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Bato367

Bato367's Used Red Sea Max 130 Build

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So I thought I would start this thread so I could post what I have done to this tank and post photos etc. Here is my used Red Sea Max 130 that I purchased a few weeks ago. It came with some spare parts and upgrades such as a new skimmer cup and surface skimmer upgrade. I went ahead and purchased a brand new return Sicce (Red Sea) pump upgrade as well as a brand new skimmer pump. There were two Red Sea heaters in the package and I am in the process of making sure one is at least reliable. One is brand new so it should be. I also thoroughly cleaned the entire setup and have even tried polishing out some light glass scratches with some success. For lighting, the retro kit from Nanobox Reef is on order and should be here in a few weeks. I will post some pics of the install so it may help anyone considering doing an LED upgrade. The system other than lighting will remain stock just as Red Sea intended other than the LED lighting. For what I want to accomplish, a modest but nice mixed reef, there really isn't a need to go over board with systems and devices. Some of the best tanks you see are built on the "KISS" principle. It's easy to caught up in the tech game, but sometimes less is more. Can't wait to play with the Bluefish Controller. How does everyone like their Bluefish controllable LED's? I plan on having this tank for several years until I can afford and have a place for my "dream tank". I am not even sure what that is yet but something like a 120-200 gallon in-wall with an attached fish room would be a nice dream tank. Anyways, here is a pic of the tank. The previous owner must of been meticulous as it included a huge 3-ring binder of printed stat sheets of fish and coral and how-to. 

 

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I am having an issue with my RSM 130. I bought this tank used and good condition but went ahead and installed a brand new skimmer pump and return pump upgrades from Red Sea. The issue I am having is that the tank is running empty (tap water no life or sand) and it is running consistently at 86-87 degrees F without the lights or heater! My house is 71 degrees. Thus I am in the process of seeing if there is a pump that is not running right, putting excess heat into the water or if there is some other issue? If I can't get the tank to a desirable temperature, I may have to remove the hood and run an open top which would of course require me to run the Nanobox Duo instead of the retro kit. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions? Should I pursue keeping the hood or ditch it?

 

I went ahead and turned on the cooling fan on the back of the tank and it is currently at a stable 84. The heater has no power to it currently.  When I first noticed the tank was warm, I suspected the brand new heater is malfunctioning. Doesn’t appear to be the case. Tank has brand new cooling fan, heater, pumps with upgrades, surface skimmer. Nothing else to replace.

 

Who runs an RSM or similar 34 gallonish tank that is “open-top” can tell me about how much top off water they consume in an average day or week?

 

Do the upsides of open outweigh the closed top?

 

I like open tops but hate the massive evap and debris and dust that accumulated in the water over time. Evap is a big concern for me because I live where it is very arid 5-30% is the norm.

 

 

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Tank test running with tap water. Initially filled it to make sure pumps worked great and to leak test it (which it passed). That’s when I discovered water temp is too high.

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So the tank is overheating with no heaters or any lighting turned on? It must be the pump then, you should remove it and inspect the impeller inside.

 

Did you previously run the heaters? One or both could have been malfunctioning, and the tank will take some time to cool back down.

 

If it's not that, do you have a second thermometer available to verify your temperature readings? I have an inexpensive digital thermometer that I recently found wasn't accurate against my floating glass one.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Christopher Marks said:

So the tank is overheating with no heaters or any lighting turned on? It must be the pump then, you should remove it and inspect the impeller inside.

 

Did you previously run the heaters? One or both could have been malfunctioning, and the tank will take some time to cool back down.

 

If it's not that, do you have a second thermometer available to verify your temperature readings? I have an inexpensive digital thermometer that I recently found wasn't accurate against my floating glass one.

 

 

Correct. But, with the "water cooling" fan running 24/7 it is now down to 80 degrees and seems to be stable there. I didn't pull pumps yet but I believe they are fine. I think it was due to the fan not being on. Even that little 12v fan seems to make a huge difference. Red Sea support responded and said this tank will run 10 degree fahrenheit hotter than ambient room temp. So right now my house is 71, and it is running at 80.5 using my floating glass thermometer. I only have 1 thermometer at the moment. So I think that is the issue. But, I am going to run the lights all day as everything was designed and see if it stays around 80.

 

Initially on the test startup, the heater was on. So naturally, I thought it was the heater. I disconnected heater and it was still 86-87 for 2 days. Only when I powered the cooling fan did the temp come down. The heater is brand new but I need to put it in a 5 gallon bucket and test it.

 

The problem I am worried about is that in summer even with my evaporative house cooler, the temp inside reaches around 76-78 in mid summer. That would put my tank around 86-88 which is no good. Thus, I would still be forced to remove the hood or install a chiller (which I will not do). I don't mind going hoodless but it forces me to make a net cover, buy a filter cover (InTank Products) and buy a different light. Overall, hoodless is more money and more top off water to replace...

 

What to do ...Trying to find a happy medium.

 

Thank you for your insight and brainstorming. Is your tank hoodless? How much makeup water do you go through in a typical week?

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I have a 2 gallon pico jar at the moment, but it faces a similar issue in the summer, as it has a mostly sealed lid and light on it. On my jar I plan to lower the water line in the summer so the light transfers less heat, and I'll have a temperature controlled cooling fan pointing at it.

 

If I were in your shoes, I think I would really consider going without a hood, and investing in an ATO (automatic top off) system to handle your evaporation. This way you can light your tank how you please and not worry about heat transfer, and your salinity will stay nice and stable.

 

You could modify the hood to add an additional cooling fan, or additional vents, but ultimately you'll probably still want an ATO system either way. Since you haven't bought a retrofit light kit yet, this is a good chance to change your plans.

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1 hour ago, Christopher Marks said:

I have a 2 gallon pico jar at the moment, but it faces a similar issue in the summer, as it has a mostly sealed lid and light on it. On my jar I plan to lower the water line in the summer so the light transfers less heat, and I'll have a temperature controlled cooling fan pointing at it.

 

If I were in your shoes, I think I would really consider going without a hood, and investing in an ATO (automatic top off) system to handle your evaporation. This way you can light your tank how you please and not worry about heat transfer, and your salinity will stay nice and stable.

 

You could modify the hood to add an additional cooling fan, or additional vents, but ultimately you'll probably still want an ATO system either way. Since you haven't bought a retrofit light kit yet, this is a good chance to change your plans.

Indeed. I am also leaning towards hoodless because the access to filter chamber will be easier. The original 130 hood only opens part way which is not convenient for doing anything in the chamber, hood must come off to even change carbon bag...

 

I did buy the Tunze nano ATO system. Not sure on size of reservoir yet. I am thing 5 would be good but it has to fit inside my stand (it isn't too cramped). 

 

Tank lights have been on all day and water temp is still at 80.

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For the analytical types I posted some of my testing results: I cannot think straight without writing stuff down and for that, Excel is my friend. My testing is for the most part, wrapped up and I've come to the conclusion why my tank heated is because the small Red Sea cooling fan at the back of the hood was not ON. It is a small fan but it removes a LOT of heat. So, if you are having tank temperature issues in the summer or anytime, create some good airflow with or without a hood! Worst case scenario for me in the dead of summer, I will open the front and rear lids and blow a small fan across the top of the aquarium. Should work just fine. I went ahead with my original order of the Nanobox Reef Retro kit LED lights. Can't wait, they should be awesome!

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Man those temps seem way high for only running a pump and lights.. are you sure the temp probe you are reading is correct?? Have you double checked it against only temp device?? 

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1 hour ago, Weikel said:

Man those temps seem way high for only running a pump and lights.. are you sure the temp probe you are reading is correct?? Have you double checked it against only temp device?? 

They do! I thought my heater was stuck on initially but those lights get super warm. And with no fan, that heat just sits there and is transferred directly to the water. The heater is a brand new Red Sea and today was running perfect. Temps are stable when using the cooling fan. I did buy another mercury glass thermometer. They are both reading within 1 degree of each other.

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