Tank Upgrade, Red Sea Reefer 250 G2

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Oggiewok

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Finally have bitten the bullet and decided to upgrade my Boyu TL-550, which I set up on a budget 8 years ago as my first venture into Saltwater, having kept freshwater for several years before that. Everything on my previous tank was second hand or a DIY solution, and I really did love that tank. Sadly, the stand has seen its better days and I think its time to change it out before it collapses ( see below)


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There was a little water damage when I first got it, but over time its just gotten worse and worse, to the point where its started to visibly sag under the weight of the tank. Still, for £50 I don't think it owes me anything.

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Last FTS before I break it down next week. The Reefwave was bought for the new tank, but I really wanted to play with it so put it into my old one :p. I'd mainly stuck with soft corals on this tank, and due to my budget set up every coral in the tank was grown from a single head/frag that I bought for under a tenner, or was given free.

Current Stock is

2x Clowns
1x Royal Gramma
2x Cleaner Shrimp
Unknown number of snails (maybe 2 Narsarrius and a Trochus)

The Fish have been with me since the tank was first built, and hopefully will be for several more years to come.

SO my equipment list for the new tank!

Tank

Red Sea Reefer 250 G2

Lighting

Red Sea LED 90 x2

Filtration

Red Sea Reefmat 500
Red Sea RSK-300 Skimmer
10kg Live Rock (from current tank)
10kg "New" Live Rock (currently in LFS)

Pumps

Red Sea Reefwave 25
AI Nero 3
Jebao MDP-3500

Sand

40LBS Arag Alive Special Grade

Salt

Red Sea Salt (starting to look like a red sea fanboy at this point..)

Misc -

D-D 350w Titanium Heater
Tunze Osmolator ATO
D-D Temperature Controller
Bubble Magus Mini 70 Media Reactor (possibly will not need depending on load, but good to have around)

Already have all of the equipment sitting in the garage, just waiting on the tank and we are good to go.

Tank was ordered from my LFS on 22-8-22, and I've been told it'll take around 5 days or so to deliver which has given me time to plan how exactly I'm gonna move everything. Ideally looking to move on the weekend of the 3rd of September. I've had to recuit a few able bodied folks, as I managed to rupture my achilles a month ago so rules me out of any heavy lifting. Oh well ;)

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Bonus pic of my Betta in conversation with an Amano.
 
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Oggiewok

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Yeah they're great guys. Wouldnt have a freshwater tank without em.

Delivery drivers been at my house steadily all week , mostly have all the equipment now. Picked up some bits and bobs second hand (just the skimmer, ATO and a temp controller) but most of it is brand spanking new, which has proven to be **** clenchingly expensive at times. I did have a budget when putting this together though, at the moment im well within that so thats something I guess. The sand has proven to be a bit of a pain, was due to be delivered yesterday but somehow DPD managed to damage the bags, and it was returned to the supplier. Another couple of bags have been dispatched, and I'm assured they will be here on Tuesday.

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The wee cabinet on the left was £45 from IKEA (Eket or something). I intend on carving out a hole in the back, and mounting the power strips to the inside, the hiding all the cables behind wood, onto which I will mount the various controllers. Thats the plan anyway, I'm usually all thumbs when it comes to DIY so god knows how it will end up looking. HOPEFULLY it'll look a bit tidier than just having the cables within the cabinet.
 
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Oggiewok

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No real updates for the last week. Been told that my tank has been delayed in delivery for some reason, so thats my plan for this weekend scuppered. Literally just sitting and waiting, the anticipation is killing me!
 
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Oggiewok

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So a little further on with this, apparently the tank has been stuck in customs for the last 10 days, and STILL hasn't cleared. I'm not sure exactly what the issue is, but this is almost 3 weeks to the day that I ordered it. Maybe was a little premature in starting this thread lol.
 
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Oggiewok

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FINALLY. After almost a month of customs checks, I picked up my new RSR 250 g2 today. The last 10 hours have been spent building the cabinet, cleaning the sump and vinyl wrapping it, assembling and linking the Reefmat and new pumps, and preparing the new water to go in.

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Feeling anxious yet excited about getting it all moved over tomorrow, Ill throw another update when its all done.

I currently have 120L of new salt water heated in the garage.

50L of new water in a 150L bin heating in the same room as the old tank.

50L spare unheated, in case of emergency.

The plan is to head down to LFS first thing inthe morning and pick up some new Live Rock (10kg or so) get home and place it straight into the bin of heated water.Then I'll empty out the old tanks water into the 150L bin and a 25L bucket, move the rockwork and coral into the same bin as the new rock, its large enough to give me some space to come up with an aquascape for the new tank/

Fish and shrimp into a 25L bucket. They should only be in there for a few hours at most, so hopefully they wont stress too much.

Old tank out, new tank in - hook everything up, new sand in, fill halfway or so with the water from the garage - rockwork and corals in and finish filling. Switch it all on, add back livestock and hope that everything goes ok.

Last ever picture of my current tank before the big upgrade tomorrow. Maybe I'll get better at reef photography too...

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Oggiewok

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Had fully intended to write this post yesterday, but as it was nearly 0200 by the time I actually finished setting everything up, the only thing I wanted to do was go to sleep. If I never have to do this again itll be too soon.

With the cabinet built, I headed down to my LFS on Saturday. My Brother very kindly offered his assistance, as I ruptuted my achilles 2 months ago and am still in an aircast. Grabbed 10kg of live rock, and headed straight home to put them into the big bin of water I had heated in the same room as the tank. Meanwhile, some folk turned up to take some of the GSP I had peeled off the back wall - seemed a shame to waste it! I then had to take my brother out for lunch by way of a bribe for his help.

Once that was done, it was time to get to work. I removed all of my rock and corals, and placed them into the tub with the new rock, and drained the old tank down into the same Tub.

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My fish which went into a seperate bucket with a powerhead and heater. The royal gramma was looking very upset when the rockwork came out, to the point where I actually felt really sorry for her - so I put a lump of rock into the bottom of the bucket so she could hide. So far so good.

With the old tank emptied, we moved it into the spare room, and moved the new cabinet into place. The two of us then managed to wrestly the glass up the stairs and onto the cabinet. This was a particularly ropey procedure - the glass was HEAVY, and I still can't put a hugh amount of weight onto my right leg - so we ended up just "hopping" the tank up one stair at a time until we made it. Pretty stressful stuff, especially since I was at the bottom and would probably have been crushed to death had the glass fallen.

Leveling the tank took a bit longer than I wanted, made more awkward by the cast - but eventually got it to a point where I was happy. This took nearly an hour by itself. We then installed the sump, and plumbed everything in. It was now approaching 1800.

Girlfriend came home and took over helping duties, as brother had to head on. With everything installed and plumbed, it was time to get the water in.

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Started with the sand, and then formed a sort of 2 person bucket line - all the while having a small pump draining the water out of the big bin with the live rock. This took FOREVER, but I was trying not to add too much unheated water at once, and bringing the temp down. Once the tank was around 1/2 full, I added the rocks back in, and tried to create some sort of aquascape, however this wee room is pretty dark, and the water was fairly cloudy at this point - so I'm 100% going to change it once the fish have settled down a bit.

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This was my first tank with a sump, and I was not prepared for the noise of the water sloshing down the drains into the sump, I genuinely thought that I had missed something and flooded my upstairs. We kept adding water until there was around 6" of water in the return section. With fingers crossed, I flicked the switch and turned everything on for the first time.
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And would you believe it, it all worked. The skimmer was going mental, but that was to be expected, and I just adjusted the water level and it calmed right down. After checking the temp (which amazingly was showing at 25C, exactly where I wanted it) I added the livestock back in, and set to managing the cables.


I had previously built a cabinet from Ikea (Eket, with the optional feet) and cut out the top back section, where I mounted 2 8 gang power strips. I then cut a piece of wood to to size with a couple of holes, and mounted it in front to hide the cables. The assorted controllers were then secured with velcro. The powerbricks for the 2 Lights and the Reefwave fit nicely underneath the cabinet. Overall I am VERY satisfied with how this turned out, expecially since I am usually pretty inept when it comes to DIY.
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It was now almost midnight, and I was exhausted but fairly happy with how everythihng went. One thing I will say is that having a clear plan was a MASSIVE help. I had written down everything I wanted to do, and in what order - and sticking to that list really helped, and saved me from overlooking anything. Before bed I threw in a bottle of Dr. Tims to hopefully offset any dieoff. The plans for the next week is to test for the essentials every day, but I'm hoping I've managed to avoid a mini cycle with the old rock, live sand and Dr.Tims. If everything stays good then its off to the shops next weekend to start stocking this thing.

Thanks for reading
,
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MelancholyBlenny

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Looks great man, i have the older version of the 250 and did a similar move to yours from an old innovative marine AIO tank to the 250 and everything survived even adding a couple more pieces of rock and new sand. Only suggestion would be do a power outage test, your split returns inside the tank look pointed down pretty low so you'll want to make sure that when the return pump goes off it doesn't siphon so much as to overflow your sump.
 
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Oggiewok

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Looks great man, i have the older version of the 250 and did a similar move to yours from an old innovative marine AIO tank to the 250 and everything survived even adding a couple more pieces of rock and new sand. Only suggestion would be do a power outage test, your split returns inside the tank look pointed down pretty low so you'll want to make sure that when the return pump goes off it doesn't siphon so much as to overflow your sump.
Incredible. I was literally just doing this and could not figure out why the sump was overflowing every time I turned the return off. Would have never occured to me that it was those nozzles. Thank you so much.
 
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Not a lot happening, did my first rearrangement of the rockwork - like it a lot better this way, but still not 100% happy, especially with the rock of GSP on the left. Maybe have another play tomorrow.
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Fish and Shrimp seem to be doing well, everything running reasonably smoothly. Tests showing:
0 Nitrite,
0 Phosphate
10 or so Nitrate
0 Ammonia

Small smattering of what looks like diatoms on the sandbed, and some of the newer rocks, but that was to be expected.

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Fitted the ATO today, and my skimmer seems to have calmed down significantly. One piece of kit that I've been super pleased with is the reefmat, so simple to set up and it hasnt missed a beat. Fingers crossed it stats that way. Also added a wee motion sensor light into the sump (top right of that picture).

I was planning on adding more more fish this weekend, we reckon its safe to go ahead and do so, or am I better giving it another week. First time upgrading a tank like this - so I'm not sure if the rules on cycling still apply..
 
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