I used dry rock and not live rock which has not brought about the major algae and diatom bloom so I have not had the extra assistance from the algae in eliminating some of the nitrate buildup. I was supposed to have introduced my first two fish yesterday, but I have held off on both the CUC and fish introduction until early next week when my LFS of choice will have some new stock in (they were going to receive the shipment yesterday so holding thumbs).

    I have still been dosing with NoPoX and KH Coralline Gro as per the regime, but have run out of KH Coralline Gro hence the reason my KH is lower than I would like (I am aiming for 8.4). I will also be stocking up on another bottle of Coralline Grow to use as a buffer until I introduce my first corals to the tank at which time I will switch over to Red Sea's Reef Foundation B supplement.

    Other than that my experience with the RS Reef Mature Kit has been great and the tank was cycled within the first week (day 5!) as per the kit.
     
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  17. Pat24601

    Pat24601 Well-Known Member

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    I've never used the mature pro kit, but a lot of people have written good things about it. Glad to see it is working well for you.
     
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  18. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO New Member

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    Today the tank has been running for four weeks... that's right... DAY 28.

    It has been a while, so here is what has happened the past two weeks since posting:

    I added the first members of the CUC. I kept it small for now as my tank did not have a major algae bloom, so I only added 3 snails and 3 electric blue hermits. They are all doing well and have been in the tank for over a week. I have also added two small Ocellaris Clownfish and they are getting on just fine as well as almost eating out of my hand... currently just feeding them Saki-Hikari pellets as it is easy to control the amount fed as its just the two of them.

    Now, the 'issues':
    I have not had any form of major green hair algae or cyano bloom (which, as stated previously could be due to me using dry base rock and not live rock). This has not at all bothered me as some people completely skip the ugly tank stage. However, the past week has seen an increase in what seems to be a clear form of hair algae or cyano... hope that it does not become an issue. I am still dosing with the Red Sea NoPoX on a daily basis, as I still have a high nitrate presence. Furthermore, I also switched over to Red Sea's Foundation B supplement, as I completed the KH Coralline Gro which came with the Reef Mature Kit that I followed up to Day 22.

    The second 'issue' (and this is with the Red Sea Max C-250 tank itself) has to do with the flow pumps. I have found that the filter media in the rear above each of the two return pumps in fact pushes down on the pumps (which doesn't rest directly on the floor of the sump), and this causes the pipes feeding the return outlets to come loose. As you can imagine... this creates water everywhere and could in fact result in the rear sump overflowing (onto the floor). Thankfully I was in the room both times that this happened. I am aware that many remove the filter media as it creates a nitrate trap, but I have decided to cut each filter sponge in half and added some eggcrate (vertically) at the rear beneath each sponge to support it and prevent it from pushing down on the pump. The sponge does in fact trap a lot of debris which indirectly prolongs the life of the pumps (just added time to clean for me). Not sure if any other Red Sea Max owners have experienced this. I also thought of using cable ties to tighten the grip of the pipes on the outlets... but will wait and see how the eggcrate support helps.

    So herewith my parameters for today:
    Temp: 26.6'C (we have had a few warm days and a chiller is definitely on my wish list before summer arrives)
    Salinity: 1.025
    PH 8.2
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0.05 (a slight concern as this is the first time in 3 weeks it has been above 0, but I think the new arrivals have something to do with it)
    Nitrate 20
    KH 7.5 - prior to adding today's dose of Foundation B supplement.

    Here is a pic of the algae, any ideas:
     

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  19. Pat24601

    Pat24601 Well-Known Member

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    Good update. I haven't experienced what you are talking about with the pumps coming loose. That seems strange to me. Mine are on super tight. Maybe you need to replace your 5/8 tubing? It's pretty cheap if that's the case.
     
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  20. COMMANDO

    COMMANDO New Member

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    Thanks @Pat24601 ... you won't believe it, but one of the pipes again came loose minutes after I posted this (Murphy's Law!). You see, the eggcrate that I put under the sponge only supports the back side of it. The front of the sponge actually pushed down on the pump and dislodged the pipe... now I am left with either trying to add more support at the front of the pump with eggcrate or remove the sponges altogether as many others have done.

    I was even thinking of just adding a small piece of sponge beneath the heater (in the heater compartment of the sump, as that will protect the pump on that side). I am using the filter media rack still with the stock carbon and that does stop some of the debris from reaching the other pump.

    What are your thoughts on this, @RedSeaKev ?
     
    #20
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