CBO's IM Fusion Pro 50 Gallon AIO Lagoon

TheWB

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I was super excited about an army of snails arriving today. Whatever type of algae is running wild in my system, it is edible. I just need a few more guys on the job. Unfortunately it looks like almost none of the snails survived the trip. No idea why. The package was on time and seemed well packed. There were 5 hermit crabs in the package which all seem healthy and active, but not the species I was expecting. Time to learn about red legs and hope they are compatible with blue legs. Definitely feeling a bit disappointed at the moment. Wish I'd spent the money on some new corals and a bigger scrub brush instead. :(
That‘s a bummer about the snails. Nothing worse than when you order something to address a problem, wait for the product or livestock to arrive and then have the delivered item either broken or dead. I feel your pain.
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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That‘s a bummer about the snails. Nothing worse than when you order something to address a problem, wait for the product or livestock to arrive and then have the delivered item either broken or dead. I feel your pain.

It seems crazy that snails appear to be so difficult to ship. I had a nerite live for several days on the floor behind my tank. I guess my floor is more hospitable than FedEx!
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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So we've moved past hair algae and we're on to cyano. Swap one pest for another. I fought this battle in my old tank and I'm not excited about fighting it again. In the end I resorted (successfully I might add) to Chemiclean. I don't really want to do that again. Things like that are always scary. But the cyano is starting to make corals stay closed and it's growing alarmingly fast. I might try doing a series of water changes this week and see how that goes. Maybe start dosing some Microbacter7. The uglies. Can't wait to see the other side of this.
 

TheWB

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So we've moved past hair algae and we're on to cyano. Swap one pest for another. I fought this battle in my old tank and I'm not excited about fighting it again. In the end I resorted (successfully I might add) to Chemiclean. I don't really want to do that again. Things like that are always scary. But the cyano is starting to make corals stay closed and it's growing alarmingly fast. I might try doing a series of water changes this week and see how that goes. Maybe start dosing some Microbacter7. The uglies. Can't wait to see the other side of this.
Good luck with the cyano. It’s always something, isn’t it? At least chemiclean is available as a last resort if nothing else is working. Maybe crank up your flow a little more if the corals can stand it?
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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Good luck with the cyano. It’s always something, isn’t it? At least chemiclean is available as a last resort if nothing else is working. Maybe crank up your flow a little more if the corals can stand it?

Been gradually ramping it up. I've got a lot of power left with the MP40, just don't want to blow the fish out of the tank lol. The Chemiclean certainly did the trick last time, and I've seen plenty of posts where people say "stop mucking around and just do it" but with what I observed last time, I think it takes out a fair bit of the beneficial micro fauna along with the cyano. Maybe if I go that route I'll hit the tank with some bottled bacteria right after too. Hopefully something beneficial will take hold before yet another nasty thing shows up! The good stuff keeps trying but the bad stuff is quicker.
 
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TheWB

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Been gradually ramping it up. I've got a lot of power left with the MP40, just don't want to blow the fish out of the tank lol. The Chemiclean certainly did the trick last time, and I've seen plenty of posts where people say "stop mucking around and just do it" but with what I observed last time, I think it takes out a fair bit of the beneficial micro fauna along with the cyano. Maybe if I go that route I'll hit the tank with some bottled bacteria right after too. Hopefully something beneficial will take hold before yet another nasty thing shows up! The good stuff keeps trying but the bad stuff is quicker.
I feel the same way about my algae issues. Part of me just wants to pull out all the rocks and go nuclear on the whole thing. What stops me is killing all of the micro brittle stars, worms, and bacteria, not to mention corals that’s living in or covering those rocks that I’d be peroxiding or whatever. I know I can get the bacteria back in fairly quickly but I’ve just been reluctant to go there. I’m kinda stuck in the middle and living with the algae and scrubbing off what I can. At a glance my tank looks pretty good but if you take a deeper dive it’s got its issues.
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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At a glance my tank looks pretty good but if you take a deeper dive it’s got its issues.

Haha, if I sit back a few feet everything honestly looks pretty good. Sure, the softies aren't as open as they have been, but generally not bad. Just don't look too close or you'll see the slimy truth!

Wanted to share a funny story. I was sitting watching my tank this morning, sipping coffee, observing the fish to make sure they weren't too bothered by the ramped up flow. But the peaceful scene was being disturbed. A big truck? Heavy equipment? Kids racing ATVs at 9am? What is wrong with people?!

It was the MP40. ;Hilarious

A low rumble as the Reef Crest mode ramps up and down. I'll pull it and clean it when I do my water change today and make sure the sides are properly centered. That thing does have some serious grunt! And fortunately the fish seem just fine with it.
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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Aw, that’s just your MP40 telling you it needs some love. I’ve never had one but I’d imagine they can be pretty noisy if not aligned perfectly?

I wouldn't say it's ever truly loud. The magnet is strong enough that it tends to center itself but it can definitely vibrate a bit if it's not dead on.

I've got a bit of a trench being dug out behind the rocks at the current setting. Corals and fish seem cool with it though so we'll keep on for a bit.

Did a water change to remove all the crap from the sand and rocks. I'm sure it will all look nasty again by this afternoon.

My poor gorgonian. First the clowns decided it was a tasty treat (lost as least an inch an a half at the top before I had a chance to move it) and now it keeps getting algae/cyano/hopefully not dinos on it.

Going to have to do another water change to take care of the resurgence of sponges in the back chambers of the tank. Now that's a crappy job! Probably just another new tank thing. Hopefully this phase doesn't last too long.
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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That stinks. Sorry to hear it. Good luck dealing with it. Were you able to figure out which kind?

Ostreopsis

ostreopsis.jpg


So we'll hit it with the UV (I'll even throw my old Green Killing Machine in the tank), keep the corals blown off and bump up those nutrients. Nitrates were still sitting at 2 this morning. At least they are detectable unlike a month or so ago. Funny, when it first started forming it really looked like cyano that I'd dealt with before. But then I started seeing some things that weren't so familiar (like it being so persistent on my softies and increasing stringiness). The microscope doesn't lie.
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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Thought I should make an update.

Fighting dinos isn't sexy. But I figured I'd add my experience to the heaps of experiences out there.

I'm honestly feeling drained. But as hesitant as I am to say it (knock on wood) I think we're winning.



First let me tell you what I saw that prompted me to break out the microscope. I think recognizing the problem early was a big part of finding relatively quick success.

Of course my system is still relatively new. Under 6 months. Algae is a thing. We get diatoms, hair, maybe cyano, stuff grows and recedes to be replaced by another green or brown or pink or purple thing. It's easy to just shrug and get out the turkey baster or do an extra water change.

The alarm bells started going off when I started to notice how fast this brown stringy stuff was coming back. It was on rocks, corals, snail shells. Brown, stringy, greasy, almost web-like at times. It blew off easily but came back within hours. I'd remove it from my gorgonian only to find a thread 5-6 inches long growing off the tip by mid afternoon. Removal was futile. The gorgonian stopped opening (and it was already in distress since my clowns had been gnawing on it, but that 's another story).

Another interesting observation, not sure if it was related, all my hair algae suddenly went away. From an infestation to...gone.

Also of note a while back my nitrates and phosphates had hit zero (Red Sea and Hanna tests).

Finally, my glass was awful. I probably cleaned it twice a day. I'd look into the tank and think the water was cloudy but it was the glass again!

Just as I was thinking this is a job for Chemiclean, I thought I'd better have a closer look before breaking out the big guns. Chemiclean was super against cyano in my old system but not something I wanted to use casually. I was glad I took a closer look but also gutted to see the results. My microscope (just a toy by the way, that was enough to see what I needed) left no doubt and the folks here at R2R helped confirm ostreopsis.

Time to attack.

I actually started with a deep cleaning. Removed everything I could. Scrubbed out the back chambers. Cleaned all the equipment. I wanted to start with a clean slate and also reduce any extra pressure on the system that might come from any die off.

I did a blackout. These things swim at night so far more likely to hit the UV if I could get them swimming. I stopped after 2 days. My thought process was this. We want to knock them back but we don't want to take out the competitors in the process. Also the blackout was stressing me out.

Set the lights back to acclimate. I went with 30 days from 50%. Again, I want to slow things to give the UV a chance but not destroy the good stuff. I don't have a lot of coral yet so I'm not too worried about backing the lights off.

I replaced the bulb in my UV. It was looking a bit dull and for the price of a bulb it seemed like a good idea.

I added a 24 watt Green Killing Machine. There is lots of back and forth on these but with a system this size that gives more than 2 watts per gallon of water volume and lets me place the UV closer to the problem. I mounted it horizontally with the intake facing down toward the bottom of the tank opposite my flow pump.

I started dosing nitrate and phosphate (Brightwell) to hit a target of 10 nitrates and 0.1 phosphates. We are now there.

I dosed Microbacter7 daily.

I added 50 micron filter pads which I've been changing daily.

Fresh carbon in the reactor changed every few days to take care of toxins (I was told ostreopsis is one of the most toxic types of dinos).

So how did this work out for me?

The dinos definitely took a hit right away. Not gone but significantly reduced. The main thing I watched was the gorgonian. Every day it grew a new thread of dinos. Smaller. Finer. Until I couldn't perceive anything on it anymore. The gorgonian finally decided to shed. As of today both the sinularia and the gorgonian look completely normal, fully open, with good color.

The tank is growing algae. And it looks like real algae this time. Under white lights it's green, and it doesn't blow off, and it's furry looking instead of slimy and stringy. It doesn't grow at a crazy unnatural rate. It looks like normal algae.

I did have some losses. One astraea snail right away. Most of my pod population. I have one hermit that isn't looking super happy and two more astraeas that don't look well.

Corals are looking great. I now realize this problem had probably been creeping up for a while.

The pods are already making a comeback.

My glass is cleaner!

I'm still changing filter floss daily. I'm out of Microbacter7 but might start weekly doses of Fritz to help boost things. I'm keeping up with water tests to make sure my nutrients stay in the target range. I'm going to leave the UV in for at least a few more days.

And that's it. They say nothing good happens quickly in reefing but I'm thankful to R2R and all I've learned browsing these forums. It helped me recognize I that I had something serious going on before it got way out of hand. I don't trust that I'm out of the woods yet but I plan to stay vigilant and hope I've kicked this pest to the curb! I'm looking forward to shopping for corals again.
 

jcolliii

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That's just about what all I did (no blackout for me, substrate removal instead), and they really did go away super fast. I think 10ppm NO3 and 0.1ppm PO4 are pretty magic numbers. I can tell when my PO4 creeps down now - an indicator patch of GHA starts growing again. Imagine GHA having a purpose in a reef tank!

Great job!
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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That's just about what all I did (no blackout for me, substrate removal instead), and they really did go away super fast. I think 10ppm NO3 and 0.1ppm PO4 are pretty magic numbers. I can tell when my PO4 creeps down now - an indicator patch of GHA starts growing again. Imagine GHA having a purpose in a reef tank!

Great job!

I curse my substrate regularly. If it wasn't for the pistol shrimp and Halichoeres wrasse I'd probably follow your lead and rip it out. Interesting about decreasing PO4 levels causing GHA. Of course it's still early but my corals sure seem happy with the new levels. One thing is for sure, I'll be doing my best to never let them hit zero again!
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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Thought I should take the time for an update!

Really, not much going on. Mostly just trying to find stability after Battle: Dino. Last water test showed a solid 10 on nitrates and a little over 0.1 phosphates. So far so good!

Tank inhabitants all look pretty good after all the drama. The only coral that was seriously stressed by dino warfare was my monti cap. Lost a ton of color and for a while had very little polyp extension. Thankfully it has been looking better the last few days. Not sure why the sudden improvement but I'll take it!

A few pictures for fun:

zoa.jpg

Lots of new heads on the zoa. I think it's happy that it doesn't have dino strings all over it now! The duncan also has a bunch of new heads popping up (no picture since the urchin was busy making it angry).

gorg.jpg

The gorgonian has recovered from the double whammy of dinos and clownfish bites!

urchin.jpg

The urchin is disguised as a pistol shrimp. Obligatory clownfish photobomb!
 

TheWB

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Just getting caught up, I wasn’t getting your updates. Sorry to hear about the Dino’s but it looks like you’ve successfully beat them back. Haven’t seen an FTS in a while. Post up an update now that the Dino’s are gone.
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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Just getting caught up, I wasn’t getting your updates. Sorry to hear about the Dino’s but it looks like you’ve successfully beat them back. Haven’t seen an FTS in a while. Post up an update now that the Dino’s are gone.

Haha you're not the only one. I wasn't getting notifications for anything and just thought people must be super busy with the holidays or something! ;Hilarious

Here are a couple updated shots of the tank. Sand looks rather brown but it's actually green. I have a fair amount of green sprouting about since beating back the ostreopsis. The massive dino thread tells me this is a good thing so I'll just let my conch and hermits have at it! And you'd seriously think I don't have any fish. There really are 7 fish in there. Camera comes out and if it's not a clownfish it hides. I'll have to try sneaking up on them at feeding time!


fts.jpg


top.jpeg


duncan.jpg
 

doh_nutz

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Wow, what a great thread. Thank you for sharing your entire journey. I'm currently awaiting for my IM 50 AIO to be delivered and will be setting that up after 9 years of breaking down my last tank due to deployments and moves. I'll definitely continue to follow your journey along with @TheWB 's thread.
 
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Calm Blue Ocean

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Wow, what a great thread. Thank you for sharing your entire journey. I'm currently awaiting for my IM 50 AIO to be delivered and will be setting that up after 9 years of breaking down my last tank due to deployments and moves. I'll definitely continue to follow your journey along with @TheWB 's thread.

Welcome to the IM 50 club and thanks for following along! Looking forward to seeing where your adventure takes you. I think you'll be really happy with your choice.
 
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