TheWB’s IM Lagoon 50

TheWB

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Hello everyone,

I joined the forum about a year ago and so far I’ve just been following a bunch of different threads, chiming in here and there, reading everything I can and just generally lurking. I’m finally ready after about 18 months of planning and accumulating equipment to start my build thread. This isn’t going to be too exciting for a while, it’s mostly just going to be a place for me to document what I’m doing but I’ve been out of the hobby for about 5 years, I made a boatload of mistakes when I was active before and I’ll appreciate any and all constructive criticism from anyone following along so please feel free to chime in. I’m planning on a longer cycle so there won’t be any fish or corals for a while. I really want to get all the equipment broken in and functioning first. This way if I need to make changes I’m doing it before the livestock goes in. One of my goals is to keep my hands out of the tank as much as possible once things are living in there.

Tank got wet on 1/6 and I’ve been leak testing and running the wave and return pumps since then. There is a total of 37 gallons of water in the tank. I measured exactly because I wanted to know what the actual volume was should I ever need to add anything directly to the display. I’m using Two Little Fishies AccuraSea1 salt mix which Comes in individual pouches designed to mix up at 1.026 in 4.5 gallons of water. Added 30# of CaribSea Arag alive reef sand and 5# of CaribSea Ocean Direct sand on 1/13.

My rock structures just went in today. I wanted to try something different so I’ve used the Two Little Fishies Stax Rock and also some CaribSea Rubblezone. I built the rock up on top of the Innovative Marine Snapgrid eggcrate so there will be very Little Rock actually sitting on the sand bed. I wanted to get flow under the rock work and this seems to be working out pretty well. The Stax rock is very pourus so there will be flow through the structures as well. It’s not the most natural looking scape as you will see once I post some pics but once it’s colored up and covered with coral I doubt it’s going to bother me.

That’s it for now, just wanted to get this started. I’ll be posting later with a full equipment list and some pics of my progress so far. Thanks for reading and to anyone tagging along.
 
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TheWB

TheWB

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They are coming but I got interupted. It’s my daughters birthday and I have to go get the cake . Also waiting for the water to clear up so a current pic with the scape in can be posted.
 
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TheWB

TheWB

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Equipment List

Innovative Marine Nuvo Fusion Lagoon 50 AIO Tank.
Innovative Marine Black APS50 Cabinet.
Innovative Marine Lagoon 50 mesh screen lid. (This will end up being replaced, I can tell it’s going to block too much light).
Innovative Marine Ghost Skimmer Midsize. (We’ll see how this works out, lots of mixed or poor reviews but I didn’t wan’t to modify anything).
Innovative Marine Midsize AUQA Shield UV Sterilizer/Clarifier (Will not be running to start, will use as needed).

Neptune APEX 2016 Full System (I’ll be needing plenty of help with this I’m sure).
Aquamaxx 4 Probe Holder.
Pyle PDBC70 15 Amp Power Supply 1800VA Rack Mountable Power Strip Surge Protector with Switch Control and 9 outlets. (Purchased before I decided to go with the Apex but it’s already come in very handy).

Ecotech Marine XR15PRO LED Light with RMS single Radion tank mount.
Innovative Marine Chaetomax 2-n-1 rufugium led.

CurrentUSA eFlux DC Flow Pump #6009 1050gph return pump. (This was purchased before the Vectra S1 came out, at the time it was the only dc pump I could find that would fit in the limited space of the rear chamber).
CurrentUSA eFlux DC wave pump 1050gph model x 2. (Purchased to match the return pump and operate off of 1 remote for feed modes, etc.. These were bought before I decided to get an APEX 2016).

Tunze Osmolator Universal 3155 ATO system.
Innovative Marine Hydrofil Resevoir 5 gallon.

Cobalt Aquatics Neo-therm 200 watt heater. (Should’ve gone with two smaller models for redundancy but that will have to happen later).

inTank Innovative Marine Fusion 30L/40/50 Media Basket.
inTank Innovative Marine Fusion 30L/40/50 Floss Holder.

Vertex Technologies Puratek Deluxe 100 GPD RO/DI Filter. (Working like a champ so far, 0 TDS showing on the monitor).

Rock, sand and Snapgrid were mentioned in post 1.

After I decided to get a controller I first went with a DA Reefkeeper Lite. I only intended to use it to control the heater and the Fuge light and to monitor temp, ph and salinity. Very basic. Then they went out of business and I didn’t want to mess around with a controller with no support. I ended up selling the DA equipment here on the selling forum. It was brand new and I think a couple of people got good deals on pieces they needed for their existing systems.

I also have some Liferock shapes and regular rock. I really tried to make it work in this tank but the pieces were too big and I just couldn’t make a scape that I liked. I still have it and will probably use some of it in a 20 long I’ve got laying around. Going to try and do a small self contained system with no external filtration at some point, but not soon.

That’s it for the current equipment list. If I’ve got anything else I don’t remember what it is. Almost all of this was purchased at discount during a holiday or other type of sales. I got a huge discount on the tank and stand. A LFS here in the area has a special anniversary sale every year where they sell tanks and stands at their cost. They actually ordered both the tank and stand for me at the sale price. I didn’t have to pay for shipping either, it was too good of a deal to pass up and I’m grateful I was able to take advantage of that promotion. It’s been a long 18 months or so of waiting to get this tank up and running but at least I was able to get some better deals on equipment over the course of time. On the flip side some of the things I bought early had improved versions released and other options that were probably better became available. Overall I’m pretty happy with what I have so far.
 
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TheWB

TheWB

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Ok, here are some pics of what has happened with the scape over time.

I knew I wanted to raise the scape up off of the sand so I used some of Innovative Marines Snapgrid eggcrate with the risers to lift the two larger islands up. The thing that looks like a tree is made of CaribSea Rubblezone and while I liked it originally it ended up not making it into the final scape. The rest is obviously the Stax rock on the snapgrid. Dust on the bottom was from the Liferock I tried to use earlier on. I dumped all the pictures I had of the Liferock so I can’t show what that looked like. I think it’s a great product, it just ended up not being right for this build.

2299CBF6-731B-40C3-94BD-62B462C04757.jpeg


Over time that fairly simple scape above morphed into the monster that you see in the next two pictures. I have had a lot of time to work on this and it just kept getting bigger and bigger until I eventually realized I’d gone too far. This would have worked well in a 36” wide tank. When I dry fitted this into my 30” wide tank it was too close to the sides. It was just too much. At this point I had incorporated the Rubblezone to cover the Snapgrid and risers as well as to break up some of the flat surfaces of the Stax rock. Also, the rubble tree had been turned on its side and was now the left half of the front island, arching over that triangular shaped rock in the very front. Please excuse the mess on my ping pong table which has been my scape workshop for months now.
A67EC62D-EB7A-45D0-869D-8BE739D6663D.jpeg


7BCAD676-5D78-4947-B371-16F41B910C7E.jpeg


Once I decided there was just too much going on with the scape I went the other way and simplified. This left plenty of open space and was much lower which was a step in the right direction. Ultimately I think I over corrected and didn’t leave enough room for coral placement or enough hiding spaces for fish.
51BE8817-D273-4ACF-A22D-5369DCA22F61.jpeg


Which leads us to this, the final scape. I added a few more pieces and made the left structure larger. I broke up the front piece into 3 smaller islands. The Stax in the back corners are to try and mitigate the sandstorm. I have the flow turned up pretty high back there to try and keep detritus from settling. Still might need to raise them a little or turn them down. The coralline covered rubble on top of the right island will not be staying there. I wanted to get some color going so I grabbed those three little pieces from the LFS with the intention of putting them in the back and letting the flow pound them, just waiting until I figure out the flow back there so they don’t get buried.
A627B6E6-5103-4AF4-9E2C-600D1153DD5C.jpeg
71C2AA6C-B816-4BC8-AB61-A9B84FCDB11F.jpeg
2CEE228D-9B18-4A04-90C6-55A65763C6CF.jpeg
77CF8861-932E-4E33-9527-F3AF845120A5.jpeg
BC3ED870-9B72-450A-A028-1AA052EAB2F5.jpeg


That’s everything I’ve got so far. If you’re looking please let me know what you think of the scape.
 
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TheWB

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One thing I really wanted to do is create simple wire management for this build while maintaining some flexibility and ease of use if I need to remove anything. I got these little round cord management routers with adhesive backs from Home Depot. I realize it’s not super clean but each cable is pretty well isolated on its own path. The cables pop in and out easily but they won’t slip out on their own. I’m totally envious of you folks out there with the beautiful controller mounts and wire management, I wish I had those kinds of skills. For me though, this is leaps and bounds ahead of anything I’ve done previously which could best be described as a total mess.
18B34871-6897-4017-91CC-58AAEBD3637F.jpeg
0ECF6EB0-11FB-4FFA-9575-67037EBEE704.jpeg
 
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Hella_Reef

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Awesome documentation. Looking forward to this build.

Dont worry, we all make a boat load of mistakes in the beginning. That's how we learn in this hobby.

Great equipment list. I wanted to go with radions myself but had success with the revives on my last undocumented build, so I went the cheap route again. Most importantly happy birthday to the little one, hope it was a good day for you and the family.

Until the next post, Cheers
 
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TheWB

TheWB

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Awesome documentation. Looking forward to this build.

Dont worry, we all make a boat load of mistakes in the beginning. That's how we learn in this hobby.

Great equipment list. I wanted to go with radions myself but had success with the revives on my last undocumented build, so I went the cheap route again. Most importantly happy birthday to the little one, hope it was a good day for you and the family.

Until the next post, Cheers
Thanks, I appreciate the support. I’m pretty happy with the equipment. Had I waited to buy pumps I’d probably be all Ecotech but for the money I think the CurrentUSA stuff is a good value. We’ll see how long they last. Can always upgrade later. No reason for you to change if you were happy with the Revives, you’re probably better off with a wider light with your tank dims anyway.

The little one with the birthday is actually 15 so not so little. It was just us tonight as both my wife and son were working. She had a good day doing her favorite weekend activity, sleeping.
 

P-Dub

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Man, things are looking great! I actually liked your third aquascape iteration the best.
Cord management is an elusive bear to tackle. Just when you think you have it all tucked away nicely you have to move some piece of equipment and then its a hassle. I like what you have done. Mine looks great when you look into the cabinet... just don't look behind the tank;)
 
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TheWB

TheWB

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Man, things are looking great! I actually liked your third aquascape iteration the best.
Cord management is an elusive bear to tackle. Just when you think you have it all tucked away nicely you have to move some piece of equipment and then its a hassle. I like what you have done. Mine looks great when you look into the cabinet... just don't look behind the tank;)
Thanks, I liked the third version of the scape too but like I said, it was just a little lacking in places to hide and places for coral. I’m really happy with how the final version came out. The pictures I took don’t really do it justice. They make it look like there a lack of depth when that’s really not the case. Also, I just had to stop tweaking it, I’ve been messing around with it for over a year. It really feels great that it’s wet and it’s done.
 
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P-Dub

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Now begins the long waiting game of cycling. Patience. You have taken your time thus far, don't be in any hurry now. I cycled my rock for just a hair over 15 weeks. Never had any algae outbreaks or diatoms or other issues normally associated with the new tank. Keep us posted.
 
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TheWB

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Yeah, I’m definitely not in a hurry. If patience was a problem this whole thing would be an algae farm disaster by now instead of just getting started. My job can be very time consuming so the plan is for a long cycle and then two fish, probably a pair of zebra barred dartfish. I want to start with something different this time. Those fish will probably be the only inhabitants other than clean up crew until summer. Maybe another fish or two before that if things are going well. I like the idea of more, but small fish. At that point if everything is stable I will order some coral. This is going to be a zoa/lps tank with an Rose or Rainbow BTA as the centerpiece eventually. I’d also like to do a small garden of Rock Flower Anenomes, maybe 2 or 3 really nice ones. What I don’t want to do is have a tank full of coral and have to deal with a huge algae outbreak because I wasn’t patient. I’ve got a plan, just need to stick to it and resist the urge to add more than I should before I should. Insert cliche: Nothing good happens fast in this hobby. It’s a cliche because it’s true.
 

chefjpaul

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Ok, here are some pics of what has happened with the scape over time.

I knew I wanted to raise the scape up off of the sand so I used some of Innovative Marines Snapgrid eggcrate with the risers to lift the two larger islands up. The thing that looks like a tree is made of CaribSea Rubblezone and while I liked it originally it ended up not making it into the final scape. The rest is obviously the Stax rock on the snapgrid. Dust on the bottom was from the Liferock I tried to use earlier on. I dumped all the pictures I had of the Liferock so I can’t show what that looked like. I think it’s a great product, it just ended up not being right for this build.

2299CBF6-731B-40C3-94BD-62B462C04757.jpeg


Over time that fairly simple scape above morphed into the monster that you see in the next two pictures. I have had a lot of time to work on this and it just kept getting bigger and bigger until I eventually realized I’d gone too far. This would have worked well in a 36” wide tank. When I dry fitted this into my 30” wide tank it was too close to the sides. It was just too much. At this point I had incorporated the Rubblezone to cover the Snapgrid and risers as well as to break up some of the flat surfaces of the Stax rock. Also, the rubble tree had been turned on its side and was now the left half of the front island, arching over that triangular shaped rock in the very front. Please excuse the mess on my ping pong table which has been my scape workshop for months now.
A67EC62D-EB7A-45D0-869D-8BE739D6663D.jpeg


7BCAD676-5D78-4947-B371-16F41B910C7E.jpeg


Once I decided there was just too much going on with the scape I went the other way and simplified. This left plenty of open space and was much lower which was a step in the right direction. Ultimately I think I over corrected and didn’t leave enough room for coral placement or enough hiding spaces for fish.
51BE8817-D273-4ACF-A22D-5369DCA22F61.jpeg


Which leads us to this, the final scape. I added a few more pieces and made the left structure larger. I broke up the front piece into 3 smaller islands. The Stax in the back corners are to try and mitigate the sandstorm. I have the flow turned up pretty high back there to try and keep detritus from settling. Still might need to raise them a little or turn them down. The coralline covered rubble on top of the right island will not be staying there. I wanted to get some color going so I grabbed those three little pieces from the LFS with the intention of putting them in the back and letting the flow pound them, just waiting until I figure out the flow back there so they don’t get buried.
A627B6E6-5103-4AF4-9E2C-600D1153DD5C.jpeg
71C2AA6C-B816-4BC8-AB61-A9B84FCDB11F.jpeg
2CEE228D-9B18-4A04-90C6-55A65763C6CF.jpeg
77CF8861-932E-4E33-9527-F3AF845120A5.jpeg
BC3ED870-9B72-450A-A028-1AA052EAB2F5.jpeg


That’s everything I’ve got so far. If you’re looking please let me know what you think of the scape.
That is very sweet looking aquascape!!
 
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