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My Ocean Box - Nano Reef Build (updated 7/25/15)


skyzpop

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I just wanted to start a thread showing my Nuvo 16 process along the way. Please feel free to leave your comments, concerns or ideas! Thanks!

EQUIPMENT

  • IM Nuvo tank - 16 Gallon Capacity
  • 2 - 8 Watt SkkyeLight LED Light with 14,000K Color Spectrum (stock lights) - Maxspect R420R Razor 16,000K / 120 Watt LED Light
  • Tempered Glass Lid & Clips - Custom made screen top
  • Stock pump (211 GPH) - Cobalt MJ1200 (295 GPH)
  • EcoTech Marine VorTech MP10 - Running Reef Crest mode @ 50%
  • 2 Media Baskets - IM Aqua Gadget CustomCaddy Media Baskets
  • 2 Flair Nozzles - IM Spin Stream Nozzels
  • 75W Neo-Therm Heater from Cobalt Aquatics
  • Tunze Osmolator Nano 3152 Auto Top off - (started dosing Kalkwasser 7/20/15)
  • Spectrapure RO/DI water filtration system
  • Neptune Systems Apex Controller - running APEX Fusion

FILTRATION

  • 15 pounds of Bulk Reef Supply Reef Saver Rock
  • 18 pounds of Ocean Direct Live Reef Sand
  • Red Sea Coral Pro Salt - (5 gallon weekly water changes)
  • Filter Floss - used in top of each media basket - (changed weekly with water change)
  • Purigen - 100ml used - (changed out every 3 months)
  • Chem-pure Elite - 6.2oz used - (changed out every 3 months)

FISH

  • Ocellaris clownfish x2 x1 - Clown jumped out of tank
  • Ocellaris clownfish x2 (8/5/14) - finally replaced my jumper
  • Firefish Goby (7/25/15)

CLEAN UP CREW

  • Nassarius Vibex Snails
  • Nerite Snails
  • Dwarf Cerith Snails
  • Florida Cerith Snails
  • Dwarf Planaxis Snails

INVERTEBRATES

  • Red Legged Hermit Crab x2 - missing in action, not sure what got them
  • Pom Pom Crab - 1st molt 3/14/15
  • Blue Legged Hermit Crab - (Freebie from Reef Cleaners)
  • Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (7/25/15)

CORAL

  • Candy Cane Coral (LPS)
  • Assorted Palys & Zoas
  • Green Star Polyps
  • Xenia - still alive but not looking too hot - melted away to nothing for some reason
  • Green Montipora Cap (bleached a little under new lights)
  • Kenya Tree
  • Assorted Acans (not sure of type yet)


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Just received my shipment from BRS (Bulk Reef Supply).

pL3affz.jpg

Found a stand and an area in the house to display the tank.

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Playing around with different rock formations and decided on this as my final layout.

KZ1ybgO.jpg

[FTS] about a month in.

photo.jpg

One of my clowns found the finger holes or one of the gaps around the stock glass lid and made a beeline for the carpet so I decided to go with the DIY screen top. Frame (Home Depot) netting (BRS).

photo3.jpg

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SquishyFishy

Lookin good.....mine is 7 months old next week. I got the white set up. I like it but it does have some cons....I wish the back chambers were a little larger.

 

Love your screen top.

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Lookin good.....mine is 7 months old next week. I got the white set up. I like it but it does have some cons....I wish the back chambers were a little larger.

 

Love your screen top.

 

Thank you for the comment, I will check out your build thread!

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Added an ATO system (Tunze Osmolator Nano 3152) I highly recommend getting one if you don't have one! :)

 

5 gallon container hides nicely inside my stand and the Tunze pump fits perfectly inside.

 

photo1-1.jpg

 

Float valve and fill hose locations.

 

photo2.jpg

 

 

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That's a great screen top. How did you make it?

 

Now I'm terrified that as soon as I get a fish I'll come home from work to discover that it found its way out of the tank.

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That's a great screen top. How did you make it?

 

Now I'm terrified that as soon as I get a fish I'll come home from work to discover that it found its way out of the tank.

 

I got the bronze screen window kit at my local Home Depot, in my opinion the bronze kit looks black and I ordered the 1/4in clear mesh from Bulk Reef Supply. If you have the white Nuvo I think the white screen window kit would look awesome IMO.

 

I don't remember the exact measurements I used but I wanted the top to sit flush with the top of the tank and have just enough of a gap that I could remove the top for water changes, etc. I took my inside measurements and cut my frame to those, keep in mind the corners are about 3/4 of an inch so you need to take that into consideration when doing your math, always measure twice and cut once! Once I got the frame assembled the way I wanted I put the clear netting in. Due to the Nuvo having rounded corners in the front I filed/sanded down the front corner pieces to match the corners in the front, this probably took the longest amount of time of the whole project.

 

My biggest issue was trying to figure out what I was going to use to keep the top from falling into the tank, I saw some people have used aluminum brackets and others used clear acrylic tabs and I just didn't want to go that route. The frame kit comes with these plastic tabs that are the same color as the frame and I simply super glued one on each side of the top to hold it flush to the top of the tank and it also makes a great handle to lift the top when maintenance is needed.

 

I just watched this video to get the basics of what I needed to do and changed it a bit to fit my tank:

 

 

Good Luck and thanks for the comment!

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Hi!

I've also started a Nuvo 16 build (w/ the kit from BRS), love the mesh cover! Good luck w/ your tank and I'm excited to see your build :)

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Hi!

 

I've also started a Nuvo 16 build (w/ the kit from BRS), love the mesh cover! Good luck w/ your tank and I'm excited to see your build :)

 

Good luck to you as well! Thanks for the comment!

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Finally bought myself a RODI system, looking forward to not having to lug jugs of water back and forth to my LFS. The guys at SpectraPure are awesome! :D

 

photo-1.jpg

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Very nice. Following...

 

We have almost the exact same setup. I am thinking about getting the same ATO so I don't have to worry about top offs when on vacation. Where did you get that 5 gallon container? It looks about perfect for this tank.

 

I'm also getting a RODI, have a BRS one in my cart now. What made you decide on the Spectrapure unit? Any deals on one?

With the group buy rate, the BRS one is a bit cheaper than the Spectrapure. Other than that, I'm having a hard time deciding between the two.

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Very nice. Following...

 

We have almost the exact same setup. I am thinking about getting the same ATO so I don't have to worry about top offs when on vacation. Where did you get that 5 gallon container? It looks about perfect for this tank.

 

I'm also getting a RODI, have a BRS one in my cart now. What made you decide on the Spectrapure unit? Any deals on one?

With the group buy rate, the BRS one is a bit cheaper than the Spectrapure. Other than that, I'm having a hard time deciding between the two.

 

Thanks for the follow!

 

I got the 5 gallon jug at my LFS but you can probably find them online somewhere. The Tunze Nano ATO pump fits perfectly inside it and the cord and hose to the pump fit perfectly when you pop the center of the cap out so I get little to no evaporation.

 

I went with the Spectrapure because it is a local company (Tempe, AZ) and it uses a 1 micron filter whereas BRS uses a 5 micron filter. I just ordered the in-line TDS meter from Amazon because it was cheaper.

 

This is the one I picked up: http://spectrapure.com/FACTORY-REFURBISHED

 

TDS Meter: http://www.amazon.com/HM-Digital-DM-1-In-Line-Accuracy/dp/B001EHAZGW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407531317&sr=8-1&keywords=HM+Digital+DM-1+In-Line+Dual-Probe+TDS+Meter

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Thanks for the follow!

 

I got the 5 gallon jug at my LFS but you can probably find them online somewhere. The Tunze Nano ATO pump fits perfectly inside it and the cord and hose to the pump fit perfectly when you pop the center of the cap out so I get little to no evaporation.

 

I went with the Spectrapure because it is a local company (Tempe, AZ) and it uses a 1 micron filter whereas BRS uses a 5 micron filter. I just ordered the in-line TDS meter from Amazon because it was cheaper.

 

This is the one I picked up: http://spectrapure.com/FACTORY-REFURBISHED'>http://spectrapure.com/FACTORY-REFURBISHED

 

TDS Meter: http://www.amazon.com/HM-Digital-DM-1-In-Line-Accuracy/dp/B001EHAZGW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407531317&sr=8-1&keywords=HM+Digital+DM-1+In-Line+Dual-Probe+TDS+Meter'>http://www.amazon.com/HM-Digital-DM-1-In-Line-Accuracy/dp/B001EHAZGW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407531317&sr=8-1&keywords=HM+Digital+DM-1+In-Line+Dual-Probe+TDS+Meter

 

That's the same one I was looking at. You're right about the better filters on the Spectrapure one. I ended up ordering the BRS unit though as it was good enough and cheaper with the group buy discount. Is it lame I'm excited to get a water filter?

 

Are you keeping the stock lights?

 

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That's the same one I was looking at. You're right about the better filters on the Spectrapure one. I ended up ordering the BRS unit though as it was good enough and cheaper with the group buy discount. Is it lame I'm excited to get a water filter? Are you keeping the stock lights?

 

I am amazed how much better my water looks in my tank since using the RODI water, so I would be extremely excited to get your water filter!

 

I am keeping the stock lights for now because many of the soft, beginner corals will grow with these lights but I do have plans to upgrade down the road. The new Ecotech Radion XR15W Pro LED has really caught my eye!

 

What about you? Keeping the stock lights?

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I am amazed how much better my water looks in my tank since using the RODI water, so I would be extremely excited to get your water filter!

 

I am keeping the stock lights for now because many of the soft, beginner corals will grow with these lights but I do have plans to upgrade down the road. The new Ecotech Radion XR15W Pro LED has really caught my eye!

 

What about you? Keeping the stock lights?

 

I am using the stock lights for now and they are working out. I did buy a used AI Vega relatively cheaply from someone in the hardware classified section of this site. I had it setting on the glass top temporarily for a couple weeks and I did get a lot better growth from the few corals I do have (plus the increased blue/violets did make the colors look much better). But that light is a brick (it was a SOL upgraded to a Vega) and it looked ugly and was a huge pain having it sit right on the tank. I couldn't even feed the fish without removing the light.

 

It turns out there really isn't any good tank mounts for the AI lights unless you hang it (not an option for me, unfortunately). I was about to sell it until I found a post from Chris at cncreef.com talking about a conversion kit for the AI stuff. So I sent the light to him a couple weeks ago and now I'm anxiously waiting for it to be done. It will just clamp to the back of the tank like the stock light. Here is the enclosure he is using and a couple pics of a Nuvo 24 with two of them installed. http://www.cncreef.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=ASIS_412

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I am using the stock lights for now and they are working out. I did buy a used AI Vega relatively cheaply from someone in the hardware classified section of this site. I had it setting on the glass top temporarily for a couple weeks and I did get a lot better growth from the few corals I do have (plus the increased blue/violets did make the colors look much better). But that light is a brick (it was a SOL upgraded to a Vega) and it looked ugly and was a huge pain having it sit right on the tank. I couldn't even feed the fish without removing the light.

 

It turns out there really isn't any good tank mounts for the AI lights unless you hang it (not an option for me, unfortunately). I was about to sell it until I found a post from Chris at cncreef.com talking about a conversion kit for the AI stuff. So I sent the light to him a couple weeks ago and now I'm anxiously waiting for it to be done. It will just clamp to the back of the tank like the stock light. Here is the enclosure he is using and a couple pics of a Nuvo 24 with two of them installed. http://www.cncreef.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=ASIS_412

 

You will defiantly need to post a picture of your tank with the light when you get it back.

 

What corals did you go with as your first and where did you purchase them from? How old was your tank before you got your first coral? Corals make me very excited but nervous, I don't want to spend a bunch of cash only to have it die.

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You will defiantly need to post a picture of your tank with the light when you get it back.

 

What corals did you go with as your first and where did you purchase them from? How old was your tank before you got your first coral? Corals make me very excited but nervous, I don't want to spend a bunch of cash only to have it die.

 

Yes, I will definitely post pictures.

 

I bought my tank used from someone on Craigslist. Supposedly it was only around 8 weeks old so it was just basically getting established. It came with a single kenya tree, some kind of green and brown polyp and a bunch of green star polyps. None of them were that exciting but were growing well under the stock lights. I actually removed the GSP as it was spreading like a weed and I guess is known to take over tanks. Since then, I've added what I think are more interesting corals: a fire and ice zoa, a frogspawn and a small brain coral. They all seem to grow fine as well without doing anything specific for them other than my favorite one, the frogspawn. It never opened up all the way since bringing it back from the LFS and I think it's pretty much dead now. I don't know what its problem is but it may not have been enough light (plus the shrimp seemed to bother it a lot).

 

I'm just starting out too so I shouldn't give advice but I like the zoa a lot and they're easy, cheap, have a lot of variety and seem to grow under lower lighting so I think that would be a good start. I don't think there is really anything to worry about with coral if you go slow and do basic water changes.

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nubsauce2010

i am liking this start i am just starting myself wish i could get and ro/di unit but i already buy water anyway so no big deal to lug can/t wait to see yuor corals when you start getting them

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i am liking this start i am just starting myself wish i could get and ro/di unit but i already buy water anyway so no big deal to lug can/t wait to see yuor corals when you start getting them

 

Thanks for the positive feedback! I would just make sure wherever you get your water that you make sure they are maintaining their filters and you are getting the quality water you think you are getting.

 

I look forward to checking out your build. Good luck!

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nubsauce2010

i get my water from my lfs they house 20k gallons worth of saltwater tanks and their ro systems (plural as in 10) are checked daily because they pump out close to 1k gallons a day hard for them to keep their water supply lots of people come in for it lol at only a buck a gallon it is good imo.

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You will defiantly need to post a picture of your tank with the light when you get it back.

 

What corals did you go with as your first and where did you purchase them from? How old was your tank before you got your first coral? Corals make me very excited but nervous, I don't want to spend a bunch of cash only to have it die.

 

Your snails make me jealous. Mine get here tomorrow; I can't wait! Finally renewing my CUC after about a year.

 

Before getting corals, make sure you have the test kits (and maybe dosing equipment) that you'll need. When corals and coralline algae grow, they use up carbonate, calcium, magnesium, and a bunch of other trace elements. My evil coralline algae (it's beautiful, it is, but jesus) uses up maybe 1dKH of alkalinity (you measure H+ in the water, not carbonate, but the relationship is so certain that it's efficient) in a day. I should've invested in a 2-Part dosing system before I got corals and just after seeing the coralline growth start going insane. The BRS package is next on my list of upgrades, now, because I can't keep up with manual dosing without shocking the system a bit once or twice a day.

 

You'll probably want salifert/red sea kits to start off, but if you want to go digital from the get-go then Hanna checkers are pretty cool (read the reviews on BRS, they're super helpful). From what I can see, the salifert and Red Sea Pro tests are about the same accuracy, and preference is a matter of opinion, color blindness ranges, and price/availability. In fact, people test their kits against the other pretty frequently. I'm getting to the end of my alk/cal Salifert kits and think I'll be going with Red Sea Pro. The RSP kits come with handy dandy little cases, the tubes attach to the syringe do you don't have to worry about being a klutz like me and dropping solution everywhere and wasting a test, and because I've participated in a group buy I get 'preferred reefer' prices on BRS so the RSP kit for alkalinity, at least, is a dollar cheaper. Not complaining.

 

That being said! Zoas are a great coral to start with (assuming you're getting the affordable, decently awesome looking ones and not finicky designer ones), because they're hardy, can deal with somewhat dirty water, and can survive for weeks while closed up before opening up again. Ricordeas, too, are nice little low-light corals. I had success with both under the stock lighting for the Nuvo, and when you upgrade your lights they'll be easy to acclimate to higher lighting.

 

Once you get a hang of that, and have basic corals thriving in there, look through the forums and see what goodies you can find! Paandemonium (used to be clayalaleona) sells some unbelievably amazing zoas on here, and ships like a pro, for example. Metrokat has amazing corals once in a while, when she's emptying her frag racks. Those are the two I can think of off the top of my head. The forum's full of hobbyists who are happy to help out!

 

Good luck! I'm going to be following along with this thread. :]

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Your snails make me jealous. Mine get here tomorrow; I can't wait! Finally renewing my CUC after about a year.

 

Before getting corals, make sure you have the test kits (and maybe dosing equipment) that you'll need. When corals and coralline algae grow, they use up carbonate, calcium, magnesium, and a bunch of other trace elements. My evil coralline algae (it's beautiful, it is, but jesus) uses up maybe 1dKH of alkalinity (you measure H+ in the water, not carbonate, but the relationship is so certain that it's efficient) in a day. I should've invested in a 2-Part dosing system before I got corals and just after seeing the coralline growth start going insane. The BRS package is next on my list of upgrades, now, because I can't keep up with manual dosing without shocking the system a bit once or twice a day.

 

You'll probably want salifert/red sea kits to start off, but if you want to go digital from the get-go then Hanna checkers are pretty cool (read the reviews on BRS, they're super helpful). From what I can see, the salifert and Red Sea Pro tests are about the same accuracy, and preference is a matter of opinion, color blindness ranges, and price/availability. In fact, people test their kits against the other pretty frequently. I'm getting to the end of my alk/cal Salifert kits and think I'll be going with Red Sea Pro. The RSP kits come with handy dandy little cases, the tubes attach to the syringe do you don't have to worry about being a klutz like me and dropping solution everywhere and wasting a test, and because I've participated in a group buy I get 'preferred reefer' prices on BRS so the RSP kit for alkalinity, at least, is a dollar cheaper. Not complaining.

 

That being said! Zoas are a great coral to start with (assuming you're getting the affordable, decently awesome looking ones and not finicky designer ones), because they're hardy, can deal with somewhat dirty water, and can survive for weeks while closed up before opening up again. Ricordeas, too, are nice little low-light corals. I had success with both under the stock lighting for the Nuvo, and when you upgrade your lights they'll be easy to acclimate to higher lighting.

 

Once you get a hang of that, and have basic corals thriving in there, look through the forums and see what goodies you can find! Paandemonium (used to be clayalaleona) sells some unbelievably amazing zoas on here, and ships like a pro, for example. Metrokat has amazing corals once in a while, when she's emptying her frag racks. Those are the two I can think of off the top of my head. The forum's full of hobbyists who are happy to help out!

 

Good luck! I'm going to be following along with this thread. :]

 

Thank you very much for the information you have given me. Is it Kalkwasser from BRS that you are talking about as far as dosing for coral? I have an ATO system that I believe I can incorporate the kalkwasser into.

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Kalkwasser is one way, yes, but I was referring to two-part (calcium chloride and sodium carbonate/bicarbonate, then magnesium once in a while) dosing.

 

BRS for example sells kits, with or without automatic dosers (that would make your life so much easier than manually dosing every morning), so that you mix predetermined amounts of each into a gallon of RO/DI water -separate containers- and dose from there. That way instead of worrying about how much additive to mix in, you worry about how many mL of the solutions to mix (which is much easier when dosers operate at a fixed number of mL per minute, and you can time digitally either via controller or digital timer).

 

You can also get a dosing pump with more than just two dosers, and that way anything else that needs to get added to the aquarium can also happen. Say phytoplankton, really tiny zooplankton, vitamins, etc.

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