Keenan's RSR 525XL

Keenan

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Last November, my fiancé and I purchased our first home, and right away I started thinking of where a new larger tank could go. Some new house tasks have delayed the build a bit (and continue to do so), but I’ve made some progress and am now ready to share my journey with you all!

The tank was purchased used in March. It’s a Red Sea Reefer 525XL that was kept in great shape during its two years of use. With it came an Artfully Acrylic Clearview lid, and a 25W Aqua UV sterilizer.

 
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Keenan

Keenan

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First order of business: With a bigger tank I’ll need larger water changes, and preferably no more carrying 5 gallon buckets around. After searching the forums, I had a general idea of what I wanted to do for a water mixing station.

For my RODI unit, I used a tee fitting from my basement sink and from there it goes through the cabinet and out the other side of the wall, into our unfinished laundry room. There is a utility sink next to the washer and dryer that the waste water dumps (trickles) into, and the rodi water goes up into the rafters and down out to the other side of the utility/storage room, where I will have the water mixing station.

 
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Keenan

Keenan

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For the water mixing station itself, I went with 1” sch 80 pvc pipe and a series of ball valves that would allow me to use one pump for everything. I also left both of the ends open incase I needed to add something down the line, or incase the power goes out and I need water. The storage tanks are 65 gallon vertical tanks. Fortunately a place in St. Louis Park had them so I didn’t have to pay for freight shipping.

This was my first time pvc plumbing as my previous tanks have all been AIO nano’s, so it was a learning experience for sure. Overall it was pretty straightforward once I knew all of the fittings I’d need, however figuring those out took some time. After cutting, fitting, and gluing, it passed the leak test on the first try. Success! for the 50ft. hose I purchased an outdoor hose hanger which helps keep it out of the way when not in use.



 
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Keenan

Keenan

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Onto the plumbing: I didn’t like the stock plumbing of the RSR, but found out that it’s all metric plumbing and OEM fittings. Time for more research… After ordering countless different “metric to standard” conversion adapters that didn’t work, and looking at how others converted theirs, the easiest and most popular way was to purchase two extra OEM return adapters from Red Sea and use a 3/4” to 1” MPTxSlip adapter with ~10 wraps of teflon tape on the threaded end. At first I was a bit sketched out by this, but upon testing it out myself the 3/4” threaded male end fit almost perfectly with the 25mm OEM female threaded end of the plumbing. And that was without any teflon tape. Definitely a much more snug fit than I would’ve expected. Below is what the conversion looks like. Note: the small one is the older version of the return fitting that originally comes with the tank. The taller two are the new versions that I ordered for the main and emergency drains.

 
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Keenan

Keenan

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For the standard plumbing section, I plan on making a manifold that will feed the UV Sterilizer and a couple other things that I haven’t decided on just yet. I have most of the pieces for this, but am unable to proceed further until the custom sump I’ve ordered comes in. Should be here next week sometime.

Tyler over at Elite-Aquatics was who I went with for the sump and he DID NOT disappoint! I told him that I wanted to use a ClariSea SK-5000, and he had me send it over to him for him to build the sump around. I figured he would just make the first chamber large enough for me to place the ClariSea into it, but he sent me some pics of it basically finished and it blew my expectations out of the water. Super excited to see this sump in person.







 
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Keenan

Keenan

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While I wait for the sump, I’ve been messing around with some aquascapes and think I finally landed on one I like. It’s hard to capture how it looks in a picture compared to in person where you can see the many points of view, however I tried my best. My basement lighting isn’t the brightest so that didn’t help things either. The top rocks are Marco Shelf Rock and the rest are extra rock a local reefer had after making his new scape.

Oh I also moved the tank to its final spot and removed the black background. Saw some other build threads where people did this and against white/lighter walls it looked really cool… So I went for it.











 
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Keenan

Keenan

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For lighting I wanted to try something different and go with a T5 dominant light. I also still wanted the pop that LED's provided, So the 48" ATI Powermodule Hybrid was the winner. I ordered it from Germany as that was the only way to get it in white, and it took ~1 month to get delivered. Since it came from Germany I had to purchase a US power cord, which was only ~$10 on amazon. The fixture is beautiful and very well built. So much so that if I can stand the light bleed I will go without a canopy. I used the ATI hanging kit to mount the fixture from the ceiling, and love how it isn't an eye sore, unlike some other mounts out there. I then drilled a 2" hole in the wall and inserted a white desk grommet to make it look a little nicer. This keeps the power cord hidden (somewhat), and I'm very pleased with how it turned out.


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In other tank related news, I rinsed 90lbs of Tropic Eden Reef Flakes (sorry BB fans) and am letting it dry out. Very exciting stuff :p I don't think I'll use it all but we'll see.
 

Dirty_Birdy

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I had to explain to my wife when we purchased our house, that there had to be a budget exclusively for my new bigger fish tank :) Looks good, cant wait to see it filled.
 

ramona

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That's impressive Keenan. I like the attention to share/explain the details of the build. Thank you for taking your time and document for all us newbies. ✌
 

raylinds

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I am following this build with great interest. I really like the aquascape! I like your attention to detail and how neat an minimalist it looks.
 
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Keenan

Keenan

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Lookin' good!
Nice! Love my 525XL, following along. Always great to see people who take their time and make me jealous I didn't lol :p
I had to explain to my wife when we purchased our house, that there had to be a budget exclusively for my new bigger fish tank :) Looks good, cant wait to see it filled.
That's impressive Keenan. I like the attention to share/explain the details of the build. Thank you for taking your time and document for all us newbies. ✌
I am following this build with great interest. I really like the aquascape! I like your attention to detail and how neat an minimalist it looks.
Thanks everyone. This will be my first non-AIO tank so I'm pretty excited. The plumbing should be done soon and I plan to have water in it by next week
 

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Looking very good Keenan.
I'll be following this built as well.
I like how clear your ideas are with this tank, right from the start.
And what a start!

Congrats on the new house.
 
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Keenan

Keenan

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Looking very good Keenan.
I'll be following this built as well.
I like how clear your ideas are with this tank, right from the start.
And what a start!

Congrats on the new house.
Appreciate the kind words, Janci. Plumbing’s been a real pain but other than that it’s been a fairly smooth build so far (knock on wood).
 
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Keenan

Keenan

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BOOM!!! This is going to be an absolutely epic tank and the planning and effort you've already put it is unreal :D I can't wait to watch this one grow and turn into gloriousness!!!!
Thanks Wrangy! I saw you starting your new tank and had to start one of my own :)
 
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