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- Red Sea MAX 250 Complete Coral Reef Aquarium - Black
One of the best reef or salt-water tanks money can buy By Subodh on 3/26/13Subodh would recommend this product to a friendWhat's not to like about a tank that looks beautiful, hides everything needed in a compact way and can house a beautiful reef and sustain it.
I bought my Red Sea Max 250 from my LFS and this review is based upon that.
First the good things about this aquarium
- The best part of this aquarium is how good it looks. Its sturdy, complements the decor and every which way you look at it, it reeks of a professional design unlike any other aquarium you can buy.
- Its bright! Very bright! The acros love it and when the lights are on you would need to make a nook and cranny for those NPS corals. - The color temperature is just right for so many species and I've to admit I had a hard time trying to match the color tone I get on this one in my new tank with LEDs.
- Everything is built-in. The built-in protein skimmer is one of the best even though its sometimes louder than the kids running amok and needs a very precise setting up. There are no filter socks but huge bubble traps that also trap debris, don't get clogged and offer much better bacteria surface than anything else money can buy. Everything is neatly tucked in the rear and includes two powerful circulation pumps that would negates the need for anything less than a vortech. Yes, I wasted some money on a few maxijets and hydors only to realize this thing has way more powerful pumps on its own.
- Built in timer for day/night and a very bright moonlight. Very convenient switches to turn things on and off selectively, even a set of dual fans that keep the temperature in check. there's a built in heater that hides in the rear chambers as well.
- Very convenient water level indicator as well as rear attachment for chiller. I've added Eheim 2000 inside the back chamber and the convenience of being able to do that to attach external chiller + carbon + GFO is very welcome.
- The lid has multiple angle/resting points and gets out of the way quickly without much hassle during a water change. It also helps prevent water lost to evaporation in winters (yes I calculated it - it can save about 3 Gallons in a single night) versus keeping it open. In summers, just the right amount open + the dual fans can keep the temp stable for up to 3-4 degrees, The lid is what I miss in my new aquarium because it comes with its own narrow longitudinal split section that can be folded and lab test tubes, cards etc can be kept on during water testing.
- Did I mention that every piece of equipment is made to handle water, switches that have water proof covers on them, from any view point, this thing seems like its made to withstand salt-water there are no corrosion points.
- One last thing worth mentioning. The stand is thinner but much more sturdier,shinier and stable than other much more expensive and ugly looking ones, definitely damps the sound much better with it and the back is quite open and accessible for all the equipment, tubes and extra wiring. the shelves are adjustable too.
- The manual! Its the best piece of this whole package. I started my hobby with a BioCube and LFS advice + google. I so wish I had this manual which walks through so much of newbie as well as experienced stuff. Even if you have no intention of buying this, look at the Red Sea max 250 manual and then watch the BRS videos about starting saltwater aquarium. These two alone would save you thousands of dollars
- Adjustable water level. Yep all 4 inches of it in the main tank area.
-Something about the glass. Its thick but still very clear, cleans easy (even with curved corners) in fact easier than the rectangular tanks I have.
- Faster cleaning time ever just because everything fits snug and comes out quick without a hassle and things get out of the way when its time to do a cleanup. Both my bio-cube as well as the new bigger tank need twice the amount of time during cleanup/maintenance.
Now on to the things I wish I had in this setup.
- The skimmer. It took me almost 4 months to find the sweet spot. The skimmer works best when the water level doesn't change due to evaporation or due to skimmer taking too much wet out. There's no such thing as adjusting the skimmer first as mentioned in the manual. The best way to keep the skimmer working as you want it (after the break in ) is to ball-park the water level using the adjuster then adjust the air flow until you do not see too may bubbles making it to the main tank. now look at the water level on the left side screen and keep the water there. To adjust wet/dry skimming only change the height of skimmer shield. I had it down to such an art that I could take apart the whole skimmer for cleaning and get it setup in the first time in 5 minutes but I would still get stinky smelly green thing that goes on to prove that yes this skimmer is great. I also remember those 4 months where I hated it because I couldn't get it right. The amount of water flow is so big that if its not right, you'd see micro bubbles in the main tank. A water level controller is what made this skimmer work properly for me.
- The lid. Its meant for the way it is. When you're ready to go LED, either take the whole thing off or find another tank (which I think is why I went for yet another tank)
- Space. Too many tight things in the back, they are big enough for just what they have. I tried to hang a refugium in the back and boy it was tough. This thing is not meant for add -ons. It doesn't have an overflow and standard overflow boxes won't work. The stand has a middle partition that cuts the usable space in half. I had chiller on the right side and almost no space to be able to put a sump in. "This thing is not meant for add-ons"
- The power strip. Is very minimal. No space to put additional equipment without running a whole bunch of wires. On the plus side though, if you remove the power box, its a very nice view into the back!
- the water volume. I know its 66 gallons but if you exclude the amount held in the back and depending on the amount of live rock, you would essentially end up with around 45 gallons. I whine about it because the tank looks big but once you start putting things in... the front to back distance isn't much. Well, ignore me on that one coz I always wish in hindsight for the tank to be bigger than it currently is.
- The water flow: specially on the 2400 lph pump. It is so powerful that it would either be constantly throwing bubbles/water on the lid cap (it doesn't get out but its annoying) or it would be blowing the sand around. If you want to keep corals that do not like much of water flow you'd have to aquascape for it.
All in all this is a very good aquarium, I've had this for a year and I still refuse to let go of it. I still enjoy it very much and have come to appreciate this tank a lot more as an example of "a professional tank that has everything done right and makes it look easy to have a reef in your home"
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Red Sea MAX250 Coral Reef System
|Tank Dimensions||Approx. 38 x 22 x 26" (960 x 552 x 665mm)|
|Cabinet Dimensions||Approx. 38 x 22 x 31.5" (960 x 552 x 800mm)|
|Total Water Volume||Approx. 66 Gallons (250 Liters)|
|Glass Thickness||Approx. .39" (10 mm)|
|Lighting||6 - 39W T5 Linear|
|Lighting - Blue LED||8|
|Hood Opening||3 Options|
|Circulation Pumps||1 - 317GPH (1200 LPH), 1 - 713GPH (2700LPH)|
|Skimmer Water Throughput||264 GPH (1000 LPH)|
|Skimmer Max Air Flow||79 GPH (300 LPH)|
|Skimmer Foam Adjuster||+|
|Biological Filtration (Active Surface Area)||420 m2/l|
|Activated Carbon||400 grams|
|Power Center||5 outlets|
|Water Cooling Fan||Dual Fan Unit|
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