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Black and Yellow - IM Nuvo 16G Nano Reef


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I have been lurking on this and similar forums for months, and have finally decided to take start my own nano reef. The goal is to have a small, stable nano reef, mostly for zoas, ricordeas and softies, but this will be a moving target - I want to keep a flexible strategy.


I started by building a live rock scape to start the cycle, although i am still waiting for the rest of the equipment to come in. i ordered 18lbs of live rock, however it would not fit in the tank - i only managed to keep 14lbs of it and I still think the scape is very rock heavy. The rock is very light and porous which is why I have to deviate from the 1lb/gallon rule. I am hoping that with the live rock, refugium, skimmer and filtration I will be OK.


This is the scape as it stands




I have found three critters so far: What looks like a bristle worm (no pic yet), some kind of small whelk, and an unidentified saccular translucent columnar structure with a polyp on top - Does anyone know what this is ?


The whelk:




The weird transparent sac:






Black and Yellow, Black and Blue.


Modus Operandi:


Slow and Steady.





Innovative Marine Nuvo 16G , Black

Stock return pump

Stock lighting for now

Hydor "Theo" 100W

RO/DI system

Red Sea Coral Pro Salt



Awaiting delivery:

Innovative Marine HydroFill - ATO Controller System with pump

EcoTech Marine MP10 Vortech Propeller Pump w/ Wireless EcoSMART Driver

Refugium submersible LED light


Biological Filtration:



Live Rock - 14lbs of cured Sulawesi rock


Awaiting delivery:

Live sand - Hawaiian Black Arag Alive - Planning 1-1.5 inches

Refugium in the second back compartment with Chaeto.


Chemical/Mechanical Filtration:



Stock basket filters...


Awaiting delivery:

AquaGadget Custom caddy for the 16G with filter floss, BRS ROX .8 Carbon and GFO

AquaC Nano Remora Hang-On Protein Skimmer w/ Cobalt Aquatics MJ900 Powerhead/Pump


Livestock Plans:






CUC: as needed once cycling is finished.


All comments, advice , and criticisms welcome - Let me know what you think

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Looks nice! That amount of rock is just fine.


That's what I figured- it's extremely porous and light. Maybe the rule should be more about surface area per gallon than pounds per gallons...


I agree with Sunar. Rock work looks very nice. The clear tube like creature might be some kind of Anemone. Does it retract when you poke it?


Thanks ! It doesnt move or react at all.


Your rock is awesome...Love it! I would just pull it in a bit more from the glass or it will be impossible to clean around.


Thanks for the advice ! I hadn't thought of that aspect. I'll do so once I receive the sand and rescape .

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Update while I wait for the rest of the equipment:


Colonial hydroids have popped up on the LR and doubled in surface area in 24 hours.




I have burned them off with boiling RO/DI water that i directed on their bed with a syringe. This discolored surrounding coraline and algae into a bright fluorescent orange. I'm hoping it receovers well :/




Other hitchikers:

Very small anemone - unsure what it is so far, it's very small.

A symmetric six-legged starfish, white and grey, 4-5mm across. unsure what it is.

Many feather dusters

Spirobid worms


Macroalgae, including two spots of bubble algae :/ will twist those off before they spread.




No ammonia or nitrite spike yet, unsure why. It seems there is enough dead plant matter on the live rocks to decompose; maybe it's too early, or there was enough bacteria to catch up with the ammonia release ?


Sand and equipments gets here at the end of the week.

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Tank Updates: I have added an AquaC remora nano skimmer to the back of the tank which is already skimming heavily, as well as an Ecotech Vortech MP10. I also added two "CustomCaddy" media baskets made by Innovative Marine - they are much sturdier and slightly bigger than the media baskets originally supplied - I highly recommend them. I am running floss filter on top of both, activated charcoal in one and GFO in the other. I am using the old ones as a refugium with some chaeto and a submersible LED, for what it's worth.


Not a day goes by without a new hitchhiker showing up!


Does anyone know what this is ? It just looks like some tentacles poking out of this hole in the LR.



The bristle worm is less shy now



I found a TINY crab - about 5mm in diameter.



And can anyone identify this ? it's a purple worm with bright fluorescent green bands that I saw crawling on the LR :/



The sea cucumber is doing well - here he is with some sort of an amphipod and a hitchhiker anemone




I got rid of the colonial hydroids by pulsing them with boiling water - the surrounding live rock has recovered its coraline, and the hydroids have stayed away for now.

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Your LR is very...alive. Where did you purchase?

I ordered it through my LFS here in Montreal, Canada, they have a deal with a supplier from Sulawesi.

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+1 on the little bristly legs being a starfish. Also see if you can ID the crab...90% of the time they're something you want to remove. I have a tiny gorilla crab that I've been trying to get out for months but can never find him! A few evenings ago he removed a chunk from my rainbow monti :(

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Tank looks great, question about your tank. I have the same tank as well and noticed that the stock baskets look kind of "derpy". The water that flows back there is just going past the filter basket and it looks like the basket is only catching half of the water flowing back there.


Is the aquagadget wide enough to catch more of the water flowing and filter better?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Tank updates: The live sand has been in there for a while now, and it is very much alive. There was an explosion of copepods on the sand, and a different species in the glass. It's interesting to see how the different live rocks in the tanks are hosting different species of critters and hitchhikers. One of the rocks now has chitons and asterinas. Another one is home to two tiny hitchiker crabs, that have so far eluded capture. Some of the hitchiker snails seem to have bred - there is now a multitude of tiny snails on the glass.




I got some CUC - two ceriths, one nassarius, one bumblebee( for an obvious reason #BLACKANDYELLOW), one blue-legged hermit and one #BLACKANDYELLOW sea cucumber.




I also got a porcelain anemone crab and a peppermint from a fellow reefer who was breaking down her tank. The pepperming ate a few of the aiptasia but died a week after introduction - cause of death unknown :/ The porcelain crab is a superstar.








And finally I have introduced some corals: A few mushrooms, a rhodactis, zoanthids, a small frogspawn, a GSP carpet, and a tubipora musica.




This pic shows the asterina and dolabrifera sea slug hitchhikers and some of the beginner corals i introduced to "test the waters".

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  • 4 weeks later...

Tank Update ! Everything is settling in quite nicely and starting to grow. The CUC has really cleaned the rocks, which is now covered only with different coraline algae and small macroalgae.




The rhodactis has really grown , as have the zoanthids - but my hermit crabs keep pulling the zoa frags off the rocks i glue them to. The frogspawn has also grown.




The briareum carpet that hitchiked on the live rock has expanded and is now a lovely purple color




The anemone porcelain crab is doing well, but coraline is growing on its shell in purple blotches. Not sure what i need to do about that - How often do they molt ? should i just wait until the next molt ?




I have also identifiedthree separate hitchiking crab, all smaller than a pencil eraser, and still eluding capture...

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  • 2 weeks later...


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