JRM’s Cade Reef 900 S2 Build


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I’ve been in the fish hobby for 35 some odd years, mostly fresh except for a short stint with salt about 20 years ago. We currently have about 40 freshwater fish tanks and Caridina shrimp tanks. We are adding a CADE 900 S2 LPS / Zoa tank to the fish room.

Below is a list of equipment and miscellaneous items that we are currently gathering. If at any time you see a potential issue throughout this thread, please don’t be afraid to speak up because I am no way experienced in reefing and would sincerely appreciate the feedback and guidance.


CADE Reef 900 S2
Sump: CADE
Stand: CADE
Stand Lighting: To be changed out in the future as the ones purchased I don’t really like and they stopped working shortly after being installed.
Lights: Neptune Sky
Lighting Mount: RMS XR30 Arm Mount
Powerheads: (2) RedSea ReefWave 25
Return Pump: Sicce Syncra SDC 6.0
Skimmer: Reef Octopus Classic 152-SS Protein Skimmer
Mechanical Filtration: ReefMat 500, not doing filter socks.
Heating: (1) 100W BRS Titanium & (1) 200W BRS Titanium controlled with Ink Birds.
Salt: Pro Reef Salt Mix - Tropic Marin but will change to Captiv8 after the Pro Reef is exhausted.
RO/DI: 7 Stage BRS 200 GPD
Automatic Feeder: The Plank Automatic Feeder

Miscellaneous Test Kits Etc:

MA887 Digital Seawater Refractometer
Copper: Hanna Copper High Range Colorimeter HI702
Alkalinity: Hanna Alkalinity DKH Colorimeter HI772
Nitrate Hanna Nitrate High Range Colorimeter HI782
Phosphate: Hanna Phosphate Ultra Low Range PPM Colorimeter HI774
Calcium: RedSea Calcium Pro Test Kit
Iodine, Potassium and Iron: RedSea Trace Colors Pro Multi Test Kit (I2,K,Fe)
Potassium: Salifert Potassium Aquarium Test Kit (Again)
Magnesium: Aquaforest Magnesium Test Kit
ICP: ATI ICP Test & Triton

Monitoring & Controllers: Trident/Apex systems (future purchase).


Live Rock:
KP Aquatics Live Rock, 80lbs base rock and 15lbs of premium rock. We will more than likely get more of the premium when it comes back in stock.
Sand: Carib Sea Special Grade, open to other options.
Fish: Who knows, mostly utilitarian.
Coral: Currently unknown.

Fish Room Before:

Fish Room Before:

New Equipment & Pawpaw's Little Helper:

Overall CADE Aquarium:

Sump (undercounter lights will be changed out):

Initial Leak Test:

I plan on updating this thread as we continue with the build and modifications to the fish room. As stated in the beginning if you have any suggestions or questions we are all ears.


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I‘ve been slacking on updating this thread but will try to get it done soon. Below are the fish we’re looking at getting and the cleanup crew. Just need to decide which to add first or all at once.

One spot foxface
Yellow Eye Kole Tang
Flame fin Tomni Tang
Yellow Tang Maybe
Blue lipped tang possibly
Copperband Butterfly or something similar.
Six line rasse
Midas Blenny
Mandarin Dragonet (Possibly a pair)

Clean Up Crew:
Trochus Snails
Emerald Crabs
Florida Ceriths
Nassarius Vibexs
Astraea Snails
Dwarf Ceriths
Nerite Snails
Turbo Snails


Premium Member
Gabe (middle son) and my grandsons came down for the New Year and we were able to get water to the fishroom and the RODI plumbed. We also set up the return pump, ReefMat, etc. When setting up the ReefMat we had a few obstacles (in our mind) to overcome. I've got to work on the wire management as it's a spaghetti mess.

1) We did not have the correct sized fitting to tie the flex hose into the main downflow. We ended up going to the big box and picking some misc. fittings to Frankenstein the conversion. Unfortunately all we could find were white fittings and I will end up changing it out in the future (maybe).

2) When we tied the flex hose in through the prefilter chamber we did not like the excess bends which looked like they would trap debris and water. In order to correct this we went to remove the the glass on the prefilter chamber that holds the filter sock without the correct tools and ended up breaking part of the sump. I ended up using silicone for a ugly patch which seems to be holding up ok for now.




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1/11/2023 We received our order of live rock from KP Aquatics and are very happy with what we received. There was only (1) box of the premium rock available when I went to purchase so ended up ordering 15 pounds of premium and 90 pounds of live base rock. To be honest to my uneducated eyes there looked to be maybe two or three pieces of what I would consider base rock. All of the rock had all colors of coralline algae, critters and other algae. One of the best things about it is when the lights start to dim and my wife starts getting excited to go critter hunting. I'm not sure if the red flashlight is the right tools or if we need to get a blue one.

The lights used were a Fluval 3.0 FW Plant so that we could white lighting for the photos. The rocks on the right are the premium type, the rest are the base type of rock.

These are base that we housed in the 40B water change storage.

I'll get better pictures of the final rock layout after my orange lens comes in for my phone camera but here's an idea of what it ended up at.

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Disclaimer: We have no clue about what we think came in on the rock so please don't think the list below is correct in anyway whatsoever as this is just a guess. Regardless if they're "good" or "bad" we are really enjoying the critter easter egg hunt for now.

1) Orange & Yellow Worms: Oenone Fulgida
2) Couple of crabs the size of your thumbnail.
3) Polyclad Flatworm
4) Digitate Hydroids
5) Bristle Worm
6) We're hearing audible clicking so we're thinking either Pistol or Mantis Shrimp.

Now, if you know what any of the below is please let us know!

Polyclad Flatworm?


Disregard the mess please, these are just for fun!




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1/15/2023 We've tested for ammonia / nitrites / nitrates for the past few days and have registered minimal ammonia if any at all and zero on the nitrites and nitrates. There has been some die off of the critters on the first day but it has been very minimal so we decided to try some zoa's and torches. They've been doing good, opening up and appear to be eating when fed. We've fed live baby brine shrimp, reef chili, AB+ and Arcti Pods. We did a heavy dose of AB+ to see what the flow was doing with the power heads @ 40% and it looked to be getting flow everywhere.

The test results haven't changed since the addition and feeding so we will continue on this path. Clean up crew is coming next week and we'll possibly add the fish or order them atleast.

There have been a few more heads open up since this picture and we picked up some bumble snails as hitchhikers.




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1/18/2023: Went to the LFS to get a sanity check on the test results we were getting and they were very close. We mess around with spawning FW fish and turn them in for credit at the LFS. Well we had a credit and we just so happen to have these empty media baskets that must have something in them. I truly think that I messed up by getting rubble and shells to put in them. Original thought was look at all that surface area for bacteria, pods etc. to grow on and reproduce. Second thought is that's going to be great place for food and things to decay in creating Nitrates and what not. Even Vashti our South African Boerboel is asking "What do you think you are you doing?" On a side note, the cable management still sucks.




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1/20 - Put in the Caribsea Special Grade sand which was a mess but cleared up after 34" of roller mat fleece. We did not wash it and if we were to do it again we'd wash it first.




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1/21 - The local club had a gathering at a LFS where we picked up a few more pieces. I have to work on my photo skills.
Couple of torches




Couple of Mushrooms


Alveo / Goni






We also hit a couple of other LFS' where picked up a few fish. No photos of the fish, they are still getting accustom to the tank and those buggers are fast.
Six - line rasse
Yellow Eye Kole Tang
Male Mandarin Goby


Premium Member
Turned down the power heads to 10% and it appears to be a good thing. The torches were being blasted and the fish were hiding. With the lower flow the fish have come out and the coral doesn’t look like their skin is being blasted off. May need to turn the directional output up a little more.

I’m too dense to figure out the coral acclimation setting on the light so we’ll do it manually.


Premium Member
Received the cleanup crew 1/25 and it was just in time as the algae was starting to come on pretty strong.

I’m enjoying the Fungia more than I thought I would. I find it fascinating to watch them eat and see how far they’ve moved around in the tank. I don’t recall which photo is of baby brine shrimp and which one is reef-roids but they’re both very interesting to me.


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Premium Member
1/29 Saltwater Test Results
Salinity: 1.026
Nitrate: 3.5
Phosphate: .11
Calcium: 350, little low
Alkalinity: 9.1 dKH
Magnesium:180 Very low, pretty sure I screwed this one up and need to double check.
Potassium: 410 ppm

Also tested other trace elements but couldn’t get accurate results. Sent off one ICP test to Triton & ATI and very curious to see what they come back with. When I bought these I wasn’t aware of reef labs and depending on turnaround time I may switch to them in the future.


Premium Member
3 Week Update, With being Iced in for a few days Michelle was able to take a few photos.

Overall Front:

Front Left:

Front Right:


Premium Member
We’re going to have to setup a QT tank. We bought a couple of colonies of zoas that came in with bubble algae and hair algae that our crabs, snails and fish won’t touch.

It’s completely our fault as we need to inspect better before buying, lesson learned.


Premium Member
Received the Triton ICP results over the weekend and everything was in range except for the below.

ElementNameAnalysisSetpointUnitWarning levelGroup
KPotassium372380 - 480mg/lyellowMacro-Elements
IIodine1130 - 90µg/lyellowI-Group

I'm waiting until I get the ATI results back on both the saltwater sample and RODI sample to see if it registers Iron as well before doing any thing about it. In saying that, I have no idea where the Fe is coming from but will try to manage it with a water change if it's a true issue.


Premium Member
Received the ATI results last night with the below out of range.

SymbolValueCalculated reference valueDifferenceResultActions
Minor elements
Silicon8.52 µg/l95.45 µg/l-86.93 µg/l
Iodine31.27 µg/l62.04 µg/l-30.77 µg/l
Manganeseu.0.95 µg/l-0.95 µg/l
Zincu.1.91 µg/l-1.91 µg/l

RODI sample came back all clear so I am going to ignore the Iron reading in the Triton test for now and let the tank settle some more before making any changes.

On a side note the medium Foxface has disappeared for about 5 days now. I’m hoping he miraculously reappears but I’m not holding my breath. I think he ate half a sheet of nori all by himself and may of had digestive issues from it.

There’s possibly a sniper hermit crab running around that took out one of the Astraea snails to upgrade his house. To be fair to the hermit crab it could have been one of many things in the tank that took the snail out.

The rest of the fish seem to be doing well with all of the corals opening up, extending and appear to be actively feeding.


Premium Member
Decided to pick up a few coralsalnog with a Foxface and Anthias on Saturday and that was a mistake on my end. The Foxface is holding his own for the most part but the Anthias dove straight into the rocks and was severely picked on. If we add anymore fish we’ll have to get an acclimation box which is what we should have done in the first place.

Tested the water on Sunday and nitrates looked ok with phosphates being a little, ended up performing a 30% water change.

Sent off a ICP test today to see what the parameters are after the recent water change.

The new corals are starting to adjust (if the crabs would stop crawling over them) and open up more everyday I’m really surprised at how much the torches in front have grown. They’re withdrawing now since the lights are dimming down but when they’re fully extended they’re about the size of a grapefruit.


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