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11/1/2020 First FTS! 9/28/20 I've been dreaming about it, talking about it, and threatening to do it for about a year now, but the order is finally placed and the time has finally come: I'm upgrading! 🥳 Oh jeez Billy what did you buy? An Innovative Marine Nuvo Fusion 40 gallon AIO aquarium. And what did you go and do that for? My 18 gallon Caribbean biotope has been very successful over the past 21 months, but it's starting to get crowded: Ricordea are jostling for space on the rocks, gorgonians are growing all the way up to the water surface, and shading is becoming more and more of a problem. I've found myself faced with a choice between aggressively pruning my rapidly growing gorgonians and flooding my tank with frags, setting up a second system to accommodate some of my livestock, or simply getting a bigger tank. Needless to say, this choice ended up being pretty easy to make! 😁 I went with the Fusion 40 because it's nearly 19 inches (48 cm) tall, affording maximum headroom for my gorgonians, and because 40 gallons is in my opinion the optimum size for a home aquarium (it's the biggest tank you can get while still being able to do a 10% water change with a single 5 gallon bucket). Great. So what kind of gear are you putting in it? Most of the equipment for this system will be transferred directly from my 18 gallon setup: IM MightyJet 538 GPH DC return pump EcoTech MP10 wavemaker w/VorTech battery backup Kessil A160WE Tuna Blue w/Kessil Spectral Controller 200w titanium heater and rebranded InkBird from BRS Tunze Nano 3152 ATO I'm going for the same low-maintenance plan that's worked well for me in the past, with no mechanical filtration, no skimmer, and no chemical media of any kind. Seems boring so far! Any cool new livestock in the cards? No, actually! The entire purpose of this upgrade is to make life better for the corals that I already have. I love gorgonians, and growing huge, bushy, mature colonies of these beautiful corals is my only goal in reefing (and possibly also in life 😅). This tank will be the vessel that allows me to achieve that goal. I might end up adding some new fish if everything goes well, but that is a low priority for me and is many months down the line at any rate. Okay! I'm very excited, but that's all I've got for now! 😄 Pictures and all that will be coming soon! 🙏
It's been a while since I posted. Back in January 2020 I purchased a used 13.5 Evo, and 5 months later I upgraded to a IM20. In the middle of it all, my wife and I found out we are expecting. With that news and the new tank, and covid-19, and being crazy busy with work, there wasn't much time to update the journal. Fast-forward a few more months, and I may have sourced an IM40 from a somewhat local reefer here in Maryland. Well, 3 hours away from Baltimore, but still MD. So I plan on doing it right this time. Regular updates, not rushing the build, etc. My IM20 is running fine. Not great. Still young, still has algae issues, and I can't keep any new fish alive if my life depended on it. BUT the corals are looking quite nice. I have so many now that the sand bed has almost no free space. Plans: Tank - IM 40 Used Skimmer - TBD. Need to research having a skimmer in chamber 1. I have a Tunze 9001 on my 20 that I love, but it's in the return section and goes nuts if I stick my hand in the tank from the water level rising. Possibly a Tunze 9004, or the NuvoSkim DC in chamber 2. Settled on the NuvoSkim DC, mainly because it's made for this tank and I don't have to worry about the water level at all. It's pulling a nice wet skim. Running it 14 hours a day for now, as I had a theory my chaeto was dying due to over-skimming. Filtration - Floss, chaeto right chamber 1. Floss, purigen, GFO as needed, carbon left chamber 1. Refugium - Honestly my current fuge (Chaetomax light and inTank fuge) isn't doing well. Chaeto doesn't really grow. Maybe a larger tank will help with that? UPDATE 10/2020 - Fuge is thriving. Nice work. Return - Right now I run 2 - Tunze 1073.008's on the IM 20. It seems like most people are just running 1 return on the IM40. Will two not fit? Would love the redundancy of 2 return pumps. Any advice would be helpful. Light - Kessil AP9X. Beast mode. Powerhead - Nero 5. Controller - Apex Classic with all the goodies. DOS, DDR, all probes, leak detection, etc. ATO - SmartATO Micro. Currently running. Have a Neptune ATK that I could use too. 2.5g reservoir. Heaters - Two Cobalt NeoTherm 100w, one as a backup. Sand - Yes! Love the look Livestock - Royal Gramma (Grammy), 2x Wisconsin Snowflake Clowns (Brienne and Tormund), YWG (added 3 days ago, unnamed), Tiger Pistol, Cleaner shrimp. 7 RFA's (Bashful, Doc, Happy, Sneezy, Sleepy, Grumpy, Dopey) These are all in the IM20 and will make their way to the cozy IM40. No plans for more at the moment. Tomini Tang added for now. Will rehome when too large. Corals - A lot. Too many to go in to much detail. Pics to come. Biggest are an elegance coral, a cynarina, and possibly my favorite, an acan garden with 8 varieties and counting. Some beginner SPS (cheap green acro, green and red monti cap, forest fire digitata, reverse superman monti, birdsnest, pavona, JF Barny), a few torch (nothing fancy), frogspawn, hammer, some fun blastos and mushrooms, etc. Dosing - Tropic Marin All-For-Reef DIY. Easy. Salt - Tropic Marin Pro-Reef Am I forgetting anything in this plan? The hope is that I can slowly figure it all out and make the "in-place" upgrade go smoothly. Last time I did this it took 4 hours and the fish/corals did not love me. No losses, but I cannot imagine the stress I put everyone through. It would be easier if I was using a different stand, but the IM40 will be going on the same stand as the IM20 is currently sitting. Here we go!