It begins, Townes is getting back into the hobby after 2.5 years off, with a IM 25 Lagoon LPS build (including DIY Baltic Birch stand).

Townes_Van_Camp

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Nearly three years ago I broke down my last big mixed reef. Like most reef tanks it was successful with some hard times and good times. I did not just scream "I quit", and walk away. I moved and was no longer going to have the space I did before. I did however decide to keep my favorite black and white misbar and a blue spot watchman. I moved them into a IM 14 peninsula and swore off reef tanks altogether...

I purchased a new home, not huge but a lot of fun. A 1963 mid-century modern with wall to wall carpet that hid fantastic white with various shades of slate aggregate terrazzo floor. We are getting close to completing the restoration and now is the time to decorate. My favorite room in the home is a second living room that I call the sitting room. It is stark and sterile for now.
IMG_0887.jpg

It gets the mini-reef. This is my sanctuary, my bar/lounge, dispensary, and reading room all rolled into one. It looks out over the back yard's Azaleas, Orchids, Camilla Trees, and some Confederate Jasmine. My requirements for a tank and stand in this room are that it does NOT take away from the aesthetic form of the room/house/back garden. They must add to it without overpowering it. The stand MUST be a representative of mid-century design; functional, sleek, and material based design. Inspired by this credenza,
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built by a bored Redditor during Covid lockdowns. I have settled on a Baltic Birch with dark walnut stain "pedestal" vs stand. The tank can be viewed from the rooms seating. But will be mostly seen while entering into our home through the front door and when entering into the sitting room. Because of this, paired with the 12 inch height of the 25 lagoon, I will be building the stand to a height of 40 inches for more appropriate viewing. Materials are all en route. This is honestly the fun part for me. I love building furniture. A major part of of this thread will be the stand build. It should be worth watching for that alone.

Now for everybody else's fun part, gear, and stock lists. I want this to be simple and fun. No more chasing over priced photoshopped Walt Disney's. This will be a LPS tank. The equipment is trickling in day by day. The build list:


Equipment
Innovative Marine 25 lagoon -
Nice tank, The build quality is much nicer than that of the 14 Peninsula I already own. Thicker glass due to capacity I am sure. But, overall the seams are nicer and the extra space in the back chambers is fantastic although I wish there were more vertical space for heaters in the back.
Reefbreeders Photon 24-V2+ - (no wifi, I'm gonna set it and forget it)- I won't say much except for I love this light despite the cumbersome method of programing. If you want great lights without too many frills, these are the ticket.
IceCap K1 NANO skimmer - Let's discus this... I was somewhat cautious due to some terrible reviews on-line. But IceCap makes great skimmers and more people don't know how to set up a skimmer than I previously believed. I have it in my skimmer free 14 peninsula on a test run. It took about 24-36 hours to break in. It produced a ton of microbubbles, they are mostly gone after 48 hours. It is pulling some gunk out but prefers a slightly wet skim, I am sure that I can dry that skim up more with some dialing in.

Here is the bad part. The quality and fit of materials is terrible, terrrrrribbblllle, turrible, however you want to say it. Thin acrylic, loose pump to body fit, the collection cup requires Lubriplate ***-1 (food safe lube I steal from work. This stuff is safe, it is used to lubricate machines that make contact lenses) to be applied to the o-ring so that it will actually fit the neck of the skimmer, and also the gate valve and valve dial are sloppy. Regardless, I am going to use it because it does in fact work. But please, If you are like me and enjoy seeing quality materials used, skip this one. I will be using an algae scrubber also.
Santa Monica FIltration Drop .6 - A drop in self contained algae scrubber that runs off of air lift? Yes I am going to use this when the lights are off to maintain ph. And help out the skimmer if needed.
IM MightyJet Return Pump - It came with the AIO so we will give it a go. Rest assured there is a sicce 1.5 awaiting its call to action at the slightest growl, grind, or vibration from the stock pump.
ReefBreeders RP-M Wavemaker - I already have this. It may not be able to be slowed down as far as I need it to. In which case there will be a discussion with my wallet between a MP10 and one of the Jeabao offerings. But it is going to get a run because I loved it in a 40 breeder QT when I bought it.
Cobalt 75w neotherm x2 - One is a backup set to 80, the other will be my primary run through a Inkbird ITS-308 wifi with plastic probe at 78.
ReefBreeders Prizm ATO - The only reason I made this choice is because ReefBreeders have never let me down. If this ATO is 50% of what their RP-M or Photon v2+ lights are, it will be worth giving them a shot.
IM AquaGuard UV sterilizer - This is the piece of equipment that I have the least amount of faith in. But I am trying to keep this simple and it doesn't get any more simple than a gravity fed UV sterilizer that goes in one of the over-flow chambers. If it breaks or doesn't work... Who cares, it was something like $60.
Caribsea Liferock shapes - Its on the way, I'm really indifferent to this stuff and suspect I may use a piece or two but will most likely end up using Gulf Live Rocks Premo Deco. There is no replacement for good live rock and this looks like the real deal. But I won't send the LifeRock back to BRS. To be honest, they have done more for my reefing education than anybody. I won't send back rocks at their expense because I made a bad choice.
GulfLiveRock live sand - Hope its full of good stuff and not bryopsis and nitrates like the sand I pilfered from a remote beach years ago (worst reefing mistake of my life)

Stock
2 Clowns - I don't really care what kind so long as they aren't jerks, which really narrows the list of clowns down to 0.
Lawnmower Blenny
Black cap gramma
Cleanup crew
Harlequin shrimp
Pom pom Crab or two
Emerald crab


And of course the gratuitous, growing, pile of gear photo feat. Schwartz the 12 week old Giant Schnauzer. Ignore the fridge, It is were I keep my munchies <insert bloodshot eyes smiley>
IMG_1009.jpg

Why lie, it is really just a photo of my puppy.
 
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desagon

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I like it! The stand is going to be sweet. My wife and I love mid century furniture and I wanted to build a stand to be similar to our credenzas as well, but I ended up going a different route.

I have to ask, why clownfish? I haven't had them be jerks, they just isolate themselves to the top corner of the tank and do nothing. I vowed not to get them again because of how boring they were for me.
 
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Townes_Van_Camp

Townes_Van_Camp

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Honestly I have never found them to be pleasant in the tank. But my wife insists on having them. I currently have the one black and white ocellaris because she was being tormented by another black and white ocellaris. They were from the same batch at the pet store. That same clown beat up the goby that lives with the current clown. The current clown chased my helfeichi fire fish non-stop wouldn’t let the fire fish eat. The helfrichi eventually leaped to its death after a beating as I found It crispy in my floor after work missing a fin and a chunk from its tail. Maybe I’ve just had bad luck with them.
 

desagon

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Honestly I have never found them to be pleasant in the tank. But my wife insists on having them. I currently have the one black and white ocellaris because she was being tormented by another black and white ocellaris. They were from the same batch at the pet store. That same clown beat up the goby that lives with the current clown. The current clown chased my helfeichi fire fish non-stop wouldn’t let the fire fish eat. The helfrichi eventually leaped to its death after a beating as I found I’d crispy in my floor after work missing a fin and a chunk from its tail. Maybe I’ve just had bad luck with them.
Holy cow, he must have some maroon clown blood in him lol. I have always gone without a lid until I started getting clowns. I had one that would chase other clowns out of the tank like clockwork. I would wake up to seeing one dried out on the ground within days of getting it. Thats when I got a lid to control my boring corner crooks.
 
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Townes_Van_Camp

Townes_Van_Camp

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I wish. If he was a maroon clown I’d have given him some leeway. Sometimes a pit Bull just has to bite someone. When I lost the helfrichi I only had the clown and goby left. No sense in putting a screen on their tank. The only time they move is at 500pm when they know it’s dinner time
 
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Townes_Van_Camp

Townes_Van_Camp

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Scape is done. I wish I was a better photographer. These pictures suck. I don't care about the white showing from the broken edges, that will all be covered in coral and coralline algae soon enough. Lots of swim space and caves, tunnels, and overhangs would allow me to sneak in some lower light stuff like cyphestrea. As well as get my all time favorite up high, a Mind Trick monti. Tank is 12 " tall, water line is 11". The Highest point is 8.5 the next highest 7.5. I may put a bit of black light diffuser panel under it to get it out of the gravel and help create a little more negative space under the scape overhangs and arches

Here is the front view:
front.jpg


from the left:
left.jpg


The right:
right.jpg


And finally a top down:
Topdown.jpg


Probably looks like an orangutan with a bottle of Elmer's glue made it. Doesn't matter, it's going in the lagoon.

Originally this was going to be a LPS tank heavy on Euphyllia. Not anymore, I went to the LFS and about cried when I saw that what was one a "Green Hammer" is now an Aussie Ultra green and 1 head is $120 instead of 4 for $40... I suppose if people want to pay it the shops should charge it. SPS tank it is. But I have place that I can put some softies and lps if I want to. I am happy over all. 25 LBS of LifeRock broken to pieces with a hammer and glued back together. I probably have 10 lbs left.

On a somewhat unrelated note I need to buy another ATO. I decided to get my little clownfish 14g IM peninsula ready for acans, 'shrooms, cyphestria, and zoas. I have it all dosed up and ready to go so I stole the ATO for the Lagoon and put it on the Peninsula.

If anyone is reading along and still here, Please help with a stock list. There are for sure two fish I want; a helfrichi firefish and either a Falco Hawkfish or geometric hawkfish. I want some action in this tank, Of course gobies and blennies are welcome, but I also want some movement.
 
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Townes_Van_Camp

Townes_Van_Camp

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7BBCBC54-4715-4BF5-AB61-A0788CDA6BEC.jpeg

Everything is dry fit. I feel like I have packed a lot into this little tank.

IceCap K1 Nano skimmer

x2 75 Cobalt Neo-therm one on a Inkbird WiFi 308 the other is a back up straight into the wall

IM caddy

IM AquaShield UV sterilizer

Santa Monica filtration Drop .6 algae scrubber

ReefBreeders RP-M wave maker

IM DC return pump

ReefBreeders Prism ATO

Anyhow, the next step is to get the stand built. Table saw is coming out of the shed so I need to get it mounted on casters so that I can get it to the carport. That’s going to slow me down a ton. Because, I just hate dealing with that massive saw.
 

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Looking great. Getting back in after 8 years out. Running the im30L so similar tanks. Love your scape. Just bought my rocks and lighting today so I feel you on money haha.
 
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Townes_Van_Camp

Townes_Van_Camp

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Looking great. Getting back in after 8 years out. Running the im30L so similar tanks. Love your scape. Just bought my rocks and lighting today so I feel you on money haha.
I really need to get cracking on the stand for this tank. I’ve become preoccupied with my little IM 14 peninsula (it’s kicking all sorts of tail). But once I get this stand built I can start setting up and starting to cycle. The only thing stopping me is getting inflatable casters on my table saw so that I can move it from the back yard to the carport. Once that happens I’ll get a lot more done.
 
BRS

What percentage of blue versus white lighting do you think makes the best coral growth combo?

  • All Blue

    Votes: 16 2.6%
  • Mostly Blue

    Votes: 380 62.8%
  • Even Balance

    Votes: 153 25.3%
  • Mostly White

    Votes: 46 7.6%
  • All White

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 9 1.5%
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