FINALLY - Red Sea Reefer 350 Slow Build

J_anderson_75

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Figured I'd add a build thread and document my first big-ish build. Red Sea Reefer 350. I currently have an Evo 13.5 nano that's been up for a little over a year and a half and I can probably say that's the little tank that got me hooked on reef tanks. Prior to that, I've been mainly a freshwater guy with one or two fish only saltwater tanks over the past 30-40 years. I'll try to keep lots of pics and updates as things progress.

With that said, yesterday I finally started my build. Putting it where my little Evo was and moving the Evo to the bedroom. Still haven't decided if I'm going to keep the Evo running or not yet. I've been struggling with my parameters in the little tank and I'm not sure I want to keep messing with it once the 350 is up and running.

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Where my tank lived while we were getting our house painted.

Red Sea Reefer 350.jpg


Some random pics as I built the stand.

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My helper already wore out!

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Right here I'm asking myself, "what the heck was I thinking??!!"

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Today, I have to finish putting it together. I have some LED lights for inside the stand to install as well as an 8 plug power strip. Still have to pick up my lights (probably a pair of AI Prime 16hd's...maybe three??). Then, sand, rock and water...or something like that!

Probably won't add any scape or water until next week. Like the title says, it's going to be a slow build. One thing I've learned in this hobby is patience! 20210217_133630.jpg
 
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HD_Reefer

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Figured I'd add a build thread and document my first big-ish build. Red Sea Reefer 350. I currently have an Evo 13.5 nano that's been up for a little over a year and a half and I can probably say that's the little tank that got me hooked on reef tanks. Prior to that, I've been mainly a freshwater guy with one or two fish only saltwater tanks over the past 30-40 years. I'll try to keep lots of pics and updates as things progress.

With that said, yesterday I finally started my build. Putting it where my little Evo was and moving the Evo to the bedroom. Still haven't decided if I'm going to keep the Evo running or not yet. I've been struggling with my parameters in the little tank and I'm not sure I want to keep messing with it once the 350 is up and running.

20210113_121312.jpg


Where my tank lived while we were getting our house painted.

Red Sea Reefer 350.jpg


Some random pics as I built the stand.

20210217_082300.jpg


My helper already wore out!

20210217_083918.jpg




20210217_085611.jpg


Right here I'm asking myself, "what the heck was I thinking??!!"

20210217_090140.jpg




20210217_101831.jpg




20210217_133607.jpg




Today, I have to finish putting it together. I have some LED lights for inside the stand to install as well as an 8 plug power strip. Still have to pick up my lights (probably a pair of AI Prime 16hd's...maybe three??). Then, sand, rock and water...or something like that!

Probably won't add any scape or water until next week. Like the title says, it's going to be a slow build. One thing I've learned in this hobby is patience! 20210217_133630.jpg
Looking good. You can't buy patience at the store...there's a reason for that! It's definitely the hardest part!
 
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J_anderson_75

J_anderson_75

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Not much of an update. I wasn't able to get anything done this weekend since we were out of town, but my plan for today is to get it leveled (it's pretty close now), get the doors on and install the LED's in the stand. If I have time I'll work on the sump as well. Slow and steady...

For anyone who's been through this, I'm always open for input. Anything I might be missing or anything you wish you would have known at this stage? I'd rather find out now then when I get it filled with water.

20210217_133621.jpg
 

HD_Reefer

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Make sure to fill it and run a leak test before the final fill. Make sure all your wire management and accessories are accessible before the final fill. Once there's water in it, there's no scooting it around to get to something!

On a side note, seeing the reflection in the tank glass, your kitchen looks almost exactly like ours! Even the same appliances!
 
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J_anderson_75

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Good advice...thanks! Got the tank leveled and the bottom of the stand installed, then I came to another bump in the road. As I read my directions, I see I have to hookup my sump before I put on my doors. So, I figured I'd do my LED's in my stand before I do my sump. Well, got all the LED's put up and went to hook them to the control module and low and behold...the plug on the control module is backwards!! So now I have to take them back and by another set.

I will not be buying the same LED's this time.

Hopefully this evening I'll have a better update!

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Quick little update: As I mentioned yesterday, my first set of LED's were bad so I had to un-install them and take them back. In case you are wondering, these are the defective ones. I was not happy with the overall quality once I unpacked them so I ended up getting a different brand altogether.

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These are the ones I went with. Picked them up at Lowes for like $50 or so. Went up easy and seem to light the cabinet fine. Just have to see if they hold up under there.

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A few pics of the install. I'll post some later when it's dark so the lighting shows up a little better. Also installed my power strip. I ended up going with the ADJ PC-100A. Next up is the sump, doors and plumbing.

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Make sure to fill it and run a leak test before the final fill. Make sure all your wire management and accessories are accessible before the final fill. Once there's water in it, there's no scooting it around to get to something!

On a side note, seeing the reflection in the tank glass, your kitchen looks almost exactly like ours! Even the same appliances!

@HD_Reefer, we actually just had our kitchen cabinets painted. They were all oak but my wife wanted something a little brighter and cleaner looking. We really like how they turned out.
 
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Quick update: Nothing exciting but the plumbing is in. Almost ready for water to do a leak test! I was going to remove all the stupid stickers on the tubes, but after messing with the sticker on the auto top off reservoir, I decided to not mess with the other stickers. I also switched out the green hose that comes with the tank for a heavier duty clear hose. Hopefully my next updates will start to get more interesting as I add sand, scape, water, fish and corals!! Here's a couple more pics because, well, I love lots of pics!

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J_anderson_75

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Looking good! On the clear hose, it will start to accumulate algae inside the tube pretty quick. You might want to switch back the green or get something solid colored to block the algae from growing.
Thanks @HD_Reefer ...good point. I was just looking for something a little thicker as the green hose seemed a bit thin. Maybe I'll get one that is like that "smoked" color, or even another green one that's a little heavier duty.
 
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Quick trip to my LFS tonight to pick up some remaining items needed for the set-up. Here is what I picked up:

  • 60 lbs of Caribsea Fiji Pink sand
  • 2 Caribsea liferock coral trees
  • 2 Caribsea liferock arches
  • 2 AI Prime 16HD lights and 2 light brackets (I might add a third light)
  • 1 box of Marine Pure biofilter media
  • 1 bottle of Seachem Stability
  • 18 boxes of Nutri-SeaWater (about 80 gallons) – not sure if there is any benefit to using this or not. I mainly just went this route for the convenience.
Tomorrow, I need to install my pump and heater. Then I’ll drop in the sand, set the scape, add water and plug-er in. Hoping all goes well to start the cycle. I’ve never used Caribsea Liferock so I’m curious how this all turns out. Looks pretty easy to work with though, so for that it’s a plus!

I’ll hook up my lights, pick up a skimmer and some wave makers as the cycle is running. For now, I just wanted to get the cycle started.

20210224_193632.jpg
 
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Looking good. Taking it slow is smart. As stated, make sure all is accessible and easy to change out and reach. Especially make sure this is the final resting place. That is not a good idea to move after filling. :)
@DeniseAndy funny you mention making sure this is the final resting place. Originally my wife wasn't ok with another "fish tank" in the family room so I was going to put it in a back room. BUT, once she saw how nice this tank looks, she caved and abracadabra...it's in the family room! Definitely not planning on moving this thing ever...until I die. ;Happy
 

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Have you designed the scape yet? Either way, get the scape in and they way you want it before putting the sand in. If you go sand first, you’ll risk the rocks settling and tumbling over.

I think you’ll end up wanting a third & maybe 4th light in order to get good spread & par throughout the DT.

Make sure you think about routing the wires for the skimmer and wave pumps before you put water in it. I’m telling you, once that beast is against the wall, routing something new is a pain!!

Since you don’t have all the equipment yet and you’re wanting to get the cycle started, you could just start the cycle in the sump. put all your rock in there, a heater and return pump with the hose routed to the drain chamber. dose your bacteria be ammonia and turn it on. Let it cycle in there while you set everything else up.

That never even occurred to me during my build, but I wish it would have! Could have save myself 7-10 days. You’re cycling the rocks and media, not the water. Doesn’t even have to be in the sump, you could always use a Brute trash can.
 
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Have you designed the scape yet? Either way, get the scape in and they way you want it before putting the sand in. If you go sand first, you’ll risk the rocks settling and tumbling over.

I think you’ll end up wanting a third & maybe 4th light in order to get good spread & par throughout the DT.

Make sure you think about routing the wires for the skimmer and wave pumps before you put water in it. I’m telling you, once that beast is against the wall, routing something new is a pain!!

Since you don’t have all the equipment yet and you’re wanting to get the cycle started, you could just start the cycle in the sump. put all your rock in there, a heater and return pump with the hose routed to the drain chamber. dose your bacteria be ammonia and turn it on. Let it cycle in there while you set everything else up.

That never even occurred to me during my build, but I wish it would have! Could have save myself 7-10 days. You’re cycling the rocks and media, not the water. Doesn’t even have to be in the sump, you could always use a Brute trash can.
Thank you @HD_Reefer, all great points! I have kinda designed the scape. I'm using Caribsea Liferock so essentially most of the rock is already formed. I have 1 large coral tower, 1 large coral tree and 2 arches to mess with, so not 100 lbs of rock to glue and stack. Hoping this helps get a scape I'm happy with rather easily.

I'm thinking I should have just bought a 3rd light last night. I think you're right...at least 3 AI 16HD's for this tank. I'll probably pick up a third on my next trip to my LFS. And if I need a 4th, I have one on my little EVO that I may take down sometime later this year. If I take it down I can add that as the 4th light for this tank.

I guess I could start the cycle in the sump, but I'm really wanting to see something going on in the tank now. LOL. I know I said "slow and steady" and "patience" somewhere above in this thread, and probably more than once...but I'm getting anxious to just see something in the tank! I'll see where I end up once I start messing with it later this morning!

Thanks again for all the great input! I really appreciate it!! :)
 
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Finally...it's full of water and running! I need to get the water flow and levels adjusted now. Seems a little loud but maybe that's how loud it is. Anyone with suggestions or answers...I'm all ears!!

Heater is plugged in and shows that it is heating as well. I added some Stability and the added the bio media to the sump.

I'm off to my LFS to pick up one more AI Prime 16HD then I'll try to post some pics later tonight.
 

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Finally...it's full of water and running! I need to get the water flow and levels adjusted now. Seems a little loud but maybe that's how loud it is. Anyone with suggestions or answers...I'm all ears!!

Heater is plugged in and shows that it is heating as well. I added some Stability and the added the bio media to the sump.

I'm off to my LFS to pick up one more AI Prime 16HD then I'll try to post some pics later tonight.
Loud up top or in the sump?
 
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J_anderson_75

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Loud up top or in the sump?
@HD_Reefer both, but I got it figured out. It was sucking air up top and creating a lot of air bubbles in the sump, which was loud. I had to adjust the flow. I closed the gate valve all the way, then started slowly opening it, making sure not to pump all the water out of the sump while the valve was closed. This cleared all the air and once I had the gate valve about halfway open, the down flow from the top evened out and quieted up entirely. All quiet now.

Picked up my other light last night and will be installing all three today. And adding more Stability.

I also have to do a water change on my Evo, so I think I'm going to rinse my EVO's filter media in this tank to help seed it. won't be much, but maybe it will help speed this process up a bit.
 
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Finally have time to post a few updated pics. I added sand, scape water and lights. Currently running Stuart Bertram's light schedule from the AI Signature Series page, but open to suggestions from others who have a great schedule that's growing your corals??

Now the hard part...more patience as I get the water right. Ugh...

A few pics...Just added the Fiji Pink sand.

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Not sure I'm totally digging this scape. Guess I'll have to look at it for a while and see.


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Still cloudy but getting clearer. Sorry about the glare. I'm a crappy photographer!!

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What have you found to be the best things/methods to beat hair algae? (choose all that apply)

  • Hydrogen peroxide

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