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RFC: Reefer 500 (and will become a build thread)


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I've gone back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth on a peninsula. I was all set to order a CDA eurobraced one, with an extruded AL stand, 48x24x24ish. However I started redoing the math again on how much tank + stand + plumbing + sump + + + + + would cost and I've gotten cold feet. The CDA tank I was going to get would basically be 2x the cost of a Reefer 500. The stand and such would be super high quality, but it's ~$6k just for the tank + stand + buying a sump + plumbing versus $3k for the reefer which is just ready to go.

For $3k my wife agrees we can deal with the stand looking super modern in our non-modern living space. and the 500 will be fine. So I'm about to end analysis paralysis, order one, and I can always replace it later. This then will become my build thread.

Before I do: does anyone have opinions on the Reefer 500 vs Waterbox 4820 vs IM peninsulas?'

• reefer 500 -- 49x24x24 (105gal + 27gal sump) -- https://www.redseafish.com/aquarium-systems/reefer/red-sea-reefer-peninsula-systems/
• waterbox 4820 -- 47x20x22 (80gal) -- https://waterboxaquariums.com/products/marine-x-peninsula-4820
• IM Nuvo EXT Peninsula -- 47x30x16 (100gal) https://www.innovative-marine.com/shop/EXT-100-Peninsula-Aquarium-w-APS-Stand-White-p460131261

I like the IM, with the external overflow, but it seems way too shallow. Their next size up is a 200 which is way too long. The waterbox vs reefer are pretty comparable, but the reefer gets a slight boost by being bigger.

Any opinions?


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I'm loving my IM 112g INT. If you have pretty flat floors the stand is fantastic. Shimming was a PIA for me as the concrete under is not flat. Build quality on the tank is excellent.

The IM Penninsula may be somewhat shallow but perhaps you could get creative with that footprint and do a semi emersed sand/mangrove section in the corner or a rock lagoon where the water flows over the rock rim and out via a channel/tunnel to re-enter the main tank. Not sure if that communicates the picture I have of it in my head very well :)


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I would suggest only going custom if you have a very specific size that you need, otherwise pre-built is going to save a lot.

If you like the Reefer, go for it! You can/should change the doors so it looks better for your room too. All way less than $6K.


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I personally am anti redsea. Yes I know they sell the most so they will logically have the most failures but I’ve seen many homeowners insurance level damages caused by redsea tanks.


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I really appreciate the red sea feedback, but I'm in the group that thinks it's due to production volume. I've seen complaints about CDA tanks having issues, SCA tanks, Red Sea, ... No one pays attention to good stories. "You **** one goat and no one remembers you won a noble prize".

That's why I am leery of second hand tanks. Not just because of the issues that can arise when moving them inappropriately (as Robert discussed in that other thread), but I think paying a bit of a premium for a warranty is worthwhile.

A tank going in my garage or office with tile floor? It'd be a downer if it leaks.

A tank in my living room? It'd be tens of thousands of dollars in damage replacing the floor and airing it out and blah blah.

My current tank though is a second hand red sea, so I'm also inconsistent on that


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Good call on going with a plug and play system. My CDA setup went way over budget once I started doing the custom plumbing and other things. If I had to do it again, I'd definitely go with a peninsula that is mostly plug and play.

Out of your 3 choices you listed above I would go with the Red Sea Reefer Peninsula 500, however I would try to hold off if or when they release the G2 model. G2 has a lot of improvements and addresses many of the pitfalls of the previous models. I haven't seen any posts about the peninsula models falling victim to the seam failure so that's not a concern. With the G2 I would want the wider overflow with dual returns, better quality plumbing, Reefmat ready sump and armor seams.

Also something to consider when choosing a peninsula tank is you want as wide of a tank as possible since your rockscape will sit in the middle of the tank and you'll have less room on each side to add corals. Too bad the IM 100EXT Peninsula is only 16" tall that’s way too short if you plan on keeping any sps or torches. My CDA at 18” tall is already too shallow. The 30" width is nice.
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