Embracing a plug and play aquarium for personal coral reefs

Red Sea MAX Assembly

Assembly of the Red Sea MAX 250 was surprisingly easy and uneventful. The cabinet is heavy, very well made and the finish doesn’t feel or look cheap. Cabinet screws and holes aligned very, very well, especially with so many alignments needed, not like Ikea or other chains’ press wood prefab furniture. It’s a cabinet made specifically for and that perfectly matches the beautiful tank. Only negative comment is that the handles should probably be on the bottom of the cabinet doors and not the top since there is so little space to grab to open the doors.

Assembly of the pumps, skimmer, etc in the back of the tank was also uneventful. However, I felt like I could easily crush the 6 skinny T5 fluorescent bulbs during installation in the hood and the edges of the metal ends of the bulbs felt like they could cut fingers, but that didn’t happen.

The manual also walks you through the steps of starting your reef aquarium. Their advice hit all the major points that my tons of research yielded.


Red Sea Max 250 Max installation and user manual can be found here.

1) The manual provided with the Red Sea Max 250 is awesome and all instructions should be followed, seriously. There was a bit of confusion at one point because it seemed that a few instructional steps could have been reordered for clearer and more efficient assembly. However, if you had the initiative to decide to do the assembly yourself, you’ll figure it out.

2) Make sure that you install the screws in the already installed plastic “holes” to the right height or else the locking screws will not lock on your screw heads. If you over tighten the screws in the plastic “hole” the plastic “hole” will elevate and prevent proper alignment.

3) Cut sides of box to remove tank by sliding and not lifting.

4) You need at least two strong people to lift the aquarium onto the stand. I did it with one and a half but it was risky and took a while.

5) Not sure if I should worry, but I had a few extra hardware parts left over after the stand assembly and no where to put them. Stand is strong though.

6) Unless you have a ladder or stool, assemble tank on floor and then lift onto stand.

7) Having a hammer will help with dowel installation, as some holes will be tight…but since I’m used to putting large things in small holes it was easy…boom! Yeah I said it. Also the shelf-support pins were a bitch to install.

Damn, the Red Sea Max 250 setup is well made and put together. The attention to details by Red Sea makes the initial high investment seem worth it. I’m going to enjoy this, as not a single piece feels or seems cheap.


  1. The aquarium at the Mall of America cost $20 to enter so I didn’t go. Will you let me look at yours for $1.50?

  2. $1.50 and you look through the window.

  3. i need to know if there’s a site to download stand assembly. little one destroyed mine can you help?

  4. Did you have any issues when you put on your doors? I cannot seem to get them to align correctly and snap into the magnetic connector.

    Apparently when screwing hing in place, you can adjust it left and right and another screw on the hinge poisitions it up and down…. no matter what I try I cannot get it to align correctly.


    • Hi Chris,

      I did have some issues. It took a while to adjust the alignment by loosening and tightening the small screws on the hinges. There is nothing I think you can do except trial and error with patience! Also, in case you don’t have the cabinet instructions, here is a PDF link to it: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Media/PDF/72344-RedSeaMAXStandSetup.pdf.

      Good luck.

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