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Cultivated Reef

Another Nuvo 16


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I've wanted a Innovative Marine Nuvo 16 for some time now. I think it's a pretty good deal, it comes with everything you need to get started yet is also very upgradeable. It was an especially good deal on black Friday from Bulkreefsupply.com so I ordered one up. $300 plus free shipping! :)


I really like the dimensions of this tank. Its 24" long, and about "12 wide, however the rear chamber takes up a few inches of that so it's somewhat of a thin tank so thats the only downside I can see to having an 16 gallon AIO tank like this. But its not that bad, I like a longer tank more than I like cubes.

It's not much to look at right now. Its only been running 2 days.


So my plans for this tank aren't too terribly exciting. This is about as close to a "budget build" as I think I'll ever get. I found a good deal on a Craigslist stand, I put in about 16 pounds of Craigslist live rock, and some "Arag-alive" fine sand, and a powerhead I saved from a previous tank. Also, I have 3 lights over my tank instead of the 2 that it comes with. Why? Because when I ordered my tank it arrived broken. Luckily for me Bulkreefsupply was cool and sent me another. I was able to keep the old tank, and everything that came with it like the filters, lights, pump etc. So I put one of the extra lights over the tank, and I think it looks a bit better that way.

I had a helper.


So my plans are to put some Purigen and Chemipure elite in the media baskets. Maybe I might upgrade the baskets to the Intank ones as well. Also I plan on getting the Innovative Marine Protein skimmer that is designed to fit in the back chamber and a pair of Spinstreams. Somewhere way down the road I plan to upgrade the lights. Maybe some PAR38s or a AI Sol.


For corals I think I'm going to get some fairly easy to care for types like Zoas and other softies. For livestock my plans are:

-A pair of clowns. Maybe I'll splurge and get some Picassos but I'll probably end up with something a little cheaper.

-Definitely getting another Goby/Pistol shrimp pair. I think they are so entertaining. Either a Yellow Watchman, or maybe a Yasha.

-A Barnacle Blenny. Another really entertaining fish.

-Maybe a Firefish? I don't really know if theres enough room in the tank for one.

-Another Porcelain Crab would be nice. Hopefully it won't hide all the time like my last one did.

-The usual snails/hermits/shrimps etc that make up a cleaning crew.


Hopefully I'll keep this update periodically. It's kind of barren right now but I don't think my cycle will take long and then I can start adding things. Thanks for following!

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Good Luck - You've already got a follower!


This tank is amazing, I'm in love with the aqua-scaping. :happy:

Hey thanks! I feel like maybe I put too much rock in? I don't know. I got a really good deal on it, there was a local guy who had hundreds of pounds of fully cured live rock for only 2 bucks a pound. Its not the most purple stuff around, but for that price I'm not complaining. Not much in the way of hitchhikers except for a little asterina star lol

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What a bargin, it looks interesting aswell. I don't think there's too much LR, it should look great once it's all set up. I think one of those might be making it's way into my house next, actually. Great little set up :happy:

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So I was checking out some of the new LFS in my area, since they seem to have been sprouting up like crazy lately. One of them had some small frag corals for super cheap. I bought a little patch of neon green zoas for $5. I brought them home, acclimated them, and waited for them to open up. After only about an hour they were mostly open. Then I noticed a little while later some were closed back up, and I thought well they are new to my tank and maybe not accustomed to the lighting. Then I noticed that one of the zoas seemed to be moving around? It seemed pretty odd. After a while of seeing zoas open and close, I decided to see if maybe something was going on here. I took a butter knife and touched the zoa that I thought was moving around and it broke right off and starting floating around. It landed on a rock, and started crawling around. I had my suspicions, but I was right all along. It wasnt a Zoa, but a nudibranch or a sea slug! It was exactly the same green color as the zoas. Everytime it crawled over them, they would close up. I took a few pics. Can anyone identify what exactly this is and if its ok for my tank? Also some pics of the zoas for comparison.

P1060396 by imtrpnoutonshrms,This is the Zoas. Not fully opened up.

P1060395 by imtrpnoutonshrms, This is the sea slug/nudibranch that came off the zoas. Can anyone identify it?

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Looks good :) I like it


And kill that nudi. Don't question it. Kill it :)

Yeah I had a bad feeling when he went right back to the zoas. It makes me think its a zoa eating nudi :( Its too bad too because hes really cool looking!

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So my tank has been cycling for a couple weeks now. Im getting a diatom bloom, as well as a good bit of hair algae.


But a diatom bloom is normal during cycling right? I think I remember it happening with my last aquarium but that was a few years ago.


Also I got my purigen and chemipure in the mail. So those are in the media baskets now.


Another question I have, is it ok to use the the actinic LEDs on the lights as a moonlight? I only use the middle light actinic (not all 3), and it certainly looks like a moonlight but maybe its too bright?

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As long as your levels are safe, get a cleaner shrimp and some blue or scarlet hermits to help with algae. Get some pods and seed the tank too - they'll help with cleanup.


That was a cool nudi!!

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So I've been noticing that I have this kind of weird brown gooey looking algae (?) growing in a few different areas. It has really long strands.


Does anyone know what this is and how bad it is? Im only a few weeks into my cycle.

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Well my diatoms seem to have dyed down quite a bit, but now Im having a pretty bad hair algae problem


I tested for phosphates and it tested 0. I have a tiny bit of cyano, so I think thats consuming any phosphates that are in the system? Aslo I tested for nitrates, it tested 12.5mg/L. Im about 3 weeks into my cycle. I have no fish or any other livestock. Im using fully cured LR so Im wondering where these nitrates are coming from?


Also I have a patch of this weird looking algae that Ive never seen before. Its growing kind of slow, but its growning nonetheless. Does anyone know what it is?



The way I have my filtration set up is as follows. In case anyone isnt familiar with the layout of a NUVO 16, the way it works is there are 2 overflows one on each side. They overflow into the back chamber that is divided into a media basket section (x2) which then flows into an empty section that you can put a heater or protein skimmer into (also x2) and then into the main chamber where the return pump sits. So I have in one media basket filter floss, and chemi pure elite, which then flows into the next chamber in which I have live rock rubble and then into the main chamber. On the other side I have filter floss, and purigen. It flows into the next chamber where I keep the heater and then into the main chamber. Heres a badly drawn diagram:


Is this an ok setup? Any suggestions on what I should do differently? Should I ditch the live rock rubble?

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