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Seeking help to build the equipment set up for a Red Sea Reefer 200XL


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Hi All,

I am hoping to set up a Red Sea Reefer 200XL in the near future.  I discovered that the set ups don't include the return pump and the skimmer are not included.  Looking for advice on the equipment I can consider based on the following criteria for a budget conscious new reefer.

Return Pump - Red Sea website suggested a 2000L per hour pump.  I would like something that is quiet and performs well.

Skimmer - would like to get one with a smaller footprint that won't take up too much space in the sump as I hope to have a refugium in the sump as well.  Should be quiet.  Not sure what else to look out for in a skimmer.  

Lighting - I would probably go with the Reef LEDs for this.  I like the idea that the stand can be lifted up to access the tank.  Any other lights that can do that and also can be programmed?

Flow generation - looking for recommendations on DC wave makers that would be suitable for such this size set up so that I can vary the flow.

Chiller - I might get one at a later time due to feedback that I need one for corals.  I do intend to just keep softies since I hear they are more forgiving.  I would like to get one with a small footprint.

Any other inputs invited.  Forgive the noobish questions.

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For the return pump, I would recommend getting a Vectra S2, it’s quiet and reliable.

And since you’re getting a Red Sea tank, you can consider their skimmer. Good performance and affordable price.

As for wavemakers, can just get simple Jebao wavemaker if you’re on a budget, or AI Nero 5 if you have more to spend.

Lastly, can consider the newer HK series Hailea, most economical option.

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Hi Joseph, thanks for your pointers.  I did look at the Red Sea Skimmers and noted that they tended to have big foot prints that took up a large portion of the skimmer chamber where I want to place a small refugium so thought of going for a skimmer which took up less space.

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Thanks Joseph and yes I was eyeing that because I saw one guy on youtube who was using that and could partition off a space for the refugium.

Just that my planned budget overshot with all the wants and wish lists.  So was thinking if I can dial back on some of the big ticket items would be nice.

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2 hours ago, Validator said:

Hi All,

I am hoping to set up a Red Sea Reefer 200XL in the near future.  I discovered that the set ups don't include the return pump and the skimmer are not included.  Looking for advice on the equipment I can consider based on the following criteria for a budget conscious new reefer.

Return Pump - Red Sea website suggested a 2000L per hour pump.  I would like something that is quiet and performs well. 

Low budget: Jebao DCP-4000

High Budget: Vectra S2

Skimmer - would like to get one with a smaller footprint that won't take up too much space in the sump as I hope to have a refugium in the sump as well.  Should be quiet.  Not sure what else to look out for in a skimmer.  

Low budget: Bubble Magus Curve 5 or a 2nd hand Skimz SN123/SM121

High Budget: Nyos 120

Lighting - I would probably go with the Reef LEDs for this.  I like the idea that the stand can be lifted up to access the tank.  Any other lights that can do that and also can be programmed?

Low budget: Noopsyche K7 Pro II LED (2 units if going full SPS)

High Budget: Ecotech Radion XR15 G5 (XR30 G5 if going full SPS)

Flow generation - looking for recommendations on DC wave makers that would be suitable for such this size set up so that I can vary the flow.

Low budget: 2x Jebao SLW-10/SLW-20

High Budget: 2x Ecotech MP10 or 2x AI Nero 3

Chiller - I might get one at a later time due to feedback that I need one for corals.  I do intend to just keep softies since I hear they are more forgiving.  I would like to get one with a small footprint.

Low budget: 2nd hand Arctica 1/10hp or Teco TK500

High Budget: Brand new Arctica 1/10hp or Teco TK500

Any other inputs invited.  Forgive the noobish questions.

This is just my personal opinion and also how much you willing to spend on the tank. 

I have a similar tank Reefer 170 and i use many of the mentioned equipment above (mainly the low budget one), the only one i do not recommand getting the cheaper brand is chiller, i have been through most of the brands out there and honestly i would rather buy a old 2nd hand arctica or Teco (new TK series only) than a brand new Haliea. 

Here is my tank thread for your reference.. do note that whatever i say is not the only ones you should consider but just what i would use.

 

EvolutionZ's Floating Reef:

(Decommed) EvolutionZ's 4ft shallow Mixed Reef Build :

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Thanks Evolutionz, that BubbleMagus Skimmer looks like it was made for that little corner!  But does it get in the way of your ATO reservoir?

Edit I noted that you took it out later.  Any reviews on it?

Edited by Validator
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3 minutes ago, Validator said:

Thanks Evolutionz, that BubbleMagus Skimmer looks like it was made for that little corner!  But does it get in the way of your ATO reservoir?

Edit I noted that you took it out later.  Any reviews on it?

That BM Z6 skimmer just kept overflowing for weeks till i gave up and sold it away. I have used a Deltec SC1350 and BM Curve 5 for this tank and couldn't get much skimmate out it till i changed to a Skimz DC SN123.

EvolutionZ's Floating Reef:

(Decommed) EvolutionZ's 4ft shallow Mixed Reef Build :

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Thank you for the reply.  hmmm really trying to get a small footprint skimmer so that I can still do the refugium and that bubble magus Z looked like it really fit the bill.  Not much reviews on the internet about it though.

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Hi! Here are my recommendations 

When it comes to return pump,  it's good to have a back up. Even the best pump may fail.  Therefore you got to decide based on your budget. @josephwzr's recommended vectra pumps are very capable, but they do have a premium attached to them. So depending on you budget,  a cheaper pump plus a spare may be a more prudent choice. 

For skimmer, I would recommend getting as big a skimmer as possible for your space. The volume of the skimming chamber is critical for the skimming performance. 

At the end of the day,  probably it's a good idea to entertain the idea that you may not just keep softies. From there,  make a decision on what kind of equipment to buy,  so that you dont have to upgrade again down the road. 

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7 hours ago, Validator said:

really trying to get a small footprint skimmer so that I can still do the refugium

The tricky thing is,  you may end up with an underpowered skimmer and a too small refugium anyways. 

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Hi Jiaen, thanks for the pointers and I see where you are coming from.  I had a freshwater tank that I managed to maintain with just plants managing my nitrate levels so I have fallen in love with this approach to nutrient management.  Was hoping to do the same with the refugium.  But your points are duly noted.

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