Funny you should ask that question today of all days. I have had a 130D for a little over a year now. Love it, love it. Granted, it is the only saltwater tank I have owned (except for a VERY BRIEF moment in 1977), so I can't really compare it to anything...
But, it works great, it looks great. I am certain that I would not own a tank today, if I had not been able to get the "all in one" set up that they offer. Sure, it's a little pricey, I am told. But, piece mealing it all out, I would have spent the same - is my guess.
20 minutes ago, I got a call from YRC (fka Yellow Freight), because my NEW RSM 250 just arrived. Yay! I get to pick it up in the morning... I filled that other one up so I had to make room for expansion. So, this week I am upgrading to the new tank - just in time for the Lansing Swap!
If there are any specific questions you'd like to ask - fire away. I will answer them as best I can. In the mean time, if I did it right... here is a pic of my tank from this weekend.
Red Sea has custom lightbulbs made for their RSM 130s. The bulbs have a PC connector - but the bulbs are T5 diameter. Supposedly, normal PC bulbs are a T6 diameter? Red Sea says that by concentrating the light in the smaller diameter tube, they get a bump on the output of the bulbs. I have had no trouble with favias, favites, rics, zoas, palys, shrooms, GSP, leathers. The GSP and leathers have been ripped in half perhaps four times over the past year - with the extras being given to my lfs.
I have a monti cap that is only about two months in the tank, and it is growing quite well. I haven't really tried anything too demanding though, like clams or acros...
Red Sea says you can use other PC bulbs, but they would give even less light. The only reason you might do that is to color change the tank, I suppose. The Red Sea bulbs are one white and one actinic together on one PC connector. Two of those sets per tank. The way the good is set up, you would have to be a bit of a kitbasher to fit another light in there, but certainly it could be done. And, also, the hood is removable, if you wanted to go open top and add just about any lights then.
Yes, when my tank was brand new I was upset about the micro? macro? bubbles. I had read somewhere that cutting the filter in half would help with that, so I did on initial setup. Red Sea also has an online tutorial on things you can do to minimize the bubbles. Personally, I think the bubbles are the result of a new tank. I did some things, but ultimately - TIME - seemed to be the best answer. maybe the filter gets a little clogged and that stops 'em? Anyway, as long as I have my tank filled properly, and the adjustible overflow set properly, I have no bubbles in my tank.
Red Sea makes tanks with plastic trim in BLACK or SILVER. I have a black tank, it came with a black stand. The stand is very well designed for a KD kit. I would assume the silber tank would come with a silver stand. The stand is definitely paintable.
Their skimmer is OK. It is a tight space, and a small skimmer. It was suggested to me by Anthony Calfo that I didn't really need to run that skimmer all the time. I have a VERY LOW bioload. Basically, I turn it on for a day after each water change, and that's about it. I am a bit meat-fisted, but still the inner workings are remarkably accessible. I took out the the little ceramic donuts early on at somebody's suggestion. Now, I don't even remember why. But, I have had good luck with everything, so I won't be rocking the boat on those. Change the carbon perhaps every other month. And, after the skimmer runs for a day, I take out the cup and rinse out all the yuck.
I don't want to sound too much like a shill for RSM tanks. I do like mine a lot, but remember - I have zero experience with other tanks out there. The price you are thinking of is a fair price. Possibly not a GREAT price. I have seen them available on eBay in the past - and they normally don't have RSM "start up kits" - substrate, salt, test kit, etc, because they were used up by the original owner - but perhaps you don't need that stuff anyway.
This tank is brand new in the box never been opened. He's sold 10 already and I've spoken with a few of the buyers, who are very very happy. Now I can say I'm sold too. Will be ordering one on the 1st.
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