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Which Red Sea Max Aquarium Is Right For You?

There are now three models in the Red Sea Max range, but price and size aside, how do they differ and which one should you choose?

Red Sea Max 130D
The Red Sea Max 130D replaces the original 130 and, as the name suggests, holds around 130 litres of water. It features a long list of improvements over the original 130 and despite some minor annoyances it remains a solid, stylish tank that works well.

These tanks are designed with simplicity in mind and are very easy to set up and maintain, even if you have no prior experience with marine fish or reef keeping.

Like all models in the range, the 130D is solidly-built and has a quality feel to the plastic, glass and cabinet.

All of the electrics - various water pumps, heaters and the power compact lighting - is neatly hidden away and runs from a series of waterproof switches. There's also a timer to turn the lights on and off.

There's plenty of flow (though you might want to increase this if you keep corals) and the skimmer is OK, if a little on the fiddly side to adjust.

The only real drawback with this model are the hood cooling fans which require annual replacement to keep them quiet and the need to keep the tank regularly topped up with RO water to prevent tiny bubbles appearing in the water.

Red Sea Max 250
The Red Sea Max 250 is the middle-sized model and it's a better bet if you want a fancier tank or larger fish. It's really just a scaled up version of the 250, and packs in an extra 120 litres of water into a footprint that's not too much larger.

The Red Sea Max 250, like the other models, comes in silver, black and white and it's a doddle to maintain and really easy to set up and get looking good.

This one in particular makes a great first tank for the fishkeeper who wants to get stuck into marines - and it's much more upgradeable and future-proof than the smaller, more restricting 130 or 130D.

This model has a recommended retail price of 1599.99, but you can pick them up for 1299.99 or less from online retailer Swell UK at www.swelluk.com.

Red Sea Max 500
The Red Sea Max 500 is the latest addition to the range and was first shown off at the Interzoo trade show in Germany in 2010.

This model has not yet gone on sale, but if the design remains unchanged from the model exhibited at Interzoo it will hold 500 litres and be lit by a luminaire containing 10 54 watt T5 bulbs. Sadly, there don't look like there will be any LEDs here...

Turnover is expected to be around 12,000 lph and the tank will include an integrated multi-chamber sump housing a Red Sea C-Skim protein skimmer and a 300w heater thermostat.
It's expected to have a recommended retail price of around 3000 when it finally goes on sale.

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