Martin's RSM C-130 Rebuild

Discussion in 'Red Sea Max Owners Club' started by melvis, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. melvis

    melvis Well-Known Member

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    Well hello again RS world, hope you’re all doing well and your reefs are thriving!

    As mentioned on my old thread, inhabitants were rehoused by my mate who owns my LFS, but I lost my live rock. I was meant to keep this wet, with heat and flow but with all the stresses that go with moving, it got forgotten for about 5 days and when I came to sort it, the stench was unbearable and the water slimey. I was furious and gutted and still can’t bear to look in that corner of the garage.

    I’ve been watching from a far and keen to get back up and running, especially now I’ve got a much better location for the tank. I’m going to refurbish my old C-130 and focus on maintaining better water quality, learning from past mistakes - especially to stop tinkering! Maybe a bigger tank awaits one day.

    Things that need sorting...
    • External hood trim needs replacing as it’s all chipped and hood needs cleaning
    • Cabinet side panels need sticking back and cabinet needs a really good clean
    • Tank needs cleaning thoroughly, old coralline removed from all equipment before deep clean and refurb if necessary
    • Heater controller to be rigged up and connected to surface fans (still deciding on this one)
    • Cable management sorted properly
    Then we come to the live, or should I say dead rock. It’s really starting to stink so I’m under orders to clean it up. I’ve read tons of different views on how to ‘fix’ things but not sure what the right approach is. At the moment, the rock is sitting in a container full of manky water and I was thinking of following what I saw on a RS post from way back in 2013:
    • 1/10 mix water and bleach, soaking for 3-4 days
    • Rinse well with FW leaving to soak for further 3-4 days
    • Power wash the rock
    • Allow to dry out for 4-5 days
    • Soak in FW for a week, testing the usual
    • Change out water and replace - as many times as needed until results all clear
    Should I run a dechlorinator at some point in the process?

    I’m worried the rock is full of phosphates so was thinking of running something to pull this out during the soaking steps. What would be the best way of doing this?

    Once I’m done I can aquascape the dry rock, getting it right from the off this time. In terms of seeding it - I don’t want to use more live rock as I want to reduce potential nasties. I am going to use new Caribsea Arab-Alive Special Grade Live Reef Sand but realise it’ll take sometime.

    I’m tempted to purchase a medium TMC Reef Sump Optimum to expand the water volume and so I can hopefully keep more than 3-4 fish. Corals will be easier to keep ones this time, with mainly zoas, softies and the odd LPS. Not sure on fish yet but thinking of different ones to before and maybe a six line wrasse. Would love some green chromis for the movement etc.

    Cheers
    melvis
     
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  2. melvis

    melvis Well-Known Member

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    Busy few days getting back into swing of things with the tank. Have managed to sort all the above points, except the heater controller - I'll save that until things are settled in the new house, in case a chiller is required etc.

    - as it stood earlier this week.

    - hood was grim and fans seriously clogged.

    - live rock before its power wash.

    - wiring was a mess.

    - tank was thoroughly cleaned, wet vacuumed and leak tested.

    - everything was treated to a vinegar bath before rinsing in RODI.

    - tidied underneath, although a few wires still to sort.

    - clean hood, with unclogged fans and Aquaray strips reattached.

    - the finished result! New hood trim that Red Sea sent me in March 2017 finally fitted lol, and boy does it make the tank look better than it did.

    Decided against the sump for now as the wife is softening on a larger tank so I'll save the cash for that later.

    40lbs of reef grade sand arrived yesterday, along with 8 new Salifert test kits. Going to work on aquascaping tonight and planning getting it all wet. Will then work out where I want the MP10 going, as that's why it's dangling down the side lol.

    Storing and mixing close to 130 litres of water is not going to be easy (and likely to take ages if I have to do it in stages) so I was thinking about mixing straight into the tank. I know this would usually kill the LR but as that's knackered already, I'm thinking it wouldn't be too bad?

    Only other concern is the live sand, would I be better off mixing the saltwater in the tank and then adding the sand?

    Have thoroughly enjoyed sorting it all out and it brought back all the memories of the initial set up. I think it looks great for an old tank (considering all the new Red Sea ones) and I'm seriously looking forward to restocking it - slowly this time and with a bit more thought when it comes to purchasing corals. No more impulse buys lol.

    Cheers
     
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    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
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  3. Pancho75

    Pancho75 Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward for your thread. Post some pics.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  4. melvis

    melvis Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Pancho, will do.

    Think I may have found another option for the initial water fill - natural sea water! There's a company in south London that'll supply it for £7.99 for 25 litres - so about £40 for 125 litres, minus whatever the delivery charge is. I'm going to get a quote and see and may ask about a regular monthly supply of 25 litres, that I hope to store half and do two weekly water changes.

    Levels are as follows:

    Salinity 1.024-1.026, Nitrates 0-0.9, Nitrite 0, Calcium 400-450ppm, Alkalinity 7.6-8.6dKH, Ammonia 0, PH 8.1-8.3, Magnesium 1250-1350ppm, Phosphate 0-0.04ppm, Silicate 0-0.1.
     
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  5. melvis

    melvis Well-Known Member

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    After another false dawn, months of builders sorting things out, I finally managed to get things moving on the tank again earlier this week. Have sorted a new aquascape that I think I'm happy with this time, the wife thinks it's good so I'll more than likely keep it lol. I took a hammer to the rock and found life a lot easier working with smaller bits than whopping great chunks that just never looked right.

    Some rewiring of the PSU for the LEDs was sorted last night and I've spent some time today looking at corals and livestock so I've got a more planned approach, rather than follow what happened last time with the 'oh, look, I'm at the LFS and XXX coral looks good, let's buy it and see'.

    Also placed an order for that NSW I was on about and should be here in next couple of weeks now. Have ordered an extra 25l so I can do a water change once the rocks have cured and the cycle is complete. It can be stored for a while so definitely looking at regular supply as opposed to making my own - and that's partly because the new house has a water meter and it ain't going to be cheap!!

    Excited to get it back up and running, even if things with tanks have moved on a bit since I first set it up in 2014.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
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  6. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    If you do all this to your live rock you will destroy all the life on it. A far better solution would be to use a large container, fill it with newly mixed sw, and give it plenty of circulation. Add your live rock. Let the entire thing cycle as if your setting up a new tank. In effect you are treating this like new live rock that just came from the ocean. This way you'll have fully seeded, cycled live rock and be good to go, with out all the work and without needing to start it from scratch.

    If you have a lot of time you can also keep the live rock in the water for an extended period until this nitrate level drops to 0. (note - I did say nitrate) This means that anaerobic bacteria, inside the rock, have reduced the nitrates. However this process can take a couple of months and is not strictly necessary.

    You will usually find that the rock will cycle quickly since there is already quite a bit of bacteria on it. I once had a tank completely crash, due to a power failure when I was away. The system was a stinking mess. However once I got the water circulating again, and all the big dead stuff removed, the system was ready for new livestock in less than a week. Note that this is fare less time than what your planning.

    Now if your still going to do the radical process like you mentioned, it can be greatly streamlined, and give as good results. Once your done with the bleach bath, soak the rock in tap water only for 2 days. Then change all the water, using tap water again and wait 2 days. Repeat this one more time and on this final bath, add a dechlorinator just to be safe. At that point your rock is ready to use, It is not necessary to let it dry. As you remove the rock so you can change the water, swish the rock around to remove any loose dirt. You need not get it 100% because the bleach will have rendered anything in there inert.
     
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  7. melvis

    melvis Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice Dave - as you may have seen I chose not to be so drastic and give the rocks a chance to come back to life.

    So much so, that I just had a long awaited delivery of my NSW so the tank is officially wet again!!!! Only problem is, the Vortech is clattering like mad and the return Red Sea pump started, stopped, started again and then nothing....I'd cleaned it all out and even just took it apart again but to no avail. I think that's the only equipment casualty I've had.

    On the hunt for a new pump now and not sure whether to go Red Sea again (but I can't seem to locate one here in the UK - can you help @RedSeaKev by any chance?).

    I thought of using my pump I used for mixing SW but the lead isn't long enough and won't fit in the rear sump. Maybe another make would be an option but I need something relatively quick - although the Vortech is creating enough circulation at present, but I do need to sort before I switch the skimmers back on in a week (at recommendation of NSW folk).

    Fairly chuffed but would have liked it all working, especially as it all was back in July when I cleaned it all and tested before refitting and doing cable management - which is now all undone lol!

    Cheers
     
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  8. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that SW is a very harsh environment for equipment, and very few things can stand up to in in the very long term. Replacing a couple of pumps is not doing bad at all. Also, you should be able to purchase parts in many cases.
     
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  9. melvis

    melvis Well-Known Member

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    Very true Dave and I you’re right, one pump in five years isn’t bad. The vortech is clattering a bit but I’m hoping that calms down after a while of running again...like when it was new.

    I did source a new Red Sea pump, part of an upgrade for the 130d so it’ll drop in without too much stress. Arrived overnight but will be installing tomorrow.

    Water has cleared up and all looks good, well chuffed.

    Not sure on fish yet as my first thoughts may not be good. I want something different to before and had considered a six line, torpedo goby and lemon peel angel plus maybe green chromis but reading info the goby needs about five of them as do the chromis and the six line would bully the goby too.
     
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  10. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    The key thing about stocking a smaller tank with fish is to choose each fish so that it really adds something to the tank. You want each fish to be a real gem, and ideally be out most of the time.

    Case in point. A lemonpeel angle is a nice fish, but it's basically just all yellow. Compare it to a flame angel, coral beauty angel, flameback angel or pygmy angel, which I think have much more interesting colors and patterns.

    Another thing is that to most people looking at your tank, an inexpensive fish looks just as exotic and unusual as a unusual or rare fish. Only another reef keeper is going to know the difference.
     
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