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Newbie - Help? Just got a Nuvo 16g.


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Hi everyone!


I just got a Nuvo 16g and am very excited to get started. I have been wanting to do Saltwater for awhile now.


I have been reading on this forum for the past couple weeks and was going to go with a Nanocube but LFS had the Nuvos for a good price ($290 /w lights) and I think it looks way nicer.


My plan is to cycle with live sand and some dry rock in refug. Then add aquacultured live rock from either Tampa Bay Saltwater or Sea Life. Make sure parameters stabilize then add fish. Stabilize then add some corals.


I am going to mix the initial water using home filtered and IO salt. Then use premixed from store to do water changes since it will only be ~2g / week.




Questions of course-


1. The filter media baskets - What should i put in there? I was going to cycle with the stock sponge, carbon and phosphate thing. But what to switch to after the first month? I am thinking floss, then chempure elite, then ???? Do I really need mechanical filtration, the sponge/floss?


2. I got dry rock rubble to put in refuge area. Was thinking of putting it in the bottom area below the filters then macroalgae growing up. Is this the correct way to do it? Will I need a light back there? What is the cheapest option?


3. Very basic question here. Lighting cycle. Do I leave the actinic on 24 hours a day and then use the 10k for 10 hours a day? What is considered the best standard light cycle? 10 hours daylight?


4. I am thinking of getting either a pair of clowns or pair of firefish, some sort of goby and a bangaii cardinal. Are these good fish? What would be a good goby? Are lawnmower gobies good for small tanks?



Thanks in advance!



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1. You don't really need any filtration during the cycle. But I would encourage mechanical filtration in the future as I put in new floss every couple days and it always comes out pretty dirty.


2. Most people discourage the use of rock rubble (in small pieces) as it traps in waste such as detritus. What I have learned is that you need to clean pretty much everything every once in a while and unless you plan on stirring it up real good back there and siphoning stuff out during WCs then I wouldn't do it. Fortunately you dont really need any rock back there unless you want very very little in your display area. With Macro algae you will need a light back there yes and many people leave that light on 20+ hours a day because supposedly it can photosynthesize for a long time straight (taking more nutrients away from pest algae in the display). I haven't looked into fuge lights much.


3. The actinic is most likely pretty bright and you do want your tank dark for a night time effect. I am assuming they are too bright to leave on all night so i would just have them on during your daytime photoperiod which I think 10 hours is fine.


4. Don't know a ton about specific fish and if you look into each one elsewhere on this forum and other sites you can get some good info. (google lawnmower goby 15 gallon or nano tank and you will find some discussion probably). Look into aggression of each type of fish and put the least aggressive in first and most aggressive in last.


Hope this helps


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Awesome thanks for the info.


Ok. I plan on 15lbs of live rock so I guess I don't need the rubble in the back. Just use the filter baskets. Stage one Floss and replace frequently - every 2 - 3 days.


So for light I should have both lights on (blue and white) for 10 hours daily. Could I do just the blues an extra 2 - 4 hours as well? That way I will have light in the morning before work and after I get home and relax. I am usually awake from 7am to Midnight so it would be nice if there was some light for 7am to 10pm? Is that too much light?

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Ok so the lawnmower blenny not goby is a no go. Thanks for the idea on searching it better should have thought that myself.

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I'm not familiar with the lights you are talking about as the stock ones I am aware of are just white I thought?


I am on pretty much the same schedule as you are. Keeping it to 10 hours I do not get to see my tank lit in the morning before work but I have my lights turning off at 10. The only negative I know of for sure is that longer lighting=more fuel for algae. Corals and fish obviously get more dark time in nature but I don't know if shortening that will harm them or not.



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I have a nuvo 16 and the stock lights suck if you want anything other than softies or mushrooms you need new lights. I couldn't even keep a frogspawn or hammer with stock lights. I personally only change out filter floss every two weeks it doesn't get that dirty.


I run filter floss, chemi pure, and purigen and my water looks pretty damn good. Spend the money on a good light and don't do a 24 hour light cycle it will cause an algae outbreak.

Also, if you do frequent weekly water changes I don't see the point of a fuge in such a small tank. 5 gallons weekly or bi weekly will do more than running a fuge

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If I added a third light would this help the situation? Or the lights themselves our useless because of spectrum or something.


Also if I did would it help to add 14k? Currently the other 2 are 10k.


Thinking about the refuge and not adding rubble? Should I put anything in there? What about macroalgae / Chaeto(?) What does that grow on?

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3rd light did not help me much. The lights are just too weak. If I were to run a fuge i would run chaeto in an InTank fuge media basket with a light

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Dang you're probably gonna have yours up before mine....will be close to a month soon since I first posted!!! Still planning waiting for my stand to come in to set up.


I elected to do nothing but stock for at least the cycle....then change out filtration to Chemipur, floss, purigen...then stabilize perems and wait for a couple weeks to put in fish. About the same as you. I plan on a stunner strip between the 2 stock lights at some point, but I'm only doing softies/mushrooms in mine. Can't wait to see photos of yours....maybe we can learn from each other...there are quite a few newbies here getting the Nuvo. Good luck!

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Cool good to hear Squishy.


Sorry to say but think you may be right... I ordered the stand from petco they had 25% /w free shipping. Rubble and Salt from marine depot. And heater, sand, API marine test kit, hydrometer and digital thermometer from Drs. Foster and Smith. Hopefully be setting up soon to start a cycle. Although the wife may make me wait to order the LR.


I have been lurking for about a month. Wishing I posted sooner since I already bought the rubble from Marinedepot. Oh well.


Sounds like rubble and chaeto in fuge is not worth it.

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I've just been ordering necessities until the stand comes...also using Dr. F&S and Amazon. I'm all set to go, dang stand....I went unconventional with the stand. Ordered a stainless shelving unit on wheels. Won't be here until the 15th. Fortunately my LFS has great LR and LS and some good livestock choices...found a green clown Goby there, might be the first resident.


I ordered Koralia rotating diverters for the outlet nozzles hoping I can wait on the Koralia Nano 240 power head. They just snap right on the outlets ball joint with an adapter...you might consider it.


Keep us posted wt your build!

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Oh nice I was wondering if those fit because the IM ones are 3x the cost.


I have been looking at LFSs in the area and lots of frags and fish but LR looks ho hum. Really want to do the aquacultured stuff from FL seems fun to watch what will grow.


Thinking of doing a larger powerhead/pump as well, just not sure what. Maybe doing 2 in back around 320 gph total.

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