Red Sea Reefer 425 XL Build/ Upgrade and Tank Move

tritonpower

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So it is time to upgrade. My 60 gallon is only 12 inches deep and has no sump. The limitations have become too much after 8 months. I picked up a used, less than 1 yr old, Reefer 425 XL for half the price of a new one. Given the fact that ordering a new one can also take months I was stoked. Pictured is my current tank next to the new Reefer.

Step 1 was moving my current tank. What a chore that is! Since my tank is so tall I have 3 layers of rock. I had to take the 1st 2 top layers down as I drained the water. I put the rocks (many with lots of corals on them) in two 20 gallon storage bins from lowes with a heater and wave maker in each. Once I got down to 20 gallons in the tank I was able to move it with furniture mover pads on all 4 corners. The fish were not happy but did ok with the 20 gallons left in the tank. I had intended to then put my rock structure all back together as I cycled the new tank. When I looked at all my rock I realized how difficult that would be. I just grabbed the rock with corals on them and balanced them the best I could. Praying for no earthquake! It turned out best because now I have 1/2 of my cycled live rock to cycle the new tank with. I left them in one of the 20 gallon tubs as I prep the Reefer. Once I filled my tank back up with 20 gallons of old water from one of the Lowes tub and 20 new gallons saltwater I turned everything back on. The fish and corals were not happy last night after the move but by the morning all was back to normal. All the corals are open and happy and all the fish doing well. I hope the move into the Reefer goes as smoothly. Pictured is the tank before and after the move.
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tritonpower

tritonpower

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Step 2 was to setup the Reefer 425. It is nice that they include the leveling screws underneath. When you are placing it a corner with not perfectly level tiles, however, it is a nightmare to level. You can't reach the middle and back 3 or 4 screws. I had my son lift one end as I shimmied underneath, lowered the screws a little, check, repeat. Many times! I see no other way to do it. I saw a YouTube video how someone with a peninsula reefer took the floor off to make leveling easier. That didn't seam an option with the 425 XL that I could see.

Step 3 will be to put the tubing together and set the sump up tomorrow.

Step 4 will be to put in the sand. I plan to make 20 fresh gallons of salt and with the 20 from the lowes tub put the 40 total gallons in the Reefer with all my live rock. I'll add some bacteria and then a couple clowns. If all is well I plan to add my pulsating xenias (which are temporary as I will not leave that weed in the Reefer!) just to be sure it remains healthy.

Step 5 will be to then start the rockscape with all my live rock from both tanks which will be easier in a half full tank. Once I fill the tank completely then I can finish the top layer of rockscape and add all the rest of the corals and fish. If these last 2 steps seem problematic, let me know.
 
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tritonpower

tritonpower

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Here is all the gear I got on Black Friday sale from BRS.
-I already have 2 ReefLED 50s on my current tank so I just got one more. Hopefully 3 should give me the coverage I need on the 425. FYI. my current tank is 24 inches tall and the ReefLED 50s provide great growth even for corals in the sand. Accounting for the 2 inches of sand it is at least 22 inches from the top of the water. That is deeper than the 20 inches it recommends but seems to work for my corals.
-Reef Octopus Regal 150 Int. Skimmer
-Syncra SDC 7.0 Return pump
-Reefwave 25 (plus I'll use my current Jebao SOW-8 on the other side). Hopefully enough motion with the two. Time will tell
-Aqua classic 25 watt UV- I'll run inline after return pump before return to tank. I'm using an aqua UV 15 watt hang on currently and a Santa Monica drop box. Those have helped with algae. I'll be running a chaeto refugium in the 425.

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tritonpower

tritonpower

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I have been manually dosing calcium and alk using seachem reef advantage calcium and reef builder for alk. The calcium mixes well. The reef builder does not. As my coral have grown they are using more and more. I am having trouble keeping both up despite manually dosing every couple of days. I am finally going to dose with pumps on the 425. I can't wait to get it dialed in and not have to dose manually all the time. I got the BRS dosing kit with alk, calcium, and mag. I got 2 BRS dosers. I will dose mag manually but that should not be very often.

I do not have a controller so I use Gosund wifi plugs for everything. $25 for 4 on Amazon. You can set timers, schedules, etc. Whenever I feed I open the app on my phone and turn off wave pumps, my fluval canister, protein skimmer. You can set a delay to turn them back on if needed. You just need a wifi plug for each. Works great. I will do this for the BRS dosers as well. I think I will back the dosers up though with a manual timer as well in case the wifi crashes, I don't want the dosers left on the on position too long.

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tritonpower

tritonpower

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So I had a delay. My manifold was leaking. I thought it was the O-rings initially and I replaced all the red and white O-rings but it still leaked. I then realized the guy I bought the tank from had removed the 3 screw on tighteners under the manifold which had ruined the silicone seal. I re-did the silicone and no leak.

I then did all the plumbing. I ran tubing from the return pump to a T splitter and then on to the UV. The other portion of the T I ran to another T splitter. I have a valve before and after the UV and a valve between the two T splitters. This allows me to bypass my UV if needed and still have water running to my return. Not sure how long the metal tube clamps will take to rust. Hopefully a while.

I will rocks cape next weekend and then transfer all my corals and fish. Can't wait.

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tritonpower

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Transferring all the fish and corals were not easy but done with the help of my neighbor and fellow reefer. The move stressed out the tomini tang. He may have had ich, hard to tell. He had some white spots that resolved after a few days. Hopefully they stay away. Below is the finished product. Let me know what you think. I will also post how the sump and electrical turned out.
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tritonpower

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Below is the sump.

Because of the possible ich on my Tomini tang I turned the flow to my UV filter down and used my bypass flow plumbing to keep the return flow the same. Worked out well. Only problem is I have to guess at what the flow is without a flow meter.

I am using BRS 2 part dripping into the return chamber. The soda ash/alk was precipitating so I added a small flow pump as shown below. This worked great and stopped the precipitation.

I had an issue with siphoning of the ATO. I am using a 5 gallon ATO from bashsea (which is so beautiful I regret hiding it next to my tank). I had to lift it up a little to fit above my baseboard next to my tank. This raised it enough to cause siphoning so I had to mount the tubing to my return tubing and it squirts into one of my filter cups with a sponge filter in it. This results in no splashing despite the height.

The Refugium is growing cheato really fast. This started as a small ball a couple weeks ago. My recent nitrate/ phos were 2/0.04 so I may have to turn the lights down to less hours soon. It is also growing bubble algae.
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tritonpower

tritonpower

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For anyone else setting up a 425 XL you will find that other than the plumbing, the biggest headache is the electrical. I have 3 red sea LED50s, 2 heaters, 2 fans, a heater/fan controller, 2 BRS dosers, 2 wave pumps, UV, Refugium light, protein skimmer, ATO. That's an insane amount of plugs, many with their own power bricks.

To fit them together I ordered an adjustable shelf from amazon made for high school lockers. I have all the power cords and bricks bound together on the 1st level leaving me 2 levels for storage. I quickly realized that all those bricks together get very hot. So I ordered a cooling fan controller with thermostat and a small fan that kicks on if the temp within the power bricks reaches 100F. Works well. I was able to fit 2 1 gallon dosing jugs for calcium and alk. As you can see I have everything plugged into a DJ strip although that is more as a backup since I really just use the gosund app to control everything. It works great as my cheap "controller". I am using 8 different gosund wifi plugs. They work great. Especially for the dosers. I had the alk run for a few minutes every 20 minutes to also prevent the precipitation.
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tritonpower

tritonpower

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Looks good, only comment I have is that all those metal fasteners are going to rust.

The rust could easily fall into your sump creating issues.

These lines are not under pressure, you don't need the powah of the metal clamps. I would use something else
I know. I had a tough time finding plastic fasteners. I will have to watch them close and decide what to do if/when they start to rust. Thanks for reminding me.
 
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This is amazing!
I also have one metal fastener in my 425, been a year and still haven’t rusted!
I’m sure you could simply coat it with something to give it a little protection from the salt. They’re inexpensive and can easily be replaced and recycled.

I question! Doesn’t make you want to cry when you have to move wires! That’s how I felt when I needed to do that in mine. Wish I magically had more room at the time!
Looks great and I’ll follow this!

You don’t have your build thread badge!
Add your URL of this build thread and copy it over into account settings under R2R Tank thread link.
 
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tritonpower

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I hit the 1 year mark for my original tank (where most of my rock and fish came from) even though I have only had the Reefer 425 for 3 months now. Everything is doing great. I added my last piece of rock that I have planned for the tank. I placed my 1st 2 acans on this white rock as shown. I also added a rock anemone. Since I have filled most of the tank it is now time to sit and watch everything grow. Hard to be patient but fun to see how much growth there has been thus far.
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tritonpower

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I also tried my hand at drilling a tank and building a sump. It was challenging but fun. I had a 20 gallon long and 10 gallon tank so I drilled the 20 gallon and made a DIY sump out of the 10 gallon using black PVC board. I used the ATO resevoir and float valve from the reefer 425 I was not using in my DIY sump. Turned out well and will be my future frag tank.
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tritonpower

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Here are some pics as well. Now that the rocks are 14 months old I am seeing much more stability. I am also able to read the tank a lot better now. For months I have had phos of 0.02 and nitrates at zero. I have been feeding more and now getting more algae so I knew they were higher. Today phos was 0.07 and nitrates 0.2. SPS are still doing well so I am not concerned.

I started dosing with BRS 2 part/dosing pumps a while back and now have been using Tropic Marin Part C once a week (twice the mL of my weekly alk) and low dose of part A and B. I have added 40mL of each to the calcium and alk gallon jugs. As my corals get larger I will increase the dose with the goal of the full dose at the 2 year mark.

Here are some pics.

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