The Long Awaited Journey into the Dark Side - RSM 250

Discussion in 'RSM Red Sea Max tanks' started by koganm, 5 Feb 2019.

  1. koganm

    koganm

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    Hi All,

    I have always admired reef tanks from the Light Side (I assume that that's what the reefers refer to Freshwater guys as... Since they refer to Reefing as the "Dark Side" :m12:) but was always discouraged as I thought that the maintenance and start up costs would overtake what I could handle. I supposed that much of it was due to my high tech planted tank, which became a burden due all the water changes, ferts, and and and... Eventually ended up shutting down that tank after my First kid was born.

    She is now 5, and loves Finding Nemo, so guess what she wanted??? Took this as an opportunity to try my hand at the Darkside and I must say, it has been awesome thus far. Best part of the hobby is the support from most of the guys and gals that I have met.

    I saw this specific RSM250 at an excellent price and thought that this would be the perfect starter tank for my Daughter and I. Unfortunately due to work, family and studies, I could not dedicate enough of my time to start the tank up sooner, but this changed over the weekend (after 7 months) and I managed to fill her up.

    All of the reading points to patience being the vehicle to success in this hobby, so patients I will have :banghead::banghead::banghead:, or try to atleast.

    I had to fix the lighting up, luckily for me, I consider myself a DIY guy and managed to sort the disaster of wiring in the hood. I also made a few changes as detailed below:
    1. Inserted an airflow valve to the skimmer as I read and later discovered that the stock airflow would prove to be a task when emptying out the collection cup.
    2. Changed the airflow from the light cooling fans. All four of them were blowing out of the hood and I decided to change it such that the fans on the right side blow cool air into the hood and the fans on the left blow the warm air out. Will monitor to see how big of a difference this makes.
    3. Changed the direction of airflow on the cooling fans at the back of tank to blow into the tank as opposed to out. I read on a post that this helps cooling of the tank since the tank runs hot due to the lights. It also prolongs the life of the fan since the salt water does not get in contact with the fan itself.

    So whats in the tank???
    -
    Stock RSM250 return pumps, skimmer, heater and lighting.
    - All Dry Rock (Its a mixture of Rock, some heavy, some light that seem to break easily). I bleached the rocks for about a week and rinsed for about three.
    - removed the ceramic rings that came with the tank and replaced it with matrix.
    - a mixture of Aragonite, some that came with the tank and some Red Sea Reef base Pink.

    To Do List:
    -
    Install an ATU (I have the float switches and 12vdc pump. Just need to put it together)
    - Secure the loose rocks on the scape.
    - Install the chiller (Also have this).
    - Build an LED light unit (I have the LED's, drivers, TC421 controller (thank to Fraser and JP from AskCgs Group) just awaiting some 90 degree lenses and time :m14:)
    - As a long term project, a tank controller based on the RaspberryPi/Arduino. I see that guys at ReefPi have built an open source controller so I might start of with their design.

    Enough of the blabbering, following are the pics as of last night, 2 Days old now.

    *** EDIT, Tried to change the Subject but couldn't figure out how to. Should be "The Long Awaited Journey into the Dark Side :m85:" ***

    Before the clean.

    20190118_094015_zpswrkbvdsn.jpg

    After the clean

    20190118_140015_zps8pyraodp.jpg

    Pictured Last night (04 Fe 2019)

    DSC_0184_2_zpsyohdlbmw.jpg

    DSC_0185_2_zpsupolwfj6.jpg

    DSC_0186_2_zpsa8gaw6hj.jpg

    DSC_0187_2_zpswjyjd0ay.jpg

    Would not have gone out and bought this, but it came with the tank and decided to give it shot. No Livestock will be put in until the full cycle has been completed. Will wait as long as I need to with testing in between. Not the best background for bokeh, I know:m13:

    DSC_0193_2_zpsolgluezp.jpg

    N.B, any and all critique is more than welcome.

    Thanks for Reading
    K
     
    Last edited: 5 Feb 2019
    noobsw likes this.
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  3. OP
    koganm

    koganm

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    The water cleared up nicely last night. Did some tests as well with the results below:
    Ammonia : 0.8
    Nitrites : 0.1
    Nitrates : 10
    salinity: 1.026

    Whats your opinion on running a skimmer during cycling???

    Being a noob to reefing a switched on the skimmer from day one. It produced some skim waste while the water was cloudy but now, the bubbles do not reach the as high as it did. So I have a theory, which might be rubbish, but based on my observations, I don't think that its actually necessary to run the skimmer during the cycle period because there simply isn't anything in the water column for it to skim.

    Anyway, some pics of the now cleared up tank.

    DSC_0202_2_zps6pu2s0xt.jpg

    DSC_0203_2_zpsr4zf3rht.jpg
     
  4. Vijay

    Vijay

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    I’m not the best guy to give advice, however I did run my skimmer during cycling, I followed the guidelines of red seas reef mature starter kit. My tanks doing well, been running for over a month now, last week I added 2 hermits and 2 snails, they seem to be doin well.
     
  5. Quintonv

    Quintonv

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    Welcome to the salty side!!

    My 10c is do not start with the skimmer on, due to you starting the tank with dead rock(base rock) you need bacteria to colonize the tank.
    Week 2 i normaaly turn the skimmer on. thats also the first time i do a water change in the tank.

    You can try kick start the bacteria by adding a prawn to the tank....just remember to take it out
     
  6. SFlow

    SFlow

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    I agree with not turning the skimmer on for the first week or two of the cycling process. It actually skims out some of the bacteria, especially if you are intentionally introducing bacteria via some product, and it removes potential food sources for the bacteria as it is starting out.
     
  7. OP
    koganm

    koganm

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    Thanks for the Feedback guys.

    I think I will switch the skimmer off tonight as my skimmer is not skimming anyway.

    With regards to water changes, shouldn't one wait for the ammonia and nitrate levels to drop first??? This is way, you allow the bacteria to fully colonize (same principle as the skimmer argument, my view anyway) or am I totally wrong?
     
  8. OP
    koganm

    koganm

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    Thx for the welcome @Quintonv
     
  9. hotdog83

    hotdog83 Clone Fish Moderator

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    Yes, wait for cycle to finish. There isn’t much bacteria in the water column itself, so a water change in itself won’t cause another cycle. But the ammonia and nitrite is in the water, so don’t do a water change until both reads zero.
     
  10. OP
    koganm

    koganm

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    cool, thanks for the confirmation.
     
  11. OP
    koganm

    koganm

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    9 Days in, and the tank is trotting along with the cycle well on its ways. Tests done last night with parameters listed below:
    Temp:28
    pH: 8.2
    Ammonia: 0.2
    Nitrite: 1
    Nitrate: 50
    Salinity: 1.026

    Will be wiring up the ATU this weekend.
     

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