Kdogginz's IM 30 Reef Build

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kdogginz

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Hello,

First a little background
I started my first reef tank 5 years ago with an IM Nuvo 30L. I didn't really have any interest in aquariums until my best friend set up a reef tank, then I was hooked. My 30L started life as a display tank but got crowded quickly. After a year or so, I ended up moving and turned it into a frag tank while looking into a new setup. I was trying to decide if I should get another AIO, or if I should get a system with a sump. I ended up finding the dimensions of the Aquamaxx 64.2 to be intriguing (48x18x18), so I based my current build on that. While I was setting up the new tank, I had a pest issue in my frag tank, which unfortunately ended up with the loss of almost all my prized coral. I was pretty bummed to say the least. Once my new tank was going, I ended up breaking down my frag tank and transferred what was left. After the loss I was quite discouraged and ended up pausing the advancement of the new system, just letting it sit and do its thing for a couple of years. I have managed to recently regain interest in the hobby and am now working on getting this tank stocked up as a mixed reef.

In this build thread I would like to share some info about my previous setup. Then im going to create a new build thread on my current build

After a lot of late nights, planning, calculations and re-planning, I ended up with this build.

Tank - Innovative Marine Nuvo Fusion 30
Stand - DIY wood Stand
Lights - 2x AI Hydra 26HD
Return Pump -Sicce
Powerhead - 2x Jebao wavemakers
ATO - Tunze 3155
Heater - Aqueon Pro 100w
Reactors - IM Minimax
Skimmer - IM Ghost skimmer

I hope you all enjoy what's to come.
 
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kdogginz

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My previous tank, an IM Nuvo 30L.

I built the stand out of 2x4's and plywood. I've built quite a few fixtures and basic things out of wood, but this was my first time building an enclosed cabinet/stand. learned quite a bit about structural integrity, tolerances, staining, polyurethane and different types of door hinges.

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I got this tank used so there were deposits that I had to scrape off with a razor blade.
Here is the rockwork and first fill:

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Never Wash Another Nasty Filter Sock Again!
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kdogginz

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I purchased live rock so the cycle was pretty quick. I ghost fed the tank to cycle it and waited about a month before adding fish, then started adding coral shortly after.

I had a pair of ocellaris clownfish, a 6-line wrasse and a blue damsel (evil), along with a few hermit crabs, trochus snails and nassarius snails.

I really liked LPS starting out and was primarily drawn to acans and euphyllia. There wasn't (still isn't) a LFS with much coral so I'd drive about 1.5 hours every other weekend to check out various stores and try to find good deals on fish and coral.

Here is the tank about 5 months after the first fill:

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I had a Current pro light and couldn't get the same coral coloration that I saw online and at different shops. The corals grew well but they didn't have much color and pop to them. So I decided to upgrade and ordered a pair of AI Hydra 52HD lights.

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A little snapshot of the inside of the cabinet. I was able to put all my food, testing equipment, rodi, saltwater, and water change equipment in there.

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It was great seeing the colors finally come out in these acans after the light change.

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Gumbies R Us

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I purchased live rock so the cycle was pretty quick. I ghost fed the tank to cycle it and waited about a month before adding fish, then started adding coral shortly after.

I had a pair of ocellaris clownfish, a 6-line wrasse and a blue damsel (evil), along with a few hermit crabs, trochus snails and nassarius snails.

I really liked LPS starting out and was primarily drawn to acans and euphyllia. There wasn't (still isn't) a LFS with much coral so I'd drive about 1.5 hours every other weekend to check out various stores and try to find good deals on fish and coral.

Here is the tank about 5 months after the first fill:

IMG_6521.jpeg

IMG_5750.jpeg


IMG_6476.jpeg


IMG_5773.jpeg


I had a Current pro light and couldn't get the same coral coloration that I saw online and at different shops. The corals grew well but they didn't have much color and pop to them. So I decided to upgrade and ordered a pair of AI Hydra 52HD lights.

IMG_8062.JPG


A little snapshot of the inside of the cabinet. I was able to put all my food, testing equipment, rodi, saltwater, and water change equipment in there.

IMG_7935.jpeg


It was great seeing the colors finally come out in these acans after the light change.

IMG_6660.jpeg
Tank looks good so far!!
 
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kdogginz

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Then i ended up needing to move. I had purchased most of the stuff for my new build so I was planning on setting the 30gal up as a frag tank while I got the new tank setup in the house.

I got all of my coral and fish loaded into a large cooler with as much liverock as I could fit, along with a powerhead and heater.

I set the tank up and used one of my hydra 52s until i could mount the 26s up.

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kdogginz

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I was able to travel to Florida monthly and drive all over the state for work, so every time I was there I'd make trips to every reef store I could find. I scored some really nice pieces from WWC, LRO, TSA and many others.

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kdogginz

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At this point I had the tank going for about a year and a half. I was still working on getting my new system up and running which would a little more than double my system volume. Everything was growing really well under the single hydra 52hd and I finally got the 26hds mounted up.

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I was running a pretty simple setup. I had some siporax and matrix in the back, along with a reactor that had biopellets and a skimmer. I did have to dose some 2 part to keep the levels stable with this many growing corals. I learned quite a bit about coral placement, flow and warfare by having all of my frags so close in such a small system. I had to run some carbon every once in a while to get rid of any chemicals in the water.
 
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kdogginz

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Unfortunately, I brought something back with me on this trip that caused issues. Shortly after this trip i noticed that some chalices were starting to bleach. There was no tissue recession at first, the coral would just start to turn white. This ended up spreading very quickly between all of my chalices. Once it would bleach, tissue would start to melt away and there was nothing i could do to bring any of them back. I tried many different dips and nothing worked.

I took a sample of partially bleached chalice tissue under a microscope and observed something very small consuming the zooxanthellae in the tissue. I also took a sample of dying tissue and observed many things eating away at it. It was really hard to determine what was causing this and nobody that i talked to seemed to know, aside from one person at a lfs in florida that was having the same issue.

Below is a beautiful rainbow convict chalice that was the first thing to kick this off.
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Ultimately it ended up spreading throughout my tank and it took out nearly all of my LPS. I had my new tank setup but i didnt want to transfer this pest/disease over to it so i didnt have much of a choice other than trying to keep the tank as healthy as i could.

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kdogginz

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I had some amazing pieces and was able to save some of them, but most of them perished. Unfortunately I don't have many tank pics after everything started going downhill. I ended up taking a break from the hobby for quite a few years after this point. I had the new 65gallon tank set up and running but it was mainly FOWLR and the few zoas and mushrooms that had made it through the "crash". I'm happy to say that almost everything that made it through is still alive and doing well today in the larger tank.

I may post random frag pictures from when this was still going, but this would mark the end of my journey with the 30 gallon.
 
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Zach B

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Wow, sorry to hear about the losses. Those were some really good looking corals you had, nice setup as well. Very cool you got to check out all those shops. Hopefully all is well now. Best of luck:)
 
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kdogginz

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Wow, sorry to hear about the losses. Those were some really good looking corals you had, nice setup as well. Very cool you got to check out all those shops. Hopefully all is well now. Best of luck:)
Thank you. It was definitely fun traveling around and collecting all of the coral. My new system has been doing good, I've been a bit more picky about the corals I'm putting in it. Im going to start a build thread for that soon and have a few more things planned for it.
 

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Thank you. It was definitely fun traveling around and collecting all of the coral. My new system has been doing good, I've been a bit more picky about the corals I'm putting in it. Im going to start a build thread for that soon and have a few more things planned for it.
Good to hear. Excited to follow along :)
 
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