Rons Office Reefer 300XL build (Remote sump)

ReefRondo

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A few years ago I decided I wanted a reef tank in my office. I’ve had reef tanks at home for a few years now and as I spend the majority of my life at work thought why not have what I love with me all day. I work 7 days a week and long hours as it is my own business. I sourced a Reefer 425XL and got it all setup and running only to run into disaster after disaster. First of all the room gets far too warm in the summer as it is so poorly insulated and is south facing and has loads of windows. I stupidly placed the tank just out of my line of sight from my desk which was really silly as I couldn’t see it at all. I also had 2 anemone disasters with them wandering into my gyres killing almost everything in the tank both times and then leading to a huge GHA outbreak too. The tank was just doomed. The plan for this new tank is SPS with a bare bottom and high flow.
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Last year during our first lockdown here in Scotland to make some money I decided to sell the entire system. We organised aircon for the office, got a new carpet and made it a nicer place to be in general. I then decided I wanted to try again but this time placement was the most important part. I did some measuring and decided that a Reefer 300XL would pretty much look like a continuation of my desk and managed to obtain one.
This entire build is being funded by selling some music equipment I have stock piled over years of being in a band. When we bought the business in 2017 sadly I had to leave the band as I just didn't have the time. I have been very fortunate to have bought a few drum kits over the years that have skyrocketed in value.
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Since then cash flow has been incredibly tight so the project went on the back burner as I bought equipment as and when I could afford it. The greatest part of this time was how much planning I could get done. The project has grown arms and legs and has now turned into a far throw from a standard Reefer 300XL. I decided that I didn’t want to be restricted by the size of the cabinet and off the shelf sump. I had already struggled with equipment placement on the 425XL. Looking at the tank placement I thought why not plumb it through the wall beside it and run a remote sump which could be far larger than the stock sump and open my options up massively for equipment choice and ease of maintenance not to mention how much quieter it would make the tank in general within the office. This led to problem number 1 which was how to amend the Reefer plumbing to work with a remote sump but leave the original pipework untouched so the tank could always go back to being a standard Reefer with all original parts and sump. I started with looking at how I attach standard 25mm and 32mm pipework of my own to the pipes on the Reefer through the bottom of the weir. I found on the internet somewhere a guy that had used other Redsea fittings to do this.
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Worked an absolute treat although when it comes to gluing I will need to use loads of glue to ensure a nice tight fit. I then started making the pipework up to get from the tank and through the wall.
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None of these pipes are glued yet and still need clipped and held in place as they look like they are sagging in the photos.
I had to have the tank it position to plan where the holes where going to be which led to moving the tank out of the way to get the positioning correct to drill.
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With these holes drilled I then put the tank back only to remember I still had to put a hole in the wall as a cable pass through for the lights, tank heater and a second apex temp probe for in the tank. So out came the tank again and this is when I also decided to cover the underside of the tank with white vinyl as this was the point that I finally decided I wanted to go bare bottom and wanted the illusion of sand.

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Tank could then go into its final position for fitting the lights and getting them perfectly aligned.

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Then the project took a bigger step than planned. I decided to get the room where the sump was going refloored in waterproof vinyl and have it fitted up the skirting boards and a dam created at the door so if I ever had a flood it would be 100% contained.
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It was now time to get my custom sump I had made by Ben at Reeftech into place.
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More of my story and progress to come along...
 
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RAP

revhtree

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Also following! Slow and steady but there’s progress!!
 
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ReefRondo

ReefRondo

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So got some time this week to do a few jobs on the new tank.
Got my plumbing through the wall and attached to the sump. Nothing is glued yet through the wall to the sump so it all looks a little saggy right now. I will be eventually getting orange and grey ball valves to match the colour scheme but they are crazy prices!
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I then finally decided on my controller cabinet.
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Planning the layout of some of the equipment.
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Drilled my holes for cables to pass through and then the grommets to tidy the holes up a bit.
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Radion power bricks mounted. Cables will be all tidied when the cabinet is finished.
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Got my UV pipe reducer fittings delivered and got them from 20mm to 25mm to match my pipework.
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Got my trunking delivered for all hoses and cables to be fully hidden. 100mm x 50mm.
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ReefRondo

ReefRondo

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Found myself with a bit more time today to do some more work on the tank.
Got power into the controller cabinet
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Then made a start by mounting the drivers for my 4 MP40's
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Then got the first part of trunking installed to hold my AWC hoses running through the loft space to my salt water mixing station.

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Oh and I got all of my pipework finalised and glued. Water may not be far away...
 
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ReefRondo

ReefRondo

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Started adding a few more pieces to the controller cabinets today. Oh and got a second cabinet as it was getting way too tight.
Got the first of 3 Neptune DOS mounted and the COR20 driver. I still have the other 2 DOS to buy but there are none to be found in the UK right now along with a lot of other Neptune gear actually.
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Then got the spacings and drilling completed for the 2 remaining DOS units.
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Forgot to mention I photocopy everything before I mount it to make sure I get the perfect spacing for the screws using the printout.
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Mounted my two EB6's in the second cabinet followed by the Apex itself on the outside.
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Got my probes into the sump using the magnetic probe holder ensuring the water filled caps where reattached as I'm not sure when there will be water.
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Got the Neptune stickers on and all looking good though I do say so myself! Trunking to be fitted next to hide all cables entirely. I had hoped my DDR units would sit on top of the cabinets as both are exactly 14cm deep however I did not take into account the door opening which sadly pulls the DDR off the top of the unit so I will have to source a shelf for them.
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ReefRondo

ReefRondo

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Looks great... my one suggestion is to cut the ‘teeth’ off the sump’s foam pads (unless you plan on attaching more).
Absolutely in the plan! I just wasn’t sure how much the sump was going to shift when I was finalising the plumbing. Thanks for the input though much appreciated.
 

VMG

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Wow, what a great start to your setup!!

Is there no way you could raise the sump off the floor? It seems like a wasted opportunity, as it already has its own room! You’ve made it loads easier to access, but if it was at the tank height (or a bit lower) it would be even easier.
Even if it was raised a foot, it would make syphoning detritus out of it easier.

Just my thought - I don’t think I’ll ever even be in a position to have a remote sump, so still ridiculously jealous!

Can’t wait to see this build progress, all the best!!
 
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ReefRondo

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Small update. With garden centres here in Scotland being able to reopen a few weeks ago things have been a little hectic here to say the least.
Decided to get my UV installed finally. It is the Troptronic 85w beast which I know is overpowered for this tank but thought why mess with really small ones. I am running it with a COR15 pump which I had no idea needed a 1 link module to work! Honestly here in the UK we pay more for our neptune gear but get so much less for our money. We still only get the EB6 and not the EB8 so we don't have 1 link functionality without buying the 1 link module. I have to say it is really unfair and doesn't look likely we will be getting the EB8 anytime soon either. Come on neptune! I have to now wait for the module and cables to arrive from Holland.

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Decided to put it on it's own waterproof power socket too.
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ReefRondo

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Got my last two DOS mounted, trident shelf up, DDR shelf up and trunking installed and then my FMM for the ATK. Tomorrow I’ll get my two 1 Link modules installed and cabling changed. Finally I’ll get to have my COR15 plugged in for the UV. Lots of hoses and cables still to tidy of course. Hoping my Marco rock will arrive in the next 4 weeks so I can get constructing my floating reefscape and finally get the system wet.
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