My IM 40L Build

Joseph93

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This post is actually coming a bit late. I set my tank up in the beginning of April, but I've been directing my time and energy towards setting it up. Apologies for the food blog length description of my tank. I've always wanted to do a build thread (and somewhat relatedly, wanted to start a food blog when I was younger), but I didn't know if anyone would engage with the content I'd create. When planning this tank, I really appreciated the build threads people have made here. There's also something cool about seeing build threads from others who have the same tank.

After a five-year hiatus, I decided to get back into the hobby. I have a lot of experience with freshwater and not as but with saltwater. I had a 10G tank for about 2 years, with a pair of clowns and softies, but it wasn't the right time in my life. After an ATO failure led to my corals dying, one of my clownfish terrorized the other to death, and I had to move a few times. So I left the hobby.

In March of this year, I decided to get back into the hobby and started to cycle a few pounds of dry rock in an old 5G I had laying around while I looked for something bigger. It was an old Fluval AIO peninsula style sitting in my parents basement, which I used briefly before getting the 10G. The pump and plumbing was lost to time. With a few pieces of rock (including a small one from my LFS' display tank), a water pump in the main display, and a few bags of filter media I was off to the races. While the 5G looked inhospitable, the plan was to cycle some rock and filter media, so that my new tank could have fish earlier. I was used to the 3-4 week cycles we used to do for freshwater back in my day and eager to cut that down as much as I could.

I was really torn between a 20G and a 40G. The 20G is just twice as long as the 10G I had before and I was close to getting the 20G. The plan was going to be that I was going to do mainly fish. I built a fish stocklist from watching youtube build videos for 20Gs and came up with the following: pair of clowns, yasha-shrimp pair, and a pink streaked wrasse. I also knew that I wanted a sixline wrasse. Setting aside potential aggression for moment, their colours and the way they swim gives a kind of energy that I like seeing in tanks. But a pink streaked wrasse could perhaps scratch that itch.

I was very close to getting the 20G. I even pre-ordered it (they just arrived in Canada in April). Anything bigger was intimidating and could consume whatever free left I have, or so I though. I even had a stock list I put together based on build videos from youtubers who had a 20G IM.

I want to just get into the build portion, so I won't get too much into why I decided to go with a 40 over a 20, but one of the main reasons was that I wouldn't be as restricted for both fish and coral options in a 40G as I would a 20G. Another reason is that I want to enjoy the process of creating. The 40 allows for much more creativity.

In the first week of April, I picked up my tank, added 40lbs of sand, arranged my few pounds of cycled rock, filled it with water, and dosed a small amount of ammonia I had left. The test kit showed just a bit of ammonia that night. When the water started to clear that evening, I dosed half a bottle of turbostart and ghost-fed. Within a couple days, the salifert test kit came back clear. The photo I've attached is from the first night. There is more rock in the filter chambers.

For corals, I want to do a LPS tank and softie tank with maybe some lower maintenance SPS.

Planned fish stock list:
(1 and 2) Clownfish pair
(3) Yasha-shrimp pair
(4) Longnose hawkfish
(5) Sand sifting fish or a blenny
(6) a wrasse, likely a sixline

This is my current equipment list:
- IM 40L and white APS stand
- One AI prime: I'm planning on adding a hydra 32 and potentially upgrading the prime
- 40lb fiji pink sand
- inTank media and IM media caddy , the latter came with the tank
- Mightyjet
- Aquael 150W

Planned upgrades:
- Flow improvement: I want to get a wavemaker or powerhead with an external cable. My only option might be the vortechs for the external cable
- inTank refugium and tunze chic light: mainly to help maintain my pod population
- Coral viewer lens for my phone. Ideally I could also attach this to my laptop. My tank is in my office and it would be nice to be able to attach the lens to my laptop camera, so I wouldnt have to play around with the light settings during the workday.

I've actually already added fish and some coral. I was planning on adding a rockscape before fish, but I watched some rock design videos and knew it would take a few weekends of work, so I've added some fish already. I'll update those shortly.

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duganderson

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Sounds GREAT! I'm doing a build with a very similar size rimless tank with a sump so I'll be following. I LOVE those dimensions!

I will be following because I will be curious what you figure out for flow.
 
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Joseph93

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Short update: I added a pair of clowns (snowflake and black snowflake) around April 12 and then added two yasha gobies about a week later. The yashas haven't been hanging out together, but one did immediately take to a pistol shrimp.
 

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Joseph93

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I was going to wait on at least another couple of weeks to add another fish since I've added 4 to an empty tank fairly quickly and I was still working on my rockscape. But when I was picking up a coral order this past weekend, a curious longnose hawkfish was watching me browse around the store. He's been at the store for at least a few weeks, I remember that he was watching me before I got the tank. My LFS gave me some store credit since one of the coral was smaller than what I ordered, so I took that as a sign to take the longnose home.

The longnose has quickly become my favourite. I've been consistently feeding from one corner of my tank through the IM food defroster. He's figured out thats where the food comes from but hasn't started to associate me with food yet. He spends all day perched on my frag rack and magnet cleaner staring at the feeder for his next meal. I wasn't planning on keeping the frag rack in there, but if he keeps perching on it after I've added all my rock, I might keep it there and add a few mushrooms on it for him to lay on.

The first photo is of him in his usual spot while the second is him staring out during his first day in the tank.

Coral and rockscape updates to follow. I finished my rockscape yesterday but unfortunately broke part of it while I was trying to rinse it. I'm just about done repairing it.
 

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Gumbies R Us

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Short update: I added a pair of clowns (snowflake and black snowflake) around April 12 and then added two yasha gobies about a week later. The yashas haven't been hanging out together, but one did immediately take to a pistol shrimp.
Nice looking clowns!
 
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Joseph93

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I was planning on doing more regular updates as I added more to the tank, but things got busy and I've added quite a bit since my last update.

Rocks

I finished the rock a few weeks ago. I'm not completely satisfied with how it turned out, since the arch on the left ended up being higher than I wanted (I used the height of the tank instead of the waterline) and I don't like the how harsh the lines on the one on the right are. BUT my fish are loving it. They've found little caves to hide in that I didn't realize were there. My midas blenny has also found this little cave he's made home on the foundation. It was entertaining to watch him grab a mouth full of sand and spit it out elsewhere so he's have more space. There's a cave at the base of the left arch, which one of my yasha has claimed as his territory and fiercely guarding against fish at least twice his size.

Livestock

Added a few new fish: a midas blenny, a sixline wrasse, a green clown goby, and a yellow clown goby. I'm pretty sure the candy cane pistol shrimp died, so I added a fully grown Japanese pistol/snapping shrimp to hopefully pair with one of the gobys.

Through a shipping mistake, I got someone else's melanarus wrasse. I know there is potential aggression between the two wrasses when they get bigger, but the sixline is quite small and shy at the moment and the melanarus looked very stressed from the shipping. Thankfully, they mostly ignore each other and I haven't seen any signs of aggression, so I'm planning on leaving them be for the time being before I think about/figure out re-homing.

As I'm starting to go through the uglies, I added two small conches, some snails (four "lightning dove", five nasssarius, and six astrea), and a red emerald crab over the course of the last three weeks.

In terms of coral, added a green splatter hammer, some gold hammer that was on sale, a frogspawn, utter chaos zoas, a couple favia, GSP (which is on its own rock), an elegance coral, and monti frags, and a chalice frag. My only loss so far has been the chalice.

Equipment

My MP40 and inTank fuge basket arrived today. It wasn't too bad to set up. I'm still playing around with the settings and the best placement to deal with a few low flow areas.

I'm going to set up the fuge in the back with the tunze chic light once I get some chaeto. Its such a small area I feel like hits is more for the the pods than it is nutrient export. Does anyone have experience submerging the light in the back with the glass in between the fuge and the light? The tunze light fits into the big hole in the top of the inTank fuge basket, but there's a few inches that sticks out above the tank unless I submerge it entirely in the other chamber.

Maintenance

I've continued to do 10% weekly water changes. I got a digital refractometer, which had made mixing water much easier.

Feeding

I've been feeding LRS with some vitalis pellets twice a day and live BBS every couple of days (with the hobby hatchery dish). I'm going to increase my phyto dosing to 3 smaller doses a week for the pods since there's two wrasses in there.

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Joseph93

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Are these hydroids or baby starfish?
 

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