TheWB’s IM Lagoon 50

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TheWB

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NO3 tested at 10 tonight on Salifert, down from 25, so the Nopox is doing it’s job. Didn’t test PO4 but I will soon. My skimmer is not producing much lately so I was a little concerned about the Nopox. It will be interesting to see where PO4 is. My back chambers are dirty again so it’s probably about time for another deep clean out back there. My sand needs a good cleaning as well. Not my favorite activities but they need to be done. It’s frustrating not to be able to keep the back chambers clean.
 

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NO3 tested at 10 tonight on Salifert, down from 25, so the Nopox is doing it’s job. Didn’t test PO4 but I will soon. My skimmer is not producing much lately so I was a little concerned about the Nopox. It will be interesting to see where PO4 is. My back chambers are dirty again so it’s probably about time for another deep clean out back there. My sand needs a good cleaning as well. Not my favorite activities but they need to be done. It’s frustrating not to be able to keep the back chambers clean.
Thats great about the nitrates, hopefully the phosphates will follow. I wonder why your back keeps getting dirty, its really strange. I cleaned mine after a year, there was some detritus in the back chambers but no where near to what you showed in the pictures last time. If your not using Poly-fil 100% polyester pillowing stuffing I would check it out. It works great and is cheap, you can get it at Walmart.
 
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Thats great about the nitrates, hopefully the phosphates will follow. I wonder why your back keeps getting dirty, its really strange. I cleaned mine after a year, there was some detritus in the back chambers but no where near to what you showed in the pictures last time. If your not using Poly-fil 100% polyester pillowing stuffing I would check it out. It works great and is cheap, you can get it at Walmart.
I don’t even know man, the detritus in the back chamber is such a pain to deal with. It’s the only thing I don’t like about this tank. It’s just not easy to clean out that area. I had some felt pads under the stand which made it really easy to move even when it’s full of water. Those pads got wet and had to be removed so I can’t move the tank easily anymore. The tank really has to get moved away from the wall in order to clean the back out. It’s just not good. I am using Poly-fil and a few different other pads in the overflows. The real good question is where is all the detritus coming from? I’ll eventually get it figured out.
 

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Yea I can imagine that it’s a PITA to move. What a mystery, it has to be getting around your media basket some how, only way for it to get in. Only thing I can think of which I’m sure you all ready tried is make sure the basket is pushed all the way forward. Sometimes if it’s not, it allows space for the water to flow down without entering the basket. I have the intank floss holders on my bigger tank and they are good with staying to the front and tight but on the lagoon I have the IM basket and it’s like it dosnt want stay tight against the overflow. I found a little clip the I put behind it so it doesn’t have a gap.
 
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Yea I can imagine that it’s a PITA to move. What a mystery, it has to be getting around your media basket some how, only way for it to get in. Only thing I can think of which I’m sure you all ready tried is make sure the basket is pushed all the way forward. Sometimes if it’s not, it allows space for the water to flow down without entering the basket. I have the intank floss holders on my bigger tank and they are good with staying to the front and tight but on the lagoon I have the IM basket and it’s like it dosnt want stay tight against the overflow. I found a little clip the I put behind it so it doesn’t have a gap.
I have the In-Tank caddy on one side with literally like 4 different pads in it now, including the poly-fil. On the other side is the IM Aquashield UV Sterilizer. I put cut pieces of 50 micron strips from a roll of felt for a roller mat over the pad that comes with the uv, that pad is very porous. There’s also a bag of chemipure at the bottom of that chamber so that should help with stuff getting through. I don‘t know but like I said, I’ll figure it out eventually.
 
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Water change day. Due to various commitments with my daughter yesterday and today I did not have time to blow out the back chambers like I’ve been threatening to do. I did however break out the siphon and manually clean some of the sand. I’ve been resisting doing that for quite some time. I keep making devices to clean the sand that don’t work the way I want them to. I had the notion that I could run a pump inside a siphon tube like device and then through a sock and clean the dirty water like dialysis or something without actually removing and replacing the water. Just recycling it and cleaning it in the process. Tried that with a canister filter and with a small pump inside a modified plastic cup (to contain the filth like the siphon tube would) connected to a hose through a filter sock. None of that worked because I’m not McGuyver and shouldn’t be trying to build gadgets out of spare parts. I went old school with the siphon today and liked it. No more trying to build a better mousetrap.
 

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Water change day. Due to various commitments with my daughter yesterday and today I did not have time to blow out the back chambers like I’ve been threatening to do. I did however break out the siphon and manually clean some of the sand. I’ve been resisting doing that for quite some time. I keep making devices to clean the sand that don’t work the way I want them to. I had the notion that I could run a pump inside a siphon tube like device and then through a sock and clean the dirty water like dialysis or something without actually removing and replacing the water. Just recycling it and cleaning it in the process. Tried that with a canister filter and with a small pump inside a modified plastic cup (to contain the filth like the siphon tube would) connected to a hose through a filter sock. None of that worked because I’m not McGuyver and shouldn’t be trying to build gadgets out of spare parts. I went old school with the siphon today and liked it. No more trying to build a better mousetrap.
I can imagine a sand bed is a pain to mess with, they do look awesome though. Shame you couldn't figure out how to rig something. Trying to envision how you would rig something up to pull constantly while not sucking the sand and only the dirty water. Not sure if any of these two pumps could help with your sand or buildup in the back in any way.

Harbor Frieght Pump
Screen Shot 2020-03-01 at 8.46.44 PM.png


Cobalt EXT Inline pump
Screen Shot 2020-03-01 at 8.44.45 PM.png
 

W Haymaker

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I don’t even know man, the detritus in the back chamber is such a pain to deal with. It’s the only thing I don’t like about this tank. It’s just not easy to clean out that area. I had some felt pads under the stand which made it really easy to move even when it’s full of water. Those pads got wet and had to be removed so I can’t move the tank easily anymore. The tank really has to get moved away from the wall in order to clean the back out. It’s just not good. I am using Poly-fil and a few different other pads in the overflows. The real good question is where is all the detritus coming from? I’ll eventually get it figured out.
Water change day. Due to various commitments with my daughter yesterday and today I did not have time to blow out the back chambers like I’ve been threatening to do. I did however break out the siphon and manually clean some of the sand. I’ve been resisting doing that for quite some time. I keep making devices to clean the sand that don’t work the way I want them to. I had the notion that I could run a pump inside a siphon tube like device and then through a sock and clean the dirty water like dialysis or something without actually removing and replacing the water. Just recycling it and cleaning it in the process. Tried that with a canister filter and with a small pump inside a modified plastic cup (to contain the filth like the siphon tube would) connected to a hose through a filter sock. None of that worked because I’m not McGuyver and shouldn’t be trying to build gadgets out of spare parts. I went old school with the siphon today and liked it. No more trying to build a better mousetrap.
I've tried a few contraptions that I've seen online. One was a hose to a pump that sucked up water and pumped it into a filter sock while ejecting water into said sock back into the aquarium. Hard to explain but it worked great until the extraction hose sent water all over the floor. Frustrating! It actually works good but it's hard to keep track of both ends of the hose....I'm not recommending this but I came across it today as an Instagram advertisement. Conceptually it's pretty darn cool.
https://dealair.shop/products/electric-aquarium-gravel-cleaner. Seemed like a great way to avoid a water change but still extract some unwanted algae etc.
 
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I can imagine a sand bed is a pain to mess with, they do look awesome though. Shame you couldn't figure out how to rig something. Trying to envision how you would rig something up to pull constantly while not sucking the sand and only the dirty water. Not sure if any of these two pumps could help with your sand or buildup in the back in any way.

Harbor Frieght Pump
Screen Shot 2020-03-01 at 8.46.44 PM.png


Cobalt EXT Inline pump
Screen Shot 2020-03-01 at 8.44.45 PM.png
Those are both interesting ideas. I’ll take a couple of pictures of what I did and explain it a little bit Later tonight. You’ll see what I was getting at. Someone with much more skills than I have can probably take my idea and turn it into something that would totally work. It seems like a project that would be good for a 3D printer.
 
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I've tried a few contraptions that I've seen online. One was a hose to a pump that sucked up water and pumped it into a filter sock while ejecting water into said sock back into the aquarium. Hard to explain but it worked great until the extraction hose sent water all over the floor. Frustrating! It actually works good but it's hard to keep track of both ends of the hose....I'm not recommending this but I came across it today as an Instagram advertisement. Conceptually it's pretty darn cool.
https://dealair.shop/products/electric-aquarium-gravel-cleaner. Seemed like a great way to avoid a water change but still extract some unwanted algae etc.
Thanks for the idea. I’ve looked at various gravel vac type things but I’m always afraid they are going to be cheaply built and fall apart. So what did i do instead? I made my own cheaply built thing that fell apart. I’m going to do a post just in the off chance that someone takes my idea and actually executes it properly.

I really just shoulda stole your tile idea when I first saw it and said to heck with the sand. How‘s the move to the Lagoon 50 going, any updates?
 
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Here‘s my failed design for a sand bed cleaning device that would allow the sand bed to be stirred up, yet contained, while pumping the dirty water thru a sock. The goal was to allow the water to be recirculated while removing the dirt and detritus in the sand bed, cleaning the tank without doing a water change. Now, if I had practiced better maintenance on my sand bed in the first place this device wouldn’t have been needed. Essentially it just adds a motor to a standard syphon tube to keep the water flowing as long as you want without filling up a bucket. I clamped a filter sock to the side wall of the tank inside the main display to catch the gunk.

This is a pump that draws water in from the bottom of the unit.
A858396E-CA9B-45C5-A918-B8BAE53BBBD0.jpeg


This is a plastic cup from the Dollar Store, it was actually 3 for a dollar and it’s possibly the thinnest rigid plastic I’ve ever seen. I broke two of them drilling the hole in the bottom.
A70E58A8-C1C6-4D67-BBD2-7A1F371538C1.jpeg


The pump hose barb fits thru the hole and connects to the tubing. The power cord had to go out the bottom of the cup which was awkward but it worked. When the rim of the cup was pressed into the sand the cord being there didn’t matter.
43B50AD5-6C84-4692-83FB-4BAB64CAD58D.jpeg


This setup worked once but then the cup cracked. I had super glued the hose barb in place but the plastic was just too weak and it broke. The other problem was the filter sock. I used the one that came with the tank. It collected the detritus but most of the particles were very fine and the sock couldn‘t contain them. When I tried to remove the sock from the water it just poofed out a big cloud of dirt. It was pretty ugly.

So everything I did here was pretty much an epic failure but I think the idea would work with a better cup and a better sock. The cup kept the gunk in the sand contained from drifting all over the tank and a better sock would have allowed me to remove it without doing a water change. I ran it for about 20 minutes which means a lot of water volume went through. Like I said in an earlier post, someone with better skills at building stuff than I have could probably make this idea work.

Ya’ll have just witnessed the beginning and end of my DIY career :)
 
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VaporCountry

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That’s a good idea I think it just needs some tweaking. I would just use a siphon tube off of a regular aquarium siphon and hook it to a pump(that in-line pump would probably work well) with a smaller micron sock to the end of the hose clipped to the side of the aquarium, think that would work. Maybe get one of the larger siphons tubes so your not pulling sand through and can work it up and down.
 
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That’s a good idea I think it just needs some tweaking. I would just use a siphon tube off of a regular aquarium siphon and hook it to a pump(that in-line pump would probably work well) with a smaller micron sock to the end of the hose clipped to the side of the aquarium, think that would work. Maybe get one of the larger siphons tubes so your not pulling sand through and can work it up and down.
You’re probably right about the in-line pump attached to a regular siphon. I may revisit it at some point but at the moment I’m finished spending money on this idea. I coulda bought a zoa frag instead. I’ll just use a manual siphon on a different area with each water change. I have been impatient trying to invent a gadget that could be used to clean it all at once and be done with it. It breaking was just the aquarium gods reminding me to go slower. I think I heard somewhere that nothing good in this hobby happens fast :)
 

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I've caught up.
It's been a while since I last stopped by.

Keep doing what you doing. You are making great progress.

Now that I'm caught up on your build thread, I'm going to try to catch up on my build. I had to take about a year off due to a broken leg from a motorcycle accident.
I'm back to walking now and finally started my 180g build.
Stop by if you like. The build thread contributor badge is linked to the build.

I'm really happy to see the progress you've made.
 
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I've caught up.
It's been a while since I last stopped by.

Keep doing what you doing. You are making great progress.

Now that I'm caught up on your build thread, I'm going to try to catch up on my build. I had to take about a year off due to a broken leg from a motorcycle accident.
I'm back to walking now and finally started my 180g build.
Stop by if you like. The build thread contributor badge is linked to the build.

I'm really happy to see the progress you've made.
Thanks for checking in and for the encouragement, I appreciate it very much.
I have actually been following your builds since the 15 gal column but I’m not sure if I’ve ever Posted. I was sorry to hear about your motorcycle accident and was glad to see you’re back up and around when you started posting again. I can’t even imagine what that was like to go through. I’ve been following the progress in the 180 and I hope you’ve got the WAV situation resolved. I didn’t get new updates for your build for the last week or so so I’m a little behind. I‘ll stop over there later and make sure the Watch button is still clicked on.
 

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Thanks for checking in and for the encouragement, I appreciate it very much.
I have actually been following your builds since the 15 gal column but I’m not sure if I’ve ever Posted. I was sorry to hear about your motorcycle accident and was glad to see you’re back up and around when you started posting again. I can’t even imagine what that was like to go through. I’ve been following the progress in the 180 and I hope you’ve got the WAV situation resolved. I didn’t get new updates for your build for the last week or so so I’m a little behind. I‘ll stop over there later and make sure the Watch button is still clicked on.
Thank you!
The Motorcycle accident was a nightmare and the broken leg is still a real problem but i'm working on it everyday.

I've gone through some things with the 15g Nano (Urggh) but it's still up and running. I have to post in that build thread too to update it.

I'm glad I was FINALLY able to get started on the 180g Reef. It's been a long time coming. Thanks for checking in on my builds. It means a lot to me.

I'm happy to see you grinding along with your build.
 
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Thank you!
The Motorcycle accident was a nightmare and the broken leg is still a real problem but i'm working on it everyday.

I've gone through some things with the 15g Nano (Urggh) but it's still up and running. I have to post in that build thread too to update it.

I'm glad I was FINALLY able to get started on the 180g Reef. It's been a long time coming. Thanks for checking in on my builds. It means a lot to me.

I'm happy to see you grinding along with your build.
That’s me, grinding along :)
With the occasional hard left turn where I do something that I probably shouldn’t have done and without a good reason for doing it. Gotta keep the masses....er....the 4 people that follow my thread entertained.
Honestly I just try to keep my hands out of the tank as much as possible and let it be.
‘I’ll be looking forward to the update on the 15 and the continued progress on the 180. Just got caught up to your manifold construction. I’ve only had All In One tanks so I’ve never plumbed. I do want to try it someday.
 
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Random parameter check today, 2 days post 4.5 gal water change and cleaning of another section of the sand bed with a siphon. N is at 10 on Salifert, P is at 0.06 on the Hannah Checker. All things considered I’m pretty happy with those numbers since they are trending (if I can use that word since I don't regularly test) lower.

The red Acan is pretty much always extending its feeder tentacles lately. It didn’t used to do that but now they are out all the time. The rainbow Acan suffered some tissue loss when it was knocked over by either a hermit crab or a snail. It was a pretty big polyp so it’s very noticeable.

357B6791-BB82-4535-8313-A6AFC6291648.jpeg


The Favia and the Blasto continue to look good.
33944239-E77C-41BE-9884-FCEB84631BB1.jpeg


The Frogspawn also seems to be doing well.
B139BFEE-586E-4B02-8FD4-1A5519B07130.jpeg


The Zoas apparently like having a clownfish live in them. The male clown snuggles in between the polyps which has caused them to spread out. This has allowed new polyps to emerge. It’s gone from 4 to 12 since the clown moved in.
3FF6A81D-6297-475E-B6AA-07D410325D85.jpeg
5A1EFC6D-AF0D-4479-9CE3-621027F4F966.jpeg
 

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Today I ordered a battery backup, some Nopox, and some cyanoacrylate glue for a new project. The battery backup was long overdue, the Nopox will be added very lightly to see if I can start reducing nitrates a little better and if my skimmer can handle it. I’m going to be glueing a bunch of rock to a new platform I’m creating that will go up against the back wall. It will create more space for the Tang to hide if it wants to while opening up the back wall to more flow. I’m also going to raise the right island up another inch so the Tang has better access. When it was constructed I wasn’t planning on housing a Tang.

I’m also considering changing my light. There isn’t anything wrong with the Radion XR15Pro Gen 4 except that it doesnt cover the tank very evenly. It’s dead center of a 30” x 20” display area. I didn’t think I would care because I’m not doing any sps. However, I’ve noticed that the Zoas which are directly underneath the light have a very small footprint. There are 6 big polyps and a couple of small ones trying to peek through but the big ones are shading them out. I believe this is because the light is only coming from one direction and the colony is growing/stretching up instead of out if that makes sense. It’s not spreading out because there isn’t any other source of light to grow towards. Seems plausible to me but then again, it’s also possible I’ve got no idea what I’m talking about :)

I don’t really want to spend another $600 on a second Radion with a mounting arm and a diffuser and I’d have a difficult time making the mount fit with all the other things in my back chambers. So that leaves selling the Radion and going with another option. So far I’ve thought about 3 different lights. The Reefbreeders Photon 24 V2 seems interesting for $399. I’d get 24“ of coverage and people really seem to like them. Slightly worried about a disco ball effect with the LEDs spread out like they are but I don’t see too many people complaining. Second idea is a pair of AI Prime 16’s. This would cost a little more but the mounts would fit better and the lights could be spaced more evenly apart than I could with the Radion. This would cost the most but it’s not bad. Lastly I was thinking about the Current USA icPro 24” model. This would be two lights for only $251 but they are by far the weakest option. Since I’m only doing softies and lps and the tank is only 16 inches deep from rim to bottom glass I’m not sure it would be a big deal to “downsize” power in exchange for more even coverage. There are people on this forum who love them. These lights sit right on top of the screen top so no mounting brackets are needed although they do have some if I wanted to get them up a little higher. I have the Bluetooth controller for these lights because I’m running Current USA return and flow pumps already, the lights would just plug right in to the controller and I’d be good to go.

So that’s my thought process right now. I have no timetable to make a change and may end up not changing at all. Basically I was just looking at the tank today and wondering if I could be doing better with a different setup and started spitballing ideas. Probably fueled by the constant desire to tinker. I’ll likely get over it while I’m messing with the new parts of the scape.
I hope I'm not too late to respond to this. I will keep reading after I post this.

Don't get the Current USA Orbit. You will be very unhappy with what it does. It can't grow corals. Softies will survive. LPS will suffer but probably survive.

I would go with the Photon v2+
That is going to be your best option for coverage, par, spread and price.

I have one and don't see the disco ball effect.

Primes are really good but the Photon beats it outright.
 
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I hope I'm not too late to respond to this. I will keep reading after I post this.

Don't get the Current USA Orbit. You will be very unhappy with what it does. It can't grow corals. Softies will survive. LPS will suffer but probably survive.

I would go with the Photon v2+
That is going to be your best option for coverage, par, spread and price.

I have one and don't see the disco ball effect.

Primes are really good but the Photon beats it outright.
You’re not too late. I haven’t done anything yet and probably won’t. That post was just me spitballing ideas because I was temporarily frustrated with the Radion. Sometimes ya gotta throw stuff out there and live with it for a while before doing anything. Then you come to the conclusion that you’re fine and no action is needed. This is the case with my lighting. In hindsight the photon24 v2+ would have been a great choice to start out with but I really have no good reason to dump my xr15 at this point. It does what I need it to do and I’d end up taking a loss selling it and getting the photon.
Thanks for the advice though. I appreciate your thoughts and I welcome feedback anytime about what I’m doing, positive or not, it’s all helpful.
 

Do you have any coral frag mounting tricks or tips you have learned that really help you?

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