KD's RSR 525 XL Build Thread

Kevin Duprey

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Ok, now that I've got your attention, a little bit by way of introduction. I'm a long-time aquarist, relative noob to reefing. I've had an aquarium since I was a child, way too long ago, and other than a brief pause while an undergraduate, I've always had some form of a glass box of water with creatures in it. Early on, it was strictly freshwater, which then evolved to brackish water with African Cichlids. I had a 38 gallon Cichlid tank for a long time. But after the second tank crash (first by way of a 10 day power outage, second by way of a faulty heater) a little over 2 years ago, I decided to finally take the plunge into full salt water. I'd always wanted to do a salt water tank, but had always been told that 38 gallons was way too small for salt water. Incidentally, people said the same about Cichlids, but I had fantastic success with them in such a "small" tank. Since early on I had neither the space or money for a larger tank, and later when I had both, I lacked the time (young family), I stuck with brackish water.

Fast forward to the last tank crash, and I'm reading on the internet and talking with the LFS. Now it seems that people are having success with very small (nano and even pico) saltwater tanks, even mini reefs. So I decided to convert the 38 to salt water. Two years later, a lot of learning, and much equipment evolution, I've now got a reasonably successful mixed reef tank.
_DSC9753_output.jpg


Now I'm hooked, I've got the space, time and money for a larger tank. Thanks to Red Sea and their 525XL for the price of a 450, and it's time for a new tank, and an official build thread. This thread will go quick at first, so as not to bore people with the early slow stages of a build. Now that the tank is full of water and cycling, I'll document how I got there, and what my next steps are. The overall plan is to move most of what you see above into the new tank, and turn the 38 (plus now 6ish gallons of sump) into a QT tank and/or frag tank.
 
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Ok, now that I've got your attention, a little bit by way of introduction. I'm a long-time aquarist, relative noob to reefing. I've had an aquarium since I was a child, way too long ago, and other than a brief pause while an undergraduate, I've always had some form of a glass box of water with creatures in it. Early on, it was strictly freshwater, which then evolved to brackish water with African Cichlids. I had a 38 gallon Cichlid tank for a long time. But after the second tank crash (first by way of a 10 day power outage, second by way of a faulty heater) a little over 2 years ago, I decided to finally take the plunge into full salt water. I'd always wanted to do a salt water tank, but had always been told that 38 gallons was way too small for salt water. Incidentally, people said the same about Cichlids, but I had fantastic success with them in such a "small" tank. Since early on I had neither the space or money for a larger tank, and later when I had both, I lacked the time (young family), I stuck with brackish water.

Fast forward to the last tank crash, and I'm reading on the internet and talking with the LFS. Now it seems that people are having success with very small (nano and even pico) saltwater tanks, even mini reefs. So I decided to convert the 38 to salt water. Two years later, a lot of learning, and much equipment evolution, I've now got a reasonably successful mixed reef tank.
_DSC9753_output.jpg


Now I'm hooked, I've got the space, time and money for a larger tank. Thanks to Red Sea and their 525XL for the price of a 450, and it's time for a new tank, and an official build thread. This thread will go quick at first, so as not to bore people with the early slow stages of a build. Now that the tank is full of water and cycling, I'll document how I got there, and what my next steps are. The overall plan is to move most of what you see above into the new tank, and turn the 38 (plus now 6ish gallons of sump) into a QT tank and/or frag tank.

Yay!! New tanks are so fun. :)
I’ll be following along.
 
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Kevin Duprey

Kevin Duprey

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OK, next, the list of equipment:

  • RSR 525 XL tank, stand and sump - keeping it stock
  • Current USA eFlux 6010 DC return pump - I have the smaller one on the existing tank, it's quite and powerful, not to mention economical.
  • Deltec 1000xi Skimmer - Adam at Battlecorals convinced me on this one
  • 2 Gyre XF230 for flow
  • Aquatic Life 48" T5 - LED hybrid with 2 AB+, 1 C+, 1 P+ and 3 Ecotech Radion XR15 gen 4's with diffusers.
  • Kessil H80 Tuna Flora Refugium light - I've converted a little over half the skimmer section of the sump into a refugium to run a modified Triton system
  • Neptune Apex controller
  • 2 Neptune DOS dosing pumps for the Triton additives
  • Neptune WXM module for the Radions
  • Neptune ASM with par meter
  • 100+ lbs of Marco rock with E-Marco cement
  • 80ish lbs of dry sand, medium grain so the Gyres don't create a dust storm
I'm sure I'm missing something, but at the moment I can't think of anything else.
 
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Kevin Duprey

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I purchased the tank at my LFS, which was great because they were able to hold onto the tank while I built the stand. Much safer that way. I couldn't imagine having that tank hanging in my garage or elsewhere while I unboxed and assembled the stand.

Here's a picture of the finished stand:
20180528_120501.jpg

That opening in the wall behind the tank is the remnants of an old wet bar. My house was built in 1928, and wet bars in the basement were all the rage during prohibition. I've never used it as such, but the fact that there's a sink there makes it an ideal fish room... Also, I've learned that while it's nice to have a tank on the main floor, keeping it cool in the summer and warm in the winter in CT can be a real hassle. The basement is much more stable temperature wise, and beyond that, we have a home theatre and my office down there, so it's not like I'll be making a special trip down to see the tank.
 

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Rocks!!! Having fun aquascaping...
20180622_085820.jpg


And here they are, mostly cemented together and in the tank:
20180623_182322.jpg
Nice build and that aquascape looks great! Nice job on it. Welcome to the forum!
 
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Kevin Duprey

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All full, and operational - No plumbing leaks...
20180702_071840.jpg


In this picture you can also see the Aquatic Life fixture. Only one XR15 for now. The other 2 are on the existing tank and will move over once most of the coral moves over. It's also a bit cloudy here from the dust on the rocks. The micron socks cleared that up virtually overnight.
 
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Kevin Duprey

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Nice scape
Thanks. I spent a fair amount of time planning it. Trying to blend the demands of something aesthetically pleasing but with plenty of caves and hiding spots for fish as well as placement options for coral was a challenge. I'm happy with the end result. I also really liked the e-Marco cement. It made a really stable scape. The visible patches of cement aren't so great right now, but I know they'll eventually be covered over with growth of either coral or coraline.
 
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Kevin Duprey

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Stocking plan:

Current stock in the 38 gallon moving over:
  • mated pair of Clarkii clowns
  • regal blue tang
  • melanarus wrasse
  • dwarf flameback angel
  • very recently purchased Desjardini sailfin tang (using 38 as a QT already)
  • coral banded shrimp
  • multiple (3-4) green crabs
  • multiple snails
  • harlequin shrimp (this means I'll have to bring over a bit of the infestation of asterinea stars that I purchased him to take care of...)
  • urchin
Planned acquisitions:
  • Mandarin when the tank matures to support a stable pod population - definite
  • Maybe some anthias - open to suggestions
  • I'd love to get a hawkfish, but I'm slightly worried about the shrimp and crabs.
  • Some other clown species
  • A carpet anemone
  • Maybe a bubble tip anemone, but I've had very little success so far with them. The clarkii clowns beat them up fighting to host it.
  • Other suggestions...
 

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