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Dr Fu's Innovative Marine Micro 30 Build & Questions

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drfu

Well since i have fallen in love with IM AIO tanks i have been on the lookout to get something bigger than my Nuvo 8 and came across a used Micro 30 with stand, 92 watt dual spectrum Skkye light. It was owned by someone who imo didn't know what they were doing but got all three pieces including substrate & live rock for $250 so its worth the risk imo so here we go.

 

First i would like to thank the following fellow reefers on answering some questions on their Micro 30's in hopes not to make too many costly mistakes, they are:Islandoftiki, Creeper Ky, paradizecityz, joe -sandoman, triangle-11, thanks again for all of your help.

 

So after seeing the tank running and confirming the light worked, no leaks, etc i went to pick it up yesterday. Drained the tank, placed the live rock & substrate in 6 gallon buckets with tank water. Cleaned the tank by running vinegar/tap water for 12 hours, scrubbed everything again, drained and refilled with tap water again to rinse out the vinegar and is now drying out.

 

I noticed that water can flow from the display tank into the back chamber as it seams the silicone seal is not secure, will this become an issue in making the filtration work properly or once the tank if filled with substrate will it be okay?

 

I sent IM an email to ask the same thing, hope to hear back from them. I am also going to pick up some reef safe silicone and try to re-seal it as i had found substrate in the back water column.

 

Live rock had green algae on it, yuk! Im really unsure on what i should do with it, dip it in fresh rodi water to get rid of pests, or just scrub it with a brush & use it so i don't have much/any cycle. I am also planning on sifting the live sand to get rid of any detritus that could be there, thoughts?

 

I have on order two InTank media baskets & spin stream, need to get a pump, lots have recommended the Sicce 1.5 but i would have to buy it on-line as its not available up here and not sure what other one would work but the stock one must go!

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drfu

Day 2, emptied the tank and let it dry out, stripped the silicone from he back panel between the display tank & the water columns. Picked up some silicone from my local reef store. Made sure all is dry & masked off w/painters tape the borders of where i wanted to silicone. Applied a generous amount and will let dry over night, maybe 24-48 hours before testing with water again.

 

Also picked up a Sicce 1.5 pump to replace the stock one at another local store, expensive pump, hope its a good one!

 

Ordered two InTank media baskets from SteveT

 

Got an email from IM asking for my phone #, didnt hear back from them but i'm sure replacing the silicone was the right thing to do?

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drfu

Day 3, silicone is dried & cured hopefully as i filled it up to do a water to test and see if their are any leaks by filling it from the display tank, nothing came in to the back chambers until the water level nit the overflows so all is good their. Installed the sicce pump, nice flow!

 

Brian from IM called me today to see how i was making out and recofirmed that re-doing the silicone was the right thing to do.

 

Hooked up the Skkye light, fan is a loud but it will only be on from 10 am to 8 pm so i don't think it will be an issue. Just seems okay for brightness but its hard to say until something goes in it.

 

Placed 3 powerheads in the tank, not sure if i have too much flow, would like some opinions on this:

Sicce 1.5-357gph

spin stream

Hydor Koralia Nano -240gph

Hydor Korelia 1-400gph

Hydor Korelia 3-850gph

Total movement is 1750 gph!!!! Is this way too much for the fish or corals? (Haven't picked out livestock but coral will be everything)! Now if you all feel its too much i can substitute the 1&3 for two more 240's as i have 3 extra from my 15?

 

I would also like some input on placement, see picture but one 240 go go behind rock to keep substrate clean, Korelia 1 placed front right pointing left & a bit down, Korelia 3 placed back left pointing down and right for cross current & spin stream for variable movement. Again imdo have 3 extra 240's so i could do other positions too but don't want a a tank filled with powerheads even if they are small!

 

See picture below:

post-82698-0-25001400-1408066957_thumb.jpg

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drfu

Start of day 4:

 

Rinsed out old substrate from previous owner removing any dirties, put in new tank. I expect the tank to cycle considering the mixing up of the substrate & the fact it was in a bucket for 4 days without a heater or powerhead. Didn't take care of how i put it in as their is nothing else going in for now. I am running ff, phosphate filter pads & purigen in each stock basket during this process.

 

I think their is not enough substrate in the tank as its probable only a 1" thick. I have a HiFin goby & Pistol shrimp & i think they will need something deeper?

 

I can't make up my mind on filtration, have a few different thoughts & would like some advise! My reason for being all over the map is two fold, i have never owned a protein skimmer and am thinking of a Tunze 9001 or PLS50 & have never owned a media reactor, have battled with phosphate issues even using RO/DI. So here are all of my ideas:

 

All to be installed in back chambers, no sump.

1) 2 intank media baskets, ff, then cpe & purigen, fuge with chaeto, light on reverse cycle (own all of it except fuge basket).

2) 2 intank media baskets, ff, then cpe & purigen, internal skimmer (need to buy skimmer, own the rest)

3) 1 intank media basket with ff , then chemi pure & ???, internal skimmer & media reactor w/gfo (need to buy skimmer & media reactor).

4) 1 intank media basket with ff, ? ,?. Internal skimmer & media reactor w/ gfo on bottom, then sponge, then carbon (not sure if it can be done)

 

Anyways their are a lot of different ways to set up a filtration system, I'm just not sure which way is the best, thanks in advance for your input!

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drfu

Day 5:

 

Tank is going through a cycle as i thought for cleaning the substrate i got with the tank as well as scrubbing the rock, could have also beempn the fact it stayed in a pail for 4 days too!

 

API shows between .25&.5 ppm, Salifert doesn't show ammonia.

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drfu

Day 6:

 

Ammonia is almost undetectable, nitrites also on both days & now I detect nitrates, could have just been a mini cycle from the move? Gonna add some blue green chromis from my lfs just to make sure all is good. Will do a 20% water change today and test again tonight or tomorrow.

 

Did another batch of tests, almost no detectable amount of ammonia, have not seen any nitrites but between 5-10 ppm of nitrates, hope i don't get an algae bloom!

 

Will do another 20% wc in a day or two.

 

Have to make up my mind on more fish, see thread:

http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/350091-clownmates-help-stocking-ideas/?p=4807310

 

Also still have to decide on a skimmer

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drfu

Moving Day:

 

Decided that im only going to do half now and half in a few days to let the tank catch up just in case! Got both tanks to within 1 degree of temp, matched salinity & Ph was within .1

 

Emptied 8 gallons from my 15 gallon tank into three buckets, one for fish, one for sand & one for live rock that has corals permanently attached to it. Emptied the left side of live rock first, the took out my pair of o clowns and last i scooped out as much sand as i could.

 

Placed the buckets beside my IM 30, using 3 Aqua Gadget DripAcclimators i started to drain some tank water from the Micro 30 into each bucket in part to make the change easy on the livestock & also to remove water because of displacement.

 

I rinsed out the sand to get as much crud floating in the bucket and then drained off all water that was on top of the sand, it went into the new tank first. Got a bit of a cloud so i turned on the Sicce return pump and packed the InTank baskets with floss!

 

Then went in the live rock, no aquascaping @ this time, i will wait till the rest is moved. Last was my clowns. All went smooth!

 

Before i went to bed changed out the filter floss with some fresh as it caught quite a bit of fine particles.

 

This morning, checked on everyone, all happy from clowns to my corals & even some snails & a hermit crab that hitchhiked along for the ride! Replaced filter floss again. I turned off the big Hydor Korellia, it was moving too much substrate with only having half rock in it, it may be downgraded to one of my 240's if its too powerfull for this tank &. I still have the Nano 240, Korellia One & the spin stream going.

 

Programmed my Control 4 system to turn on moonlights @ 7am, 7:30 is dawn lights & full spectrum @ 8am. The reverse is main goes off @ 8pm, dusk @ 9pm & moonlights off @ midnight.

 

Did tests, no detectable ammonia or nitrites, nitrates were at 5ppm so i dId another 20% water change.

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GtTap

Off to a good start. Is there any plans on aquascaping? with tall tanks likes these you want to use up the height when you scape better for coral placement. With the filter setup in my tank i have the intank filter and fuge baskets i run filter floss>purigen>Chemi and i have rubble rock on the bottom of the fuge basket in a bag with cheato floating above the bag.

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drfu

Off to a good start. Is there any plans on aquascaping? with tall tanks likes these you want to use up the height when you scape better for coral placement. With the filter setup in my tank i have the intank filter and fuge baskets i run filter floss>purigen>Chemi and i have rubble rock on the bottom of the fuge basket in a bag with cheato floating above the bag.

I have one piece of rock that is over 12" tall where i will put high light corals on but i will think about trying to make another tall spot, goot tip, thx!

 

My plan now for filtration since i have the baskets is this:

Two InTank media baskets running ff, chemi pure elite & purigen in each filter column

Tunze 9001 skimmer in skimmer column

Chaeto loose in either centre water column or heater column with 10 watt submersible light on reverse cycle

 

I have not bought the skimmer yet, still undecided on which brand or model to buy? Or do i go with a media reactor running gfo instead? Or do i order a fuge basket. & run rubble rock & chaeto in it?

 

Thoughts?

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drfu

Moving Day#2

Tests in the am were no detectable ammonia or nitrites so no mini cycle, strange but good! Nitrates were below 5ppm & i haven't done any others yet as with all the new water that has gone in the tank Mag, Alk & Calc should be fine.

 

Did the same thing as yesterday, filled up 3 buckets from the 15 gallon, moved the one large rock, then livestock & sand. Dripped each bucket for a few hours while i tore down the 15 gallon to get it ready to be my frag tank..

 

Did some basic aquascaping, will tweak over the next few days. Will do another 20% wc if needed tomorrow, add in a couple of bags of fresh cpe, change out the purigen & ff & add some phosphate media. Will do a full set of tests in the evening.

 

How it looks so far:

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post-82698-0-11423400-1408666316_thumb.jpg

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Jackstone

Thanks for sharing. Looks good. If you figure out the right combination of media is, let us know. I have FF/carbon/Purigen in one side. FF/carbon/Phosguard in the other. Also a loose bag of CPE in another chamber to help with algea issue. Not sure if this is a good combination but it seems to be working well.

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GtTap

very nice now it looks like a reef im loving that scape.

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Islandoftiki

Can't wait to see how this progresses. Following along!

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Creeper Ky

I haven't had a chance to read the whole thing yet but I will when I get back to work on Monday. IMO you have wayyy too much flow in there. I have the stock return pump and a wp-10 in my tank turned down to 50%. The LPS corals look like they won't be able to extend fully. That tank is a little box and the water bounces around like crazy in there. Be careful not to blast everything in the tank. I'll check back in on Monday and read the whole thing. Looks like you are off to a great start though!

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Islandoftiki

I'm running a WP-10 and an MP-10 in mine with a Sicce Syncra 1.5 return pump. With the MP-10 in reef crest mode at about 60-70% and the WP-10 in "Else" mode, I get really good random flow. My SPS extend very well. I think the biggest thing is to really randomize the flow as much as possible so it's not just blasting one spot. Obviously you don't want your powerheads blasting anything directly.

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drfu

Thanks for sharing. Looks good. If you figure out the right combination of media is, let us know. I have FF/carbon/Purigen in one side. FF/carbon/Phosguard in the other. Also a loose bag of CPE in another chamber to help with algea issue. Not sure if this is a good combination but it seems to be working well.

I think media all comes down to load & what the load is, i have phosephate issues even though i have my own Spetrapure rodi unit. I hace no nitrate issues ever so who knows where the issue comes from. I have battled cyano & dino in the past and dont want to this time around. You spend more time cleaning glass, sand & live rock vs just enjoying the tank!!!

 

If i figure out the right combination it will feel like i won the lotery! I'm still unsure what to do with terms of a skimmer or media reactor, loose one basket & do both or what, too many choices!

 

very nice now it looks like a reef im loving that scape.
Thanks, depending on how everything reacts i might just leave it the way it is and slowly add some more coral, I'm hooked on designer zoas now, yikes!

 

I haven't had a chance to read the whole thing yet but I will when I get back to work on Monday. IMO you have wayyy too much flow in there. I have the stock return pump and a wp-10 in my tank turned down to 50%. The LPS corals look like they won't be able to extend fully. That tank is a little box and the water bounces around like crazy in there. Be careful not to blast everything in the tank. I'll check back in on Monday and read the whole thing. Looks like you are off to a great start though!
Ya, i took out the big Korelia 800gph, it was blowing substrate around like crazy, now i have a Nano 240 in the back right pointing left to cover the area behind the rock. Another 240 up top, front right pointing inwards & a bit down & my Korelia One on the left side in the middle pointing straight. With the spin stream rotating it seems to give it some nice random flow. Time will tell with how all the corals react and if i get build up on my sand or rocks at all.

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drfu

The Day After:

Well 24 hours since the move, nothing dead yet, knock on wood! Every coral is open & nice extension, even my Sun Coral has its polyps out looking for food! Clowns will be clowns, like the back corner of the tank! My HiFin Goby is hiding as usual but i think is in the same cave as his Pistol Shrimp mate! My Peppermint Is doing his Spiderman impersonation hanging upside down just waiting for me to stick my hand in the tank so he can attack! Both my Rock Flower & GBTA are looking happy so all is good! See latest pics:

 

 

Full tests:

Temp 79.9

Sg 1.025

Ph 8.0

No detectible ammonia, nitrites, copper

Nitrate 5ppm, need to get that down!

Calc 464

Alk 161

Phosphorus 42, what else is new in my world!

 

I will continue on the 20% wc every second day to get nitrates to where i want them.

 

Think its time to order a skimmer, maybe a Tunze 9001, am also gonna make a new reservoir and move my pita Tunze osmolator over, tons of evaporation with this tank! Well maybe tomorrow, ice cold Corona & single malt scotch time, have a great weekend!

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drfu

Dusk Shot:

post-82698-0-55084400-1408761954_thumb.jpg

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TeamIM24

Looks great!

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drfu
Looks great!

 

Thanks, coming from you and how well your tank has turned out means a lot, i have had a lot of great help so far by so many so i cant take too much credit. Need to start adding a lot more coral frags as you have. I cant remember, which skimmer did you go with, do you like it or have other recommendations?

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Islandoftiki

Thanks, coming from you and how well your tank has turned out means a lot, i have had a lot of great help so far by so many so i cant take too much credit. Need to start adding a lot more coral frags as you have. I cant remember, which skimmer did you go with, do you like it or have other recommendations?

 

Of course you can take credit. You've done some very good research. You've scrutinized what works for others and combined that information into what will certainly be a tank that others will drool over. :) I wish everybody else did their due diligence when setting up a tank.

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TeamIM24

Thanks, coming from you and how well your tank has turned out means a lot, i have had a lot of great help so far by so many so i cant take too much credit. Need to start adding a lot more coral frags as you have. I cant remember, which skimmer did you go with, do you like it or have other recommendations?

You are welcome. We are really new to the reefing experience and this is a great place to learn. We have the modified Tunze 9002 with InTank cup. It is doing well. If I were to purchase today I would go with either the CadLights pipeless elite or the Tunze 9001.

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Islandoftiki

You are welcome. We are really new to the reefing experience and this is a great place to learn. We have the modified Tunze 9002 with InTank cup. It is doing well. If I were to purchase today I would go with either the CadLights pipeless elite or the Tunze 9001.

 

What s/he said. My money would be on the CADlights PLS-50 Elite. I also have a modified Tunze 9002 and it won't fit in my Nuvo 30, although some say it will, I couldn't get mine into either chamber by an eighth of an inch. Maybe there's some slight variations in production. My CADlights PLS-50 is a well built skimmer, but the new Elite looks to address all of the concerns/issues that I have with the older version of the PLS-50 skimmer.

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drfu

Of course you can take credit. You've done some very good research. You've scrutinized what works for others and combined that information into what will certainly be a tank that others will drool over. :) I wish everybody else did their due diligence when setting up a tank.

 

Again, thanks for the kind words

 

!

You are welcome. We are really new to the reefing experience and this is a great place to learn. We have the modified Tunze 9002 with InTank cup. It is doing well. If I were to purchase today I would go with either the CadLights pipeless elite or the Tunze 9001.

 

quote name="Islandoftiki" post="4813281" timestamp="1408830624"]

What s/he said. My money would be on the CADlights PLS-50 Elite. I also have a modified Tunze 9002 and it won't fit in my Nuvo 30, although some say it will, I couldn't get mine into either chamber by an eighth of an inch. Maybe there's some slight variations in production. My CADlights PLS-50 is a well built skimmer, but the new Elite looks to address all of the concerns/issues that I have with the older version of the PLS-50 skimmer.

 

I think those two are my choice as well, just need to find which one is quieter as this is in my living room and want it to be quiet, thanks for the tips! [

 

I just home from a golf tourney & see that my goby found his mate! They are happy again & Mr. Pistol has started rearranging my substrate already, he cracks me up!

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Egginis

If you find a skimmer that is very quite or near silent please let me know. My Fusion 30 is in our bedroom and my IM Ghost is a little noisy for my taste. At least for a bedroom.

 

P.S. The growth in your aquarium is looking good.

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