The official reef-pi display tank - RedSea Reefer 300 XL

Ranjib

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It's been a long wait, but finally, I'm making the move for tank upgrade :)

Hello everyone, this is ranjib, the author of reef-pi, and a happy owner of a biocube 29. My nano is almost 5.5 years old, same as my son Ryan. We built it together and learned reefing together. It was always a dream to have a little bigger tank. I am very happy with the nano, except probably the curved front. At the same time, I feel very limited in fish choices. And as corals have grown, I feel I could use a bit more space. At the same time, I don't want to go very big, for cost, maintenance reasons. Hence settling for something in the middle. My specific equipment choices also influenced the tank size. I already have two pico tanks, other than the existing nano. This tank will replace the nano. Hopefully the biocube will find a new owner. Livestock will all be moved over to the new tank.


Goal: Maintain a healthy mixed reef with nominal configuration for easy maintenance. I'll move over my existing livestock for few sps, lps, softies and add some more in the course of time.


The tank: I have been waiting and thinking about this for more than a year now. Because I didn't wanted any large tanks, I was always thinking of something less than 120G/4ft. Red sea reefer and waterbox were then initial considerations. Later after researching more about lights and other equipment, I felt its safer to stick to 3ft shallow form factor. I was very close to settle on one of the IM tanks. But after investigating availability, stand options (wify wanted the stand to be white) it was narrowed down to red sea reefer. I still feel the height might be a little more than my desire, but I guess the higher depth/width of the XL compensates to some extent. We'll see

Equipment:
- Vectra S2 as the main return pump.
- Two MP40 for flow: Was thinking of gyre, but at the last moment switch to MP40QD, LFS (aquatic collection at hayward) told me the gyres are a bit higher on maintenance. MPs are proven..so I was ok with that.
- Kessil AP9x for light: I love kessil, I don't know why , since I feel there are better option in that price point, specially for spread. But I just love the shimmer, form factor.
- One 300W main finnex titanium heater, another 100W cobalt neotherm heater

Got most of my equipment today. Some are still inbound.

Similar to the biocube, this tank will be bare bottom. There will be moderate rock work, not a big wall, but also not whole lot of negative space. I like the asian style arching reef scape. Not sure if I can pull it off, but that's one inspiration. Want the bottom to be as open as possible for flow and cleaning.

Things I need to figure out:
- Saltwater mixing station including new RO/DI setup. I've been using RO buddy till now.
- Is it safe to keep the rockwork straight on the glass bottom? or should i use a egg crate or some other padding?
- Have to decide on the lid, get the red sea kit od get full DIY
- Have to decide Vectra S2 speed
- Have to decide on what controller features i want. Light and pump are all having their own controller. So probably more monitoring and redundancy.
- Live stock choices. Corals I can think over next few months, since settling chemistry will take time.. but fish i have to decide in next couple of months .. couple of clowns and a wrasse is already in the list. I have to decide the rest. Overall want to keep it low on bioload. so probably 7 more fish. More on this later.

The tank will arrive next Wednesday, super-duper excited, wish me luck, and thank you for reading through my build thread :)
ranjib
 
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Ranjib

Ranjib

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Light, pumps, heater and skimmer is in

3CAA5A68-49DC-4D38-97C4-A9C5BB0EE418.jpeg
 
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revhtree

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Oooh following this one!
 

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But after investigating availability, stand options (wify wanted the stand to be white) it was narrowed down to red sea reefer

Haha yea ... Did you also get hit with the $100 red sea please-the-wifey fee? I noticed the white stands are slightly more expensive :)

Have to decide on what controller features i want. Light and pump are all having their own controller

Do I smell an opportunity to reverse engineer the kessil link? :-D I hate having a separate controller for everything ...

The tank will arrive next Wednesday, super-duper excited, wish me luck, and thank you for reading through my build thread :)

Congrats and good luck! Keep us posted :)
 

theatrus

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Very nice setup incoming :)

I run my 17 year old AGA 90g on a similar set of basic equipment, such as the Vectra pump (use an M1, S series wasn't out when I swapped) and two MP40s, so that will be plenty for flow.

- Saltwater mixing station including new RO/DI setup. I've been using RO buddy till now.

I went through several iterations of this, starting with Brute garbage cans in the garage. I wouldn't do a big tank (anymore) without considering at least plumbing a line for top off water through the wall. My tank is directly garage adjacent so I've punched a few small holes through over time for things like this. I use plastic water tanks (a 15g for RO, 25g for salt) now on a shelf, which holds up nicely. https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=121920&catid=1212

I'm still backburnered working on automating my water change setup, but have moved various under the tank equipment to the garage except not the sump. Things like the calcium reactor, its associated pump, etc are now on the other side of the wall. Keeps the whirring noise down, though I really need to move the sump and skimmer.

If your tank is nowhere near the garage or utility room, ignore everything I said except for the top-off water. Lugging around water gets old. Needing to scale up the storage when you go out for a week or month gets even older.


- Is it safe to keep the rockwork straight on the glass bottom? or should i use a egg crate or some other padding?

Its safe, rocks go down before sand. If you don't want sand, then I'd reconsider and use HDPE sheeting (starboard etc).

- Have to decide Vectra S2 speed

I keep sump speeds as low as I possibly can. Its quieter. It kicks up less salt spray in the stand. As long as any biofilms are being cleaned off the surface of the water of the tank, its fast enough IMO.
 
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Ranjib

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Very nice setup incoming :)

I run my 17 year old AGA 90g on a similar set of basic equipment, such as the Vectra pump (use an M1, S series wasn't out when I swapped) and two MP40s, so that will be plenty for flow.



I went through several iterations of this, starting with Brute garbage cans in the garage. I wouldn't do a big tank (anymore) without considering at least plumbing a line for top off water through the wall. My tank is directly garage adjacent so I've punched a few small holes through over time for things like this. I use plastic water tanks (a 15g for RO, 25g for salt) now on a shelf, which holds up nicely. https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=121920&catid=1212

I'm still backburnered working on automating my water change setup, but have moved various under the tank equipment to the garage except not the sump. Things like the calcium reactor, its associated pump, etc are now on the other side of the wall. Keeps the whirring noise down, though I really need to move the sump and skimmer.

If your tank is nowhere near the garage or utility room, ignore everything I said except for the top-off water. Lugging around water gets old. Needing to scale up the storage when you go out for a week or month gets even older.




Its safe, rocks go down before sand. If you don't want sand, then I'd reconsider and use HDPE sheeting (starboard etc).



I keep sump speeds as low as I possibly can. Its quieter. It kicks up less salt spray in the stand. As long as any biofilms are being cleaned off the surface of the water of the tank, its fast enough IMO.
These are invaluable advice. Thank you .
The tank is right adjacent to garage , and I’m leaning towards what you said. But garage is also not dry walled , and no heating /cooling . So no sump, only salt water mixing and water change ease is the goal. Did you use standard wire pass through fixtures ?
Can I use plexi glass instead of hdpe sheet ?
thanks again,
 

theatrus

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Did you use standard wire pass through fixtures ?

I have two very short stubs of 3/4" electrical conduit through the wall, drywall to drywall. No junction boxes or anything, and I stuffed them with a fire stop caulk for good measure. If you don't have drywall on the garage side, I could see using junction boxes to add a neat termination point, and to actually fish the tubing through. Also runs an Ethernet drop :)

[begin water mixing idea brain dump]

IMG_8412.jpg

This shows the mixing (left) and RO storage tank (right).

The right RO tank both gravity feeds the ReefBot, and through the wall to the ATO pump. I could gravity feed the top-off water and use a solenoid, but I prefer the fail safe mode of an peristaltic ATO pump (which is do nothing), plus it gives me more margin for low water should the RO system shut off as it can pull water (use a Flow Lock thingy on it). If you mount the tank up on top of shelving (with earthquake bracing) you could avoid a pump entirely and go for a solenoid (or two in series for safety). There is an diapraghm pump (high flow, 40PSI, auto shut off, https://www.seaflo.us/product/115v-33-series-diaphragm-water-pump/) on the RO tank as well (the braided tubing), which I use for the sink next to this for utility purposes like filling containers, humidifier tanks, ultrasonics, etc.

The ATO pump is an older SpectraPure ATO pump, which is rock solid and barely even needs tubing replacement. https://spectrapure.com/products/co...uto-top-off-system-with-magnetic-probe-holder - I haven't used this new generation - but the older is solid even though its quite premium priced- its not on my "annoyance" list to replace ever.

The mixing tank is run by an old PanWorld pump I used to use for the sump pump. It feeds from the bottom, up through the "dispensing" valve thingy, and back through a new hole near the top of the tank which feeds a down-pipe to push water toward the bottom of the tank - no splashing if you're not full, plus more aggressive salt agitation. The dispensing tube goes to about 100 feet of vinyl tubing which I snake through the garage, through the door, and back to the tank to refill salt water.

Biggest regrets are the really odd PVC pipe manifolds I made, especially the very crooked one on the salt tank top unit. Will probably try to replace that soon when I automate more of it. Most of this was built with leftover parts in the aquarium plumbing bin.

For the automated water change upgrade, I'm going to try to use more compact all plastic manifolds and push-connect tubing - you'll need to source this stuff from McMaster or elsewhere since the home improvement stores don't really carry anything interesting (like 1/2" push connects, good tubing options, etc).

One of the example pre-made manifolds - 1/2" NPTF on both sides, 3/8" NPTF on top.
IMG_8414.jpg


Oh, and add valves. Everywhere. Makes servicing things much nicer.
 
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Ranjib

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Thanks @theatrus for the ideas.

Following is the tentative list of parts I'm considering for saltwater mixing station

  • Stand built with 2/4 s , with pocket screws (kreg jig), planning to paint them white
  • Get two 25-35G water storage. I am not seeing anything good online. Will probably settle for these:
  • A hydro selltz dc controllable 500GPH pump.
  • Aquatic life 4 stage ro/di unit:
  • 3/4" Union ball valves
  • 3/4" uniseal:
  • 3/4" right angle, T, and straight pipes, schedule 80.
  • Oatey fusion pvc cement, one step:
  • 3/4" T fitting:
Many questions I have..
- I am favoring aquatic life rodi over brs. Because of cost and convenience. Any know issues?
- Will hudor 500GPH pump work? I feel its enough for my usage (30G at max)
- am I missing any pvc components. I am assuming I can simply glue the components with cement,
 
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theatrus

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- am I missing any pvc components. I am assuming I can simply glue the components with cement,

You will always have 3x too many of one component, and never enough of another. Also, unless you like the color, Schedule 80 is overkill unless you're attaching it to house water pressures. (Though another reason to use schedule 80 is the threaded fitting availability). The OD of PVC pipe is the same standard, so it can be intermixed.

If you have a lot of cemented plumbing, consider buying a union or two (beyond the valves) to allow you to disassemble it. And _buy a second spare union_ - unions are not universal when mating, so only the same brand and type will often mate, which makes the use of them for later partial plumbing changes fraught with availability risk.

Watch a few videos on PVC cement process, it does take some technique on getting a joint that won't be a dripping leaking monster later. Medium body cement works nicely vs the thinner kinds, as its a better gap fillter.

- Will hudor 500GPH pump work? I feel its enough for my usage (30G at max)

In the past I've used an old maxijet. Anything works.


- I am favoring aquatic life rodi over brs. Because of cost and convenience. Any know issues?

No experience. My very first unit had issues with cracks forming in the filter housing after about a decade of use (conveniently when out of the country for a month), so I do a prophylactic replacement of the housings every five years or so now.
 
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Ranjib

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Tank is here .
46B27EDF-2B1E-4814-89A1-F7D139858F72.jpeg

Salt water mixing station Components are on the way . Lot to learn. Next step is to assemble the new tank stand. Followed by relocating the existing tank . And then setting up new tank.
 
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Ranjib

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Haha yea ... Did you also get hit with the $100 red sea please-the-wifey fee? I noticed the white stands are slightly more expensive :)



Do I smell an opportunity to reverse engineer the kessil link? :-D I hate having a separate controller for everything ...



Congrats and good luck! Keep us posted :)
totally :) . Paid the 100$ wife surcharge.
kessil control is in plan , because I’m not sure how the user experience will be. But this one has built in controller , so we’ll see. Mp40s have their own controller and the mobius app. So no immediate plan to control those yet . For nano, the physical controller was good enough. We’ll see how it goes for this one. Though I have not heard good things about the mobius app. I think salt water mixing (solenoid control ) etc will be more impactful thing to automate .
 
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Can’t vouch for mobius, since none of my equipment is apparently even compatible and I largely forgot it existed. Which is probably a good thing, as those Vortech QDs have been plugging away for years now with zero intervention. The wet side magnets though… :(
 
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Can’t vouch for mobius, since none of my equipment is apparently even compatible and I largely forgot it existed. Which is probably a good thing, as those Vortech QDs have been plugging away for years now with zero intervention. The wet side magnets though… :(
+100.
 
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Ranjib

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Nano relocated stand assembled . tomorrow leak test. Assembly was a major learning experience for me. Didn’t realize the top cabinet is in side the tank , not in cabinet box. Lfs (karsen) assured me. Apparently lot of folks freak out.
May be it’s written somewhere . I never read these assembly docs and kinda go with the pictures mostly :) .

32A2D873-7911-436D-AC4E-F9B554793106.jpeg


leveling was bit involved

91EF4346-AF59-43B0-8B69-B16332C40BCE.jpeg


DE3C4A5D-8A36-432B-9487-8614DC610399.jpeg


I am thinking about plumbing now . Bulk of it is Red Sea stuff and I have to connect the vectra s2 with it. I am unsure if I have the right adapter . S2 has much larger fitting than the silicon pipe redsea ships with ..
 
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theatrus

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Nano relocated stand assembled . tomorrow leak test. Assembly was a major learning experience for me. Didn’t realize the top cabinet is in side the tank , not in cabinet box. Lfs (karsen) assured me. Apparently lot of folks freak out.
May be it’s written somewhere . I never read these assembly docs and kinda go with the pictures mostly :) .

32A2D873-7911-436D-AC4E-F9B554793106.jpeg


leveling was bit invokved

91EF4346-AF59-43B0-8B69-B16332C40BCE.jpeg


DE3C4A5D-8A36-432B-9487-8614DC610399.jpeg


I am thinking about plumbing now . Bulk of it is Red Sea stuff and I have to connect the vectra s2 with it. I am unsure if I have the right adapter . S2 has much larger fitting than the silicon pipe redsea ships with ..

IIRC, Red Sea plumbing is all metric sized. Doesn't matter a whole lot for hose barbs, but matters for anything rigid. If it makes things easier, you can get barb fittings for the S2.

(The Vectra M1 I have and its spare both have BST thread metric fittings too, which is extra entertainment)
 
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