Reefer 250 build - Tokyo, Japan

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Machpoint89

Machpoint89

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PROJECT PLUMBING > COR 15 | Change 3/4” to 1”

As I was plumbing the manifold and overflow I realized that the Neptune COR 15 and COR 20 generally have a 3/4” connection or 1-1/4” Union for the return portion.

Why is this a problem?.... well my whole plan was based on 1” So I had to find a solution with the items I had laying around and came up with a great solution

To convert the return portion of a COR 15 / COR 20 from 3/4” to 1” you will need:

  1. So I sawed/cut off the bottom portion of the RedSea adapter below the flange line and used the included “nut” for the 3/4” return on the COR 15 pump to put it together. (Sand it smooth first)
  2. Kept the o-ring in place that was included for the 3/4” return
  3. Slide the o-ring from the RedSea part onto the flanged portion so it will be seated in between that and the nut for a watertight seal
  4. Put teflon tape on the threaded adapter
Voila! Now you can use 1” piping with the Neptune Cor pumps

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Tested it for a few hours to make sure it would only drip leak at worse during full speed, but to my surprise it stayed dry! (A small leak would be fine as its sitting below the water line anyways) However I wouldn’t use this method if your plumbing this outside your sump just to be on the safe side

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Machpoint89

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PROJECT PLUMBING > MANIFOLD

After running into some problems - couldn’t find 1/2” PVC pipe here in Japan as everything is metric - I was able to finish the manifold.

Mind you the idea is to test this manifold and the tank next week for any water leaks before I continue plumbing any reactors. (Those will come in the future as needed, but the tank will be ready to go!)

In order to get passed my PVC diameter problem I ended up getting 16mm and hand scrape and sand it down to a point where it would fit. This took many hours and many beers hahaha

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Finally finished the manifold portion and will leak test it next week. Finger crossed.... (I know the before picture shows a down slope at the T’s, but that’s because I didn’t want to push in the surface clamps all the way just for a photo)

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All gate valves added and secured the return with 2x PVC surface mounting clamps as it adds quite the weight.

Bear in mind the additional length needed on the return plumbing for those surface clamps or your calculations will be off. You don’t want to rest all the weight solely on your return pump! (In case you ever change pumps)

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Machpoint89

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LEVEL YOUR TANK

So one of the problems in our apartment is the flooring is quite flexible. It’s new building and might have something to do with the earthquake resistent building, but it turned out I needed to shim the front quite a bit.

I’m sure I could have gotten away with it, but I think it is good practice to have your tank perfectly level.

I would probably find a different solution if this tank was a lot bigger, but for a RSR250 I think these Composite shims I bought should do an excellent job keep the tank level. They’re rated for 16000lbs of pressure so I’m more concerned about RedSea cabinet. I chose composite in case I ever have water leaks.

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Machpoint89

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PROJECT PLUMBING > LEAK TEST

So today was exciting for me. Got to leak test the tank. This aquarium has been dry for about 1.5 years! ;Woot

I shifted the whole thing about 25cm to the right to make space for my electrical / supply cabinet with a wooden worktop... (stay tuned for that project)


At first it was slowly dripping at the main overflow and return line where I used male threaded 3/4” fittings to 1” slip screwed into the RedSea part #42221
(The issue was resolved by re-taping the threads with 7 layers of teflon)

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Filling the tank with freshwater just to do a leak test. I’m using the PYTHON to do water changes. Also purchased the Sicce Ultra ZERO pump to push water from place to place. Both are great products to help make water changes easier!

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Daytime vs Nighttime.... seems like plenty of light in the sump if needed

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Top Shelf Aquatics
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Machpoint89

Machpoint89

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PROJECT > CABINET

So after trying many options I decided to go back to my first design. This allows the following:

  • Clear access behind the cabinet
  • No drilling the side of the cabinet
I chose an IKEA EKET cabinet with legs. (70Lx30Wx70H in cm) + 10CM for the legs.
On top I re-used some old IKEA stubbarp legs that normally fit the “BESTA” series cabinets. Added some pieces of 15mm wood that I stained with a wax.

On the BACK of this cabinet I glued some plywood so that anything drilled inside the cabinet would have something to “hold on” to. (Otherwise the screws for my equipment would only be held by the thin & flimsy compressed backboard typical of any IKEA cabinet)

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I think it looks pretty well together. The last 25% of the wooden “worktop” is detachable so I can easily access the rear of the cabinet.

I decided to go with the IKEA Skadis pegboard. Super convenient way to hide and manage cords and power adapters!

When it comes to inside cabinet wire management I used the plastic grommet hole covers used for office desks. Some I ordered online from AliExpress (the orange omens I ordered from BulkReefsupply these are great 3D printed ones. (Meaning they don’t have a lot of flex or they’ll snap.... don’t ask how I know...)

What I’ve learned:
  • Buy proper whole saw kit and don’t cheap out if you want a clean look! (Some of us including me used the cheap stuff and the whole saw will start to “skate / skid” on your nice cabinet)
  • Don’t eye ball things after a few beers at 02:00am in the morning and cut the next day.... (you’re holes will not be aligned properly and if you’re OCD like me.... well you get the idea)
  • Follow the instructions for all IKEA cabinets. You might think you can do it out of order... trust me... it will save you time
Still pretty happy how things turned out. The other half of the cabinet is empty and can be used at a later time.


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Machpoint89

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PROJECT > AQUASCAPING

So this part of the project can be very fun, but also very frustrating. There are many online videos and build threads that can help you out. I will include an example that I have used.

  • Dry rock or Live Rock or both ?
  • Man made or Natural ?
  • Cured or Uncured ?
So many directions you can take and they all have their own advantages. Do your research and decide for yourself which method you’d like to use.


I ended up using Marco dry live rock for the following reasons:


  1. Free of algae and bugs
  2. Easy to chip away edges
  3. Large surface area / porous
  4. Flat base rocks
  5. Shelves
It’s not the cheapest especially here in Japan, but I think its a great product. The cycle might take a bit longer, but I will have more control over initial pests.

It looks a bit like a star destroyer, but I personally like the flare up to the right offsetting the side cabinet on the left.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Create a solid “base” so that any shifts wont result in a rock slide.
  • Don’t go too high as you need space for coral growth
  • Create plenty of places for the fish to hide and feel safe
  • Don’t go too close to the glass as cleaning your glass will become difficult
  • Make sure it is solid. By that I mean glue the rock work if needed (this is debatable depending on the structure)
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For the substrate I used 1~2mm white sand from GROTECH it’s mainly Calcium & Magnesium carbonate (Aragonite) and comes from a clean source.

For salt I’m starting off with RedSea Coral Pro salt for mixed reefs. The main advantage I find is:

  • Quick to mix (Unlike most this should not be mixed more than 4 hours in order to retain it’s trace elements, but IF you do no big deal. It will just be cloudy for a while and lose about 2% of its travel elements only)
  • It’s readily available (Look... depending on where you live your LFS may be carrying a specific brand. If it suits you.. support them and buy local. Otherwise order online and make sure you have it on standby when needed)
Here is a GREAT video with research on the different types of salt and how the mixing time affects things and how long you can store it




 

Chica-137

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PROJECT GATE VALVE

So today I painted the gate valves orange with spray paint that’s meant for plastic.
Washed them and dried them before applying roughly 4 coats of spray paint.

I let them dry and rinsed them off after painting was completed... Is it necessary to paint them.... absolutely not, but I thought why not. Would be kind of cool to match the PVC piping

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What spray paint did you use?
 
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Machpoint89

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What spray paint did you use?
I used an acrylic spray paint from “creative colors” , but I live in Japan so different brands perhaps. Get a paint meant for plastic. Just make sure you properly clean the valve before spraying on.

Good luck. Trying to do the same or is it for a different project?
 
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Machpoint89

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Skimmer is braking in! I opted for the Deltec 600i and wow this thing is silent. My previous setup I was running a Royal Exclusive solution with a Red Dragon pump so I opted for German quality again this time around. (at time of purchasing I didn’t have Royal Exclusive as an option)

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  • I have also added the Neptune Apex Probes, but have been issues with the salinity probe creeping up linearly. (Seems to be a break in problem, but shouldn’t take this long and I will have to re-calibrate again soon)

  • The last additions are 2X 300W Finnex TH Deluxe Titanium Heaters , but need to buy some cord extenders as they will not reach the outlets. The plan is to have 1x run as a main and the other as a backup. See the guide below for some of their other options. (There are many options regarding heaters so do your homework and decide what you think is best for you... They WILL FAIL at some point so I’m choosing redundancy)


ModelAmperage @ 115VRecommended Tank Size (Gallons)Powder Cord to WallHeating Tube
Quick Compare - Finnex Deluxe Titanium Heating Tubes
TH-300 300W2.7 A40-8074"10"
TH-500 500W4.5 A70-13073.5"14"
TH-800 800W9 A140-26573"16.5"

Here is a video about the most common types of heaters. I thought - as all their “BRSTV Investigates” videos - it was a very informational piece of information.

 

How often do you "blow out" (with a pump, turkey baster, etc.) your rock work

  • Once a week or more

    Votes: 51 33.3%
  • Monthly

    Votes: 30 19.6%
  • A couple times a year

    Votes: 9 5.9%
  • Once a year

    Votes: 2 1.3%
  • Never

    Votes: 25 16.3%
  • When I think of it

    Votes: 19 12.4%
  • With Water Changes

    Votes: 17 11.1%

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