IM Lagoon 25 EXT Build

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Dang, looking good so far. I‘m digging the rock work. I agree that while the MP can go anywhere, the side is better for across tank movement. However, the benefit of the MP is that you can always very easily move it down the road, even if you tie the cable down eventually. So if you find that you absolutely hate it on the side, or you want to experiment once you start placing corals, move it around and see.
 
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DWill

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Quick update on the 25 Lagoon build.

Today I put the skimmer in. I opened both the air and water outlet valve all the way to let it and break in for a few days. It’s been running about 10 minutes since I took this picture and it’s already over flowing. I pulled the plug out of the drain line in the cup and just let it drain back into the sump. It’s not really skimming anything, it’s mostly like a giant air pump right now, constantly over flowing. On the plus sid, the pH might increase a little from all the air pumping in.

The manual says to run the skimmer between 7-8 inches of water, I split that; it’s in 7.5 inches and as I mentioned both the air and the return are wide open.

My plan is to run it through the evening wide open and just let it run. I’ll unplug after a few hours then run it wide open again tomorrow. Tomorrow evening I’ll start to adjust it and see what happens. I don’t suspect it’ll skim much since there’s nothing in the tank but rock and sand, hence pulling the drain plug on the cup. Don’t think it will hurt dumping the water back in to the sump at this point.

The other good news is the skimmer runs nearly silent. It’s a Sicce 1.5 pump driving the skimmer and it’s pretty much as quiet as the Reef Octo DC return pump. I really wanted a DC skimmer but couldn’t find small enough that I liked so I went with this Aquamaxx FC-80. So far I’m happy, at least in the few minutes since I pugged it in.

If any of you suggestions on how to best break this skimmer please post them.

The tank itself is doing pretty well. The initial part of the cycle is done. Both Ammonia and Nitrite are at zero now; Nitrate is not detectable yet. I added Ammonium Chloride to bring the Ammonia up to 1.5 ppm. I’ll test in the morning to see if the Ammonia has come down and test for Nitrite as well. I suspect they will both be back to zero, at least that’s what I hope.

I’m going to let Nitrate build to about 10 ppm, or until I see it stabilized at some value then I’ll do a few water changes to get the nitrate and phosphate in the range I want them, likely 1-3 ppm Nitrate and 0.03 -0 .05 phosphate. I’ll likely move the clown fish over from the 10 gallon tank as I start to lower the Nitrate though. My guess is about another week or two before that happens.

What do you guys suggest, frags or fish first?

Im thinking of dosing Vibrant in this tank to try and avoid some of the ugly phase after I do the first couple water changes. I used Dr. Tim’s waste Away on the 10 gallon, it worked okay. I had a small diatom bloom but not too bad. It was about 3 months before I saw any algae. It‘ll be interesting to see how Vibrant does; I got the idea from watching BRS videos. It seemed to work for them on the 160, so we’ll see.

I’ve got a fish order in, I’ve ordered a Royal Gramma (ubiquitous reef fish right?), bi-color blenny and a carpenter wrasse. They’ll join the Mocha Storm clowns and fire shrimp From the 10 gallon. The new fish should be in toward the end of the week and I’ve found someone that knows what they are doing and will QT the new fish for me. I’ve also got some snails to move over and likely will be adding more when I need to.

Tomorrow I’ll do some initial cable managemen, at least enough to get the wires hanging behind the sump out of sight They’remkinda bugging me. i still have to bring over the Tunze ATO and the AI Prime 16HD from the 10 gallon as well as decide between the GHL or Apex go a controller AND I may go with a Radion XR15 G5 Pro. Don’t know yet. I also need to put the BRS heaters in and bring over the Bayite controller for the heaters and fans. Anyway there’ll be a lot more cable management over the next few weeks. I think I can at least get a good start on it now though.

About lights and a controller. If you have suggestions or input on either, please post what you have. Especially on the GHL vs Apex because I’m really on the fence between them. Anyone that is currently using either or both or has used them in the past, please let me know your thoughts.

Thats about it for the build update. More when there’s some changes and/additions.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on the build.

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DWill

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Quick update on the build.

Decided to pull the trigger on the Radion XR15 G5 and RMS mount.
The mount came in today and got it fitted up to the tank. Waiting for the light and the diffuser, not sure why they didn’t ship together. Hopefully evertning else gets here tomorrow.

Also yesterday I made the decision to go with a GHL controller. Then I came across a pre-owned but never used, as in never had power put to it Apex for a great asking price. The Apex has a bunch of modules with it, the most important to me being the flood sensors. But it also comes with the PAR meter and flow metering. The down side is Neptune tells me they won’t warranty it even though it’s still within the warranty period.

From what I read the EB832 is where most the hardware issues come from. what’s been you experience with EB832?

i still have to buy a doser. After buying that and if ended up having to repair or replace the EB832 it would quickly eat up any savings I have from buying pre-owned.

Anyway, thanks for your input.

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A few more pieces showed up today.

Sadly not the Radion though. it should have been here the same day the tank mount was delivered, it was on the same order. The tracking says it won’t be here until Monday. So much for the extra money spent on expedited shipping.

But it’s all good. Assuming the postal service does it’s thing, tomorrow a huge piece of the build should be here.

Today though the XR15 diffuser came in as well as the heaters.

The skimmer I put in a week ago is still running wide open and overflowing. I purposely haven’t tried to stop it though, I’m just letting it run to break in, plus there’s nothing in the tank for it to skim anyway.

I put some more Ammonium Chloride in yesterday, enough to raise Ammonia to just over 1 PPM. Today Ammonia and Nitrite were both zero. Nitrate is still rising some, it’s about 25 PPM now. I’ll do the first water change to start to bring the Nitrate down either Sunday or Monday. I’ll use 2-3 more small water changes over 2-3 days to bring Nitrate down to 3-5 PPM. Assuming the light comes in Monday I’ll set it up and turn it on and then move the clown fish and inverts over when I have Nitrate down. Then I’ll start testing for Phophate and Then stall and turn the reactor on as I need to to get that down. My rather is .03.

My guess is I’ll be looking at diatoms by this time next week or shorty after that.

So that’s the plan for now. Stay tuned for a update at some point tomorrow. Of all goes well it’s going to be busy working on the new reef this week.

A couple pics of the gear that came in today.
Thanks for hanging out and taking the time to read my build thread.

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DWill

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Today’s progress. Slowed down a bit by a Home Depot trip bit got the board later out, gromMets in and most of the major pieces on.

On the right side of the Apex will be the MP10 driver. Below it will be the Bayite temp controller on the left and on the right the Varios return pump controller.

the Varios and the MP10 controllers will go tomorrow. The Bayite is running the 10 gallon so it’ll be a few days unless I switch it out for the InkBird I have which I may do so I can finish up this board.

Anyway it took longer than I planned today but it coming along. Hopefully by tomorrow night I have the basic functionality of the Apex done.

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DWill

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Well… finally it’s here. Paid extra for two day shipping and got here in 10 days. But at least it here and there’s plenty to do on the mean time.

Like…

20 hours over the weekend working on installing the Apex. I can see the end though. By this evening I should have the Apex in with basic monitor and leak detection set up. Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll have control of the Varios through Apex. It looks like the learning curve might be a little steep for the pump programming though. I mean setting up leak detection doesn’t look exactly easy.

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DWill

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Time to stop and relax for the rest of the night.

Got the XR15 G5 installed, all 4 leak detectors installed and wired to on of the FMM’s (the other FMM is for the ATO and low water level sensor) . Tomorrow I should be able to finish the Apex install. I have to install the Avast Marine break out box, install the PAR metering module and calibrate and Put the probes in the sump. After that it’s programming but at least I’ll be able to monitor and control basic things like heaters and fans.

I turned on the XR15 for a few minutes to see how it looks, in a word… awesome. Well worth the money.

Hoping to have the tank ready to start moving things over from the 10 gallon over the weekend.

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DWill

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FINALLY!

60+ hours over three days and finally the Apex is basically installed.
Need to calibrate the probes and the optical water level sensors and ATO still need go on. Then a ton of code need to be written and have ZERO knowledge on how to do that. The leaning curve will be steep but I’ll get through it.

The new skimmer started to skim instead of just overflowing last night. Probably because I lowered the water level on the sump. I’m looking for skimmer stand, I want to run the sump a little deeper.

I‘m waiting for magnetic mounts for the optical sensors to finish the ATO and water level monitoring etc. In the meantime I’ll just run the Tunze ATO so I can hopefully get the 10 gallon tank down this weeken.

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canadianeh

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Looking at brand new tank and gear makes me want to start a new build. It is because I am a gear junkie.

Nicely done! My tank is also a couple of months old. Take your time. Go slow.
 
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They are unfortunately no longer in production. Smallest IM makes now is their 50INT or EXT. It’s a shame because this and the 30l EXT are two very attractive tanks.
No way, really? That’s surprising... Their nanos are wildly popular and have been for years.
 
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DWill

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First water change done and switched from the floss I was using during the cycle to filter socks. Also dropped in a bag of ChemiPure Bluse. I’m thinking of adding a GFO/carbon reactor, but I’m kind of still on the fence about it.

My plan was to put UV in, that’s why the 3/4” hose barb is on the single outlet manifold, and run a bag of GFO in the return pump chamber.

Now I’m considering skipping the UV (at least for now) and using the manifold for a reactor. What do you all think?

So from here I’m planning to more 5 gallon water changes between now and Monday During that time I’ll match a closely as I can the water parameters of the 10 gallon (with the exception of the Phosphate, I’ve kinda let it slip over the last Couple of weeks) then move everything from the 10 gallon over.

in the meantime I have to learn as much about coding the apex and how to use Mobius to run the XR15 G5.

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