Soilworker's Red Sea Reefer 625 G2 Build

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Soilworker

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Soilworker's Red Sea Reefer 625 G2

System Volume: 164g
Updated: 8/9/2022


IMG_20220809_160123~2.jpg

Older FTS​

8/3/2022​

IMG_20220803_155912.jpg

6/30/2022​

IMG_20220630_125454.jpg

6/21/2022​

IMG_20220623_140202.jpg



Background​

My first reef tank was over 12 years ago. I had a small 10 gallon reef tank in college that did alright but it was just far too small to be successful and I eventually tore it down but it got me hooked. I've always wanted to get back into the hobby and get a large tank. Finally I got a house that I plan on staying in for many years so now felt like the right time get started again and could afford to do it right. That bring me here, to my first "dream" tank: the Red Sea Reefer 625 G2.

Goals​

  • HNSA focused aquascape
  • SPS dominant tank with some LPS and ricordea
  • High biodiversity (trying to achieve this through partial live rock and live sand)
  • Stable system that is largely automated (water changes automated, auto top off container auto fills, dosing/testing automated where possible)



Gear List​

Tank​

  • Red Sea Reefer 625 G2
  • Red Sea 60cm Slide Out Panel
  • ClearView Pisces EXO Screen Lid

Plumbing​

  • Neptune COR-20 Return Pump
  • 4x Ecotech Vortech MP40
  • Tunze Osmolator 3155 ATO

Filtration​

  • Red Sea Reefer Skimmer 600
  • Red Sea ReefMat 1200

Lighting​

  • 2x Ecotech Radion XR30 G5 Blue
  • 2x Ecotech RMS XR30 Mount
  • AquaI illumination Prime Fuge Light
  • Aqua Illumination Tank Mount

Controllers​

  • Neptune Apex

Heating​

  • BRS 600W Heater System

Rock\Sand Aquascape​

  • 150lbs Marco Rock
  • 6 medium foundation marco rock

Automated Water Changes​

  • Neptune DOS
  • Flow Lok leak detectors
  • Neptune Leak Detection Kit
  • Neptune FMM (Fluid Monitoring Module)
  • 2x Neptune SV-1 Solenoid Valve
  • 4x Neptune OS-1-M Optical Sensor

RODI​

  • BRS 6 stage RO\DI system with drinking water bypass



Getting Started​

I placed an order for all my gear at a LFS and this happened to be for the older 625XXL model. This was back at the beginning of April. After waiting over a month of waiting I called the store and found out they weren't going to be making the 625XXL anymore so I switched to getting the 625 G2 instead.

Live Rock​

Around the time I ordered the tank I also ordered my live rock and sand. From Tampa Bay Saltwater (@LiverockRocks) I ordered:
  • 30# of base live rock
  • 30# of premium live rock
  • 75# of live sand

This arrived overnight with only one package slightly damaged but everything looked good and smelled just like the ocean:

IMG_20220406_045210.jpg

IMG_20220406_045534.jpg

IMG_20220406_053128.jpg
IMG_20220406_053136.jpg
IMG_20220406_052604.jpg
IMG_20220406_051329.jpg


There were quite a few hitchhikers I had on the rock but nothing too astonishing: sponges (all those died), snails, hermits, some clear flatworm things, bristleworms, decorator crab (didn't make it as far as I can tell), some other small crabs.

Overall beautiful looking rock and I'm very happy with my purchase.




Live Rock Cycling​

The live rock and sand cycled for a total of 2.5 months before going into the tank.

I started off by putting the live rock and sand in a large cooler I had. I only had my AI Fuge light so that's what's lighting it and why it looks so red.
IMG_20220406_104804.jpg


After chatting with the lovely people over at Tampa Bay Saltwater I found out this was not the right approach. The helped guide me to a better setup to get this live rock cared for an I ended up with:
  • 100 gallon Rubbermaid Tote with insulation around it (it was cold when I started...probably not necessary looking back on it)
  • 600w titanium heater
  • 2 Vortech MP40 powerheads
  • Tunze Auto Top Off
  • Plastic strainer basket with Chaeto
  • Reefer 600 Skimmer (I had to build a platform with PVC and egg crate to get it at the right height)
IMG_20220407_140317.jpg





Overkiling the Floor Support​

The joists on my floor were running parallel to the tank and really only one joist was supporting the whole tank which I estimated at 2500 lbs (assuming two people or so looking at the tank). Floors are rated for an average of 40 lbs per square foot, this would be around 250 lbs per square foot (5'x2' for tank).

Here was the plan:

TankSupport2.png


IMG_20220509_220814.jpg


Close up of the jack post plate screwed onto the support beam. Had to use washers since the screws I had had too small of a head for the hole in the plate.
IMG_20220509_220822.jpg



Installation was a bit annoying since my crawlspace is a true crawlspace and it was hard to move around down there. Another problem I faced was that the jack posts only came in at 12"-15" or 19"-36" and I needed about 17" of space for jack posts under the joists so I had to dig out some dirt to make them fit and making them level and square took some work.

I used some galvanized hanger straps to lift up the supports so I could position them in the right spot and get the jack posts underneath without having to hold the support beam up:
IMG_20220519_193353.jpg


Final product (without the floor insulation back in)
IMG_20220519_193357.jpg


IMG_20220519_213638.jpg




Minor Electrical Upgrade​

I replaced the outlet I'd be using for the tank with a GFCI and Arc Fault protected outlet:
IMG_20220507_155001.jpg





Tank Setup​


Cabinet Assembly​

Cabinet parts:
IMG_20220507_154951.jpg


Poor image of the cabinet assembly in progress:
IMG_20220507_225019.jpg


Sump put in place, also had a three friends help move the tank in. It was heavy but super easy with four people total and some glass suction. Didnt get a picture of that but you can see the tank on top here:
IMG_20220529_182523.jpg


Overall this went pretty smooth without any hiccups. Hardest part was leveling the tank. Having 16 adjustable feet is nice since it distributes the weight but takes a lot of tweaking to get it perfectly level.



Sump and Plumbing Installation​

Plumbing installed. I ended up mistakenly switching the emergency overflow and the regular overflow pipes in the overflow chamber. Red Sea's installation manual for the Reefer 625 is pretty bad. Its only pictures, they swtich perspectives, nothing is explained in depth. You have to determine essential steps by close examination of the pictures. Something they could definitely improve.
IMG_20220529_185431.jpg


IMG_20220529_232524.jpg


IMG_20220529_232535.jpg


IMG_20220529_232446.jpg


Starting to fill it up water!
IMG_20220530_000029.jpg




Utility Cabinet and Slide-out panel setup​

I installed a network rack power switch so I'd have a convenient place for power and the ability to switch things on and off. I bought a 1 space rack kit off Amazon and screwed it into the side. The power switch is the Pyle 9 switch one. I liked it since it had 14 gauge wires...too many of the cheap Amazon ones only have 16 gauge wire.
IMG_20220530_193913.jpg


Led lights so I have light to work inside the cabinet, here's the smaller right side cabinet. These are 1ft LED light strips.
IMG_20220530_193838.jpg

Left side (I was going to do 3 of these but for some reason the connectors were mismatched on the 2 sets I bought so I had to settle for 2):
IMG_20220624_002639.jpg


Slide out panel plan:
IMG_20220531_181548.jpg


Slide out panel installed and setup:
IMG_20220624_002255.jpg


A complete mess of cables. The power bricks for the various devices are velcroed to the top of the cabinet so they are out the way. You can also see in the picture the cable organizer mounts I screwed in with 3/4" screws:
IMG_20220623_144810.jpg


Cables cleaned up a little bit better:
IMG_20220624_002219.jpg


The heater and one of the MP40 controllers wouldn't reach the slide out panel so I just moved them to the left side:
IMG_20220624_002327.jpg


IMG_20220624_002308.jpg




HNSA Aquascaping​

Inspired by the BRS videos on HNSA I tried to create my own reasonable HSNA.

Aquascaping Gear​

  • 150lbs of Marco Rock
  • 6 medium foundation Marco Rock
  • 2 large foundation Marco Rock
  • 4 small foundation Marco Rock
  • 2x 16oz Thick (1500 CPS) Glue Master Super Glue <<< This stuff is AMAZING. Dries clear, holds strong, flows nicely
  • 1x 16oz Ultra Thing (05 CPS) Glue Masters Super Glue
  • ~20 tubes of Instant Ocean HoldFast Epoxy <<< This was the cheapest option (via Amazon) and dries almost white with a slight green tint. Definitely recommend!
  • 8 bottles of Bob Smith Insta-set Super Glue Accelerator <<< Amazing stuff, get this!
  • 1x fiberglass orange rod. The ones you get at Lowes\Home Depot for marking driveways for snow.
    • This was used to hold the live rock together
  • 3/8" masonry bit for drilling live rock
Unfortunately I didn't take many pictures of my Aquascaping adventures:
IMG_20220404_171607.jpg


IMG_20220624_011124.jpg

Dry Rock Aquascaping Steps​

  1. Build PVC frame to outline the tank
  2. Break up all the rock with a sledgehammer and chisel into fist size bits...you get smaller and bigger pieces as well.
  3. Start with a foundation rock, add rocks, glue them with superglue.
  4. Add epoxy for weak points or supporting structures.
  5. Press a rock against the epoxy while pliable to give a texture to it.
  6. Once all dry, use the thin superglue on the epoxy and throw marco rock dust on it to hide it
  7. Repeat until happy or tired of glueing rocks together

Live Rock Aquascaping Steps​

  1. Take a two pieces out of the cycling tank
  2. Figure out how I wanted them positioned
  3. Drill a 3/8" hole in both rocks in the appropriate spots
  4. Spray the holes heavily with instaset and fill the holes with thick superglue
  5. Coat a appropriate length of fiberglass rod with superglue and insert it into one of rocks.
  6. Shimmy the other rock onto the other end of the fiberglass rod.
  7. Spray heavily with instaset.
  8. Quickly return to the cycling tank.
  9. Repeat steps 1-8 until happy with the aquascape.

Final Result in the tank​

The pictures don't really do it justice. There's a lot more overhangs, ledges, caves, etc that you can't see. I'll post of video of it to better show it off
IMG_20220620_201754.jpg


IMG_20220620_201803.jpg


You can see my two little clownfish here. This was after the tank had already cycled and all parameters were good. For some reason they didn't make it, everything looked solid so I'm not sure what happened here but they didnt make it more than 12 hours. The filefish I got at the same time is still doing great and is happy and eating and picking at the live rock.
IMG_20220620_201813.jpg


Current State (6/23/2022)​


IMG_20220623_140202.jpg


Skimmer is still up on a marinepure block from when it was still overflowing. Could probably be moved to a different spot at this point.
IMG_20220624_002436.jpg


IMG_20220624_002419.jpg
 
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Soilworker

Soilworker

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Awesome writeup! How do you like your ReefMat so far?
It works well but mine isn't functioning properly right now. The motor has 3 buttons on it for advancing/retreating the roll and another for configuring the device and none of them work. They haven't since I got it. I'm on a support ticket with red sea right now to try to get that resolved.

I've just been advancing the roll by hand as I notice it overflowing. Seems to catch a lot of stuff. Will be nice when it's automated though.
 

blaxsun

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It works well but mine isn't functioning properly right now. The motor has 3 buttons on it for advancing/retreating the roll and another for configuring the device and none of them work. They haven't since I got it. I'm on a support ticket with red sea right now to try to get that resolved.

I've just been advancing the roll by hand as I notice it overflowing. Seems to catch a lot of stuff. Will be nice when it's automated though.
Do you have a dedicated 2.4GHz network?
 

blaxsun

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My router is dual band so I can connect to 2.4ghz only devices like the Apex. The issue is that I can't even get the motor into setup mode to try to find a network
You have to hold down the "gear" button for 5 seconds until it flashes, then you have to add it through ReefBeat (it will ask you to switch to a LAN to initially connect, etc.)
 
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Soilworker

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It looks like you took the ato resivoir out. I have a 625 as well. It looks like it frees up a lot of room and a cleaner look. Mind if I copy your build. Lol
Yeah I never even took it out of the box. I have a 5 gallon bucket in the right storage cabinet for ATO right now but eventually I'll run this to a larger 100gallon reservoir in a closet.
 
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New Livestock - 6/30/2022​


Livestock added​

From reefcleaners
  • 2 Pitho Crabs
  • 1 Emerald crab
  • 1 Pom Pom crab
  • 1 Serpent Starfish
  • 1 Tiger Conch
  • 5 Tent snails
  • 5 Dwarf Planaxis snails
  • 2 Tongan Nassarius
  • 4 Trochus snails
  • 1 Scarlet cleaner shrimp
  • 2 Bumble Bee snails
  • 2 Money Cowrie

Pictures​


Floating the bags for temp equalization
IMG_20220630_100754.jpg

IMG_20220630_100739.jpg


Cleaner shimp...couldn't get a good shot. He found a nice hidden overhang in the live rock to hang out in.
IMG_20220630_105908.jpg


Pitho Crab 1
IMG_20220630_110128.jpg
IMG_20220630_110209.jpg


Pom pom crab
IMG_20220630_110618.jpg


Money cowrie
IMG_20220630_110716.jpg

IMG_20220630_125307.jpg


Tiger conch
IMG_20220630_125356.jpg


Pitho crab 2
IMG_20220630_125315.jpg

IMG_20220630_125811.jpg


Some filtering crab I found that came on my liverock. Finally popped out.
IMG_20220630_125614.jpg


Emerald crab
IMG_20220630_130159.jpg


Serpent Starfish before he buried\hid somewhere.
IMG_20220630_110308.jpg


Chaeto is growing like mad. AI Fuge light is amazing!
IMG_20220630_155432.jpg
 
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Soilworker

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New Livestock - 8-3-2022​


Got some new livestock in today, hopefully some will start working on the hair algae that has started to grow. Had a vacation I was going on and didn't want to add a bunch of new livestock till after that.


Fish​

Yasha Shrimp Goby and Randall's Pistol Shrimp​

I got the Randall's pistol shrimp this morning and this afternoon after I put the goby in the tank they found each other and were already building a burrow together. Super exciting, I was worried they'd never pair up or take forever to do so.

IMG_20220803_143254.jpg


IMG_20220803_143107.jpg


IMG_20220803_143821~2.jpg


Convict Tang​

IMG_20220803_143050.jpg


White Tail Bristletooth Tang​

IMG_20220803_143043.jpg


IMG_20220803_152105.jpg


Yellow Tang​

This guy looks super healthy and vibrant. Was going to get a purple tang but the LFS couldn't get one ordered so I got this guy instead. Really happy with him.


IMG_20220803_151658.jpg



Inverts​


Peppermint Shrimp​

IMG_20220803_151307.jpg


Emerald Crab​

This is the second one I've added. Smaller than the other one.


IMG_20220803_145416.jpg


Snails​

Got 10 mexican turbo snails, 10 florida cerith snails, and 4 more money cowries (love the look of these guys)

This mexican turbo is going to town on the hair algae. You can see the patch he's cleaned\ate already.
IMG_20220803_144434.jpg




Corals​

Just added a couple mushrooms to start my corals and see how things go. Need to get my pH under control, its running low (7.7 or so). Got a doser coming and will be running my skimmer air intake to the outside.

Orange Rhodactis Mushroom​


IMG_20220803_143920.jpg




Tank Shots​

IMG_20220803_155912.jpg


1659592998738.jpeg


IMG_20220803_155928.jpg


IMG_20220803_155931.jpg


IMG_20220803_155935.jpg
 

Reefdiculous22

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New Livestock - 8-3-2022​


Got some new livestock in today, hopefully some will start working on the hair algae that has started to grow. Had a vacation I was going on and didn't want to add a bunch of new livestock till after that.

Fish​

Yasha Shrimp Goby and Randall's Pistol Shrimp​

I got the Randall's pistol shrimp this morning and this afternoon after I put the goby in the tank they found each other and were already building a burrow together. Super exciting, I was worried they'd never pair up or take forever to do so.

IMG_20220803_143254.jpg


IMG_20220803_143107.jpg


IMG_20220803_143821~2.jpg


Convict Tang​

IMG_20220803_143050.jpg


White Tail Bristletooth Tang​

IMG_20220803_143043.jpg


IMG_20220803_152105.jpg


Yellow Tang​

This guy looks super healthy and vibrant. Was going to get a purple tang but the LFS couldn't get one ordered so I got this guy instead. Really happy with him.


IMG_20220803_151658.jpg



Inverts​


Peppermint Shrimp​

IMG_20220803_151307.jpg


Emerald Crab​

This is the second one I've added. Smaller than the other one.


IMG_20220803_145416.jpg


Snails​

Got 10 mexican turbo snails, 10 florida cerith snails, and 4 more money cowries (love the look of these guys)

This mexican turbo is going to town on the hair algae. You can see the patch he's cleaned\ate already.
IMG_20220803_144434.jpg




Corals​

Just added a couple mushrooms to start my corals and see how things go. Need to get my pH under control, its running low (7.7 or so). Got a doser coming and will be running my skimmer air intake to the outside.

Orange Rhodactis Mushroom​


IMG_20220803_143920.jpg




Tank Shots​

IMG_20220803_155912.jpg


1659592998738.jpeg


IMG_20220803_155928.jpg


IMG_20220803_155931.jpg


IMG_20220803_155935.jpg
Looking awesome imo. Really like the shroom you got, amazing color. By chance did you get any cyano? Your sand looks emaculate. I’m currently battling a huge cyano outbreak. Coralline is finally starting to grow though.
 
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Looking awesome imo. Really like the shroom you got, amazing color. By chance did you get any cyano? Your sand looks emaculate. I’m currently battling a huge cyano outbreak. Coralline is finally starting to grow though.

Thanks!

I haven't had any cyano yet. I have 4 Vortech MP40s, two on each side, and run them at 80% which is pretty strong. My sand blows around a little bit but I've been moving the power heads to find a good spot where I can have high flow and keep the sand in place.

From what I've read flow is very helpful in combating cyano. You might try increasing your flow or adding some more power heads. I also used 75lbs of live sand which may have had a biofilm that helps it with cyano. I mixed that live sand with 40lbs of CaribSea AragAlive special grade since I liked the look of the CaribSea sand (whiter, larger granules) but wanted the benefits of live sand too.
 
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I also dosed copepods early on and feed phytoplankton a few times a week to help keep the copepod population up. From Randy's most recent Reefapalooza talk on BRSTV he talks about how having a healthy copepod population can help with all sorts of tank problems.

 
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Reefdiculous22

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Thanks!

I haven't had any cyano yet. I have 4 Vortech MP40s, two on each side, and run them at 80% which is pretty strong. My sand blows around a little bit but I've been moving the power heads to find a good spot where I can have high flow and keep the sand in place.

From what I've read flow is very helpful in combating cyano. You might try increasing your flow or adding some more power heads. I also used 75lbs of live sand which may have had a biofilm that helps it with cyano. I mixed that live sand with 40lbs of CaribSea AragAlive special grade since I liked the look of the CaribSea sand (whiter, larger granules) but wanted the benefits of live sand too.
I also dosed copepods early on and feed phytoplankton a few times a week to help keep the copepod population up. From Randy's most recent Reefapalooza talk on BRSTV he talks about how having a healthy copepod population can help with all sorts of tank problems.

I used live sand as well. I have some pods in the tank, they are all over the glass. I might need to get more power heads for sure. I only have 2 mp40’s at the moment.( It’s getting very frustrating. ). I watched that series I found it very informative. I do have some different pods and phyto arriving tomorrow. Hopefully that will help, I think you did the right thing adding them earlier on. It may be to late for me. Thanks for th reply and information. If I can’t find a way to get it under control soon I may have to nuke the tank and start over.
 
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I used live sand as well. I have some pods in the tank, they are all over the glass. I might need to get more power heads for sure. I only have 2 mp40’s at the moment.( It’s getting very frustrating. ). I watched that series I found it very informative. I do have some different pods and phyto arriving tomorrow. Hopefully that will help, I think you did the right thing adding them earlier on. It may be to late for me. Thanks for th reply and information. If I can’t find a way to get it under control soon I may have to nuke the tank and start over.
I don't think you'll need to nuke it. Extra flow and manually sucking up the cyano with some water changes and some pods should help. Might take some time but its not uncommon to have and most people seem to move past it. Never had it myself but that's what I've read.
 
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Tank Gang + Enhanced CUC - Week 1 Status​

The tang gang and the mexican turbo snails have been going to town on the hair algae in the tank. There's a couple longer patches that I think I need to manually trim down and remove as much as I can before they'll touch it.


Before​

IMG_20220803_155923.jpg


After
IMG_20220809_160123~2.jpg


Before​

IMG_20220803_155935.jpg

After​

IMG_20220809_155630.jpg


Before​

IMG_20220803_155931.jpg

After​

IMG_20220809_155621.jpg


Before​

IMG_20220803_155928.jpg

After​

IMG_20220809_155615.jpg
 

Reefdiculous22

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Tank Gang + Enhanced CUC - Week 1 Status​

The tang gang and the mexican turbo snails have been going to town on the hair algae in the tank. There's a couple longer patches that I think I need to manually trim down and remove as much as I can before they'll touch it.


Before​

IMG_20220803_155923.jpg


After​

IMG_20220809_160123~2.jpg


Before​

IMG_20220803_155935.jpg

After​

IMG_20220809_155630.jpg


Before​

IMG_20220803_155931.jpg

After​

IMG_20220809_155621.jpg


Before​

IMG_20220803_155928.jpg

After​

IMG_20220809_155615.jpg
They are all that in a week!? That’s incredible.
 
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