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Innovative Marine 200-gallon INT Build

Mr. Fishy Fish

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Introduction
Hey everyone,

I’m fairly new here, I already started a build thread, but it's very unorganized and I made a lot of changes, so I decided to start a new official thread to organize the process.

My journey begins a few weeks ago, I found a nice used 180-gallon aquarium then that deal didn’t work out. Afterward, I found a 220 and a 265, both didn’t pan out as well. So I was fed up at that point, most of these sellers are asking way too much for their Marineland/Aqueon aquariums. In all fairness, the 220 was a custom, but I hated the built-in overflow on it so I backed out of that deal. So at that point I was fed up, I decided to buy a new tank instead. I emailed the company I bought my equipment off of and told them the situation and how I’d consider a brand new tank for a really good deal. To my surprise the sales rep told me “We really appreciate the business, so we’re going to hook you up”. I was immediately intrigued, then excited when he told me what he’s hooking me up with. He offered me a brand new Innovative Marine 200 INT tank and stand for $3500 CAD including tax & shipping (around $2700.00 USD for you Americans, eh!). As you can imagine my Jaw dropped, I’m assuming he’s giving it to me close to cost, so I agreed. So now I have a new IM 200-gallon INT aquarium and stand. After breaking the bank, I’ve officially purchased everything (list of equipment below) I just need to wait for everything to be delivered, so let’s move on to the plan.



The Plan
In my opinion the biggest downside to a reef aquarium is doing regular water changes, It’s a pricey, laborious, time and space consuming process. So the plan is to build a system that doesn’t need water changes. To achieve this end, I plan to dose (triton) at first then transition to a calcium reactor, use Chaeto, and Marine Pure Blocks, and a RO 300SSS skimmer. The size of branded sumps is honestly a joke for the cost, so I decided to build a three-stage sump as shown figure 1 below. The sump will consist of a single 27-gallon cube for the skimmer and a 75 gallon for the Cheato, marinepure blocks and the return. It’s nothing fancy, but it should get the job done at the fraction of the cost of a triton sump. This design is meant to allow for flow to go under the Chaeto rotating it. If that doesn’t rotate the Chaeto enough I’ll just put a small wave maker in there. However, I doubt it will be an issue. To deal with evaporation the plan is to place a 20-gallon brute bucket filled with RO/DI water next to the tank and let the Tunze top off unit do its thing. In regards to emergency water changes, the plan is to run a dosing tube from a 55-gallon brute container (inside the laundry room) filled with pre-mixed saltwater into the tank and run another dosing tube into the drain. Then I’ll use my doser to do the water change for me. A key factor to the plan is patience, so I won’t add any corals until the tank has “matured”, so probably around the 12-month mark. We’ll see how the coralline algae and parameters look then. However, when I do add corals I’ll begin with LPS corals, and then add SPS corals. To aquascape, the plan is to use a hammer, chisel, 40 lbs. of CaribSea Flatrock, 40 lbs. of CaribSea base rock, 60 lbs. of Marco Reefsaver rock, and 500mL of AquaMaxx Reef Welder Epoxy Glue. I’m going to go for an NSA aquascape design, I’ll post pics once it’s done. After I place the aquascaped rock work in the tank, I’ll place CaribSea Arag live sand around the rock work. To cycle, I’ll be using Fritz Turbo Start. After the cycle is complete it will finally be time for the first addition. Now let’s take a look at the equipment followed by the planned livestock, and then the introduction order.


Sump Design.png







Equipment
Qty

1 Innovative Marine NUVO INT 200-gallon aquarium with APS stand
2 Tuna Blue Kessil A360’s
2 AI SOL Blue (older version)
2 Jebao DP-4 Auto Dosing Pump (one for water changes)
3 400W Marineland Heaters (one back up)
1 AI Prime Fuge
1 Reef Ocotpus Regal 300SSS
2 Jebao SDW-16
1 Neptune apex lite system with pH and Temp probes
1 Tunze Water Level Controller
1 Jebao DCP-20000 Return Pump
1 Eheim 1262 900 GPH (back up return)
1 Spectrepure 5 stage RO/DI unit with a built-in TDS meter
1 40-watt Aqua Ultraviolet UV Sterilizer
1 Sybon Refractometer
1 75-gallon standard + 27-gallon cube sump/refugium
2 Aqua illumination HMS Single Arm Kits
2 Kessil Mounting Arm KIts
1 API Reef Master Test Kit (includes calcium, carbonate hardness, phosphate and nitrate test kits)
1 API pH Test Kit
1 API Ammonia Test Kit
1 API Nitrite Test Kit
1 Hanna Alk/Calcium Checker

Livestock

Fish:

  1. Yellow Tang
  2. Blue Tang
  3. Kole Yellow Eye Tang
  4. Whitecheek Tang
  5. Yellow Wrasse
  6. Ornate Leopard Wrasse
  7. Naoko’s Fairy Wrasse
  8. Black & White Ocellaris Clownfish
  9. Ocellaris Clownfish
  10. Midas Blenny
  11. Two Neon Gobies
  12. Bluethroat Triggerfish m/f Pair
  13. Three Princess Anthias

Inverts:

  • Purple Short Spine Urchin
  • Red Sponge
  • 2 Fireshrimp
  • 17 Astraea Turbo Snails
  • 22 hermit crabs


LPS:

  • Candy Cane Coral
  • Colored/Orange Open Brain Coral
  • Orange Short Tentacle Plate Coral
  • Brain Corals: Favites, Lophyllia, Wellso Folded, Green with Red Eyes, Australian Versiopora Pineapple, Orange & Green, Australian Alien Moon, Australian Red & Green,
  • Bubble Coral, Pearl
  • Pinwheel Plate Coral
  • Yellow/Orange/Black Tube Corals
  • Australian Doughnut Coral
  • Button Coral, Cynarina
  • Australian Scolymia Corals: Red, Super Red, Neon Green
  • Big Polyp Blastomussa Coral
  • Rainbow Lordhowensis Coral
  • Hammer corals
SPS:

  • Acropora nobilis
  • Stylophora Coral
  • Millepora Acropora
  • Acropora loripes
  • Montipora Capricornis Coral (blue/green/orange)
  • Acropora parilis
  • Acropora cerealis
Soft Corals:

  • Green Spaghetti Finger Leather Coral





Livestock Introduction Order


After Cycle: Midas Blenny, Chaeto.

One Month Later: Both Clownfish, one Turbo Snail and two Blue Legged Hermit Crabs

Two Months: Ornate Leopard Wrasse, one Turbo Snail and two Blue Legged Hermit Crabs

Three Months: Yellow Wrasse, Emerald Crab, two Turbo Snails, and three Blue Legged Hermit Crabs.

Four Months: Cleaner Wrasse, Naoko’s Fairy Wrasse, Purple Short Spine Urchin, three Turbo Snails, and three Blue Legged Hermit Crabs.

Five Months: Three Princess Anthias, two Red Fire Shrimp, three Turbo Snails, and three Blue Legged Hermit Crabs .

Six Months: Bluethroat Triggerfish Pair, three Turbo Snails, and four Blue Legged Hermit Crabs.

Eight Months: Blue Tang, Whitecheek Tang, Yellow Tang, Yellow Eye Cole Tang, four Turbo Snails, and four Blue Legged Hermit Crabs.



The Food


I want my fish to be fat and healthy, so I plan to feed 4-6 times a day. I also don’t want to spend a fortune on frozen foods so I figured why not make a frozen blend instead? After doing some reading on the forum, the recipe and instructions I came up with are as follows.

Fish Food Recipe Ingredients
Ingredient
Qty
Fresh Salmon2 lbs.
Fresh Tuna1 lbs.
Fresh Shrimp2 lbs.
Frozen Copepods1/4 lbs.
PE Frozen Mysis Shrimp2.5 lbs.
Mussels2 lbs.
Herbivore frenzy1/2 lbs.
DrTim’s Probiotic Bacteria4 oz.
Spirulina Powder5 oz.
Coral Frenzy Powder8 oz.
Shredded Garlic4 oz.
Brocolli TopsBag
SpinashBag
Seaweed50 sheets

Note I’ll do this in the garage or in the backyard because I don’t want my house to smell like the local fish market.

What do I need to make the food?

  • Something to mix the food in, a bucket or a big bowl would work.
  • Food Processor
  • Cheese Grater
  • Cutting board
  • Strainer
  • Scissors
  • 5 Ice trays
  • 4 Tupperware’s
Steps:

  • Put the fresh tuna and salmon in the freezer.
  • Next, open the mussels and put the undigested remnants in a Tupperware. Close the Tupperware and throw it in the freezer.
  • Clean the shrimp, then throw it in a Tupperware, close it, and then put it in the freezer.
  • Finely dice the spinach to bite-sized pieces, then place them a Tupperware and put it in the fridge.
  • Next Pluck out the broccoli’s florets, finely dice them, then place them in the same Tupperware you place the diced spinach.
  • Now grab your cheese grater and grate four ounces of garlic and then put it in the same Tupperware you placed the spinach and broccoli florets.
  • Close the Tupperware and put it in the fridge
  • Wait 24 hours for everything to freeze.
  • After 24 hours, get a stack of 5 seaweed sheets and use scissors to cut them into small bite-sized pieces.
  • Repeat step 8 for the remaining 45 sheets, then place the diced seaweed in a mixing bowl.
  • Then go grab the Tupperware filled with diced veggies, processed shrimp, and put it in the same mixing bowl you put the
  • Afterward, grab the Tupperware of undigested mussel remnants from the freezer and use the cheese grater to grate them over the cutting board.
  • Now finely dice the grated remnant into bite-sized pieces, then place it in the mixing bowl.
  • Repeat steps 12 and 13 for the shrimp, tuna, salmon, frozen copepods, frozen Mysis, and herbivore frenzy.
  • Next measure 8 oz. of coral frenzy powder and throw it in the mixing bowl.
  • Measure 5 oz. of Spirulina Powder and throw it in the mixing bowl.
  • Measure 4 oz. of Probiotic Bacteria and throw it in the mixing bowl.
  • Next mix everything; I suggest you use some gloves and your hands.
  • Afterward, take the mixture and put it into Ice trays to make cubes. (cubes are optional, could also be placed as is in an airtight container).
  • Put the trays in the freezer and wait 24 hours.
  • Finally, the next day take the cubes out of the tray and put them in an airtight container and back into the freezer.
There’s just one issue with this recipe, when food is frozen and then thawed it loses some nutrients. However, I believe that’s not a big deal if I’m quick about grating and cutting the frozen food, then it should minimize the nutrient loss. Another factor to consider is when you process things like tuna some a lot of it becomes mush no matter what you do. This method should ensure that I get a lot more nice chunks and a lot less mush.


Required Equipment and Why I Haven’t Got Them Yet


Required Equipment:

  • Two Tuna Blue Kessil A360’s
  • Reef Octopus CR3000D7” Calcium Reactor
  • Aquarium Plant Life CO2 Regulator
  • Reborn Calcium Reactor Media
  • Milwaukee pH controller


I want Acropora’s, so I’ll need two more Kessil’s, but I’m going to hold off on the Kessil’s until I actually get corals. Putting any more lights on the tank now is just a waste of electricity. I’m also holding off on the calcium reactor for the same reason as the lights, but also because I have no idea how to use a calcium reactor.

The Pictures?
Once the equipment is delivered I’ll take pictures of everything out of the shipping boxes, then pictures as I set everything up.



My Level of Expertise
I’m honestly an amateur, I have approximately one and a half years of experience with saltwater aquariums. Hopefully many more years to come.
 
Last edited:
Best reef aquarium LED lighting

infinite0180

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Following along! I would suggest an Apex DoS for the autonwater changes. They are pretty bullet proof dosers in my opinion and you have an Apex so you might as well integrate...
 
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Mr. Fishy Fish

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Following along! I would suggest an Apex DoS for the autonwater changes. They are pretty bullet proof dosers in my opinion and you have an Apex so you might as well integrate...
Glad to have you following along! I'm either going to grab a trident and an Apex DoS or get a calcium reactor. The only issue is, with the apex route I would need to buy the base controller since the trident and DoS are not compatible with the Apex Lite Controller. I know for a fact that the Trident isn't compatible, I'm assuming the DoS isn't as well. So it'll cost a fortune to integrate into either a DoS or a trident at the moment. So the better route for me might be a calcium reactor. I also hear a calcium reactor is better and cheaper than dosing overall.
 

infinite0180

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Glad to have you following along! I'm either going to grab a trident and an Apex DoS or get a calcium reactor. The only issue is, with the apex route I would need to buy the base controller since the trident and DoS are not compatible with the Apex Lite Controller. I know for a fact that the Trident isn't compatible, I'm assuming the DoS isn't as well. So it'll cost a fortune to integrate into either a DoS or a trident at the moment. So the better route for me might be a calcium reactor. I also hear a calcium reactor is better and cheaper than dosing overall.
the DoS should work with the Lite. I had one running on an Apex Jr. Im 99% they work on all Apex brains. The Trident needs the 2016+ model though. I have a Trident, its amazing...
 
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Mr. Fishy Fish

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the DoS should work with the Lite. I had one running on an Apex Jr. Im 99% they work on all Apex brains. The Trident needs the 2016+ model though. I have a Trident, its amazing...
Yeah I've only read good things. I can also confirm that it works with the lite (checked the Neptune forums). The bigger dilemma is if I get the apex DoS I'd definitely want the Trident to control the dosing which implies I need to buy the base unit. So, I have to make a choice. Either spend more money and go the apex route or spend more or less the same amount and get a calcium reactor.
 
Fragtacular After Sale

infinite0180

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Yeah I've only read good things. I can also confirm that it works with the lite (checked the Neptune forums). The bigger dilemma is if I get the apex DoS I'd definitely want the Trident to control the dosing which implies I need to buy the base unit. So, I have to make a choice. Either spend more money and go the apex route or spend more or less the same amount and get a calcium reactor.
One thing ive learned hanging around reef2reef is apex gear holds value and resale is always an option. Thats why ive gone all in on apex. I figure i can always pack it up and sell it if i decide i dont want it anymore! The problem is this apex gear is an addiction...
 
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Mr. Fishy Fish

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The problem is this apex gear is an addiction...
That's the issue, once you get one piece you want them all. The product itself is amazing, I love my Neptune Lite. I just don't know if I can justify buying the rest of the pieces instead of a calcium reactor. I've also read on large SPS builds people start dosing crazy amounts such as 400ml of Ca and Alk a day. I can only imagine how annoying that would be, I would have to regularly fill the reservoirs. Yeah, I could always go the Apex route and then just sell it later. But that would be counterproductive IMO, especially if I could have gotten a calcium reactor before. Apparently, with a calcium reactor all you need to do is dial it in and let it do its thing with very little maintenance on your part. If that's the case it might be better for me in the long run.
 
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Mr. Fishy Fish

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Update 2:

Quarantine/Hospitalization Procedures

List of diseases followed by their respective treatment:


Common Diseases


  • Ammonia Burn: Malachite Green
  • Bacterial Infections: Metroplex & Kanaplex
  • Brooklynella: Metroplex
  • Flukes: Hyposalinity & Prazipro (yes they have it on ebay)
  • Ich: Hyposalinity & Copper Power
  • Velvet: Copper Power (needs to be treated early for copper to work)

Uncommon Diseases

  • Anchor Worms: Pluck and chuck followed by antibiotics.
  • Isopod Parasites: Pluck and chuck.
  • Black Ich: Prazipro
  • Internal Parasites: Prazipro and Metroplex
  • Red Sores: I won’t be getting butterfly fish so this won’t be a problem hopefully.
  • Swim Bladder Disorder: Kanaplex
  • Uronema Marinum: Metroplex

Procedure:

School is completely online for me at the moment. I have lots of time to observe the QT while studying. So, I’ll observe the QT pretty much all day every day. Thus, I won’t prophylactically treat. Considering many diseases take approximately a month for symptoms to show, I’ll just keep the fish/fishes in the QT for approximately 5 weeks before throwing it/them in the DT or the HT for treatment. Of course if symptoms are prevalent prior to 5 weeks then the fish would go into the HT earlier then back into the QT once the treatment is complete for a 4 week period. After the 4 week period is complete I’ll put the fish into the DT. The QT I plan to setup is permanent, like a mini DT. The HT won’t be set up until I notice a fish is infected. Once the disease is noticed I will remove the Aquaclear 30 HOB power filter sponge from my DT’s sump, replace it with another, then put it into the HT’s Power filter. Afterward, I’ll fill the tank up with fresh saltwater and put all the equipment in. Then I’ll test the water, if all is good I’ll take the fish out of the QT and medicate them in the HT. After the treatment, I’ll sanitize the HT and equipment, throw out the sponge, and then store the equipment/tank for the next round.


Here’s a list of Equipment for the QT:
  • 29-gallon tank
  • 100w Heater
  • Old WaveMaker
  • One gallon of Marinepure Spheres
  • Refractometer
  • Quarter-inch fine sand bed
  • PVC Tee


Here’s a list of equipment for the HT:
  • 20-gallon tank
  • Ammonia Badge
  • Aquaclear 30 Power Filter
  • pH Probe
  • PVC Tee
  • Old WaveMaker
  • 100w Heater
  • Refractometer (the same one used for QT)


Conclusion:

Hopefully, I never have to use the HT, but that’s unlikely especially considering I want to add approximately 16 fish and we all know how local fish stores are with diseases. The chances are at least one will be infected with something. The way I see it is, we go to war with diseases, and we get to choose which battlefield to fight this war on. I know I’d prefer to fight the battle in a 20-gallon HT instead of a 200 gallon DT.




References:

https://www.reef2reef.com/ams/how-to-quarantine.232/#:~:text=Freshly mixed saltwater which has,being transferred to the QT.

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/fish-diseases-101.189284/
 
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Fragtacular After Sale

VikS

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Yes, 200 EXT. It is a long wait but gives me time to sort out things.

Either INT or EXT is a great choose, so don’t worry too much about getting the INT.
 
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Mr. Fishy Fish

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Yes, 200 EXT. It is a long wait but gives me time to sort out things.

Either INT or EXT is a great choose, so don’t worry too much about getting the INT.
I've never had anything like either so I can't complain. I'm more worried about bringing it inside the house. I hear it weighs 400+ pounds. That number is daunting lol.
 
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Mr. Fishy Fish

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Update 3:

Hey all,


There were some shipping delays, so I'm still waiting for a lot of equipment and the tank. However, I got some boxes (no clue what's in them), a 40-gallon long QT, and an aquaclear 70 HOB power filter. I'll just open all the boxes when everything gets delivered. Here are some pics.

IMG_0491.jpg
IMG_0492.jpg

IMG_0493.jpg
 
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Mr. Fishy Fish

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Update 4:

I got another delivery, the tank and the rest of the equipment should be here tomorrow or after tomorrow. It was nice of the dealer to throw in a few freebies in the package. Here are some pics of everything I got so far.

IMG_0496.jpg
IMG_0495.jpg
 
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southerntnreefer

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Update 4:

I got another delivery, the tank and the rest of the equipment should be here tomorrow or after tomorrow. It was nice of the dealer to throw in a few freebies in the package. Here are some pics of everything I got so far.

IMG_0496.jpg
IMG_0495.jpg
Exciting!!!!!!
 

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