The Great Downsize: KJoFan's IM Fusion 50 Lagoon

KJoFan

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I am in the prep and planning stages for a new IM Fusion 50 Lagoon. I've had AIO's in the past, so this won't be new but I am debating a few things regarding setup I'd like input from folks on. Especially those with this particular tank.

1. I'm debating implementing the InTank media baskets vs just the filter floss holders. Pros/cons?
2. If I went with just the filter floss holders for sure, I would implement the IM media reactor for media needs. But, if I went with the media baskets, would the reactor be necessary?
3. I am considering a Santa Monica drop in turf scrubber. If I go this route, would a skimmer be necessary?

I think those are my main debates right now. I'd love to hear some input on any or all of these points!
 
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TheWB

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I’ve been running a Lagoon 50 for a little over a year. I have one intank media basket and one floss holder. Currently I’m not using the floss holder because I’m running the IM midsize uv where it would normally go. Both of them work well and fit properly, better than the IM equivalents.
I also have the media reactor. I ran it for a while with both gfo and carbon separately and together at various times. It’s not hooked up right now because I ran out of room in the back chambers of the tank. It wasn’t very effective when it was running but that probably had more to do with me than with it’s capabilities. I’ve tried a lot of things over the last year.
Can’t comment on the algae scrubber eliminating the need for a slimmer since I’ve never used one. I like a skimmer for aeration as well as nutrient removal so I think I’d run one regards of other filtration methods being used.
Hope that helps. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with your Lagoon. Is this going to be the build thread?
 

W Haymaker

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Hey KJoFan and TheWB! I can't answer fully as you have but a little of what I am doing now. I have both lagoons, 25 & 50. IM reactors in both.

In the 50 (3 months running) I have a sock in one side and skimmer in the other. I had an InTank Basket was in there but pulled it out because of the reactor. I'm not running prepackaged carbon packets, fuge, etc, so I didn't need it any longer. I just had a media bag with BRS carbon. For me I just pull out the reactor core (sounds so nuclear), leave the pump running and housing in the tank, and finish changing it out in the sink and plop it back in. It's just a bit easier to pop out the core and change out media for me. I like running carbon at all times and like TheWB a have run GFO for a period. I could live without the reactor though. Reactors are not a game changer for me. Just a bit easier. I looked at the hanging baskets but so far I have a bunch of socks, change them out, throw them in a bucket, and keep moving. Socks are a love/hate but since I have plenty it's a bit easier.

I wasn't even aware of that particular scrubber. I like the concept! Right now both tanks have no nutrient concerns but I'd employ changes immediately once my tanks age and/or change.
 
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KJoFan

KJoFan

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I’ve been running a Lagoon 50 for a little over a year. I have one intank media basket and one floss holder. Currently I’m not using the floss holder because I’m running the IM midsize uv where it would normally go. Both of them work well and fit properly, better than the IM equivalents.
I also have the media reactor. I ran it for a while with both gfo and carbon separately and together at various times. It’s not hooked up right now because I ran out of room in the back chambers of the tank. It wasn’t very effective when it was running but that probably had more to do with me than with it’s capabilities. I’ve tried a lot of things over the last year.
Can’t comment on the algae scrubber eliminating the need for a slimmer since I’ve never used one. I like a skimmer for aeration as well as nutrient removal so I think I’d run one regards of other filtration methods being used.
Hope that helps. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with your Lagoon. Is this going to be the build thread?
Thanks for the input! I have read through your thread to try to get a feel for what others are doing. I've had an IM25 and IM40 in the past so I'm familiar for sure, just trying to plan my best approach this time around. I think the biggest drawback as we've probably all found is the limited space for equipment. So trying to find the best combo takes a little work. I agree on your comments on a skimmer, I've always used them in the past, but also know their usefullness is limited on these smaller scales. If I go with one, I'd probably go with the stock IM midsize DC version.

I do think if I go media basket route, at least one inTank basket rather than the IM version is in order. I suppose I could always just load each level with floss. I really want to do all I can to reduce the amount of detritus that makes it's way into the back chambers.

I will may start a new build thread once the tank actually arrives, or maybe I'll just convert this into the build thread, I'm not sure yet.

Hey KJoFan and TheWB! I can't answer fully as you have but a little of what I am doing now. I have both lagoons, 25 & 50. IM reactors in both.

In the 50 (3 months running) I have a sock in one side and skimmer in the other. I had an InTank Basket was in there but pulled it out because of the reactor. I'm not running prepackaged carbon packets, fuge, etc, so I didn't need it any longer. I just had a media bag with BRS carbon. For me I just pull out the reactor core (sounds so nuclear), leave the pump running and housing in the tank, and finish changing it out in the sink and plop it back in. It's just a bit easier to pop out the core and change out media for me. I like running carbon at all times and like TheWB a have run GFO for a period. I could live without the reactor though. Reactors are not a game changer for me. Just a bit easier. I looked at the hanging baskets but so far I have a bunch of socks, change them out, throw them in a bucket, and keep moving. Socks are a love/hate but since I have plenty it's a bit easier.

I wasn't even aware of that particular scrubber. I like the concept! Right now both tanks have no nutrient concerns but I'd employ changes immediately once my tanks age and/or change.
I'm with you on the ease of the media reactor. It's not something I am married to using, but have also toyed with going full Aqua Forest which could mean using a reactor for their products.

I'm thinking that perhaps the scrubber and media reactor would be more effective at nutrient control than the so-so skimmer options out there.

So many options and combinations!
 

chefjpaul

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Welcome to the lagoon club.

I run the following and have pretty stable parameters... now anyway. Was rough start, but now dialed in since I switched to All for Reef dosing. I was using ATI, but very inconsistent for me and KH crashed tank about 8 months ago.

Media- floss only with intank floss holders. Both sides.

IM ghost skimmer. Works ok, mainly for aeration.

Small Oxydator in left side.

Semi- cryptic zone in right two chambers, I do not clean the back, its now full of life, sponges, filter feeders, rock, etc..

I do run a Tunz algae reactor, and works fantastic, having to dose minor elements regularly to keep up.

I rarely run anything else except carbon once and awhile when needed.
 

TheWB

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Thanks for the input! I have read through your thread to try to get a feel for what others are doing. I've had an IM25 and IM40 in the past so I'm familiar for sure, just trying to plan my best approach this time around. I think the biggest drawback as we've probably all found is the limited space for equipment. So trying to find the best combo takes a little work. I agree on your comments on a skimmer, I've always used them in the past, but also know their usefullness is limited on these smaller scales. If I go with one, I'd probably go with the stock IM midsize DC version.

I do think if I go media basket route, at least one inTank basket rather than the IM version is in order. I suppose I could always just load each level with floss. I really want to do all I can to reduce the amount of detritus that makes it's way into the back chambers.

I will may start a new build thread once the tank actually arrives, or maybe I'll just convert this into the build thread, I'm not sure yet.



I'm with you on the ease of the media reactor. It's not something I am married to using, but have also toyed with going full Aqua Forest which could mean using a reactor for their products.

I'm thinking that perhaps the scrubber and media reactor would be more effective at nutrient control than the so-so skimmer options out there.

So many options and combinations!
If you noticed in my thread detritus in the back chambers has been a big problem for me and it’s not easy to clean. Especially with all the equipment back there. Some people would argue that the detritus isn’t a big deal but I just don’t like all of that gunk just accumulating. I’ll be following to see how your methods work compared to mine. I hope yours is better so I can copy :)
 
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KJoFan

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Welcome to the lagoon club.

I run the following and have pretty stable parameters... now anyway. Was rough start, but now dialed in since I switched to All for Reef dosing. I was using ATI, but very inconsistent for me and KH crashed tank about 8 months ago.

Media- floss only with intank floss holders. Both sides.

IM ghost skimmer. Works ok, mainly for aeration.

Small Oxydator in left side.

Semi- cryptic zone in right two chambers, I do not clean the back, its now full of life, sponges, filter feeders, rock, etc..

I do run a Tunz algae reactor, and works fantastic, having to dose minor elements regularly to keep up.

I rarely run anything else except carbon once and awhile when needed.
I was considering not going the AF route and going with All for Reef as well on this smaller tank. Good to know it's working well for you. Do you see it being cost prohibitive or not necessarily? I've not used the product before, only read up on it.

Do you find you get much detritus build up in the back with the rubble and whatnot? Or are you finding the floss holders are effective in keeping detritus down?

I really think I might give the small drop in scrubber a try on this tank. Should be very simple and will fit in the second or fourth chambers. The real debate is whether to run a reactor or skimmer in the other chamber.
 
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KJoFan

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If you noticed in my thread detritus in the back chambers has been a big problem for me and it’s not easy to clean. Especially with all the equipment back there. Some people would argue that the detritus isn’t a big deal but I just don’t like all of that gunk just accumulating. I’ll be following to see how your methods work compared to mine. I hope yours is better so I can copy :)
I did see the detritus in your build thread, which led me to really want to work out a good way to avoid that. As you say, some say it's harmless but I'd rather keep as much out as I can. That's my goal anyway.

What are you all using for heaters? I considered the neo-therms but they aren't cheap! I do have an Inkbird controller I'd probably use for them.

This may just become my build thread after all. Pre-build build thread at the moment. :D
 

chefjpaul

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I was considering not going the AF route and going with All for Reef as well on this smaller tank. Good to know it's working well for you. Do you see it being cost prohibitive or not necessarily? I've not used the product before, only read up on it.

Do you find you get much detritus build up in the back with the rubble and whatnot? Or are you finding the floss holders are effective in keeping detritus down?

I really think I might give the small drop in scrubber a try on this tank. Should be very simple and will fit in the second or fourth chambers. The real debate is whether to run a reactor or skimmer in the other chamber.
I used AF on my last tank. Good product. I love the all for reef mainly because of only uses one dosing head. (You can make your own for less money).

The floss works well, I change it every few days.
The algae reactor collects a lot, separate pump, other than that I don't worry., ill clean the middle around the return pump once and awhile. Although the very bottom under the chambers is stuffed with rock as well. Ill blow it out every now and then.

The detritus feeds the other filter creatures in the chambers, an ecosystem. All the dives I've done around the globe, yet to see a detritus free reef, besides the algae reactor is a solid "balancing" machine, for lack of better terminology.
 

TheWB

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I
I did see the detritus in your build thread, which led me to really want to work out a good way to avoid that. As you say, some say it's harmless but I'd rather keep as much out as I can. That's my goal anyway.

What are you all using for heaters? I considered the neo-therms but they aren't cheap! I do have an Inkbird controller I'd probably use for them.

This may just become my build thread after all. Pre-build build thread at the moment. :D
I’m using a Neotherm, 200w I believe. But I would go with two smaller ones for redundancy if I had it to do over. Maybe 2 100s instead. Mine is controlled by my Apex. The chef has some really good advice, his build was one that I learned from back when I first joined the forum. He knows what he’s talking about.
 
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KJoFan

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I used AF on my last tank. Good product. I love the all for reef mainly because of only uses one dosing head. (You can make your own for less money).

The floss works well, I change it every few days.
The algae reactor collects a lot, separate pump, other than that I don't worry., ill clean the middle around the return pump once and awhile. Although the very bottom under the chambers is stuffed with rock as well. Ill blow it out every now and then.

The detritus feeds the other filter creatures in the chambers, an ecosystem. All the dives I've done around the globe, yet to see a detritus free reef, besides the algae reactor is a solid "balancing" machine, for lack of better terminology.
I've used some AF products on my current tank as well and never had a complaint. I'm still considering their usage. Haven't fully decided on that yet.

As for the back chambers, maybe I can just implement a little rubble back there similar to you to house that microfauna. I wouldn't say I'm aiming for detritus free. I haven't run a tank in my 13+ yrs in the hobby without it. :) But, I do want good mechanical filtration.

Heaters I use colbalt neotherm back up and a titanium heater as main.
I may go neotherm route, but as mentioned below, maybe 2x 100w rather than one bigger one.

I’m using a Neotherm, 200w I believe. But I would go with two smaller ones for redundancy if I had it to do over. Maybe 2 100s instead. Mine is controlled by my Apex. The chef has some really good advice, his build was one that I learned from back when I first joined the forum. He knows what he’s talking about.
I've read through a few of the IM 50 Lagoon threads, both of yours included so I'm gaining some insight for sure.

I'll pull together a list of equipment I'm thinking of so far and post that too.
 
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KJoFan

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As mentioned here's a list of equipment for the new system as I know it for now:

Tank: IM 50 Lagoon and APS stand
Return: MightyJet Midsize
Filtration: TBD (as seen above)
Circulation: 1-2 AI Nero 5
Lighting: 24" Aquatic Life fixture w/ Radio G4 Pro (tentative but relatively likely)

Liverock: Tampa Bay Saltwater LR or KP Aquatics LR
Sand: Tropic Eden Mesoflakes

Livestock (moved from my current system):
- 2x Bangaii cardinals
- Brunneus Fairy wrasse
- Potter's Leopard wrasse
- Bipartitus Leopard wrasse
- Yellow Eye Kole

I am downsizing from a 150g tank with plumbed 60g frank tank to the IM 50 Lagoon for various reasons, so this will be a big change, but if done right I think it will be very satisfying.
 

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