Hi All - first time poster here. Using this thread to keep me honest and track the progress of my build. Apologize in advance for the long first post here, but hope you all enjoy...

Background on Myself & The Build

I've been a long time fish keeper (20+ years) with numerous freshwater tanks from 10 - 75 gallons set up over the years. I've always wanted to do a saltwater reef tank but unfortunately life & work has gotten in the way :rolleyes:. Enough is enough and I've decided to re-enter the hobby. After countless hours of research and reading through the beautiful member tanks here on R2R, I finally pulled the trigger on a brand new RSR 250. I would have loved to have gone a bit bigger, but being on the 16th floor of a small NYC apartment had me worried about a few things (mainly weight, water changing capabilites, ability to move the tank around, etc.). As my first reef, i'm extremely excited to get this going and have been buying pieces and starting my build slowly but surely. Focus for the tank will be mostly starter / easy corals (LPS, Mushrooms, Softies) but hope to get into SPS down the road.



I will be posting pictures of the build as it comes together, and of course I'm open to any thoughts / suggestions / comments / encouragement as the tank comes together. Thank you all for the warm welcome and looking forward to being a part of the community!

Tank Parts / Build Specs

I've been piecing the system together and most of my parts are in the mail from BRS / Marine Depot. I should be receiving the bulk of my shipment over the next ~7 days and will continue to update here as parts come in. So far, I've purcahsed & planned the following:

Items on Hand
  • Tank: RSR 250
  • Sump: RSR 250 Stock Sump
  • Filtration: Standard Filter Sock Provided + Ceramic BioMedia
  • Plumbing: I will be forgoing the standard plumbing provided with the tank and building my own set up. More to come on this and my work around for the Metric to U.S. issues...
  • Skimmer: Nyos Quantum 120
  • Return Pump: Reef Octopus VarioS-4
  • Lights: 2x Radion EcoTech Blue xr15

To be Purchased
  • Heaters - Open to suggestions
  • Power Heads - Vortech MP-40 (Likely will get 2x, though may be too much flow for a small tank)
  • Chiller - Going to try to get away with my apartment Air Conditioner for now, but it does get hot on the floor.
  • Controller - Open to suggestions; I really like the GHL Profilux 4 but don't like that it's not compatible with the Radions. Open to the Apex system as well, but have heard they have some issues...
  • GFO / Calcium Reactors - Not adding for now, but doing my own plumbing for flexibility in case I want to add in the future
  • External fuge - The fuge space on the RSR 250 is quite small; will probably plan to stick with this for now, but thinking about ways to get more system volume...
  • Test Kits - Planning to start with Ammonia / Nitrate / Nitrite / PH while tank cycles (maybe API test kit?). Want to buy a quality kit for Calcium, Magneiusm, Alkilinity once tank is up and running. Suggestions welcome

Open Questions / Thoughts
  • Which sand should I get / how much should I use? I don't want to do a barebottom tank as a first reef, so will be using some covering
  • Should I buy aquacultured live rock, or start my own dry rock + bacteria from scratch?
  • Which salt to use?
Thanks for reading along and I'm excited to keep you updated on my build.


Experienced Reefer
caribsea special grade live sand

Live rock is better, but starting dry can avoid unwanted pests. Better yet if you can find cured dry live rock

salt doesn’t really matter, atleast not yet.


Advanced Reefer
Long Island NY
Looking good. ATO process is a must. Will need a screen top prior to adding fish. Salinity tester. Personally, I would use as little sand as possible to start. New tank issues are easier to handle with minimal sand. Best of luck. Lot's of nice reefers on LI, so you're in good company.

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