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Layton's Full Red Sea Reefer 250 G2 Build


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TL;DR Building a smaller version of my dream tank, focusing on Red Sea ecosystem and Apex Monitoring/Automation
(Xposting on R2R)

I have always wanted to do a build thread to document everything, mistakes, successes, growth, and failures.  My first shipment arrived yesterday, so it begins.  So much has changed in the 12 years since I left the hobby, new information and hobbyist constantly pushing reefing forward and advancing the tech.  I remember when I left LED's were questionable at best, it was metal halides/t5 or bust if you wanted to keep SPS. Enough reminiscing! 

A few months ago I started digging in and going all OCD researching options.  In August of last year we moved into the home we plan to stay in until our girls (3 and 6) are out of high school, and the wife and I both thought the time was right to jump back in.  Started with looking at AIO options, thought it might be nice to have something similar to the 29g JBJ that were all the rage when I left. Red Sea Reefer tanks appear to have taken over the scene, and after hours of reading reviews and build threads, decided to go with their tanks.  To go a little deeper, I thought it might be fun to do a complete Red Sea build, with just about all the gear they have to offer. The idea of having the vast majority of the gear in one ecosystem is enticing. 

The tank will be in our living room, where we spend most of our time, mixed tank, SPS dominant. If I don't throw a pair of clownfish in for the girls, i might as well pack my bags and leave 😂.  I am lucky that our laundry room just happens to be directly behind my wife's preferred tank location.  Converted the 220 dryer plug to 2 110v dedicated circuits as that plug was not in use.  Tech and automation are fun for me, and plan to automate as much as I can, as burnout and time commitment were the primary drivers for me leaving the hobby.  

On to the fun stuff, the gear: 

Red Sea Reefer 250 G2
2x - ReefLED 90 Lights
Reefer Skimmer 300
2x - ReefWave 25
ReefDose 4
ReefMat 500
Syncra SDC 3.0 WIFI Return Pump
2x Ebo Jager Heater 200 Watt

Neptune Apex 
Apex LDK
Apex ATK
Apex DOS
Apex Trident (back ordered for now)

Arag-Alive Special Grade Reef Sand 40lb 
Caribsea LifeRock Dry Live Rock 60lb

Loads of other smaller things, and testing gear too, but I don't think anyone cares about any of that.  Feel free to poke holes in the build, call out anything I am missing, if you have used some of the gear and loved it or hated it, I would love to know why.  I have thick skin, you'd be hard pressed to offend me, love open dialogue and learning from one another!  It isn't a build thread without at least one pic, my partner in crime Uni is super interested in the salt for whatever reason... 


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Sounds like you are off to a good start. Looks like you have thought of all the automation including the new reef mats. I am the opposite of automation as I don’t know what to do when things break down. We are fortunate to have a local expert with all things Apex . 
welcome back!

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Nice, I can appreciate that approach. Some of the simplest setups I’ve seen over the years have had amazing success.  I need to go digging through the posts and see what your tank looks like now! 

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16 hours ago, Layton said:

Nice, I can appreciate that approach. Some of the simplest setups I’ve seen over the years have had amazing success.  I need to go digging through the posts and see what your tank looks like now! 

It’s just a 25 lagoon for now 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The cycle has started. Still have to clean up the sump wiring and finish the auto water changes, but stoked to have water in the tank! The ReefMat finally shipped today too! 529A56F5-09E9-4B20-A26F-BC3496922447.jpeg

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  • 1 month later...

Tank has been up and running for a couple months now. Added some livestock, couple clowns, whitetail bristle tooth tang, filefish, fire shrimp and the standard cleanup crew. Lights are on 15% with ramp up/down so we can enjoy the fishies. 

Getting all the automation dialed in.  Automatic water changes are a god send. Auto fish feeder working great, and has been a blessing with all the summertime festivities. 


Parameters that I am checking are holding steady. Nitrate at 10 for a month now, phosphate holding steady at .13. Not checking calcium, alkalinity and magnesium yet as we have no corals. Still holding off for a couple more months while everything matures. 

now for some photos! Included a photo of the lid I picked up from ClearView, fits like a glove and is just beautiful. Highly recommend if you are looking for one. 

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