PKs Tank: UK Red Sea Reefer G2 300XL

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pratishk

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I'll update this first post with all my equipment etc. and livestock, etc. and start the build in later posts.

Equipment List:
Starting Off (14 Jan 2023):
  • Red Sea Reefer 300XL G2
  • 1x Jecod DCP-4000 Return Pump
  • D-D Titanium Heater 350W
  • D-D Temperature Controller
  • 1x Red Sea Reefwave 25
  • 1x Red Sea ReefLED 50
  • TMC EcoReef Branching Rock (Box E)
  • Araglite Fiji Pink x2 bags
  • Maxspect Nano-Tech Bio-Block
 
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pratishk

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So, I decided to upgrade. I have a Red Sea Max Nano with a couple of clown fish and a conch which I have had for 5-6 years and had various corals in there, had a tank crash, reset etc over the years and finally after moving house last year - I was thinking of getting rid of the tank as I had not really maintained it - just the basics to keep the fish alive - water changes each week! But then thought to re-boot it - and well, thought what the heck... lets upgrade!
I also had space to get a bigger tank! And a perfect spot for it too (see later!)

Researched, thought lots about it, and finally pressed the Buy Now button and am a proud owner of a Red Sea Reefer 300XL G2 series! Got it from H2O Aquatics here in the UK who have been brilliant - and they also had a discount over the Christmas period which won it for me!

I am slowly building up on the equipment as all I want to do is move over the fish and conch for now - and so have started with the basics, only a 50 ReefLED for now and then once I start looking at corals I can look to upgrade the lights.

I have also pre-ordered the Red Sea DC Skimmer and DC pump - so will add them to the tank - hopefully just in time after it cycles! Ordered the Jecod initially which I can then use for a UV or have as a backup.

I spent ages looking at the AI setup (as my Nano was the old one with the AI light) and was going to go all AI lights and wavemakers (the Neros) but then once the DC Skimmer and Pump were advertised, it made sense to go all Red Sea and have everything in one app, and from one company. Some may disagree but for me I quite like that. Although saying all this the new AI strips might tempt me back to AI! We shall see - plenty of time to figure that out.. for now, lets head on over to the placement!
 
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pratishk

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The position/placement:
I have a little alcove in the lounge/dining area of my house, and some of you may have seen the posts about it and well - it is 94cm wide (90.5cm with the skirting board) and the tank is 90cm! A perfect fit!
Once I get the tank set up I was going to see if I was going to push it in or not, I was thinking maybe a couple of inches, to hide the weir basically from the side - but definitely not all the way in.
 

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pratishk

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The delivery and moving the tank!
Well, I am very impressed with H2O Aquatics, kept me in the loop via email and were also able to accommodate the delivery date to align with my plans. They also gave me a courtesy call and also actually checked how I was going to monitor the thermometer - as I had not ordered a temp controller! So nice of them to check in on the order and give advice. If you are in the UK check them out, really friendly and approcahable.
Oh and to answer the question, I have a temp controller in the Nano which I will move over to the new tank!

Tank was delivered Friday 13th.. yes, I had asked for that date!
It came with no hiccups - there was a tear/dent on the box on the palette (see pics) but luckily no damage to the tank after closer inspection!
Now, I was ready to realise how big it was - but just forget to realise how heavy it would be!?!

Luckily my brother was popping over for dinner so he helped with the tank and bloody hell, that thing is heavy - I was hoping it would be lighter once the cabinet parts, sump, etc were out - but nope, it is still pretty heavy on it's own!
 

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The Assembly!
So this morning, Saturday 14th - I was at it. Wanted to get the tank assembled and in position.

I won't bore us with the standard building of the cabinet, etc but will add a few things I did learn...
Reading up on builds here really helped but also the Red Sea Reefer Facebook Group is fab - and the search even better! Helped answer a few of the silly questions I had such as:
  • The instructions say the top of the cabinet is under the tank - but not the bottom - even though the bottom is under the tank too!?
  • The new ATO also does not have a little air valve like the old ones did!
  • They give you black feet as well as white ones - only found them when I was levelling the cabinet - luckily before the tank was added!
Anyhow, cabinet built and all level - and then had to get the tank up - tried getting Dad to help but he is getting on a bit and could not raise it high enough... so called the cousin over (the brother was away!) and within a few minutes it was on the cabinet - and thank god, the whole thing was still level! Although it was quite easily moved about on the (now black) feet on the wooden floor which was good to know!

So tank on and I moved it into place - adding my multi socket extension lead before pushing it into the alcove. It fits - and I could actually push it in as far as I wanted to (the alcove is 37cm deep) - but I want to see the tank and also get to the glass edges - so as before, just moved it in enough to cover the weir from the sides. I might change my mind later on - but for now I like where it goes.

A few other points to note
  • the sump is bloody heavy!
  • the polystyrene goes everywhere so make you get your vacuum/hoover ready
  • I had really small hair like pieces of glass about - and got a "splinter" in my finger - so maybe wipe the aquarium first before handling.
  • I had one screw on the last bit - the little ledges under the top cabinet that was a real PIA... honestly it took me half an hour just to do the last four screws!
  • One of my doors does not close - it stays ajar a little - it is all aligned - I think the hinge just needs a day to settle.
But lastly, wow the quality is phenomenal comparing it to the Nano, it just feels like a massive upgrade, everything just slotted in with the piping and and sump. Just fab look and feel for sure - a very happy and proud owner for sure now!
 

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Tenecor AIO Conversion Kits Now Available!
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pratishk

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Day One Complete
Next Steps:
So over the coming days I will start working on a scape, add it and the sand as well as the return pump, thermometer, etc. I have an old thermometer I can add into the Nano which does not need the controller so it should be fine there.

I also need to do the water test - I cannot afford (time and water wise) to do a full tank water test - so will be looking at a weir and sump and return test.

Last thing tonight was registering the tank and getting the extended warranty - it's worth it I think for the investment I am making on this!

Catch you all soon!
 
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pratishk

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nice build man I have had my 300XL for a few months and its still dry.

Q: is there enough room to get your arms to the side of the tank for cleaning?
Yup. It's not all the way into the alcove, just up to the wier if you look sideways.
I've ordered an algae scraper to keep those parts clean that I can't reach with the magnet cleaner!
Oh and thanks... Looking forward to the next steps!
 
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Day Three: The Scape...

I went for the TMC Ecoreef as I really liked how their centrepiece fitted together, but also thought I needed some extra rocks so whilst waiting for the centrepiece to be in stock I went ahead and bought their Box E the branching rock set.

Comes neatly packed in bubble wrap and a polystyrene box to protect it. Unwrapping it only broke two small pieces, I was happy with that.
 

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World Wide Corals
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pratishk

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The Leak Test:
Did the leak test this weekend. Filled up the wier, sump and then used the return pump to fill up a couple of inches of the tank.
Looked good. Got most of the water out but wier and sump still has a bit left. It's tap water but I'll use a dechlorinator and then flush it out through a couple of water changes when I fill it up or I'll try to get it out before I fill it again...
Time to get the Scape sorted. Frustratingly I forgot to get the epoxy and glue with the first order and now waiting for it to arrive, hopefully next week so I can then get the tank started!
 

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Tidal Gardens
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pratishk

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The Tank is Wet!
And it's done. Scape and Sand in, waiting for it to settle and heat up to temp and then ready for the cycle!

I use a local company that delivers Natural Seawater to me, they kindly delivered 300 Litres in 12x25 Litre containers on Thursday - ready for me to fill the tank this weekend!
So this morning, Saturday - got up early and started scaping! Tried to go back to the original scapes above but then started to re-create a few different scapes and found one that I finally liked! Stuck the D-D Epoxy on to the rocks and let them sit for a couple of hours in a warm room.

I ended up making sure all the pieces could stand on their own and then stuck a couple of them together with the epoxy. It looked good when I added them into the tank - could possibly still add more rock but I think it was sufficient for now. I did go for adding two of the branches along the back weir - I know people say it could cause a dead spot or detritus magnet - but well - let's see - I can always remove them or push them out if I needed to. That is the nice thing about the scape it is sort of in about 4-5 parts so I hope it means easier to maintain/manage! The back corners seem a little empty but I have my reefwaves blowing through there so I think it will work well and possible spot for the fish to sleep/chill as I know my clowns love corners!

Added two bags of the Caribsea Arag-Alive Fiji Pink Live Sand - after the first bag I thought maybe two was not going to be enough - but it seems just about right actually - with the scape I had in place. Annoyingly I have lost my turkey baster/coral feeder so some sand is still sitting on some rock in the front but will blow it off at some point I am sure.

Used the tip/trick of filling the sump and using the return pump to fill the tank - took a couple of hours of stopping and starting the pump and filling the sump - but got there!

Once the wier filled up - I was in total panic mode - the return pipe was just constantly full of loads of bubbles and noise but once I closed the valve down within a few minutes it was silent. I then just worked out the best level in the sump and adjusted the return accordingly and so far I am happy hardly any noise... I have the G2 and definitley quite straight forward to dial in the return valve - so far!

So now, the waiting game.
Water to heat up - I moved my DD Temp Controller over from the Nano and stuck another heater in there which will end up being my back up in the main (new) tank later.
Sand to clear overnight in the tank.
I have added in two filter socks to see if they catch anything and then tomorrow I will remove the socks and start the Red Sea Reef Mature Cycle.
So tempted to go all Fritz or Dr Tims and add my clown fish in a couple of days - but I have waited this long - so will go with the full on Reef Mature - and hopefully can add the fish after the 15 days if the tests are good!

I also set up the Reef Wave 25 - only have one at the moment and it was straightforward. I lost connection once - but that was because my phone connected to my secondary wifi and not the main one which the reefwave was on and a quick firmware upgrade later it was set up and reef-waving away!

My light is not on yet as the mount had missing screws, they sent me a bag of replacements but that still has a missing screw - very frustrating but well atleast I do not need it whilst I cycle! I have asked for a refund and return - and after reading up about it - I will probably go for the 90 mount but still with the 50 Light.
So that is the next thing to sort out in the coming two weeks- the lighting!

Other things on order:
Red Sea DC Return Pump
Red Sea DC Skimmer 300
ReefTops Lid - from here in the UK

And annoyingly - I think either I have timed my tank right or Red Sea have timed their marketing but.. I may just invest in the new ATO from them too!
 

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