Gablami's Reefer 525 Build

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

  1. Dave B

    Dave B Guest

    good start! enjoy the tank
  2. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Well you have tubes coming from your outside hose and a tube for your waste water going outside so sure leave it outside, just cover it so the sun isnt directly on it as it will make the plastic brittle. Then just get a 50 ft spool of 1/4" vinyl tubing from home Depot and use that for your output (not waste water) and just bring the tube inside whenever you need water
  3. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Hey everyone,

    Thankfully no disasters last night. Everything went very smoothly. Two guys delivered the crate, and we were done in about 2.5 hours. Here are photos:


    Fit easily inside this van. Well packaged. Once delivered, it can easily be disassembled and brought in piecemeal. After removing the top:


    Almost everything is stored within the tank. Behind the tank is a box containing cabinet pieces (on the left). Sorry the focus is off.


    This is everything except for the display tank, which we left in the van to be taken out once the cabinet was assembled.


    Making sure floor is level.


    Setup was very smooth and straightforward. If you've ever assembled IKEA furniture, it is remarkable similar, but with better quality hardware.


    It looks like they're doing all the work, but trust me, I was there working with them.


    2.5 hours later. Viola! Moving the tank onto the stand was NOT as difficult as I thought it would be. Two guys could do it with suction cups (gotta have those). We actually had 4 guys which made it very easy.

    Throughout the assembly, the two guys (I called them kids earlier, bit they're in their 20s!) kept commenting on how slick and sweet the stand and tank was. I gotta agree, it's pretty slick. It was a fun night with beer, 90s hip-hop and tank assembly.

    There was only one problem. After assembly was completed, there was an extra piece of white baseboard with footpads. It was not in the instructions, and upon looking it up, it is mentioned in other 525 build threads. You see how the base of the above photo is black? Here is the photo with the white extra piece at the bottom of the photo.


    There are also no connecting pieces or any mention of this in the instructions. So if you want the white baseboard instead of the black, you need to use that at the very first step, instead of the two black pieces. Once it's all assembled, it's nearly impossible to take out and replace. I happen to like how the black looks, but if I wanted to make it all white, I could glue the white piece in front. But kinda weird that it's not mentioned anywhere, given how well everything else is thought out. Only thing about gluing it on, is that right now there is a 1 inch gap at the bottom of the cabinet doors. I assume that exists for ventilation purposes. If I glue the piece on, it might compromise that. I can also paint the bottom piece white. I don't think anyone is going to notice but me anyways. What do you think? Leave it black or paint it white?

    Today, planning on more rock work. I don't think I'll be getting this tank wet and salty for a few days. The rockscape that I'm putting together over 1 inch PVC pipe is already getting pretty heavy. Any tips on how to lower it into the tank without risking damage to the glass or the rock? As I add more and more to it, I'm starting to get worried imagining how I'm going to lower it in safely.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  4. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I like the contrast. Makes the white stand out more.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Looks nice, and having helpers set it up certainly is a bonus.

    If I had one negative comment it would be that the level the "kid" is using to check the floor is way to small unless they were checking for level at many many spots across the entire bottom of the floor.

    But yeah, that stand looks slick, and the black at the bottom is a very nice contrast, and not having to disassemble the whole thing makes the decision a whole lot easier too. Should have a nice looking tank once everything is set up!
  6. roostertech

    roostertech reef noob

    Very nice. I'll keep that toe kick piece in mind when I do mine lol.

    Btw, are those built in bench on the left side of the hall way? :D I'm pondering about building some.

    @Vhuang168, see told you white look better
  7. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I didn't say I like white better, I said I like the black on the bottom of the white stand better! :p

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Very nice!
    I like the black base also, looks like a shadow.
  9. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    Nice choice on the reefer and pump! I just set up a RSR250 and have the Vectra M1 as well. The thing is super quiet!

    In case you didn't know, the vectra comes with a connector that is British standard pipe thread (BSPT) and does not fit with NPT fittings. Unless you want to shave pvc down to get it to fit, you can buy this adapter that ecomarine sells for $10. BRS has it, but I'm sure others do as well.

    Also, don't forget to calibrate it to set min and max flow rate.

    Good luck and enjoy setting up your new reef tank!
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
  10. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Seriously? Wow that is so janky of Ecotech. "Hey here's a pump we're selling you, and it doesn't work with most of our customer base fittings, but for $10 dollars we'll make it fit". There was another pump (name is slipping my mind) that has been out before the Vectra and it had that same exact issue to, but it was first marketed to Europe so it makes sense. The fact this issue is the same in the Vectra makes me think Ecotech did not develop this pump much at all and simply rebranded it to fit with their product line. *sigh*
  11. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    Yeah, pretty janky, especially for a $300+ pump. Not to mention the adaptor is really just a white off the shelf part they're reselling; it's not the nice blue "screw and squeeze" type adapter like it ships with. You'll definitely have to use pvc glue because the adapter is thread-to-slip and you'll likely have to get a reducer as well because the adapter is 1.25" which I'm sure many aren't using that large of pipe.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
  12. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Been busy past few days. Finally got my rockscape done. Started getting worried about the weight of the rock, and having something go wrong as I lowered it into the tank. So I built the base and most of the rock, and then finished the upper levels in the tank. I let that cure for 24 hours. Building was a lot of fun. It was creative, got to work with my hands, and felt like I was building something. When I was a boy, I wanted to be an architect, loved Legos. Kinda like grownup Legos :).




    Today, I washed the heck out of my #3 sand. Used a 20g Rubbermaid, dropped about 35 lbs of sand into it and used a hose with a PVC stir rod and went crazy for awhile. Repeated with another 35 lbs (about 65-70lbs of sand for this tank, to a depth of around 1.25in). Filled sand, and then mixed my first batch of saltwater, calibrated my refractometer, and brought it to 1.026. Put my first 25 gallons into the tank. My rodi water will probably be my limiting reagent over the next few days.


    A couple gripes. This Apex controller is a pain in the ass to setup. It's like in a different language. The interface is such a pain. It's like for programmers or something. No text that makes sense; just buttons and weird grayed out areas, and labels that consist of letters and numbers. I tried plugging my lights into it and getting it to work, but after making no progress after 20 minutes, I just switched it out to a regular powerstrip in order to go to bed. Anyone have any resource to make programming this Apex easier?

    Sfcu, fortunately after setup, I checked with a level again and it's good.

    Rygh, I bought some liquid epoxy after your suggestion, but I didn't find that I needed it. I didn't get too adventurous though.

    RandyC, agree with you, tried looking at the M1, and figured it'll be a little harder than I thought to setup. I'll go ahead and order that adapter. Thanks for that tip!

    Overall, all the equipment seems harder to setup than I thought. Question: Can I start cycling the tank with just a heater, some shrimp and bacteria? Or should I wait until I get my sump return pump working, etc?
  13. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    Aquascape looks really good! Nice job!

    I don't see why you can't get started on cycling the tank. You don't have to have a heater, but it does speed things up to have it around 80-82 since that's the optimal temp for the nitrifying bacteria (mostly for the nitrite->nitrate converting bacteria - nitrobacter). Good flow and gas exchange is required since the bacteria need oxygen to thrive. So have one of your mp40s running for some surface agitation.

    My rock is actually currently curing and cycling in a plastic tub in the garage. So you can really cycle your rock anywhere.
  14. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Good to know Randy. Once I get my tank filled I'll start cycling. Will get the adapter in a few days. Then I need to decide whether to hard plumb or use flexible tubing for my M1. Any thoughts on that? Tomorrow will also change some wall outlets to gfci.
  15. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    I didn't hard plumb mine. I think the lack of space in the RSR250 wouldn't allow that with everything I have in the sump. I connected to the reefer return with the included hose via the 5/8" barb. I went from the Vectra adapter to a 1.25" to 1" reducer bushing then put a union connected into a cross. I was worried about vibration noise from all the gate valves and everything before the hose, but it's pretty quiet even if the pump is leaning against the glass. My skimmer is louder than the Vectra. Mileage may vary on noise though since you have the RSR525 and will be pushing the pump more than me; my suggested return is around 40% less than yours. If you're curious how I set up my RSR250, the you can check out my build here. Aside from the adapter nonsense, I love this pump.

  16. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Yup, in fact the act of putting salt water into the tank will start a cycle, bacteria exist, bacteria will die, that will cause ammonia, which will cause other bacteria to grow to consume that, etc etc... it just takes a bit longer if you do it like that. You could do bacteria in a bottle and probably do without the shrimp (assuming you mean dead shrimp) just don't rush the fish going into it and you'll be fine.
  17. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Which Apex are you running? Did you get it connected to Fusion?

    Turning on the lights should be as easy as plugging them into the outlets then turning on the outlets in Apex.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  18. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Lol, yes vhuang. I know it probably sounds pretty obvious to you guys, but I can't figure out how to turn on those outlets. I am connected to fusion. Granted I haven't had the time to really sit and figure it all out. I can usually figure things out like that pretty easily; so I was surprised at the learning curve.

    Randy, nice setup. You're very patient. Getting your rocks cycling and setting up all your plumbing before rocks and water. I think I was in a rush to get water in. I think I'm gonna copy DaveB's reefer plumbing. Seems straightforward and easily doable for my needs.

    This is DaveB's plumbing, not mine.

  19. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    Oh yeah, if I had that amount of space, I would definitely hard plumb. That setup looks nice and clean and speacious! Good luck!
  20. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Are you using a mobile device or a laptop with a touchscreen? If you are, Apex has a safety 'cover' over the sliders to prevent accidental change.

    It has an icon that looks like a rectangle with an arrow.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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