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


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I have just lost my male Lyretail Anthia in the same way. He started off just resting on the sand, in the exact same spot, for short periods. Those periods gradually became longer and longer. His eating became more and more sporadic. Then one night, he just disappeared. This happened over a period of about three or four weeks. During this timeframe he also seemed to have lost a bit of his colour, and when resting on the sand he appeared to be having problems breathing. His little mouth was open and his Gills seemed to be working overtime. Was it an internal parasite/infection? I don't know.
I think I prefer it when they disappear rather than getting stuck in a rock so I have to take them out, it sorts of makes it much sadder...


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At Just under 10 months old, the corals are really growing, infact I’ve been fragging some of them into the S650

Enjoy, although as usual, the video doesn’t do It justice to what it looks like in real life, but you get the idea.....



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The S650 has some serious alkalinity uptake these days, I’m having to add 275ml per day of Red Sea Foundation B solution.

I use the 1kg powder and mix to a solution into a 5 litre container, but with this usage you can see how much I’m getting through.

Now you can imagine what I’ve spent, so although I don’t want to appear like a ‘tight a...’ Ive been looking at alternatives. You know, save a penny save a pound.....

Now I’m not going to get another calcium reactor, yet, so I’ve been looking at Kalkwasser to add into the ATO, but only in small amounts, just to reduce the Reef Foundation’ usage and the chore of refilling it every few weeks. I’m thinking maybe at 50% of the normal amount

The ATO system is Apex ATK with Apex of course, so it can also monitor pH and therefore have an emergency switch off point just in case

Anybody else do this ?


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Yes we are!!! How are the new additions doing? Have you realeased them yet?
Yes there doing fine, they were only in the box for about 4-5 hours so they could all get used to each other.

It’s the safest way I’ve found to get new additions into the reef without issues


JoePa lives on!!!
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A beauty whatever it is! I’ve just started drag restocking so I’ve got a bit to go.
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I’ve been a bit busy today from early morning to early afternoon. Mainly because some idiot called ‘Boris’ has decided to close all the golf courses. I can take my clubs into Newstead Abbey (its were Lord Byron lived behind my house) or any other type of park, but no, I can even walk around my golf course even on my own! Anyway I digress......

The X Filter 1.7 arrived a few days ago and it’s time to install one into the Red Sea S650, using the experience gained from plumbing the ‘big house’. I went for the 1.7 so both systems use the same media.

The main reason for installing an X Filter, is low maintenance, but it also removes organic waste before it pollutes the water, and therefore should make a major difference to nutrient control. 25 micron rolls compared to 225 micron filter socks should make a significant impact

A 25 micron roll in the big tank lasted nearly 3 months, so in the S650 is should last much longer, certainly once its run in

The reason I’m doing this, is because the intention is to make minor rearrangements to the rockwork, and get the water quality a bit better, so nitrate to around 5-10 as opposed to around 20, so that I can easily frag some of the better SPS from the big tank into the S650, because I hate throwing them away! lol

Ive also found in the big system, that the rowaphos lasts much longer, 900g last around 2-3 months, and that’s probably a lot to do with the X Filter. At the moment in the S650 I change the rowaphos of around 400g around every 3 weeks. I’m not being ‘cheap’ but do you know how much the stuff costs!! Lol

Anyway this is the system we’re talking about, the Red Sea Max S650....


So for any Max S series owners this is what I did

Firstly for those paying attention, you will recall I removed all 4 rear circulation pumps from the rear chamber a while ago, for 2 MP40’s, so it’s empty, so ive moved all the Seachem matrix into there. I had a marine pure block but it’s a bit old so that went in the bin and I might get some more matrix, you know I like it!

I then brought the python water changer out of retirement (because I now use Apex DOS for water changes). I can tell you the sump water when stirred up was absolutely filthy, like a brown sludge and it just shows how inefficient the filter socks are.

The Max S Series sumps, to be frank, are not the best designed sumps, or plumbing in general, infact once you know what your doing it’s pretty poor to be honest, and I think someone at Red Sea should review it. Why would you put a bespoke Red Sea type of gate valve behind the tank, so that it’s virtually impossible to remove and clean, and it also means tank owners have to leave at least a 6” gap behind the tank in case you need to remove it, when you can just put it in the sump, with you know, easy access..... I’ve always jokingly said, I’ll buy a new tank before attempting this, but now don’t need to.

So being brief, because of the design of the S650 sump, the best place to locate the X filter was were the skimmer is designed to go, so it’s sat on an egg crate shelf lifted up slightly to make it roughly level. The X Filter comes with hanging brackets, but in the S650 sump there‘s nothing to hang it to as the side are all way to high. So it’s just sat down which is fine. The skimmers been moved to the main chamber on the left hand side of the sump

I then designed the pipe work which is pretty basic, and then I sat for a while, quiet a while actually, contemplating cutting the main downpipe, the point of no return. Some will be familiar with the terms ‘pooing ones pants’! Lol

Now I have a proper plastic pipe cutter, from building the big tank, but sometimes, the pipe can just snap rather than cut, if it’s a bit brittle, I ran a test and most cut perfectly, but one shattered..... and that would mean ‘problems’.......

So after saying several hail Marie’s, and putting my big boys pants on, I went for it...... all went well, fortunately.....

Anyway hopefully my experience might help other Max S Series owners contemplating something similar. I’ve still got to change the emergency overflow pipe, which will be fairly easy, but this is enough for one day. Here’s a few pictures and the waters already looking crystal clear

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