mattzang's IM 100 EXT

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#1
IMG_1306.JPG

Tank: Innovative Marine 100 gallon EXT

Stand: APS Stand

Lighting: 2x reeFi duo extremes

Skimmer: Tunze 9410 DC

Flow: 2x Reef Octopus Octopulse 4, AI Nero 5

Return: Simplicity 2100 DC

Algae Scrubber: Santa Monica Rain 2

Fish:

flame angel centropyge loricula
multicolor angel centropyge multicolor
copperband butterflyfish chelmon rostratus
schooling bannerfish heniochus diphreutes
2x ORA ocellaris clownfish amphiprion ocellaris
midas blenny escenius midas
yellowhead jawfish opistonagthus aurifrons
red line wrasse halichoeres biocellatus
yellow wrasse halichoeres chrysus
flame fairy wrasse cirrhilabrus jordani
hooded fairy wrasse cirrhilabrus bathyphilus
orangeback fairy wrasse cirrhilabrus aurantidorsalis
moyers leopard wrasse macropharygondon moyeri

inverts:
1 blue tuxedo urchin
2 halloween urchins
1 ORA pincushion urchin
1 purple spine urchin

2 skunk cleaner shrimp
2 fire blood shrimp
1 red/black brittlestar
 
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#2
more details on my r2r build thread

TL;DR basically I decided to go for an upgrade around Christmas last year. I kept seeing people selling 4' 120g~ type tanks so I figured I'd go for one. As I accumulated equipment and what not, COVID hit and the logistics of getting a tank likely out in OC/LA and getting it back here to the IE seemed rough. Then I saw IM was having a 15% off sale. So I went that route..

Around the time the tank arrived, I had my house checked for termites and the guy said it needed to be fumigated. Bummer, but I figured best to do it now rather than once the tank was setup. I had to move all of my stuff out which included some fish in QT tanks and my DT and then setup the new tank after the house was cleared.

Also around that time I discovered a pretty concerning chip in the first tank IM sent me. idk if it happened during shipping or when my brother in law and I moved it to the garage, but alas it was there. I ended up not wanting to chance it and IM gave me 25% off a new tank only. So new tank it was.

I setup the new tank and got it running and filled, all was going well so I decided I'd get the salinity right and move my fish and corals all back over. They were at my parents house in random totes and what not. Apparently my milwaukee refractometer decided to take a dive right around this time, so while I was reading 1.026, the salinity was actually closer to 1.034. Little did I know at the time, so I moved everything over and things basically died immediately. I wasn't sure what I did wrong at the time. Corals and inverts were all toast.

IMG_1311.JPG

The fish were alive, but acting weird. I ended up figuring out what the problem was within a day or two, but that wasn't fast enough for corals and inverts. Fish ended up being ok except I did lose my bangaii cardinal to osmotic shock a few days later.
 
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#3
My plan for the tank was for an overstocked amount of fish and specifically I wanted to do more angels and butterflies, along with wrasses and other cool fish. Based on..


and various experiences of hobbyists I figured I could go for it if I kept the corals limited to SPS which I prefer anyway. So that was the plan, although the plan was to be adding the reef safe with caution type fish to a tank with already a bunch of corals. But see picture above for that plan..

So my plan was still sps + benthic feeders, but I wasn't sure what kind of mess I had in front of me tank wise after the salinity spike. I kept using all of my live rock from my 2 year old tank hoping to speed up the maturation process so I could do acros. But I still hesitated to get corals for awhile, so I spent my time getting fish.

To have such an extensive stocklist I figured I needed massive nutrient export and I needed to choose wisely so fish wouldn't fight. I think I've mostly done that as my ATS and skimmer both work quite well. Whenever I've tested I have po4 around .1 and no3 has been around 25ish. Not ULN for sure, but I am not really planning on doing overly difficult or finicky sps. And the fish are almost entirely peaceful with each other so far with the oddity here or there (like the red line wrasse hating the pencil wrasse)
 
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#4
At the end of my first tank I ran into serious aptasia issues. I tried a peppermint shrimp and he did nothing. I tried aptasia x and it just seemed to spawn more. But seeing as how I wanted to do butterflies anyway.. one thing they're really good at is mowing down aptasia

50780B83-6004-4F6E-AFC1-2EFFC8DE324C.jpeg

BE87E75B-FC41-4EF0-BA8F-7E6CBD43FD1A.jpeg

so I can tell you that salinity in the range of 1.034 kills a lot of stuff, but what it does not kill off is aptasia. In fact I think it just got annoyed enough to spawn more aptasia.

I got a copperband and added it to the tank around month 3 I think and slowly but surely she mowed down every single aptasia in there. So that pest was finally dealt with. In case she gets lazy I have a backup burgess butterfly who also will mow an aptasia if need be.

Algae was present, but not too bad so I figured I'd get me some frags because while I do like the fish keeping part of the hobby, it's not as fun without the coral. So I got a handful of easy sps. They seemed to be doing well and I was keeping the alk stable, but then all of a sudden the algae went nuts.

My plan for algae was basically a robust CUC and a foxface. Specifically I wanted a magnificent foxface, but for whatever reason with covid popping up magnificents were like totally MIA from summer to now. Even now they're only available for like $200+. I kept telling myself to be patient and they'd pop up any minute now, but nope hah. So I finally caved and just got a one spot foxface a week ago. But it's going to be in QT for at least another month.

I've also been QTing inverts which hasn't gone well for me. I have avoided fish disease, so that's a plus, but QTing inverts sucks. They just die for me.. Round 1 I think I fed too little. Then round 2 I think I fed too much. So after 6 weeks of QT I'd wind up with not much.
 
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#6
so that's basically where I'm at. I've been slowly losing some of the frags to the algae I think. Tips have been bleached white, but that's usually alk burn? My alk has been pretty consistently around 8 so I think it's just algae annoyance burn lol. It's also mostly problematic for the frags that just happen to be on rocks that are just totally overrun by algae. For whatever reason some rocks seem to be somewhat ok while others are covered in the stuff, hopefully I'm not jinxing myself on that one.

I did pick up some zebra turbo snails a couple weeks ago, but invert QT is slow so they won't be of any assistance for another month. I also ordered some more CUC from reefcleaners, but it was shipped Monday and has apparently been lost in the mail as it still hasn't arrived. Not ideal to order blackfriday week, but the lfs out here are pretty lacking for invert selection.
 
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#7
Fish QT

I tried to start QTing fish using the standard copper and other meds approach awhile back and I just had a lot of problems with it. Fish would just up and die or they'd get bacterial infections and it didn't go well. I even managed to lose some to uronema.

Somewhere along there I stumbled upon humblefish's new experimental hydrogen peroxide bath treatment. It can be used along with TTM and in theory should eliminate all common parasites. From what I can gather from people that do that it does work. The h2o2 baths should eliminate velvet, brook, and possibly flukes. The TTM handles the ich.

I'm lazy so TTM isn't my game. So I kinda tinkered with it and asked humblefish if I just gave fish a h2o2 bath, placed them in a sterile container (recall I had like 4 tubs from the termite fumigation) and then another h2o2 bath 6 days later and then placed in an observation tank. He said that should work well for everything except ich. This strategy has worked quite well for me and has seemingly kept fish healthy for a number of fish now. I have dosed general cure 6 days apart a few times because flukes seem sneaky, but it has worked well for me. I also have black mollies converted to saltwater in the observation tank to help with the observation part.

I also cheated a bit and just ordered fish from a variety of the humbelfish vendors along with the local dude @Dvon0605
 

dontavo27

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#8
Damn! It sounds like it’s been a long battle for you,
I’m glad you stuck past all the hurdles. I was having an issue with some kind of algae or bacteria bloom as well, towards the begging of my new Display swap. My mistake was, when I turned off my bio pellet reactor, but left it filled inside my sump with water and nasty pellets, the water from the reactor kept siphoning into the my sump From the feed lines and causing the issue.
 
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#9
Damn! It sounds like it’s been a long battle for you,
I’m glad you stuck past all the hurdles. I was having an issue with some kind of algae or bacteria bloom as well, towards the begging of my new Display swap. My mistake was, when I turned off my bio pellet reactor, but left it filled inside my sump with water and nasty pellets, the water from the reactor kept siphoning into the my sump From the feed lines and causing the issue.
yikes, that doesn't sound good. I've never tried biopellets before, though I thought it might be an option down the road if I can't keep nutrients within reason.

I sorta ran into that issue with the tunze ATO. I had the XP aqua duetto ATO on my first tank and figured I'd upgrade to the tunze 3155. I have the 15g IM ATO reservoir and it's pretty tall, so apparently the tunze ATO doesn't have a siphon break like the duetto does. So of course I took the duetto offline and added the tunze ATO like a day or two before I was going to leave for a trip to Yellowstone over the summer. I woke up to like 4 extra inches of water in the sump because it just kept dripping. I guess I just needed to raise up the siphon, but that was enough for me to just go back to the duetto. I probably should buy a new one as this one is a couple years old, but it seems to do well. It has failed once, but it failed off and only because I let it get totally covered with salt creep. So it seems to get the job done.
 
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#10
equipment:

skimmer: I started with the aquamaxx uhhh CO-2 or something. Meh. It barely fit in the sump and I wanted the biggest skimmer possible, but I just couldn't ever get it to really dial in and I didn't really like the aquamaxx skimmer on my old tank. I stumbled upon a review of the Tunze 9410 skimmer and it sounded like the dream. I've had it for about 4 months now and it really is the best skimmer I've ever used. The cup is a bit small, though. The slightly larger version probably would've been ideal, but tunze's tank size recommendations are a bit of a joke. I think it says this is good for up to 315g systems or something. Unless you want to empty the cup daily, I think 120g-150g lighter stocked would be about the limit. As is I have to check it a couple times a week to make sure it isn't overflowing

algae scrubber: I had a fuge with a cheapo home depot light on my last tank and chaeto grew a bit, but it didn't seem to help much with po4 and no3. I always battled high po4 and no3. For this tank I wanted to either do a massive fuge with a proper light or a chaeto reactor or an ATS. I liked that the ATS basically said: handles 2 cubes of frozen per day. I figured I'd feed about 2-3 cubes of frozen per day and whatever the ATS didn't handle hopefully the skimmer or water changes or tank itself would handle. So far it's working pretty good, although it's certainly not outcompeting the DT for algae lol

lights: I had AI Primes on my old tank and just wanted to try another brand on this tank. I didn't want to skimp, so I was pondering ecotechs or maybe a T5 hybrid deal with some LEDs when I came upon a review by Dana Riddle of these reefi things. They sounded pretty amazing and the cost seemed pretty decent. I felt like I was short on par in my last tank for acros with 2 AI primes over a 50g cube and didn't want to be lacking for light on this one. They're 216w each and had what looked like a pretty solid spectrum along with a few other things (3 year warranty compared to 1 year most lights have, small one man show so if you have issues you talk directly to the owner, owner designs chips for intel so he works in some oddball stuff to the lights like the new light uses liquid metal cooling). 6 months in they seem solid, I like the color and control and the reflective plates aren't harsh on the eyes which was important to me since I was wanting to hang them fairly high at 13"~. Remains to be seen if they'll do the most important thing and grow coral, but I'm not too worried that they won't.

flow: the IM tanks have overly thick glass from what I can tell, this tank being 15mm glass. Finding powerheads that come with strong enough magnets was sorta difficult. I ended up with 2 octopulse 4s and a nero 5. The nero 5s are probably the perfect pumps for this tank as the magnet is strong enough and the pump itself isn't that large. I like the octopulses, but the nero app support is awesome. In a perfect world I probably plan better and get a hydros wave engine instead of spending on the controllers. Also honorable mention to tunze pumps which I've found to be indestructible, but they're also large and unsightly. I had a 6065 I think in there and it was just so damn big it got demoted to saltwater mixing duty where it shines. If/when I get a bigger tank someday I'll make sure to have space for some tunze 6095s, though.
 

dontavo27

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#11
you can probably find A 1/4” fitting at Home D, and rig it to the lower end side of the skimmer cup so that the skimmate drains out into a reservoir, might help make that chore easier.
as for the algae, it looks a lot like what I was dealing with, I’d say start with a lawnmower Blenny, and look for what could be causing this, that’s a whole lot of uglies for the age of the tank.
 

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#12
Love that fish list. There’s so much activity in your tank, very cool.
I’m surprised those urchins are going to work on it. Were they added before or once the algae got longer?

I’ve got bryopsis out that arse right now and definitely notice the corals near by aren’t as happy. I think it sucks up flow and probably some form of warfare going on too.
 
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#13
you can probably find A 1/4” fitting at Home D, and rig it to the lower end side of the skimmer cup so that the skimmate drains out into a reservoir, might help make that chore easier.
as for the algae, it looks a lot like what I was dealing with, I’d say start with a lawnmower Blenny, and look for what could be causing this, that’s a whole lot of uglies for the age of the tank.
unfortunately the tunze doesn't have a drain on the cup. i'd have to drill it

yeah i think the problem is i don't have any herbivorous fish and my cuc is not very helpful at this point. but the bioload is also massive so maybe i just won't be able to get it under control. in my last tank i had much higher phosphates and nitrates, so i'm hoping i can get the ship righted while still having all the fish haha

Love that fish list. There’s so much activity in your tank, very cool.
I’m surprised those urchins are going to work on it. Were they added before or once the algae got longer?

I’ve got bryopsis out that arse right now and definitely notice the corals near by aren’t as happy. I think it sucks up flow and probably some form of warfare going on too.
thanks! i wanted a really busy and overstocked tank, but maybe went a little too hard in the paint lol

yeah i was hoping the urchins would put in more work too, not sure why they don't. they're my go to CUC since they don't require QTing, but they've let me down on this stuff so far. the only one i really see hanging out on the rocks a lot is the pincushion, the others seem to prefer to clean the glass

the combo of covid + invert QT is kinda tough. my last tank i didn't get all crazy with qt and when issues would pop up i'd just go get some invert and drop it in and boom done. this tank it's like ok dang hair algae is going hard, let me go to the fish store and get some proper snails and then wait 6 weeks for them to get in there. availability of stuff just seems so hit or miss now. trochus snails are like $5 each now. i hadn't seen turbo snails in quite, but seems those are readily available now.

i ordered some more ceriths and some limpets last night from algae barn. i sent them an email asking if they're kept in fishless systems so hopefully i can just straight add those, the limpets sound like they could put in some work on the rocks.
 
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#14
2020 continues to suck for my tank as i got velvet somehow. lost my sunburst anthias and burgess butterfly so far.

got everyone out and into various QT tanks to copper them. now to hopefully not kill everyone with copper which was my prior forte using copper

on the plus side i can do a rescape and stock up on inverts right into the DT (y)
 

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#15
Ah that sucks, I’ve been burned twice in the past. Lost my whole tank since I didn’t have a qt the first time around. Second time I had a qt on hand and didn’t lose nearly as much.

what type copper are you going to treat with? Sorry to hear velvet is a bitch.
 
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#16
thanks man, i'm using copper power, seems like it's the easiest on the fish supposedly. and for idiots like me with a wide therapeutic range. i think i caught it fairly early so most of the fish weren't effected visibly. i gave them all peroxide baths en route to various tanks. raising copper level super slow on the wrasse tank

no idea how i got it in the tank. i was pretty damn thorough with fish QT and had not even added a fish in about a month nor added any frags lately. so bizarre. definitely going to increase QT observation time at the least. i did have a foxface in QT that died last week, i wonder if i used some sort of tool in there and then in the dt. i try to be careful with doing that, but i wasn't super paranoid before...

also gonna redo the rockwork to make it easiest to get out if i ever need to again
 
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#17
2F4C073F-64DB-420B-9802-C35ED6BE2615.jpeg

i had seen the fish start scratching a bit and visiting the cleaner shrimp a lot, so i figured flukes snuck through. then i saw the burgess the other morning i was like ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh fuck
 

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#18
Damn yeah that's bad. I had a heavily stocked tank and I hardly even had a chance to see the spots. Most were gone by day 2 the first go around. Glad you were prepped with some tanks on hand. Good luck!
 
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#19
thanks man

yeah i have them in 4 separate "tanks" lol, 3 of which are just those storage tubs you can buy at sams club or costco. like $15 for a 40g container. and fortunately i had enough heaters/powerheads hanging around.

then i'll need probably 2 more to observe the fish for the fallow period lol
 
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#20
on the tank chemistry side, things were apparently going decently well. i sent in an ICP test over a month ago and they finally got around to updating the results. they sent me 4 free test kits because it was laughably late and i've seen people say this test is not to be trusted, so i'll probably give those other 4 a whirl here and there, but if i really want to know stuff i'll spend the extra bucks on the triton analysis.

their site seems like a mess and downloading the results doesn't work, so here's a SS

Screenshot (23).png

i ran some tests with my own kits when i bottled that water up to see where i was

i had po4 at 0.03
calcium 504
mag 1400
salinity 1.024

can't find salinity results on this test, but calcium was way off. i think i was using old reagents so hopefully gonna chalk it up to that or the hanna calcium tester is failing me

mag being 100 points off doesn't seem surprising, home test kits for that never seem accurate, but 100 points off isn't too bad

po4 is close and i gotta say for the amount of fish i have/had in there and the amount of food i feed, that seems like a pretty good number.

lesser elements seem decent. potassium is right on with fiji so that seems good, i don't dose for that. i do dose strontium and iodine sometimes. strontium is at 9.25 ppm where fiji is apparently 7.47 ppm so that's a tinge high, but doesn't seem concerning. iodine at 0.07 where fiji is 0.03 so also a bit high, but not worrying.

for going fallow i plan on feeding a cube of frozen every other day or so, hopefully that'll keep nitrates and po4 from bottoming out, but i might need to crank down the ATS a bit

also gonna take advantage of fallow tank by plopping in some LPS that i was uncomfortable risking putting in there without QT (it sure would suck to get velvet or something!) like gonis/euphyllia/encrusting stuff. maybe some softies too.

but that will be after i do a thorough stirring of the tank here soon. gonna remove some tupperwares of mud i have in the sump as that seems like prime anoxic zone for velvet to hang out and ruin my fallow plans. also gonna stir up the sandbed. i did that having to find the sand burying wrasses, but might as well be thorough with it. once i do that and settle on a scape i like i'll do a big CUC order and see what kind of local frags i can find probably after new years
 
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