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Ratvan's Rsm 130d. Budget Build


Greetings All,

So I have been keeping Saltwater since 1st April this year (2019) by joining a Pico Contest on another forum, now that the contest is winding down (27.10.2019) I have been thinking about upgrading my little slice of salt water into something more substantial.

Now currently my Pico is on my Desk at work and I do plan on keeping this or something similar sized, but I have asked and have been told that I can bring in anything that does not exceed 300KG. So that puts me roughly within the 50G range. I have also palced a £300 budget on this build, everything needs to come from this and if I go over it is less money for rocks, corals and inverts :(

However, I do not like a lot of those tanks in terms of sizing and shape so I shopped around and picked up a RSM 130D off of eBay for the grand total of £68.00. I have a 168W Chinese Black Box anyway over my Pico (overkill I know) that I plan on reusing.

So Far total is £148.00 (about half of budget)


The Auction included
Red Sea Max 130D Tank
Tunze 6015 Wavemaker
Intank Media Basket
Tunze 9002 Skimmer
1200LPH (320GPH) Return Pump

Other Equipment
168W Chinese Black Box
5.5G ATO Container

Still to buy:
200-300W Heater
Temperature Controller
ATO Unit

So I collected the Auction on Sunday (yesterday 08.09.2019) and spent most of the day yesterday cleaning it up. Had a few small scratches but nothing that I cannot get rid of with some Cerium Oxide (keeping the area wet) I also need to replace the tube connecting the return pump to the output nozzle, I also want the tank to look rimless so need to remove the plastic rim tonight (using small bladed handsaw and elbow grease)


So got some left overs at the minute as well as the remnants of the guys's cabinet, will check dates and probably give these away as I cannot see me using this before the dates expire


Finally spent a good hour cleaning out the sump area, when i collected the tank I did ask about the reason for the sale, turns out he lost heart after a massive tank crash....


Still need a few more items to get this project live, and also get the tank into my office on the 2nd floor at work without a lift.....honestly thinking about hoisting it in through a window lol


Staff member
Looks like your off to a good start,
it will be interesting to see if you can keep within your £300 budget. What corals and fish are you planning on keeping?


Thank you, so far so good on the budget. Should be at 245/250 when I finish buying hardware.

Corals I am going for LPS with a heavy leaning towards Euphyllias. Fish so far no idea.


sorry is your budget without livestock ?

Yes. Thankfully. Dont think I could do my 2.5g for 300 all in.

Essentially if I can prove responsibility for this tank to the Mrs till open a door to a decent size home reef. So tight budget all through but still enough for a couple of decent peices of corals and livestock.

I have a few things to move across as well. I had luck with Hammers and torches from the go also got some hitch hikers along the way. That led to a 5.5g a few months ago and now I'm thinking that this should stop the spending on tanks at least.

The livestock (tank bred clown, given from a reefer I know) I have as part of the contest is getting an upgrade to a permanent tank. Rather do this sooner rather than later. She is 3.5 months old now.

I also have the itch to buy another fish. But know I cant do it anytime soon with the tanks I have and would rather not do another tank transfer. Apart from QT to display. I would like to add a tailspot blenny after that no real idea as if yet. I like a lot of things but i am very unlikely to purchase without doing a tonne of reading and asking a lot of questions.

So I like,
Some Gobies, mainly Nano ones. Small colony of red headed maybe?
Blennies. I love so many. Same with Dragonets and Mandarins. But no.
Firefish - not if i get a similar shaped blenny
Royal Gramma
Indigo Dottybacks.

Corals I like LPS. Especially anything that flows. Not a fan of softies. Bored of Zoas and mushrooms. I can do easy SPS but not sold on them to be honest so not sure if I'll have many of them beyond a rack or two.

Want to try an elegance and acan next as well as some of the other brains and a nice Duncan colony.


So boring morning in the office, decided to try out my Macro Lens for the first time and snap a few shots of the Corals that I have in my Pico that will make the upgrade tank
20190909_100346.jpg 20190909_100346.jpg 20190909_100353.jpg 20190909_100357.jpg 20190909_100412.jpg


Looks like your off to a good start,
it will be interesting to see if you can keep within your £300 budget. What corals and fish are you planning on keeping?

Fish wise been thinking about this for a day or so

Tank Bred Clown
Twospot Blenny
Royal Gramma
McCoskers Wrasse
Watchman Goby & Pistol Pair
Skunk Cleaner Shrimp

Not sure how the Goby and Blenny would get along? Might be okay if they take different tank heights?


Ok so planning on moving everything across once the tank is in the office and fully set up. Here si where I am at so far, hoping for this Saturday or next to get this live.

Transfer Day:

Prep work
1 .make room on all my counters and on my table for all the items I will need for the transfer.
2. Start 2 buckets of salt to mix, used powerheads and heaters for mixing
3. ensured my refractometer is calibrated and salinity is correct when I mix it
4. Pull out all my utensils, towels, glue, epoxy, nets, papertowel, and spray bottle and placed it on my table near the tank for easy access
5. Put all my filter media, media basket, filter socks, and additional equipment on my island close to where I needed it

5.5g Breakdown
1. Fill my tank tupperware containers with water from the tank
cont 2 - euphyllia and added to bucket
cont 3 - plates, brains, hermits, and snails
cont 4 - clown,
cont 5 - Red Headed Gobies

- I will place all these containers on my counter
- I have drilled holes in the lids to run air hoses
- I will use a gang valve to run 4 air lines and air stones to each container so they would have oxygen through the day

6. I drain water from my tank into containers to save for use in the new tank
7. I drain more water into a bucket and removed the rocks from the tank and placed in a bucket (This water will not be used in the new tank. Too much detritus most likely)

34g Set Up:
- place the new tank on the stand, ensure it is even and level

- added eggcrate to the bottom of the tank and started adding in the rocks
- started aquascaping
- while aquascaping I spray saltwater(from my tank) onto the rocks to ensure they stayed completely wet. I used a standard spray bottle
- after setting the rocks in place we will epoxy them
- using Aquamaxx reef welder - love this stuff. It's great to work with.