Layton's Full Red Sea Reefer 250 G2 Build

AquaCave

Layton (OR)

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
35
Reaction score
59
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
McMinnville
TL;DR Building a smaller version of my dream tank, focusing on Red Sea ecosystem and Apex Monitoring/Automation

I have always wanted to do a build thread to document everything, mistakes, successes, growth, and failures. My first shipment arrived yesterday, so it begins. So much has changed in the 12 years since I left the hobby, new information and hobbyist constantly pushing reefing forward and advancing the tech. I remember when I left LED's were questionable at best, it was metal halides/t5 or bust if you wanted to keep SPS. Enough reminiscing!

A few months ago I started digging in and going all OCD researching options. In August of last year we moved into the home we plan to stay in until our girls (3 and 6) are out of high school, and the wife and I both thought the time was right to jump back in. Started with looking at AIO options, thought it might be nice to have something similar to the 29g JBJ that were all the rage when I left. Red Sea Reefer tanks appear to have taken over the scene, and after hours of reading reviews and build threads, decided to go with their tanks. To go a little deeper, I thought it might be fun to do a complete Red Sea build, with just about all the gear they have to offer. The idea of having the vast majority of the gear in one ecosystem is enticing.

The tank will be in our living room, where we spend most of our time, mixed tank, SPS dominant. If I don't throw a pair of clownfish in for the girls, i might as well pack my bags and leave . I am lucky that our laundry room just happens to be directly behind my wife's preferred tank location. Converted the 220 dryer plug to 2 110v dedicated circuits as that plug was not in use. Tech and automation are fun for me, and plan to automate as much as I can, as burnout and time commitment were the primary drivers for me leaving the hobby.

On to the fun stuff, the gear:

Code:
Tank
Red Sea Reefer 250 G2
2x - ReefLED 90 Lights
Reefer Skimmer 300
2x - ReefWave 25
ReefDose 4
ReefMat 500
Syncra SDC 3.0 WIFI Return Pump
2x Ebo Jager Heater 200 Watt


Monitoring/Automation
Neptune Apex
Apex LDK
Apex ATK
Apex DOS
Apex Trident (back ordered for now)

Sand/Rock
Arag-Alive Special Grade Reef Sand 40lb
Caribsea LifeRock Dry Live Rock 60lb

Loads of other smaller things, and testing gear too, but I don't think anyone cares about any of that. Feel free to poke holes in the build, call out anything I am missing, if you have used some of the gear and loved it or hated it, I would love to know why. I have thick skin, you'd be hard pressed to offend me, love open dialogue and learning from one another! It isn't a build thread without at least one pic, my partner in crime Uni is super interested in the salt for whatever reason...
IMG_1454.JPG
 
AquaSD

Lavey29

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
3,964
Reaction score
3,482
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
United States
I think you are smart to try and keep a lot of components Red Sea for optimal uniformity. I have the XL300 tank and the only thing I would suggest that I learned and wish I would have done from the start is get some actual live ocean rock for the tank. Does not need to be all of it but some of hit to kick start your biodiversity and save yourself a lot of nuisance headaches down the line.
 
AquaSD
OP
Layton (OR)

Layton (OR)

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
35
Reaction score
59
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
McMinnville
I think you are smart to try and keep a lot of components Red Sea for optimal uniformity. I have the XL300 tank and the only thing I would suggest that I learned and wish I would have done from the start is get some actual live ocean rock for the tank. Does not need to be all of it but some of hit to kick start your biodiversity and save yourself a lot of nuisance headaches down the line.
I have gone back and forth on this one. Previously, I would've used all live rock, but it seems those option are drying up these days so went with the "dry live rock." Adding in real live rock seems like a double edge sword, as it introduces good and bad into the reef. Still undecided, but will probably end up adding a couple pieces of live rock from a LFS if I can find some.
 
OP
Layton (OR)

Layton (OR)

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
35
Reaction score
59
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
McMinnville
You'll love the Sicce - you can control it through the Apex as well.
Yes, I love that! Controlling flow with Alexa seems fun too, albeit probably useless lol! It will have a dedicated APC UPS so in the event of a power outage I can dial down the flow and keep the water moving.
 
Coral Mania

Lavey29

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
3,964
Reaction score
3,482
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
United States
I have gone back and forth on this one. Previously, I would've used all live rock, but it seems those option are drying up these days so went with the "dry live rock." Adding in real live rock seems like a double edge sword, as it introduces good and bad into the reef. Still undecided, but will probably end up adding a couple pieces of live rock from a LFS if I can find some.
I'm sure those that used live rock will tell you the good outweighs the bad and those that didn't wish they would have. I used what you listed from caibesea
 
OP
Layton (OR)

Layton (OR)

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
35
Reaction score
59
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
McMinnville
A bunch more gear arrived today! Excitement is building!!!
F2DA5777-05EB-491A-8D09-85132A8A7E64.jpeg
 
OP
Layton (OR)

Layton (OR)

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
35
Reaction score
59
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
McMinnville
A bunch more gear has shown up this week. Just waiting on the rock, UV, and everything Red Sea. Rock and UV here tomorrow. Finally got the call from the shipper, pallet of Red Sea with tank showing up Wednesday! We are going to start on the aqua scape this weekend. Taped an area on the garage floor with the inside tank dimensions. The wife will be assisting on that, she is way more creative than I am. Her vision, my execution is how things normally go around these parts . Enjoy a good pour or cocktail with friends and family this weekend in honor of those that made the ultimate sacrifice for all of our freedom and protection of our amazing country!
E77D99EF-EE3F-4DCC-A110-C1B9C2AE769E.jpeg
 
Coral Mania
OP
Layton (OR)

Layton (OR)

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
35
Reaction score
59
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
McMinnville
The eagle has landed, minus the ReefMat 500, still trying to figure out where that is. Man alive this tank is beautiful and well crafted. The attention to detail is outstanding. Every seam is perfect.
E493A5BE-3617-4061-8832-F1210C6CD821.jpeg
BB19B80E-5F51-44CD-921B-587F78EAE35B.jpeg
9664C358-2EF1-4E89-BB71-CC6D2BD9D8B1.jpeg
 

willperry96

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 8, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
United Kingdom
For any of you that have assembled the cabinet, anyone know what these are for? Not mentioned in the directions, no pre drilled holes.
4FE5E856-1E46-47C7-BC35-AA362410295A.jpeg
I believe these are spacers. Just old bits of wood they use to securely package the cabinet flat pack style. I had some left over pieces like this when i set up my 170 g2.
 
Koral King: Rare Corals for Sale
OP
Layton (OR)

Layton (OR)

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
35
Reaction score
59
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
McMinnville
I believe these are spacers. Just old bits of wood they use to securely package the cabinet flat pack style. I had some left over pieces like this when i set up my 170 g2.
You are correct. I reached out because I am OCD and they stated they are just in there to keep the cabinet pieces from banging into each other, which is wild given the weight.
 

blaxsun

10K Club member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
14,250
Reaction score
15,856
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Abyss
Very nicely done. Don't you wish equipment came with optional cable lengths? If/when you get around to programming all your Neptune gear hit me up if you'd like an optimized ATO configuration.

Tip on the UV - since you've mounted it inverted, you'll want to initially alternate running the pump at low-high speeds to force any air out before turning it on.
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock
OP
Layton (OR)

Layton (OR)

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
35
Reaction score
59
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
McMinnville
Very nicely done. Don't you wish equipment came with optional cable lengths? If/when you get around to programming all your Neptune gear hit me up if you'd like an optimized ATO configuration.
I know! Some of the cable lengths are way too long, and some aren't long enough. I also hate when they use the huge wall plugs instead of an inline power supply. They take up so much room on the power strips! The laundry room is directly behind the tank which allowed me to store quite a bit of the power supplies and the APC UPS's in there. Also made it super easy for ATO and automatic water changes.

I stole SuncrestReef's code for the ATO, but open to suggestions. Still trying to program the solenoid for the feed to the ATO reservoir as I don't want it "always on" for an additional fail safe.
 

blaxsun

10K Club member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
14,250
Reaction score
15,856
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Abyss
I know! Some of the cable lengths are way too long, and some aren't long enough. I also hate when they use the huge wall plugs instead of an inline power supply. They take up so much room on the power strips! The laundry room is directly behind the tank which allowed me to store quite a bit of the power supplies and the APC UPS's in there. Also made it super easy for ATO and automatic water changes.

I stole SuncrestReef's code for the ATO, but open to suggestions. Still trying to program the solenoid for the feed to the ATO reservoir as I don't want it "always on" for an additional fail safe.
I ended up buying a few short 1', 2' and 3' end cables to pair to various equipment so I could just remove it at the extension rather than the source (EB832 power bar).

@SuncrestReef helped me with a few tweaks to my configuration also to prevent it from prematurely shutting off (the When On > line will turn the ATK from AUTO to OFF it it runs longer than that).

Fallback OFF
Set OFF
If FeedD 000 Then OFF
If LEAK CLOSED Then OFF
If ATK_RO OPEN Then OFF
If ATK_LO OPEN Then ON
If ATK_HI CLOSED Then OFF
When On > 006:00 Then OFF
Defer 000:10 Then ON
Defer 000:04 Then OFF
Min Time 030:00 Then OFF
 
AquaCave

How many different food items do you feed your fish?

  • Only one food

    Votes: 8 7.0%
  • 2 Foods

    Votes: 14 12.2%
  • 3 Foods

    Votes: 25 21.7%
  • 4 Foods

    Votes: 17 14.8%
  • 5+ Different Foods

    Votes: 32 27.8%
  • 10+ Different Foods

    Votes: 19 16.5%
noopsyche K7 V3 REEF LIGHTING only 169
Top