Red Sea Reefer 350 DLX build 2017-2019

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OK ... so my journey to the saltyside began 17/8/17 when I visited the LFS and paid a deposit for a Red Sea Reefer 350 DLX.

The fun proper began on 23/09/17 when I went back to collect my new tank.

For those who need to know - it just fits in a BMW 3 Series Touring with the seats down.

It's also very heavy.

LFS were amazed that I wanted to build it myself and I'm apparently the first customer to DIY - all their other RSRs have been built for the customer by them .... Where's the fun in that?

At the same time I picked up a large tub of RS Coral Pro Salt and told them I'd be back in two weeks for rock and sand.
 
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During the delivery wait I decided to order some of the hardware:

Aqua Medic DC Runner 3.1 return pump
Aqua Medic Eco Drift 4.1 Powerhead x2
Aqua Medic 200w Titanium heater and controller

DI/RO kit was plumbed in under the kitchen sink - and started making water (I also bought some DI water for convenience).

The tank was lifted into place on the Wednesday evening, the pipework went in carefully on Thursday evening (LFS said "two clicks good - three clicks bad") and on the Saturday was filled with tap water to do the leak tests.

Leak tests were OK so tank was pumped dry and refilled with DI/RO water and salt (mixed in the display tank). Pump turned on. Temperature set to 25C +/- 1C and left to settle.

Whilst the water was doing its thing I cut some egg crate to protect the base glass ready to receive 35kg of live rock.

As promised .... two weeks after collecting the tank I went back for rock and sand.

Rock and Egg Crate.jpg


In preparation for the sand I cut back the egg crate to provide a smooth surface over most of the tank for inverts to wander freely.
Egg Crate Cut Back.jpg


The egg crate was cut back all the way around the rock but didn't take a photo of that ......
 
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With the rock in place and the egg crate cut back in went 2 bags of small grain Red Sea pink coral sand.

Sand.jpg


LFS warned me to wash the sand and I did ..... but not thoroughly enough apparently as I still have some residual silt in the sump.

In retrospect I think I'd have been better off with some coarser sand but we live and learn.
 
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The next step was to wait 75 days for the live rock to cycle fishless ...... yawn.

Well, actually not "yawn" as I very soon got all sorts of interesting life coming out of the live rock.

First to appear was a bloom of Copepods, closely followed by Brine Shrimp by the 100.

Then the corralline algae started to spread everywhere .... I got some macro algae and one night found what I assume to be a porcelain crab ... never seen since.

Two "white" stomatella snails appeared and subsequently I have a very cool black one.
 
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ellenRN

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How is it going? We just got our 350 and I am a complete newbie! Please post pictures! Also pictures under your cabinet - I have no idea what I am doing!!!! Take care, Ellen
 
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Very interested to hear/see more about them, keep us posted!
They've been running just over a week now.

Still using the acclimatise function so running at 80% currently.

Oh, and having got fed up with varying pH readings I bought an Apex.

So using the holiday weekend to set that up completely.
 
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Moving further forward and will post pictures of the Apex control board and updated plumbing as soon as I have finished.

Question:

Looking for suggestions for corals for the top surfaces and slopes of the compound arch - what would look good in these high light and relatively high flow areas - preference would be something other than SPS .....

_MG_5959_DxO.jpg


(Please ignore the dirty back wall ;-)
 

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