Red Sea Reefer XL 425 - The Upgrade

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Leiph86

Leiph86

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Weekend update - cycling has started on the tank with a fishless cycle. Ammonia was up but is now lowering, Nitrites are up, and Nitrates are starting to rise. Hopefully this will be done in a week or so! I used Instant Ocean Biospira which I have used in the past with success as well as a couple pieces of real reef live rock I picked up over the weekend.

Also, due to a shipping delay I'm still waiting for the replacement O-rings on the main return. The slow drip coming from that is minimal and is dropping directly into the sump. Once the new part comes in I will swap it out and hopefully should be all good!
 

Rudzbrewski

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@Johnsoto25 Yeah - so that's the key - equipment that isn't accessible isn't serviceable in my opinion. I built my plumbing with ways to remove equipment to ensure I can clean and remove/replace components as needed. The main drain has two unions (one before the gate valve and one after to replace the gate valve or maintain the roller mat if needed).

The UV is completely able to be separated as well and I recently tested that with the leak post above.

The main return and the manifold that goes to the media reactors are one piece but is all able to be removed.

The Media Reactors can be separated from the manifold for refilling/maintenance.

Overall every piece of equipment under 'the hood' is able to be removed and maintained. I even tested this during my dry fit will all my sump equipment hooked up to ensure I have ample space to maneuver things out as needed. The one aspect from a maintenance that might be a tad difficult is replacing the fleece roller. Right now it appears I'll need to remove the entire roller mat assembly, but I've seen some YouTube videos of folks stapling the new roll to the old one and it seems to just pick it right up...we'll see if that works in the real world.
Stapling worked for me like a charm and was super quick and easy.
 
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Great news is the cycle is done, 20% water change last night. However, I needed to order a couple extra parts for the Red Sea DIY Aquarium Cover (I needed 2 zig zag kits for my lights) and will have to wait until those come in to move my current livestock over from the previous tank.

I also picked up some PVC boards from Home Depot to start work on my custom controller board since the options sold by the .com's won't work on the right side of my cabinet due to the UV sterilizer's location in that section. Hopefully this week I'll be able to pick up the Ikea cabinets I've been waiting for to flank the tank and will begin that work soon as well.

Also with the aquarium cover just around the corner, I'm struggling with what type of tang to start with in my tank. I've always wanted one and there are so many options, but I also don't want to drop over 200 bucks on a single fish. A few varieties I've been eyeballing:

  1. Purple Tang - probably my favorite, but also see this guy running between 150 - 200 bucks
  2. Powder Brown Tang - I prefer this variety over the powder blue variant. Also much more affordable between 60-100 bucks
  3. Flame Fin Tang - Also seems like a good choice and I like the coloring on this one, also runs between 60 - 100 bucks

The question I have, is as long as the body shapes/species are different, can I mix tangs? I've heard, for example, it can be difficult to mix a purple with a yellow tang for example (or a powder brown and powder blue). Anyone have experience with this?
 

Rudzbrewski

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Great news is the cycle is done, 20% water change last night. However, I needed to order a couple extra parts for the Red Sea DIY Aquarium Cover (I needed 2 zig zag kits for my lights) and will have to wait until those come in to move my current livestock over from the previous tank.

I also picked up some PVC boards from Home Depot to start work on my custom controller board since the options sold by the .com's won't work on the right side of my cabinet due to the UV sterilizer's location in that section. Hopefully this week I'll be able to pick up the Ikea cabinets I've been waiting for to flank the tank and will begin that work soon as well.

Also with the aquarium cover just around the corner, I'm struggling with what type of tang to start with in my tank. I've always wanted one and there are so many options, but I also don't want to drop over 200 bucks on a single fish. A few varieties I've been eyeballing:

  1. Purple Tang - probably my favorite, but also see this guy running between 150 - 200 bucks
  2. Powder Brown Tang - I prefer this variety over the powder blue variant. Also much more affordable between 60-100 bucks
  3. Flame Fin Tang - Also seems like a good choice and I like the coloring on this one, also runs between 60 - 100 bucks

The question I have, is as long as the body shapes/species are different, can I mix tangs? I've heard, for example, it can be difficult to mix a purple with a yellow tang for example (or a powder brown and powder blue). Anyone have experience with this?
The Tomini tang (flame fin) are definitely cool looking and affordable. I went with a standard Kole tang and my LFS had a really nice colored/patterned one. Another more pricey option I really liked at the shop was the white tail tang. I like the idea of a bristletooth tang to help with some algae eating as well as they visually were appealing to me.
 
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Leiph86

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Parts finally came for the aquarium topper and I started assembly on that. I plan to do two panels split in the middle so I don't have to take 4 foot of screen off at one time when performing maintenance. I also will be installing "Neat" feeding portals on each side. Also, with my original tank still battling dinos it was time to throw in the towel and get the livestock moved over - so now all my fish plus one new blue hippo tang have been added to the tank and are doing fine.

Still waiting for my flanking cabinets for the controler, ATO resivor, and general storage...however, you might notice I bit the bullet on a Hydros Control 4 after much research and mixed experience with my ApexEL on my original tank. I also have a slick addon box that I got that I will share more details on soon once it's hooked up. Still battling the cord octopus as well...

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captain_jimmy

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Parts finally came for the aquarium topper and I started assembly on that. I plan to do two panels split in the middle so I don't have to take 4 foot of screen off at one time when performing maintenance. I also will be installing "Neat" feeding portals on each side.
Hi there.
Been following your thread, really informative thank you.

Did you order the red sea self assembly screen kit for the 425 XL? if so how do you plan to assemble it into two separate sections?
 
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Leiph86

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@captain_jimmy - Thanks for reaching out! I've been extremely with work so haven't had the spare time to post alot. I ordered the XL 425 assembly screen kit and then ordered individual extra parts to do the two halves. I tend to order more than I need so I don't have to wait for one part to come in (worst thing ever).

I'm actually going to assemble it this upcoming weekend and will get some photos and the parts listing if all goes according to plan. Otherwise, fish and a few corals are in the new tank and doing fine, I'll try and get some update photos for the tank too!
 

ClutchCityReefer

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Looks like a great build, thanks @Leiph86. I just ordered a 425 myself and am looking forward to the install after I rip out my carpet and sand/stain the concrete in the soon-to-be fishroom. I will definitely be following this thread!

I saw there were a few questions/discussions about the various screen options for the 425 so I figured I'd see if you or anyone else has had any experience with ClearView lids (https://www.clearviewlids.com/pages/clearview-lids-picture-gallery). They are a bit pricier than the Red Sea kits, but given the price of the system it's menial. I like the look/simplicity of these lids but would the more informed opinions, the better. Any thoughts?

Thanks!
 
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RyanHoan

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The Build - Plumbing Parts List:

My plumbing used the following parts - the only thing I was short on was about 6 inches of 1" red pipe - I used some standard schedule 40 white pipe on some joints that were not or only slightly visible to compensate for this.

Also a really important thing I learned that not a lot of people talk about - dry fit plumbing does not push in all the way to your fittings - when you use primer and cement your pipes go further into fittings. Either compensate with a little bit extra piping on your dry fit or mark your pipe with a tick mark on where it was with your dry fit. Also, glue one part at a time in sections so you can recut/adjust as necessary.

PartQty TotalComments
Red Sea Part #422213Used to connect to adapters for 1" piping
3/4" Thread to 1" Slip Adapter3Used for Bulkhead connections with plumbing tape to convert to 1" piping
1" Red Pipe (46" Length)3
1" 90* Elbow11
1" 45* Elbow6
1" T-Fitting3
1" Gate Valve, Slip x Slip1Used for main drain (connected to Aquamaxx Fleece Roller Mat)
1" Union, Slip x Slip4Used throughout for sections that may need to be removed for easier maintenance
1" Ball Valve, Slip x Slip2Used for Return Pump and UV Sterilizer
1" F Slip to 1.25" M Slip Reducer1Used to connect 1" Pipe to Aquamaxx Fleece Roller Mat
1/2" Red Pipe (46" Length)1Used for Aquamaxx Media Reactors
1/2" 90* Elbow6Used for Aquamaxx Media Reactors
1/2" F Slip to 1/2" M Thread Adapter4Used for Aquamaxx Media Reactors
1/2" Ball Valve, Slip x Slip2Used for Aquamaxx Media Reactors
1" F Slip to 1/2" F Thread Reducer2Used for Aquamaxx Media Reactors
1" F Slip to 2" M Slip Reducer2Used for Aqua Illumination UV Sterilizer (25w)
1" Pipe Clamps4Used for support at various extended sections
2" J Hooks (Lowes Hardware)2Used to mount UV Sterilizer (Lowes specifically as Home Depot's J-Hooks do not work)
1" Pipe Adapter Spigot x Barb1Used to connect silicone tubing from return pump to return line
1" White Soft Silicone Tubing12 foot section purchased to connect return pump to return line (to allow for errors)

Finally, some updated photos of the final plumbing:
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BEHOLD! THE RAT KING'S NEST OF CABLES!...aquascaping gluing and cable management are next...with hopefully a leak test in the coming days! I see the light at the end of the tunnel...to another light...it never really ends...:oops:


Hello! Where did you get all of your adapter pieces? For example, your 3/4" to 1" adapters? Thank you!
 
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Have you ever had a reef tank with no sump and how did it go?

  • YES and it was just fine

    Votes: 53 58.2%
  • YES but it was difficult

    Votes: 18 19.8%
  • NO

    Votes: 18 19.8%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 2 2.2%
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