Lost in the RedSea... but building soon anyway

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Spartan1218

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Hello all,

I am normally outside running on trails and competing on obstacle courses, but radiation and chemo have taken a hefty toll over the last year. I have slowed tremendously and I have been looking for a great hobby that is challenging but with a lot less running. I have had a number of freshwater tanks in the past, so I wanted to switch things up a bit and give saltwater a go.

I bet this "build" thread is a bit odd since I do not technically have a tank yet. I have been reading, researching, and deciding what to put together over the last few weeks. I want to take my time now so that I can put it together the right way and at the same time make sure that I have what I need if I ever decide to expand outside of a FOWLR tank. I have a space in my apartment that is 52" wide and 9ft tall. I'm looking to put in a Reefer XL300 or Reefer 350. I'm not sure that I want to go with anything bigger since I worry about putting to much weight on my apartment floor. I also want to be sure that I can keep up with this project. Bigger may not necessarily be better for me right now. I expect to have a tank within 4 weeks or so and begin the real build.

Parts and pieces have been changing almost daily. I am looking at a lot of equipment that I know I don't need right now, but I am doing capacity planning and research up front so that I know what my gear may look like down the road. I realize I may not need a lot of this from the start. I am including everything here to be as complete as I can for the future.

The short list of things as of right now:

  • Tank : RedSea Reefer XL300 or Reefer 350
  • Skimmer: Reefer Skimmer 600
  • Lighting: Kessil AP9X - I realize I do not need this right now, but this light is one I am quite interested in for the future.
  • Return Pump: COR-20 Intelligent Return Pump (2000 GPH) - I am not sure I want to go with this pump, but I have not yet found a pump that seems to be liked universally. I have been able to find a number of bad reviews on pretty much everything I have found. I have been considering this pump because I may want to run an Apex later down the road.
  • ATO: Neptune Systems ATK or Tunze 3155 ATO - I haven't been able to decide on this. Same issue as return pump. It has been difficult to find an ATO that is universally liked. The ATK makes sense if I go with Apex later, but I think the Tunze may be better based on reviews. Really not sure.
  • Heater: IM Helio
  • Controller: Neptune Systems Apex - This one has thrown me for a loop. So many add-ons. Not sure which ones would be necessities and which ones would simply be a nice to have. I have been looking at several of the modules or add-ons. I figure DOS gear is completely unnecessary until I get to the point where I am supporting coral and such.
    • Cor20
    • WSK
    • Flow Monitoring Kit
    • ATK
  • UV: Smart UV 25 Watt - Pentair Aquatics - Not even sure I will ever need this. I have been reading some decent results for its use and Pentair seems like one of the better ones available from what I can tell right now. More research is definitely needed here.
Any thoughts or guidance on what I have listed here is appreciated. Trying to do as much research as I can now to minimize problems and losses later.
 
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blaxsun

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If you're looking at the 36" Red Sea models get the XL300, as it has an extra media slot over the 250.

If you're going with a Neptune, all you need is the Apex. Then I'd get a COR15 since you can run it with 1LINK (saves a power outlet) and a single Neptune SKY for your lighting. Skip the other Neptune modules as they're not really needed.

Pentair is a good UV system as is AquaUV, and 25 watts is a good size. This is something i'd plan as an essential component from the outset and not an afterthought.

For heaters get the BRS Inkbird with 300w titanium heater combo and save yourself a lot of $$. The Red Sea comes with a gravity ATO (typically good for 3-5 days).
 
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Spartan1218

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If you're looking at the 36" Red Sea models get the XL300, as it has an extra media slot over the 250.

If you're going with a Neptune, all you need is the Apex. Then I'd get a COR15 since you can run it with 1LINK (saves a power outlet) and a single Neptune SKY for your lighting. Skip the other Neptune modules as they're not really needed.

Pentair is a good UV system as is AquaUV, and 25 watts is a good size. This is something i'd plan as an essential component from the outset and not an afterthought.

For heaters get the BRS Inkbird with 300w titanium heater combo and save yourself a lot of $$. The Red Sea comes with a gravity ATO (typically good for 3-5 days).
Thank you a ton for the advice. It is much appreciated.

I had been looking at ATOs because the RedSea mechanism doesn't seem to have much love for its function. I guess it can't hurt to give it a try before investing in another ATO.

Noted on the other devices.
 

Tamale

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Not a large RedSea but my Max Nano has been amazing. Great materials and detailed instructions. Equipment works as promised and seems easy to maintain and clean (haven't had it long enough to say definitively). Cabinet is really nice, sturdy, and easy to put together.

No matter what size I honestly don’t think you
can go wrong with RedSea! can’t wait to see it come to life!
 
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Spartan1218

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Not a large RedSea but my Max Nano has been amazing. Great materials and detailed instructions. Equipment works as promised and seems easy to maintain and clean (haven't had it long enough to say definitively). Cabinet is really nice, sturdy, and easy to put together.

No matter what size I honestly don’t think you
can go wrong with RedSea! can’t wait to see it come to life!
You and me both. I'm pretty excited about this. I have been looking at a Nano for a QT. They look great!
 
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Idech

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I’m sorry you had such a rough year. I hope you feel better soon. Slowly but surely.

Just like you, I was into freshwater before switching this year to saltwater. I’ve had health problems in the last years and I have to say fish keeping has been a savior for me.

Just know that saltwater is a whole lot more demanding physically than freshwater, unless you have an automated water changing station, which I don’t. I am testing my stamina right now, as carrying buckets of saltwater is rather exhausting.

Other than that, it’s a great hobby, very addictive ! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
 

RickLRMS

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I’m too new at this to give you any advice, but wanted to say good luck. I went with the cor 20 for much the same reason you did — I wanted to use it with the Apex, and I wanted it to be able to run if the Apex stopped working. As to the Red Sea tank, I have a 525 (just filled it up this past weekend) and so far, so good.
 
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Spartan1218

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I’m too new at this to give you any advice, but wanted to say good luck. I went with the cor 20 for much the same reason you did — I wanted to use it with the Apex, and I wanted it to be able to run if the Apex stopped working. As to the Red Sea tank, I have a 525 (just filled it up this past weekend) and so far, so good.
That sounds amazing!
 
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Spartan1218

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I’m sorry you had such a rough year. I hope you feel better soon. Slowly but surely.

Just like you, I was into freshwater before switching this year to saltwater. I’ve had health problems in the last years and I have to say fish keeping has been a savior for me.

Just know that saltwater is a whole lot more demanding physically than freshwater, unless you have an automated water changing station, which I don’t. I am testing my stamina right now, as carrying buckets of saltwater is rather exhausting.

Other than that, it’s a great hobby, very addictive ! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
Happy to be here. As you say, slowly but surely. I hope all goes well for you too!
 
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Spartan1218

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Honestly for a QT it might be a bit much, BUT it will match aesthetically haha!
Yeah, you're probably right. If I won't have it up and running all the time, likely way too much price for the function.
 

Tamale

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Yeah, you're probably right. If I won't have it up and running all the time, likely way too much price for the function.
Yeah, it’s not thatttttt much less than yours and most QTs are super simple in comparison. You could set up like 5 QTs for the price of the Nano haha
 

mottomegl

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I had the older red sea 350 great tank they are even better now i used ai lights which worked amazing red sea makes lights and wave pumps which work together on there app i sold the 350 and bought the 750 xl which is a amazing tank i personally love red sea tanks and there equipment using there dosing system and there skimmer which both work great
image.jpg
 
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Spartan1218

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I had the older red sea 350 great tank they are even better now i used ai lights which worked amazing red sea makes lights and wave pumps which work together on there app i sold the 350 and bought the 750 xl which is a amazing tank i personally love red sea tanks and there equipment using there dosing system and there skimmer which both work great
I worry about the RedSea control app for their gear. I don't know that I have found a comment yet where the user loved the app. The reviews out on the Google store are pretty, ahem, bad. The skimmer has me intrigued though for sure. I forgot to mention that, but I'm looking at the 600 from RS.
 

Tamale

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I worry about the RedSea control app for their gear. I don't know that I have found a comment yet where the user loved the app. The reviews out on the Google store are pretty, ahem, bad. The skimmer has me intrigued though for sure. I forgot to mention that, but I'm looking at the 600 from RS.
The app is mediocre compared to say Mobius. But it does work lol
 
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You and me both. I'm pretty excited about this. I have been looking at a Nano for a QT. They look great!
I went with a NUVO Fusion 20 Pro for my invertebrate QT since I plan to keep it up permanently to keep new snails and crabs ready to go in the display tank. I went with a cheap 20 L and HOB filter on my fish QT. Just something to consider, though not everyone quarantines invertebrates. For that matter, not everyone quarantines their fish.
 

kittenbritches

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RedSea mechanism doesn't seem to have much love for its function.
The ATO in my Reefer 250 doesn't work at all. I'm using the Neptune ATK and it works well enough. I also have Red Sea wavemakers and their skimmer. The app does leave something to be desired, but it could be worse. It earns a solid shrug from me.

Bored Paul Rudd GIF
 
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Spartan1218

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The ATO in my Reefer 250 doesn't work at all. I'm using the Neptune ATK and it works well enough. I also have Red Sea wavemakers and their skimmer. The app does leave something to be desired, but it could be worse. It earns a solid shrug from me.
I know you're using the NS ATK, but do you have any thoughts on the Tunze? It seems that the rating for each of those ATO kits depends heavily on the site you're reading them on.

I have the solid shrug noted. I guess that's slightly better than a "meh".
 

kittenbritches

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I know you're using the NS ATK, but do you have any thoughts on the Tunze? It seems that the rating for each of those ATO kits depends heavily on the site you're reading them on.

I have the solid shrug noted. I guess that's slightly better than a "meh".
The Osmolator Universal is slick. The nano looks comparable to other ATOs at that price point. It'll get the job done.
 
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