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


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The S650 has a serious infestation of asterina starfish, and I’m talking 100’s, probably 1000’s!

Interestingly, they keep the back wall of the aquarium clean by eating the coralline algae, I hadn’t noticed it for some time, because I normally needed to scrape it every month or so to keep it clean. As the numbers increased I guess they needed a food source and that appears to be it, because I haven’t touched the back wall in months.

Anyway, I’ve noticed a few of the corals were receding, I’ve seen it before a few years ago with these starfish, so it’s time for action.

Added him yesterday, he’s still hiding in a rock, but this morning with lights still out, very few starfish are out……..



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Here’s a few more additions but to the big house.

I haven’t added anything for ages, like over 12 months, and when I was in the shop I felt the ‘rush’ of the addict again…! Lol



JoePa lives on!!!
Staff member
Beautiful! I love a CBB. Had a good one in my tank and got rid of it as I thought it was picking on my softies, I actually don’t think it was but oh well. Might get one again!
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After a year (well just over) it’s time to change the main return pump in the S650. Just one of the jobs I don’t like doing, but only takes a few minutes, well unless you accidentally catch the built in ATO float valve and snap it!

About 7 years ago, I purchased a spare one, just in case, and today was the day it was needed!

This is a back up ATO, primarily in the system being the Apex ATO

Im going away for nearly 3 weeks for the first time, driving from UK, through France and to my home in Spain with the dog. Couldn’t get him in kennels because of late booking a flight, and I’ve always wanted to drive down since it was build 20 years ago, so I thought why not.

So this tank done, next similar in the big house which I will do in next few days.



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So again, after a year, it’s time to change the Abyss a200 in the big house, and other ‘chores’ that don’t really take long, but I don’t do very often because I’m a LAR!

Changed the pump, cleaned the skimmer, cleaned about 50 litres of Seachem matrix. This was a chore. The media bags had all split/broken so the matrix had spilled out a while ago. So I emptied it all out a week or so ago, but it started migrating towards the return chamber, which isn’t good if it gets sucked into the pump…..

Anyway, took it all out by hand, used 4 new large Seachem zip bags and back in. I did this before changing the pump to bring it back up to the filtration media, as you wouldn’t believe the amount of detritus that comes out. There is another 56 litres of matrix in the filter roll chamber that’s never been cleaned out so heaven knows what that will release!! Best I just leave it were it is…..

I added a refugium to the system a year or so ago, I wanted a funky purple light! Oh and the Twin tech calcium reactor was sold, and replaced with my own chemicals and standard dosing a while ago.

The refugium light was actually partially submerged for a while when I turned the return pump off, which was slightly worrying, so I decided it might be best to lower the water level in the sump by about 30 litres of water, just in case of power failure…. Was waiting for the bangs and fire when the power was turned back on!


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The 2 pumps I removed each having been in place for just over 12 months, weren’t to dirty to be honest. The black one on the bottom left, is the standard Red Sea return.

The Abyss a200, hardy had any detritus at all in the impeller casing, and that’s after I cleaned loads of rubbish out of the sump through it just before replacing it. I suspect it could handle much longer between cleaning but no worth taking a chance (this year anyway! Lol). I have 2 of both these pumps, so the new ones are in and these are just soaking in citric acid/water for a few days.