Craig's XL 300

10 Feb 2020
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Hello and welcome to my modest build.

To provide some context for this build, I think I was one of the first few members on MASA many years ago, but unfortunately I can't recover my previous account. I've been out of the hobby for about 12 years and I see many of the members I remember, like Anthony/Dragonreef and Marco aren't active anymore. I broke down my last nano (sold it to Mekaeel IIRC) when I moved from Durbs to Joburg and since then I've moved over the UK so I hope no-one minds me starting a build thread here.

Anyway, I set up a goldfish tank for my daughter a short time back and couldn't quite remember why I never got around to setting up a reef tank for myself over all these years. What started off as thoughts of a nano reef has escalated quite quickly to where I am now. I've specifically chosen a mid-sized aquarium in order to fit in our living room, provide enough space for a decent display and not be overly expensive. Well, two out of three isn't bad!

I eventually settled on the Red Sea Reefer XL 300, in white. At 90cm long and a little under 60cm wide, it's nicely proportioned for aquascaping and holds enough water to be reasonably stable. It also has a slightly better cabinet than the existing Reefer 170 and 250 models, being made from ply and with adjustable feet for levelling. These tanks were only released in the UK last week, and mine arrived today...


... intact, it seems. I've never had a plug-and-play type system, and so far I'm hugely impressed with the quality of the display tank. I particularly like the reinforced black seams.

The immediate problem is that I'm not actually ready for it yet, so it will have to sit in its box for a week or so while the living room is prepared. Also, I think my wife has forgotten how large my previous systems were, or I've been talking about nano's too much, recently. Either way, she has begun referring to this one as the "bath tank".

So, on to the obligatory equipment list, which I'll keep updated as I go:

Tank: Red Sea Reefer XL 300 with white cabinet and v3 sump.
Lighting: To be determined.
Heating: Undecided.
Return pump: Sicce Syncra Silent 3.0.
Circulation: Starting with a single Jecod/Jebao SOW-4.
ATO: The built-in Red Sea float switch to start.
Skimmer: To be determined.
Other: Will be running ceramic block bio-media (probably Maxspect).
RO/DI: Purchasing an Osmotics 4-stage unit is next on the list.

In terms of livestock, the plan is for a mixed reef. I intend to run the tank bare bottom and build a raised aquascape that will hopefully provide a bit of separation between SPS and LPS. I'll think more carefully about corals when I'm ready for them in several months time.
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