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Mark L.

IM Abyss Drop Off Panorama Project

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Mark L.

I got into this hobby about a year ago with an IM 10 gallon and have been hooked every since.  I had a major crash back in June, started over and the 10 gallon is running smoothly now (some good lessons learned).  But why have one tank when you can have two right?? 😀. I had been floating the idea of a 2nd tank by my wife for several months (even before my crash) and fell in love with the drop off aquarium concept.  I like a lot of the cool aqua-scaping you can do with two levels, the fact that you can better separate some corals that don't play well with each other, etc.  My wife kept pushing back on the 2nd tank (cause as you know this hobby isn't cheap) until low and behold look what she surprised me with a few days ago.... 

 

This is the Abyss Panorama (20 gallons).  I don't see a ton of these here in the forum so I decided to do an aquarium journal to seek advice.  I'll be running the Kessil 160's as lighting, I've got the Tunze ATO, Cobalt 75w heater and I'm going to be doing black sand on the bottom (I just love the look of black sand and think it will pop with this aquarium.  Will probably add a skimmer within the next few weeks as well.  A couple of questions..

 

  • As this came with two media racks, in my IM 10 I run ChemPure Blue and have had good results with this.  Do I just need to put this in one of the two racks or both?  I'll be using filter floss in both of the top racks, anything else you would suggest for the extra compartments?
  • I need a good wave maker recommendations.  This will be an LPS/Softie tank (my wife gets to pick the corals in my house so movement and color pallet are her thing) so what would you recommend with the different heights in this tank to maintain some good flow?
  • My black sand wont be in until next week.  Should I wait to fill the tank and start cycling then or can I add water, a couple pieces of live rock THEN add the sand next week?

 

Thanks in advance for suggestions and advice.  

2018-10-18 13.03.35.jpg

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Firefish15
17 minutes ago, Mark L. said:

I got into this hobby about a year ago with an IM 10 gallon and have been hooked every since.  I had a major crash back in June, started over and the 10 gallon is running smoothly now (some good lessons learned).  But why have one tank when you can have two right?? 😀. I had been floating the idea of a 2nd tank by my wife for several months (even before my crash) and fell in love with the drop off aquarium concept.  I like a lot of the cool aqua-scaping you can do with two levels, the fact that you can better separate some corals that don't play well with each other, etc.  My wife kept pushing back on the 2nd tank (cause as you know this hobby isn't cheap) until low and behold look what she surprised me with a few days ago.... 

 

This is the Abyss Panorama (20 gallons).  I don't see a ton of these here in the forum so I decided to do an aquarium journal to seek advice.  I'll be running the Kessil 160's as lighting, I've got the Tunze ATO, Cobalt 75w heater and I'm going to be doing black sand on the bottom (I just love the look of black sand and think it will pop with this aquarium.  Will probably add a skimmer within the next few weeks as well.  A couple of questions..

 

  • As this came with two media racks, in my IM 10 I run ChemPure Blue and have had good results with this.  Do I just need to put this in one of the two racks or both?  I'll be using filter floss in both of the top racks, anything else you would suggest for the extra compartments?
  • I need a good wave maker recommendations.  This will be an LPS/Softie tank (my wife gets to pick the corals in my house so movement and color pallet are her thing) so what would you recommend with the different heights in this tank to maintain some good flow?
  • My black sand wont be in until next week.  Should I wait to fill the tank and start cycling then or can I add water, a couple pieces of live rock THEN add the sand next week?

 

Thanks in advance for suggestions and advice.  

2018-10-18 13.03.35.jpg

Looks like an awesome tank! 

I think you can start with the live rock right away. I found in my tank it was easier to aquascape and play with the rock before the sand was added. Then I just spread the sand around the base of the rocks once I had my scape. Is your black sand live?

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Mark L.
13 minutes ago, Firefish15 said:

Looks like an awesome tank! 

I think you can start with the live rock right away. I found in my tank it was easier to aquascape and play with the rock before the sand was added. Then I just spread the sand around the base of the rocks once I had my scape. Is your black sand live?

Yes the black sand will be live.

 

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S.Harper

If I had to redo my tank I think I would just go with a Solid Black High-Density Polyethylene Sheet silicone to the bottom so nothing could get under it. Then layout my rock. I wouldn't even use sand. With that said I heard it might be more difficult to start a tank with a bare bottom.

 

I really like the drop off aquariums! I want one!

 

 

I would have a protein skimmer and bio-pellet media reactor for my filtration

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banasophia

Ah wow what a nice surprise! I love the look of that tank. Personally I would go ahead and add the water and liverock and get the cycle going, then add the sand next week once it comes in. But I’m not patient... 😬🤫🙄

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Clown79

Nice gift! 

 

You can add the sand after or not at all if you like barebottom.

 

Your bio filter is in the rocks.

 

To make adding sand less messy with water in the tank, you can use a PVC pipe and run the sand through it to the bottom of the tank.

 

 

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Nano_Addict

If I could start my tank over again I would use dry rock.  I would get lots of difference sized pieces, a hammer, and a chisel and go to town.  building your own rockscape allows you to create exactly what you envision in your mind rather that trying to fit together random rocks that the LFS threw into their tub.  You could obviously apply this concept with live rock as well, but trying to keep it wet (to prevent die off) while building something can be a pain.  Plus with dry rock you know exactly what you're putting into your system (i.e. no pests).

 

Just my 2 cents!  Love the tank though!

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Mark L.
15 minutes ago, Nano_Addict said:

If I could start my tank over again I would use dry rock.  I would get lots of difference sized pieces, a hammer, and a chisel and go to town.  building your own rockscape allows you to create exactly what you envision in your mind rather that trying to fit together random rocks that the LFS threw into their tub.  You could obviously apply this concept with live rock as well, but trying to keep it wet (to prevent die off) while building something can be a pain.  Plus with dry rock you know exactly what you're putting into your system (i.e. no pests).

 

Just my 2 cents!  Love the tank though!

I'm thinking about doing that partially.  I love live rock to get the cycle going quickly and well so since there are two levels to that tank I'm looking at the small top level being live rock and possibly the bottom section being dry if I can't find stuff I like.  Looking for the nice bridge piece to connect the top and bottom will be the real challenge.

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Mark L.

Ok we have some progress.  Filled the tank, went to my LFS added a piece of live rock and we are up and running.  Ammonia is already starting so the cycle has begun.  This is also my first tank with an ATO on it.  Learned a good lesson as well. If you install the level sensor upside down, BAD things can happen 😉 .  Luckily i was standing over it while testing.  Upside down it keeps pumping water into the sump of course so when i saw it not stopping I shut down the system immediately.  What I DIDN'T notice was that my water tube was too long up top and was submerged and when the pump stopped of course the water starting flowing backwards flooding my my ATO container.  Caught pretty quick but was still a freak out moment with water running everywhere.

 

Kessil lighting and black sand should be in this week.

2018-10-19 18.20.16.jpg

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Dreichler

Something to consider: When adding your rock for the first time (before sand), you can lay down egg crate on the bottom of each of the levels and this will ensure that the rocks remain stable and don’t slip.  Then cover with sand.  This will also help with putting frags in the sand, but might hinder sand dwelling creatures like nassarius snails.

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Mark L.

Thanks for the tip @Dreichler

 

Another general question, I'm looking for a good recommendation on a power head to move water around both levels of this tank.  Thoughts from anyone??

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Bobbitworm13
3 minutes ago, Mark L. said:

Thanks for the tip @Dreichler

 

Another general question, I'm looking for a good recommendation on a power head to move water around both levels of this tank.  Thoughts from anyone??

Depending on what you want to pay, a mp10 or the Jabao sw-2 would be good options

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Mark L.

Ok a bit of an update, Kessil 160's finally came in, the black sand was added (it wasn't as black as I'd hope for but I still like the look).  Tank has cycled and we added a clown fish (named Charlie Brown by my daughter because she says he looks like Charlie Brown wearing his ghost costume from The Great Pumpkin) and I move a couple of members of my 10 gallon CUC over.  I also added the Jebao-RW wavemaker (that thing packs a punch, I had to dial it way down). Added the Kessil spectral controller just yesterday.

 

I'll be moving a few pieces of coral over in the next few days and I'm still searching for rock to get the scaping done just how I like it.  Next additions will be to upgrade the stock pump (its freakin loud!!  I called IM and complained and they sent me a new one that is even louder).  So looking for recommendations for a new pump that will fit.  I'm also buying the 90 degree Kessil adapter to get the light to hang right (unbelievable that Kessil doesn't include that!!).

 

Finally, any suggestions for a lid? Kessil doesn't seem to offer one.  I know there are several DIY options out there that you can cut to fit so suggestions are welcome.

2018-10-30 18.12.05.jpg

2018-10-30 18.15.33.jpg

2018-10-30 18.14.13.jpg

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HarryPotter

Why would kessil offer a lid for an IM tank? Artfully Acrylic and SafeTopLids are the main lid-manufacturers. 

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Mark L.
28 minutes ago, HarryPotter said:

Why would kessil offer a lid for an IM tank? Artfully Acrylic and SafeTopLids are the main lid-manufacturers. 

They offer them for some of their other tanks.  I'll check out the two you recommend thanks.

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HarryPotter
8 minutes ago, Mark L. said:

 They offer them for some of their other tanks.  I'll check out the two you recommend thanks.

 

Kessil is a light manufacturer. Not tank. I think you intended to say "Innovative Marine doesn't seem to offer one."? 

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Mark L.
1 hour ago, HarryPotter said:

 

Kessil is a light manufacturer. Not tank. I think you intended to say "Innovative Marine doesn't seem to offer one."? 

Sorry yes IM...

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banasophia

Charlie Brown in his ghost costume - love it! She did a great job naming him! And it’s especially perfect since we are meeting him on Halloween!! 🎃👻🐠🙂

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Mark L.

Ok big updates from this weekend.  Moved over several corals from my 10 gallon and they are doing well. This included two of my acans (plus I added one from my LFS), a duncan a small zoa rock I started and my turtle shell hammer which had doubled in size over the past 3 months and desperately needed a bigger tank.  I also moved over my Scoly which I got a good deal on last month knowing this tank was coming.  The only one not taking to the tank very well so far is the hammer which isn't nearly as open as of yet.  I'm letting him get used to the new flow and if that doesn't work I'll move him around.  I also added a small yellow hammer from my LFS (my wife has had her eye on that color for a while), a pink convict rock flower anemone along with something I've wanted for quite a while... gorgeous Black Heart tube anemone.  Simply memorizing to watch that guy.  I've got him in a perfect flow spot where his tentacles slowly
 sway. 

 

But what I'm most excited about is I found the exact types of rocks I wanted for the scaping when I planned this tank.  The arch ended up being a perfect fit and gives plenty of spots for corals in the future.  

 

All paramaters are stable, still testing a couple of times a week out of sheer OCD right now 😉 

2018-11-03 17.23.30.jpg

2018-11-03 17.26.02.jpg

2018-11-03 17.23.46.jpg

2018-11-03 17.25.46.jpg

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WV Reefer
20 minutes ago, Mark L. said:

Ok big updates from this weekend.  Moved over several corals from my 10 gallon and they are doing well. This included two of my acans (plus I added one from my LFS), a duncan a small zoa rock I started and my turtle shell hammer which had doubled in size over the past 3 months and desperately needed a bigger tank.  I also moved over my Scoly which I got a good deal on last month knowing this tank was coming.  The only one not taking to the tank very well so far is the hammer which isn't nearly as open as of yet.  I'm letting him get used to the new flow and if that doesn't work I'll move him around.  I also added a small yellow hammer from my LFS (my wife has had her eye on that color for a while), a pink convict rock flower anemone along with something I've wanted for quite a while... gorgeous Black Heart tube anemone.  Simply memorizing to watch that guy.  I've got him in a perfect flow spot where his tentacles slowly
 sway. 

 

But what I'm most excited about is I found the exact types of rocks I wanted for the scaping when I planned this tank.  The arch ended up being a perfect fit and gives plenty of spots for corals in the future.  

 

All paramaters are stable, still testing a couple of times a week out of sheer OCD right now 😉 

2018-11-03 17.23.30.jpg

2018-11-03 17.26.02.jpg

2018-11-03 17.23.46.jpg

2018-11-03 17.25.46.jpg

looks nice so far! 🙂

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LogicalReefs
On 10/31/2018 at 8:06 AM, Mark L. said:

Ok a bit of an update, Kessil 160's finally came in, the black sand was added (it wasn't as black as I'd hope for but I still like the look).  Tank has cycled and we added a clown fish (named Charlie Brown by my daughter because she says he looks like Charlie Brown wearing his ghost costume from The Great Pumpkin) and I move a couple of members of my 10 gallon CUC over.  I also added the Jebao-RW wavemaker (that thing packs a punch, I had to dial it way down). Added the Kessil spectral controller just yesterday.

 

I'll be moving a few pieces of coral over in the next few days and I'm still searching for rock to get the scaping done just how I like it.  Next additions will be to upgrade the stock pump (its freakin loud!!  I called IM and complained and they sent me a new one that is even louder).  So looking for recommendations for a new pump that will fit.  I'm also buying the 90 degree Kessil adapter to get the light to hang right (unbelievable that Kessil doesn't include that!!).

 

Finally, any suggestions for a lid? Kessil doesn't seem to offer one.  I know there are several DIY options out there that you can cut to fit so suggestions are welcome.

2018-10-30 18.12.05.jpg

2018-10-30 18.15.33.jpg

2018-10-30 18.14.13.jpg

I have a Sicce 0.5 pump for sale on the hardware forum here if you are looking for a pump still. $30 shipped. I used it for maybe a year and don’t need it anymore.

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Firefish15

@Mark L. Wow, you really tied the two levels together really well!

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Mark L.
31 minutes ago, Firefish15 said:

@Mark L. Wow, you really tied the two levels together really well!

Thanks, my LFS knew what I was looking for so when he got his shipment in he held everything in back before putting it out for display so I could choose 😉 . We played with it multiple different ways before deciding on this configuration.  I was going to epoxy it all together but we got it to fit so well that I'm going to leave it incase I want to change it up down the road.

 

My question to the gallery here is two fold.

 

1) I have a nice shaded section under the arch that isn't small (behind the anemone).  I'm up for suggestions of what to look for in that area as it is quite shaded.

2) At the peak of the arch its right under my Kessil 160, what could safely go there and take that intensity?

 

 

2018-11-03 17.23.30.jpg

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Lula_Mae
On 10/18/2018 at 3:52 PM, Nano_Addict said:

If I could start my tank over again I would use dry rock.  I would get lots of difference sized pieces, a hammer, and a chisel and go to town.  building your own rockscape allows you to create exactly what you envision in your mind rather that trying to fit together random rocks that the LFS threw into their tub.  You could obviously apply this concept with live rock as well, but trying to keep it wet (to prevent die off) while building something can be a pain.  Plus with dry rock you know exactly what you're putting into your system (i.e. no pests).

 

Just my 2 cents!  Love the tank though!

Funny, I've had so many issues with dry rock I decided I'd rather have fewer aquascaping options and use live rock for my next tank lol. Pests also find their way in on corals and such. 

On 10/22/2018 at 8:34 AM, Mark L. said:

Ok we have some progress.  Filled the tank, went to my LFS added a piece of live rock and we are up and running.  Ammonia is already starting so the cycle has begun.  This is also my first tank with an ATO on it.  Learned a good lesson as well. If you install the level sensor upside down, BAD things can happen 😉 .  Luckily i was standing over it while testing.  Upside down it keeps pumping water into the sump of course so when i saw it not stopping I shut down the system immediately.  What I DIDN'T notice was that my water tube was too long up top and was submerged and when the pump stopped of course the water starting flowing backwards flooding my my ATO container.  Caught pretty quick but was still a freak out moment with water running everywhere.

 

Kessil lighting and black sand should be in this week.

2018-10-19 18.20.16.jpg

That sounds like something I would do! :lol:

 

For a replacement pump, most I've seen use Sicces (not sure on size, maybe a 1.5 for this size tank?).   In my IM14, I used a Tunze (would have to look up model but someone suggested it on my thread) and it's so silent, especially compared to the stock pump. Gena had the older version of this tank, look for her thread because it's got lots of good info. 

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Dutchymomo

In that top section under the light you could try some sps. 

Maybe montipora not sure though. 

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