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SaltyBuddha

Salty Buddha's IM10 Fuge Mod

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SaltyBuddha

SaltyBuddha's IM10 Fuge Mod

 

Currently cycling an IM10 fusion, and I added a little fuge mod the the rear chambers. My plan for the tank is to keep it as natural as possible. I don't want to run too many chemicals or any kind of skimmer. Although, I will be using Renew from seachem to help with water clarity. I opted for this instead of carbon due to any phosphate leak possibilities.

 

Basically, the second chamber that has the fuge option was pretty small. Anything that I have seen recommends to have at least 20% of the DT area for the fuge. I ended up removing the wall between the 3rd and 2nd chamber and moved it closer to the 1st chamber. Opening up more room for the 3rd chamber. Biggest issue now, is that I am keeping chaeto in the same area as the return pump. I could have made the 2nd chamber larger, but the IM10 has that weird bottom chamber to increase the volume size of the 3rd chamber. I initially wanted to get rid of that bottom chamber, but it would have been pretty difficult to remove that glass panel. I opted to create an acrylic divider between my chaeto, liverock, and sicce .5 pump as seen in the picture below.

 

The Sicce .5 was bigger than I thought. It is yet to be tested, but I think it should work pretty well. I have a small waterproof 6700k LED that can be attached with suction cups that I plan to use to grow the chaeto. I will update this when I have results.

 

First Chamber

  • Polyfil
  • Seachem Renew
  • Any other chemicals on a need to use basis

 

Second Chamber

  • Heater

 

Third Chamber

  • Chaeto
  • Liverock rubble

 

Removing Glass Chamber Dividers

I found that removing the divider between the 2nd and 3rd chamber was more difficult than I though. I tried using a razor blade and that was a lot of work. It was hard to get between the glass panels to remove the silicone adhesive. Then, I stumbled upon something from google. A guitar string can be used to slip between the panels and scrape off the acrylic at the same time. Luckily I had a few from one of my guitars laying around. It was way easier. Hardest part was holding onto the string with tools while inside the small rear chambers. BUT I did break the glass divider. I was a little impatient and tried to wiggle it out before removing all the silicone. It ended up breaking in half, but luckily it did not hurt anything else in the chamber. I ended up using some acrylic (from a failed DIY tank attempt) to replace that divider. 

I left just enough room in the 2nd chamber for sufficient flow and my heater. The heater is working well in that area with no issues.

 

Flow - I have a a chiller in the 3rd chamber as well. This provides about 100 GPH of flow running from the top down to the bottom where the return pump is.  The sicce .5 provides a constant 185 down flow. I am hoping this will be sufficient for the chaeto. If not, I have a few ideas in mind, but it will limit the amount of space.

 

 
Update 5/7 - New light and updates
I saw almost NO growth with the light from Amazon. It kept the chaeto alive but that was about it. 
 
Switches to a JBJ NanoGlo and the chaeto has doubled in size in less than a week. Way better.
 
I've also changed to putting a micron bag over the pump. This is almost like a filter sock. For a nutrient exporter I would have to clean it every 3 to 4 days. Way to much of a pain to do that, but I'll do it every 2 weeks no problem. It is working well to keep chaeto and other stuff out of the DT.
 
All in all it is doing a great job. Im down 5ppm of nitrates in 2 days with the upgrade to the JBJ nano glo.

 

 

 

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SaltyBuddha

Chaeto is in the fuge and it has reduced nitrates from 40ppm to 30ppm in 36 hours during an induced ammonia spike. Looks like the chaeto can reduce a decent amount of nitrate from the tank.

 

One issue - I did find some chaeto in the DT. Not a lot. It was easily fished out with a net. Not sure how I can completely avoid this but I have a few ideas. Either way, it's working as a nutrient exporter so far.

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Fuge is working well. Been going through tons of ammonia. 2ppm every 2 days for the past week and my nitrates are only at 40ppm.

 

Converted 2ppm of ammonia almost all the way to nitrate in 24 hours and nitrates only went from 30pp to 40ppm.

 

I covered the return pump in a micron bag so nothing transfers from the fuge to the DT anymore. It is working well so far

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New light

 

I've switched from the cheap Amazon light to a JBJ nano glo. Just in appearance, the JBJ is way more yellow than my original.

 

The amazo Mingdak light kept the chaeto alive but I saw almost NO growth. The chaeto got denser, but did not spread out at all. I did not have a lot of phosphate but plenty of nitrates to feed the macro.

 

Since switching to the JBJ, the chaeto has doubled in less than a week and my nitrates have gone down 5ppm in 2 days. Definitely a good choice for a light.

 

Looking forward to having this natural exporter in my tank. Also threw a few ceriths in to clean up some algae growth.

 

 

Running the lights 24/7 for now.

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Fuge dismantled

 

Since the initial doubling of the chaeto, it has not thrived. The nitrates consistently add up and must be removed through water changes alone. 

 

In the end, the nutrient exports were not worth the extra work going into maintaining and cleaning the back section for the chaeto. It had stopped growing almost completely. It was a nice healthy green, but nothing more than that. This may be due to a very weird cyanobacteria strain in my tank, but I have removed the chaeto and replaced it with a Reef Glass Nano skimmer.

 

My main theory is that a strain of cyanobacteria was using up all the available phosphates. Without the phosphates, the chaeto did not use up the nitrates as readily. My next fuge will be in a sump. Looking forward to that day. 

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