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Old 07/25/2018, 08:35 AM   #1
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TheKoolAidMan's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 1
Coming Back to Reefs - Reefer 350 and 450

Hi folks. I was a member of this community and about 8-10 years ago when I had 30 and 10 gallon reefs. Since that time I moved out of the US and spent time in Korea and Poland and returned to the US about 3 years ago. My wife and I are in a place financially where we can support getting a new reef tank going.

We're leaning towards going with one of the Red Sea Reefers, either the 350 or 450. We like the 350 because the size (4 foot) make it a bit more manageable in our living room, however feel like we COULD fit the 450 and may regret not getting the longer, 5 foot tank. However that extra foot comes at about an additional $750 price tag from my LFS.

So the question is, what are your thoughts on the Reefer systems and if given the choice between the 350 Deluxe for $2250 or the 450 Deluxe for $3,000, knowing things may get a bit cramped with other furniture, what would you lean towards?

Many thanks!

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Old 07/26/2018, 02:07 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 197
I would suggest drawing up some scale floor plans and cutting pieces of paper to scale representing your possible furniture options. Be sure to include some ‘dead space’ on all sides of the cutouts. E.g. For a table enough room to move chairs in and out and for a tank enough room to access the sides and back where needed to clean glass, run cables, get your hand in to organise things etc.

You can then play with a few furniture and tank placement designs and see what you think will work.

Do not underestimate the amount of dead space you need for certain items, including the tank. I have a Reefer 250 and when I installed it I put it intentionally quite close to the back wall, as I was limited with front space. In hindsight I should have allowed about another 1/2-1”. Thankfully I have ‘just’ enough clearance for what I need but it makes it unnecessarily tight and I would not have missed the extra bit of space in front.

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Old 09/14/2018, 01:45 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 27
Did you choose a tank?!?

[For what it’s worth] I got a Reefer 250 6 months ago knowing in a few years (3-5 I said, ha) I’d want to upgrade to a larger (& more expensive 525XL or 650 Peninsula. I was proud of myself for being “conservative.” That said, I’m already looking at upgrading (and I’m certain I will before Christmas) I’m a bit worried I’ll over stock my tank (admittedly I’m impulsive) before I can upgrade... and that’s not even accounting for coral/amimal growth (that I far underestimated) ��...

I went small for two reasons: financially of course (initially the tank was less expensive), and, because I couldn’t decide where exactly I’d put the tank in my home (different locations for different size/style tanks).

Financially, the difference in initial tank purchase (small vs large/r) tank may seem large ($750 difference in your example) though in the big picture is nominal. The capital outlay of all the added ‘things’ (lights, pumps, skimmer, etc) is very similar regardless of what size tank you get (e.g. Vertex Skimmer 130 is $319 & 150 is $399... either way you’re spending $3XX+); things like a Neptune Apex ($799) is the same price regardless of the size tank you put it on, same for the ATO system (reservoir cost may vary with size +/-$50). Overall one could be all-in on a Reefer 250 $4000 and a similarly equipped 450 $5000... for that kind of money, get the one you LOVE (and that’s probably the larger one

So my two-cents is go larger if you’re comfortable with the space / fit in your home. I’ve never read a posting where someone said “I should have gotten the 180, the 220 is just too big.”

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Old 09/17/2018, 07:40 PM   #4
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Location: Santa Monica, California, USA
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Another idea is to get two smaller ones. With some space to get between them. Reef and FO, or FW and SW, or planted and SW, or species and reef, etc.

Inventor of the easy-to-DIY upflow scrubber, and also the waterfall scrubber that everyone loves to build:
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