View Full Version : Red Sea Max S Opinions

04/29/2013, 08:27 AM
Part two of my question for today. The new tank I want to install is the Red Sea Max S 650. I want to do this because of location and aesthetics. I would like to know what any owners of this line of tanks think of their system.
I know a custom build is cheaper and better. That is not my concern.
How does the filtration work in your tanks? Do you get good flows? What are the pro and cons of this line of tanks? Any problems maintaining critical parameters?
Please, if you don't have first hand information, hold your opinions. Sorry to be blunt but the internet is full of "custom is better" but it is never supported. I would like facts from owners.

Thanks in advance

Mark Bianco
04/29/2013, 08:54 AM
I can not comment on the larger tanks by RSM However I had a RSM 130D The absolute worst purchase I have ever made in my life pertaining to aquariums.

First off I had the tank a total of a year and a half. in that time I went thru 4 flow pumps. 3 floeresent bulbs. one ballast, and 3 circulation fans. The skimmer system would be better suited as a paper weight. Even with constant adjustment it was never correct for more then a day or two.

Some people have had great sucess with them I did not. There is all kinds of mods for RSM tanks. One would have to ask him or herself. If the equiptment is so good then why are thier so many mods being sold?

I finally sold the tank stocked with 3 large anems 30lbs live rock and 4 fish for 300.00 just to get rid of it..

IMHO go with a custom setup with quaility componets and you will not be sorry.

Good luck


04/29/2013, 09:07 AM
I hear lots of good stuff on the new S sereis line. There are a few issues that are easily overcome. Over all the 650 is a nice tank. I would really only see the need to do 5 things... Replace the center set of bulbs with LED's to add the shimmer... Although flow is not an issue in the new tanks, I would add an MP40 to one side at least. All their flow is from the back... I would also replace that manual ATO float with an electric system and add an way to safely refill the top off section direct from my RO/DI unit... Rip out the timers and add a controller.

I hear the skimmer is quite functional so replacing that is an option. Also the chillers have heat buildup issues so some additional venmt holes and a PC fan will fix that.

Your only going to build one cheaper with ba DIY stand and lights....

04/29/2013, 07:15 PM
I owned the S 650 in white, shortly after they came out and switched over to a custom 120 a few months ago. Below are my opininons.

Built like a "tank", took 4 people to move and still sucked, but that's a good thing
All equipment is very well thought out and works great out of the box
The skimmer worked very well to my surprise, it pulled some nasty smelling stuff
You will absolutely need a chiller and seperate feed pump
The only thing I really didn't like was the height of the tank and stand together, very tall

You would probably be happy with it as long as the height isn't an issue, and in my living room next to my couch it was overpowering. Just think about it seriously, but it was well built. Good luck with your decision.

04/29/2013, 07:58 PM
I have a RSM130D. It was a GREAT intro to reef tanks for me. I seriously considered a S line but ultimately decided that the AIO approach is limited compared to going the other way. Red Sea do a good job with these tanks I think, but if you want true expandability they are limited.

05/28/2013, 01:42 PM
I have had many reef tanks over the years and have to say my Red Sea max 650 is the best out of all of them.The tank is very well made and thought out,and the stand compliments it nicely.Most people that see my tank think it is custom made!I did change the skimmer and used my swc cone skimmer,just a preference of mine -I like set it and forget it.The stock skimmer uses a water feed line that always needs adjusting and it is an all black skimmer so it's hard to tell where your water level is but it still has a great pump on it sicce2500 i believe.
The sump has room to customize for refugium ,reactors,etc etc.I do wish Red Sea offered an option to upgrade to an all led lighting unit.I love t5s and a lot of great tanks are using t5s but heat is an issue and chiller runs a lot.An ecotech mp40 or Tunze on side of tank will definitely help w water movement.Overall you will not regret this great running set up.

05/28/2013, 03:16 PM
for 5000+ dollars, you can seriously get some high end equipment that's 10x better than what the RSM can do. And I'm talking about some CRAZY HIGH END equipment. Go the customization route. You'll enjoy it more later on.

05/28/2013, 05:41 PM
Over here the RSM is actually quite cost effective when it comes to the larger tanks. I even briefly considered buying the 650 to have a nice looking thingy in a living room. Things I like about them are the low iron glass tank, sort of herbie overflow and sleek looks.


For me the absolute deal killer was the dimensions. With the closed loop behind the back wall, the actual display tank depth is something around 21-22 inches. Which, IMHO, simply isn't enough for a tank as long as the 650. It's not even enough for a standard 120 g! Second.. The 10 bulb, non cooled light. While I don't mind having plenty of tubes, an ATI 8 bulb does a tremendous job with 24" tank, so why bake the inhabitans with the really hot running and somewhat ineffective 10 bulb thingy, even if it flaps around like an aluminium butterfly?

Also, the overflow adjustment is at the back, so it would have to be located around 5 inches from the wall. In my tiny apartment I might be willing to sacrifice that space for actual tank space, but not for valve adjustment especially since it's still going to be annoying to do. I don't know what the engineers were smoking when they had that brilliant idea, as it could've just as easily been with a side access.

I wish red sea would offer a bare bones version of this system. IE. the tank with all of it's 28" of depth usable, stand, overflow. I don't want any of the other crap which I'd probably end up binning anyway. If red sea offered that for even 2/3rds of the trade price of the fully equipped unit and without the plastic back wall, I'd buy one in an instant.

05/28/2013, 06:09 PM
If you want aesthetics and customization, Elos is they way to go. Once I get bored of my tank I shall upgrade to an elos tank.

05/28/2013, 06:15 PM
I have an s650 that I'm in the process of setting up in my office. You can get it for 4799 on eBay and it comes with like a 200$ gift card, free shipping and no tax which is a killer deal.

Honestly I love mine. If you price out the system is actually cost effective. The materials and aesthetics are top notch with trim around the lights, top and bottom of the aquarium.

You can Get the same or better equipment for a little lower but you will not get an aluminum stand, with gorgeous panels and matching trim I mean my tank looks gorgeous.

I typically like to go DIY or custom always but I loved the look and size of the system.

The things I changed are:
I added a ~60g frag tank that will sit next to it.
I have added 2 WP40 power heads to add flow.
I will add an eheim 1262 to feed frag tank and calcium reactor.
I added a jbj 1/3 chiller
I sold the skimmer and got a vertex alpha 170 come.
I will be using an apex.
I modified the sump.

But if you want something that looks gorgeous, is completely quiet and is ready to go the s650 is it. If I went custom I probably would have gotten a bigger tank and used a mix of led and t5. I would also have made a bigger sump.

Hope that helps

05/28/2013, 06:31 PM
Armans. I think you pretty much sum it up. The 650 still needs to be customized because out of box it is not going to cut it.