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Cultivated Reef

Jackle's Innovative Marine Nuvo 16


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Hi Nano-Reefers,


After trolling the Nano-Reef forum for a few weeks I decided to start my own Saltwater Aquarium. Up until now I have only kept planted fresh water aquarium and finally decided to take the plunge into saltwater. My motto is simplify, simplify, simplify... so after searching around the net and LFS's I decided the IM Nuvo 16 had everything I needed in an AIO tank: 1) Built in sump/refugium with five compartments to experiment with 2) Shallow and long tanks gives fish more swimming room, provide a larger canvas for your aquascape per/gallon and have less light penetrating requirement since the tank tend to be shallow and 3) Size, the fiancee won't allow anything bigger than 20g in the house -.-'


My goal is simple, build a thriving Softy/LPS tank that is easy to maintain and light on the wallet. I will start everything stock and only upgrade any part(s) when necessary. I will try to keep everything to the bare minimum if possible. I hope everyone here can help share their knowledge and experiences with me and help make this goal a reality.





  • Innovative Marine Nuvo 16



  • [2] Stock IM 8watt 14K



  • Stock pump + [2] IM Nuvo Spin Stream



  • [R] Boyd Chemi Pure Elite + Wallmart Filter Floss
  • [L] Seachem Lab Purigen + Wallmart Filter Floss
  • 10 lbs Fiji live rock from LFS



  • 10 lbs Caribsea Arag-Alive Fiji Pink
  • Utilitech Digital 8-Outlet Power Strip Timer



  • RO/DI - Manual top off using LFS RO/DI water
  • Water changes: 2g 1X per week using LFS saltwater mix



  1. TBD



  • TBD



  • TBD




The cycle begins, still using stock media filters



Simple centered convex rockscape



Left view



Right view



If anyone has any suggestions for must have upgrades please don't be a stranger.

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Future Upgrades:

  • If stock lighting is not enough or if I plan on keeping SPS later, I will add a Kessil 150W or 350W in the middle. I love pendant lighting because of the spotlight effect to highlight a specific area in your tank. Anyone have experiences with these light for keeping SPS?
  • If stock flow is inadequate, I will add an additional Hydor Koralina Nano 240gph powerhead.
  • If LFS saltwater mix is inadequate, I am planning on just buying RO/DI water and using the E.S.V B Ionic saltmix. Does anyone recommend getting an RO/DI system for a tank this small? I can't imagine using more then 3 gallon a week.


Is this little fella Aptasia? Should I get rid of it now before it spread?



It seems like i'm getting some red and green hair algae, should I be concern or is this normal with cycling? I'm currently running the daylight light 6 hours a day.


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That is aptasia, I took care of it with the addition of a peppermint shrimp. Not all peppermint shrimp will eat them, but you could give it a try. Mine cleared out several in a couple of days.

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Dig the cave scape.I just added a pep shrimp to get rid of an aiptasia I have and he is too shy to come out.would torch it since you don't have any live stock in your tank

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That is aptasia, I took care of it with the addition of a peppermint shrimp. Not all peppermint shrimp will eat them, but you could give it a try. Mine cleared out several in a couple of days.


I will definitely look into getting one of these once my tank complete its cycle, for now I will keep a close eye on the aptasia to make sure it doesn't spread too fast, kinda nice to have it around in such a barren tank.

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I think I read you can use boiling water in a turkey baster to boil the aptasia. There are also chemical injections you can give them, but can prove hard to do if you miss, they close up. I say try the peppermint shrimp if they don't spread crazy before the cycle is over

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Quick Update:


Holy cow algae and copepods bloom Batman! it's growing like crazy on my tank glass and LR! I got these thin green hair algae growing all over my glass and the copepods are all attaching themselves on it. I finally got my water tested at the LFS and after 2.5 weeks my tank is finally cycled (0 Amm, Nitrate, and Nitrite). Just to be on the safe side i picked up 2 Astrea and 4 Bumble Bee Snails and a Peppermint Shrimp and did a 25% water change. So far the Astrea Snail have been eating up all the algae on the glass, they're great and cleared 1/3 of the algae on my front glass pane in 3 days, i think they're overeating because they keep falling off the glass and end up on their back so I have to flip them every now and then lol. Stay tune for pics...

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So what's your stocking plans?


Not sure yet at this point but I started an excel spreadsheet for Livestock and Corals just documenting all the species i'm interested in keeping and keeping track of things like Origin, Price, Care Level, Lighting requirement, Water Conditions requirements, max size, color, temperament, diet and misc requirements. This way I can stock my tank as the conditions changes all I have to do is filter the list that my tank can support. So far I'm probably going to pick up a clown fish, cleaner shrimp, and really interested in getting pistol shrimp and goby.

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Are peppermint shrimp real shy? I haven't seen him for 3 days now and getting concern... I wonder if he dug a hole under one of the rocks... He must still be alive since all the aptasia is gone... any have this same problem?

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  • 1 month later...

Looking very good buddy!


Welcome to the dark side heh heh heh. Once you go reef, there really is no turning back.

I joined this site specifically to look for your tank.


I haven't done nanos in a while but you are making me want to build one for my store lol.


Your own RO machine will be the best investment as it will save you many trips to the LFS and give you consistent TDS numbers as long as your on top of them.

Also as I said before ATO is absolute must to stay consistent in salinity. Shrimps and other inverts are extremely sensitive to salinity swings so it will definitely help you in the long run.


b ionic is good salt, I have used kent, red sea coral pro, IO, Reef crystals, coralife in the past and I liked red sea coral pro and reef crystal the best, consistent economical option for me.

I kept on telling you this but if your store sells NSW, go with that route. Do a 5gal wc every other week and you are good to go and they have been 100% consistent every time I tested and consistency in this hobby is the key to longevity for the life span of all the creatures in your slice of ocean.


Kessel light is great but for your tank it will be a over kill. Any coral you put in will have to acclimated tremendously or it will melt and bleach. I can recommend DIY solderless Cree LEDs from Rapid that you can hang or if you can give me bit more info about your height of the tank and the light itself, I can tell you if it will be sufficient enough for sps.


Any how, good to have you as a reefer buddy.

You know my number, call me, txt me any time.

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I have used many different salt brands and have finally settled on ESV B-Ionic. I like it quite a bit. I mix my water up with distilled water from Wal-Mart. I've done it that way for years & never had any problems w/it.

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