Just as I managed to organise a replacement heater for the one that failed a few weeks ago (thank you D-D Aquarium Solution for the excellent support) something else has broken in my tank. 😕
I decided that it was about time that I gave the random flow generator a clean, it had built up a layer of coralline algae as all things tend to do in a reef tank with lighting. I assumed this was probably detrimental to the flow rate, I clean my powerheads regularly so why not the RFG? I pulled the unit off the return pipework but before I could even place it in some citric acid a bit fell off. My first thought was that one of the RFG had popped off the Loc Line but no, it had completely broken off along the lower portion. I went ahead and cleaned the unit anyway and then discovered that the other side had split too. Does acrylic become brittle over time in saltwater? Surely a bit of coralline can't be stronger than acrylic?? I didn't drop it or treat it harshly so I'm not quite sure what to make of it to be honest.
Once the tank had been filled and the return pump fired up the X-filter was switched on. I waited for the flushing noise to subside fully expecting it to take a whole day of adjustment. For a while I really did think that I'd set the pipes up wrong or fitted the X-filter incorrectly because the gushing noise was deafening but a simple tweak of the gate valve and all became silent. OMG the gate valve is fabulous!! Naturally there wasn't much happening with the X-filter at that point as I needed to wait for the water level inside to rise before seeing some action.
When I got up the next day eager to admire my newly running tank there was a glaring problem with the outflow pipe. When I had fitted the pipe it did seem a bit loose but I thought it must be just normal but when the return pump is switched on the force of the water makes the pipe sag down resulting in a rather fine sand storm. I decided that a washer must be needed so I ordered one online but when it was fitted it didn't help matters at all, the outflow pipe was now pointing upwards and out of the tank. I had never read of an issue like this being posted on UltimateReef (or anywhere else) so thought that maybe it was just me being an idiot. Perhaps I was being overly cautious screwing in the pipe in place, I must admit I was kinda worried about cracking the glass so I got my husband to try but no joy either. We both agreed that the outflow pipe was useless with or without the new washer. We had water spraying out of the tank at one point, lol. It's a pity I didn't have a camera recording at the time as I'm sure you all would have found it quite amusing. I however did not! Anyway in desperation I went out to the garage and rummaged around in the old pipework fittings box and incredibly I found another seal from an old bulkhead fitting, it's not an exact size but it was the correct width AND it fitted. Finally I can get the water circulating through the sump but, oh what a faff!! Maybe I should have gone with the Red Sea Reefer after all..... An e-mail from D-D later informed me that an o-ring should have been supplied with the tank.
Now that the outflow pipe was secured I wanted to try fitting a random flow generator to it. I had ordered the Innovitech RFG at the same time as the X-filter but when I saw it in person it looked huge, the family thought it looked ugly and also.... wait for it..... it wouldn't fit, lol (I wasn't doing very well there was I, in my defence I did ask before placing the order but Reefolution didn't know if it fitted either). The RFG fits on to a 25mm outlet but the Reef-pros are 20mm. The RS Reefer 170 has 25mm pipe but the D-D 1200 which is double the size has just 20mm, why? Anyway I didn't like to be defeated so I set to finding how to connect this ugly duckling to the outflow pipe. There turned out to be a few ways to connect it and this is the option I went for. I removed the duckbill and lower 90 degree bend and fitted a 1/2 inch 90 degree threaded elbow with a 20mm to 1/2 inch male adaptor, the RFG now simply slips on the outside of the male adaptor. It is not exactly low profile but it's as low as I could get it. I hadn't fully decided whether to keep it in place or not but once the tank was actually running it didn't stand out quite as much as I'd initially feared (I can't speak for rest of the family) perhaps it will turn into a swan? I do feel it's more suited to larger tanks (update: since then I've learnt to live with it).
Hi, my name is Lisa and I live in Derby, UK. I am a self-confessed reefaholic!