Gablami's Reefer 525 Build

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Gablami, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. Gablami

    Gablami Guest

    Hi everyone,

    Figured nobody gets tired reading another build thread. I'm very much a newbie, even though I did have a 50g saltwater tank in college a long time ago. Learned a lot reading all the threads, and figured it was time to start my own.

    We moved into a new home a year ago, and have this big wall that we have not been able to find artwork for. After looking at oversized posters and artwork for months and not finding anything we liked (or within a reasonable price range), we were at a loss...until one evening I thought, "Wouldn't a killer aquarium look awesome right there?"

    Fortunately my wife was totally down -- and thus began the whirlwind of research, perusing forums and watching YouTube videos. I decided to go with a Red Sea, in part because of a friend's recommendation, originally was considering the Max-S series, but then decided to go with the rimless look. Hoping to have a mostly coral tank; envisioning a somewhat more "minimalist" tank (not a ton of rock). Here's the list of goodies (nobody seems to complain much about how expensive this crap is, so I'll try not to do it):

    Reefer 525 XL in white
    Vortech MP40 (2)
    Vectra M1
    Kessil AP700 (2)
    Bubble Magus Curve D9
    Apex Controller
    Cobalt Neotherm 300W heater


    I got my new RODI cooking now. Got the AquaFx Barracuda 100g/day and it was a breeze to setup. Attached it to my outdoor hose bibb and running in through our doggy door :). TDS of 0!


    And here's the wall where the tank will be. I've bought some paint today to protect the drywall right behind the tank. I've read that some people have problems with the wall staining, or even with drywall damage or mold, and I've also read that some people have no problems at all. I'm not sure whether it's "a thing" or not, but figured, just in case. I couldn't easily find marine grade paint, so just got high gloss latex paint in the same color of the wall. Should be better than the matte paint that's already there.


    Tank is arriving tomorrow night. Gotta give a shout out to all the guys at Neptune Aquatics. They weren't listed on the Red Sea website when I was looking for a dealer, so I initially drove out to Dublin to buy the tank. Fortunately, given its high reviews and some fancy online videos, I went to check out Neptune Aquatics the next day and was surprised to find they sold Red Sea. Robert and Cerissa were great, as was James. Spent lots of time there picking Robert's brain. Anyways, I bought the tank from them, and a couple of the guys are gonna deliver it tomorrow. Can't wait.

    Once I get it setup and cycling with some shrimp and bacteria, I'll start thinking about my fuge. Will post as I go. Looking forward to meeting all of you, online or in person, one of these days.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016
    coral4me and DT Prime like this.
  2. MolaMola

    MolaMola Supporting Member

    So exciting to set up a tank! That is a lot of light. I also have the Barracuda RODI, though it must have more stages because it is longer. Looks like you have a great wall for the tank. (And I couldn't help but notice the cool looking doggy door.)
    Where are you located?
  3. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    For a moment I thought it was a 525G thread.
    You will feel at home in this club !
    gimmito likes this.
  4. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

    That'll be the next one. This one is just to get his feet wet.
  5. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

    I think there's plenty of complaining about cost, but it seems to be fairly accepted. It's like I've never heard anyone complain about how expensive heroin is either. They just pay it and get their fix. Not that I actually know any heroin addicts. Oh, and welcome to the club. Also, talk to @jestersix about doing an aquascape for you. I'm sure he's got some cool ideas that are minimalistic.
  6. Gablami

    Gablami Guest

    Thanks for making me feel welcome. Yes I love that doggy door. Had to cut out a piece of wall for that. I just never liked the doggy doors cut through a regular door. One day maybe I'll take a photo of my basenji checking out the fish. I'm based in Palo Alto.

    Lol, 525g? At the rate my rodi is going that would take about a year to fill. The amount of waste water is surprising, but now that I'm reading threads, seems like there will always be a good amount of waste. Maybe will start a gray water tank for watering or something.

    And thanks Flagg. Jester seems like the man. Checked out some of his work. But I already bought 75 lbs of reef rock and got an image of what I wanna do in my head. It may not look like a masterpiece in the end, but at least it's my pile rocks and I'll make it work ;). That's tomorrow's project.
  7. Gablami

    Gablami Guest

    Actually have a question for you all. Should I go with one 300w cobalt (which is essentially two 150s running together) or two separate 150s? Total volume is 139g. Thanks in advance!
  8. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

    Two is always good for redundancy so if one breaks you've still got the other one. With the apex it will tell you if the normal wattage isn't being drawn for one of the heaters signaling that something is wrong.
  9. rygh

    rygh BOD

    Looks like a fun build!

    You are certainly starting with good equipment.
    +1 on dual heaters.
    Paint is a good "just in case" plan. Humidity can build up.
    I stapled plastic drop cloth behind my tank, but it was in an alcove.
  10. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Welcome to BAR!

    Another RS Reefer 525 build! It will be fun seeing the different builds of the same tank.

    Good choice in equipment. Just be aware the Vectra M1 cannot be controlled by the Apex (new or old) yet. There is talk the new Apex will control Ecotech lights wirelessly so maybe in the future!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

    It can't control the flow rate, it can only turn it on/off.
  12. Gablami

    Gablami Guest

    Re: the equipment. Looked at basically all the reefer 525 threads I could find, and the same equipment kept popping up. There were a lot more radions and hydras for lighting. Was originally going for hydras because they come in white, to match the tank, but once I saw the kessils it was hard to say no. I know it's a lot of light for my tank, so maybe will need to turn it down a bit.

    I was planning on keeping my return pump off the Apex energy bar. The entire wall has a GFCI at the circuit breaker box in the laundry room. It's not at the actual outlet. I heard that sometimes things like older heaters can leak a small amount of current, not enough to cause damage but enough to trip the GFCI, and then the whole tank shuts down and sayonara livestock. So I was gonna keep the pump on one outlet, and use the other for the energy bar with the hope that it'll trip the energy bar before it trips the circuit breaker, and keep the return pump running. Thoughts? Are battery backup relatively common?

    Ok got my hacksaw, drill, epoxy and cable ties. Gotta get to work on my rock. Loving this stay-cation.
  13. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Supporting Member

    I also painted the wall behind the tank. I painted it blue (the other walls are white). Mostly because I had an electrician install an outlet there and he didn't repaint the holes he made so I just repainted the whole thing.

  14. rygh

    rygh BOD

    Yes, GFCI is one of those tough things. A must-have that can wipe out everything. Fortunately, it is rare.
    I had a problem with one tripping. It turned out to be from a cheap power strip with the little surge protector indicator light.
    Because of that, I totally-over-killed the solution. I have a bank of GFCI outlets. In parallel, so each independent. So any one can go down and no big deal.
    I also hard wired in a big surge protector.

    Apex seems very reliable, but I am with you on not putting return pumps on it.
  15. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I don't think 2 ap700s is too much light. For a mixed reef, I think that is enough. My tank is not much different in dimensions, 60/28/28, and I will be running 3 ap700s. 2 perpendicular to the tank and the ends and a 3rd in the center running parallel to the tank. It will be SPS dominant mixed reef.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  16. roostertech

    roostertech Guest


    Have to delay my own 525 build a bit to redo my fw tank after the move. Looking forward to see your setup.

    Lid or no lid?

    Did you get the new Apex? I heard people still have trouble getting them?
  17. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    One slick trick is to push the waste water through a second RO membrane, and you can chop your waste in half. Granted you need higher water pressure than 40psi, but if you don't have it a booster pump can change that in a hurry... but then again all that crap next to your doggy door might get the wife changing her mind about a fish tank at that location :D

    That said, I don't think I'd classify it as grey water even, after going through the prefilters of your RO unit it will probably be cleaner that what comes out of the tap.
  18. Gablami

    Gablami Guest

    Man, was not expecting reef scaping to be so hard. I'm only a third of the way done and I'm out of two sticks of epoxy. But it is coming along well. Putting 1 inch pvc piping along the base. Also real reef rock doesn't hack saw at all. The pukani stuff looks much easier. Had to chisel it instead. Will photograph when done.

    Rygh that setup looks wild. You do that yourself?

    Rooster, I'll probably get one of the artfully acrylic lids down the road. Maybe with an opening for an apex feeder in the future.

    Sfsu, yeah dunno if I wanna setup a second filter. I wish I had thought of this stuff earlier. Nowhere in the house to put this rodi. Square footage is tight. Might have to keep this stuff outdoors or in the garage and lug it indoors? Pita.

    Guys delivering in 1.5 hours. Hope I'm not posting tonight with any disaster stories.
  19. rygh

    rygh BOD

    > Rygh that setup looks wild. You do that yourself?
    Yes, I love tinkering.

    > ... I'm out of two sticks of epoxy.
    Sticks? I am not a big fan of that clay stuff.
    It tends to crumble, plus it does not really get into the pores of the live rock so well.
    You might want to mix a bit of some good two part liquid and mix it in and around the key joints.
    The liquid epoxy seeps in and makes the rock stronger than it ever was.
  20. roostertech

    roostertech Guest

    I'm building a shelf in the garage that can hold two 30g or 44g brute in top/bottom config. Top brute for RODI, bottom for SW. And then just pump it to the tank with small tubing when needed.

    Take some pic of the setup process ;p

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