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Operaman

Opera's IM 25 Lagoon - new corals in the tank!

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Operaman

Current full tank shot:

 

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Finally got the dslr out. Still haven't really figured out coral placement.

5/23/2020

 

Setup

  • Tank: IM Nuvo Fusion Pro 25 Lagoon
  • Stand: IM Nuvo APS Fusion Cabinet Stand
  • Lighting: AI Prime HD
  • Filtration: IM CustomCaddy media baskets x2, filter floss, ROX 0.8 Carbon & Phosguard (as needed)
  • Heater: Cobalt Neo-Therm 75w with Ranco ETC
  • Flow: MightyJet Desktop with VCA random flow generators x2, Skimz SS6.0 wavemaker
  • ATO: AutoAqua Smart ATO micro


Fish, inverts, and coral
 

Spoiler

Fish:
Harley (m) & Quinn (f) - ocellaris clowns

 

Inverts:
Monsieur le Pomme - pom pom crab - fish murderer. Returned to LFS 5/22/2020
One grumpy hermit crab
Various snails

 

Corals:
Incredible Rose micromussa lordhowensis
Red micromussa lordhowensis
Aussie blastomussa
Duncan
Flamethrower carpet rhodactis
ASD Superwoman Rhodactis
Splattering branching hammer
Teal hammer
Ultra neon frogspawn
Angel tears zoanthids
Guava juice ricordea
Spaceman Spiff Ricordea
Multicolored Ricordea

 

In memoriam:

BEN, the blue electric noodle - Neon blue goby - murdered by an evil crab
Jake - Yasha goby - jumped

 

 

Hello! I’ve been lurking here since...2008? That can’t be right. I was, frankly, too intimidated by all of you incredibly talented humans to attempt a tank journal when I started my IM Nuvo 10g a couple of years ago, but since I woke up one morning last month and saw that my checking account had been stimulated, I figured I’d give it a go this time.

 

Background

 

My current tank is yet another @teenyreef inspired IM Nuvo Fusion 10g, and has been running in its current iteration for the past year and a half plus. It is perilously close to fully grown in - the coral have been skirmishing for some time now, and I fear a declaration of war from the Euphyllia is inevitable. I could start fragging and trading away corals...OR I could upgrade the tank. The stimulus check made this decision incredibly easy.

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I’m most proud of the frogspawn - grown out from two to eleven heads

Goals

 

  • Get more color in the tank - my current tank is very green and teal dominated. I’d like to get a better mix of harmonious colors, without going full cosmic bowling 
  • Start keeping SPS - to help with the above, I’m hoping to stock some Montipora and Leptoseris and will be dosing for the first time ever. I’ve gotten decent growth in the 10g by simply relying on water changes, but I’d like to take a more hands-on approach this time and challenge myself a bit more.
  • Work on my photography - I have a decent amount of photography experience, but I’m simultaneously unhappy with my aquarium photos and too lazy to get the dslr out. I usually end up taking snapshots with my iPhone.  I’m hoping that this journal will give me a reason to put the work in. In researching this tank upgrade, I came across @schgr.cube and @Pandy's tank journals, and found their work to be incredibly inspiring. Hopefully I can make some progress on this front!

 

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Operaman

Planning and setup

 

I live in a fairly small apartment, so while I would love to run the 10g and 25g simultaneously, there’s really no room for both.

 

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A temporary solution

 

Before filling the tank, I decided to put some work into the stand. While I very much like the build quality, I needed a better solution for the under-tank equipment than the one shelf in the storage compartment. I ended up designing a panel based roughly on an old BRS video.
 

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Prepping the control panel

 

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Final product installed. I also added a weatherproof cover to the outlet behind the tank, something I probably should have done a while ago...

 

Aquascape and cycling

 

While the fastest option would be to dump everything from my 10g into the 25g, I wanted to aquascape with new rock to take full advantage of the absolutely lovely dimensions of the new tank. I will be adding select pieces of rock from the 10g to the foreground when I transfer the coral, which will reinforce the biofilter and should hopefully help smooth out some of the new tank jitters.


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My partner, who has in recent weeks taken it upon herself to thoroughly educate herself on all things reefing, thought the clownfish would like an arch in the rockwork, so arches it is!

 

That’s it for now! The tank is happily cycling, and I’m hoping to get that finished up and the fish transferred over soon. Thanks for reading!

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mitten_reef

This looks great so far. 
 

and the IM10 turned out very nice 👍 

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Operaman
20 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

This looks great so far. 
 

and the IM10 turned out very nice 👍 

Thank you so much! Seriously, I wish I could keep running both tanks, but apartment living is no fun sometimes.

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DreC80

Looking good so far.  A lot of options with the lagoon.  Looking forward to seeing what SPS you put in this thing.   

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TheAquaNut

Will you be using a protein skimmer for your setup? If so which one? Looks good 🙂

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AllanB

Love that panel! I need to do the same.

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Operaman
On 5/13/2020 at 10:21 PM, DreC80 said:

Looking good so far.  A lot of options with the lagoon.  Looking forward to seeing what SPS you put in this thing.   

Thanks! Yeah I'm enjoying the dimensions even more than I thought I would. 

 

57 minutes ago, TheAquaNut said:

Will you be using a protein skimmer for your setup? If so which one? Looks good 🙂

I have one of the IM NuvoSkim skimmers that I was using on my 10g that I'll run if and when I need it. It's a bit noisy but it does its job. If anyone has any other recommendations, I'm all ears.

 

19 minutes ago, AllanB said:

Love that panel! I need to do the same.

Thank you! I had a heck of a time figuring out the best placement of the panel - there's not a lot of space in the stand, and I initially wanted to run it horizontally. I was this close to using my frustration as an excuse to buy a new circular saw. I really like how it turned out though, and I have exactly a quarter inch to spare to fit the new ATO reservoir I ordered next to it.

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Tamberav

Looks really nice! That panel is fantastic!

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Operaman
21 hours ago, Tamberav said:

Looks really nice! That panel is fantastic!

Thank you! Your 25 lagoon journal definitely served as a source of inspiration when I was setting up and aquascaping. Love what you did with it!

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Operaman

Progress is being made on the cycle: ammonia has hit zero two days in a row, and nitrites are on their way down as well. Dosed ammonia again after testing today, so we'll see how it looks tomorrow. Also added a bag of Seachem Matrix to the back chamber. The reef saver rock isn't as porous as some of the other live rock options and I wanted to be extra sure there is enough biological filtration.

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Operaman

I messed around with the led color levels on the AI Prime and orange filter on my phone today and I'm pretty pleased with the results. I would love to figure out how to take better daylight-balanced photos on my phone, but that may remain the realm of my dslr. Also, please forgive the cyano - fairly sure it's from accidentally zeroing out my nitrates and phosphates, but time will tell.

 

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Tamberav

I love that top down with the little clown poking his head out 😍

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Operaman
11 hours ago, Tamberav said:

I love that top down with the little clown poking his head out 😍

I’m glad I caught it! The clowns spend alllll of their time in the xenia forest on the back wall and poke their heads out when it’s feeding time. I realized yesterday that it actually might be because of Ben the goby. He is super enthusiastic about cleaning anything he can get his mouth on, and the clowns tolerate it at best. Ben doesn’t go into the xenias though, so the clowns just chill back there. I’m going to introduce the clowns to the new tank first - hopefully they’ll be a bit more aggressive about defending their territory so I actually get to see them once in a while.

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Operaman

Well, I just discovered my pom pom crab EATING THE DETACHED HEAD of my goby. I saw Ben the goby this morning and he looked perfectly normal. I have no idea if he died and was scavenged or if the crab killed him but I’m pretty upset. I haven’t lost a fish in almost two years and I liked that little guy. Considering I saw the crab make off with a dwarf cerith last night, I think it’s gone predatory and I’ll be removing it from the tank when I transfer the coral to the 25g. 

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DreC80

Sorry to hear.  I lost my 2 year old female clown recently.  Of all things, she choked on an oversized piece of LRS food.  It was brutal to watch.

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teenyreef

Dang, so sorry to hear about the goby :grouphug:

 

The new scape looks great, and I love the panel. I think you'll really enjoy the IM25 lagoon size and shape as you move up from the IM10.

 

And that IM10, btw, wow! :wub: Thanks for the shout out, too 🙂

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Garf

I wouldn't run a skimmer, just get that good bacteria going. Seed your sand with a handful from the existing tank. What about supplementing the biofiltration a bit? your rock doesn't look to be very porous. Then again, that 10g looks great, do what you did there!

 

I too just upgraded to a 25 Lagoon, from an EVO 13.5. I let the tank run for a couple of days with just sand and a few small plates of liferock pieces I picked up from BRS.  Two days later, I took my existing rock, and most of my sand over to the new tank, along with the clowns and corals. I started dosing Microbacter7 after several days, and added more pods. After three weeks, I am getting past an ugly diatom bloom, and getting a handle on some hair algae on a couple pieces of my live rock. 

 

Do you have plans for adding more fish? 

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Operaman
2 hours ago, DreC80 said:

Sorry to hear.  I lost my 2 year old female clown recently.  Of all things, she choked on an oversized piece of LRS food.  It was brutal to watch.

I'm so sorry, that's awful :sad:

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Operaman
50 minutes ago, teenyreef said:

Dang, so sorry to hear about the goby :grouphug:

 

The new scape looks great, and I love the panel. I think you'll really enjoy the IM25 lagoon size and shape as you move up from the IM10.

 

And that IM10, btw, wow! :wub: Thanks for the shout out, too 🙂

Thanks so much for the kind words. Your IM10 journal was such a great source of information when I was getting started with the tank - the least I could do was give you a shout out!

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jack1978

Congrats on the IM10 results and the new Lagoon!

 I love the Lagoons.

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Operaman
16 minutes ago, Garf said:

I wouldn't run a skimmer, just get that good bacteria going. Seed your sand with a handful from the existing tank. What about supplementing the biofiltration a bit? your rock doesn't look to be very porous. Then again, that 10g looks great, do what you did there!

I too just upgraded to a 25 Lagoon, from an EVO 13.5. I let the tank run for a couple of days with just sand and a few small plates of liferock pieces I picked up from BRS.  Two days later, I took my existing rock, and most of my sand over to the new tank, along with the clowns and corals. I started dosing Microbacter7 after several days, and added more pods. After three weeks, I am getting past an ugly diatom bloom, and getting a handle on some hair algae on a couple pieces of my live rock. 

Thanks for the advice! I had a recent cyano outbreak in the IM10 that I'm dealing with, so I'm hesitant to transfer any of the sand over right now. You're right about the rock - the BRS reef saver does have a lower porosity compared to some other options. To supplement, I've added around 500ml of Seachem Matrix to the rear chamber of the IM25. I'll also be transferring some of the rock from the IM10 when I transfer the coral over. I think with those measures in place I should be ok. I started the cycle in the new tank with Bio-Spira and Microbacter7 (with Dr. Tim's ammonia for food), and based on the numbers, I may be transferring the clowns over within the next 48 hours!

 

19 minutes ago, Garf said:

Do you have plans for adding more fish? 

I do! I'm hoping I can get my hands on a leopard toby puffer. I've already talked to the owner at my LFS and he can sometimes get them through his supplier, but they're pretty hard to come by. He also said he's had bad luck with them in the past in terms of getting them to eat, so we'll see what happens.

Also, since I literally just lost my goby tonight, I'll probably be looking to get a new goby or blenny at some point. 

 

 

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House Reef

Looking good! Love all of the open sand 😎

 

Glad I can be of some inspiration. I really need to update my thread and get involved more over here 😬

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Operaman

Completed the transfer from the IM10 today! Here's a quick phone photo for now. The larger colonies aren't in their final positions - I just wanted to get everything into the tank and let it all chill for a bit before I start moving stuff around.
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Most of the corals are opening up pretty nicely already. The clowns seem happy, but are mostly hanging out in the back right corner of the tank, which is where they were in the old tank. I'd love to encourage them to claim a territory where I can see them a bit better, but short of putting an anemone in here, I'm not really sure what to do about that. They showed no interest in the euphyllia or the duncan in the previous tank. They seem to love being up against the back wall. They came out to the front when I turned the pumps off, so it might be a flow thing? But the flow pattern in this tank should be totally different that in the IM10, so I'm a bit stumped.

The other things that is very apparent, and is perfectly illustrated in the photo, is that I need a new lighting solution. The coverage from a single LED source just isn't good enough on a tank with this footprint, especially if I want to start keeping more SPS. Given the reviews on their current lineup, I think I'd like to move away from Aqua Illumination. Does anyone have any suggestions for a sub $500 solution to light this tank?

Finally, I think I'm going to be parting with some of these colonies that I grew out. The acans, duncan, and zoas have all encrusted heavily onto their respective rocks, and I don't see a way to integrate them into the new aquascape. Plus, you know, I want space for new coral :biggrin: If anyone is near Boston and is interested, let me know, otherwise they'll be going to the LFS for credit.
 

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DreC80

Looking good.  More space is always good.  What about the new radion XR15 for lighting.  I think it's $420.

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