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CBO's IM Fusion Pro 50 Gallon AIO Lagoon

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Calm Blue Ocean

Calm Blue Ocean

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I did a 4 month cycle with dry rock and still got the uglies. Some of it was my mistakes but I think it’s inevitable when you start with dry rock, it’s just a matter or when.
I can't believe your patience to go 4 months. I'm just going crazy waiting to get this tank stocked. I had a feeling there would be no true dodging the uglies. I guess it's just a matter of deciding when I want to turn the lights on and get it over with. :p

Nice looking tank and build. My nuvoskim (desktop size for my 25) is a beast and is very quiet. It did make some noise at first though. I cut two small pieces of foam filter sponge and wedged one in on either side of the tiny pump that is in the skimmer at the bottom. My noise appeared to be the pump vibrating on the plastic. Now all I hear is the sound of muffled foam - but I usually don't even notice that unless I listen for it.
Thanks for the tip! I could really hear it last night and was thinking a filter sponge in the right place might solve it but couldn't decide what that place might be. I'll give your solution a try! Glad to hear it performs well and can truly be quiet. Can't wait to get it dialed in!
 

TheWB

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I can't believe your patience to go 4 months. I'm just going crazy waiting to get this tank stocked. I had a feeling there would be no true dodging the uglies. I guess it's just a matter of deciding when I want to turn the lights on and get it over with. :p
Biggest mistake I made with algae was not doing a big water change right before adding my first fish. After waiting all that time I immediately made that rookie mistake. I’d been dosing ammonium nitrate so there was some NO3 buildup and I didn’t knock it back to target parameters first. I feel like that fueled a lot of the problem algae I had. The second biggest mistake was not Aquascaping in a way that would allow easier sand bed maintenance. It’s way dirtier than I want it to be and I’m sure that’s still fueling issues. I don’t like bare bottom so that wasn’t an option but scaping the way I did makes the sand harder to deal with than it should be. If you don’t feel like your tank is easy to clean now is the time to address it before you add fish and coral.
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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Biggest mistake I made with algae was not doing a big water change right before adding my first fish. After waiting all that time I immediately made that rookie mistake. I’d been dosing ammonium nitrate so there was some NO3 buildup and I didn’t knock it back to target parameters first. I feel like that fueled a lot of the problem algae I had. The second biggest mistake was not Aquascaping in a way that would allow easier sand bed maintenance. It’s way dirtier than I want it to be and I’m sure that’s still fueling issues. I don’t like bare bottom so that wasn’t an option but scaping the way I did makes the sand harder to deal with than it should be. If you don’t feel like your tank is easy to clean now is the time to address it before you add fish and coral.
Good advice! And of course I just went to have a look and I can see at least two spots where my gravel vac won't fit. Shouldn't take too much adjustment to fix but definitely better done now that later when I have a pistol shrimp and two gobies living under there! So many of my regrets with my first tank came back to the sand. I sure hope this one goes better!

I've done a few water changes but nitrates are still around 20. This is an issue I've never had with the other tank. At one point I was even dosing nitrates because I'd bottomed out and had all sorts of weird stuff going on. New tank, new lessons!
 

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Good advice! And of course I just went to have a look and I can see at least two spots where my gravel vac won't fit. Shouldn't take too much adjustment to fix but definitely better done now that later when I have a pistol shrimp and two gobies living under there! So many of my regrets with my first tank came back to the sand. I sure hope this one goes better!

I've done a few water changes but nitrates are still around 20. This is an issue I've never had with the other tank. At one point I was even dosing nitrates because I'd bottomed out and had all sorts of weird stuff going on. New tank, new lessons!
Yep, now’s the time for adjustments. Get those nitrates down to 10 or so before corals and fish, you’ll be happier later on. Stir the gravel, a little every day. I didn’t do that and now my sand is pretty dirty. Better to nip it all in the bud from the beginning. You’ll probably still have issues but getting off to a good maintenance and water chemistry start might mean less issues. I’m not a new reefer but looking back on my build I sure made a couple of rookie maneuvers when I knew better. Everything's a learning experience.
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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We have lights!

Lights.jpg


Put my old Fluval Marine 3.0 back on the bowfront. Fortunately none of the inhabitants seem too bothered by the change except the toadstool. It's angry! No polyps for you! He used to live just fine under that light though so hopefully he gets over it.

To get the AI Primes decently centered over the water I had to upgrade to the 18" flex arms. The lights are currently on the BRS AB+ with a 30 day acclimation starting at 50%. The tank looks fantastic all lit up. Can't wait to start moving the crew!

Which is the next thing!

One of the flow pumps on the bowfront decided to stop working again. Cleaned the heck out of it but still no go. Turned the remaining pump up to compensate but it looks like that one isn't too healthy either. I've ordered a replacement pump (hate to sink more money into this tank) but I'm taking this as a sign that it's time to start thinking about my strategy for moving my fish.

Typhoid Mary (my trochus) is still doing great in the new tank and has been there almost 3 weeks now. He's found a great little nook in the rocks to sleep during the day and has been very active at night. Water tests are coming back as expected and nitrates falling into an acceptable range after yesterdays water change. I just got another jar of copepods for the tank. Salinity is a notch lower than I'd like but still in range. It might be time to start thinking about moving the clowns. It's been a month and a half cycling. I didn't get fish for the bowfront until about two months in but that tank had a much wilder cycle.

Decisions decisions!
 

jcolliii

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Lights look great - it's coming along! What is your NO3 down to now?

As far as sand maintenance goes, I built a little gravel vac from a mj900 and some push fittings and a piece of pvc. Shove some filter floss in it to catch debris - it works great and dumps the filtered water back into the tank. It ultimately still did not prevent some algae growing on the sand, which was why I went BB. Something similar might help to keep your sand clean.

Bummer on your pump, sorry to hear.
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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Lights look great - it's coming along! What is your NO3 down to now?

As far as sand maintenance goes, I built a little gravel vac from a mj900 and some push fittings and a piece of pvc. Shove some filter floss in it to catch debris - it works great and dumps the filtered water back into the tank. It ultimately still did not prevent some algae growing on the sand, which was why I went BB. Something similar might help to keep your sand clean.

Bummer on your pump, sorry to hear.
Looks to be around 10 to 15 on the nitrates. The bowfront runs around 5ish. I'll probably run the full set of tests on both tanks this week and see how far off they are from each other before deciding on moving the clowns. With the lights on it's starting to get exciting!

I think a system that recycles tank water while cleaning sand is the way to go. Trying to get it clean while doing a water change just never gets the job done. My bowfront is an algae monster!

This will be my 5th Current USA eFlux pump. First one was great, I think it's the one still going. The second one rattled so I sent it back. Third one rattled but Current USA sent a new one. That one was great! Until it stopped working. Somehow kick started it again but now it's down again. Seems weird to say that they're not bad pumps when I keep having so many issues. The Loop system is nice and gives a lot of control over them. The only reason I ordered yet another of the same thing is that it will hook into the existing controller and they aren't too expensive. And it's temporary! Soon we move!
 

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Looks to be around 10 to 15 on the nitrates. The bowfront runs around 5ish. I'll probably run the full set of tests on both tanks this week and see how far off they are from each other before deciding on moving the clowns. With the lights on it's starting to get exciting!

I think a system that recycles tank water while cleaning sand is the way to go. Trying to get it clean while doing a water change just never gets the job done. My bowfront is an algae monster!

This will be my 5th Current USA eFlux pump. First one was great, I think it's the one still going. The second one rattled so I sent it back. Third one rattled but Current USA sent a new one. That one was great! Until it stopped working. Somehow kick started it again but now it's down again. Seems weird to say that they're not bad pumps when I keep having so many issues. The Loop system is nice and gives a lot of control over them. The only reason I ordered yet another of the same thing is that it will hook into the existing controller and they aren't too expensive. And it's temporary! Soon we move!
I just had two of the eflux pumps stop working and a third new one wouldn’t work either. That system is really great when it works but I'm starting to feel like the components don’t hold up very well.
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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Not much to talk about while the tank is still doing its thing. Woke up to slightly cloudy water yesterday which I expect was a side effect of turning on the lights, although I also noticed that the outlet that powers my UV was off. Seems that when I turned everything back on after adding the latest jar of pods I switched on the outlet next to it instead. So UV back on, water is sparkling again.

Skimmer has started spewing microbubbles into the display. I take that as a sign that it's actually skimming something but I might have to look at some more artistic foam placement to diffuse the bubbles.

Speaking of equipment, I thought I might at least take a picture of what I've got going on in the back chambers. I know that when I first started setting this thing up I had a lot of questions about what went where and what my options were. So here's how I finally decided to do it (sorry about the blues):

chamber.jpg


From top to bottom we have the IM UV and the first InkBird temperature probe, the BRS titanium heater in chamber 2, the Tunze ATO sensors in the return chamber with the IM return pump below, the IM skimmer in the next chamber, and the IM media caddy and second InkBird probe in the last chamber. The fill line for the ATO flows onto the baffle between the last two chambers. Helps cut the water sounds. Light mounts are right at the outside edges of the return chamber so as to not interfere with the skimmer placement.

When I had the heater and skimmer reversed I had a lot of annoying running water and trickling sounds which are pretty much silent in the current configuration. However, at the time I was also using an inTank filter floss holder instead of the UV. The filter floss holder hooks onto the baffle and I think it crowded the skimmer just enough to cause weird things with the water flow. I suspect the skimmer would be fine on either side now that I have the UV in place.

Still can't really decide if it's best to put the skimmer after the UV or after the media caddy. Probably doesn't make that much of a difference but while there is still not much going on in the tank it gives me something to ponder!

In other news, that Current USA eFlux pump. Well, turned off all the flow on the old tank to feed tonight and when I switched everything back on I accidentally hit the wrong switch...WHIRRRR...uh...so yeah, it has decided to randomly work again. How nice that I'd been too lazy to pull it out of the tank last week! Suppose I can just return the one that's on it's way but then this one would quit again so I'll keep it as backup I guess!

On water change day I'm going to move one of the hermits over to help my trochus with cleanup duty. And clowns...your day is coming!
 
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jcolliii

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I have my skimmer after the media caddy on the right as well. I don't know if it would make a difference if it was after the UV instead - I don't use mine all the time. I just took out my media caddy today so I could add another cup of biomedia in a filter bag for some additional biological colonization. I have a second filter floss holder on that side now. Just curious - do you throttle down the return pump when you have the UV on? One thing I have noticed from running the UV twice for a month or so each time - there is definitely more grunge in the back left chambers than the right ones. That little foam filter lets a lot through.
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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I have my skimmer after the media caddy on the right as well. I don't know if it would make a difference if it was after the UV instead - I don't use mine all the time. I just took out my media caddy today so I could add another cup of biomedia in a filter bag for some additional biological colonization. I have a second filter floss holder on that side now. Just curious - do you throttle down the return pump when you have the UV on? One thing I have noticed from running the UV twice for a month or so each time - there is definitely more grunge in the back left chambers than the right ones. That little foam filter lets a lot through.
I am testing right now with an inTank filter floss pad instead of the foam filter with the UV. It's funny, part of the reason I was contemplating going UV then skimmer was the hope that the skimmer might pick up some of what was slipping past! The only thing really going into the tank right now is phyto for the pods but I still became similarly concerned that too much was going through.

Unlike the media caddy, there isn't a lot of room for anything there but we'll see how this works. I have some other filter pads that I originally had for my canister filter when I started out that are even a bit more dense. I'm hoping to get double the benefit in both slowing down the flow without turning down the pump, and stopping all those trochus poops from slipping through! :p

Still haven't really decided how much I want to run the UV.

This is one thing I'm liking about the Innovative Marine AIO tank...shuffling things around and experimenting is really pretty easy. When I want to change something around in my bowfront it's a major undertaking.
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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WE HAVE DIATOMS!

Never thought I'd be so excited about diatoms but there it is! Just little flecks here and there but still a day to mark on the calendar. The first visible sign that things are truly coming alive! Today, they are not ugly, they are beautiful!
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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Typhoid Mary, did you do this??? ;)

algae.jpg


Honestly, I wish the trochus was the only potential case of cross contamination between the tanks. It's crazy how hard it is to not have some tool from one tank touch the other. Biodiversity, right? Hopefully something considers it food! I like my inverts so if it's edible, I'm cool with it. We have life!
 

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Typhoid Mary, did you do this??? ;)

algae.jpg


Honestly, I wish the trochus was the only potential case of cross contamination between the tanks. It's crazy how hard it is to not have some tool from one tank touch the other. Biodiversity, right? Hopefully something considers it food! I like my inverts so if it's edible, I'm cool with it. We have life!
Bummer. I’ve got them right now too. I was very unhappy to see the first one but what are ya gonna do. Hard to keep out what you can’t see.
 
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samnaz

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WE HAVE DIATOMS!

Never thought I'd be so excited about diatoms but there it is! Just little flecks here and there but still a day to mark on the calendar. The first visible sign that things are truly coming alive! Today, they are not ugly, they are beautiful!
I know the feeling... I was so excited to see diatoms, then hair algae, and all the other algaes growing in my tank that it didn't even occur to me to get rid of them. Discovering new life and biodiversity is always so exciting to me. I appreciate your appreciation for less desirable creatures. ;-)

Oh and if you think diatoms are beautiful to the naked eye, have you seen em under a microscope... they are insanely beautiful.
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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I know the feeling... I was so excited to see diatoms, then hair algae, and all the other algaes growing in my tank that it didn't even occur to me to get rid of them. Discovering new life and biodiversity is always so exciting to me. I appreciate your appreciation for less desirable creatures. ;-)

Oh and if you think diatoms are beautiful to the naked eye, have you seen em under a microscope... they are insanely beautiful.
It really is amazing how these things show up almost like magic. From nothing to all these crazy alien things! The question of the day a couple days ago about amazing things in your tank...really everything is!

I actually did look at some of the diatoms in my bowfront under a microscope! It's just a cheap toy but good enough it seems (could use some better quality slides though). I was having some sort of bloom in my bowfront and after reading about cyano and dino and all the horrors I figured I better get an ID. Turned out to be diatoms. And then watching my crabs and snails working over the sand, pick pick pick, eating the tiniest creatures that I can only see under a microscope. I love this hobby!
 

TheWB

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Typhoid Mary, did you do this??? ;)

algae.jpg


Honestly, I wish the trochus was the only potential case of cross contamination between the tanks. It's crazy how hard it is to not have some tool from one tank touch the other. Biodiversity, right? Hopefully something considers it food! I like my inverts so if it's edible, I'm cool with it. We have life!
Is that algae? When I commented before I thought it was an aiptasia. It’s kind of hard to tell. Whatever it is I hope you have something that will mow it down :)
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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Is that algae? When I commented before I thought it was an aiptasia. It’s kind of hard to tell. Whatever it is I hope you have something that will mow it down :)
Fortunately looks like algae, although I do have two peppermint shrimps who are genuine aiptasia eaters, so I'm already prepared for the worst! Just surprised to see actual algae already. I admit, too, that I also had a bad flashback of the bryopsis infestation I had within the first month in my other tank. Never found anything that ate that crap. Nothing like having to fluconozole your tank just after starting it.
 

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Fortunately looks like algae, although I do have two peppermint shrimps who are genuine aiptasia eaters, so I'm already prepared for the worst! Just surprised to see actual algae already. I admit, too, that I also had a bad flashback of the bryopsis infestation I had within the first month in my other tank. Never found anything that ate that crap. Nothing like having to fluconozole your tank just after starting it.
I know right? I’ve never had to use fluconazole but maybe I should. I have some persistent Algae in my tank that grows on the sides of the rock but not the flat surfaces. It’s difficult to scrub off and vibrant used to be effective on it but isn’t anymore. I’ve got some more work to do on my parameters before I go breaking out the bigger guns on the algae though.
 
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What's the first thing you do when you see algae forming in your tank?

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  • Order more clean up crew

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