IM 50 Lagoon - Dwarf Lionfish species tank!

Meldrath

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Currently updated to 1/10/2019.

Happy New Year!!


To start off with, my wife is a huge lionfish lover and I'd been trying to convince her to use my Elos120XL as a lionfish species tank, but she wasn't having it. Today we walked into our LFS (Aquatica Gallery in Valley City, OH), and got talking with one of the employees there regarding a deep blue rimless tank they had but it didn't seem to fully fit our needs.

We get to talking more and he shows my wife and I this 5-6 inch Hawaiian Lionfish they have had for quite awhile socked away in a sump. I'm stoked and the wife is too, and I convince her this could be the start of her lionfish species aquarium. After looking up max size on the lionfish (8 inches) we realize the 20 gallon IM peninsula they had wouldn't be big enough either, and he shows us the IM 50. It's perfect! We previously had a long time ago one of the first IM SR 80's and loved it (upgraded out of it due to tangs). So now we bought (30 minutes ago lol) a new IM 50 which will sit on the kitchen counter and the lionfish (he's on hold until I get the tank cycled).

Let the adventure begin.

Future plans are:
Clean off the kitchen counter and make space! (it's the bar area)
  • Complete
Tank will have a large fiji pink sandbed (5-6 inches)
  • Ordered 80 LBS Fiji Pink
  • Added to the tank now
  • Complete
Dig out my rocks from my old tank (sitting in my garage since we moved) and find the right ones for this build
  • Still pending
  • Complete
Will be using a spare Kessil 360WE I have sitting around
Need to find the right IM skimmer for this. Anyone have ideas or recommendations?
  • Ordered Tunze 9004 DC
    • Where the bleep is this thing?!
    • Complete and installed
ATO? Anyone have ideas or recommendations? -
  • ATK with my spare Tunze 3155 in case this doesn't work out
  • Complete
I have a 200 GPD Aqua FX skimmer that I am setting up for the main reef (rebuild and thread on the way for that one too lol) to feed the ATO. Could possibly use the existing 10 gallon ATO container on that system and share it with this one?
  • Mostly complete, need to setup up the ATO side of the house now
  • Complete
Stocking Current
  • Hawaiian Lionfish - ended up being a Dendrochirus barbari!
    • added
  • Zebra Lionfish - Dendrochirus zebra
    • added (need to get pics, this thing is tiny!)
  • Nassarius Snails - best sandbed CUC period and prolific breeders
    • 3 added
      • 2 have started laying eggs on the glass a few days after we got them
    • 9 added
  • Emerald Crabs
    • 1 added
  • Linckia Starfish (Deceased)
    • 1 added
      • died
  • Trochus Snails
    • 4 added
      • 1 died
  • Fighting Conch
    • 2 added - great sand stirrers and detritivores
  • Brittle Seastars
    • 2 added - maybe 2-3 inches across tip to tip
  • SPS only tank - montiporas, chalices and sticks
    • Crazy cool monti added - the colony was dark green in the center with light green edges and blue polyps
    • Garf Bonsai added
Stocking Future
  • Yellow Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish (if i can EVER find one) - Dendrochirus brachypterus
  • Fu Manchu Dwarf Lionfish - Dendrochirus biocellatus
    • Have a lead on this
 
Last edited:
Corals.com

TheWB

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To start off with, my wife is a huge lionfish lover and I'd been trying to convince her to use my Elos120XL as a lionfish species tank, but she wasn't having it. Today we walked into our LFS (Aquatica Gallery in Valley City, OH), and got talking with one of the employees there regarding a deep blue rimless tank they had but it didn't seem to fully fit our needs.

We get to talking more and he shows my wife and I this 5-6 inch Hawaiian Lionfish they have had for quite awhile socked away in a sump. I'm stoked and the wife is too, and I convince her this could be the start of her lionfish species aquarium. After looking up max size on the lionfish (8 inches) we realize the 20 gallon IM peninsula they had wouldn't be big enough either, and he shows us the IM 50. It's perfect! We previously had a long time ago one of the first IM SR 80's and loved it (upgraded out of it due to tangs). So now we bought (30 minutes ago lol) a new IM 50 which will sit on the kitchen counter and the lionfish (he's on hold until I get the tank cycled).

Let the adventure begin.

Pics will be coming tomorrow and in the future.

Future plans are:

Clean off the kitchen counter and make space! (it's the bar area)
Tank will have a large fiji pink sandbed (5-6 inches) and probably a mangrove.
Dig out my rocks from my old tank (sitting in my garage since we moved) and find the right ones for this build.
Will be using a spare Kessil 360WE I have sitting around.
Need to find the right IM skimmer for this. Anyone have ideas or recommendations?
ATO? Anyone have ideas or recommendations?
I have a 200 GPD Aqua FX skimmer that I am setting up for the main reef (rebuild and thread on the way for that one too lol) to feed the ATO. Could possibly use the existing 10 gallon ATO container on that system and share it with this one?

Stocking plans are:

Hawaiin Lionfish (duh!) Pterois sphex
Yellow Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish (if i can EVER find one) Dendrochirus brachypterus
Fu Manchu Dwarf Lionfish - Dendrochirus biocellatus
Nassarius Snails - best sandbed CUC period and prolific breeders
Keyhole Limpets - Amazing algae eaters and prolific breeders
Mangrove?
Unknown coral, probably montis and zoas.
Welcome to the IM50 club. I’ll be following along to see your setup. I use the Tunze 3155 ato on mine and it works very well. If you’re going to be feeding lion fish I’m not sure an IM skimmer would be a good choice, you’ll want something more powerful. Might need to look at one of the ones that hangs on the back.
 
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TheWB

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Using old cycled rock with Dr Tim's. I agree though I'm probably going to run into some issues, but the bio load will solely be the Hawaiian lionfish for awhile.
Lion fish are messy eaters. I’d at least make sure you’ve got a good skimmer running. If you don’t mind me asking, why does this all need to be done in a week?
 
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Meldrath

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Lion fish are messy eaters. I’d at least make sure you’ve got a good skimmer running. If you don’t mind me asking, why does this all need to be done in a week?
They are only going to hold the lionfish for a week for me. He's paid for and they're liable so they'll only hold him for so long.

I can always do large water changes until the cycle finishes. The deep sand bed will help too imo.
 
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Meldrath

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Good news, great news and home depot news.

I got the remainder of my equipment. I ended up picking the Tunze 9004 skimmer (it's being drop shipped and hopefully will arrive Friday), grabbing another ATK (gen 2 this time so hopefully I can report good news on their improvements over gen 1. I have a gen 1 setup on my 5 foot reef that's still in progress), and a few other apex adapters and such for parts of this project. If the ATK doesn't work out, I'll switch to a spare Tunze 3155 full size ATO setup I have. I picked up a MP-10W and probably the more interesting item for this build a Varios 2 DC return pump. Believe it or not, it actually fits?! Home depot tomorrow to find an adapter from the pump to the Y hosing tube barbed/threaded adapter that normally hooks to the provided AC pump. Also made a run to home depot and grabbed a 44 gallon brute, wheels, and a saddle tap all to get the RODI system operational.

20191229_194604.jpg


To start the night off, I knew I needed to get the RODI system up and running and making water due to the time crunch I'm on. Self imposed stupidity right... ? :) Got the brute drilled and put in a manual float valve with a push connect adapter on the other end of it. So far so good, I'm feeling like a genius. The rest of the night I'll tell you did NOT go as planned.

20191230_000704.jpg


20191230_000711.jpg


Hooked up my new Aqua FX Octopus RODI system, and boy was that a giant pain in the butt. Not because it's hard, but because I was being stupid about things that were going wrong. To start off I decided to try a saddle tap on my kitchen faucet. After a few failed attempts and taking a small bath once or twice, I finally got it leak free. Only now I find out through yet again my own stupidity that I wasn't getting enough water pressure to the RODI system even with the booster pump on. I wasn't making it pass the membrane flushing :/

20191229_202322.jpg


20191230_000728.jpg


Throwing my hands up in frustration, spending a few minutes on my thinking throne, and a helpful suggestion from my wife, I remembered my old RODI system might just possibly have the faucet adapter I used to use. After digging around in the garage for a few minutes and digging through way too many boxes of reefing stuff, I found the golden egg, the faucet adapter and was able to move promptly forward with getting water made.

So now we're making water!!!

Now onto the next step, tank setup. With help from my wife we wrangle the tank inside without losing any cats or dogs and after a close call, get it into the kitchen. I figure the best way to unpack this thing isn't to try to lift it out of the box but to put the tank that's still in the box onto the counter and just peel away the cardboard and misc packing like an onion. Success! Now onto the next step of the night, accessories.

20191229_235826.jpg


20191230_000443.jpg


By this time it's nearly 11 PM and I'm pooped from a full day of LFS shopping and getting things setup. I struggle a bit to find the right setup for the kessil, but one long gooseneck and a right angle adapter later it's centered over the tank a few inches above the water line and looks sharp.

20191230_004145.jpg


I'll take the win for today, but there's plenty more work to do tomorrow. Need to find the adapter for this Varios pump to the barbed fitting piece, get the ATO situation situated, heater, and finish making RODI water. (Only 20 gallons so far). - I've learned my lesson one too many times about leaving an RODI on all night, even though it has a float switch and I've tested it, I'm just too nervous to leave it running all night without more supervision at first.
 
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TheWB

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Good news, great news and home depot news.

I got the remainder of my equipment. I ended up picking the Tunze 9004 skimmer (it's being drop shipped and hopefully will arrive Friday), grabbing another ATK (gen 2 this time so hopefully I can report good news on their improvements over gen 1. I have a gen 1 setup on my 5 foot reef that's still in progress), and a few other apex adapters and such for parts of this project. If the ATK doesn't work out, I'll switch to a spare Tunze 3155 full size ATO setup I have. I picked up a MP-10W and probably the more interesting item for this build a Varios 2 DC return pump. Believe it or not, it actually fits?! Home depot tomorrow to find an adapter from the pump to the Y hosing tube barbed/threaded adapter that normally hooks to the provided AC pump. Also made a run to home depot and grabbed a 44 gallon brute, wheels, and a saddle tap all to get the RODI system operational.

20191229_194604.jpg


To start the night off, I knew I needed to get the RODI system up and running and making water due to the time crunch I'm on. Self imposed stupidity right... ? :) Got the brute drilled and put in a manual float valve with a push connect adapter on the other end of it. So far so good, I'm feeling like a genius. The rest of the night I'll tell you did NOT go as planned.

20191230_000704.jpg


20191230_000711.jpg


Hooked up my new Aqua FX Octopus RODI system, and boy was that a giant pain in the butt. Not because it's hard, but because I was being stupid about things that were going wrong. To start off I decided to try a saddle tap on my kitchen faucet. After a few failed attempts and taking a small bath once or twice, I finally got it leak free. Only now I find out through yet again my own stupidity that I wasn't getting enough water pressure to the RODI system even with the booster pump on. I wasn't making it pass the membrane flushing :/

20191229_202322.jpg


20191230_000728.jpg


Throwing my hands up in frustration, spending a few minutes on my thinking throne, and a helpful suggestion from my wife, I remembered my old RODI system might just possibly have the faucet adapter I used to use. After digging around in the garage for a few minutes and digging through way too many boxes of reefing stuff, I found the golden egg, the faucet adapter and was able to move promptly forward with getting water made.

So now we're making water!!!

Now onto the next step, tank setup. With help from my wife we wrangle the tank inside without losing any cats or dogs and after a close call, get it into the kitchen. I figure the best way to unpack this thing isn't to try to lift it out of the box but to put the tank that's still in the box onto the counter and just peel away the cardboard and misc packing like an onion. Success! Now onto the next step of the night, accessories.

20191229_235826.jpg


20191230_000443.jpg


By this time it's nearly 11 PM and I'm pooped from a full day of LFS shopping and getting things setup. I struggle a bit to find the right setup for the kessil, but one long gooseneck and a right angle adapter later it's centered over the tank a few inches above the water line and looks sharp.

20191230_004145.jpg


I'll take the win for today, but there's plenty more work to do tomorrow. Need to find the adapter for this Varios pump to the barbed fitting piece, get the ATO situation situated, heater, and finish making RODI water. (Only 20 gallons so far). - I've learned my lesson one too many times about leaving an RODI on all night, even though it has a float switch and I've tested it, I'm just too nervous to leave it running all night without more supervision at first.
Sounds like you got a lot done today. I’m bummed because for some reason none of the pics you posted are showing up on my screen :(
‘Didn’t the Varios 2 come with some adaptors for different sized connections? Since it’s their smallest pump you’d think it would come with both 1/2” and 3/4“ barb connectors at least.
 
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Meldrath

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Turned on the RODI system this morning to finish making water and I hear some people talking outside on the porch. Fedex delivery just came. I feel bad as I ordered 230 lbs of stuff (cat litter and 80 lbs of Fiji pink!).

Looks like aquascaping got moved up to this evening.

So todays checklist is:
  • Dump the sand carefully into the lagoon and get the DSB setup
  • Dig through the garage and find some good rocks
  • Get the saltwater mixed
  • Fill the lagoon
  • Throw in some fish food today to get the cycle started - tomorrow I'll throw in the Dr Tim's
  • Find the adapter for the Varios to the barbed fitting (Home depot)
  • Get the return pump rolling
  • Heater installed
  • MP-10 setup and installed
  • ATK gen 2 installed and possibly setup???
It's going to be a long evening.
 

ccombs

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Turned on the RODI system this morning to finish making water and I hear some people talking outside on the porch. Fedex delivery just came. I feel bad as I ordered 230 lbs of stuff (cat litter and 80 lbs of Fiji pink!).

Looks like aquascaping got moved up to this evening.

So todays checklist is:
  • Dump the sand carefully into the lagoon and get the DSB setup
  • Dig through the garage and find some good rocks
  • Get the saltwater mixed
  • Fill the lagoon
  • Throw in some fish food today to get the cycle started - tomorrow I'll throw in the Dr Tim's
  • Find the adapter for the Varios to the barbed fitting (Home depot)
  • Get the return pump rolling
  • Heater installed
  • MP-10 setup and installed
  • ATK gen 2 installed and possibly setup???
It's going to be a long evening.
You ordered 150lbs of cat litter?!?!?!?!? How many cats do you have!?!?!?!?
 
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Meldrath

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Ran into an issue though with my Kessil. Short story is it's overheating and auto turning off to protect itself. I was going to replace the fan, but when I went to unscrew the bottom I found out I had previously stripped the crap out of one of the screws and now I need to figure out a solution to save it.

In the meantime I'm using an old Maxspect Celestial (It's Maxspects knock off Kessil) that I got from a raffle. It's not bad, has a self program, but it's only blue and white. It will do for now until I finally want to put corals in this and hopefully have my Kessil repaired or another solution.

 

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