Reefer 250 Build. 15 years away from the hobby but I am back

Dal-Reef

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Do to work and life I tore down my 125 gallon Oceanic reef tank 15 years ago. The love of this hobby has never left me and I knew that one day I would get another tank. Well I am I back ;).

I spent months researching and slowly getting all of the gear. I am a gear head and really wanted this tank to be automated as much as possible and and allow me to monitor remotely due to work travel. I am in IT for a living and love all of the technology out there for us hobbyist.

The Reefer 250 has been up and running 12 weeks this Saturday. I have taken tons of pics and will start sharing over the coming weeks and months. Just maybe it will help someone just like you guys have helped me.
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. The
 
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Dal-Reef

Dal-Reef

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It's awesome you got back into the hobby! I just started the build of a Red Sea Reefer myself. Excited to follow along the journey.
Its a very additive hobby for sure... Glad you are back as well.. Our hobby is a big family for sure
 
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Dal-Reef

Dal-Reef

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So after lots of reading on R2R , watching YouTube, FB post, forums and Instagram I will be rolling with the below setup. It will change and morph as time goes along. I plan on mixed reef but who knows were I will go with it. :)

  • Red Sea Reef 250 tank
  • 2 Kissel 360x
  • Kessil Spectral Controller X
  • AquaticLife T5 hybrid 36 inch with 360x Brackets
  • Neptune Apex (Hardwired to router)
  • Neptune CORE 15 return pump
  • Neptune WXM VorTech module
  • 2 - MP10w VorTech
  • Tunze Osmolator 3155
  • Clearsea 3000 ( I will not install this in several months down the road. I want the tank to mature)
  • Red Sea RSK Skimmer 300 ( have my old LifeReef skimmer may swap out Red Sea)
  • Vivi Aquatics dual return nozzle
  • Hanna Reef Pro test kit
  • Red Sea Ammonia test kit
  • Red Sea NO2/NO3 test kits
  • Hammerhead Float glass cleaner
  • TDS HandHeld Meter
  • Marine Pure Ceramic Biomedia
  • BRS LED Lit Reffractometer
  • BRS 5 stage RODI
  • Fritz blue box salt
  • 15lbs of CarbiaSea special grade sand
  • Dr Tim's 1 & only
  • Fritz Turbo Start 900
  • Will use some of the 160 lbs of Marshall Island and Tonga rock from my old tank that has been in storage.
  • Starting out will be keeping Cal, Alk and Mag by using BRS Kalkwasser & Soda Ash but this will change.
 
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Dal-Reef

Dal-Reef

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Building of the stand was lot more work thank I thought. I thought IKea was bad but this thing was
something else. I have been following all of the issues with the 750xl but don't want to get into in this thread.
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Dal-Reef

Dal-Reef

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Look at all of the parts and you better use everyone of them. We did and double checked it twice. This is for a 2 person job and glad the wife was there. She keeps every organized. We took it very slow and made sure everything was tight but not over tight to stress or take a panel of alignment. Took well over 3 hours.
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Dal-Reef

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Next up was getting RODI installed. I wanted the RODI close to were I setup the tank up so installed it under the sink in the spare bathroom. Setup was pretty easy and BRS RODI looks be great unit.

I am running clean water to a 32 gallon Brute trash can. Getting really good water pressure here in Texas. Around 65-PSI. Output to DI is around 8-TDS and clean water coming out is 0

This will be my setup for the next several months until I get my water station setup in the front bedroom. Plan on building a nice cabinet so it will out of the way. So far this has been working great so no hurry in moving it.

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Dal-Reef

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I decided to go with 2 Kissel 360x mounted in Aquatic Life 36" HYBRID running ATI 2 Blue + and Coral +. It would be my luck that 3 months after I pick up T5 Hyrbrid that Aqutic life would come out with a dimmable fixture and with only 1 ballast. :(

I did run into some issues with the mounting arms for Aquatic Life. Once I got them installed I could not get the twist nut to tighten enough to keep the arm from flexing. I contacted Aquatic Life and was told to bend the bracket to make it tighter. Personally I feel it was manufactured wrong. On one of them I had put in a small piece of wood to get it tight enough. Over all I happy with the fixture but seems a little large over tank. Putting the fixture together was pretty straight forward. I thought I took pics but could not find them

I running the fixture 6 inches off the water surface. With only 6 inches sometimes it makes getting into the tank cumbersome but I am getting use to it now. I am happy with it so far and I am sure the newer one is much cleaner looking.

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Dal-Reef

Dal-Reef

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One thing that I wanted to run was a ClariSea filter roll. With the Reefer 250 v3 sump I decided to modify it. I read were others did not and just ran plumbing to it but I wanted to use other parts of the sump for reactors if needed down the road. The sump is pretty small. It took some time and lot of patience but was able to cut out the filter socks holders and glass panels. One of the glass panels did break so make sure you wear leather gloves.

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Dal-Reef

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I had a reef tank back 15 or so years ago. Do to my work, marriage and just life being so busy I sold my Oceanic 125. Back in the day I was running a Berlin using LifeReef hardware but did keep parts of it like the skimmer and other pieces. I am did use some of it in my setup and post about that later.

One of the things I for sure did was keep all of my live rock. I knew one day I would be back. It was that old school rock you got from Marshall Island, Tonga and Florida. It was around 180lbs and just did not want to sale it. Glad I didn't since you cannot get this stuff anymore. I dried and stored in large sealed trash cans all these years. Hauling as moved around never giving up getting another tank. :)

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Dal-Reef

Dal-Reef

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Will continue to post more of the build but wanted to share a video of the tank at the 3 month mark as of last Saturday. I created a YouTube channel will post more as I go along. Let me know what you think. Its a work in progress for sure
 

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Looks great for 3 months, well done! Like the rock work a lot!

Do I win a prize for being YouTube subscriber Numero uno?? :p

Look forward to seeing more!
 
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Dal-Reef

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Looks great for 3 months, well done! Like the rock work a lot!

Do I win a prize for being YouTube subscriber Numero uno?? :p

Look forward to seeing more!
Thanks man.. Its some of my old live rock from Marshall Island-Tonga and has been in storage all these years. When I was doing the scape dry on a table I keep changing it then asking wife what she thought.. Finally she said stop changing its good :D Not sure if you know of Marc “melev” Levenson but I posted my scape on his FB page and asked asked to use several of my pics for a presentation at Auqashella in Chiago a few weeks back. So that was cool :)
 
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