Upgrade time! IM EXT 100 or Red Sea Reefer G2+ 350.

sugar

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The age-old question! And I am in need of some help.

This is my first post to R2R, so please excuse me if I've posted in the wrong place or if there is any etiquette I am missing!!!

I would love to hear from everyone about this choice - especially if you own or have experience with either models. If this was your decision, what would you choose?

The Black Friday sales have reeled me in, and I have been wanting to upgrade my IM Lagoon 25g for a long time. This upgrade will be my first "big-girl" tank. Since I'm in my (ahem, early) 30s, I honestly hope to have something to last me decades. I'm assured by both manufacturers that with proper care, that shouldn't be a problem.

I have a spreadsheet. And I have been researching this and agonizing for months. Basically the only piece of information that is missing is shipping costs for the Red Sea.

As it stands, I have priced out both systems and equipment and I have both basically the same price with the help of BF deals. So, price doesn't really matter here.

I'll list some of my personal pros and cons:

Innovative Marine EXT 100:
PROS
- More volume for almost the same footprint (just +5 inches width, which is nice)
- Thicker glass, more ruggedly built
- Nicer stand
- Much larger sump
- Better reputation
- Return pump included
- Leveling mat included

CONS
- Built better.. but it's HEAVY (ok, not really a con)
- No room in the cabinet, like really no room besides the sump itself!
- No leveling feet on stand
- Only 1 year warranty
- No room in sump for filter roller (IM tells me they are working on a filter roller design - but in the meantime some folks have made Klir models work)
- Not really a con but kind of: the thick glass means my current wavemakers MIGHT not work. If not, I'll be upgrading sooner planned! $$

Reefer G2+ 350
PROS
- Room in cabinet
- ATO included (I already have one, so not really a pro)
- Leveling feet on stand
- Better warranty (3 years - but still nothing in the long run)
- Room for filter roller
- I love the full Red Sea systems, gadgets, etc. It would look pretty sharp IMO.

CONS
- Less volume, compared to IM
- Less sump capacity
- Plywood stand. Probably more than fine, but APS appears better
- No leveling mat?!
- Less robust
- Issues with previous models
- Less than ideal reputation

I could go with either. The one thing that hangs on for me is the infamous Red Sea issues that so many have reported. My fear is that this tank just won't stand the test of time, but I also don't want that to be the deciding factor if it's just not true, especially with the G2.

Thanks so much in advance!! Looking forward to posting with my new tank build in the near future
 
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sugar

sugar

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Bumping your post!

Thank you so much for the bump! I had no idea how fast-paced this forum is - I was immediately buried :face-with-tears-of-joy:

I actually managed to come to a decision and went with the IM! It is hopefully shipping out today! I'll need to start a build thread here shortly :)
 

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I chuckled at the "better warranty" for the RS tank. I'd go with the company with a lesser warranty but a much better track record than a company with a better warranty but with an extensive history of failed tanks. Granted, we haven't seen issues with the G2 tanks yet.
 
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sugar

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I chuckled at the "better warranty" for the RS tank. I'd go with the company with a lesser warranty but a much better track record than a company with a better warranty but with an extensive history of failed tanks. Granted, we haven't seen issues with the G2 tanks yet.

I did cringe at my own description... I definitely did not choose the right words, my bad there!! Maybe "longer" warranty for the RSR (but 1 vs. 3 years is really nothing anyways.. it's almost a moot point, isn't it?), but you're totally right.

At the end of the day, that was the deciding factor... a better built tank that should hold up. The history of failed RSRs just doesn't sit well with me, but I do sure hope the G2s fare much better long term!!
 

edd59

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wise desition, heavier and thicker glass means better quality. if a tank leaks i think warranty is the least of your problems. i couldnt sleep with a red sea in my house.
 

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I just bought an IM200 myself. I wouldn't use a Red Sea tank as a bird bath, TBH. Just spend some time on the Red Sea FB group and watch them try to bury all of the posts pertaining to leaks to see how reputable that company is. Hard pass.
 

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I’m in the same situation, looking to upsize next year but trying to choose between the redsea g2+ 350 or 550 and the innovative marine 100. The thing I like about the red sea is the armored seams. Not sure if the innovative marine has them.
 

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I just bought an IM200 myself. I wouldn't use a Red Sea tank as a bird bath, TBH. Just spend some time on the Red Sea FB group and watch them try to bury all of the posts pertaining to leaks to see how reputable that company is. Hard pass.
Same boat as you. Bought an Innovative Marine 200ext from Saltwateraquarium so I could get the loyalty points which translates into 180$.

@sugar I'd go innovative marine personally. I agonized over the same thing, I'm upgrading from a 32 gallon. I actually went with the innovative marine without the sump so I could buy my own and have a roller mat. I'm against the idea of washing filter socks. You do have to buy your own return pumps too though if you don't get the bundle with the sump.
 
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I would go with the IM tank. It's a lot better quality and you wont have that in the back of your head every time you think about it.

Yeah, that's really the thing. I had been thinking about the decision for months and then really had it on my mind for that last week. I really hope we've seen the last of tank leak issues with any brand/model, namely RSR, but the build quality and rep of IM is what I had to go with.

Plus, almost 50gal more! Which I have yet to decide is a good or bad thing :face-with-tears-of-joy:
 
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I just bought an IM200 myself. I wouldn't use a Red Sea tank as a bird bath, TBH. Just spend some time on the Red Sea FB group and watch them try to bury all of the posts pertaining to leaks to see how reputable that company is. Hard pass.
IM200!!! I'd like to see that.

That's so brutal. A company needs to be able to stand by their product. These things are so expensive and the flagrant lack of responsibility and accountability is.. appalling.
 
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I’m in the same situation, looking to upsize next year but trying to choose between the redsea g2+ 350 or 550 and the innovative marine 100. The thing I like about the red sea is the armored seams. Not sure if the innovative marine has them.

Yeah that's another feather the RSR has, those armored seams. I don't think the IM has that, but someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Not sure the RSR has a leveling mat...? Which the IM comes with. I still missed a few things but I stared at my spreadsheet just about all year and still couldn't come up with a conclusion. My pros/cons were split down the middle!

I think the end deciding factor was that at one point, with sales and dealing with the store owner, I basically had my mind made up that I was going with the RSR. And then after sleeping on it, my gut told me to go with IM, and then I haven't looked back.
 
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Same boat as you. Bought an Innovative Marine 200ext from Saltwateraquarium so I could get the loyalty points which translates into 180$.

@sugar I'd go innovative marine personally. I agonized over the same thing, I'm upgrading from a 32 gallon. I actually went with the innovative marine without the sump so I could buy my own and have a roller mat. I'm against the idea of washing filter socks. You do have to buy your own return pumps too though if you don't get the bundle with the sump.

I just got the tracking notification! The IM EXT 100 Complete Reef System is on its way!

Lots of people doing the IM200, I see!! I need to check out your builds!

The feedback seems unanimous. I'm.. surprised, but also not. In some way I may have already known the answer to my question, but wanted to prompt you guys to see if there was still a case of RS vs IM that I might be missing.

I did like the idea of having an entire Red Sea system, the tank, pump, skimmer, roller mat. Looks cool, lol!₩

But in the end my gut really told me the IM was the right decision for me.

My boyfriend and I are just trying to figure out how to move this thing into the house and down some stairs.

I reached out to IM and waiting to hear back. My questions to them:

1. I'm going to try to get it delivered into the garage (attached, unheated); is it OK to stay here for a few hours? Days? Or does it need to get into the house urgently. (Surely they are shipped on trucks that aren't heated?!). I'm in Atlantic Canada and winter is here!

2. Can we use a hand truck? Might need to use plywood on the bottom and back? Safe to have the tank on its end/side while moving?

It's... 300 lbs.
 

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it should be fine in the garage
i used a hand truck with wood on the bottom to support the tank and a moving blanket over wood and hand truck.
i would definetly have more people to help, 300lbs is heavy. mine was 350, i paid 3 big guys to move it
 

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if i had the $$$ i'd go IM100INT. i like the look/build design. redsea/waterbox have had seam issues recently, from what i've seen around on r2r.
 
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it should be fine in the garage
i used a hand truck with wood on the bottom to support the tank and a moving blanket over wood and hand truck.
i would definetly have more people to help, 300lbs is heavy. mine was 350, i paid 3 big guys to move it

Okay thanks for sharing - this is what I am looking for! I have my boyfriend and myself, and we have a guy across the street we can ask for a hand.

The objective right now is to get it in the house and on the floor (sitting on some 2x4's?) because the downstairs still needs to be painted and floored, but I don't want the tank to sit in the garage all winter.
 

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As a person who has had both tanks, I think that the IM is a much better value. The stand is much better, you can always reach someone in customer service by phone vs email.
For the space issue in sump area, I went with a different sump. I put on a Trigger platinum 26 sump (love the integrated roller mat!).
Currently I have an IM 75int and above sump, and have never been more pleased with a tank/sump combo.
 

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