"Giant Mini Fridge" - Red Sea E-170

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by revnull, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. revnull

    revnull Supporting Member

    First, I'd like to extend a big thanks to @scuzy who posted the craigslist for the tank liquidation. The deal I got on the E-170 was too good to pass up (yeah, I just needed an excuse). The seller, Jason, was very accommodating and assured me that if there were any issues, he would "make it right".

    Jason delivered the tank to my office and helped my load it into my car.

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    When my wife and I got it unloaded and placed it's temporary home in the living room, the first thing out of her mouth was, "It looks kinda like a giant mini fridge."

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    Now for the game plan. I have none. :) I'm fully open to suggestions. My wife has asked me to get the "other tank" out of the living room ASAP. That gives me a short runway to get things started. I will most likely have to start using the rear sump and later convert to the in-stand sump kit. Also not sure if I should keep the AI Hydra 26 or stick with Kessil. While the integrated power center is a cool idea, I'm probably going to remove it in favor of my Apex.

    Can any current Red Sea tank owners please chime in with how your leveled your tank? Mine came with non adjustable "feet" (dense nylon I assume). 3 on the left and right, 2 on the front and back. I feel like I should remove the feet and shim the cabinet.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
    Ranjib Dey likes this.
  2. RandyC

    RandyC Guest

    I got lucky....my floors are level and my reefer 250 was dead-on level when I installed it. I did use those felt furniture pads/circles and stuck them to the bottom of feet so the plastic/nylon feet didn't scratch my hardwood floors. Don't think that really helped though with leveling.
     
  3. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Does it need leveling? I also didn't need to level mine.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. revnull

    revnull Supporting Member

    I think I read somewhere that the pad in between the cabinet and the tank is supposed to help level the tank. Not sure I buy it though. I'm missing 2 of the 10 feet and have not been able to find suitable replacement in the local hardware stores.
     
    Newjack likes this.
  5. revnull

    revnull Supporting Member

    Not sure it "needs" to leveled as it's not in its final resting place yet. Since my floor is on a raised foundation and we have laminate flooring, it a good bet I will have to level the tank at least a little. i'm still in the planning phase and this thing is too heavy to move by myself, I'l like to make sure I can learn from others experiences before I commit to adding water.
     
  6. Edgar Sandoval

    Edgar Sandoval Supporting Member

    I have carpet and it was really difficult to level it. I leveled it with no water and when I added the water I almost cried. Had to remove and add water twice


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. revnull

    revnull Supporting Member

    @Edgar Sandoval, can you detail how you leveled yours? Did you remove the stock feet? Thanks!
     
  8. Bruce Spiegelman

    Bruce Spiegelman Supporting Member

    Interesting story about leveling....

    When I set-up my Innovate Marine 120 it was off by about 3/8 of an inch from one side to another -- six foot length. So I spent quite a bit of time talking to a structural engineer that just happened to be working on the property I manage. He looked at it and recommended that I not shim it. He said that if I shim one side, while it will level the tank, it'll create a place of structural weakness under the stand that could cause more issues in the long run. Now this is a 6 foot tank so shimming is a different story.

    I wasn't completely satisfied with that answer as I'd always been told it must be level or the water pressure will exert undue influence on a small section of the glass and could cause a rupture. So I called a college buddy of mine who is a physics professor at the Univ. of Texas and asked his thoughts. He said the "pressure" issue was basically bullshit. That water exerts pressure equally all around and not at a single point. In other words, that portion of the tank wouldn't get appreciably more pressure than any other part of the glass and as long as it's supported well should be fine. Then I started in explaining the math and I hung up on him. He always was a pain in the ass even in college.

    So the tank is 3/8 off and it's been fine so far. If these guys are wrong I'll let you know when it bursts.
     
  9. Edgar Sandoval

    Edgar Sandoval Supporting Member

    I used heavy duty plastic shims. I didn't remove
    The stock feet. Fill up the tank halfway and you should be able to see how many shims you will need.


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  10. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    I don't think leveling it is as important as the top of the stand being flat. If there is a high point such as a nail head or something sticking up or if one of the corners of the stand is lower or higher than the others then it will create stress on that part of the glass. I think if it's out of level but flat then there's not much of a problem.
     
  11. revnull

    revnull Supporting Member

    Decided to use the stock feet. 2 were missing from the original stand, but the seller was able to find them and mailed them to me.

    After filling with RO/DI water, everything looks level.

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    I let the water to cycle for 24hrs and low and behold... LEVEL!

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    One small hitch, not a show stopper, just something I found when filling the tank.

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    Using a glass block to align the skimmer seems like a bad idea.

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    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  12. Calde0920

    Calde0920 Guest

    Tank looks nice
     
  13. revnull

    revnull Supporting Member

    Thanks! At this point I'm still conflicted with what to do about the sump. As I look at it more, the Red Sea sump seems limited in its design. I've been looking at Trigger Systems and Eshopps cube sumps. The total cost of the plumbing kit and 3rd party sump is the only thing slowing me down. Red Sea sump and plumbing is ~$300, plumbing and 3rd party is closer to ~$500. Is anyone using a 3rd party sump with their Red Sea system?

    On a separate topic, sand... I'm very tempted to go with black sand with this build. I know it cuts down reflective light, but I'm not sure I care. :) I think it looks cool. Aside from potentially reduced PAR, are there any other drawbacks?
     
  14. Calde0920

    Calde0920 Guest

    I have a red sea max 250 that is set up and cycled but I will be adding an overflow box and either have my buddy build me an acrylic one or use a 20 long for a sump
     
  15. revnull

    revnull Supporting Member

    Well, 6 months later and only a small amount of progress. I opted to use the Red Sea sump kit.
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    Not surprisingly, it's very well built with a foam pad on the bottom to help dampen vibration.
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    After draining the back chamber, I removed the plugs in the bottom glass and installed the stand pipes from the included plumbing kit. Everything seemed to ratchet click tightly into place and seal nicely.
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    Once everything was plumbed it was time for the leak test. (Can you spot the problem?)
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    Yes, a slow drip from the return line coupling. I tried resealing it with gobs of plumbers tape and putty, but the damn thing still leaked. I wrapped the return coupling with towels and let it run for a few more hours to make sure nothing else leaked. Both primary and emergency overflow of the herbie worked as expected. Everything was solid except that damn return line.
    Luckily, Red Sea has great customer service. A quick email with pictures and a week later I had a replacement in my hand. Everything installed and leak tested again, no drips.

    One lesson learned from my time under the cabinet, I need more light. I found a set of 3 LED light strips at Ikea. They are meant to daisy chain together, male to female end to end, but the cabinet dimensions would not allow proper installation.

    After removing them from their plastic casing, I was able to de-solder the male connector and add lead wires in it's place.
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    A little solder and heat shrink tubing later I had a much more flexible configuration.
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    Since the outer ends would have been left wide open, I 3D printed caps to close things off. I know this solution is not 100% water tight, but it's mostly splash resistant.
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    Since my 11 year old daughter is working on her geometry, I decided to take advantage and asked her to make me a mounting template.
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    After a quick dry fit:
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    I double sided taped everything and removed the template:
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    Let there be light!
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    Since I rushed to get everything in place for use with the sump, I opted to use an old Eheim 1260 pump for my return. It was almost a perfect fit for the return chamber, but caused significant "hum" in the cabinet. Following a tip from one of the many BRS videos, I found a silicon mat at Target. After cutting to shape, I zip tied it to the pump and it greatly reduced the vibration hum.
    [​IMG]

    While my legacy equipment pump and skimmer will work, I would love suggestions for more contemporary alternatives. I'm also struggling with what to do for rock work. I'm thinking of buys a box of dry rock and trying my hand and glued/puttied structures. Does anyone have a suggestion as to how many LBs of dry rock I would need to start?
     
  16. revnull

    revnull Supporting Member

    The Setup so far:

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    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  17. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    Hey look, an ER skimmer!!
     
    ashburn2k likes this.
  18. revnull

    revnull Supporting Member

    Yep, still kicking after 13 years. Had to replace the needle wheel twice because of a bloated magnet. :)

    I stopped by Neptune today to look at the new hot skimmers, but not entirely sure what to look for in a modern skimmer. The total water volume for this system is ~55gal. Recommendations for a solid skimmer to last the next 13 years?
     
  19. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    You got a nice skimmer there, will handle that tank like a champ!
     
  20. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Does Neptune sell the hot new skimmers?

    I think the "hot" thing is DC pumps mostly, they come on a number of skimmers from the super affordable "Simplicity" brand to the very expensive Royal Exclusiv brand.
     

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