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O-man21's IM Nuvo 16 Experiment


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After being out of the hobby for two years, I got the itch for a tank again, and I'm in a much better financial situation now, so I figured I'd take the plunge.


I've spent about three days researching, and it's amazing how far the hobby has come in only two years.


I just placed my orders today, so I don't have anything really to photograph, except my stand. I wanted to get a head start on my tank thread, more than anything just because I wanted an easy to find place to keep track of what I need and what I've done already. You guys being able to follow along is just a bonus I guess.


There is no stand specially made for the Nuvo 16, but StevieT found that the tank for one of the larger IM tanks will fit length wise, but not width. At $250 for the stand, I figured I'd look around before I dropped that coin. I spent all day driving between furniture stores, until finally going to Petsmart just to see what they had. I thought custom aquarium stands would be really expensive.


I was wrong. Found a stand that's made for a 20 gallon tank, and will be just a little to big for the Nuvo. The stand is 26"x16", and the Nuvo is 23"x12". Oh well, for $68, I'm not complaining.


Here is my equipment list, and my plan for the first two weeks or so.


  • Innovative Marine Nuvo 16
  • MaxSpect R420R 20.5" 16K LED fixture
  • Underwater Refugium Light from inTank
  • InTank Media Baskets x2
  • InTank Refugium Basket
  • Innovative Marine Auqa Gadget Desktop Protein Skimmer
  • Tunze Osmolator Nano
  • Cobalt Neo-Therm 75w heater
  • Aquatic Life RO Buddle 3 Stage RO System with DI cartridge
  • Jebao WP-10
  • Innovative Marine Spin Stream x2
  • Chemi-Pure Elite
  • Purigen

For inside the tank, I ordered 15 lbs of Reefbuilders dry rock, and I plan on using 20 lbs of Fiji Pink sand. Once I get the aquascape I like and have the tank running, I'm going to place an order for a few pounds of live rock, I just don't know where from yet. All of the LFS in my area have aiptasia in their live rock tanks, so I'd rather pay a little more to ship some rock in and know I won't have that pest problem.


Anyone have a good suggestion for a place to order about 5 lbs of live rock from? I don't want Caribbean rock, so that rules our Sealife, Inc. I'm thinking either Saltcritters or Premium Aquatics, both places have options for smaller live rock pieces.


Day 1, (1/12/14) the stand:


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First shipment got here today, from Amazon and Drs.F and S.






The light got here too in the shipment, but I'm still working on my hanging system, won't have that done until the weekend. I'll be getting my power strip, and shipment from inTank tomorrow, and my RO/DI system and the skimmer on Friday. My rock from ReefCleaners won't be here until Monday, so I'll get the scape done then, and the live rock seeding order will be coming from SaltCritters on Tuesday. Then it's just the waiting game.

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Everything for my tank got here throughout the week, and I got it completely ready to go for when the rock gets here on Tuesday. Inside the cabinet I have a 2.5 gallon tank for an ATO reserve and all of my wiring.


Doesn't look like it in the picture but the light actually is level.


I gotta swing by Home Depot tomorrow to get some putty for the rocks and then just sit by the door all of MLK day waiting for them to get here.



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Love this tank, I've heard a few people talk about the hobby a few years ago and how much it's progressed it very interesting to hear them say that today something may be a fad and years ago it was frowned upon. You seem to know what your doing though :) what is that smaller tank under the display, ato ?

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Love this tank, I've heard a few people talk about the hobby a few years ago and how much it's progressed it very interesting to hear them say that today something may be a fad and years ago it was frowned upon. You seem to know what your doing though :) what is that smaller tank under the display, ato ?


Yep, that's a 2.5 gallon I'm using as an ATO reserve.



I just got my live rock in the mail today, but I'm at work I'll post an update once I get my scape finalized. Here is what I have so far with 15 lbs of just dry rock, but it will change drastically, since I have 9 more lbs of live rock coming that I would like to use all of.




Also placed an order for an MJ1200 to run as a return pump from the rear. That combined with the WP-10 should give me plenty of flow.

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Got my rock in today from SaltCritters. Very cool shapes, but a little hard to work with since the size was small. It's to be expected though, it was labeled as "Live rock rubble." I ordered 9 lbs and used probably 5.


I also received my WP-10 from Hong Kong today. Took 9 days. Very impressed with the little pump, the only gripe I have is the mounting bracket is a little to loose so it's hard to aim the flow accurately. It's hidden to the left of the tank behind the pillar.








I also got my skimmer running. Brian from Innovative Marine actually called me to help with the initial set up. Great service, and a great skimmer once you get it dialed in. He told me to expect micro-bubbles for a week or so but that's normal, and then once I make a final level adjustment to get the skimmer going they should go away. The tank is just cycling anyway, so it's no big deal.

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I upgraded the sump to a MJ 1200 from Cobalt, and also went to each LFS in my city and bought a little piece of live rock from the just, to add some bio-diversity. Just waiting the cycle out now. I haven't tested anything, and I probably won't for at least another week. Since I had so much dry rock in here, I want to the give bacteria some time to spread.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Got my CUC in last Saturday. Also got the refugium in the back up and running with some Chaeto. It's been about a week and I haven't seen any growth on it, so I'm a little worried about it, but it's still green.


6 assorted hermits

5 Dwarf Ceriths

5 Dwarf Planaxis

5 Nassarius

3 Limpets


All from Reef Cleaners. I got a serpent star too, but he didn't make the shipment. Just too cold out unfortunately.


Tank is looking spotless, but I have a Bryopsis and Flatworm issue. Maybe the rock I got wasn't the best from SaltCritters.


I'm treating with Flatworm eXit tonight and doing a 50% water change, during which I'll suck up as much Bryopsis as possible.

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  • 1 month later...

Went to a Greater Iowa Reef Society Frag Fest this weekend, basically filled my tank up, just gotta watch it grow out now.


Complete livestock list below.


I'm going to start dosing Brightwell Aquatics CoralAmino today, so these are my official before pictures. Unfortunately my camera only has auto white-balance, so these colors are too blue and washed out. I'm just posting them for more of a size comparison.


Davinci Grade A Clown

Darwin Clown

Hi Fin Red Banded Goby

Tiger Pistol Shrimp

Skunk Cleaner Shrimp

Yellow Clown Goby

5 Sexy Shrimp

Blue Maxima

Gold Maxima

Orange Plate Coral

Green Plate Coral

Red Tachy

Blasto Wellsi

Blasto Merletti

4 Ricordeas

2 Rock Flower Anemones

Blue Clove Polyps

Electric Torch

Electric Green Mushroom

Superman Mushroom

Green Monti Cap

Tyree Strawberry Monti Cap

Tyree Jedi Mind Trick

Monti Digi Firestorm

Green Polyp Birdsnest

Pokerstar Monti

Pink Monti Digi

Green Maze Coral

Green Eye Favia

2 Acan Lord Mini Colonies

Acan Micromussa

Pulsing Xenia

7 Various Zoanthids

Kryptonite Candy Cane

Orange Leptastrea

Blue and White LPS thing
































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Hope the clams do well the lights should be fine, I answered on that other thread but figured you would see this faster.

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  • 7 months later...

any updates on the tank? how many fish total do you have and how is the clam doing. i have a nuvo 16 and was thinking of getting a clam but wasnt sure if it would drain my cal. and alk in a 16 gallon

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  • 1 year later...

I looked at the calendar the other day and realized this tank has been setup for a little over two years now.


Number one thing I have learned is:


Do not put Xenia, or whatever these green polyps are, in your tank. They are annoying weeds.


I have updated a few things, the biggest being upgrading to a Nanobox Duo Plus M fixture. I'm extremely impressed by it, and it's great that it's made by a man who genuinely supports the hobby.


I've also exchanged the WP-10 for an Ecotech MP-10, and added an Innovative Marine Ghost skimmer, both also excellent pieces of equipment.


I will say I am thrilled with the setup I have created. Essentially, I have to add water to the ATO reservoir every 5-6 days, feed the fish, and clean the glass. Very low maintenance. I do change about 4-5 gallons of water every week, which I think is overkill. I do not dose or add anything to the tank besides food.


Unfortunately, there have been some deaths. Both clams are gone, and I lost my pistol shrimp and goby combo. I am on my second Yellow Clown Goby, I just cannot get them to eat. This one is also struggling.


I have added a pair of Yellowline Gobies, and they are a couple of cool fish.


I went through a weird thing with a couple of my Montis. The flesh between the polyps disappeared, but the polyps were still there. I researched and I couldn't find anyone else with the issue. The two pieces have since recovered, but you can see the damage still, especially on the green Monti in the center of the tank.


I have seen some great growth from my corals, and I find myself shopping online for new pieces, and then I realize I don't have much room for anything new. I plan on upgrading to an Innovative Marine Lagoon 25 sometime this year. I prefer the shape, and size of that tank. It's also nice that I can use a majority of the equipment I have now.


Weirdly enough, a couple of aiptasia popped up about 6 months ago, they must have been buried in the live rock. I've been treating them with AiptasiaX every time the get big enough, and it seems to work well enough.


Anyway, on to the pictures. I apologize about the quality, using my cell phone. I never take pictures out in the real world, so there is no need to spend money on a camera.



















































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  • 6 months later...

Beautiful tank man, I have a similar setup and hope it will look as good as yours in a couple of years.


I also picked up a Nanobox Duo, have you found your sweet spot with the settings on it yet?

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks guys. I'm still dialing in the Duo, even after 9 months or so. I forget exactly, but my daytime settings are 20% White, 77% all other colors. I think it's like that for about 5-6 hours a day, I forget. I originally had it up in the 80%s but I noticed some bleaching, so I dropped it down and have been slowly coming back up.


Unfortunately I've lost both Neon Goby's and the Clown Goby. All three of them just would not eat, and I tried every food imaginable.


I'm also battling about 4 stubborn aiptasias. Through the first 18 months of the tank I never once saw them, but now they keep coming back no matter how many times I hit them with AiptasiaX.

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