red sea reefers are not worth the cost

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Duncan62

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I love my Red Sea Reefer. I bought it used as I couldn’t afford a new Red Sea, Cade, Waterbox, Elos etc. It’s an expensive hobby as are nearly all hobbies.

The glass clarity, glass overflow, beveling are all very nice. I appreciate the ATO. They could’ve not included anything at all?

Your arguments are your opinion but probably not fair to single out Red Sea. Their product pricing is on par with the industry.
Yes. It's all to much but we still love it. Lol. How many have bought a coral that cost more than the aquarium? I almost have and know people that do it. Cost is really relative.
 
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Reeferbadness

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I bought the 750 XXL as a 2nd tank to join my 180G custom. Agree that the ATO is junk - so i replaced it with a proper one. I did ala cart on a few other items as well (lights, skimmer, return pump, etc) - so far i love it! (12 months in so far)
 

smokin'reefer

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I can appreciate your opinion.

I am on my 4th RS tank and thoroughly enjoyed wasting every last dollar.

For me it was about having all the plumbing pretty much worked out. There is a lot of information to digest when starting your first tank. By going Red Sea, I was able to focus on water parameters, fish and coral knowledge overload. I still couldn't tell you the difference between bean animal and any other method. But man do I have a nice reef tank in my living room.

One example I can give. I found a neighbor that had your standard 125 gallon with whatever return system. He kept asking me to help him get his tank as quiet as mine. Well I couldn't because I got in on the reefing for dummies tank and never looked back.

I think it's all about preference. That's why I can respect your opinion on Red Sea while enjoying mine.

Happy reefing.
 

davidcalgary29

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And your point about the ATO is self defeating. If it is useless, thats just as bad as it not working.
But you state that your intended purpose of the critique is education. The impact of the criticism is lessened if it isn't valid. Why not just stick to criticism of the tanks' actual calculable deficits, instead of presenting opinion and subjectively perceived flaws? If I was a beginner, I'd find much more value in an objective assessment than a rant.
 

ID-Reefer

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Had a custom built acrylic with a custom built stand in the past. Was a good tank and I had it for a decade before getting out of the hobby for an 8 year break.

When I decided to get back into I didn't want to go with a custom mainly because of the wait and expense or with a pieced together system because of the work involved. I shopped around and narrowed in on Red Sea and WB. I liked the ease pick and choose from their website, the integrated plumbing and ability to go with different lights etc of my own choosing. I ended up with a RS 900 XXL. Not cheap but Ive been really happy with the tank and stand quality and ease of set up. I went fully automated AWC and run an ATO from a water tank in a different room and use the 2nd sump tank for a frag tank. I love the set up and 14 months in couldn't be happier.

I think the suggestion that they are over priced is somewhat subjective. It depends what you are comparing and what someone wants, how long they want to wait, etc. etc. Buying anything new can be considered over priced. I have a new Ram Truck and many say all new trucks are over priced but then I was willing to pay it because its what I wanted.

A good test in my mind is if I buy something and am happy with it a year or two down the road was it over priced? Im happy with the 900 so for me it wasn't overpriced.
 
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Ashy

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You forgot Red seas biggest issue, the dang overflow box cover does not fit flush and the left side is higher on all the red sea reefers I have seen, dangit!
20220105_152447.jpg
 

landlubber

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i thoroughly enjoyed the plug and play confusion lol.
IMO While not the cheapest around Red Sea tanks are great systems. if you consider how few other builders offer an attractive stand, rimless tank and overflow.
My current system is a custom build, sump, stand and plumming. If side by side with a Reefer of comparable size, nobody would pick my current tank over a Red Sea.
 

Manny’s Reef

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I know this is controversial, but there is no way red sea tanks are worth the money at all in the slightest. I bought a red sea 250 after moving and needing to downsize from my 150(which was just a standard 150 from planet aquariums I purchased from my lfs). It was somewhat sudden and I didn't want to go through the hassle of designing, purchasing, and installing plumbing; I found a good deal so I decided to get it. I bought the system used for a price of $800. It had only been used for a year and everything worked fine. So I figured I would outline the things I don't like about the system to warn others but hopefully have some input from to improve these issues.

1. The "all in one"/"plug and play" lie: The red sea 250 system cost $1824. That includes the tank, stand, sump and plumbing. How is this plug and play? Theres nothing even to plug in as it doesn't come with a return pump. I think that most people would agree that to just get the tank started you would need to put in at least another $1000. You could easily spend over $3000 including the tank and not have any fish or coral. Thats insane for a tank with a system volume of 65 gallons. You could easily find a tank at least twice the volume including stand and probably a sump for the same price or less. Even other all in ones like IM give you a pump, media, and a top. Luckily I had a bunch of extra stuff from my 150 but for someone starting out it would be ridiculous.

2. The lack of space: One of Red sea's main selling points is that you wont have to spend time and money buying different pieces of plumbing and filtration equipment to put your system together. For a beginner who has no experience in what to look for in buying equipment this is a good reason to buy Red sea. But for more experienced reefers who are looking to run more sophisticated equipment such as gfo reactors, calcium reactors, auto dosers, or an ato(i will cover this more later) they will be greatly restricted by space. The sump takes up a considerable amount of space and leaves just a small area, about 14inx20in, to store EVERYTHING else. My stand looks like a bomb went off. Between auto doser pumps and containers, wires for the heater, refugium light, skimmer, and return pump there is almost no room to store anything else. This is because the opening for wires require that they be stretched across the sump from the left side. And the sump has to be installed on the left. This means wires get covered in salt creep and take up valuable space in the storage area.

3. The ATO: The ATO is famously hated among red sea owners. This should be no surprise since all it is is a cheap float valve system with no real fail safe in it except for the fact that the volume when filled is not enough to overflow the sump. That's fine if you don't mind losing sensitive species to a large salinity swing. Now granted, I have had no reliability issues with the ATO and the feature for adjusting the water level in the return pump compartment is very nice. My main issue is how it is positioned. Since the ATO sits on top of the sump, it is high above everything else so it is difficult to access. You can't pour the bottom half of a 5 gallon jug into it as you cant tip the jug over enough to get the water out. This means you need to empty the water and scoop it in with a cup or something. And forget trying to take the ATO out and filling it. The reservoir is a small glass tank with an open top so there would be no way to reinstall it without sloshing water all over the place. And that open top quality makes you lose lots of extra water due to evaporation. The design is so poor that it makes way more sense to just get another ATO, especially if your house is as dry as mine. The design could have been fixed so easily too. Just make the reservoir a closed top jug with a hole at the side and include a funnel to pour the water into. Almost like a gas tank or oil for your engine. But it is so obvious that red sea instead chose to forego functionality for aesthetic by keeping their minimalistic glass box instead of a custom plastic jug that would have made sense. Instead I have to keep a new ATO outside of the tank stand as there is no room inside the stand for one.

4. The quality issues: Red sea has a reputation of quality in general. That is until you start to have problems with your tank and find all the red sea owners with the same problem. From seam leaks to the incredibly annoying defect with the drain plumbing that causes the tank to sound like a toilet 24/7, red sea has its fair share of issues. Personally, my tank is way louder than my 150 ever was. If the dial on the drain line isn't tuned exactly right it is extremely loud. Many people replace this part with one from home depot. For a near $2000 tank kit, this is unacceptable.

Conclusion: Red sea systems are great if you like how they look. That's it. After owning one for the past 6 months I can tell you that it isn't worth it. The equipment is not better. It requires mods to make it function optimally and you will be spending hundreds of more dollars before ever putting a fish in. In my opinion, red sea takes advantage of people with the idea that they will provide you with everything you need to get you a tank that looks like the ones on their website or at fish stores(btw, red sea requires displays in stores that sell their tanks, the stores aren't necessarily choosing red sea because they want to). I understand that many people love red sea reefer tanks. And not all red sea products are bad either, just the tanks(and test kits lol). If you want to buy a red sea tank, just do your research and think about how your money is being spent and where else it could go. Cheers!
What I hear is that Red Sea tanks simply aren’t for you. That’s ok. They’re definitely not for everyone. You complained about very specific features of the aquarium, such as the plumbing. You should have researched well in advance and determined that this plumbing was not going to work out for you. Sounds like you made a purchase you’re dissatisfied with and this is the outlet for your regret.
Red Sea makes a great product. Again? Not for everyone but for those who are after what it provides, great product. Sorry to hear you’re unsatisfied with the tank.
 
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czoolander

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The ATO gives me slight problems once in awhile other then that the tank is amazing. I would recommend one to anyone who asked me they are great tanks/systems

I had to laugh at the all in one system didn't come with a return pump. yeah it doesn't come with sand rock water fish skimmer wave pumps either whats your point ? show me a tank that comes with all that stuff included ?

You bought your tank used . You entered into a hobby that costs money that's just the way it is if you don't want to drive a Ferrari then go purchase a Honda
 
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dontbuyxenia

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I love my Red Sea Reefer. I bought it used as I couldn’t afford a new Red Sea, Cade, Waterbox, Elos etc. It’s an expensive hobby as are nearly all hobbies.

The glass clarity, glass overflow, beveling are all very nice. I appreciate the ATO. They could’ve not included anything at all?

Your arguments are your opinion but probably not fair to single out Red Sea. Their product pricing is on par with the industry.
Oh I'm not trying to single out red sea. This is probably true of most of the AIO systems. But red sea and IM are the only ones I have owned and feel confident speaking on
 

Tamberav

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I had a Red Sea and wasn’t a huge fan. The valve is such garbage, it should have a gate valve and the overflow is huge and not very modern. I think their basic tanks need some tweaks for 2022. I doubt it will cost them a ton more to put in a better valve and a sleeker overflow.

They just seem a bit dated to me..
 
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dontbuyxenia

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The

Then what companies do you think are better? What company provides you with an ATO that are not float valves? Do you expect them to provide you with a motorised unit?
It wouldn't be unreasonable for an $1800 65 gallon tank. At the very least they need to make refilling it easier
 

A Young reefer

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Oh I'm not trying to single out red sea. This is probably true of most of the AIO systems. But red sea and IM are the only ones I have owned and feel confident speaking on
Then if it isn’t Red Sea alone, it’s how the industry rolls you can’t expect a price of a custom tank to be close to that of a branded tank. This is how it is and you have to deal with how it is.
 
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dontbuyxenia

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Then if it isn’t Red Sea alone, it’s how the industry rolls you can’t expect a price of a custom tank to be close to that of a branded tank. This is how it is and you have to deal with how it is.
No you don't. You can buy another tank for cheaper and put the parts together yourself. That type of thinking is why they are able to get away with charging such high prices. If people recognized the absurdity of the pricing and how little youre getting the prices would come down.
 
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