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A College Fusion - SPS Dominated IM 25 Lagoon

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WindyCityReefer.

Full tank shot I took today!

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Fish_Wiz

Is an upgrade in the forecast? LOL, looks great nonetheless. 

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Tamberav

Love it!

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WindyCityReefer.
1 hour ago, Fish_Wiz said:

Is an upgrade in the forecast? LOL, looks great nonetheless. 

Sure is! I went ahead and purchased the IM 25 lagoon. Should be making the transfer in the near future!

1 hour ago, Tamberav said:

Love it!

Thank you!

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Snow_Phoenix

Looks great!

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WindyCityReefer.
14 hours ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Looks great!

Thanks! Stay tuned for the upgrade!

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WindyCityReefer.

Big Update!

 

The day has finally come. With such limited space and the corals growing into one another, I figured enough was enough and it was time for an upgrade. I have been holding out on an upgrade since I was not sure what my housing situation would be like in the coming months. I have been very fortunate to have matched into a residency program at the University of Michigan which means I will be sticking around for another 2.5 years 🙂 

 

On to the good stuff - as previously mentioned, I decided to go with the IM 25 lagoon. I still wanted to keep the system an AIO due to space limitations and being able to still keep the tank on my desk (more about this soon..). In addition, sticking with IM means that I can easily transition into the bigger tank without worrying about equipment not fitting into the rear chambers. The media baskets/lights/skimmer/return pump all fit like a glove.

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My initial concern was weight and how much additional load I am putting on the desk. Thankfully, most (if not all) the walls in the building are made out of concrete. Looking under the desk I found 2 steel beams coming from the concrete. This eased my concerns but, I still had to do the math. 25 gallons of water by dimension X 8.3 Ibs/gallon of water = 

207.5 Ibs in water alone. Adding an additional 20 Ibs for the rock (rough estimate) + 15 Ibs of sand = 242.5. I know my calculations are not exact but, I estimate the tank to be right around 250 pounds. 

 

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I still plan to reinforce the desk with some 2x4s near the edge of the desk. If anyone has any input feel free to comment! I am considering removing a lot of other unnecessary things on the desk that are adding additional weight. 

 

Next step was getting the tank as close to where I wanted it as possible. Ideally I wanted to keep the tank in-between or right over the steel beams. image321.jpeg.a33dc21d7f655e8c173c5fa4403d856c.jpeg

 

With the tank in place, it was time to put some sand in. As much as I like the black sand in the 10 gallon, I was raised on tanks with white sand! Plus, having white sand reminds me of scuba diving over the reefs. I have had deep sand beds in the past which have become problematic, so I decided to go with a light dusting - about an inch or so. I put in about 15 Ibs of sand spread evenly. 

 

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The nice thing about moving everything over to the new tank from the old is that the SPS have acted like cement and allowed me to remove everything in one go! Here is the rock/coral in the tank

 

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I already love the amount of space! I was also lucky enough to find a fellow hobbyist getting out and had a couple extra spin-streams. I now have 3 in the case that one decides to crap out on me. At the end of the day this is what I finished with.

 

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As expected, everything is a little ticked off.. I added a couple cup-fulls of the existing black sand from the 10 gallon into the back of the new tank to help seed the new sand bed. Threw in a new bag of carbon, new filter floss and turned the skimmer on. I am free all morning tomorrow so my goal is to keep an eye on the tank and make sure nothing spikes to high. I am currently making extra RO/DI water in the case I need to do an emergency water change. 

 

To add to the excitement, I won an auction through Big R corals and have the following coming my way this week  🙂 

 

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mitten_reef

How’s the transfer coming along?

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WindyCityReefer.
1 hour ago, micoastreefing said:

How’s the transfer coming along?

Tank is doing great! I have been meaning to post an update but, my boards exams are coming up and I have been frantically trying to prepare. 

 

Here are some photos I took. The transfer went well and everything seems to be happy! No causalities thankfully. I can get used to this new view 😉

 

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Still trying to figure out how to separate the two chalices.. they fused together in the 10 gallon. 😕 You can tell where the mummy eye was shaded by the milka stylo.

 

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Late night blues

 

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Anemone Island - I absolutely love this shot!

 

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I also added a new addition to the tank. A female Melanarus wrasse. She is just under 3 inches and very outgoing. I sat at the LFS for 40 minutes observing her and asked them to feed her. Even with my face pressed up against the tank, she ate like no other. That sealed the deal for me. I have had one in the past and always loved their coloration and personality. They also had a male but he seemed a lot more timid and definitely larger than what I was hoping for. Bonus is I can witness the color transition as she grows and transitions to male. Unfortunately, she is as quick as a whip and it is rather difficult to get a good photo. I am still trying though! But for now, a stock photo will suffice.

 

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Near future plans/goals:

  • Clear up the sand bed - I feel like I have too many individual pieces of coral. I would like to keep the clean sand look with the center piece
  • Separate the two chalices - might need to bring out the scalpel
  • Possibly upgrade mp10 to an mp40 - this is more of a way down the line goal. I just do not get the same movement like I did in the 10
  • Larger dosing containers - my mason jars need to be refilled way more often than when I first started dosing
  • Look into larger light fixtures - the one AI Sol Blue is causing shadowing 

 

Well that is it for now! I hope everyone enjoys the photos/update. Back to preparing for my boards exams.. 

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Christopher Marks

So much more room to grow! That's amazing the whole tank's aquascape came out in nearly one single piece 😄. That might be the coolest ways to upgrade a tank without radically changing everything else, a rare outcome to have it all fused together!

 

Are you going to add any additional rock to the new system to help with future aquascaping?

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WindyCityReefer.
On 3/22/2019 at 11:59 AM, Christopher Marks said:

So much more room to grow! That's amazing the whole tank's aquascape came out in nearly one single piece 😄. That might be the coolest ways to upgrade a tank without radically changing everything else, a rare outcome to have it all fused together!

 

Are you going to add any additional rock to the new system to help with future aquascaping?

It still amazes me how "cemented" everything was! Definitely made things easy. 

 

You beat me to it - I went ahead and added a couple more pieces of live rock to the back of the tank to incorporate more ledges and crevices. I really liked the "peninsula" look with the single center piece but, it limited my coral placement and real estate.. My only fear at this point is reduced flow in the tank and greater chance of "dead spots" in the tank for detritus to build. Regardless, this is what I ended up with at the end of the day.

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A close up shot with some coral frags 🙂 

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Side-front view 

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Last but not least, some close up shots

 

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Clowns begging for food as usual

 

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Fish_Wiz

As always, looks fantastic! When you upgrading the lighting? LOL those Sol's are long overdue.

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WindyCityReefer.
19 hours ago, Fish_Wiz said:

As always, looks fantastic! When you upgrading the lighting? LOL those Sol's are long overdue.

Thanks! 

 

Actually, I am on the hunt for a new fixture. The Sols have been fantastic up until now. I would love a Radion, but the cost is just too steep for me at the moment. Maybe I could snag a used one?

 

On a side note - jumped back into nitrate dosing after some time off. Academics have taken over my free time for the majority of the year.. I still had the original mixture I made but, I wanted to start fresh and did not know if anything was growing bacteria-wise. New mixture below:

 

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After my first dose of 1 mL, I was over 2ppm (which was expected). I will continue to monitor the tank and test. 24 hours later, my readings from my Red Sea test kit were just over 1ppm. Planning to test tonight as well and see if I am back down to zero. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I would like to get around 5-10ppm. Slow and steady wins the race!

 

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Fish_Wiz
On 3/27/2019 at 2:31 PM, WindyCityReefer. said:

Thanks! 

 

Actually, I am on the hunt for a new fixture. The Sols have been fantastic up until now. I would love a Radion, but the cost is just too steep for me at the moment. Maybe I could snag a used one?

I'm going to be real honest, I really don't like Radions. While they're great fixtures, it really turns me off that you need the Reef Link to control it wirelessly while the newer AI's can be controlled via wifi and an app right out the box. The kicker is Ecotech owns AI....... On the opposite side, I love AI, they're great fixtures with incredible features at a great price point. And I don't say this with no backing, I had (and sold) a Gen 1 Radion and still have an AI Prime non-HD and a AI Hydra 26 HD.

 

If you're ever back in Chicago, I can sell you a used AI Hydra 26 HD with flex mount for a good price, call it my favor for the skimmer you gave years back, shoot me a PM if interested.

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WindyCityReefer.
On 3/28/2019 at 7:22 PM, Fish_Wiz said:

I'm going to be real honest, I really don't like Radions. While they're great fixtures, it really turns me off that you need the Reef Link to control it wirelessly while the newer AI's can be controlled via wifi and an app right out the box. The kicker is Ecotech owns AI....... On the opposite side, I love AI, they're great fixtures with incredible features at a great price point. And I don't say this with no backing, I had (and sold) a Gen 1 Radion and still have an AI Prime non-HD and a AI Hydra 26 HD.

 

If you're ever back in Chicago, I can sell you a used AI Hydra 26 HD with flex mount for a good price, call it my favor for the skimmer you gave years back, shoot me a PM if interested.

I did not even consider the Reef Link.. good point! Sending PM now about the Hydra. Thanks Wiz!

 

A little eye candy of the WWC Superfly chalice. I included "before" and "after" shots from when I first got it till now. Enjoy!

 

12-3-2018

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2-9-2019

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3-29-2019

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Asureef

Awesome tank! 

 

I hope you have a cover, because those wrasse will jump! 

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WindyCityReefer.
On 3/30/2019 at 1:30 AM, Asureef said:

Awesome tank! 

 

I hope you have a cover, because those wrasse will jump! 

Thank you!

 

As of right now I do not have a cover - but I definitely would not mind having one. I am going to look into a few DIY options. I have heard that there are a couple acrylic lids/covers out there made custom. 

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Reefer49

Really beautiful 

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WindyCityReefer.

Ended up passing my board exams! :naughtydance: What a relief to be done. Just waiting for graduation at this point!

 

The tank has been on auto-pilot since my last update. But of course, I have not been able to stay away from routine frag swaps and LFSs in the area.. I recently moved my clown pair to my father's 120 gallon system as they were getting too aggressive towards the Starry blenny and the Melanarus wrasse. So I have been on the hunt for a new addition to the tank. 

 

Over the weekend I made it out to a frag swap in Detroit where, to my surprise there were fish for sale. Normally I am against getting fish from shows as I feel that the fish are over-stressed and poorly transported. Out of curiosity, I glanced at the vendor tables. What caught my eye were two Regal angels - one medium size and the other extra large. I have always pictured a future tank with one! I feel that the vendor picked up on my interest as he commented "Take them home with you!" After some lengthy discussion with the vendor, I learned that the angels were actively eating, had been treated with Prazi and Copper, and were being sold for a fraction of the price one would cost from LiveAquaria!

 

Well, let's just say that was enough to persuade me to give one a shot. Introducing my new Regal! I would like to preface that in no way, shape or form do I condone housing a large angel in a smaller setup. I have the benefit of having a father who is in the hobby (and understanding mother) and we have multiple 100+ gallon established reefs. I am merely housing the angel in my 25 gallon until after graduation. I also saw it as an opportunity to condition the fish for a couple weeks. With that out of the way, here are a couple photos 😉 Do not mind the algae, I have been meaning to do a big water change!

 

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mitten_reef

Congrats on the exam. Those frag swaps are dangerous 😂, good thing there aren’t many on this side of the state. 

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WindyCityReefer.
10 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

Congrats on the exam. Those frag swaps are dangerous 😂, good thing there aren’t many on this side of the state. 

Thank you! Yeah they are definitely a force to be reckoned with.. thankfully the next one is not until the fall I believe. Hope all is well with you! I need to drop by your tank journal. 

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WindyCityReefer.

A journal would not be a journal without some ups and downs..

 

I am sad to report that the tank went through a bit of a crash in the beginning of May 😔 Between the Regal angel and my automated feedings, the tank experienced a nutrient spike that lead to an algae bloom. I lost roughly 90% of my SPS including the Walt Disney. It was the worst timing since it was around graduation and my move back home for break. Believe it or not, I transferred the entire system back to Chicago for roughly a month and a half until my residency program started. While the move was hectic and stressful, I felt it was necessary in order to save any coral that I could. Aside from the nutrient spike and coral losses, the tank was experiencing alk swings with the drop in consumption. Thankfully, having the tank with me over the break allowed me to do multiple water changes and test the tank parameters often. 

 

Fast forward to present day, the tank is back in Ann Arbor and has stabilized and most of the corals that survived are back to normal! My only issue now is dialing in alk consumption and adjusting my doser as necessary. I was lucky that most of my LPS survived the crash. Below is what the tank looks like currently along with a blasto shot. The blasto is starting to get some wicked purple color in it.  

 

My plan is to slowly get back to the amount of SPS I had prior to the crash. The silver lining is that now with the orange cap gone, I have less shading and more space for acros 🙂

 

That is all for now - I hope everyone enjoys the photos! 

 

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Fish_Wiz

Wouldn't call it a crash or even "mini crash", tank still looks great even after the "dip" lol. Time to rebuild, but like the Chicago Cubs not the Bulls. 

 

Is the Regal still a resident or has it been moved?

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WindyCityReefer.
16 hours ago, Fish_Wiz said:

Wouldn't call it a crash or even "mini crash", tank still looks great even after the "dip" lol. Time to rebuild, but like the Chicago Cubs not the Bulls. 

 

Is the Regal still a resident or has it been moved?

Thanks Wiz! I appreciate it. Still a bummer to have some of my bigger and more expensive pieces kick the bucket.. But it could have been a lot worse 😬 Definitely going to rebuild like the Cubs! Or even the Bears? Excited to see how they do this upcoming season.

 

The Regal was moved to my father's 110 gallon system where he is a lot happier. Over my break I quarantined the angel and got it to take pellet aggressively. Surprisingly, it will go for pellets quicker than anything else! Including frozen, clams, etc. Pretty sure it is enjoying the extra space in the bigger tank. 

 

As for the lagoon, I am debating just keeping the Starry blenny and Melanarus wrasse. I am not exactly sure what else I could add that would not overstock the system.. any thoughts? 

 

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Fish_Wiz
21 hours ago, WindyCityReefer. said:

As for the lagoon, I am debating just keeping the Starry blenny and Melanarus wrasse. I am not exactly sure what else I could add that would not overstock the system.. any thoughts? 

 

All hail Trubisky! LOL

 

Those two fish sounds good to me, you could probably squeeze in one more fish. I'm not a fan of wrasses anymore but they do help with flatworms. For a 25, my pick would be a tailspot blenny and a pair of blue stripes pipefish (if you can find them). I have a single male bluestripe and love him but wish I found him with a mate, I've tried to pair him up but he ends up killing the female 😕

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