View Full Version : Blitzer's Red Sea Reefer 250 Build

03/29/2017, 01:45 PM
Hi everyone,

Started a new build the other day, and thought I'd document my progress going forward in this thread. This is my first reef setup, but I have about 10 years of experience keeping fresh and salt water aquariums. I've been moving a lot over the last 6 years for work, and finally settled down for a bit and ready for a challenge. Going to take my time and not rush anything, but will post progress as I go.

I've been researching on and off for the past year, got serious over the last few months, and once the tax refund came in, starting buying equipment.

I went with the Red Sea Reefer 250 for a few reasons:
1. I wanted the basic elements out of the box that allowed me to customize other elements.
2. The 250 was the perfect size for the allocated space in the living room #wifeapproved
3. I just couldn't get over how awesome these look in the various build threads, YouTube videos, and reviews I've found.

Only hiccup was when everything arrived, the overflow box was cracked! I ordered from Aquacave, primarily for the 5% in cashback from points for future purchases. and they were super helpful. Shaun at Aquacave was extremely helpful throughout the process, and ultimately took two weeks to get the replacement tank.

In the meantime, I had plenty of time to get the stand built and purchase the rest of the equipment.

Here's a pic of the tank and stand, all assembled, crazy glare and all:

My next post will be on all the equipment decisions and installation. It's been a busy few days, so quite a few updates to share, time permitting. Stay tuned! :beer:

03/29/2017, 03:57 PM
looks like a good start

03/30/2017, 11:45 AM
Today I wanted to post about all of the equipment I have so far. I'm in the process of setting everything up, and will post about that later, but today just wanted to cover the what and why:

Neptune Apex. I work in tech, and might be way too into home automation. I have a Nest, Echo, and even smart lights. "Alexa, turn off lights" is something I say daily. The struggle is real. So, no brainer I'd have some tech to control my aquarium from anywhere on earth. I actually can't wait to hook up a camera, and then feed my fish while showing people from my iPhone. Call me a geek, but damn that's cool.

Lights - 2x Kessil A160WE
Wanted to go LEDs and wanted something minimalistic that wouldn't detract from the sleek appearance of the rimless tank. Went with gooseneck clamps to hold them. Initially bought a Spectral Controller, but had jumped the gun (before the Apex purchase). Just need to figure out how to program these in the Apex, but looking forward to it.

Return Pump - Eheim 1260
At 635gph, figured this would be more than adequate. The reviews online also talked about how quiet this pump is. Unfortunately for me, that doesn't seem to be the case, not yet at least. There is an audible hum which is slightly annoying. If this doesn't correct over the next few weeks after breaking in, will look to replace it.

Wavemakers - 2x VorTech MP10wQD
One of the hardest things for this size tank was finding wavemakers that weren't too big or too small... really wanted to get the Neptune WAV, but apparently it would cause a hurricane in my tank... and MP40s would be too much also, so MP10s it is. Seems others have had issues with these not holding to the sides due to the thickness of the Red Sea Reefer tanks, but enough people were successful to give me confidence they would hold.

Heater - Finnex 300W
Not much thought went into this one, just wanted a digital display. Will likely pick up a second in the near future to run as a backup.

RODI - Refurb Spectrapure 90 GPD
Great deal on a refurb, everything looked brand new, and so far it works great. Considerably high ratio of wastewater to RODI water, but hopefully this decreases overtime. Good thing NorCal is out of the drought :D

All of the boxed up equipment posing:

SpectraPure mounted on the garage wall, not pictured is the convenient drain directly below, so glad I have a drain nearby!

03/30/2017, 10:27 PM
Looks like Christmas came early

03/31/2017, 11:27 AM
Looks like Christmas came early

Definitely felt that way... but opening the tank up and discovering a cracked overflow was very disappointing, but on the bright side gave me time to open and play with all the other new toys :D

03/31/2017, 11:48 AM
Just be glad you found it before it was filled with water!!! ;)

04/03/2017, 03:44 PM
Awesome build so far! Loving the white stand! Following along for sure!

04/03/2017, 05:36 PM
Awesome build so far! Loving the white stand! Following along for sure!

First batch of live rock and sand just got in today from Tampa Bay Saltwater! Will post an update once I can get some photos.

04/04/2017, 02:24 PM
Saltwater has been running through the tank for about a week now. Apex is working great, love it so far. All probes are calibrated and in the sump. Attached my 2 Vortech MP10wQD on either end, will adjust location once all rock is in.

I ordered a Neptune WXM module to connect the Vortechs to the Apex, annoyed with having to manually adjust and want to switch modes at night time. Anyone running one of these? Would appreciate some programming tips :D

Here's a photo of the current progress:

Need to get a picture of the sump, but will share a photo of it once the new skimmer is running with the liverock in the tank. More updates soon!

04/04/2017, 11:41 PM
Looks like some super nice gear!

04/05/2017, 09:59 AM
Looks like some super nice gear!

Thanks! Figured I would go topend to avoid trying to save a few dollars, being disappointed with performance, and save myself some headaches.

04/05/2017, 04:52 PM
Ordered the Package from Tampa Bay Saltwater last week. It got shipped to SFO via Southwest, and there was a slight delay which meant it arrived after the cargo office closed... so it sat in their warehouse overnight. I was there first thing in the morning to get it, but it had to go through an agricultural inspection... so had to come back 2 hours later after that person got to work and had some coffee...

Anyways, got it all home, opened it all up. Everything smelled fine, but found some dead crabs (various types, looked like a few porcelain, few stone crabs, and not sure about the others), as well as a two dead pistol shrimp :(

For the 2nd part of the shipment, will make sure I can get same day no matter what. Until then, fingers crossed that the reason the rock wasn't smelly was that everything had only just died...

Monitoring Ammonia (NH3) levels for the time being:
Day 0: 0
Day 1: .3
Day 2: .8
Day 3: today, will check when home... if over 1, time for water changes to keep it down.

Here's a photo, just put it all in the tank so don't critique the scape. Will do the scaping once things settle down


04/05/2017, 04:53 PM
Bigger Photo

04/21/2017, 05:32 PM
Updates! The tank has been establishing nicely, ammonia has been at 0 for about 2 weeks now, so I arranged for the remainder of The Package to get shipped out by TBS. After explaining the quarantine process to my wife, we also went ahead and got some True Percula Clowns, as we have a dinner party in a few weeks and need to have some life in the tank :D

Second shipment came in yesterday, and got it all into the tank last night. This included all of the critters and extras TBS includes, which is amazing. This shipment I made sure I picked up same day, and it seems to have paid off. Thrilled with the results.

This is my first shot at aquascaping, and even though I went for a smaller than recommended package (I bought the 40g package), still have quite a bit of rock... was hoping to do two islands of rock, one large on the left and then one slight smaller on the right, primarily due to this is in our living room, and the right side is visible from the couch. Had to go with a single structure, sloping left to right with a nice open front end on the right side. Anyways, let me know what you think! On to the photos:

This was taken 4 days ago, before the 2nd shipment of the package:

Introducing The Splash Brothers (Steph & Klay). We live in SF afterall, and I couldn't stop laughing when my wife suggested it. Forget both probably aren't males haha:

The Package Part 2 is in the tank! Few critters & extras still acclimating when I took this photo, will share some photos separately:

The large serpent (brittle?) star, this guy was the size of my hand. Quick photo before he quickly got out of the light and into the rocks:

I'm also planning to post some videos on my Instagram account, so be sure to follow: https://www.instagram.com/redseareefer250/