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Nick13

New reefer and new tank need advice

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Nick13

Hi in the process of setting up my first reef tank and wanted to drop by here and get everyone's input on equipment I'm planning on using to make sure I get started off on the right foot. I'm set on a tank as the IM fusion mini 40, I actually had it arrive today but unfortunately it had a small crack at the top so I'm in the process of getting a new one. As far as other equipment I'm planning on running a AI hydra 26, tunze 9004 skimmer, ice cap ato, 20lb reef saver dry rock and probably 5-10lbs of live rock from my lfs, 30lbs CaribSea Fiji pink live sand, BRS led refractometer, red sea marine care test kit, jbj digital thermometer/temp probe. The few things I was hoping to get some advice on is, first is a heater looking at Jager trutemp 150w or the finnex hmo heater with digital controller 100w. Not sure if either of these are good or not but seem to get solid reviews. Next is a powerhead/wave maker considering the ice cap 3k gyre with controller, IM aqua gadget midsize pump/controller, tunze nano stream 6040 w/ controller, looking for some help picking one. I'm also not sure what I should be running as far as chemical filtration, to start I was planning on running chemi pure blue unsure if that is all I would need or if there is some others I should use as well. Last I'm considering getting a minimax pro midsize media reactor, I'm not sure if it will be needed and if I do get one what i should be running in it. Let me know if there is anything I'm forgetting or overlooking and thanks in advance for all the help!

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Aurortpa

Oh bummer on the crack but sounds like a sweet setup—somebody did some research! 🙂

 

I like the Fiji pink, I may go back to that on my next sand wash!

 

Love my icecap, just make sure you keep them clean periodically. This may be excessive, but I also vaseline the rotors.

 

In my experience, until my tank balances, many chem filtrants are pretty futile, as things will leech micro amounts of nutrients that will still grow algae and the only need for them is if you are stocking faster than tank is maturing. In the beginning it’s more of a symptom solver than root cause. However, I do use a bit of carbon now but only for water clarity, not nutrient control.

 

Look forward to your build! 🙂

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Clown79

That sucks about the crack. Do you have to wait long on the replacement?

 

Sounds like a solid plan.

 

Not sure about the reactor or the need for it.

 

Fiji pink is great sand. Loved it in my 15g.

 

I like running a good carbon that I bag myself and purigen. 

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Nick13

Not sure on the replacement, I talked to liveaquaria who I got it from and sent them pictures of the damage it sounded like it should be a quick turn around just waiting for a return email. I ordered it on Sunday night and got it today so it only took like a day to get the first one. Any input and wave makers and heater? trying to get my equipment order in asap so when the new tank shows up I'm ready.

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Clown79
10 minutes ago, Nick13 said:

Not sure on the replacement, I talked to liveaquaria who I got it from and sent them pictures of the damage it sounded like it should be a quick turn around just waiting for a return email. I ordered it on Sunday night and got it today so it only took like a day to get the first one. Any input and wave makers and heater? trying to get my equipment order in asap so when the new tank shows up I'm ready.

The heaters are good options.

 

I use a cobalt neotherm and inkbird controller. I like the neotherm because it's small and sleek.

 

I've never used a gyre.

 

I like the aqamai Kps

 

 

Other good options are ecotech and tunze

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Nick13

Thank clown79 I think I will go with the jagar 150w (is 150w to much?) and add that inkbird controller you mentioned. I like that it also serves as a thermostat. And I think I'm for sure going to go with the aqamia kps pump, first time seeing it but love the small size and cool programming options via wifi.

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Lula_Mae
2 hours ago, Nick13 said:

Thank clown79 I think I will go with the jagar 150w (is 150w to much?) and add that inkbird controller you mentioned. I like that it also serves as a thermostat. And I think I'm for sure going to go with the aqamia kps pump, first time seeing it but love the small size and cool programming options via wifi.

I've usually seen it recommended to go for 5w per gallon on the heater, so in 40 gallons you could do a 200w or I've seen folks do 2 100w (so if one fails there's still a backup). I have a Cobalt Neotherm in my IM14 and have been happy with it. 

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Clown79

I use a 75w in my 25g.

 

Each heater is designed to accommodate up to a certain amount of gallons. It's usually listed on the site.

 

Plus the tank won't be 40gallons of water once rocks/sand is added. So consider that.

 

 they are designed to only be able to heat the water usually 9-11 degrees above room temp, so your ambient room temp needs to be factored as well.

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Nick13

whats everyone's opinion on controllers. I'm looking at the ApexEL but at a 500$ price point for a starter controller it seems kind of high. Not sure if its worth the money or not, I see a lot of people use them though so maybe it is??

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Clown79

I use inkbird for my heater

 

My return pump, wavemaker, and light all have their own controllers so no need for the expensive controller.

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teenyreef

I use a Finnex 150w in my IM40, with an Apex controller and I like it a lot. But the Jaeger would be fine too.

 

If you think you are going to get an Apex controller, you won't need the Inkbird since Apex will do that for you. I personally think an Apex controller is invaluable and I couldn't run my tanks without one, but then again I'm a tech geek. I'm also a cheap tech geek, so I just got a used Apex Classic on Ebay for $200. You don't get the capability to control the new Apex options like the flow meter, dosers, or automated water changer, but honestly if that stuff matters to you then $500 for the controller is a drop in the bucket :lol:

 

I used the Tunze 9004 skimmer for a year or so in my IM40 but I periodically had problems getting it at just the right height to keep it skimming without overflowing, and switched to the CAD Lights PLS-50. But if you want to try a used 9004 for cheap, PM me, it's not doing me any good sitting in the garage 🙂

 

I use the Aqamai KPS in my 10g tank and it's barely enough flow for that tank. Admittedly I like high flow because I keep sps, but the KPS definitely won't be enough for an IM40. I have two MP-10's and now that the corals are getting thick, I run them both with random flow peaking at 100%. I haven't tried the three pumps you're looking at so I can't help there, other than to say there are a fair number of people out there running gyres that seem to like them.

 

I started my tank with a reactor, but stopped using it fairly early on. I got an InTank media basket, and now I just run floss and some carbon that I bag myself. Over the years I've learned that less is more with chemical filtration, and I only run the carbon for about five days a month, or when I suspect there's something in the water that needs to be removed, like when trimming a leather coral.

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teenyreef
3 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

I use inkbird for my heater

 

My return pump, wavemaker, and light all have their own controllers so no need for the expensive controller.

Ha ha, and that's the other approach which works just as well 🙂

 

It all depends on what fits best with your style and what level of setup you're comfortable with. I love being able to push one button at feeding time and have the Apex turn down the wavemakers, turn off the return pump, turn off the skimmer, and then bring it all back on in the right order fifteen minutes later. But it cost money for the controller and took a lot of time to set it up and get it all configured right.

 

Personally, in my first tank, I didn't have any controllers at all and it worked fine. After I got more experience in what was involved in operating and maintaining the tank, I had a much better understanding of what was important to me personally.

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Clown79
19 minutes ago, teenyreef said:

I use a Finnex 150w in my IM40, with an Apex controller and I like it a lot. But the Jaeger would be fine too.

 

If you think you are going to get an Apex controller, you won't need the Inkbird since Apex will do that for you. I personally think an Apex controller is invaluable and I couldn't run my tanks without one, but then again I'm a tech geek. I'm also a cheap tech geek, so I just got a used Apex Classic on Ebay for $200. You don't get the capability to control the new Apex options like the flow meter, dosers, or automated water changer, but honestly if that stuff matters to you then $500 for the controller is a drop in the bucket :lol:

 

I used the Tunze 9004 skimmer for a year or so in my IM40 but I periodically had problems getting it at just the right height to keep it skimming without overflowing, and switched to the CAD Lights PLS-50. But if you want to try a used 9004 for cheap, PM me, it's not doing me any good sitting in the garage 🙂

 

I use the Aqamai KPS in my 10g tank and it's barely enough flow for that tank. Admittedly I like high flow because I keep sps, but the KPS definitely won't be enough for an IM40. I have two MP-10's and now that the corals are getting thick, I run them both with random flow peaking at 100%. I haven't tried the three pumps you're looking at so I can't help there, other than to say there are a fair number of people out there running gyres that seem to like them.

 

I started my tank with a reactor, but stopped using it fairly early on. I got an InTank media basket, and now I just run floss and some carbon that I bag myself. Over the years I've learned that less is more with chemical filtration, and I only run the carbon for about five days a month, or when I suspect there's something in the water that needs to be removed, like when trimming a leather coral.

My lps hate high flow. They all close up or bend over badly.

 

My sps love it, so it makes sense that with sps high flow would be needed.

 

My lps barely handle the mighty jet return(not 100%) and kps at 80%. 

 

 

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teenyreef
1 hour ago, Clown79 said:

My lps hate high flow. They all close up or bend over badly.

 

My sps love it, so it makes sense that with sps high flow would be needed.

 

My lps barely handle the mighty jet return(not 100%) and kps at 80%. 

 

 

That's a good point about lps vs sps. But now I'm wondering if there's something wrong with my KPS. From the specs, it should have comparable flow to the MP10, but in my IM10 it doesn't put out even a quarter of the flow the MP10 did.

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Nick13

yea it looks like the KPS is rated for 1050gph and up to 50g tank, considering the im40 actual tank space is probably 32ish gallons i would think i should be enough to start out. and i if i have to i can buy another one later if needed and for the price its hard to beat. I think i agree with you clown on the apex controller for now. all the equipment i have if i get the ink bird, lights, pumps all have controllers built in. teenyreef what finex are you using? looking on brs there are a few options to choose from. as for the skimmer would the tunze 9001 fit i the tank better? otherwise i was thinking the new nuvoskim dc skimmer midsize is made for the tank and seems to have good reviews as well. Thanks for all the help, let me know what you think!

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Nick13

also are the filter socks the im40 comes with ok to use? or should i look into getting a custom caddy to run filter floss and carbon in?

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teenyreef

I'm using the 150w Finnex with the external controller. 

 

I wouldn't recommend the 9001, it would be undersized in an IM40. I'd love to hear how the Nuvoskim works if you use it, as it wasn't on the market when I got my CAD Lights skimmer. 

 

As far as the socks go, I threw mine away and got the InTank media basket. I love throwing away the old floss pad and putting in a new one every four days instead of cleaning socks every four days. And it makes it really easy to add and remove carbon. 

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Nick13

seems like the nuvoskim is hard to find right now any other solid options out there?

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Clown79
10 hours ago, teenyreef said:

That's a good point about lps vs sps. But now I'm wondering if there's something wrong with my KPS. From the specs, it should have comparable flow to the MP10, but in my IM10 it doesn't put out even a quarter of the flow the MP10 did.

My first Kps stopped working properly in Nov. Literally no movement of corals  although the pump was running.

 

It was replaced by hydor.

 

I find the kps water movement to be very gentle at all settings compared to when I use my sicce. It's as though to my eye the water is barely moving but my corals reaction is what tells me it's too much.

 

I don't think the kps is what's causing irritation to my lps but rather all the combined flow- the kps running alone is too gentle. 

 

So I think for turbulent heavy flow, the kps is not the way to go unless it's on constant.

 

 

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teenyreef
11 hours ago, Clown79 said:

My first Kps stopped working properly in Nov. Literally no movement of corals  although the pump was running.

 

It was replaced by hydor.

 

I find the kps water movement to be very gentle at all settings compared to when I use my sicce. It's as though to my eye the water is barely moving but my corals reaction is what tells me it's too much.

 

I don't think the kps is what's causing irritation to my lps but rather all the combined flow- the kps running alone is too gentle. 

 

So I think for turbulent heavy flow, the kps is not the way to go unless it's on constant.

 

 

That's interesting because it sounds a little like mine. The prop spins, and if I put my hand in front of it I can feel water moving. At 100% the corals sway gently in the current. The surface of the water moves slowly, but there isn't even a hint of a wave. Nothing at all like when the MP10 is at 100%.

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xthunt
21 hours ago, Nick13 said:

seems like the nuvoskim is hard to find right now any other solid options out there?

Amazon has the midsize in stock. 

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Nick13

thanks xthunt ill check that out! I think im going to give the Kps a shot if it seems under powered ill look into getting another one or upgrading when i need.

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Clown79
22 hours ago, Nick13 said:

also are the filter socks the im40 comes with ok to use? or should i look into getting a custom caddy to run filter floss and carbon in?

I used my socks until my media basket arrived(I had 1), I used 1 and at waterchange day switched it for a clean 1 and washed the dirty 1...much easier and cheaper using media baskets.

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Nick13

yea i ordered a media basket too for filter floss a chem filtration seems like way easier maintenance. 

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