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Dr. Acula

A Newbie's 16 Gallon Nuvo

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Dr. Acula

Hello to nano-reef! It's good to be here.

 

A little bit about myself before we get started:

 

I'm a 20 year old college student, and have owned and loved aquaria for years. Mostly so far I've been involved in the planted side of the hobby, but more and more lately I've been itching to try out this reef stuff. I'm still into the plants, don't worry, but I figure for now I'll just dabble in both.

 

So, the equipment so far:

 

16 gallon nuvo aquarium setup

Bare essentials (test kits, heater, etc.)

 

After throwing in some live rock to start cycling:

 

2012-07-23_07-41-24_364.jpg

 

Test results after 24 hours:

 

2012-07-23_18-24-40_576.jpg

 

There you go. I'll be getting more rock and setting things up nicer at some point, but for now I just wanted to get the process started. So feel free to offer up you r help, as this is my first saltwater tank, and I could use it. But for now I'm just gonna let things sit and do their thing for just a bit. Takin' it slow.

 

Oh, and for those that are interested, here's one of my old freshwater tanks. It wasn't my most recent tank, or nicest, because for some reason I just never photograph my fish tanks, but nonetheless it'll add to the pictures-of-boxes-of-water total of this thread.

 

DSCN7844.jpg

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jec11718

better get some more rock, thats kinda on the low side...shoot for 20lbs or so

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Dr. Acula
better get some more rock, thats kinda on the low side...shoot for 20lbs or so

 

Oh, definitely. Like I mentioned, I'm planning on getting more rock soon. That's just the eight or so pounds I got when I bought the setup, in order to get some in and start the cycling process. I'll have more rock, and I'll scape the rock better.

 

Thanks.

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gabe3eb

More rock isn't a requirement by any means. As long as you don't go overboard on stocking, you will be fine. I also tend to like the more minimalist scapes. Anyone can cram a bunch of rock in a tank to make a fruit stand. The whole 1lb to 1.5lbs per gallon rule is not a hard rule.

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Dr. Acula

I appreciate the comments, guys. But yeah, I had read that the amount of rock is hardly an exact rule, which makes sense. And there does seem to be a recent trend towards more minimalist scapes, which I'm all for. But at the same time three rocks on sand is hardly a scape at all, so I do plan on adding more, and arranging things more...artistically.

 

A question while I'm thinking about it, though. Does the amount of rock I have affect drastically how quickly my tank will take to cycle and get set up initially? Not that I'm in a terrible hurry.

Edited by Dr. Acula

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TSwift

20 year old college student here as well :) I am debating on getting this exact Nuvo 16 and I was wondering how you are liking it. Do you wish you would have gotten white instead of black? I can't decide which color.

 

I plan on doing a simple scape as well. I want to do two or three "islands" that stack at different heights. This is my inspiration to a certain degree: http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=296235

 

I subscribed to your topic and will be following!

 

To help answer your question, a large amount of live rock only helps balance your tank if you have a really large bioload. If you add more down the road, it will take longer to cycle since that new live rock will have some die-off which means your cycle will basically start over again.

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Dr. Acula
20 year old college student here as well :) I am debating on getting this exact Nuvo 16 and I was wondering how you are liking it. Do you wish you would have gotten white instead of black? I can't decide which color.

 

I plan on doing a simple scape as well. I want to do two or three "islands" that stack at different heights. This is my inspiration to a certain degree: http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=296235

 

I subscribed to your topic and will be following!

 

To help answer your question, a large amount of live rock only helps balance your tank if you have a really large bioload. If you add more down the road, it will take longer to cycle since that new live rock will have some die-off which means your cycle will basically start over again.

 

Hey TSwift! Glad to see another college kid here, you'll likely understand some of the constraints I have, like time, space, moving these things, and of course lack of funds.

 

But as far as the Nuvo tank goes, overall I've been happy with it for the three days I've owned it. The price wasn't too bad, and it's a nice looking tank. If you look closely in areas there are a couple places where the silicone work or something similar is a little sloppy, though. Nothing you can tell without more or less an inspection, or that I feel really detracts, I'm just saying that you can tell the build quality isn't quite up to something like my ADA tank. But no issues as far as leaking, etc. And like I said, the price isn't too bad, so I can forgive things like that.

 

Beyond that I'd just say that the flow doesn't appear to be adequate with just the stock pump. It's barely at what I would use for a planted tank, and that's without many obstructions at the moment. But that's no issue as I've got a spare Koralia Nano back at school I can hook up. Also the lighting does not seem to be appropriate long term for all corals out of the box. Not that I have any experience with corals, I'm just again comparing to what I would use for an upper end planted tank, and it's not really much brighter than that. I think eventually I'll upgrade it with a third light, the same as the two it came with.

 

Lastly, as far as the color goes, I had a chance to look over both a white and black tank, and I preferred black. The seams match the background well, and it looks clean to me. But really it was just mostly my personal preference, and the fact that black matches more things in my apartment at school where this guy is heading than anything else.

 

So I hope I've addressed everything for you there. But feel free to ask whatever else about it, and I'll definitely help out if I can. Take some measurements if you like, or a picture or two. I know spending the hundreds of dollars was a big deal for me, and you want to be sure you're getting what you want.

 

And thanks for addressing my question. Your answer does make sense to me. And keeping it in mind, I think what I'll end up doing is grabbing some more rock for my scape on Thursday or so, and then letting things just sit and work themselves out without interference for a while.

 

...long post.

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Dr. Acula

Alright, I got the new rock just like I promised I would. It was kinda a tight fit in the tank, but I think I have everything situated now in a way I like.

 

See for yourself:

 

2012-07-26_23-02-34_973.jpg

 

So, that being the case, I'm going to let things sit for a while. If you can see from the pictures I did also pick up three little hermits. The tank water has tested well for the last couple days, which makes sense as all the rock is pretty much cured, and I was comfortable with it. They were also free due to a little sale/rewards type thing that I've spent enough money recently to qualify for. I'll order the rest of my CUC around mid next week, and go from there.

 

Also, as a side note, as I was picking out the rock today and setting it on the scale to be weighed, a cute baby mantis shrimp fell out. The store employee asked if I wanted to keep him, and I was tempted, but a mantis tank just isn't what I had planned and not in the cards at the moment. Oh well.

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TSwift

First of all, thank you so much for a detailed post! You helped me decide on getting this tank in black and I have ordered it today for a great price which included the two spinner returns, so I am very excited! I'm glad I am not the only one who thinks dishing out hundreds of dollars in a fish tank is a big deal :) haha

 

Beyond that I'd just say that the flow doesn't appear to be adequate with just the stock pump. It's barely at what I would use for a planted tank, and that's without many obstructions at the moment. But that's no issue as I've got a spare Koralia Nano back at school I can hook up. Also the lighting does not seem to be appropriate long term for all corals out of the box. Not that I have any experience with corals, I'm just again comparing to what I would use for an upper end planted tank, and it's not really much brighter than that. I think eventually I'll upgrade it with a third light, the same as the two it came with.

 

Yep, I am planning on upgrading the pump once I get corals and upgrading the lighting sometime around christmas. Because of my money constraints, it will be a while before I can invest in the higher-end corals anyways.

 

By the way, your scape looks good! I love the arch. Too bad about the mantis... they are awesome!

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Dr. Acula

Thanks for the 'scape compliment, TSwift. I think it looks good, and a bit better in person than in that picture. The water's cleared up some, and the whole thing looks a bit more three dimensional in real life.

 

But the main reason for this response, as I document this new hobby, is to say that I have found some aiptasia in my tank. Kind of a bummer, but I've ordered a bottle of "aiptasia x" that should take care of the problem. It seemed to have nothing but glowing reviews as I looked around.

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temet vince

Well I was about to say you got really lucky by finding that mantis shrimp early, but with the aiptasia I think I'd best just keep my mouth shut lol. Please keep us posted; all my live rock is coming in tomorrow and with my luck aiptasia will be the least of my worries when it comes to bad hitchhiker's.

 

Tank looks great though! Can't wait to see more!

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Dr. Acula

Thanks temet vince. And yeah, I thought about the same thing as you. I placed an order with marine depot on Monday that included the aiptasia x i mentioned earlier, but it's not scheduled to arrive until Friday. And in the meantime the little pests are growing and spreading. I've already found a couple new ones. Worst case is probably that I decide to keep a peppermint shrimp long term, if the chemicals don't work out. Either way it should really be fine, but it's still annoying.

 

And get pumped for that rock coming. Hopefully you get some fun hitchhikers. Beyond the pests I've seen various tube and bristle worms, a feather duster, a snail, and a couple other little critters. It's good fun.

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Dr. Acula

Small update:

 

My order from Reef Cleaners came today. It was a little warm out, but everything seems to be doing fine. The Florida ceriths are the only ones still resting in their shells, and from what I've heard that's normal. Most of what I wanted to say, though, was that there were plenty of extras.

 

It was a varied order, with a few nerites, Florida ceriths, dwarf ceriths, and nessarius snails, and I got a one or two extras for most types. Except for the dwarf ceriths. It was way more than one or two for them. I had ordered something like 10 of the little guys, but apparently whoever's job over there it is to count them got bored of it, and just threw a fistful in a bag. I didn't count, but there must have been closer to 50 of 'em, if not more.

 

They're all over, and fun to watch. And since I was excited to add some more life to my tank, I thought I would share it with Nano-Reef.

Edited by Dr. Acula

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Deleted User 3

I'm a 21 yr old college student :) Interesting, hello ! Have fun!

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Dr. Acula

Hey TuLIPgirl! Nice to see another college youngster here. There are a good number of us, it seems.

 

And my Marine Depot order came the other day, so that was pretty exciting. Got my aiptasia x, so we'll see if any more of the little pests show up. I took care of all the ones that I saw. I'm sure they've spread some more, but I'll continue being vigilant.

 

Also:

 

2012-08-04_01-57-09_511.jpg

 

What?! Is that three lights I see up there? Yeah, it totally is.

Edited by Dr. Acula

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Dr. Acula

Exciting developments here for me. I've been monitoring my tank parameters pretty closely, and a couple days ago ammonia and nitrites finally zeroed out and held. Considering that, I made a trip to the LFS with the intent of picking up a peppermint shrimp and my first coral.

 

Well I got the shrimp, but the store was having a sale discounting frags in groups of threes, so naturally I had to take advantage of that. I picked up some zoas, gsp, and a ric. A day later everything is open and looking good. I forgot to take pictures, so will have to get those and put 'em up soon, though there's nothing exceedingly exciting for the jaded coral keeper in this initial group.

 

The next step, once I get everything a little more settled and am sure I can keep everything nicely stable, will be my first saltwater fish. I am open to suggestions as to what that should be.

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owenj
Exciting developments here for me. I've been monitoring my tank parameters pretty closely, and a couple days ago ammonia and nitrites finally zeroed out and held. Considering that, I made a trip to the LFS with the intent of picking up a peppermint shrimp and my first coral.

 

Well I got the shrimp, but the store was having a sale discounting frags in groups of threes, so naturally I had to take advantage of that. I picked up some zoas, gsp, and a ric. A day later everything is open and looking good. I forgot to take pictures, so will have to get those and put 'em up soon, though there's nothing exceedingly exciting for the jaded coral keeper in this initial group.

 

The next step, once I get everything a little more settled and am sure I can keep everything nicely stable, will be my first saltwater fish. I am open to suggestions as to what that should be.

Sounds like it was your lucky day to happen upon the LFS! As a fellow new reefer I get unreasonably excited about small, early coral purchases. I'm still a little sad I didn't end up going with the IM Nuvo 16, but I plan on upgrading to a Pico Aquariums AIO later on. Glad your tank arrived in acceptable condition; I ended going away from the Nuvo after reading so many threads about shoddy craftsmanship.

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Dr. Acula

Ha, owenj, our excitement may seem a little unreasonable, and may even be a little unreasonable, but it's pretty cool to pick up those first corals and get them home to watch them open up and look colorful for you. I mean, it's a coral reef in your house. I think that's where everyone starts in this hobby, where we are now.

 

And now, finally, some cruddy cell phone pics of my new stuffs!

 

2012-08-11_16-04-06_799.jpg

 

2012-08-11_16-05-12_88.jpg

 

2012-08-11_16-06-26_470.jpg

 

Yay! Also, still looking for some suggestions for fish. Thinking about maybe a firefish if I don't hear anything better or a reason not to go with one.

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Dr. Acula

Well alright, for those who are interested, this tank is chugging along. I just made the move back to school, and it went fairly well. At one point the gsp got beat up, but there are still some polyps left alive and now extending so I'm hopeful.

 

Also, before I made the trip I picked up a couple new corals to round out my selections. I'll get some more pictures up later, but for now the lights are off for the night so here is a cruddy shot with flash of the tank in it's new home.

 

2012-08-26_22-27-14_541.jpg

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temet vince

Looks like everything survived the move!

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Dr. Acula

It did. For the most part the move went fairly smoothly. And now the tank has been up and running at school for a couple weeks, and everything has been going fairly well. I've currently got a bit of an algae issue, but it's nothing that's terribly bothersome to me. And it seems all of the corals are developing new heads or have new polyps. I'll try and get some new pictures up this weekend of everything, for everyone to take a look at and so I can compare them to the older ones on here.

 

In other news, my dart tank is now up and running, with a group of 5 lovely vents. I'll throw a picture of one up here, just because it's my thread and I can do what I want.

 

Here's the little guy hangin' out on the glass:

 

2012-09-20_13-16-00_64_zpsfb205bdc.jpg

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Dr. Acula

Alright, it took me a bit longer than I expected, but I did finally get some updated pictures of the tank. Still dealing with some algae, but it's not bothering me a ton, so long as everything is doing well and growing nicely. Anyway, have a look for yourself:

 

Some zoas:

 

2012-10-10_17-55-57_735.jpg

 

Most of these polyps were retracted today, I dunno why. But there has been quite a bit of growth since I got them.

 

2012-10-10_17-57-39_744.jpg

 

A couple new heads popping up on this guy. Also the color in the picture is off. It looks better in person, though that's true for most all of my pictures, seeing as they're taken with a cruddy phone camera.

 

2012-10-10_17-59-07_192.jpg

 

Also a new head growing in nicely on him, around the back.

 

2012-10-10_17-59-58_605.jpg

 

And some more zoas, along with the GSP. The GSP had a fairly rough time with the move, but has grown back and started encrusting the rock.

 

2012-10-10_18-03-15_191.jpg

 

And lastly, a full tank shot:

 

2012-10-10_17-54-18_510.jpg

 

And so there you go. Let me know what you think, if you think anything. And any tips on getting rid of the algae would of course be appreciated.

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Dr. Acula

Small and quick photo update. Everything's going well, algae is more under control, and I have added a frogspawn to round out my collection. Beyond that things are growing, and I'm pretty pleased.

 

Left side:

 

2012-11-10_12-35-42_538.jpg

 

Right side:

 

2012-11-10_12-35-17_586.jpg

 

Thanks for looking.

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Dr. Acula

Alright team, here's the deal. The tank has been doing well. Everything has continued to grow. But, over winter break I've left it unattended for about a month. It's got a tunze ATO with a plenty big reservoir, the lights are on timers, and all that jazz so everything should be fine. I'm thinking algae might have flared up a bit more, since it's obviously overdue for a water change, but I've got a fresh water batch ready to go.

 

Point is I drive back tomorrow and get to see how everything fared. Cross your fingers and wish me luck, I'm a little nervous!

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Rathje70

Good luck! I had a similar situation while I was in college with my BC29....It was always a bit scary walking back into the dorm room after being away for a week or so..

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