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Antics

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Red Sea Reefer XL - 300 G2

  • Aquarium
    • 65 gallons - 36"L x 22.6"W x 22"H with 1/2" glass
  • Sump
    • 15 gallons - 18.7"L x 18.5"W x 13.5"H
  • Filtration
    • Red Sea ReefMat 500
  • Return Pump
    • EcoTech Marine Vectra S2
  • Powerheads
    • EcoTech Marine MP40mQD x2
  • Lighting
    • Ecotech Marine Radion XR15 G6 x2
  • Skimmer
    • Red Sea RSK 300
  • UV
    • Aqua Ultraviolet Classic - 57 Watt
  • ATO
    • Tunze Osmolator 3155
  • Controller
    • ApexEL w/ Leak Detection and AFS
  • Organization
    • Red Sea 60cm Slide-Out Control Panel
  • RODI
    • BRS 7 Stage w/ 200 GPD water saver
  • Rock
    • Marco Rock w/ two base pieces


Table of Contents

300xl_01.png



Introduction


I’ve finally begun a new build after tearing down my previous tank due to issues in my personal life. I’ve made the decision to go with a simple all-in-one set up instead of the custom route and I’m excited to enjoy a plug and play lifestyle again. I have owned three Red Sea tanks during my time in the hobby – including a C-250 Max, a Red Sea Max Nano, and a Red Sea Reefer 525XL that I never got around to setting up.

I had been contemplating setting up a new system for sometime and when my eye was caught by an announcement for the G2 Reefer tanks I decided to go ahead and place an order. I was torn between the 300 XL and a 425 XL and I went back and forth between the two options for a few days. Ultimately I decided it would be a more manageable system and purchase if I went with the 300 XL.

For me personally – I didn’t see a lot of value in the price increase from the 36” to 48” footprint. 800$ for 12” of length was excessive in my mind. Coupled with the need for additional lighting and flow I just didn’t feel the desire to go that route. However, I will concede that the additional length would have been very nice as far as the sump and additional filtration and space beneath the stand.

300xl_02.png


My previous build was a custom tank, a custom stand, my own equipment choices as far as sump, plumbing, overflow, etc. I really enjoyed the process and the sense of accomplishment with setting up that tank but it really was a nightmare as far as trying to get everything to come together while also achieving a quality that I was happy with. I remember the headaches of confirming the drilling template for the overflow, the back and forth over the tank design, bracing options, shipping delays, etc. I especially remember the time spent trying to design, order and build a custom aluminum stand.

With these frustrations in my memory, I was very pleased and excited to be able to order a kit and just build it and be prepared to add water. In total it took me a little over two hours to unpack the boxes, build the stand, lift the tank by myself, and get the plumbing and sump installed. It was so seamless and easy in comparison to a custom or bespoke route. I don’t know if I’ll ever willingly go back to a custom tank builder!

300xl_03.png
 
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Devaji

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nice! I just added the G2 300 to my RS line up.
man you lifted the tank by yourself? I know it's t not hat heavy but awkward in size. good on you brother mine is still in the garage been to busy to mess with it.

great list of equipment. why did you decision the 57W UV ? I am going with the 25 watt.

keep the updates coming!
 
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Antics

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Get a ReefMat!

Funnily enough, I actually had purchased a ReefMat 1200 because it was the only thing in stock. I opened it up and basically did a dry run to check the fit in such a small sump -- and it was tight. I could have made it work but I knew that it would negatively impact the system considerably due to it making me unlikely to ever work or do anything within the sump. I talked with the LFS that I purchased the 1200 from and they're in the process of letting me swap it out for a 500. Whenever it's in stock and they receive a shipment that is.

nice! I just added the G2 300 to my RS line up.
man you lifted the tank by yourself? I know it's t not hat heavy but awkward in size. good on you brother mine is still in the garage been to busy to mess with it.

great list of equipment. why did you decision the 57W UV ? I am going with the 25 watt.

keep the updates coming!

Good afternoon Devaji,

I did indeed lift the tank by myself! I really don't recommend it. The plate on the bottom that supports the bulkheads is quite the annoyance when you're trying to maneuver the tank into place. The foam pad that comes with the tank/stand also doesn't really allow for easy movement for maneuvering the tank or re-situating it on the stand. For me, I just lifted it and then slowly lined it up and set it down onto the stand from the back and then slowly walked the entire setup into place once I was finished. The downside to doing this was that I had to basically mess with all the leveling feet all over again!

For your question regarding the UV - I decided to go with the 57 watt in an attempt to have it as a maintenance tool for disease / parasites in the aquarium. I quarantine or buy all of my fish from a vendor like @tsmaquatics but for peace of mind I've plumbed the UV in line with the return pump. I wanted something oversized so I could still have a decent return flow rate while also having the UV in the effective range for protozoa. Did I achieve that? I'm honesty not sure. Aqua Ultraviolet's literature suggests that the 57 watt can achieve protozoan sterilization at 1066 gph. This seems wildly overestimated effectiveness from what I've read and even what Pentair suggests. Therefore I wanted to be a lot more conservative in my efforts and installed the 57 watt with the current GPH sitting around 350 GPH.

Great choice, I have the XL300 also.

I really enjoy the fit and form of the XL 300. I was worried about regretting not getting the 425XL but I believe I've made peace with the decision. I obviously appreciate the benefits of a larger aquarium -- but I also know that for my current situation and goals it wasn't really a priority or even a benefit in the now. I think when and if I decide to get a larger system it will shoot well past the 425XL and perhaps I'll end up purchasing one of the 200+ gallon IM or Red Sea tanks.
 
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Lavey29

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Funnily enough, I actually had purchased a ReefMat 1200 because it was the only thing in stock. I opened it up and basically did a dry run to check the fit in such a small sump -- and it was tight. I could have made it work but I knew that it would negatively impact the system considerably due to it making me unlikely to ever work or do anything within the sump. I talked with the LFS that I purchased the 1200 from and they're in the process of letting me swap it out for a 500. Whenever it's in stock and they receive a shipment that is.



Good afternoon Devaji,

I did indeed lift the tank by myself! I really don't recommend it. The plate on the bottom that supports the bulkheads is quite the annoyance when you're trying to maneuver the tank into place. The foam pad that comes with the tank/stand also doesn't really allow for easy movement for maneuvering the tank or re-situating it on the stand. For me, I just lifted it and then slowly lined it up and set it down onto the stand from the back and then slowly walked the entire setup into place once I was finished. The downside to doing this was that I had to basically mess with all the leveling feet all over again!

For your question regarding the UV - I decided to go with the 57 watt in an attempt to have it as a maintenance tool for disease / parasites in the aquarium. I quarantine or buy all of my fish from a vendor like @tsmaquatics but for peace of mind I've plumbed the UV in line with the return pump. I wanted something oversized so I could still have a decent return flow rate while also having the UV in the effective range for protozoa. Did I achieve that? I'm honesty not sure. Aqua Ultraviolet's literature suggests that the 57 watt can achieve protozoan sterilization at 1066 gph. This seems wildly overestimated effectiveness from what I've read and even what Pentair suggests. Therefore I wanted to be a lot more conservative in my efforts and installed the 57 watt with the current GPH sitting around 350 GPH.



I really enjoy the fit and form of the XL 300. I was worried about regretting not getting the 425XL but I believe I've made peace with the decision. I obviously appreciate the benefits of a larger aquarium -- but I also know that for my current situation and goals it wasn't really a priority or even a benefit in the now. I think when and if I decide to get a larger system it will shoot well past the 425XL and perhaps I'll end up purchasing one of the 200+ gallon IM or Red Sea tanks.
It looks like you are making great equipment decisions. I went with the M2 instead of S2 and also used MP40s and radions. I think the mobius app is a great tool.

20220619_144036.jpg
 
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Antics

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Equipment Selection and Returns


300xl_04.png


In the process of planning the build for this aquarium I made the decision to opt for Ecotech Marine’s XR 15 Radions. My previous two aquariums were primarily lit by an 8 bulb 48” ATI T5 fixture. For my own personal tastes – I love the blanket of flat light that you get from T5s. However, the goals and plans for this aquarium were extremely focused on ease of set up and aesthetics.

I’m tired of dealing with the headache from mounting T5 fixtures from the wall, ceiling or building a bespoke light stand that floats the fixture over the tank from the back of the aquarium stand. The LED mounts that attach to the aquarium glass are significantly cleaner looking and obviously easy and fast to install.

During the “customer appreciation” sale at BRS I purchased two of the Gen 5 Radion XR15’s. About a week after they were delivered the G6 Radions were announced. I did a little research on the differences or alluded benefits of the generation change and I decided to take BRS up on their 365 day return policy.

A funny aside – in the process of requesting the RMA to return my brand new and unopened lights I was informed by the customer service representative that there was an upgrade kit available for the G5 XR15’s and wanted to know if I was interested in that. I was a little shocked by the suggestion and I asked the rep if the upgrade kit cost $200 which he confirmed… it was rather amusing!

I don’t think there is a measurable or observable difference between the G5 and G6 Radions for a hobbyist. I ultimately made the decision to get the G6 due to the re-sale value down the road. I’m habitual about re-selling my equipment and I know that I’ve always been able to get $0.75 to $0.80 per dollar on MAP based items (within the generation that is most current). This was the only reason for the hassle in returning and repurchasing the lights. I really am disappointed that BRS would liquidate stock while passing it off as a “customer appreciate sale”.

300xl_05.png



UV Sterilizer


I mentioned this in an earlier reply but I'm going to include a section on the UV sterilizer and the thought process behind the wattage and design choice for the Table of Contents for future readers.

I’ve always been very strict with the quarantine protocol for my own fish and I’ve spent years working through TTM, Copper, and the new Hybrid TTM. I’ve also begun to use quarantine specific vendors but I personally buy fish exclusively from TSM Aquatics for my aquarium.

However – like everything in this hobby I think it’s always best to build in redundancy or plan for the worst case scenario. I know that my living situation and space constraints mean that there will be no “fallow” period should Ich end up finding a way into my display. With that in mind I knew that I was going to try and aim for a tool to help achieve a maintenance level of managing Ich should it occur.

I decided to go with Aquaultraviolet instead of Pentair for this aquarium due to the size and wattage available for the smaller footprint I am working with. I also am highly skeptical of Aquaultraviolet’s literature for suggested sterilization for saltwater tanks being 1066 GPH. I purchased an S2 and throttled it back to 50%. After head and running through the UV I’m estimating that my current flow rate is between 350-400 GPH on a 57 watt UV. Will this allow for long enough exposure to deal with Protozoan parasites? I honestly don't know!

300xl_08.png


My previous aquarium was around 180 gallons and measured 48 x 36 x 24 and I ended up adding an 80 watt Pentair UV sterilizer once I had already completed most of the work for setting up the aquarium. I really liked the power of the sterilizer and I thought it was a great unit of substantial quality. Unfortunately I was rather lazy when it came to implementation and I did not want to spend the time to re-do all of my plumbing to incorporate the UV to function as an inline system that all the return water was fed through.

Knowing the regrets and frustrations I experienced with that implementation I went ahead and committed early on to plumbing this UV inline with the return and finding a mounting solution that would be a happy middle ground for aesthetic appeal and ease of access or maintenance.

Initially I had planned to hard plumb the input and output of the UV in order to maximize the overall look of the area underneath the aquarium. However, after playing with the mounting clips and trying this and that for a couple hours I had to accept that there just wasn’t enough room for me to hard plumb the output without cutting the prefab’d return line from Red Sea. For me – that just wasn’t going to be worth the effort. I convinced myself that a nice gentle loop of flex tubing would be fine and it would also isolate any remaining noise and/or vibration from the return.

The photo doesn’t really show the angle of the bend from the output to the return barb but its very smooth and gradual with no kink or narrowing of the flex tubing. I honestly am very happy with how it turned out and after having to measure, mount, unmount, and fiddle with the UV about three dozen times in the process of getting to this point… I can safely say that maintenance of the quartz sleeve and UV bulb will be an absolute breeze with no leaking or spillage to deal with.
 

ScubaFish802

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Are the two wood pieces on the right side for a controller board?
If so, I was going to ask where you found them, as they match very well. I am beginning to figure out how I will manage mine.

Looks good so far, following along
 
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I'm only choosing to run a ReefMat 500 on my 750XXL, so I think waiting to swap out the 1200 for the 500 is a great choice.

I'm very excited to install it! I heard from the LFS that I did the swap with that the 500 is estimated to be shipped/delivered in two weeks so I'm a little excited for that. I think I'll need to start adding more fish or at this rate my skimmer will have absolutely nothing to do.

It looks like you are making great equipment decisions. I went with the M2 instead of S2 and also used MP40s and radions. I think the mobius app is a great tool.

20220619_144036.jpg

I think Mobius could be great but I'm not really planning to use it regularly. I don't like the difficulty I've had with it on some of my MP40's in the past as far as needing to power cycle the devices to get them to update / show as online. I'm hopefully that Ecotech continues to improve their cloud services.

One thing to also consider depending on your fish stocking choices may be a Clearview custom fit screened top

20220619_144247.jpg

I have placed an order for a lid on Monday -- I think the website is listing lead times as 40+ days but I'm hopeful that it comes a little sooner. I've ordered three lids now from Clearview and I think they've all been late... but its been a couple years at this point. Maybe its better now.

You can also fit a nice 10g Banshee ATO in the cabinet so over a weeks worth of top off to.

Right now I'm using a five gallon "food grade" bucket from Home Depot. I'm probably going to have a custom ATO container made down the road but I'm not sure if I'm going to try and tuck it inside the stand or if I'll get a narrow one to slide behind the tank. I'll have to check the cost vs volume of doing something like that because I'm sure a standard 10 gallon ATO container will be quicker / cheaper. My last tank I just used a 32 gallon brute. :rolling-on-the-floor-laughing:

Beautiful custom looking install

Thanks! I'm hoping that I can continue to keep it clean and organized going forward.

Just got my Clear view lid for my 425XL.....

Looks awesome! :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:

Are the two wood pieces on the right side for a controller board?
If so, I was going to ask where you found them, as they match very well. I am beginning to figure out how I will manage mine.

Looks good so far, following along

Hi @802ScubaFish! You're right the wood on the right side is actually a controller board made by Red Sea. The version I'm using is the 60 cm control panel. Your LFS should be able to order one if you prefer to support local. Here a link via BRS.

The "Slide Out Control Panel" includes everything you'll need including a drilling template.
 
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Equipment Selection - Part 2

I’m certain that the most time-consuming part of the setup was working with the plumbing for the UV sterilizer while also trying to make sure there was enough room for access with the protein skimmer and the ReefMat. After unboxing the Red Sea ReefMat 1200 I quickly figured out that it was not going to be an option for this size setup. It fit within the stand and sump just fine but it would have made all maintenance going forward a nightmare. I am in the process of exchanging it for a 500 whenever they are back in stock.

On the topic of sump filtration I think I will take a little time to talk about the Red Sea RSK 300. I think I’m an individual that has rather considerable brand loyalty – especially within this hobby/industry. I almost exclusively use Royal Exclusive’s Bubble King skimmers for all of my aquariums. However, I was concerned that I simply would not be able to get consistent foam and skimmate production from a Bubble King due to the small size of the Reefer XL 300 G2 and the aggressive filtration via the ReefMat.

300xl_09.png


After speaking with my LFS and checking reviews and posts around the internet I decided that I would give the RSK 300 a chance. I will say that I did like the standard features as far as the drain hose and the window / built in neck cleaner. But I can’t look past the noise that this skimmer generates. In my initial research I did notice quite a number of opinions / reviews talking about the noise. I had originally thought this was in reference to the AC vs DC pump. My personal experience points to the pump being absolutely silent and the air intake/silencer being extremely loud in comparison to pretty much everything else in my sump.

There is a bit of hyperbole and exaggeration here but the muffler on this skimmer is by far louder than both the filter socks and the return pump. The hum is reminiscent of a hair dryer being used in the bathroom on the other side of the house! I will definitely be taking this skimmer out and replacing it with something a little quieter. I will say that the foam and versatility of this skimmer was great. It’s probably not even that loud for most applications but its by far the loudest thing on my tank.
 

blaxsun

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I'm very excited to install it! I heard from the LFS that I did the swap with that the 500 is estimated to be shipped/delivered in two weeks so I'm a little excited for that. I think I'll need to start adding more fish or at this rate my skimmer will have absolutely nothing to do.
You'll love it - your tank will never run quieter and look cleaner!
 

ScubaFish802

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Hi @802ScubaFish! You're right the wood on the right side is actually a controller board made by Red Sea. The version I'm using is the 60 cm control panel. Your LFS should be able to order one if you prefer to support local. Here a link via BRS.

The "Slide Out Control Panel" includes everything you'll need including a drilling template.
Sorry, last question so I'm not hijacking your thread :grinning-face-with-sweat: Your 60cm version rolls out over the door hinges right?
(Trying to sort out if I can fit the larger 60 version in a RS 250 cabinet, the 25cm version is such a large step down)
 
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Sorry, last question so I'm not hijacking your thread :grinning-face-with-sweat: Your 60cm version rolls out over the door hinges right?
(Trying to sort out if I can fit the larger 60 version in a RS 250 cabinet, the 25cm version is such a large step down)


Hi Scuba,

Unforuntately the 60cm version isn't compatible with the Reefer 250. However... you might be able to install two of the 25 cm version?

Here is the chart provided by Red Sea

1656160724827.png


You'll love it - your tank will never run quieter and look cleaner!

The latest update I've received is that it will be here within two weeks!
 
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Aquascaping


The aquascape for this aquarium was a little challenging for me. It's been about eight years since I've had an aquarium shorter than four feet in length which made it a little hard for me to conceputalize how I wanted the aquascape to turn out. I think it was also difficult for me to give up on using Pukani. I've used it for every aquarium I've done and I just always seem to be battling the fallout of leeching organics indefinitely. Maybe I'm just too impatient for prepping it in a reef tank. :thinking-face:

I ended up ordering way too much Marco Rock and that was kind of hilarious in retrospect. I made the pound justifications by telling myself I needed to order a little extra to allow for some variance in the rock selection(s)... somehow completely forgetting that I was obviously going to be taking a hammer to the vast majority of the rocks in an attempt to work on an NSA design like my last tank. I was luckily able to secure some of the Marco foundation pieces locally. I wasn't too thrilled about the idea of ordering those pieces online due to reviews concerning the size and breakage that was occurring during transit.

300xl_06.png


Originally I had planned to just have one piece of rock in the aquarium and I wanted to do a variety of floating ledges with only one contact point on the bottom glass. But in practice it just didn't seem like a good idea for the fish that would inevitably be stressed out with little to no places to hide and sleep. Generally speaking I don't enjoy aquascaping at all. I try to work at it in slow small increments over the course of a few days gluing up a piece here and there and letting it kind of organically sprawl into a design that I enjoy.

I don't think it's fair to say that there is any plan or design for how my aquascapes turn out. There is an initial / general concept of what I think I'd want but it never goes anywhere and I don't make any attempt to achieve that design idea in practice. Instead -- I just focus on the rocks in my hand and try to find easy ways to connect them while also trying to build in adequate support.

The picture above is probably 30 different pieces of Marco Rock glued and then sanded over the course of a few days. The foundation piece on the bottom left was a nice find and it had a good amount of weight which actually allowed it to easily hold all of the weight behind and to the right. This angle doesn't do a very good job of showing the ledges -- but I ended up adding another piece to the bottom glass just to add a little more space for fish to tuck up in.

300xl_07.png


The one piece that was originally in the aquarium just didn't look right to me. I asked my brother and he kind of felt like it wasn't quite right either. I'm not sure if it was because the aquarium is barebottom or what. I ended up using a second foundation piece and building a more tower shaped pieces to add a little height to the aquascape. I'd love for this tank to eventually be SPS dominant but I'm honestly terrible about ever moving my tanks past the FOWLR stage of a build.

The second tower really added some depth and elevation to the overall design and I'm glad that I spent the extra time trying to make it work. I'm not sure how well it will add to the coral hardscape down the road but I think I designed it in mind for future potential shadowing and flow issues.

I'm glad I spent a little extra time hooking up my keyboard blower and clearing out the excess sand / rock powder that was used in my joints and seam blending! Even after blowing SUBSTANTIAL amounts of loose rock dust out from the aquascape I still had a fairly considerable amount in the bottom of the tank after it was filled and flow was introduced.

300xl_10.png


Ultimately I think the aquascape turned out fine and I was able to successfully commit to going bare bottom for this aquarium. I think it will be a lot more successful in the long term because I tend to always hate my sand a year in compared to hating the bare bottom look at the onset of a build. I'm hopefully going to add coral to this thing eventually... so with that in mind lets hope that the rock eventually isn't the focal or highlight of the tank!

300xl_11.png
 
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