For the last year I have been seriously considering a new tank build and now the decision has finally been made to purchase a Red Sea Reefer 350.
The Red Sea Reefer series includes everything you need, including a nice cabinet but does not include a protein skimmer, return pump, or lighting. This allows the user to choose the equipment of their choice. It also includes a built in top off reservoir complete with an auto top off device.
The tank I have presently is the Red Sea Max 250 turnkey aquarium. Although it is very attractive in appearance, I had to remove the hood to incorporate the use of the Atlantik V2.1 Reef LED light.
Replacing six T5 tubes on a yearly basis is quite expensive and the T5 lights increase the temperature of the tank by a large margin. The tank temperature rarely fell below 82 degrees in the summer months despite using the four cooling fans installed in the unit which must be cleaned periodically. This must be the reason why Red Sea gives you the included accessory inlet/outlet package for using a chiller which would be another expensive item to purchase plus add noise to the system.
I was very pleased with the workmanship of the Red Sea Max but I need a sump to incorporate the accessories I want to be able to use, especially a very good Orphek Helix 5000 Protein Skimmer, UV sterilizer and carbon reactor.
The skimmer that is included with the Red Sea Max is marginal in my opinion, especially if you plan on heavy stocking.
The built in sump behind the Red Sea Max tank does not allow much room for a media reactor of sufficient size and I want to use a Next Reef Media Reactor in my new build. I also want a larger and wider tank to facilitate the use of more coral and allow my present fish more room which will reduce any aggressiveness that may occur between the fish.
The Aqua UV 8 watt model with wiper will be used in the new build
The current build list is as follows:
- Tank – Red Sea Reefer 350.
- Protein Skimmer – Orphek Helix 5000 with 6500 DC pump.
- Media Reactor – Next Reef
- UV Sterilizer – Aqua UV, 8 watt with wiper
- UV circulation pump – Tunze 1073 Silence
- Return pump – Orphek DC5000 controllable
- Salt – Red Sea Coral Pro
- Heater – Eheim
- Sand – Tropic Eden Miniflakes
- Lighting – Orphek Atlantik V2.1
- Two spare filter socks for the Red Sea sump which is included in the package.
I’ve been using Sea Chem’s Reef Salt but my research indicates the Red Sea Coral Pro is a better salt mix. There are not many negative comments about this product. The choice was between the Red Sea Coral Pro and Tropic Marin Pro. The cost of the Tropic Marin is more expensive likely due to the fact that all minor and major trace elements are present. Not all of these elements are needed by coral or fish.
Part 2 : of this feature article will be published once the new build begins which should be the beginning of September. This allows time to purchase and gather all the needed equipment to start the build and gives me time to make any changes in product selection if I desire to do so. It is always best to go slow at this point and think everything out carefully so no expensive mistakes are made.