Shrimp Dude's IM50 Lagoon Journey

shrimpnreefdude

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HAPPY NEW YEAR'S!!!
I figured I would start my thread today to mark off one of my goals here on R2R! The next goal is to become a supporting member/partner here as well. This place has already been a great value just joining as a regular member.

IG: shrimpnreefdude
If you have an IG account and give me a follow, please reply and drop me your @ here too and I'll give it a follow!
Innovative Marine Nuvo Fusion 50 Gal Lagoon started 12/6/23
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I'm still playing with rock placement. Some of the angles are difficult to see the space between the rock and glass. Nearly all of them have enough space to fit a floating scraper. There is one rock on the lower left that needs to be adjusted inward to make more clearance. There is lots of caves and swim throughs for future fish. I've tried to maximize surface area for coral mounting of course.

Cycled using live rock, live sand, mature biomedia, and SeaChem Stability dosed for 1 week (not necessary but a good boost).

Seeded with Tigger pods the first and second week and fed PhytoCrit every day since the setup, both from @Nutramar Foods . Ran out yesterday unfortunately and our local shops don't carry it which sucks. Ordering more asap.

Various inverts survived the transition into the new tank from day 1! One of the live rocks had a Christmas tree worm! So lucky to have had this survive the transit, the temporary setup in the garage in a tote, and then finally into the new tank. Anyone know what type of organism is on the right side? I'll be posting in the hitchhiker ID thread soon.
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and loads of feather duster worms!
Ended up finding a N. wennerae mantis shrimp too! My daughter named him Neptune and this is officially his tank is what she's told me. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:
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Equipment Breakdown
  • Light: Nicrew HyperReef 150 w/ Nicrew Controller
A much nicer light would be nice, but it's doing its job for now. It's very bright so it will be nice to get my hands on the PAR meter to get my settings right.
  • Return Pump: (2) Vivosun 800 GPH - Each return line has a dual flow return nozzle and each one with a Aqua Gadget Spin Stream - still playing with placement and flow. The spin streams dramatically reduce the output. Having four different nozzles with various flow patterns makes for nice turbulence in the water column and the surface.
Both pumps connected to Kasa smart outlets. Automated commands like "Feed Corals" turn off my return pumps and MP10 for a certain amount of time. Or so I can turn pumps on and off as needed. They restart automatically if I forget to turn back on as well.
  • Filtration: IM Media Basket & InTank Media Basket - fine floss pads, course foam, bulk carbon and GFO in media bags when needed / Also have a IM Fleece Roller I'm trying out but not decided on yet. It is convenient but a bit of an eye sore on the sleek AIO look.
  • Dosing: Jebao DP-4 - not yet installed. Getting it used from a buddy this week.
  1. Kalkwasser to be installed in the next couple weeks to help with pH drop in busy room full of people and dogs.
  2. TBD
  3. TBD
  4. TBD
  • Heater: Hygger 200W Titanium + Inkbird WiFi ITC-308
Plan to add another and switch to the Inkbird WiFi ITC-306 Dual probe controller for redundancy
  • ATO: IM HydroFill Ti Controller and Pump
  • Power Head: EcoTech MP 10QD
Would love to have another one. If anyone has a used one that inexpensive, please let me know. Will be trying a smaller Hygger model to help add more movement in the back section and lift detritus.
  • Sand: Caribsea BioLive Fiji Pink &
  • Rocks: Salty Bottom Reef Co., Caribsea, other misc live rocks from another reefer
This is as much as possible, a budget build! So buying used or budget friendly equipment is the goal.

I acquired the tank used from a fellow member of Bay Area Reefers and got an amazing deal that included the older style MP10. It's not mobius ready, but from what I understand, all I have to do is switch out an internal component for the app connectivity. May do that soon but I've figured out the settings and it's working.

My plans are to have a mixed reef aquarium with a variety of inverts and fish. I know Neptune the Mantis shrimp may take out a few inverts here and there, but that's how life will be in this reef!

I have no particular stocking list yet for fish. I have some ideas but I really just don't know enough about the kind I would like and if they'll be a useful addition. I want utility fish that serve a purpose to keep this ecosystem running smoothly. I want them to thrive because they're working to keep their home in tip top shape.

I started off the tank with some dumb mistakes. Adding sand before making up my mind on the rockscape. That means having to take out sand causing a nightmare with fines and turbidity. I think I have a few minor tweaks to make to my rockwork and then I'll have to just be content and see how it works out. There's some badly shaded spots on the sides because I insist on having those side structures. One way I could avoid that is to mount the light higher using the wire hangers and making a mount coming off the wall or hang them from the ceiling. That would help spread the light further to the edges.

The first couple weeks, the lights stayed off. I left the light on accidentally all day after playing with the settings and that's all it took for the diatoms and various other algaes to go bonkers.
I decided to add a couple Trochus snails from my other tank to help keep things in check. I've got various other snails on order and arriving next week. These guys are beautiful!
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I have no idea what all is growing on this one's shell. At one point, I saw some sort of filter feeder organism growing on it too! You can vaguely see it just above the bluish stuff on the left edge of the shell.
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Since leaving the light on, it's been an up and down battle as the copepod population tries to compete. I turned the lights off for a few days and they got put in check while the pods and snails worked. Then I decided to forget about the lights again recently and bam, they came back with a vengeance. This time, I scrubbed away a lot of it and then did a water change. It's part of the cycling process so I'm not too worried about it.

I've also got some of this green algae growing on the front of the glass. Thoughts? I scraped it down before a water change a couple days ago and it was back in a few spots by today. The copepods are using it to eat or to just hang onto it. Not really sure.
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shrimpnreefdude

shrimpnreefdude

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I introduced my first corals to this tank a couple nights ago! With that, I decided to take the plunge into the SPS world. I put in a purple Stylophora!
Here it is under my balanced light settings and then color corrected.
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Here it is under actinic lighting with UV spotlight and orange filter. The UV makes it pop!
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I also added one of my favorites, a Holy Grail Micromussa.
Oof...boy was it stressed out after the dip and acclimation process. I just had to hold my breath and hope for the best.
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The following evening!!!
Balanced light settings
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Actinic lighting with UV highlighting
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I also put in these awesome Ricordea Florida mushrooms that I named the Grinch Twins
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I had some extra Pandora zoa frags in my other tank so I threw these in here too to start figuring out where I want to make a zoa garden. These are such amazing looking zoas.
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And that's where I'm at with this tank. Almost 30 days in. A few more tweaks here and there. I recently ordered quite a few frags from AquaSD. Acans/micromussa, Blastos, Duncans, and a couple other random ones I liked. I have a feeling I'm going to fill these spaces too fast for this size tank. Easy fix...buy a bigger tank!
 

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DD Corals

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Maybe get some damsels since they are pretty fast swimmers, so hopefully, they won't be eaten by the mantis shrimp. If you decide to take out the mantis shrimp, I would do a shrimp/goby pair as they are fun to watch.
 

Gumbies R Us

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I introduced my first corals to this tank a couple nights ago! With that, I decided to take the plunge into the SPS world. I put in a purple Stylophora!
Here it is under my balanced light settings and then color corrected.
20231230_182239.jpg

Here it is under actinic lighting with UV spotlight and orange filter. The UV makes it pop!
20231231_214442.jpg


I also added one of my favorites, a Holy Grail Micromussa.
Oof...boy was it stressed out after the dip and acclimation process. I just had to hold my breath and hope for the best.
20231229_213529.jpg

The following evening!!!
Balanced light settings
20231231_170342.jpg

Actinic lighting with UV highlighting
20231231_214314.jpg
20231231_214455.jpg


I also put in these awesome Ricordea Florida mushrooms that I named the Grinch Twins
20231224_151408.jpg

20231231_170535.jpg


I had some extra Pandora zoa frags in my other tank so I threw these in here too to start figuring out where I want to make a zoa garden. These are such amazing looking zoas.
20231231_214240.jpg


And that's where I'm at with this tank. Almost 30 days in. A few more tweaks here and there. I recently ordered quite a few frags from AquaSD. Acans/micromussa, Blastos, Duncans, and a couple other random ones I liked. I have a feeling I'm going to fill these spaces too fast for this size tank. Easy fix...buy a bigger tank!
Pictures look great!
 
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shrimpnreefdude

shrimpnreefdude

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Hey hey hey!!! Congrats on the Oceanbox camera filter win!
Right?! I'm so excited. I'm going to get a couple other accessories like the snorkel and the 120mm macro lens. Thanks for coming to my thread.
Maybe get some damsels since they are pretty fast swimmers, so hopefully, they won't be eaten by the mantis shrimp. If you decide to take out the mantis shrimp, I would do a shrimp/goby pair as they are fun to watch.
Thanks for coming to check out my thread!

He's a small mantis species thankfully. So I agree he likely won't be hunting faster fish species. We'll be keeping him, but after he passes, I'd love to have a pistol/goby pair for sure. That would definitely be fun.
Pictures look great!
Thanks for checking out my thread Gumbies! Appreciate it.
 

WonkyWapiti

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Wow great tank! I'm now following this thread. These IM 50's are really appealing to me and I'm still looking hard between this and the 75. I think I've just about ruled out the Red Sea 300 I was initially thinking about. Also just wanted to comment that you're taking some great photos too.
 
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shrimpnreefdude

shrimpnreefdude

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Wow great tank! I'm now following this thread. These IM 50's are really appealing to me and I'm still looking hard between this and the 75. I think I've just about ruled out the Red Sea 300 I was initially thinking about. Also just wanted to comment that you're taking some great photos too.
Hey Wonky! Thanks for following along. It's been a nutty past couple weeks, but I've got a lot of updates to post soon. Lots of concerns, lots of cool things happening, and overall a bunch of new corals have gone I'm!

Appreciate the compliment about the photos. Got some more cool shots to share soon. Just need to make the time to post them. Lol
Very nice, I like how you have detailed your thought process. Look forward to seeing this mature.
Thanks Kev for the follow! More updates coming soon.
 
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shrimpnreefdude

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I was working on getting PAR values yesterday. I was able to borrow the Apogee meter from my local reefing club! Get to fine tune my light schedule and intensity. Here's how the tank is looking at the moment. These are only white lights for the pic.
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Nitrates are at decent levels and phosphates are low.
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My pH has been a struggle to keep up though. Tank sits in our front entry room, which almost always has most of the humans and dogs hanging out throughout the day and night. It of course has my ugly mug pressed up against the front pane on most days. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:
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I have been slowly using the Coralife Superbuffer - DKH powder to increase the alkalinity and it also helps with the pH. Long term plan though is to dose kalkwasser. I have the dosing pump, now I just need to get it installed and setup. I haven't quite figured out how to properly calculate my evaporation rate though. Seems like an easy enough common sense calculation, but I haven't figured out my process yet. I have a big ole 7 gallon tote for my ATO with no graduations. I may have to just use a graduated container for a few days to come up with an accurate value.

Here is a random equipment & process sharing of my updated salt mixing station. I used a 27 gallon heavy duty storage tote. Plumbed it with irrigation tubing to help with circulation. I added a couple valves so that I can switch the pump from circulating to filling totes for the water change. Makes quick work if mixing and filling!
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Here, I installed one of a switch to be able to quickly get the heater and pump started. I only plug in the heater the night before or the morning when I plan on doing the WC. The tote fill hose has a valve also.
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Lots of various algeas growing and unfortunately some bryopsis sprouting throughout the tank. I don't know this specific species.
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I'm reluctant to use fluconazole, but I may not have a choice before it gets too out of hand. I'd like to get some more herbivores in there. I have a shipment of snails coming next week that will hopefully control the rest of of the algaes. I also coralline algae growing in some spots! So that's a good feeling to see that pop up.

Love this Christmas tree worm! I have no idea what kind of filter feeder is next to it, on the right? Anyone know? Hopefully not another bad hitchhiker. I've got plenty of these popping up everywhere.
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I've got loads of feather duster worms too! So pretty! I've been feeding the tank a lot of live phytoplankton lately, and they are exploding in growth.
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Found a couple of these yesterday! I was able to do a basic search and I believe they are from the Dorvilleidae family, which is considered a good cuc. Thank goodness!
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shrimpnreefdude

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I also found these this morning. Every day, I seem to find new lifeforms. Good and bad. These live rocks sure do come with a lot of surprises. So it looks like some type of filter feeder and then a starfish of some sort. Not sure the species of either. Definitely going to post on the invert ID forum.
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Another cool shot of a feather duster worms.
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And a quick sneak peak from Neptune. He's getting more confident with seeing my ugly face pressed up on the glass...and the camera!
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Looks to be one of the Asterina stars. Some eat co als, some eat algae. I've got one that's almost an inch and a half across.
 

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