Ocean Live Rock 25 Gallon IM Lagoon

jabberwock

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
3,249
Reaction score
3,792
Location
in front of my computer
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I feel like it is time for a build thread. Here's the boring part. I started keeping freshwater tanks 42 years ago (1980-ish). I pretty much always had a freshwater tank for the next 20 years, and then I got out.

IMG_2995.PNG

Freddie the firefish was my first saltwater fish ever. In 2018, I decided to get back into aquaria. I did a little bit of exploring, and quickly discovered that technology and equipment advances had made keeping saltwater a whole lot more attainable than it was in the old days. I went for it. Look at my older posts to see my 12 month journey with a 32 gallon Biocube dry rock, death box, algae farm that ultimately sprang a leak and led to a swift journey back to the bench.
IMG_3393.JPG

I do not want to bash CoralLife, they stood behind their product and sent a free replacement even though I had voided the warranty by using a non-CoralLife stand. They are a good company. I never opened the box and sold it. I was too unhappy remembering that day I carried two 5 gallon buckets of rocks and water and livestock into the LFS to surrender them. They were refugees. Thanks to the LFS they had somewhere to go.

4 years later. I had the itch again. My wife was like "Whaaaaaaat?". But she was very supportive even while reminding me of the previous catastrophe. Which leads us to June of 2022. I had licked my wounds and learned a lot along the way.

Ocean Live Rock! This is the way.

IMG_5400.jpg
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
jabberwock

jabberwock

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
3,249
Reaction score
3,792
Location
in front of my computer
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I started purchasing tank and equipment in June of 2022. I was totally comfortable with going slow. There was house remodeling on the horizon, and I thought I would wait until that was done to start the new tank. That was not to be the case. The tank has been wet for 5 months. We have just started the remodeling.
25.jpeg

I was perfectly fine with patience, but eventually, I had everything, and knew the remodeling was not going to start in 2022, so I got started. Equipment list:
  • Innovative Marine Fusion 25 gallon lagoon
  • Included stock return pump and media basket
  • BRS Ink Bird 100 watt titanium heater and controller
  • 2 each Kessil Tuna Blue A80, eventually got the controller
  • Kessil mounting arm, had to rig a cross bar to accommodate 2 lights
  • Jeboa OW-25 wave maker and controller
  • Kamoer ATO one, I like it...
  • Trigger Systems 5 gallon ATO reservoir (blem)
  • Innovative Marine filter socks, 10 pack
  • Innovative Marine "Pedestal". A couple weeks after I bought the tank from IM, they ran a special for buy a tank get the pedestal free. I appealed to them, and they happily honored my recent purchase and sent me the free pedestal! Great customer service IM!
  • Hand made black walnut stand
  • IM APS stand, I just purchased this and will move the tank to it after the hard wood floors go in. The wood stand is too low. I want the tank higher for better viewing and ease of maintenance.
 
OP
OP
jabberwock

jabberwock

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
3,249
Reaction score
3,792
Location
in front of my computer
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
After a lot of investigation, I decided I wanted to use ocean live rock. Hitchhikers were part of the equation and risk. I must give a shout out to Tampa Bay Saltwater (TBS). They have incredible products and service. It may not be for everyone, depending on how you view and value biodiversity (hitchhikers), but I ain't ever looking back.

I ordered "Premium" live rock. It comes with macro algae and critters. The folks at TBS recommended that I have a cycled tank to receive the rocks. So, in an old 15 gallon Fluval Flex that I had run freshwater in in 2018, I started with 1 pound each of live rock from 2 different LFS. Then I added 1 pound of ceramic biomedia and ran Tim's ammonia to start the cycle. I also arranged for "local pickup" of the rock. This would minimize the rocks travel time from 3 days in air cargo to 8 hours in my car. I believe this was key to my success. It would also save me $150 in air cargo shipping costs. I intended to drive 8 hours to Tampa on a Sunday, and stay with a buddy, and turn right around and pick up the rock and come back on Monday. Then my wife asked why she and my daughter were not invited...
IMG_4954.JPG


So much for saving a few bucks... After a wonderful 5 day weekend with my family and fishing with the locals, we headed home with my ocean live rocks in a box of water!

image0 (12).jpeg
 
OP
OP
jabberwock

jabberwock

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
3,249
Reaction score
3,792
Location
in front of my computer
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Back up to Sept 30th, I removed the cycled rocks and media from the 15 gallon, and started the IM 25 gallon. It would run for just over a week before I returned from Tampa with the live rock.

image2 (2).jpeg


While walking the beach at Indian Rocks Beach, I discovered a large clump of macro algae rolling around in the surf. I checked the fishing regs and since I had a saltwater fishing license, I was allowed to harvest a 5 gallon bucket of it. I only took a medium sized chunk, and stuck it in a bucket with a bubbler. We would leave the next day.

macro.jpeg



We picked up the rocks in a Lowe's parking lot, and drove the 8 hours home where I immediately unpacked the box. It was more important in my mind to make haste than to take pictures, so I have none. However the rock was packed very well, in water, double bagged, in a cooler. I immediately saw the urchin and lots of macros. It far exceeded my expectations. Remember, this is the "Premium" rock. I let it sit for a week bare bottom with strong flow, and fished out a few undesirables, but overall the rock was awesome.

Tiny polyclad flatform (damaged by my tweezers)
image4.jpeg

Gorilla crab the size of my pinky nail.
IMG_5075.jpg

Whelk
IMG_5060.jpg

Several decorator crabs
image3 (4).jpeg

Predatory worm of some time (he was attacking the whelk)
IMG_5033.jpg

Red Mithrax crab (size of my pinky nail) I had kept the 15 gallon wet, and I started a hitchhiker tank called the Sin Bin. This is the Mithrax grown up after several months.
IMG_5356.jpg

And then I added Freddie 2. He has just gone missing by the way. Have not seen him in 3 or 4 days while I am in the middle of an ich flare up. I assume the worst. I kept a softball sized chunk of the red macro I picked up on the beach and gave the rest to my LFS. They were quite pleased.

image2 (4).jpeg
 

Gumbies R Us

Another Fish in the Sea
View Badges
Joined
Nov 10, 2022
Messages
9,043
Reaction score
17,547
Location
North Georgia
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Back up to Sept 30th, I removed the cycled rocks and media from the 15 gallon, and started the IM 25 gallon. It would run for just over a week before I returned from Tampa with the live rock.

image2 (2).jpeg


While walking the beach at Indian Rocks Beach, I discovered a large clump of macro algae rolling around in the surf. I checked the fishing regs and since I had a saltwater fishing license, I was allowed to harvest a 5 gallon bucket of it. I only took a medium sized chunk, and stuck it in a bucket with a bubbler. We would leave the next day.

macro.jpeg



We picked up the rocks in a Lowe's parking lot, and drove the 8 hours home where I immediately unpacked the box. It was more important in my mind to make haste than to take pictures, so I have none. However the rock was packed very well, in water, double bagged, in a cooler. I immediately saw the urchin and lots of macros. It far exceeded my expectations. Remember, this is the "Premium" rock. I let it sit for a week bare bottom with strong flow, and fished out a few undesirables, but overall the rock was awesome.

Tiny polyclad flatform (damaged by my tweezers)
image4.jpeg

Gorilla crab the size of my pinky nail.
IMG_5075.jpg

Whelk
IMG_5060.jpg

Several decorator crabs
image3 (4).jpeg

Predatory worm of some time (he was attacking the whelk)
IMG_5033.jpg

Red Mithrax crab (size of my pinky nail) I had kept the 15 gallon wet, and I started a hitchhiker tank called the Sin Bin. This is the Mithrax grown up after several months.
IMG_5356.jpg

And then I added Freddie 2. He has just gone missing by the way. Have not seen him in 3 or 4 days while I am in the middle of an ich flare up. I assume the worst. I kept a softball sized chunk of the red macro I picked up on the beach and gave the rest to my LFS. They were quite pleased.

image2 (4).jpeg
I like the aquascape design in your tank!!!
 
OP
OP
jabberwock

jabberwock

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
3,249
Reaction score
3,792
Location
in front of my computer
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I like the aquascape design in your tank!!!
Thanks, pretty limited in what you can do with real ocean live rock. It has a live side (top) and a dead side (bottom). You don't really have any time to think about because you have to keep it wet. I did not glue anything together.
 
OP
OP
jabberwock

jabberwock

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
3,249
Reaction score
3,792
Location
in front of my computer
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Today I want to talk about good hitchhikers. They do abound! All of these came in on the TBS Premium Ocean live rocks. We even had a discussion by email beforehand to talk about what I might like to see. They nailed it.

The urchin is an algae Roomba! Only draw back is that it does eat coralline.
image6.jpeg


It is also a bit of a daredevil.
image0 (8).jpeg


I have counted a total of 9 limpets at one time. They are growing fast.
image1 (3).jpeg


Yellow rock boring sponges
image2.jpeg


Lightbulb Nem has quadrupled in size. It has not multiplied.
IMG_5181.jpg


2 Tunicate colonies. These guys were awesome, they only lasted 3 months. They would dissolve into an orange wad of gum and then multiply by reconstructing themselves with more cells. Then a limpet ate them. Very sad...

IMG_5261.jpg


Porcelain Crabs, at least 6 individuals
IMG_5400.jpg

IMG_5282.jpg


A couple odds and ends were one bivalve clam thingy, a single barnacle that survived a few months, a few small bristle worms, lots of pods, lots and lots of micro bristle stars, and 2 bristle stars about the size of a half dollar, a cup coral that got smothered by sand, and a partridge in a pear tree. image0 (3).jpeg IMG_5212.jpg
 
OP
OP
jabberwock

jabberwock

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
3,249
Reaction score
3,792
Location
in front of my computer
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Macro algae. I am a big fan. It keeps consuming nutrients and outcompetes nuisance algae all day long. I also like the visual element it adds to the tank. There was a bunch on my TBS ocean live rock! I only lost 2 out of 6 species.

One because my urchin ate it...
This is the only one it touched. But it ate it ALL.
image0.jpeg


The other one I lost just did not do well in my tank. It would not stay attached. I tried a few times to glue it to a piece of rubble, but then it got all fluffy and croaked.
IMG_5080.jpg

Croaked is a technical term for "it died".

This one is a slow grower. Started like this, and dwindled away to almost nothing.
image1 (4).jpeg

It has made an impressive recovery as you can see in this photo.
image3 (6).jpeg


This one lived for several months, and actually just had a hard time staying attached. Since I found it rolling around in the surf, that kind of makes sense. It went through a short stage where it had white tips, but then it started to grow pretty well. A thing I have learned about macros is that when they get bigger, the increased surface area acts like a sail, and then they sail away. It eventually broke off and broke down. I pulled out big chunks when it was convenient.
image1.jpeg


Now for the good stuff! This one started as this tiny twig.
tiny.jpg

and eventually grew to this massive size. I have pruned it heavily, 2 times in 5 months.
image0 (6).jpeg

Here is its current state at the third grow out. I also clip a small piece and glue it to a piece of rubble to stick in the sin bin to grow it back out. I give the rest to my LFS. They give me water in trade. Hopefully, I will never be without a specimen.
image1 (11).jpeg


This tiny twig has really been prolific also.
grape.jpg


It has grown into these two separate plants, plus a pretty good sized chunk in the sin bin.
image0 (13).jpeg



IMG_5410.jpg


That's it for today. See you soon! twig.jpg
 
OP
OP
jabberwock

jabberwock

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
3,249
Reaction score
3,792
Location
in front of my computer
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Presently, in real time, I am experiencing ich, and losing. 2 out of 4 fish dead. Came home to a deceased YWG who was not symptomatic at all, or at least as far as I could see. The other 2 don't look great. Bummer...
 

TraydersAnonymous

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 30, 2022
Messages
104
Reaction score
62
Location
ontario
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I started purchasing tank and equipment in June of 2022. I was totally comfortable with going slow. There was house remodeling on the horizon, and I thought I would wait until that was done to start the new tank. That was not to be the case. The tank has been wet for 5 months. We have just started the remodeling.
25.jpeg

I was perfectly fine with patience, but eventually, I had everything, and knew the remodeling was not going to start in 2022, so I got started. Equipment list:
  • Innovative Marine Fusion 25 gallon lagoon
  • Included stock return pump and media basket
  • BRS Ink Bird 100 watt titanium heater and controller
  • 2 each Kessil Tuna Blue A80, eventually got the controller
  • Kessil mounting arm, had to rig a cross bar to accommodate 2 lights
  • Jeboa OW-25 wave maker and controller
  • Kamoer ATO one, I like it...
  • Trigger Systems 5 gallon ATO reservoir (blem)
  • Innovative Marine filter socks, 10 pack
  • Innovative Marine "Pedestal". A couple weeks after I bought the tank from IM, they ran a special for buy a tank get the pedestal free. I appealed to them, and they happily honored my recent purchase and sent me the free pedestal! Great customer service IM!
  • Hand made black walnut stand
  • IM APS stand, I just purchased this and will move the tank to it after the hard wood floors go in. The wood stand is too low. I want the tank higher for better viewing and ease of maintenance.
Wow free stand that's dope, I should have went IM or reef asa over WB
 

El Reeflero

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2022
Messages
43
Reaction score
76
Location
NorCal
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
After many years of bigger tanks, I exited and re-entered with an IM 15 AIO. Loving it! The IM 25 Lagoon is my next stop. Awesome tanks and incredible people working there - excellent Customer Service (no...I don't work for them). Got the Mighty Jet 536 initially...way too big! Quickly downsized to the 326 (still need to figure out what to do with a nearly new 538 - save it for the Lagoon?). I also have a Kessil A80 over it with the Spectral X controller - all softies...more than enough. I'm enjoying your thread. Cool build!
 

Time for a Tank Tour! What is your favorite thing to look at in your tank?

  • I have this one fish that I can't get enough of!

    Votes: 28 12.2%
  • I'm captivated by this one coral in my tank.

    Votes: 23 10.0%
  • I have an invert that is so much fun to watch.

    Votes: 22 9.6%
  • I actually have several favorites!

    Votes: 84 36.7%
  • My favorite thing to watch is actually a bit unconventional...

    Votes: 13 5.7%
  • I don't have a favorite thing! I just watch everything!

    Votes: 103 45.0%
Back
Top