Nart's Lagoon Build - Round 2!!!



Welcome to my Round 2 thread. If you are new, where's Round 1? Here: Nart's Im25 Lagoon Build
If you don't feel like sifting through all that I will summarize below.

Basically.... I am re-doing my entire tank!
When I first started off my 15G reef tank, it was definitely neat, but very short lived as I wanted a slightly larger and better tank. Decided to upgrade to a Innovative Marine 25 gallon Lagoon and has since been a money pit haha. That's half the fun in this hobby right?

Let's take a step in memory lane...

The 15G that I started out with...


Went through several re-scaping.


Finally decided I wanted a better tank.
Born, the IM25 Lagoon...


Many months later, new equipment, corals...
Here is the tank now.


As I continued with my saltwater journey, I noticed I have never been quite happy with my tank. Something was off. I couldn't figure out why till I sifted through my pictures along the way... Then it dawned on me. I was always too impatient with my rock-scaping. When I had set-up the 15 gallon, I rushed the scaping job. Moving the 15G over to the 25G I had to rush it too... so I never sat down and actually just focused on rock-scaping to my liking.

So this time... I am re-doing my whole tank!
I will be off to MACNA this weekend and hopefully I will find some rock-scaping and coral-scaping inspiration. Upon my return I will be setting up holding tanks where I will be keeping all the live stock from my 25G. My IM 25G will be completely empty. While I am at it, I'll be cleaning the entire tank too... bye bye spirorbs, pineapple sponges, algae, and all the bio-diversity that's been growing back there.

I will be getting rid of these "life rocks" and my choices with the new rocks are...
Reef Cleaner

I will definitely take my time with rockscaping this time around and possibly use acrylic rods in the process in creating arches. If I end up going with Pukani, it is going to take me 1-2 months to cure it.

Main focus with the IM 25 this time around... I want to take the scaping to the next level.
I want to focus on what artists and photographers focus on: Balance, color, and depth.
So... my three focuses are...

#1 The rule of thirds - Artists utilizes this technique in making art more dynamic.
#2 Complimentary colors for coral placement - draw viewers visually to make certain coral colors pop
#3 Depth - Create depth to a small tank.

I will be updating with pictures and videos of this tank revision... so... buckle in on this journey with me


Oh wow. This is gonna be amazing! I can't wait to see you work your magic. Your tank has changed so much! I can definitely see where better rock scaping could take your tank from really pretty, to absolutely stunning!

Just want to say too... you're coral growth is crazy!


I will be rescaping too so I'm hoping I can learn a thing or two!


What's better than a RBTA?



Went to just check out this LFS near me that I just found out about... they mainly sell high end fishes. Think I spent about an hour there with the owner telling me how rare some of the fishes he got in are. I looked at him and said "umm yeah... I'm really not into fishes all that much" he's like "omg... if a fish geek walked in right now they'd be in heaven" it was probably really funny to see me have zero clue what those fishes are.

Anyways... he asked if he could get me anything and showed me this baby RBTA. I told him I had one and showed him a picture. He said "that's not a true Bubble tip anemone. The one I have is bright neon and retains its bubble" and surely enough he showed me under some led lights and wow. I couldn't walk out without it. Y'all know me. I like the eye catching coral pieces... asked him how much. $30... I said sold! Probably not the best idea to get a RBTA especially with me leaving town tomorrow fingers crossed everything stays alive.

Mangrove anyone? going to try my hand in one of these plants. Also giving y'all an idea of what my re-scaping is going to be



Gorgeous man, between you and grantm91 I am going to end up covered in corals LOL!


Where did you get that??? Are mangroves selling at stores? I am so excited to see what you do with it!

I love mangrove trees! They are also protected in the Keys and along with corals... don't touch! It's a pretty big deal actually, you can be arrested for messing with the mangroves in protected areas. They're also tough little trees.., I've known people to tie up their boats to mangroves when a hurricane is coming. Docks and marinas can get serious damage but those mangrove 'forests' aren't going anywhere!


The mangrove is an awesome addition!

stella1979 that's funny they're so protected with the population and how strong they are!


I can't wait for this neon pink/red BTA to open up so I can show to y'all. I've only heard about RBTAs being this bright. This is my first time actually seeing one this bright in person.

Tragic13 once you go into the dark side... it's over. Look at Stella. She's knee deep into corals lol

stella1979 it's rare to find em in my stores here but this new fish LFS that I found was selling it. And I was actually looking for it too for my new scaping. He had more, but I decided to just try one out first to see if I can even get it to live. The owner told me it's super easy to keep and to just spray fresh water on it's leaves and wipe it a few times a week... so we shall see if they live up to it's tough little tree status lol


Wow... I saw the email alert and all I saw was "what's better then one RBTA, two!" and I was like NO WAY aloud so my mom is like what? And I go NART JUST GOT ANOTHER RBTA and shes like, your crazy lol. ITS soooo pretty.

Heheh that's why I knew I was gonna have to be able to grow corals... NO way am I getting sw without corals. Its my favorite part for me already and I don't even have any haha.


Dropping a little homegrown knowledge... seriously, every fifth grader around here is taught to revere the mangroves.

I don't know the precise laws but you don't mess with them in national parks and before cutting them elsewhere, you better get a permit from the state. It seems like we have a lot of mangroves here but there used to be so much more before the development of south FL. Mangroves are vital for reducing erosion, a lesson that has been hard learned around FL's coastlines. Also, they are vital to the ecosystem to provide nursery areas for fish, nesting for birds and feeding an abundance of creatures by acting as a natural filter, collecting detritus and whatnot. They were my forests to explore as a kid but instead of squirrels or maybe a bear, I found urchins and small sharks.

I would love to have a mangrove of my very own like Nart.. might have to start working on the hubby about that for a future build. In the meantime I'm so excited to see how this goes.

Edit: Please forgive me, I got so excited about the tiny tree that I forgot something... Congrats on the new nem NART !!! That color is awesome! Can't wait to see it opened up.


Haha the nems are cool man, animal meets coral, seen a neon green baby for just £5 today on my buy and sell site, I have no room for another wanderer though. However I'm going to see it again as I just flew past it and didn't have a close inspect lol.


Culprit legitttt! That's when you know you're a hardcore reef addict and don't even know it yet.

stella1979 I've been reading up on caring for these mangroves. Didn't know about all this laws protecting them. I'm going to catch up on that reading. I really wish I had a long tank now, so I could make it a peninsula style scaping.

As excited as I am. Totally a terrible impulse time to buy..... I'm not too afraid of it venturing around my tank stinging things. I'm more afraid of it dying and killing the tank fingers double crossed lol


I'll keep your tank in my thoughts while you're away... maybe the power of positive thinking will help! lol, that's what my Momma always says. I'll be biting my nails until the post-MACNA update. Have fun! Don't forget the camera! I can't wait to hear all about it!

You're leaving tomorrow, yes? And returning Monday? Do you have room to throw a whole bunch of carbon in just in case it might help avert disaster? In reading about planaria today, I learned that it can poison your tank when the colony dies. Running a large amount of carbon is recommended to combat the toxins. Just an idea...


Great minds think alike stella1979 yeah I have a big bag of carbon in there already. Tank is vacation mode ready!

Look how massive this RBTA is... I'm not even sure if can fit it in my re-scaped tank lol


Used the gel filters to take a pic of my prized Ultra Red RFA.



Dude... You're RBTA is huge! The colors on that RFA tho


Man I am slacking I need a RFA like that in my life !!!


Great minds think alike stella1979 yeah I have a big bag of carbon in there already. Tank is vacation mode ready!

Look how massive this RBTA is... I'm not even sure if can fit it in my re-scaped tank lol


Used the gel filters to take a pic of my prized Ultra Red RFA.


What filter are you using? I use the orange one and it makes everything look normal colors. Everything still looks very blue ... just curious.


Some picture sharing time from MACNA!

Met George, Coralfish12g. Superrrrrrr chilll guy. Tall as heck too lol.


Was interviewed by Fincaster


All the free stuff and bought a few magnetic rocks


The wife might want a jelly fish tank now


Been waiting for this one... First MACNA post, YAY!!!!


Wow haha. The guy him self !!! Them rocks are great, love the mario style looking beginner coral thing haha.


The kiddo loves the Mario coral poster too, says he wants one for his room,lol.


How much were the rocks?! I want some more but man, they are pricey! Think I might try to make one.


grantm91 I've met other youtubers before... I gotta say, George is really genuine.

stella1979 haha. I think you can get it off Jake Adam's website, reefbuilders before you do that though let me see if I can grab another one today. I might stop by for the raffle and if that's the case I can pick some up and send to y'all if you want.

LJC6780 it was $55 for the magnetic shelf and $10 for that goby hole rock.

JBJ was giving out free hats, so why not thug it a little haha. Man, I saw some beautiful tanks there, like prototype stuff.


Can anyone say protein skimmer?


How neat is this tank??


By the way.. this magnetic glass cleaner was amazing quality! I couldn't even buy it there lol, so I have to look for it online. If anyone is in the market for a magnetic glass cleaner... this is the one.


Checked out the WWII museum. Just wow... lost for words just learning and reading of all the series of events during that time.



Wow, NART!!! That's a great photo you got at the museum.

Thuggin' it in that hat tho.... you just remember, you're still Eeeaast Siiiiiddde for now!

Keep 'em comin bud, we're all living the MACNA dream vicariously here. Wouldn't mind seeing some pics of NOLA too. And thank you! We'd love it if you could send us a poster! Please don't go out of your way though. Have fun, and enjoy the rest of your trip!


I seen you with joey on your 15 gallon thread, I'm not really much of fan of him though, I always felt george was more genuine, loving the pics so far!


Great pics! I'm so jealous. Glad you're having fun.

I can't wait to see that jelly tank...


Awesome ... wish I could have gone but it just wasn't happening. My grandad stormed Normandy beach on the second day. Turns 96 in 2 days! I'd love to see that museum!


Wrapping up the NOLA trip!
I didn't win anything from the raffles this time but was definitely fun to see some winners win some great stuff.

stella1979 I wasn't able to find anymore posters... so sorry..

LJC6780 wow. That's some bravery right there. I definitely enjoyed reading through the museum and seeing footages. Just couldn't even comprehend the mass casualty.

Just so I don't get too off topic, there wasn't a whole lot of aquascaping that I could get inspiration from. It was mainly coral vendors and companies showcasing their products. I did see Stax rocks in person and decided I didn't want to go for that look. I did pickup the Hannah egg checker for Alkalinity, so I'm excited about that along with the magnetic frag rock I picked up. Upon returning to the hotel room last night I went ahead and started ordering things for my major re-scaping.
22lbs of PukanI rocks, acrylic rods, epoxy, etc... it should all arrive late this week. I can't wait to start my rock scaping adventure.

Right now I am holding my breath in getting home lol. So worried about that new RBTA. It seemed like it was wanting to walk all over the place

Picture sharing time? Yes? Let's do it!
I didn't take a whole lot at the fish convention... so just sharing what I have with y'all and some extras.

ORA loaded their tank with just a crazy amount of frags.


The jelly fish tank. I am having a slight itch for jelly fishes now...


Live jazz music at Preservation Hall. I was never into jazz but wow... what an experience. That was probably the highlight of the trip.


Inside Preservation Hall. No frills. Almost exactly to what you would've experienced back in the days. They didn't let you take pics or anything when the performers came in... so this is the best I could do.


Second highlight of the trip? Some of the food was to die for...

This crab and crawfish cake on their fresh made biscuits.... oh my.....


Fried crawfish tail and crawfish etoufee.... drool. The wife doesn't eat seafood so she had chicken and waffles... pretty delicious...


Not haunted condominium anyone?


The night life. It was definitely an experience. But a pretty sketchy city.

My wife and I saw a young girl getting chased by a homeless person on our first day there. Her friends just stood and watch... so I decided to step in and confront the homeless person. He started getting crazy in my face, boy was I **** at this point.. I haven't had to be this uncivilized in a while lol. I put down my beer and was anticipating to get in a brawl.. he talks some more ish, shakes my hand and walks off. What in the world? Haha. Definitely not the safest city, which is so sad, but worth a short trip to visit.

Ended the trip with trying the hottest hot sauce currently in the US, had to sign a waiver too, called "The End". The first 30 seconds wasn't bad and I thought I was in the clear along with my friend and then..... boom. I was in tears and regret for the next 15 minutes lol. I think my wife took some pics and video'd it.


Any who, going back to home today! Can't wait to be back and start working on the tanks and all that. Talk to y'all soon. Oh yeah, I think we just missed Hurricane Harvey. Hopefully. Otherwise, we'll be stranded here for a bit.


Love, love, love the 'Not Haunted' pic!!! And your wife is making me want a waffle iron. Yep, never been to NOLA but I've known a few who have. My brother went about 18 years ago and even then, he said once was enough. I'd still like to see it someday.

I watched a MACNA video this morning and it made me wonder... maybe you won't be too from Vegas when you move back to Cali??? MACNA 2018!!! Too bad that'll make it even more unlikely for me, but they're bound to be back in SoFlo someday.

So... can a person get deals there? I think I saw a huge WWC booth in the background of a vid, definitely saw some nice tank bred fish and wondered if frags and fish are going for hot prices? Probably not I guess since these guys are showing off all the new and shiny stuff. Also, what was your favorite product? I saw a cool little secure frag transport container.... that's not to mention the super high tech stuff that is a pipe dream for someday.

Dang Nart, I'm just waiting to pick up the kiddo from school and what's on my mind? Your tank! Hope all is well and that your day of travel is going well for you and the wife... well enough that you'll be able to update soon. No really... hope y'all get home safe and sound!


stella1979 haha! Thank you for thinking of my tank and for our safe travels. We made it back safely and didn't get stuck in the hurricane. Whew!

Came back..... and the tank is......... fine!
Quick pic of the new RBTA.

It settled right next to the big RBTA. Nothing was stung or died! Whew!!! Fed the tank and everything is well. Bright colors from all the corals! So glad and happy


stella1979 haha! Thank you for thinking of my tank and for our safe travels. We made it back safely and didn't get stuck in the hurricane. Whew!

Came back..... and the tank is......... fine!
Quick pic of the new RBTA.

It settled right next to the big RBTA. Nothing was stung or died! Whew!!! Fed the tank and everything is well. Bright colors from all the corals! So glad and happy
Looks good!

I have a feeling that new one will eventually stretch out like the other. Your original bubble tip looks pretty and a "true bubble" to me. Even members of the same family will display these differences of tentacle length and position of bubbles. Hopefully it stays looking like that though because it's fun and much more "bubbly" than the normal bubble tips I've seen! Can't wait to see the growth.

Glad nothing got nuked while you were enjoying your vacay and glad you're home safe! Cheers!


I'm just dying to know what's going on with this build, what's this mysterious scape that's coming, acrylic rods, pukanI rocks magrove plant ??!! !!!


So glad everybody's happy and healthy! I was seriously worried about where the new guy might move to. This all makes me wonder a bit about nem intelligence. Is it known for them to be drawn to their own kind? Would it know to stay away from say, a stinging acan? What do you think is most vulnerable to a roaming nem, SPS? Hmmm.....

I haven't put much thought into BTA's... honestly, not a fan of the bubbles. Shocking, I know. I've come to really appreciate tube anemones... love, love, love those long thready tentacles! However, I'm an animal lover and it's great seeing a nice healthy animal of most any type. To me, the original looks big and beautiful, and the little one looks squat and plump, ready to grow to be big and beautiful. It's quite a lovely little nem neighborhood you've got there Nart.


Nanologist I have that same feeling too. Though, when I bought this small BTA from this new LFS that I found, he swore that there are long tentacle nems in the market that's not a true bubble tip strand. He said that the ones he got in are true bubble tips and remains.... I guess time will tell, I mean, if he tried lying to me for $30.... oh man, I am going to have a fit with that guy.

grantm91 you and me both haha. I hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew lol.

stella1979 I think that area in particular in my tank has the perfect lighting and flow for all the different anemones I have. It's interesting that my RFA's and RBTA's all hang out there. Yeah, from the folks I talk to... most SPS's don't stand a chance to a BTA sting. It's interesting.... I love the little bubble look as opposed to the long tentacles.

Feels good to be back home and get back into the grove of things. Thanks ya'll for the well wishes of my tank and travels!
So upon ordering PukanI from BRS, I did not realize how expensive it is! I wrote a note in there that I require some smaller pieces for a cubed nano tank, so I hope they don't send me giant pieces. I am super stoked to getting this rockscaping to exactly my liking. I am aiming for a scaping that will hopefully be featured in one of those reef magazines. Hopefully by the time I am done with this scaping... it won't be too hard to start removing my corals that's grown on the rocks lol. We'll see.

Along with the rock scaping... I am already trying to plan my coral scaping as well. Looks like I won't have room for the big RBTA... so it's going to sit in the frag tank once I get that going or I might just trade it off. Going in with less rocks for this scaping, if I keep the big RBTA, essentially it'll take over the entire rockscape and I'll just have room for RBTA and zoas, which isn't bad... but not ideal for the scaping I have in mind. Hopefully I get to work on this soon...


I think there are BTA that are less likely to lose the bubbles, its not a guaranteed thing though, I relate the bubbles on mine to stress, it only looks like a proper bubble tip when its not relaxed. I think everyone has there own idea and selling points on these things. They are all mysterious beautiful things though, no body truly knows and probably never will, it would be good if you could get an explanation off that guy though nart as I don't think he would make a story up over $30.


Hmmm, I'm having a bad/excellent idea... Don't you have around 4 tanks NART ? If I'm remembering correctly, you have the IM 25, 2 x 10g's plus maybe another that used to be a FW.... Not sure of that, but if you have at least 3 tanks, couldn't you have the IM reef, a 10 gallon frag and put a nem garden in another 10? Now that sounds like a winner! Tried to talk my boy into turning his old 10 gallon into an RFA/zoa tank.... I can't believe it, he's still set on high tech planted with red cherry shrimp! Something I still want to try too but I've been wavering lately.

I can't wait to see the rocks BRS sends. Exciting packages for us both this week, YAY!!!


grantm91 Grant - my mind was blown when this guy was telling me that it's the strand of RBTA he has is different from other RBTA's in the market. Though, from first glance at it... this small RBTA had the craziest neon pink color and it wasn't even getting blue lights under it. But yeah, making a story up over $30 when he sells high end fishes..... I took the chance on it anyways. This small RBTA does have the craziest neon color though. I'll get some better pics. It chose a spot where no one can see it! arghhh!

stella1979 HAHAHA....... talking about a crazy MTS syndrome. The wife would kick me out realll quick. I would love more tanks, but... it'll become too much of a chore for me trying to always get all the tanks in tip top shape. Even this frag tank set-up I am kind of hesitant of... like, I don't want to do daily manual top-off's. so I'll probably be shopping around for another Smart Micro ATO. I dunno... we'll see after this re-scaping. I might consolidate some corals and sell/trade the rest. High-tech plants and RCS are a thing of the past! Get on that RFA/zoa tank! I heard RFA's are pretty fun to breed and fairly straight forward too once they reach sexual maturity. It's always fun getting packages in the mail haha, makes it feel like Christmas


Yeah, I agree he probably didn't make it up for the price, but I'm just not sure about the validity of his statement about the other type not being a "true" bubble tip.

BRS is good about getting the right size of rocks if you leave a note from what I've heard. I'm pretty sure it says that on the product page too.

*Edit - you could always put on some safety glasses and smash the rocks into smaller chunks if they come too large!


Whoa super cool! You're smaller rbta looks nice and compact... Imo I like it better then your big one!

I can't wait for this scape... I was thinking of using acrylic rods for my hardscape but I wasn't sure about it. Cause if I ever want to change it.... Or take it apart to clean it or something... I guess it depends on what I can do without supports like that.


Nanologist yeah - same here. I have no problem walking back in to a shop to call bull turtle on someone haha.

But yeah... I am prepared to do that. Also going to find a dremel as well. I'm not sure what I'll need exactly till I get these rocks.
I'm glad ya'll are excited as I am about this scaping! I will definitely take lots of pictures along the way!

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