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thecoralbeauty

TheCoralBeauty's Transferred IM 50 EXT Lagoon

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thecoralbeauty

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First FTS: 12/21/2020

 

Equipment:

Radion XR30 G3

MP40QD

IceCap15 Sump

Klir Di4 Filter Roller

Eshopps S-120 Skimmer

Eshopps 2-Channel Doser

MicroATO

 

Stocking:

Mostly LPS (lots o euphyllia and goniopora) with some Easy SPS

Some sofites: leathers (weeping willow, green polyp), pulsing xenia, mushrooms

Rock Flower Anemones

NPS: Tube anemones and sun corals

Pintail Wrasse

Rosy Scale/ Red Velvet Wrasse 

Orange Back Wrasse

Springer's Damsel

Yellow Tang (with HHL 😞 )

Lawnmower Blenny

Bangaii Cardinals

Sharknose Goby

Royal Gramma

Pearly Jawfish

 

After dealing with a total of 3 replacement stands over the last 5 years of my 50 gallon SCA cube's life, the time finally came to just transfer tanks entirely. 

 

After seeing the APS stands by Innovative Marine (and seeing all of the wonderful feedback and journals on nano-reef) I decided to go with their 50 gallon EXT Lagoon setup. I love the look of the white stand (I had spray painted the cube's stand(s) white), I really love the dimensions (shallower tanks always appeal to me), and being able to transfer my equipment and sump directly over by doing the plumbing myself had me sold. (Plus, it was on sale!)

 

I am transferring all of my current livestock and equipment directly over to the new tank, with the exception of possibly switching out some of my existing rock with some life rock from caribsea that I have been seeding with bacteria using media from my current sump.

 

As of yesterday, the stand is assembled and plumbing has been purchased. I plan to get that put together over this coming week. 

 

Tank has begun cycling with a catfish. 🙂  

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First FTS: 12/21/2020

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thecoralbeauty

Did the transfer today. All things considered it went as well as it could have, especially since I couldn't slowly add things in like I would have liked to. Deep scrubbed the coral/rocks, seamlessly moved the sump over. I love all this room under the shelf, I was able to finally sort out all the cords and outlets and keep them safely up and with a drip loop. 

 

I took out the corals one by one, pulled the rocks out one by one, deciding which ones I wanted to keep and the rest of the rock scape I used the CaribSea life rock I had been "cycling" in a bucket with a heater, power head, and biomedia from my sump for the last two weeks. Drained as much water as possible from the cube allowing me to move it out of position, move the new tank into position, and poured that water into the new tank. Put the rock scape in, and gently caught the fish to transfer them over being really careful to make sure the old tank and new tank temperatures matched- and since it was the same water, that was the least-stressful solution I could come up with. 

 

The corals seem to be doing well. There is some minor snotting going on and still some sediment in the water column due to being kicked up in the move and I suspect some residual from the live sand, even though its been in the tank with a few inches of moving water for the last day. The filter roller is doing a beast job- I considered switching to filter socks for a day or two, but it's not blowing through the roll or anything so I'll feel it out in the morning tomorrow before I decide.

 

Tank lights are out which I hope is allowing the fish to relax and adjust a little bit. Can't wait to see this thing again in the morning and get some photos! 

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thecoralbeauty

Still some cloudiness and corals aren't fully extended since its early after the lights have come on, but 24 hours after the move and we are lookin pretty good so far!

I can't believe how much room I've got in this thing. 

 

 

 

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Jackal227

The tank looks great!

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Snow_Phoenix

Looks fantastic! 🙂 

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thecoralbeauty

So, yesterday afternoon, I noticed a few things:

 

 1- I have some cloudiness to my water. Upon further investigation, I believe the microbubbles from my skimmer are to blame. The water level in my sump is significantly higher in this system than it was in the cube in order to keep the Herbie drain quiet. This is a big deal since I have taken up teaching English lessons online for some extra income while I am back in school, and I do that in this room. Constant gurgling would be awful for everyone. But, because of this, the existing baffles in the sump aren't working like they were intended to, and microbubbles are making their way into my display. It's not a huge deal, but if you're looking for it, you can see it in the video. Ive ordered some filter floss that I plan to wedge between the return chamber and my skimmer chamber and hopefully it does the trick! I also probably need to clean out my skimmer soon. That may also help... 😅

 2- There is a very slight brown film developing on the rocks/sand that is most directly under the light. Its very slight, and occasionally has a micro bubble trapped in it. Not stringy, so I'm not immediately concerned about dinos, but since I did beat those in the old tank, and this was a direct transfer, it may be possible. It could also just be the brown weird photosynthetic film many of us have noticed in our tanks in the last few months. However, I did bump my flow just a touch, test my params, and raise the temp a little. Over the summer, my tank runs around 81-85. I haven't ever had any issues with this, but I've read that higher temps can stress fish. Fish are all fine but I'm not even a full week out yet from the move. Immune systems are still really important right now until I feel like I can trust the stability of this thing. It had been running at 79 the last few days, now it is at 81. I've read that some strains of dinos will go away with higher temperatures, so this is precautionary for a few days. If theres not much change, I'll let it slowly drop back down to 78-79. 

 

My strategy in the past to address cyano and dinos has always been to increase biodiversity. I've been lucky enough to catch things early before they get out of hand, and these methods have worked well for those circumstances. So, I've seeded the tank with live copepods the day of the transfer, but I did order more that should be coming next week. Since I have 4 different wrasses, I don't think I can overdose on copepods. I've been keeping up with daily dosing of different bacterial strains (microbacter, bio-spira, PNS bacteria, etc) and keeping my skimmer running and have a small bag of chemipure elite (carbon and some GFO) in the sump. I've also been dosing phytoplankton. 

 

I have no film on my glass to speak of and no new algae growth, but nutrients are reading high, as usual for my tank: nitrates about 30, phos over 1. alk is sitting at about 7. those numbers are very typical for me, and knowing that I have nutrients, i feel ok continuing to dose bacteria for the next few days without bottoming them out and causing problems. They're a bit on the high side (generally), so they could still drop a touch and i'd feel fine. I wish I had thought to test nitrate and phos before the transfer, but my philosophy the last few years has evolved into a "if things are happy and growing, who cares about the numbers?" approach, so I guess I never bothered to record my exact "happy numbers" for nutrients, other than just knowing they're generally high.... lesson learned. I do know that my tank's "set point" for alk tends to hover around 7. so at least that's maintaining itself into this setup as well! 

 

nitrite and ammonia are 0. 

 

Enjoy the video! (and excuse the ghetto lid. the lid i ordered should ship jan 14th so this is how i'm coping in the meantime)

 

 

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Nano_Addict

Tank looks great.  How are you liking the Klir roller?

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thecoralbeauty
11 minutes ago, Nano_Addict said:

Tank looks great.  How are you liking the Klir roller?

It’s doing really well and I have no negative thoughts yet about it! Haven’t thrown away the filter socks though. Just in case. So much success all at once makes me suspicious 🤨 

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billygoat

Great to see this tank doing well in its new incarnation! Your system has always been one of my favorites. I can't wait to see how this shapes up in six months or so!

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thecoralbeauty
1 hour ago, billygoat said:

Great to see this tank doing well in its new incarnation! Your system has always been one of my favorites. I can't wait to see how this shapes up in six months or so!

Aw thank you so much- that means a lot coming from you, I’ve got a soft spot for your biotope as well.

 

And MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone! ❤️ Or should I say.... “mare”-y Christmas? 
 

(non tank-related update but this cutie, Grace, has been the boss of me for the last year. We played polo in college ten years ago and she got me through some of the darkest days of my life when my husband died. Her owner moved out of state for a job last year and left her with me to care for (Grace got very depressed after the last big move she went through) so it’s just been us two girls this year. She’s probably the biggest reason I’ve gotten through this quarantine business with high spirits! )

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thecoralbeauty

So, good news: I don't think the brown stuff is dino's. In the past I used a trick I found on another forum, about siphoning some out, running them through a filter sock, and leaving the water in ambient light. If they're dino's, they'll re-form after about an hour just in ambient room light in the glass. other things like cyano and diatoms don't. I suspect these may be diatoms or cyano because there was no re-forming, and there are no stringy bubbles or snot formations (yet, fingers crossed).  I'm leaning towards diatoms since the new rock and sand has been added... Nutrients remain a bit on the high side so I'm continuing with some water changes in the coming days to keep them in check as much as possible. Balancing those will help everything else find balance as well. 

 

I have discovered that I could use a bit more flow, though. I had my MP40 on one side in the back on a low lagoon setting that was providing great flow..... in one direction. Bumping my return pump helped create a better pattern (and corals perked up noticeably in about 5 minutes, which was super cool to see) but it created a loud gurgling and a ton more influx into the sump which upset the filter roller. I tinkered with this most of the afternoon when I got back from taking care of the horse, and finally went to grab my MP10 which I used on my SCA cube for basically the same reason. Turns out, the IM tanks have slightly thicker walls, and the MP10 didn't stay put, even with considerable coaxing and running on the lowest setting and when it did stay for a few minutes before falling off, it was annoyingly loud. So that's a no go, sadly.

 

The bumped up return pump will hopefully tie things over until the new powerhead gets here this week. Then I can rely on that for flow and let the return situation run a bit slower to find that sweet spot with the drain noise and the filter roller. 

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thecoralbeauty

Added the nero 5 to the opposte back wall as my mp40. I thought i'd be more annoyed about the cord being inside the tank instead of outside like the mp40- but honestly, i like this pump better than my mp40 (at least going off of a day's impression with it). Easy connection/control by app. you can ANGLE it. comes with a fish guard. programming it was super easy. so far, so good. hopefully the corals enjoy the better flow. I programmed it to run on a slightly higher speed for 5 min each night to hopefully kick up the detritus from the day so it can be filtered out of the water column. fingers crossed my logic holds well!

 

Nitrates at 25. Phos just under 1. alk still around 8. holding steady! 

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thecoralbeauty

also, any idea how to get the sun coral currently acting as a centerpiece to open up? I Have another small chunk of it nearby that opens up to eat every night. This large piece clearly needs to be fed, but won't open its mouth. even when i squirt mysis/mysis juice/ phyto at it. and wait 30 min in the dark. I had hoped upping the flow might do the trick but so far not yet.🤔

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ReefCap

Love the tank! And the Nero 5 is my favorite, way better than any MP’s IMO. Where is the sun coral? Is it receiving to much light compared to the other one?

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thecoralbeauty

whats funny is the one that is usually open i think may get more light. the larger one that needs fed is more consistently shadowed. 

 

 

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ReefCap
Just now, thecoralbeauty said:

whats funny is the one that is usually open i think may get more light. the larger one that needs fed is more consistently shadowed. 

 

 

Interesting... it could just be mad about the move hopefully it’ll be open and happy for you soon!

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thecoralbeauty
Just now, ReefCap said:

Interesting... it could just be mad about the move hopefully it’ll be open and happy for you soon!

Thanks. I hope you're right!

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pokerdobe
3 hours ago, thecoralbeauty said:

Phos just under 1

This blows my mind. 

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thecoralbeauty
7 hours ago, pokerdobe said:

This blows my mind. 

whys that? 

edit: probably because this is a bit high.  yea, honestly i'm a bit concerned/confused that things look so good. since it's a new tank I'm aiming for the dirtier side, at least initially, but I'm also starting to wonder if my test kit is lying to me. 

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pokerdobe
7 hours ago, thecoralbeauty said:

whys that? 

edit: probably because this is a bit high.  yea, honestly i'm a bit concerned/confused that things look so good. since it's a new tank I'm aiming for the dirtier side, at least initially, but I'm also starting to wonder if my test kit is lying to me. 

Mostly this - don't get me wrong, I'm a proponent of having PO4 - but just under 1 is crazy high to me. I try to aim for a .1 ~ . 2ppm range for me. What PO4 test kit do you use?

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thecoralbeauty
2 hours ago, pokerdobe said:

Mostly this - don't get me wrong, I'm a proponent of having PO4 - but just under 1 is crazy high to me. I try to aim for a .1 ~ . 2ppm range for me. What PO4 test kit do you use?

salifert test kit like all my others. new this year i think.

 

I'm actually super glad you pointed this out.

 

I went on a bit of a sleuthing spree after work this morning and realized in the chaos from planning out the move this last month (and finals) I had ordered new RO/DI filters but never installed them. they were DESPERATELY overdue to be changed and absolutely disgusting when I took them out this morning. made a new batch of RO/DI and reading 0 TDS, 0phos, 0 nitrate. 

 

mixing another 5 gal bucket of salt for a water change this afternoon and will keep changing water until they come down, while monitoring my nitrates so they don't also drop- because those honestly aren't bad right now.

 

 

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ReefCap

Another thing to remember when doing a PO4 test is don’t do it anywhere near the tank. It needs to be read under white light. Hopefully the water change with new filters on the RODI helps too!

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pokerdobe
9 minutes ago, thecoralbeauty said:

salifert test kit like all my others. new this year i think.

 

I'm actually super glad you pointed this out.

 

I went on a bit of a sleuthing spree after work this morning and realized in the chaos from planning out the move this last month (and finals) I had ordered new RO/DI filters but never installed them. they were DESPERATELY overdue to be changed and absolutely disgusting when I took them out this morning. made a new batch of RO/DI and reading 0 TDS, 0phos, 0 nitrate. 

 

mixing another 5 gal bucket of salt for a water change this afternoon and will keep changing water until they come down, while monitoring my nitrates so they don't also drop- because those honestly aren't bad right now.

 

 

Those dang filters :P. 

 

Honestly though, if your corals are doing great, I wouldn't be in a hurry to change things. Far from it for me to tell someone that something won't work when there's a million ways to reef and be successful. 

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thecoralbeauty
2 hours ago, pokerdobe said:

Those dang filters :P. 

 

Honestly though, if your corals are doing great, I wouldn't be in a hurry to change things. Far from it for me to tell someone that something won't work when there's a million ways to reef and be successful. 

totally. and i'd rather have overly dirty water than too clean, considering the coral i keep. 

however. my bubble gum digi is dirt brown, and i worry my grafted cap is heading in that direction too. sure sign of phosphates. 

water changes never hurt anyone. so 20% tonight and i'll keep an eye on things. 

 

2 hours ago, ReefCap said:

Another thing to remember when doing a PO4 test is don’t do it anywhere near the tank. It needs to be read under white light. Hopefully the water change with new filters on the RODI helps too!

right?? i had that moment today too like "is this really blue, or does it just look blue bc of the tank??" i actually took it out on my balcony to check. and confirming with a 0 reading tells me its probably not the kit. 

 

does caribsea life rock leach phosphates or something and i somehow missed that?

 

 

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ReefCap
1 hour ago, thecoralbeauty said:

does caribsea life rock leach phosphates or something and i somehow missed that?

 

 

I doubt it but also I sure hope not because I just started my new 14G with it but my PO4 stays around .01.

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