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RSM 130D - Modified : Build notes and pics added

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May 31, 2018;


Tank has been up for 75 days, have lost some fish, all coral thriving, will post some stock list soon. 




May 2, 2018;



April 22, 2018;



April 17, 2018; Frags from AquaSD



April 6, 2018 Frag shipment AquaSD



March 17, 2018 - Tank Gets Wet



March 15, 2018 - Dry Setup



Link to maintenance sheet:

(link here)

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  • Modified Red Sea Max 130D (34g)
  • Viparspectra 165w LED (dual channel, built in timer)
  • Tunze Osmilator ATO (w/ 7gal reservoir)
  • Tunze 9001 Skimmer
  • inTank Media Basket (running; floss/blank/chemipure blue)
  • inTank rear chamber cover
  • MarinePure CerMedia Biofilter balls
  • Red Sea Wavemaker Controller
  • RSM 130D upgraded return pump
  • Two Budget Powerheads
  • Stock Heater


Build Notes:



I started earlier this year in the salt water hobby, January 3rd if I recall correctly, and purchased a Nano cube 12g from my LFS. Following the expert advice of my LFS owner I soon had a stocked and thriving nano. As most folks in this hobby know, there is almost always a time when you simply run out of room, while this was true in my case, there was another problem, I couldn’t keep any of the gorgeous sticks I kept seeing at my LFS because the stock lights on the Nano cube aren’t adequate. So I set out to find a slightly larger volume aquarium that I could set up in my kitchen, and that was versatile enough to keep anything that I wanted (within reason) in it. I also have always been one to tweak and tune things, so I was attracted to modification of systems on various boards on the internet that I was reading. So began the quest for a quality tank that I could modify at an affordable price (in case I messed up). 


A quick aside, for the money I spent on modifying and tweaking this tank I could have got a full custom setup minus the lights for about the same price, however it was a fun and educational journey to the final product and that’s what I’m in the hobby for. 



I picked this tank up locally with stand, live rock, sand, chiller, pump upgrade and t5 upgrades in the hood for about $350.  I knew I was going to have to replace the stand when I saw the condition of it but I figured I was still getting a good deal, more on the stand construction later. 


I started off by taking the hood off of the tank and setting it aside, I then got a small handheld hack saw and began to cut the rim molding just in front of the rear portion of the molding that’s covers the glass panel separating the display from the rear chamber. Important to keep this piece to run wires and helps to keep the display sealed. I cut both sides the very carefully until I could hear that I was not sawing on plastic anymore (there is an audible difference from cutting plastic and grinding on glass). After I was sure I had a good cut separating the molding from the rear chamber, I ran an exacto knife around the inner and outter edge of the molding to make it easier to pry up. I read a thread on this that said it was easy for the guy to separate the molding from the silicone, this was not easy for me and I had to use a plastic pry bar to lift up and start the separation close to where I made both cuts. After I was able to remove the rim I used a straight razor to remove the silicone from the glass and buffed the edge. The edges on this model were sanded and finished, man Red Sea puts out a good product. 


For the replacement lid I went to a local glass store and gave them dimensions that left me with roughly a 1/8 inch gap after placing the lid, I had them cut and finish two thumb holes for easier removal, they also bumped the rear corners, and put a rounded cut up on the front corners to match the diameter in the curve of the display  edges. I found some “screen clips” on amazon and ordered them, I got 1/4 glass first time and they did not fit properly, I had to look up the tank specs and reorder clips that matched the millimeter thickness on the specs. The girl that was taking my order at the glass place kept offering to have the lid done in plexi but I wanted glass, final bull will a bit high (over $100) but it’s what I wanted and I’m happy with it. To clean up the look I got an inTank rear chamber cover, small esthetic but I think it pulls everything together. (See pic)


Custom glass lid and inTank rear chamber cover in place.  



I removed the stock skimmer media and sponges that came with the tank and replaced it with an inTank three chamber media basket, MarinePure CerMedia Biofilter balls, filter floss and chemipure blue. The bioballs are in the main chamber at the bottom, filter floss in the top chamber of the basket, chemipure in the bottom.  Attached the Tunze 9001 to the side of the media basket, it took a few weeks for it to start skimming properly but I have not complaints now.  I set up the heater between the baffles with the idea to always keep the heater wet with flowing water.


I got a Tunze Osmilator ATO from my LFS for free, it did not include the controller but everything else was there so I ordered the controller directly from Tunze, I think I ended up saving about $70. I opted to go with a BPA free pet food container from PetCo as an ATO reservoir, and drilled and installed a float switch connected to a 12v relay, at the bottom of the container so that when I run out of ATO water my pump doesn’t run dry. (See pics)


Mounted the Tunze controller and relay off the bottom to prevent shorts if anything leaks. 



You can see the switch, pump, and water level through the opaque plastic on the front of the reservoir. 



Shot of everything in its place, I bought a 10g that I was going to make into a sump/refugium, still might, but it’s storage for now.





(notes and more pics of stand construction coming soon)








Light Mount:


(notes and pics coming)


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(unknown) Goby

Tiger pistol shrimp

Firefish x 2

Common Ocellaris?* Clown

Cardinal Hawkfish

(unknown) Starfish

Turbo Snails*? x 2

Tiger Conch*?

Orange Banded Hermit

Blue Banded Hermit

Halloween Hermit x 2

Scarlet Hermit x 2

Pom Pom Crab

Emerald Crab












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Rocks water and sand made it in



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Brown bloom in effect


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75 days!! Will update on 90 probably with a stock list and perhaps some pictures of the coral and fish. 

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Christopher Marks
On 3/15/2018 at 7:00 PM, zackeepscoral said:

May 31, 2018;


Tank has been up for 75 days, have lost some fish, all coral thriving, will post some stock list soon. 



Good progress so far @zackeepscoral, sorry to hear about the fish though. How are the SPS responding to your light, one month in?

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33 minutes ago, Christopher Marks said:


Good progress so far @zackeepscoral, sorry to hear about the fish though. How are the SPS responding to your light, one month in?

The sps is doing well, getting polyp extension on all of them. The only one not doing so well is a monti that has shrunk to 1/3 if it’s size when it came in. Figured I would loose something off of that online shipment though 

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Updated third post with Livestock/Invert list, will add pictures soo n.  Started adding photos of coral. I don’t know what most of these are so if anyone knows chime in

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Figured out how to turn on HDR on my phone. Took a few pics of me feeding some coral, shot with Aquarium Cam for iOS. Tried to get them as close to real color as possible 





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Added detailed build list, tank mod notes, and motivation for this project, as well as some pics of my setup, to the second post.

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tank 1+ years old. Loaded with sps




Some shots of some of the specimens;


Some kind of monti 



Myagi(?) tort



Wild acro top

red planet bottom



Bubblegum digi and something I don’t know



Rock flower nem and lepto(?)



Gods hand acro(?)



Some kinda digi and unknown acro



Mystic sunset monti






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