Shaun's 2000 Litre (530 USG) Living Reef & Red Sea Max S 650 LED Design & Build

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SPR1968

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I’ve mentioned calcium reactors before and I still haven’t decided wether to get one. The Apex DOS units, and I have 2, have been assigned to automatic water changes for both systems, so if I go down the dosing route I’ll either need to get some more or something like the Kamoer which I have now.

The main concern with dosing, is the volume of solutions required and constantly making it up, and of course the ongoing cost of the foundation elements. The calcium reactor once set up requires little adjustment, and of course will add all foundation elements and some trace elements from the dissolving coral skeletons, maybe with the addition of some magnesium additives mixed in.

The principal of a calcium reactor looks sound and especially for a large system that will be heavily stocked with corals. If I get one I think I’m going to get the Deltec Twin Tech Calcium Reactor 3000 as it seems to pretty much automate everything, with very little maintenance. But, it’s also expensive.

This is a good video and review of it, and having watched it, with the various parts explained, it looks relatively simple as the computer controls it. It does look a bit scary though! Lol



I’ve never used one before, but it’s not going into a mature system, it’s a new system so I can learn to use it slowly as the tank grows. So it’s not like I’m taking a risk with an existing tank by changing methods and upsetting everything as I learn if you see what I mean.
 

Mortie31

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I’ve mentioned calcium reactors before and I still haven’t decided wether to get one. The Apex DOS units, and I have 2, have been assigned to automatic water changes for both systems, so if I go down the dosing route I’ll either need to get some more or something like the Kamoer which I have now.

The main concern with dosing, is the volume of solutions required and constantly making it up, and of course the ongoing cost of the foundation elements. The calcium reactor once set up requires little adjustment, and of course will add all foundation elements and some trace elements from the dissolving coral skeletons, maybe with the addition of some magnesium additives mixed in.

The principal of a calcium reactor looks sound and especially for a large system that will be heavily stocked with corals. If I get one I think I’m going to get the Deltec Twin Tech Calcium Reactor 3000 as it seems to pretty much automate everything, with very little maintenance. But, it’s also expensive.

This is a good video and review of it, and having watched it, with the various parts explained, it looks relatively simple as the computer controls it. It does look a bit scary though! Lol



I’ve never used one before, but it’s not going into a mature system, it’s a new system so I can learn to use it slowly as the tank grows. So it’s not like I’m taking a risk with an existing tank by changing methods and upsetting everything as I learn if you see what I mean.
Looks a nice bit of kit, how does it stack up to the dastaco?
 
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SPR1968

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Looks a nice bit of kit, how does it stack up to the dastaco?
I don’t know to be honest but having just looked at it it’s not as readily available here in the UK and also I have a few of the boys at DD available if I need their help, some of whom are ‘tank masters’.

There isn’t that much difference in price ‘in the scheme of things’ and also with the reef builders review and it’s new technology I’m still inclined to get the Twin Tech to be honest if I get one.

The alkalinity consumption on the S650 is currently 250ml per day of Red Sea Foundation B powder so multiply that by 4 x water volume and you can see were I’m coming from, and why I’m seriously looking at these.
 
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Several people use Ca rectors, especially in large systems, I assume you would be fine with one Shaun.
I think I’m just going to get one Pancho.

I’ve just asked for a better price with a load more equipment. You wouldn’t believe what you need to build a tank like this! Lol

It’s like endless, although I’m trying to cover every detail down to outside air lines for the skimmer.......... ordered today....
 

Mortie31

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I don’t know to be honest but having just looked at it it’s not as readily available here in the UK and also I have a few of the boys at DD available if I need their help, some of whom are ‘tank masters’.

There isn’t that much difference in price ‘in the scheme of things’ and also with the reef builders review and it’s new technology I’m still inclined to get the Twin Tech to be honest if I get one.

The alkalinity consumption on the S650 is currently 250ml per day of Red Sea Foundation B powder so multiply that by 4 x water volume and you can see were I’m coming from, and why I’m seriously looking at these.
With a tank the size of your new one it’s a no brainer to go with a CaRx.... just which one do you choose? I think both of the Deltec and dastaco would work fine and you won’t be disappointed with either..
 
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With a tank the size of your new one it’s a no brainer to go with a CaRx.... just which one do you choose? I think both of the Deltec and dastaco would work fine and you won’t be disappointed with either..
I think I’m going to get the Twin Tech. From the review of it, it looks relatively straight forward and easy to use and I can ask the DD masters if I need any help as well.

Like you say it’s a no brainer on something this big.
 
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I’ve decided after months of studying, watching videos and finally being in contact with the experts at DD I’m getting a calcium reactor and the daddy of calcium reactors, the Deltec Twin Tech 1500.

I was looking at the 3000 but after liaising with DD and the guys who use these, (on similar size tanks to mine) the 1500 is more than adequate and will probably run on the lower end of its capabilities. Their customer support and help is absolutely first class.

So along with the endless stuff I’ve had to purchase, and below is just the main components, here’s an up to date list

Abyzz a200 return pump
Ecotech Radion XR30w G4 Pro LED x 4
Ecotech Radion RMS Tank mounts x 4
Ecotech Vortech MP60wQD x 2
Ecotech Vortech MP40wQD x 1 (for the centre of the tank)
Ecotech battery backups x 3
Real Reef Rock Premium x 150kg
NYOS Quantum 300 protein skimmer
Clarisea SK5000
Clarisea SK5000 XL Fleece
Deltec FR512 rhowaphos reactor
DD 80w UVC
Neptune Apex 2016 Fusion (in addition to the one on the S650)
Neptune Apex DOS (for auto water changes/dosing) x 2
Neptune Apex Vortech WXM Module (to control/monitor Radions)
Neptune Apex Magnetic Probe holder
Neptune Apex Auto Top Off ATK
Neptune Apex 2’ flow sensor (to monitor flow from return pump)
Neptune Apex 1’ flow sensor x 2 (UVC and Chiller)
Neptune Apex optical sensors x 2 (RODI/saltwater containers) with magnetic mounts
Neptune Apex Advanced leak detection system
Neptune Apex Energy Bar x 2
Red Sea Activated Carbon to be used in media bags
Eheim 400 e heaters s 2
Deltec Twin Tech 1500 Calcium Reactor
Rowalith W (chunky version) 6kg reactor media
Innovative Marine custom probe holder XL (for ATO and water change pipes etc)
2 x 425 litre water containers for RODI and automatic water changes
ATM Colony x 5 946ml (no I’m not using dead shrimps!! Lol)
Red Sea Reef Pink Live Sand x 70kg
Red Sea Standard salt x 6 22kg buckets
32mm PVC pipe and various fittings including ball valves, unions etc. The main downflow return pipe will have a more expensive gate valve fitted by the tank builders as there more accurate

I’m also going to install back up RODI pumps and lines into both tanks controlled by Apex so that in the event of an ATO failing when I’m away, I can manually switch on a RODI pump into each tank to add RO water to the systems or possibly configure them when on auto in the event of failure to switch on every x hours. All will have anti siphon breaks installed

I’m sure I’ve missed something....... lol
 
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The builders have finished there work which was basically building and insulating the shed for water containers and equipment and drilling some holes.

I didn’t want to do anything to the house in case I ever wanted to take everything down, so the only alteration to the house structure is drilling/cutting 2 holes. That’s it.

Ducting has been installed through to the back of the tank from the shed and I can now start to build everything in there and feed the wires and pipes through. It was very fiddly cutting and installing the ducting do to the confined space, but it’s all been sealed on the outside with water proof sealant etc for rain protection.

A 52mm diameter hole has been drilled in the wall behind the S650 and I’m going to install a 50mm pvc pipe from the shed to this hole containing Apex DOS tubing for auto water changes on the S650 and a hose or 2 if they fit to auto fill the RODI reservoir in the S650 all from the same water containers as the new 2000 litre system. The total water volume of the new tank is just under 3000 litres including these containers.

I had to buy a 52mm diamond drill cutter blade to do this and when they fitted it to the drill it was like some sort of rocket launcher. If I said I wasn’t nervous watching them drill a hole through the wall behind the S650 I would be lying and I was just thinking please don’t cut through anything critical like gas pipes, electric, you get the idea! But all went well.

Not the most exciting pictures but you get the idea.

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So this morning, very early I checked the sump of the S650 to make sure all was well, and thought I’ll just turn the protein skimmer up a bit as not much Skim was being produced.

I settled down for a cup of tea..... Shaun Shaun come quick to the fish tank!!!

Skimmer overflowing into the 5 litre container, return section nearly empty and bubbles filling the tank.........

Shaun FFS, stop messing with things!!! Lol

Oh and the skimmer nearly wouldn’t start back up, but then it’s past it’s full body ‘annual’ clean so it’s about time I cleaned it!
 

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So this morning, very early I checked the sump of the S650 to make sure all was well, and thought I’ll just turn the protein skimmer up a bit as not much Skim was being produced.

I settled down for a cup of tea..... Shaun Shaun come quick to the fish tank!!!

Skimmer overflowing into the 5 litre container, return section nearly empty and bubbles filling the tank.........

Shaun FFS, stop messing with things!!! Lol

Oh and the skimmer nearly wouldn’t start back up, but then it’s past it’s full body ‘annual’ clean so it’s about time I cleaned it!
The S650 is saying to get water in the new one... it is tired.
 
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So today I’ve installed the Neptune Apex ATK auto top-off system, but into the S650!

After 3 years of faultless running the Tunze Osmolator failed last night and fortunately I was in the room and heard it constantly ‘on’. I cleaned the optical sensor (for the first time and it was a bit ‘funky’!) in citric acid, but it didn’t make any difference it couldn’t tell it was supposed to switch off.

I’m am aware of potential issues with bubbles forming and when I wiped the sensors with my finger it turned off. But then at top off time it just kept running again.

So this morning after doing some research, when the Tunze starts up in test mode, a single light stays on for 1 second to test the optical sensor. It’s green amber or red. It. It was red so....

I’ve actually kept it and might test is as a back up in a few months or it will be in the bin which is very disappointing to say there supposed to be one of the best.

So my initial thoughts on the Apex ATK. It’s a very well built piece of kit and mine is the Version 2, the new one. It has 2 optical sensors for redundancy but it also has a physical float switch the shuts off the water if the sensors failed. Works like the float switch from Red Sea on their tanks, which I also still have as a back up system. All the Apex sensors are on one magnetic block and it seems very good quality.

It integrates into the Apex Fusion control so it’s all very nice and easy to control. The system automatically sets the control parameters which you can alter if you want to suit your needs.

It’s extremely sophisticated how it works. But I was sat there for 30 minutes thinking why isn’t it pumping when the sensors are telling it to.......mmmm, it’s because it has a delay period in the software program so it won’t come on again for an hour after running I think. And of course I’d been testing it

For those of you interested and if you haven’t seen it the program is here

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RichtheReefer21

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The S650 is saying to get water in the new one... it is tired.
Agreed.

That equipment list makes me realize if i want a monster reef system eventually, i will have to sell a kidney and live off ramen to afford it.
 
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10 months and my ATK only sent an alarm once for high water because the high sensor got gunk build up. Wiped with finger and it has been good the last 2.5 months. That was the only cleaning I have done to the sensors.
And lost one pmup because I forgot to fill the ATO container. V2 pmup turns off I believe if no water
 
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So today I’ve been busy installing some of the equipment including the 50mm PVC pipework to house the auto water change DOS tubing for the S650, Ethernet cable to hard wire the additional Apex into the internet and also a hose which I’m going to use to pump RODI water into the S650 reservoir from the new water system. This will mean no more hauling barrels of water for me!!

So all installed, insulated and then I just needed to cut the pipe at one end to the correct length to go into the shed for the last few feet while my wife held the other end for me.

The normal pipe cutter wasn’t big enough so off I went for the hacksaw which cut through the pipe like butter...... and it also cut through what was inside the pipe..... you know that moment when you stand there going you stupid stupid...........

So I cut through all the pipe, cables the lot and now I’ve had to reorder it all. Fortunately for my sanity, I was going to need some ‘shorter lengths’ anyway.....

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