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PettyNemo's Reefer 525XL Set-Up

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Hi All Old Birds (Fish rather),

Just purchased a RedSea Reefer 525XL coming in 1.5-2 months. Hoping to share my progress and also to pick up tips and learn about the best practices along the way and have personalised feedback. This will be for a mixed reef tank for largely more hardy soft corals, LPS and fishes until confidence picks up and tank maturity.

Equipment List:

Tank & Lights: Red Sea REEFER XL 525 Deluxe (comes with 3 X ReefLED 90)

Return Pump: COR-20 - Intelligent Return Pump

Flow: Red Sea ReefWave 45 x 2

Skimmer: Red Sea REEFER RSK-600 Skimmer

Chiller: Teco Chiller TK2000

Live Sand: Caribsea Arag-Alive! Fiji Pink 30kg

Rock: Caribsea Life Rock x 30kg

Salt: Red Sea Coral Pro Salt

Nitrifying Bacterial: Red Sea Reef Mature Starter Kit

Water: 5 stage RO/DI system

Additional Bio Media: Marine Pure Block 8x8x4" - I got this because of the reduced amount of Life Rock & Sand, recommended amounts are 50kg of each but I prefer a less cluttered outlook so this will add in buffer for bio-filtration.

Test Kits: Red Sea MCP Marine Care Test Kit


I am intending to expand on this to run a manifold with 3 outlets for Chaeto reactor, Carbon reactor and 1 spare. Following which would be to integrate with the Apex 2016 Controller and also install the FMM so that I can put a figure on the flow rates going to each equipment and return.


Questions for a start (Please pardon me if any of my question puts you off, i am only learning too!) :

1. Any hardware shops in the East to pick up plumbing equipment and what is the standard UOM local reefers use? in Inches or MM or both? This gets quite confusing. I am intending to build a manifold and hard plumb the return so that the system is slightly future ready when the reactors come in.

2. For the Apex 2016 Controller, does the power bar comes with USA socket inputs and voltage? Does this mean that we need to run a transformer/have adapters for every socket input?

Edited by PettyNemo
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  • PettyNemo changed the title to PettyNemo's Reefer 525XL Set-Up
  • 1 month later...

Hi PettyNemo,

For the Apex 2016 controller, the power bar we get is the UK version. The downside to this is that this power bar doesn't give us the reading of the power input and output as the US version.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi chaihot05

Thank you for your inputs. I received the Apex controller today and i was looking for the electrical output readings before I saw your reply. Bummer indeed. But at least the PH, Salinity and ORP reading with the Apex Fusion was the main highlight. Nevertheless, I am going to do the first calibration later today. Fingers crossed!

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After a 2 months wait, the tank is finally here.

All the gadgets hooked up by the guys I purchased the equipment from and I merely had to plug them into the Apex controller and set everything up.

I have started cycling the tank with starter bacterial
Microbe-Lift/Nite-Out II and Dr Tim’s Ammonium Chloride for the ammonia source.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks Victor.

Update 17/03

Bought a suicidal Blue Tang yesterday and introduced him to the tank after acclimatisation. Right after introduction he darted into my gyre wavemaker. It wasn’t turned on at that time and he managed to squeeze into a nook and I was almost certain that I had to dismantle the gyre to get him out. Managed to pull him out via the tail but I’m sure he is already scared shitless. After a few mins of swimming vertically up and down in the corner he decided to hide behind the pipe, and therefore got himself sucked flat onto the overflow...

Got no choice but to put him into a isolation box. Day 2, I have opened the door on the isolation box and he is free to swim out whenever he is ready.

I know he might be a big bully next time but he is just a scaredy cat now.



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  • 7 months later...

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