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TheWB’s IM Lagoon 50

KJoFan

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Thanks, I’m pretty happy with my coral choices. I need to figure out a better way to mount the chalice. It was a nice sized piece that was bigger than it’s plug. The plug doesn’t sit flush with the rock so the skeleton is like a big overhang off the plug That angles up. It’s going to have a hard time anchoring to the rock as it grows because of the gap.
Funny, I‘m the last person you should be asking about maintenance. I’ve been threatening to remove my return pump and clean it for months now. It never seems to happen. My flow is way less than it used to be but right now that’s not so bad because my wave pump is oversized and the LPS are getting more flow than they want, even on its lowest setting. I need to rethink my whole setup now that I’ve lived with it for a year and a half. There are so many more equipment choices available now compared to when I started accumulating equipment which was 3 years ago. There’s better ways to run my system so maintenance is easier. I have about $1500 worth of changes and additions I’d like to make (Checks with wife) but the reefing budget is currently on hiatus :)
Its essential purchases only until business picks back up or lottery winnings arrive.
What kind of changes do you have in mind for the future? We can at least talk about it, even if you can't buy. :)
 
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TheWB

TheWB

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What kind of changes do you have in mind for the future? We can at least talk about it, even if you can't buy. :)
Thanks for asking, it’s always good to hash these things out ahead of time. Here’s the laundry list.

Two new smaller return pumps to replace the CurrentUSA eFlux 6009. Why? Redundancy for one thing. It would be nice to be able to remove one to clean and still have the filtration system up and running. Two, the Current pump only goes down to 30% power and I’d like to have more control than that.

A new protein skimmer that is adjustable and easy to clean and maintain. I have used two different skimmers and both of them have the pumps inside the body. Trying to take them apart is difficult to impossible. I also want a dc skimmer or one that allows adjustments to the water height inside the body and an adjustable air intake. I’m thinking the cadlights pls50II might be a good choice but it’s 16’ tall So I’m worried about fit. More research is needed.

My Radion XR15Pro Gen 4 Is great but as a single point source of light for this tank it’s a little small. I’m not really interested in super high PAR, it’s more about eliminating shadows and getting more even distribution of light throughout the tank. So I either need to add a second XR15 used or consider a different lighting setup. Ideally any new lights would be mounted differently as the Radion mount is on the back above the middle chamber and needs to be removed in order to get the return pump out. There are lots of different ways to go with lights. I’ve thought about Reefbreeders, multiple AI prime 16’s, the Reefbrite add on kit for the Radion, ReeFi Duo, and I’m probably forgetting some other options.

I need to reconfigure the way the rear chambers are used. When I set up the tank I got the InTank media caddy and filter floss holder for the two overflows. The skimmer went into the second chamber on the left and the heater went in the second chamber on the right. Return pump, ato, apex probes are all in the middle chamber. It’s very crowded. Along the way I replaced the filter floss holder with the IM UV sterilizer insert. Instead of using helpful media in the media caddy I tried to use it as a refugium. That didn’t work at all, I’ve never been able to get Chaeto to grow. I believe it’s because the water is flowing down through the Chaeto forcing it to the bottom of the caddy instead of tumbling it. The Fuge should really be in chamber 2 where the skimmer is. So I need to move the skimmer to the chamber 1 overflow or just not use one, move the Fuge area to chamber 2 (either with the intank fuge basket or by doing a cool algae scrubber mod I saw someone else do in another build) and consider whether to take the UV unit out and add a bunch more matrix or marine pure gems to that chamber to increase biological filtration.

I’d like to order a nice screen top for the tank from Octolids or Safetop but they are very pricey. It also doesn’t make sense to get one until I figure out what I’m doing with lights because that might affect where cutouts need to go.

I really like the look of my scape but from a practical standpoint it makes keeping the sand bed clean and stirred difficult. I‘m ready to rip the whole thing apart and redo it but the logistics of that are nearly impossible. I wouldn’t want to do it with fish in the tank but I have no realistic place to park them. I suppose I could get a couple of Rubbermaid bins and make temp holding tanks. Going to have to think about that some more.

Well , there it all is, I don’t think I’ve forgotten anything. I’d love to hear yours, or anyone’s thoughts on any or all of that.
 

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I like the octolids as well, but they are pretty pricey. Another option for a clear lid is the clearview lids - their Tsunami series are about 60% the price of the octolids (at least for my tank size). Reefbuilders did a pretty in depth review of them on their youtube channel (not on their website). I've been thinking about exactly the same thing - the black frame mesh cover than came with the IM tank just kind of ruins the look a bit. I have been looking for clear plastic extrusions to make a clear lid that way, but no one seems to make them. I do have a CNC though, and am thinking about routing my own lid out using a similar puzzle-piece system to what octolids does. Maybe use dovetails or finger joints instead though. Depends what I have laying around for cutters I suppose. Plus I think my maximum cult length is only around 20 or 22".

The other nice thing about a clear framed mesh top is that it will not cut down on light at the outer corners. That 1.5" wide frame certainly does somewhat cut down on light at the very edges - probably not all that much, but a bit nonetheless. Also like your plan on the dual return pumps. I've been thinking about doing the same thing with a second IM stock pump (mine is pretty quiet). Like you, though, I don't like how the IM pump only reduced to approximately half power. Would be nice to go a bit lower than that.

Have you thought about a diffuser for your radion? Might be an inexpensive way to achieve the same result.
 
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TheWB

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I like the octolids as well, but they are pretty pricey. Another option for a clear lid is the clearview lids - their Tsunami series are about 60% the price of the octolids (at least for my tank size). Reefbuilders did a pretty in depth review of them on their youtube channel (not on their website). I've been thinking about exactly the same thing - the black frame mesh cover than came with the IM tank just kind of ruins the look a bit. I have been looking for clear plastic extrusions to make a clear lid that way, but no one seems to make them. I do have a CNC though, and am thinking about routing my own lid out using a similar puzzle-piece system to what octolids does. Maybe use dovetails or finger joints instead though. Depends what I have laying around for cutters I suppose. Plus I think my maximum cult length is only around 20 or 22".

The other nice thing about a clear framed mesh top is that it will not cut down on light at the outer corners. That 1.5" wide frame certainly does somewhat cut down on light at the very edges - probably not all that much, but a bit nonetheless. Also like your plan on the dual return pumps. I've been thinking about doing the same thing with a second IM stock pump (mine is pretty quiet). Like you, though, I don't like how the IM pump only reduced to approximately half power. Would be nice to go a bit lower than that.

Have you thought about a diffuser for your radion? Might be an inexpensive way to achieve the same result.
I don’t feel like I’m losing light in the corners because of the screen top. The light is right in the middle and I have the diffuser. That light just isn’t meant to light corals over a 30’ wide area. I didn’t think I’d care initially as I was not planning any sps. After living with it for a while I’ve decided that I’d like the look better and the coral would get better coverage if I either add another Radion or replace with something like the 24’ reefbreeder photon2 which will change the lights from a cluster to something more spread out. Could probably sell my Radion and fund almost all of the cost of the reefbreeder light. I kicked that around before but I’m still undecided.
I was thinking two of the smaller IM pumps might do the trick but didn’t know they can’t be downtuned more than halfway. But full power they are only 326 gph so maybe half power is pretty slow flow. I need to research some of the new pumps and see what has the most flexibility. I know a S2 will do it but for that kind of money I’d only get one and split it again.
 

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I don’t feel like I’m losing light in the corners because of the screen top. The light is right in the middle and I have the diffuser. That light just isn’t meant to light corals over a 30’ wide area. I didn’t think I’d care initially as I was not planning any sps. After living with it for a while I’ve decided that I’d like the look better and the coral would get better coverage if I either add another Radion or replace with something like the 24’ reefbreeder photon2 which will change the lights from a cluster to something more spread out. Could probably sell my Radion and fund almost all of the cost of the reefbreeder light. I kicked that around before but I’m still undecided.
I was thinking two of the smaller IM pumps might do the trick but didn’t know they can’t be downtuned more than halfway. But full power they are only 326 gph so maybe half power is pretty slow flow. I need to research some of the new pumps and see what has the most flexibility. I know a S2 will do it but for that kind of money I’d only get one and split it again.
I'll try to get some pictures from a few angles with my two Primes this afternoon. Might help a bit with your decision. I still get some shadowing but my placement might not be ideal either.
 
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Have you thought about either t5 supplemental lighting? Another way would be the ali expeess light bars. Basically they are like reefbrites but way more affordable. Like 45 bucks a piece. Telegraham on YouTube has a couple of live streams about them. I would have gotten them for my new build if I didn't have my t5s already.
 
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TheWB

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Have you thought about either t5 supplemental lighting? Another way would be the ali expeess light bars. Basically they are like reefbrites but way more affordable. Like 45 bucks a piece. Telegraham on YouTube has a couple of live streams about them. I would have gotten them for my new build if I didn't have my t5s already.
No, I have not given T5 any thought because I don’t want to deal with the fixture. There no way to install them on a rimless tank with out a canopy or hanging them from the ceiling and I don’t want to do either of those things. I appreciate the idea though. I have not looked at those light bars but maybe I’ll check them out. Same sorts of issues though, how do I mount them so it looks ok. I’ll have to see them before I have an opinion.
 

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Thanks for asking, it’s always good to hash these things out ahead of time. Here’s the laundry list.

Two new smaller return pumps to replace the CurrentUSA eFlux 6009. Why? Redundancy for one thing. It would be nice to be able to remove one to clean and still have the filtration system up and running. Two, the Current pump only goes down to 30% power and I’d like to have more control than that.

A new protein skimmer that is adjustable and easy to clean and maintain. I have used two different skimmers and both of them have the pumps inside the body. Trying to take them apart is difficult to impossible. I also want a dc skimmer or one that allows adjustments to the water height inside the body and an adjustable air intake. I’m thinking the cadlights pls50II might be a good choice but it’s 16’ tall So I’m worried about fit. More research is needed.

My Radion XR15Pro Gen 4 Is great but as a single point source of light for this tank it’s a little small. I’m not really interested in super high PAR, it’s more about eliminating shadows and getting more even distribution of light throughout the tank. So I either need to add a second XR15 used or consider a different lighting setup. Ideally any new lights would be mounted differently as the Radion mount is on the back above the middle chamber and needs to be removed in order to get the return pump out. There are lots of different ways to go with lights. I’ve thought about Reefbreeders, multiple AI prime 16’s, the Reefbrite add on kit for the Radion, ReeFi Duo, and I’m probably forgetting some other options.

I need to reconfigure the way the rear chambers are used. When I set up the tank I got the InTank media caddy and filter floss holder for the two overflows. The skimmer went into the second chamber on the left and the heater went in the second chamber on the right. Return pump, ato, apex probes are all in the middle chamber. It’s very crowded. Along the way I replaced the filter floss holder with the IM UV sterilizer insert. Instead of using helpful media in the media caddy I tried to use it as a refugium. That didn’t work at all, I’ve never been able to get Chaeto to grow. I believe it’s because the water is flowing down through the Chaeto forcing it to the bottom of the caddy instead of tumbling it. The Fuge should really be in chamber 2 where the skimmer is. So I need to move the skimmer to the chamber 1 overflow or just not use one, move the Fuge area to chamber 2 (either with the intank fuge basket or by doing a cool algae scrubber mod I saw someone else do in another build) and consider whether to take the UV unit out and add a bunch more matrix or marine pure gems to that chamber to increase biological filtration.

I’d like to order a nice screen top for the tank from Octolids or Safetop but they are very pricey. It also doesn’t make sense to get one until I figure out what I’m doing with lights because that might affect where cutouts need to go.

I really like the look of my scape but from a practical standpoint it makes keeping the sand bed clean and stirred difficult. I‘m ready to rip the whole thing apart and redo it but the logistics of that are nearly impossible. I wouldn’t want to do it with fish in the tank but I have no realistic place to park them. I suppose I could get a couple of Rubbermaid bins and make temp holding tanks. Going to have to think about that some more.

Well , there it all is, I don’t think I’ve forgotten anything. I’d love to hear yours, or anyone’s thoughts on any or all of that.
I've heard/read good things about the Cadlights skimmer. I'm using the IM one but it's constantly foaming all over the place it seems. I don't know quite why, but aside from that I can't complain about it's performance I guess.

I battle between using a media basket in one of the first chambers, vs the UV sterilizer. I generally swap out as needed but it's not ideal.

I do plan to add a Santa Monica drop in algae scrubber here soon. That will probably go in one of the inner chambers. Maybe after that gets going I can forego a skimmer all together. We'll see. Space is limited that's for sure, but sometimes I wonder if I'm just trying to utilize too much stuff.
 
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TheWB

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I've heard/read good things about the Cadlights skimmer. I'm using the IM one but it's constantly foaming all over the place it seems. I don't know quite why, but aside from that I can't complain about it's performance I guess.

I battle between using a media basket in one of the first chambers, vs the UV sterilizer. I generally swap out as needed but it's not ideal.

I do plan to add a Santa Monica drop in algae scrubber here soon. That will probably go in one of the inner chambers. Maybe after that gets going I can forego a skimmer all together. We'll see. Space is limited that's for sure, but sometimes I wonder if I'm just trying to utilize too much stuff.
The cadlights sure seems like it has what I’m looking for. I hope it fits. If not I may try the Tunze 9004 dc In the first chamber.

I turned my uv sterilizer off recently but it’s still in there. I was dosing something and I figured it was better off for a while but I forgot to turn it back on. I usually run a couple of pieces of fleece from a klir filter roll on top of the black pad that goes over the uv entry to keep the bigger chunks of gunk out of it. I don’t actually know if it’s worth having or not. I guess it works at least somewhat effectively.

I like the idea of a scrubber but if I go that way there’s a mod for the second chamber I want to try. I saw someone else on here turn the second chamber into an upflow scrubber using the Tunze submersible fuge light and a makeshift screen. I always forget the name of the person who did it but I can find the thread if I have to, I follow it but it hasn’t been updated in a long time so I have to go back through my follow history until i recognize the name. I really should have written that down.

I do think there something what you said about trying to use too much stuff. That’s part of why I’m doing this reassessment. It may take me a while to implement whatever changes I decide on but it’s all about simplifying maintenance and the overall system. If I decide I don’t need something it’s gonna be gone.
 

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Sounds like you have a good list of upgrades. The cadlights skimmer should fit because it fits in my 30L and I think the chambers are the same sized, it is a little tight but does fit. No need to worry about the height either as you have to raise and lower it to adjust so it’s never all the way down. Plus the you can twist it to fine tune. I have mine on the shelf so I’ll probably try it out when I get the SR80 set up. They called me today to tell me it shipped, pretty excited

So you have your heater in the second chamber? I put both of mine in the chamber with the return pumps. I have the Neo therm ones so I just suction cup them to the baffle walls. I could imagine you have some shadowing with just the one XR15. I think the reef breeder light would be great. I’m sure the reef bright add on would help a great deal as well. Heck I bet two Ai primes would fill it in nicely and should be plenty of par. Highest channel on mine I’m only running at 40% right now and everything is happy plus I have the diffusers that cut down par. I’ll probably slowly start to raise it a tiny bit soon, thinking about adding a period of the day with more white.
 
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TheWB

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Sounds like you have a good list of upgrades. The cadlights skimmer should fit because it fits in my 30L and I think the chambers are the same sized, it is a little tight but does fit. No need to worry about the height either as you have to raise and lower it to adjust so it’s never all the way down. Plus the you can twist it to fine tune. I have mine on the shelf so I’ll probably try it out when I get the SR80 set up. They called me today to tell me it shipped, pretty excited

So you have your heater in the second chamber? I put both of mine in the chamber with the return pumps. I have the Neo therm ones so I just suction cup them to the baffle walls. I could imagine you have some shadowing with just the one XR15. I think the reef breeder light would be great. I’m sure the reef bright add on would help a great deal as well. Heck I bet two Ai primes would fill it in nicely and should be plenty of par. Highest channel on mine I’m only running at 40% right now and everything is happy plus I have the diffusers that cut down par. I’ll probably slowly start to raise it a tiny bit soon, thinking about adding a period of the day with more white.
Hey Rob, what’s with the new handle? Ya had me thinking somebody new showed up to look at my thread. I was in shock :)

The depth of the chamber on your 30L is actually deeper than on the 50. You have 13 inches according to the spec sheet on the IM website and I’ve only got 9.3 inches in the second chamber. The 50 has a weird design with an area for an extra volume of water in the return chamber under the the other chambers. That skimmer is 16 inches so I’m having my doubts it will work. The other dims are no problem it’s just the height. Are you still using it, I thought you switched to the icecap k1, or is that on a different tank?
My neotherm wouldn’t work well at all in the middle chamber because of the size of the return pump and the plumbing. I have the 200w model so it’s pretty long. I did just order one of the BRS titanium heaters to have as a backup since the Neotherm is 18 months old and I‘m always worried about heater failure. It’s much slimmer so it might work better in the return chamber.

I’m really leaning towards the reefbreeder photon 2. Especially because that’s something I could do sooner rather than later. I can pick one up and then sell the Radion with the mounting arm and diffuser and I’m pretty sure I could get enough to mostly cover the cost for the new light. Primes would also work but then I’ve got to get mounts and diffusers. @Calm Blue Ocean just posted some pics of his lagoon 50 with Primes over it and it looked pretty good. I’m sure they would work especially because the tank is only 16” deep and I’m not doing sps except for that one birdsnest. There are options available, just need to decide what I really want.
 
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intricate_reefer

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Hey Rob, what’s with the new handle? Ya had me thinking somebody new showed up to look at my thread. I was in shock :)

The depth of the chamber on your 30L is actually deeper than on the 50. You have 13 inches according to the spec sheet on the IM website and I’ve only got 9.3 inches in the second chamber. The 50 has a weird design with an area for an extra volume of water in the return chamber under the the other chambers. That skimmer is 16 inches so I’m having my doubts it will work. The other dims are no problem it’s just the height. Are you still using it, I thought you switched to the icecap k1, or is that on a different tank?
My neotherm wouldn’t work well at all in the middle chamber because of the size of the return pump and the plumbing. I have the 200w model so it’s pretty long. I did just order one of the bars titanium heaters to have as a backup since the neither is 18 months old and I‘m always worried about heater failure. It’s much slimmer so it might work better in the return chamber.



I’m really leaning towards the reefbreeder photon 2. Especially because that’s something I could do sooner rather than later. I can pick one up and then sell the Radion with the mounting arm and diffuser and I’m pretty sure I could get enough to mostly cover the cost for the new light. Primes would also work but then I’ve got to get mounts and diffusers. @Calm Blue Ocean just posted some pics of his lagoon 50 with Primes over it and it looked pretty good. I’m sure they would work especially because the tank is only 16” deep and I’m not doing sps except for that one birdsnest. There are options available, just need to decide what I really want.
Hahaha yes I got my username changed. Vaporcountry was an old business I had and for some odd reason back in 2010 that’s what I decided to make my name. Now that I think back it was kind of silly. intricate was my handle when I used to play online on playstation a bunch and my Instagram name is intricate_reefer so I just picked that.

Yes I had took the cadlights off my 30L and put a K1 Nano on it. Nothing wrong with the cadlights I just like how easy the K1 is to adjust. I just have it sitting in a box and I’ll try it on the SR80. As far as the compartments, I thought they were the same as the tanks take the same media basket and fuge basket. I just looked at the demensions and they look to be the same. The skimmer baffle is 9.3” on both of them. That’s the whole reason why I think they have that space under, because they wanted the tanks to take the same accessories so they had to add it because the 50 lagoon is 16” where the 30L is 13”.
 
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TheWB

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If anyone is interested in the algae turf scrubber mod for an AIO tank I have mentioned it’s located here.
This one is done in a Waterbox but I’m sure the same principals apply to pretty much any of the others.
 

intricate_reefer

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If anyone is interested in the algae turf scrubber mod for an AIO tank I have mentioned it’s located here.
This one is done in a Waterbox but I’m sure the same principals apply to pretty much any of the others.
Pretty cool little mod. I have also seen people take the filter socks that come with the innovative marine tanks and turn it into one. You just cut off the sock then attach one of those plastic mesh pieces to it and let it hang down and shine a light through the back. I may consider trying this on my SR80. Intank doesn’t make a fuge basket To use in the second chamber for the SR80 so I would have to get one custom or do a diy one some how.
 
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TheWB

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Hahaha yes I got my username changed. Vaporcountry was an old business I had and for some odd reason back in 2010 that’s what I decided to make my name. Now that I think back it was kind of silly. intricate was my handle when I used to play online on playstation a bunch and my Instagram name is intricate_reefer so I just picked that.

Yes I had took the cadlights off my 30L and put a K1 Nano on it. Nothing wrong with the cadlights I just like how easy the K1 is to adjust. I just have it sitting in a box and I’ll try it on the SR80. As far as the compartments, I thought they were the same as the tanks take the same media basket and fuge basket. I just looked at the demensions and they look to be the same. The skimmer baffle is 9.3” on both of them. That’s the whole reason why I think they have that space under, because they wanted the tanks to take the same accessories so they had to add it because the 50 lagoon is 16” where the 30L is 13”.
You’re right, they are the same height. At least I know it will fit. I know you like that K1 Nano and I just looked at the next model up but it looks like the body is just slightly too large for the chamber. Too bad, I would have liked the option. If the PLS 50 is too small for the SR80 and you want to sell it let me know. I’ll put it on layaway until Xmas :)
 
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Pretty cool little mod. I have also seen people take the filter socks that come with the innovative marine tanks and turn it into one. You just cut off the sock then attach one of those plastic mesh pieces to it and let it hang down and shine a light through the back. I may consider trying this on my SR80. Intank doesn’t make a fuge basket To use in the second chamber for the SR80 so I would have to get one custom or do a diy one some how.
That’s interesting about the socks. I have two and could do it right away. My fuge light is still attached to the back of my tank on chamber one where the intank media rack is. There a bag of chemipure blue in there but that can get moved. No reason at all not to try that. Thanks for the idea.
 

intricate_reefer

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You’re right, they are the same height. At least I know it will fit. I know you like that K1 Nano and I just looked at the next model up but it looks like the body is just slightly too large for the chamber. Too bad, I would have liked the option. If the PLS 50 is too small for the SR80 and you want to sell it let me know. I’ll put it on layaway until Xmas :)
I was looking at that next model up, think called the 100. It would fit in the middle chamber of the SR80 but I think I would need a riser possibly. I’ll let you know what happens with the cadlights. It may be enough but then again maybe not. I could always run two Smaller skimmers haha.

If you try out the return chamber algae scrubber mod, definitely keep us updated. I don’t really run any media in my tanks except for sometimes carbon so I wouldn’t really need the chamber. Then I could just put poly-fil floss on top and it would work great, that’s what I’m doing on my UV now.
 
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I was looking at that next model up, think called the 100. It would fit in the middle chamber of the SR80 but I think I would need a riser possibly. I’ll let you know what happens with the cadlights. It may be enough but then again maybe not. I could always run two Smaller skimmers haha.

If you try out the return chamber algae scrubber mod, definitely keep us updated. I don’t really run any media in my tanks except for sometimes carbon so I wouldn’t really need the chamber. Then I could just put poly-fil floss on top and it would work great, that’s what I’m doing on my UV now.
I will definitely keep you updated. I actually have to leave the house to do my job today so while I’m out I will see if I can find some of that mesh screen. I’m hoping they have some in a place like Target or Fred Meyer. I don’t really want to go to a craft type store, at the ones around here there is always a line of people waiting to get in because of reduced capacity. Who knew a Joann store was popular enough for people to stand in line outside. The only reason I even know what it is is because it’s right next door to Safeway where we get our groceries. Not a place that’s usually on my radar but theres always a line outside of 5-6 people when I drive by, crazy.
 

Calm Blue Ocean

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My neotherm wouldn’t work well at all in the middle chamber because of the size of the return pump and the plumbing. I have the 200w model so it’s pretty long. I did just order one of the bars titanium heaters to have as a backup since the neither is 18 months old and I‘m always worried about heater failure. It’s much slimmer so it might work better in the return chamber.
I'm using the BRS heater and so far so good. I went with the 200W but wonder if I could have got away with the 100W? It's hard to judge, particularly in the summer when it only has to raise the temperature about 2 degrees instead of around 10 in the winter but time will tell! On the definite plus side, it is nice and compact and short enough to even fit into chamber 2. That's one thing about this shallow tank, heater choices seem very limited. There is no way my 125W Eheim Jager would ever fit.
 
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