reef-rc IM EXT 150 lagoon tank | an extension of the sps dominate WB 190.5

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reef-rc

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This is my journey thread to extend my WB 190.5 sps dominant reef tank out to a shallow reef with the IM EXT 150 lagoon tank.

Since I dipped back into reefing over 5 years ago with nano size tanks, the ability to view the reef from all three sides and from the top is great. Over that time, I have developed a preference to view the reef more from the top view than the sides. This is my attempt to have that view on a larger system without having to stand on a step stool.

2nd - With a dominant sps tank, there is a balance a reefer has to make in order to also maintain LPS or soft corals without sacrificing something. With the WB 190.5 now starting to explode in growth, it has become apparent I cannot maintain many other types of corals in the WB 190.5 due to flow and lighting. Currently, any low light and low/medium flow areas in the WB 190.5 are prime real-estate in the tank and is not sustainable if I expect all corals to continue to grow.

What a reefer to do right ;)? I am technically not upgrading...only extending .

The plan so far:
  • Tank – IM EXT 150 Lagoon Aquarium w/ APS Stand – White. Scheduled to arrive mid-July (fingers crossed!)
    • So why IM EXT 150 lagoon?
      • This tank is only 19" high
      • The tank is wide. 35.4" compare to your standard 24" or even 26" on my WB 190.5. Like viewing the reef from the top, I have also grown and appreciate a wider tank. 26" is good but this is a bigger step to be able to create interesting aquascapes and corals placement.
      • External overflow box. Internal overflow box hinder water flow imo. Not having to design rocks and corals around your overflow box would be so much simpler imo.
      • Not too long - 47.3". This makes it easier to move and manage.
  • Tank placement – adjacent to the WB 190.5
  • Plumbing – connect IM EXT 150 Lagoon to WB 190.5 so it’s one system
  • Plumbing placement – I plan to have the sump behind both tanks in the study | reef room.
What do you think? This is looking to be my summer project.

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Looks ambitious! What's with all the RODI? Could you put the sump in the closet instead?
Good point on the RODI. It was a label I was using for 30G ATO, 32G salt and 55G RODI. I am will update the visual to reflect the actual containers.

Ambitious...my first attempt to connect more than one tank to a sump. A stretch goal :)

Sump in the closet....you're right, it's possible based on the dimension but likely tight for sure. The challenge would be to move the sump in. The working space would be limited. The closet currently house the ATO and my salt mix for AWC. I would think humid could be a potential concern long term if the door is closed. I like the suggestion. Will ponder on it.
 
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Updated visual

- 30G ATO is a rectangle container
- 32G SALT is a brute trash can on rollers with SALT water. I currently use this for automatic water change.
- 55G RODI is a vertical storage tank. I used this to refill another 32G brute trash for mixing saltwater for water change.

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The sump - anyone recognized the maker?

20220520_091208 sm.jpg


A little background on the sump.
  • 45" x 21" x 17"
  • 15 years old custom sump from Precision Marine System – 69 gallons (realistically more like 63 gallons if I account for the acrylic materials). Yes, PM used to make custom sump and so much more. It’s a brand, for those that have been in the hobby for a while, will recognized when they did so much more. I had this sitting around all this time and this has never touched water :astonished-face:.
The plan:
  • The baffles are 10" high. I plan to lower two baffles to 8". This should accommodate the water height for the existing Maxspect Aeraqua Duo AD600 skimmer and the ClariSea SK-2000 Gen 2.
  • I plan relocate one baffle to the other side to help reduce bubbles before the return pumps
  • Water flow will be reverse since the sump was designed with filter sock/floss in mind and the water inlets coming from the tank are too small to accommodate a roller mat
  • The two bulkheads will be plugged up since it was designed with an external pumps in mind originally.


20220520_091233 sm.jpg


The concern:
  • My biggest concern is the sump total volume. It's only 69.5G but technically it's more like 61G total volume capacity once you account for the materials.
  • This is on the borderline of a recommended 58G - 72.5G sump size. There is a risk if both tanks (290G total volume) stop, it could exceed 61G.
  • I hate to let this sit around another 15 years ;) so I figured I give it a shot first.
    • 1st back-up option is to install a check valve on both tanks. I prefer not to go down this route as I think it's not necessary if the sump size is good and it also introduce another point of failure.
    • 2nd back-up option is to get a larger custom sump. My preference would be to just get a 100G sump and be done with it. Outside of cost, I am not sure the sump would be completed in time.

Having said all that, my plan to is to first hook up the existing tank to the this sump. Run it for a while and see where the level ends up on a power outage. Based on that I better determine what back-up option I should consider next if any.

What do you think?
 
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Modification of the sump is close to being finished. I lowered two baffles and removed one. Not the most eye pleasing but should get the job done.

This pics is the FIRST time the sump has seen water. This was to test for leaks after the cutting was done. Glad to see everything is holding up including those 15 yrs old bulkheads.
20220520_164958sm.jpg


This is the place where the sump would go. I laid down two square containers on the floor incase of leaks. The sump would be raised using 3 dolly seen in the pic above in addition to 1" stand so that it would sit above the 4" containers. A view of what that looks like

20220520_204711sm.jpg


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This is the closet behind the WB 190.5. As you can see, I have already expand the existing hole to 7.5" x 3.5" to accommodate 3 pipes (return line, main drain line and emergency drain line) and wiring.

20220521_121122sm.jpg


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Next up for this coming memorial weekend:
  • Plumb sump to the existing WB 190.5
  • Prep plumbing for the IM EXT 150. Likely entail cutting 1 large enough hole to the adjacent side wall for 3 pipes plus wiring for the IM EX 150.
 
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It's slow coming together. Even with the long 3 day weekend, it still isn't long enough to finish the plumbing to the existing WB190.5. The room is a mess in the making but progress is slowly being made.
  • The sump baffle was successfully relocated and the glue has cured.
  • Both emergency drain and main drain is slowly coming together. I am hoping to get those finished today.
The one issue I had ran into is with the return line. Seems I bought the wrong metric to stand conversion union. Did not pay attention to the fact that it was a 1" to 3/4" inches piece and I needed 1" versus the 3/4" inch union I got.

Since the current return line is soft tubing and looks to just be long enough, I think it might work short term until the appropriate union comes in. Will see once I try it out.


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T-Minus 7 days!

Recently received confirmation the tank is heading this way for delivery within an estimated 5 days.

In preparation, the sump relocation progress has gone pretty well. So far everything that needed to moved under the WB190.5 tank has been moved and running for the past 3 weeks I think.

It's definitely a mess in the making but progress ;). The mess will be around for a while until I can get the IM EXT 150 plumbing hooked in and electrical setup.

This is the overview. I definitely like the extra space inside, around and above the sump.
20220624_124908.jpg


Front view of the sump
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Top view of the sump
20220624_124807.jpg


The imperfect inlets and outlet plumbing to the WB190.5. The black hose is the return line. I am not too happy with this and will likely redo this once the IM EXT 150 plumbing is setup. For now, it works and is stable.
20220624_124729.jpg


The floating shelf above the sump.
20220624_124816.jpg


For the most part everything has been relocated which is great. Next step is to connect the IM EXT 150 so it's one system, add the aquascape and cycle the new aquascape in the IM EXT 150 while I tidy up all loose ends.
 
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I'm exhausted just knowing how much work you have put into this thus far!

As a side note, I had PM custom sump many years back with an external Iwaki pump. Gave it away a few years ago when I revamped my acrylic Clarity Plus tank with a Trigger Systems sump.
 
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I'm exhausted just knowing how much work you have put into this thus far!

As a side note, I had PM custom sump many years back with an external Iwaki pump. Gave it away a few years ago when I revamped my acrylic Clarity Plus tank with a Trigger Systems sump.
work? i thought it's call a hobby? :)

PM custom sump - I am liking it. It's well made. I am glad it has not leaked after all these years sitting around. Even the original bulkheads that came with the sump so far have held their own.
 
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This is the plan outline.
1653315746635-png.2683537



This is the actual location adjacent to the WB190.5 (where the two smaller storage containers are). The height of both tanks should be identical if not very close.
20220624_124427 (1).jpg


Front view of where tank will be residing
20220624_125341 (1).jpg


The tank will be 6.5" - 7" away from the wall.

Those pins on the wall are markings of the wall studs, light support bar and location where I will need to cut a hole through for the plumbing to the other room.
 
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It's here!

The delivery was simple enough and the tank looks to be in good shape even though one side of the outside container was dinged in pretty good to the point the side was lose and looked like someone tried to opened it and peeked in but did not bother to close it.

1656613176126.png


The 35" width is so refreshing compare to the 26" width on the WB190.5.
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Setting up the stand would be the next step.

Before putting the tank on the stand, I plan to install the 8020 light bar which should be arriving tomorrow. That should make things easier than installing the light bar against the wall after the tank is on the stand. The previous experience with the WB190.5 was a pain as access to easily installing the light rail was more problematic than it needed to be.
 
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Stand and light bar up!

The stand install was relatively simple. Compare to conventional stand, the aluminum stand install was so much easier as it is so much lighter. I don't see why, at a minimum, aluminum stand should not be the base standard going forward for all aquariums.

Light bar loosely installed waiting for tank to be placed on the stand before determining final destination. Install was relatively simple this time around since I knew from the previous setup.
20220702_090225.jpg


Leveling vertical light bar before anchoring it against the wall.
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These things are great at anchoring without having to rely on wall studs.
20220701_193920.jpg


Light bar parts
20220701_211316.jpg
 
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Tank has landed on the stand!

The four people crew of family, friends and neighbor make the process relatively smooth.
20220709_111258.jpg


Next steps:
  • Plumbing
  • Aquascape
  • Catch and move the Chevron tang and/or Orangeshoulder tang over from the WB190.5
  • I already have a number of fish in quarantine watch for a few weeks now and just waiting for the tank to be ready before I can release them.
 
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It's going...

I just added salt yesterday after two days of running the RODI directly to the tank. I got the salinity dialed @ 1.025.
20220713_094305.jpg


Currently working on the aquascape. Since the plan is to move one of the existing rock column from the WB1905 over, this should require little aquascaping to be done for the tank.
20220713_094406.jpg


I have 15 years old dry rocks which I recently washed and will be using to complete the aquascape as required.
20220713_094330.jpg


Plumbing is not done yet. The reason i got water started is because the current fish holding tank is relatively full and I have additional fish coming next week and do not want to stand up another fish observation tank. If for some reasons I am not able to finish the plumbing in time, I can at least place the fish here.

The upcoming plan:
  • finish the plumbing
  • finish the aquascape
  • add in all the fish at once (late next week)
  • run the tank with no lights for a couple of months for bacteria to populate the rocks
 
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Plumbing connected | Added fish | Aquascape cycling

20220724_083136.jpg


Plumbing:
Finally got the tank plumbing setup and running. It took a few leak tests to catch all those joints I forgot to glued :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:. Definitely check all joints have purple primer color before leak test is the biggest gotcha for me.

Sump: this is definitely a mess in the making. The orange highlighted color lines are for the IM150.

I have not decided yet if I will be plumbing this into a roller mat or not. For the time being, I have the overflow water dumped into a make shift filter basket to catch waste. I will likely remove this soon since this was initially setup to clean up water after salt mixing.

20220724_083411.jpg


Return line: I had chosen to use a T approach for the return line from the EcoTech Marine Vectra S2.

Overflow: The aquarium is designed with the bean animal drain (3 overflow lines) style. I went with the herbie overflow style and therefore I am only using 2 overflow lines. The third line is currently not plumed but can be if needed.

20220724_083238.jpg


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Aquascape:
I placed a number of small rock islands in the tank to get the aquascape cycling. 3 small rock islands are old rocks I had and been cycled since the other tank started. 2 small islands are new. I plan to build a couple more small islands in the coming weeks.

Aquascape is not done since I do plan to move a large existing island from the WB1905 tank over once I have the lighting setup. Until then, the tank will be running dark for cycling purpose.

Fish:
I placed a number of fish into the tank I had in my observation tanks for the past several weeks. The fish list so far:
  • Blotch anthias - small
  • 2 Melanurus wrasse - medium / large
  • Yellow Banded Possum Wrasse
  • Starry Blenny
The only reason I placed the fish in before the aquascape was complete because I did not want to setup more observation tanks than I already had running. I had more fish that just came this week and needed to move the existing batch out.

I currently have the following fish in observation tanks:
  • Yellow wrasse - small
  • Mystery Wrasse - small
  • Sailfin/Algae Blenny
  • Black Zoster Butterflyfish

Lighting:
The vho lighting above the tank is there only for the purpose of feeding the fish at night. The tank is most blackened out and will be running semi-dark for the next few months until new lighting are installed. It's semi-dark because only 1 side and the top of the tank are not covered up for the fish. The goal is to seed the rock for the next few months.

Pumps:
  • Return pump - EcoTech Marine Vectra S2. This was the back-up pump for the IM1905 tank.
  • Wave pumps - 2 EcoTech Marine VorTech MP40mQD. One on each side of the tank to help with water circulation.

Upcoming plans:
  • Complete building the remaining aquascape and cycle the rocks
  • Setup light bar
  • Black out the overflow box . It's currently all clear glass and will likely grow unwanted algae if I just let this be. Blacken it out should help with that.
  • CLEAN UP THE SUMP AREA now that both tanks are connected
 
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All the rocks I think may need are now in the tank and cycling in semi-dark. Semi-dark because there's ambient room light from the top and one side of the tank that are entering the tank for the purpose of viewing all the fish. I do turn on 2 24" blue vho lights 2 hrs for the purpose of feeding in the evening.

I am hoping this approach will allow bacteria from WB1905 to slowly migrate over to these rocks and avoid much of the new tank algae bloom as much as possible once lights come on.

Given the 19" height of the tank, most rocks are below 10" in height. Rocks are not really aquascape in it's final position. I am moving a rather large island from the WB1905 over to the center of the tank and everything else will spider out from there is the plan.

Current fish load:
  • 1 Blotch anthias - small
  • 2 Melanurus wrasse - medium / large
  • 1 Yellow Banded Possum Wrasse
  • 1 Starry Blenny - medium
  • 4 Yellow wrasse - small
  • 1 Mystery wrasse - small
  • 2 Black Zoster Butterflyfish - medium
I had placed in the Sailfin/Algae Blenny but it was getting it's butt kicked by the Starry Blenny and thought it was best to catch it incase I may end up losing a fish. Sailfin/Algae Blenny is currently back in the observation tank with the gem tang and convict tang.

Future fish additions:
  • 1 Gem tang - currently in observation tank
  • 1 Bristletooth Tomini tang - currently in my nano tank
  • 1 Orangeshoulder tang - currently in WB1905. Planning to catch it and move it over here. Otherwise I will just add the convict tang here in it's place.
Not much here other than rocks and fish
20220804_193351.jpg
 
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