MJSzos Red Sea Reefer 250 Build

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mjszos

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Hello!

Feels good to be back in the build threads. This will be the saga of my Red Sea Reefer 250. Tank is getting picked up on 11/5/2022, at which point I will drop some photos of it. I hope to get it plumbed up immediately and get started on the scape this weekend!

We purchased our first house in February 2022, and with this came the ability to finally build out a 'dream tank'. This started off with a 2x2x2 60G cube, but I have been getting my heart broken with delays over the last 7 months waiting for a custom stand to be made by the same person who built a few pieces for us in the past. This week a Reefer 250 with a white stand became available for a killer deal that I couldn't pass up. I'm saying goodbye to the 60G on 11/4/22 to another local reefer and the 250 will be going in its place! The stand sure won't match, but the wife-approval of a mismatched stand is apparently higher than an empty tank so win-win. I brought up this 250 deal and she gave me the thumbs up, the cube was listed for sale within seconds and I secured the 250!

The list below will likely look like a plug for Red Sea, but it's not! I've been using the ReefLED for about 2 years on my nano tank and it's been rock solid. The app is... fine, but truthfully I'd rather not end up with 10 apps to control my tank. Eventually I may dive into the Apex systems for monitoring, but they're ridiculously expensive for what they are in my opinion.

Equipment List:

-Tank: Red Sea Reefer 250
-Sump: Red Sea Sump (comes w/ tank)
-ATO: TBD - The tank I am purchasing does not come with the reservoir. Will probably plumb up a 5gallon bucket while I secure it. Want to see how much space I'm working with inside the cabinet first.
--I will likely end up going with the Tunze Osmolator. Read nothing but good things about it, but if anybody has any suggestions let me know!
- Lighting: TBD - Currently have a blackbox sitting around that I'd like to replace.
---On the fence between 2x Red Sea ReefLED 90's as I've been very happy with my ReefLED 50 over the nano tank in my office.
---I have also been looking at the NooPsyche K7 Pro III V3. I assume I'd need to get at least 2 of these.
-Protein Skimmer: H2Pro C-4. I have this one sitting around right now, subject to be replaced.
-Fleece Mat: Red Sea ReefMat 500.. I refuse to ever change a filter sock.
-Doser: RedSea ReefDose 2 (Once the tank is ready for it, it will be installed)
-PowerHeads: 2x Jebao SCP-90's OR RedSea ReefWaves


Stocking List:

Fish:
-2x Clowns: I would like a morph, but not sure what yet. Possibly Super Storms?
-2x Cardinals
-1-2x Yellow Corris Wrasse
-1x Lawnmower Blenny | Or 1x Purple Firefish Goby
-1x Coral Beauty (On the fence because it will be a mixed reef)
-1x Mandarin (Dependant on the Blenny/Goby decision, and long-term to ensure adequate pod colony for feeding)
-1x Tang of some sort. (Before the tang police gets me, multiple LFS in the area encourage growing them out and bringing them back. Or, in reality.. I'll upgrade to a 150g... This is all subject to change depending on how my husbandry looks in 6+ months)
Various CUC of snails, hermits, shrimps, stars.

Corals:

This will likely be a mushroom + euphyillia dominant tank as I have fallen in love with them in my nano. Subject to change, so not setting any expectations here! :)

Cheers and happy reefing! Looking forward to more great discussions with all of you excellent folks!
 
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mjszos

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Reserved spot for incremental updates! In the mean time, here’s a FTS of the office nano. Algae and water streaks included, no sugar coating here!.

96DB599C-82CF-4057-A7BE-F0EDBCCC6D64.jpeg
 
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mjszos

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List looks good so far, following along to see the build

Cheers! How has your 250 been treating you? Your build thread gave me a lot of inspiration as I've been planning this out - great job :)
 
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I have been having the hardest time getting a wrasse I have been looking for, but the tank itself has been excellent. You will be very happy!

Fair enough! I had a 6-line in my nano tank for a while before it decided to go carpet surfing. Still shocked by it as there was a net with a maximum of a 1/4" gap near the overflow that it managed to flop through. They're such interesting fish, looking forward to getting a Corris in the 250.

Looking good

Thanks! How is the double sump method working out for you?
 
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The tank has officially arrived!

Out with the old....

IMG_3269.JPG



In with the new!

2022-11-05 19.45.50.jpg



Naturally I had to spend some time getting it plumbed...

2022-11-05 19.46.03.jpg


And finally celebrated after a job well done!

2022-11-05 19.45.57.jpg



Next order of business is to sort the rest of my equipment. Unfortunately my previous pump I had hard plumbed into the Cube tank and misplaced the barbed fitting for it... I spent about 3 hours at Home Depot, Lowes, and Menards trying to find a piece (or combination of pieces) to make it work. At this point I will have to decide if I'm going to hard plumb the pump in or if I'm just going to upgrade the pump...

I also have some rock and will be starting my scape tonight or tomorrow. Pictures/videos to follow! Not sure I have enough to accomplish what I am envisioning but I'd rather start with what I have considering rock near me is going for $7+ per LB for basic marco!

I also picked up a bucket of Red Sea black bucket salt, however I am curious - I would rather not store a 55gal Brute in my house as I was planning on storing 10g of RODI and 10g of premixed salt for my water changes/ATO refill... Is one able to mix their salt directly in the tank? Is that a crazy idea?

Next will be to pick up some egg crate to cut to size for the bottom of the tank to put my aquascape on, likely 1/2" from the edge of the tank on all sides so it's covered with sand but the rock has a solid foundation to sit on as I don't have any flat bottom pieces.

Thanks for reading! Happy Saturday and happy reefing! Stay tuned!
 
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I've been toying around with some aquascapes for the last few days, pretty pleased with the foundation I'm working with thus far. Another 20lbs of marco rock is being delivered on Wednesday which will give me some more pieces to break up to build with. Hoping to get the system wet this weekend!

I also had my first shipment of equipment come in;

2x Jebao SCP-70M's
1x Jebao SLW-10 Compact
Egg crate
Jerepet 1850GPH DC Pump (this will be my pump for now as I broke a fitting on my eFlux DC and can't for the life of me find its replacement... Figure I'd like to have a spare sitting around anyway)

photo_2022-11-07_13-19-57.jpg

(The husky loves packages and assumes that every one of them is for her and contains a toy. She inspected them thoroughly and is giving me the look of "what the heck dad???")


On Wednesday I'm expecting the following:

2x 200W BRS Titanium heaters
1x Inkbird controller
60lbs Sand
20lbs Marco Rock
More super glue
Instaset
NSA Powder to clean my gaps
Tunze Osmolator 3155

After this stuff all arrives the last item for me will be lighting which I'll likely hold off for until Black Friday/Cyber Monday to see if I can't get a good deal on them. I'm in no hurry with lighting as I wasn't planning on running them during my cycle anyway.

Let me know your thoughts on the scape!

 
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Today has been an exciting day…

-Tank has been plumbed
-Aquascape has gone in
-Sand went in
-Tank has been filled
-Sump has been cable managed
-Light in sump has been installed

Next on the agenda:

-Start my Dr Tim’s fishless cycle tomorrow
-Dial in this bloody drain that is obscenely loud
-Drop salinity (I’m at about 37.5PPT and need to drop it. Will do it tomorrow)
-Plumb ATO

I will drop a video and some more photos of the setup tomorrow, for now here’s some teasers. Excuse the mess, this hobby isn’t for the faint of heart.

Also included a bonus of my flow… Gyres/Wavemaker has been moved around. I don’t think anyone intends to go whitewater rafting in my tank, but it gave me a good chuckle and wanted to share.
 

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mjszos

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I’ve been waiting to find a used 250 locally at a decent price. I can’t wait to find one. Best tanks ever made!

I bought this one used off a local reefer. Aside from the drain valve that I foolishly knew about but decided to try and work I am super happy with it. It was on my dream tank list when going to upgrade, but life made the tank at retail not feasible in the timeline I was hoping to get it built.

Fingers crossed for you. You will not regret it!
 
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Well today is a good day! I have dialed all of the currently in use equipment and the tank is running smoothly. I began my Dr Tims Fishless Cycle yesterday, tests today are looking like things are in motion!

Ammonia: 3.0PPM (Between 2 and 4 on my API kit)
Nitrite: 0.25ppm

I didn't bother checking anything else, assuming things continue moving right I should be dosing more ammonia tomorrow! The tank is fairly cloudy as I had to adjust one of my gyres to stop pushing sand out of the corner. Need to experiment with this some more. Curious if anyone has any tips/tricks to checking the flow within your tank without the use of dyes to identify any dead spaces?

71044EC7-53A0-49D6-885C-FF234FEE4CE3_1_105_c.jpeg
 
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Well, slightly bad news. I read the Dr Tim’s fishless guide with the card that came and assumed everything was fine, did another parameter test and things are through the roof. Researched it a bit and found through BRS to monitor parameters after adding Dr Tim’s if using live sand which isn’t present on the recipe card. Fingers crossed I didn’t stall it out, if things don’t drop in 48 hours I’ll likely do a 20% water change. I presume my Ammonia is well above 8.0ppm but that’s as high as my API test goes. It looks like it may be hovering between 4.0-8.0ppm as I asked my partners opinion, but to my eyes it’s closer if not at 8.0.

2963669E-E89D-4BA0-BB90-F5661DF3E073.png C6D07560-0633-4CFF-B772-01F53964EFB1.jpeg
 
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The cycle continues - picked up a Red Sea test kit to get some data I can actually work with. Unfortunately I’ve now confirmed that I overdosed my tank with ammonia since I didn’t factor in the contents of the live sand.

Performed a 5gal water change today, have another 5gal cooking up right now and will do that before going to sleep tonight. I also cranked the temp up to 84F, and dropped in a bottle of MB7 yesterday night.

Parameters before water change:

Ammonia: 8.2
Nitrite: 1
Nitrate: 10
pH: 8.2

The silver lining is the cycle is underway. Hoping that I can get some dilution to the ammonia without doing too many substantial water changes. I do still plan on doing a large water change when I am confident the cycle has completed.

Question of the day: Do people still dose ammonia to validate their cycle has ended? As in when you think youre cycled, drop in ammonia, test, wait 24 hours then test again to verify lack of ammonia?
 

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I set my 250 up Oct 1st (first salt water tank).
loving it so far. Though I think I’m gonna be a coral addict.
 

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mjszos

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I set my 250 up Oct 1st (first salt water tank).
loving it so far. Though I think I’m gonna be a coral addict.

Awesome! I love the aqua scape, the rock emerging from the substrate in the bottom right of the tank kind of looks like a skeleton hand reaching out!

Get yourself a build thread going, in a year you’ll love to look back on it and see the progress of your tank.

I see you have a designer clown, what else do you plan on stocking with? Any particular corals strike your fancy thus far?
 

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Awesome! I love the aqua scape, the rock emerging from the substrate in the bottom right of the tank kind of looks like a skeleton hand reaching out!

Get yourself a build thread going, in a year you’ll love to look back on it and see the progress of your tank.

I see you have a designer clown, what else do you plan on stocking with? Any particular corals strike your fancy thus far?
I have a build thread. Least I’m pretty sure I do.
ya there Orange storm cloud bulletholes. Storm clowns basically then have little dots (bullet holes) girlfriend picked them.
Corals I love hammers and torches lol. Only have 1 hammer so far. Plans is simple LPS/softie tank with monti caps

plan to have
Clown pair
Melenaris wrasse
Watchman goby
Hawk fish

after that I haven’t decided.
better pic of clowns
 

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