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Arin's Reefer-S 850 Build

phatduckk

Supporting Member
2 days ago my wife said "just get the biggest tank you can get so we can stop talking about this" LOL So, a deposit was placed on a Reefer-S 850.

This build came to be because it was finally time to remodel the room my old DT was in. I'd always put it off since I had no desire to move the tank... but an ALK overdose forced me to move all the coral out to my frag tank in the garage leading to a rather easy teardown. A few members here snagged some of my livestock, I tore the tank down, sold it and it was time for a remodel.

Here's the before & after of the room... Different angles but you get the gist.

1640818257857.png
1640818263472.png

So now I have a nice & large wall available for a tank. The Red Sea site's AR tool says it'll look something like this:

1640818366715.png


I'll probably slide the tank off-center, over to the right to maximize the entry way but that's more or less what we'll be working with.

So why the Reefer-S 850?
  • I didn't want to go custom as I don't actually need anything custom. I just wanted decent sump space & a convenient layout. I also appreciate that the site and videos have enough info & visuals to answer my questions. With custom I'd have to do a lot of thinking, picking & figuring out. Not saying custom is worse by any means - but for my personality I'd rather just know stuff in advance & have limited options otherwise I'd just overthink everything and annoy myself.
  • The extension sump is a big selling point. Seems like a convenient place for an ATS, probes, reactors etc. After feeling cramped in my 350's sump this will be a nicety
  • The soon-to-come ReefMat. I definitely wanted a roller mat and having one made by the same company that theoretically "drops in" sounds nice
  • Its ready for dual return pumps
  • Aluminum cabinet - I think it'll be easier to move if I ever need. plus it feels "right"
  • I don't have to do plumbing :p
  • This series gets a thumbs up from Robert @ Neptune
So the tank's at least 6-8 weeks away from delivery so that gives me plenty of time to go through the rock from the previous tank clean it, ensure the pests are dead/killed, murder off the vermiteds and deal with whatever else isn't awesome.

And now we wait...

I'll start posting my thoughts and questions on gear in the coming days/weeks.
 

phatduckk

Supporting Member
Return Pumps:

Red Sea recommends 2,385 gph.. sure, fine. Either way this is an easy-ish decision.
I already have 2 Cor20 pumps and a Cor15 that can serve as a backup. If/when one fails I'll reconsider things but for now it makes zero sense to buy new pumps since I have 3 that will work just fine.

Now its tempting to get a Vectra L2 since I have 2 modded, EcoTech battery backups. But... why not just use the batteries on the MP40s instead? Unless I can figure out how to power a heater during a power outage I don't see a practical difference.

So - the Neptune pumps will get the nod here. Its mostly a no brainer - especially with budget in mind.
 

thesassyindian

Supporting Member
So the tank's at least 6-8 weeks away from delivery so that gives me plenty of time to go through the rock from the previous tank clean it, ensure the pests are dead/killed, murder off the vermiteds and deal with whatever else isn't awesome.
Vermetids is one thing I would do differently.
Looking back, I got a couple on a frag of green hairy mushrooms when i had just started my tank. Had I known better at the time, I would have nuked them / not added the frag to my tank in the first place.
Ugly B******s - Now I keep adding a few bumblebee snails every couple of months to control them.
 

Thales

Past President
Return Pumps:


Now its tempting to get a Vectra L2 since I have 2 modded, EcoTech battery backups. But... why not just use the batteries on the MP40s instead? Unless I can figure out how to power a heater during a power outage I don't see a practical difference.
Try both at the level they would run in a power outage.


AND - THIS TANK IS TOO SMALL FOR THAT WALL> GO AT LEAST 5x BIGGER.



:D
 

phatduckk

Supporting Member
Try both at the level they would run in a power outage.


AND - THIS TANK IS TOO SMALL FOR THAT WALL> GO AT LEAST 5x BIGGER.



:D
Ya. That makes sense. I also gotta read up more on how the pumps use the battery & what timeframes they supposedly run for.

I should have ordered the damn Tesla power wall a 2 years ago when I was looking into them. Then it would all just be irrelevant
 

rygh

Treasurer
BOD
Looks like a good plan!
That room definitely looks WAY better.

Having dual return pumps as redundancy is very handy.
UNLESS they both go to the same pipe for return to DT. If so, when one fails, the other
really just circulates water in your sump, backward through the pump that failed.
Most any brand DC pump will work.
A tip is to buy a little bit larger pump than needed, then turn them down. It gives you great control.

For power failure:
A backup on a powerhead in DT can be very helpful for oxygenation.
Note that any computer UPS will do fine.
That will handle 5 hours of lost power pretty cleanly. Heat/light/sump off will be fine.
Beyond that, for a large tank, the only real option is a generator.
 

rygh

Treasurer
BOD
You may not want to center that tank.
It looks rather close to the door. People will bump your tank, especially when carrying things.

Of course aesthetically, you have to center it, or move it well to the right. Off a little bit will be annoying.
 

phatduckk

Supporting Member
You may not want to center that tank.
It looks rather close to the door. People will bump your tank, especially when carrying things.

Of course aesthetically, you have to center it, or move it well to the right. Off a little bit will be annoying.
Ya i simulated waking in with stuff in my hand if it sucked lol I’ll push it far enough to make the entry comfortable.
 

phatduckk

Supporting Member
Looks like a good plan!
That room definitely looks WAY better.

Having dual return pumps as redundancy is very handy.
UNLESS they both go to the same pipe for return to DT. If so, when one fails, the other
really just circulates water in your sump, backward through the pump that failed.
Most any brand DC pump will work.
A tip is to buy a little bit larger pump than needed, then turn them down. It gives you great control.

For power failure:
A backup on a powerhead in DT can be very helpful for oxygenation.
Note that any computer UPS will do fine.
That will handle 5 hours of lost power pretty cleanly. Heat/light/sump off will be fine.
Beyond that, for a large tank, the only real option is a generator.
Ya I have 3 DC pumps so I’ll be fine. The 2 cor 20’s will end up running around 50-60% I believe.

As far as power heads I have 2 ecotech batteries I modded to get better run time. I guess work case I could run a heater off an inverter hooker up to my car if we have a cold night without power for 12 hours
 

phatduckk

Supporting Member

rygh

Treasurer
BOD
I remember what someone mentioned once for power failure:
They put one powerhead on battery backup.
They also had a small air pump on that battery backup that would go ON when power went off. (Simple relay)
The airstone was below that one powerhead on backup.
So when power goes off, air goes on, gets sucked into powerhead, and fills your tank with small bubbles.

The concept:
What kills your livestock first, by far, is lack of oxygen.
Those micro bubbles like that really make a difference.

Personal concern: Being normally off, my bet is the airstone would get coated with crud, making it unusable.
 

H2OPlayar

Member at large
BOD
Exactly why I have my battery backups to my main pump. Keep some surface agitation. I also only rely on that for a short time as there is a gas generator in the shed.

I wonder if you could run the air stone for 30 minutes a day on a timer/controller to keep the crud off. I like the idea of the backup battery powering a smaller motor for longer, but the surface agitation and sump life outweighs the longevity in my mind.
 

phatduckk

Supporting Member
Next up on my planning list is to figure out water storage.

My primary goal is to have a large container for my AWC water. The tank will maybe end up holding about 180g of water - at 2% daily WC that comes to about 25g a week.

I think my plan is to buy a single 100g container and use it for my AWC water and get something smaller for my ATO (I already have 2 extra 15g containers). This puts me in the realm of having water storage as opposed to having a full blown mixing station. But, I think that's ok.

The main difference would be that I'd need to turn my RODI unit on and wait for it to fill the container as opposed having all that water on hand and pumping it in from the second tank.

This would also save me some $.
  1. I wouldn't have to buy a pump to power the mixing station - I'd just use the extra gyres I have lying around.
  2. way less PVC and plumbing parts to buy (I guess zero...)
  3. obviously - I'd have one less water tank to buy.
All in I'd save about $500... give or take.

I guess the other downside would be that I wouldn't just have a bunch of RO sitting around....

And... if I end up changing my mind I can just buy the second storage container later. Any obvious flaws with this plan?
 
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