Shaun's 2000 Litre (530 USG) Living Reef & Red Sea Max S 650 LED Design & Build

Nobbygas

Well-Known Member
For the S650 I’ve now mixed up all 3 alternatives to the Red Sea foundation elements and finally today refilled the calcium container with Calcium chloride Dihydrate 77% food grade and mixed it to a ratio of 1kg to 1.8 litres of water

It warms up like it’s supposed to with an exothermic reaction, it looks the same ‘tea’ colour, probably because it is the same!
If it works then I want your recipes. You are the new Gordon Ramsey.
 
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SPR

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This was on but deleted when the site upgraded... well assuming Red Sea didn’t delete it!! Lol

What I’m writing now, is regarding changing the foundation element dosing chemicals for the Red Sea S650. The big tank uses a calcium reactor so apart from occasional adjustments, it’s not affected

I currently use the Red Sea (RS) Foundation elements A B and C, 1 kg powders mixed into solutions which cost around £26 for a 1kg box. An alkalinity box which makes 10 litres of solution lasts around 6 weeks or thereabouts in the S650 which ‘drinks it’

I’ve been researching this some more, and actually for some time, in particular looking at the actual ingredients in the RS powders which are as follows according the ingredients listed on the boxes, pictures below.

A - calcium - ingredients calcium chloride, strontium chloride - it’s supposed to have barium but no mention in the ingredients so it must be trace

B - alkalinity - ingredients sodium hydrogen carbonate - this is exactly the same as sodium bicarbonate or baking soda

C - magnesium - ingredients magnesium chloride - not a 7:1 blend of chloride/sulphate like seawater, just chloride according to the ingredients list

Interestingly, the alkalinity is not shown as being ‘sodium carbonate‘ ie., sodium bicarbonate after being baked for an hour, because of the affect on pH. It’s mentioned in the science article at the end.

So then, apart from the branding and ‘feeling safe‘, why am I paying £26 for these in RS boxes when I can buy the exact same chemicals from a well know ‘jungle site’ for peanuts. I’m not knocking RS here by the way, it’s a business and provides its own branded products, I don’t have an issue with that at all. It’s just when you dump a single 1kg box of magnesium powder in one hit, into the big tank to ‘’just partially’ increase the level, it sort of focused my mind a little. Infact something ‘twisted’! Lol

So my version

A 5 kg Calcium chloride Dihydrate 77% food grade £8.38

B 5 kg sodium bicarbonate 100% BP/food grade £12.99. (I’m not going to bake this to turn it into carbonate at least for the first time)

C 8 kg magnesium chloride flakes Dead Sea salts 100% pure £16.99
5 kg magnesium sulphate 100% pharmaceutical/food grade £9.99

So for the A and B I’m just going to mix them into the same ratios shown in the picture below using 1 kg of each powder mixed with RODI

For the C I’m going to mix in the ratio of 7:1 chloride/sulphate to maintain the correct ionic balance. Interesting the RS version doesn’t show sulphate is in it but... I’ve just made one up but added a bit more liquid to help it dissolve and I used 901g of chloride and 124g of sulphate in 2.2 litres of water instead of the RS 1.7. In the next batch I will reduce to 2 litres just because my container is only 2.5l so with the powder I had to throw a bit away. But at this price who cares!

In the big tank, after adding £26 of foundation C (1kg) Mg was at 1320 and I wanted it around 1350. Using my solution I assumed a volume of 1400 litres (which turns out to be an excellent guess!) actual water after displacement, because there is a lot of rock. I added the exact amount of my solution to get there, tested it the next day and it was exactly 1350.

Now I realise that the RS alkalinity supplement contains a little strontium and it also mentions barium. I’m still doing 10% water changes and these are at trace element levels in sea water especially barium, so I will assume these will be added to the system from the water changes. I might actually get some Seachem Advantage strontium powder and just add some occasionally. That costs about £9 but I shouldn’t need much if any.

As far as the actually dosing of the elements is concerned, I’m just going to leave the amounts the same as with the RS versions and then adjust as necessary following testing

So anyone reading this, please feel free to highlight any issues or potential pitfalls, errors, etc., but I can’t think of any, well yet anyway.

Here’s some science, the second one talks about strontium



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DaveK

Well-Known Member
Another Hydra power supply just blown!
Yea, I have had a few of the go over the years. At least they are easy enough to replace. What model hydras are you using? Perhaps they might take a power supply for the next size up. That way there wouldn't be as much stress on the power supply.

On my own system I had the original hydras that were upgraded to hydra 52 via an upgrade kit. Part of the upgrade was replacing the power supplies. The upgraded power supply was the same voltage and used the same connector, but output more current. Note, I don't think the upgrade kit is sold any more.

Another alternative is to get two replacement power supplies, so you always have a spare, but I hate to tie up money in parts I might need.

Also check if your running the hydras at full power. If you can run them as a bit less, say 80% and still get good results in the tank, there will be less stress on the power supply. I had to do this with my original hydra's before the upgrade. They were real good at burning out led's on the pucks in the fixture if run at 100% for long periods. No longer an issue with the modern hydras though.
 
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DaveK

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This was on but deleted when the site upgraded... well assuming Red Sea didn’t delete it!! Lol

What I’m writing now, is regarding changing the foundation element dosing chemicals for the Red Sea S650. The big tank uses a calcium reactor so apart from occasional adjustments, it’s not affected

I currently use the Red Sea (RS) Foundation elements A B and C, 1 kg powders mixed into solutions which cost around £26 for a 1kg box. An alkalinity box which makes 10 litres of solution lasts around 6 weeks or thereabouts in the S650 which ‘drinks it’

...

It's amazing how much money can be saved making your own additive solutions. I highly recommend doing this for larger tanks. I also recommend using high quality chemicals for projects like this.

I recall some people were using calcium ice melting products, and while the are inexpensive, you just never know what your getting. I don't think the cost savings is worth the risk.
 
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SPR

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It's amazing how much money can be saved making your own additive solutions. I highly recommend doing this for larger tanks. I also recommend using high quality chemicals for projects like this.

I recall some people were using calcium ice melting products, and while the are inexpensive, you just never know what your getting. I don't think the cost savings is worth the risk.
I know Dave, it saves a fortune, I put the 1kg of RS magnesium into the big tank and it didn’t make that much difference!

I would only use the high grade chemicals anyway there cheap enough

The Hydra HD 26’s in the S650 aren’t run at maximum, and I suppose there 5 years old nearly now, I dont know how long power supplies last. I nearly purchased a spare to save on postage as well, but I thought, well the others might last another year or so, so there doomed now! Lol

I was looking at the power supplies to see if I could get a cheap one, a copy if you like, but I thought it’s not worth blowing a light for the sake of a few £
 

SPR

Well-Known Member
Yea, I have had a few of the go over the years. At least they are easy enough to replace. What model hydras are you using? Perhaps they might take a power supply for the next size up. That way there wouldn't be as much stress on the power supply.

On my own system I had the original hydras that were upgraded to hydra 52 via an upgrade kit. Part of the upgrade was replacing the power supplies. The upgraded power supply was the same voltage and used the same connector, but output more current. Note, I don't think the upgrade kit is sold any more.

Another alternative is to get two replacement power supplies, so you always have a spare, but I hate to tie up money in parts I might need.

Also check if your running the hydras at full power. If you can run them as a bit less, say 80% and still get good results in the tank, there will be less stress on the power supply. I had to do this with my original hydra's before the upgrade. They were real good at burning out led's on the pucks in the fixture if run at 100% for long periods. No longer an issue with the modern hydras though.
Ive just ordered another one just in case Dave! lol
 

Nobbygas

Well-Known Member
I used ATM Colony when I started my S650. I don't understand the people who take weeks to cycle their tanks. This is the 21st Century and things have moved on.
 
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Nobbygas

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I've ordered 5kg of sodium bicarbonate as you recommended. It's about 10 euros. If this works it will represent a good saving on running costs. I probably won't bother with the Calc or Mag as the Calc dosage is pretty small and I don't even dose Mag any longer. With Mag, maybe once every six months I may have to add some but it's minimal. For 5x1kg of the Red Sea Foundation powder it would cost me about 112 euros !
 
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SPR

Well-Known Member
The S650 has 4 Hydra 26 lights which are now around 5 years old, and in the last week 3 of the power supplies have blown, the third of them last night, so I’m expecting the 4th to go and have ordered another ready

I was sat yesterday evening, ok slumped, having sampled a glass or two of refreshments, when I noticed all the lights were out on the S650, and it must therefore be late, it was also very quiet

I walked up to it and noticed the water level in the display had dropped and the sump was full, so I thought I knew I should have changed the pump but it wasn’t a year yet so I’d been leaving it!

Anyway I put the spare pump in, which only takes a few minutes, pressed the power switch, and nothing happpend, which caused my brain all sorts of confusion....

Ive got an RCD unit on the S650’s plug, and for the first time in nearly 5 years it had tripped. The power supply of the Hydra had obviously tripped it, which is worrying if you might be away.

Anyway, for anyone with ageing Hydra‘s it might be worth making enquiries about power supplies. Were I get them from said they sold a load of them last weekend
 

SPR

Well-Known Member
Just an up date on the change to my own Red Sea Foundation elements

The magnesium and calcium seem to be fairly comparable in terms of strength, but the alkalinity version seems to be around 1/3 stronger from initial testing

In the S650 I was dosing around 275-295 mls per day of the Red Sea version over a long period, many months. When I changed to my version, I stayed at the same dosage but have to reduce this significantly to 225 last week and I’ve just reduced to 175 mls per day. When things are settled I’m guessing the dose will be around 200 or thereabouts.

I keep alkalinity around 8.–8.5, originally it crept up to 10.5 after changing to my version, today it was 9.5 and I’m testing every 3 days just until it settles.
 

SPR

Well-Known Member
I tell you what, it makes my head hurt the amount of kit and technology I’ve got in operation with the big tank sometimes!

Ive just received the replacement part from Deltec Germany for the damaged Deltec NFP512 Nitrate Reactor and Ive set it up and it’s maturing for a 3-4 days.

Im using it with a Kamoer FX STP2 continuous pump to control water through it precisely, and a DD P1 Pro single head dosing pump to add the vodka as a food source. I’ve also added Seachem Stability to start it off.

Now a little tip on the Kamoer. If you look at the picture below you will see on right hand side of the unit an arm, with a plastic piece and spring and then the locking screw. It comes shipped with the plastic piece and spring on the other side, I think for protection or whatever, but nowhere in the instructions does it tell you you have to switch it around. There’s a picture on the first page, but one assumes that’s how it’s sent and short of a forensic examination you have no idea.

I sat for 30 minutes thinking why is no water being moved around....... then I did a search and someone else had the exact same problem

Heres the instructions


Anyway it’s all up and running so I’ve got to wait about 3-4 days before testing the output water.....

1B4694D3-330F-4420-B8AA-78C2C7482801.jpegE3921012-E1F6-410A-ABFD-F01E67B151A7.jpeg
 

SPR

Well-Known Member
Ive just upgraded the RODI water production system

The 150gpd system I’ve been using only has a relatively small DI resin chamber, and it got to the point I was having to change the resin around every 600 litres or so. Now that might sound a lot to many of you, but not when your talking about large systems, that’s around every 7-10 days.

Anyway, you know sometimes you over think things.....

My system is from Osmotics.co.uk as are all of the accessories, like booster pump, pressure switch etc., and Mark there is brilliant with advice etc. I emailed them and asked if I should upgrade the system in view of the constant DI resin changes to one of the newer ones. And he basically said why don’t you just get a bigger DI resin system, like our 2 or 3 tier systems. You know when you think, how obvious, and why didn’t I think of that!! Lol

So I ordered the 3 tier system, it’s basically 3 containers full of DI resin so of course it will last far longer and I think it also increases the production rate

In the picture below you can see the original DI resin container with the orange sticker, and the additional DI resin units in blue on the right. For those with OCD I know it should have ‘blue’ tubing and not black (waste) but I’ve run out of blue!

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Blue Space

Well-Known Member
Nice! You shouldn't be running out of DI every 7-10 days now!! That was a rather small cylinder of DI to begin with but still, I can imagine the upkeep that came along with that. Any upgrade that "lasts longer" or "saves us time" in maintenance is welcomed in this hobby! :)
 

Blue Space

Well-Known Member
I just love the camera angle for this shot. When you take the photo across the length of the tank it looks more like an actual reef. Great shots as always, Shaun!
 
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