My Blue Heaven - Reefer-S 850 Build - First Saltwater Tank

swallace

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"Oh lord what have I done" - is the primary thought going through my head as I sit here waiting for what feels like half of the entire BRS inventory to arrive at my door. Am I excited? yep! nervous? yep! feeling impatient? absolutely!!

Ladies and gentleman, I must say this is a huge day for me, and something that I have been dreaming about for a very long time. I feel like I have really accomplished something special that I never thought would be possible - my wife is actually ok with doing this, and she knows exactly how much I spent. Amazing!

In all seriousness - I have always loved the marine tanks at the LFS near me and my small freshwater tank has brought my family and I a lot of joy over the last 2 years.

So what originally started as a $5 beta fish in a tiny 5 gallon tank has ultimately led me here - Ideally a slice of the ocean just for us, alternatively, a giant PIA, and huge money pit, or what is more likely, a little bit of both. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:

So say hello to “My Blue Heaven!”

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I’ll make sure to post the initial specs and equipment below, but before that - we can talk a little bit about my goals.

  • Flexibility with regards to livestock
  • Something large enough that it is slightly forgiving with small mistakes
  • A piece of art that is just as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside
  • A design that allows for growth as I mature in this hobby
  • High quality materials that ensure it holds up for 10-20 years

Without going balls out and buying a totally custom tank which would have cost me a small fortune. (See Parkers Reef…).

I was really torn between the new Waterbox Infinia 215.5 and the Red Sea XXL 750 as they are comparable in price. So you might ask - how did the Reefer-S enter the equation. Good question, and honestly it boiled down to a few things.

I loved the marine grade cabinet of the Infinia series, but I didn't like how short the length was and I didn't really care for the measly 2 year warranty.

The XXL 750 was perfect in that it was the color I wanted (white) and the length fit at 71” going into an 83” space, but the plywood cabinet and frame for something that cost that much was a little hard to swallow.

So, in came the Reefer-S 850 which seemed like Goldilocks and the three bears - just right!
It had the marine grade frame, perfect length, 5 year warranty and the white just goes well with our existing color scheme.

It also seemed to check all the right boxes to meet my goals, I just had to pay a little more - ok, a lot more :face-with-rolling-eyes:

So what's next? We wait! for 6 weeks because the tank is on back-order.. :confused-face:

In the interim there is plenty to do before the tank arrives, aquascaping, setup the mixing station etc.. it should be a fun ride.

If you’ve enjoyed my story so far and want to see where we go from here - feel free to keep stopping in for updates. Worst case you can laugh as I struggle through my first year.

My Equipment

Display and Sump -
Lighting: 4 x Ecotech XR15 Pros​
Wave Makers: 2 x Ecotech Mp40s​
Return Pumps: 2 x Ecotech Vectra L2s​
Skimmer: Nyos Quantum 220​
Heaters: 2 x Finnex 500w​
Heater Controller: Aqua Logic (ranco) Dual stage​
Fuge Light: Ai Prime 16​
Dosing: GHL 2.1 SA​
Battery Back Up: Ecotech BBU for now.​
UV: Aqua Ultraviolet 57w​
Mixing Station -
Container: 2 x100 Gallon​
Pump: Iwaki MD-100RTL​
RODI: BRS 7 Stage​
Heater: 300w Finnex​
Salt: (Initial) Tropic Marin Pro Reef (Germany)​
Plumbing: Bunch of Cepex Ball Valves and schedule 80 fittings​
ATO -
Controller: Tunze 3155​
Pump: Litermeter G7​
Container: 15-20 gallon undecided​
QT Tank -
Tank: Red Sea Max 130d​
Misc -
Refractometer: Milwaukee MA887​
Phosphorous: Hanna ULR​
Alk: Hanna​
Timeline:​
3/29/2022 - Mixing station
4/16/2022 - QT Tank Setup
4/22/2022 - Tank Arrives
4/23/2022 - Sump Installed
 
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swallace

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Made a little progress this morning and finished up the stand for the Mixing station and also had an electrician come and wire up 3 20a GFCI circuits. 2 dedicated for the tank and one for mixing station.

Now we wait for plumbing which should be arriving tomorrow.

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swallace

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Made some progress on the mixing station today.

This pump is a beast, I didn’t expect it to be this hefty.
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Some of the piping got dry fitted. If all goes well I should be able to finish it up tomorrow and finally leak test the containers in the next day or two.

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Last but not least the RODI setup. I’m not sure how I’m gonna handle the waste water just yet. Anyone know if it’ll push the waste water up 4-5 feet without a pump?

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swallace

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Excited to see this come to life! Why am i standing by the window looking for my tank too? I just ordered mine on Thursday :grinning-face-with-sweat:. Its hell waiting for all the equipment to show up! LOL
Thats funny because I put a post on another thread saying how much more it cost me while I wait for my tank because I keep finding things that I "need".
 
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swallace

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Looks like a fun build. Pushing waste water up 5’ shouldn’t be a problem at all.
As much as I have fun with all the new toys - I am definitely looking forward to getting it up and running and getting some live stock. Thanks for the confirmation on the waste water.
 
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Got the mixing station all hooked up and will leak test it today - as for the RODI, I ran into some issues with water pressure so I had to order a booster pump. That should be here by Saturday.

I did however get some good news - The tank has arrived at my LFS much earlier than expected. I got to take a sneak peak at it, but im pushing out the delivery until the week of the 20th. This gives me time to finish up the mixing station and work on the aquascape.

I was also able to pickup all my gear minus the skimmer which will come with the tank.

Couple of quick questions -
My LFS is quoting $500 to deliver, assemble and put the tank on the stand. This seems like a decent deal for a tank this size. Anyone else want to chime in?

For sump bio media - does anyone have a preference on what to use. I've seen people using all sorts of stuff and I dont want to over complicate it if I dont have to. Do I just throw in some rubble rock in an egg crate cube and call it a day?
 
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swallace

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Leak test went well and got the booster pump and hose all hooked up. Nice to have 85psi instead of the 35 I was getting. I made my first 100 gallons of RO in about 10 hours - so today I get to mix my first batch of salt. Some of that will go into the QT so I can start cycling and the rest will sit aside for the tank when it arrives next week.

More importantly - I am off to the LFS to pick up some rock as I really need to get started on the aquascape. I also ordered 160lbs of Aragonite Special Grade sand which should give me just about 2' of substrate.

Feels nice to have it all start coming together. Next update should be some pics of the rocks and hopefully the obligatory empty tank pic.
 
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Congratulations on the new build!

As for the price of moving and setup, it depends on how willing you are to deal with those things yourself. You can definitely hire some random guys to pickup a tank and put it in your house for cheaper then 500, but they won't be aquarium specialists, they will be people you hire from craigslist or an app like taskrabbit for 30-75 dollars an hour. This is what I did when I got my 75 gallon tank. I took it from there.

HOWEVER, if that gives you trepidation, then just go ahead and pay the local fish store.

My only word of caution here is where you want to put that tank. That window may make your tank keeping a LOT more problematic. Especially so if you can't get behind the tank to work on that window. The sun being significantly brighter then anything we put in a tank you are going to want to keep the blinds closed most/all of the time and if anything happens to those blinds you will be in a situation where you need to work on that window overtop of the tank itself.

So I would take that into consideration when putting the tank into its final place and make sure you can get behind that tank to work when needed.
 
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swallace

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Congratulations on the new build!

As for the price of moving and setup, it depends on how willing you are to deal with those things yourself. You can definitely hire some random guys to pickup a tank and put it in your house for cheaper then 500, but they won't be aquarium specialists, they will be people you hire from craigslist or an app like taskrabbit for 30-75 dollars an hour. This is what I did when I got my 75 gallon tank. I took it from there.

HOWEVER, if that gives you trepidation, then just go ahead and pay the local fish store.

My only word of caution here is where you want to put that tank. That window may make your tank keeping a LOT more problematic. Especially so if you can't get behind the tank to work on that window. The sun being significantly brighter then anything we put in a tank you are going to want to keep the blinds closed most/all of the time and if anything happens to those blinds you will be in a situation where you need to work on that window overtop of the tank itself.

So I would take that into consideration when putting the tank into its final place and make sure you can get behind that tank to work when needed.
The 500 seemed reasonable to me and If nothing else - the liability can fall on them and I dont have to worry about the logistics of getting it here and up my really steep drive way.

As for the tank placement - it inst "ideal" but due to the layout of the house and the weight of the tank it seemed the safest location. That spot is over a load bearing wall and spans a few joists. I figured I would move it out about 1 1/2 feet from the wall which should provide some space to work behind it and also clear the AC vent - though it will be tight. I will definitely re assess the placement once the tank arrives.
 
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swallace

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Quick update: Finally got the QT tank cleaned up and moved to its final destination, which is about about 12 feet away from the DT. In the future I may end up trying to move this somewhere else as I read that 10ft is the minimum distance you want between your QT and DT, but for now it'll have to do.

This was also a great first test for my mixing station and i'm happy to report that it worked like a champ. The QT tank is about 15 feet above and 100 feet away from the mixing station and I was still able to output 3-4 gallons a minute through 1/2 inch clear pvc hose.

Pic of the QT
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Quick question about the QT: Does anyone know if those ceramic bio media bricks in the back absorb copper?

Next update is the start of the aquascape - I've been looking forward to working on this for a few weeks now.
 
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swallace

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Tank delivery has been confirmed and it will be here Friday afternoon. I also went ahead and added a RedSea ReefMat 1200 to the delivery so I can go ahead and just bypass the socks since I am starting from scratch. Anyone here already have one and want to chime in? I know i've seen a few YT videos and it looks like it lives up to the hype.
 
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Tank delivery has been confirmed and it will be here Friday afternoon. I also went ahead and added a RedSea ReefMat 1200 to the delivery so I can go ahead and just bypass the socks since I am starting from scratch. Anyone here already have one and want to chime in? I know i've seen a few YT videos and it looks like it lives up to the hype.

The reefmat has not been officially released yet. Pretty cool that you can order one through redsea though.
 
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The tank is at my LFS right now and yes it will need to be modified. I was going to do it but the LFS said they had just done it to another floor model and while they were assembling the stand it would only take them a minute to do.

As for it not being released - I’m not sure. I know that I’m getting one out of the first batches my LFS is receiving.

I will say that It was a bit of an internal struggle in my head on wether I should modify the sump for this. Hopefully long term is was the right decision.
 

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