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Kdrof's Reef Garden (IM10 Nuvo) - New Surge Protector

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Hello everyone, 

Thank you for taking a look at my tank journal and offering any input. I have been sitting in the shadows for a period of time after my last SPS dominated IM20 crashed in 2016. I took some time away as I put a ton of effort into that system and I needed a break post-crash. In this system, I want to create a garden of mainly Zoa's, Acans, Ric's, and other softy and LPS corals for movement. I want the system to be as simple as possible. I was inspired by Uwdanno and Teenyreef, among others.. I really love the simplicity in Dan's filtration setup. I am interested to get feedback on my plans below.


Established: April 6th, 2018



Display: IM NUVO Fusion 10 Gallon Aquarium

Stand: IM APS NUVO Fusion 10 Cabinet Stand (Matte Black)

Lighting: Nanobox Mini Tide M, 9" Gooseneck (ordered)

Filtration: Filter Floss, InTank IM Fusion Media Basket, Seachem Matrix, Caribsea Life Rock Shapes and Caribsea Arag-Alive Fiji Pink Sand

Heater: Eheim Jager TruTemp 50-watt

Circulation: Sicce Syncra Silent 0.5 w/ IM AUQA Gadget Spin Stream, Jebao PP-4

ATO: AutoAqua Smart ATO Micro

Controller: None

Skimmer: Reef Glass Nano, Marina 50 Air Pump

Other: Nimble Nano Super Magnetic Cleaner




Feed Fish

Blow Detritus off Rocks

Inhabitant Check-up

Dose Red Sea Reef Care Program Supplements (Soon)


Blow Detritus off Rocks and Out of Dead Spots

Weekly 15% Water Change

Clean Glass

Dose Microbacter7

Fill ATO Reservoir

Change Filter Floss

Test Parameters - SG, NO3, PH4, Alk, Calc, Mg


Siphon/Clean AIO Sump (Toothbrush under overflows)

Vacuum Sand

Clean Back Glass

Clean In-Tank Media Basket (Wipe down InTank and Rinse Seachem Matrix with water change water)


Clean Pumps/Heater

Clean SpinStream







Neon Damselfish (Pomacentrus alleni)



Hermits (Scarlet, Halloween, Electric Blue, Blue)

Bumble Bee Snail



Zoas Garden:

Emeralds on Fire

LA Lakers

Fruit Loops

Circus (LC)


My Clementines

Goblins on Fire

OG Bam Bams

Tutti Fruities

Firestarter (LC)

True Red Hornets

True Blue Hornets

Nightshades (LC)

Ultra Eagle Eyes

OG Blondies 

Everlasting Gobstoppers


Ricordea/Yuma Garden:

Rainbow Yuma

White Bubbly Yuma

Orange Pastel Haitian Ricordea

Aqua Blue Ricordea

Blue Ricordea



Burning Man Leptastrea (LC)

Black Torch with Green core



Bizarro Cyphastrea (WWC)


Current FTS:


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Here is what I have been planning in addition to the template above…


The Plan for the Tank:

-Beautiful, natural looking, simplistic and easy to maintain garden of corals.


-Patience and more patience - Research, quarantine/dip, plan coral locations, and take it slowww. Nothing good comes fast in this hobby.


-Sticking to the plan - It is too easy in this hobby to chase awesome tanks you see on this forum. At times, diverting from the plan can lead to negative results. If I start to do this, kick me. I told the wife we would not even contemplate any upgrade until I feel this tank is full and thriving. Even at that point, I would like to sit back and enjoy it and fight the urge to upgrade. I have felt my other builds have fell short due to impatience or a crash (usually caused by impatience).


-Photography - I have really found an interest in photography and would like to use my tank as a way to practice capturing and editing photos and videos.



I am planning a simplistic hardware design compared to my previous tanks in regards to automation, technology, complexity, and spend. I work in technology and love adding it to my tank for my nerd fix, but I want to see how far I can take a system with limited hardware while using only the basics. I, and I am sure many others in this hobby, can easily get excited about our tanks and get GAS (Gear Attainment Syndrome). I want to limit GAS and limit buying hardware willy-nilly unless I find I absolutely require it or quality of life is impacted and turning the reef into a chore. As a system gets quite complex, it seems you start to spend more time maintaining rather than enjoying the reef. Do they make Reef Tums to prevent GAS? :P


I do plan on researching a UPS for the tank so basic flow and temperature can be kept during short power outages. In all of my tanks, trying to sleep while the power is out wondering what is going on in the tank is not fun. I would like to limit a crash due to something like this as I invest and care for the inhabitants.


Future Planned Hardware:

ATO Reservoir

IM Desktop Reactor


Quarantine System



The goal was a main island that comes out of the sand and increases its height gradually and naturally. I want small islands in the front to create depth with a good amount of sand space with differing elevation. If needed, I can always add a magnetic rock on the back glass for more space.



I will run Caribsea Life Rock and Live Sand. I will seed the tank with Microbacter7 and continue to use as directed post cycle. I plan to run filter floss and Seachem Matrix in the InTank Media Basket. In the future, I plan to add an IM Desktop Reactor with Carbon. I will also run GFO as needed in the reactor. I plan to dose KZ Coral Snow as needed. Lastly, I will export nutrients via weekly water changes and siphoning the sand.


Planned Inhabitants:

Since I have limited space, I will plan each piece of livestock that goes into the system and only include my favorites. I am going for a certain look which will contain a Zoa, Acan, and Ricordea/Yuma gardens with other soft and LPS corals for movement. I also would like some rock flower anemones in a garden of their own if possible. At this time, I do not plan for much SPS as I hope to keep this tank slightly more simple to maintain.


Planned Coral:

Zoa Gardens

Acan Garden

Ricordea/Yuma Garden

Neon Green Star Polyps (Isolated)

Ultra Rock Flower Anemone Garden

Blueberry Sea Fan, Yellow and Red Finger Gorgonians


Torch Coral

Others (TBD)


Planned Fish:

Red Spot Goby

Snowflake Clownfish (Future)

Hellfrichi Firefish (TBD - maybe)


Planned Inverts:

Sexy Shrimp

Rainbow Bubble Tip Anemone (TBD)

Red Linckia Starfish

Cleaner or Blood Red Shrimp


Thank you for reading. Sorry for getting wordy, just curious in others thoughts on my plan. Putting my thoughts and plan on paper while I am awaiting the cycle. I appreciate any feedback. I will get a picture of the scape up in the next few days.

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I am trying to get a few shots of the aquascape up. I am dealing with a bacteria bloom which I believe is from the live sand or Microbacter7 dosing (or a combination of the two) during the cycle. This is creating a ton of stringy white cottony looking stuff. I have tried to turkey baste it off, but with limited flow in the tank, it may just need to run its course. I hope to get a picture up soon.


Has anyone dealt with a bloom similar to this during their cycle? I have used Caribsea live sand in many of my previous tanks and never have never seen this. I believe it is due to Microbacter7.


I also started feeding a little fish food in the system to hopefully create nutrients for the bacteria to help move the cycle along.

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Last night I used a turkey baster to assist in blowing off most of the bacteria bloom to get some shots of my aquascape up.


I have glued the main structure together giving myself the ability to remove the rock if I want to deep clean the tank.


I rigged together temp lighting solution with some LED strip lights we had. :lol: I will get the actual tank light as I near the end of the cycle.





Front (elevated):



Front (sandbed):



Front Right:



Right Side:



Left Side:



Top Down (Daylight):



I appreciate any comments, thoughts and feedback.


Thanks for looking!

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I like the aquascape.  Its very nice.

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1 hour ago, vlangel said:

I like the aquascape.  Its very nice.

Thank you vlangel :)

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Looks great! Following. Is the rock structure too close to the glass on the right? You’ll want to make sure 1) you can clean the glass easy 2) you CUC can easily get back there behind the rocks to clean up.


Im jealous!!

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On 4/28/2018 at 8:09 AM, uwdanno said:

Looks great! Following. Is the rock structure too close to the glass on the right? You’ll want to make sure 1) you can clean the glass easy 2) you CUC can easily get back there behind the rocks to clean up.


Im jealous!!

Thanks pal. I ran my hand around the inside of the tank on all sides including the back wall and ran my nimble nano on all sides without issue. I will watch to ensure the CUC can get back there when I get them. Also, I had glued the main structure together to ease maintenance if I ever want to vacuum the sand bed under the rock, etc. I don’t know about everyone else, but I hate the feeling of moving your scape and 1) you break or tear encrusted corals where two rocks come together and 2) where you just can’t get the rock fitment back together just as you had it if you move or knock them over during maintenance, etc. 


thanks again for the feedback. :) Glad to have you here as you were a big inspiration to many things in my build. 

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I just started the Dr Tim's Fishless Cycle tonight. I added the Dr Tim's Ammonia to get to 2ppm within the next day or so and also added a bottle of Dr Tim's One and Only bacteria.


I was not getting great results with ghost feeding and the MB7. I will continue to supplement with MB7 when I get fish.


Does anyone know if I can continue to dose a little ammonia after the cycle is over to continue to feed the beneficial bacteria until I get fish or coral? Any help is greatly appreciated.



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Great setup and awesome planning!

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8 hours ago, Stoops718 said:

Great setup and awesome planning!

Thanks a lot Stoops!

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The way I understood from reading around other peoples topics on the Dr Tim's Ammonia is that you only bring it up to peak PPM one time and that there is no need to continue dosing the ammonia. I think that you'll be getting ammonia spikes in your tank from other things during the tanks life like feeding and small die offs over time and other things. Your beneficial bacteria that you've created during your cycle will deal with that ammonia accordingly. This is the way I have understood it......If I am wrong in any way someone feel free to FLOG me LOL. 

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Goat, I spoke with Dr Tim’s support. My question was specifically regarding a period of no fish in the system post cycle. They said, if you aren’t going to get fish or coral right away that you can continue to dose 1/2 the cycling dosage amount of ammonia every 2-3 days then do a water change before you finally go to add fish.


The reason I am faced with that is I am trying to find a Red Spotted Goby and it could be a bit. But if you are adding inhabitants without a lull period with no nutrients or waste, then cut out dosing the ammonia after the fishless cycle completes.


But in my case, I should continue dosing the amount of Ammonia above until I get fish or coral just to ensure the bacteria has waste to feed on. Hope that helps someone with the same question. :)

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SWEET! Always best to go straight to the source. That's good to know. Your aquascape is legit also. I like it alot 

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57 minutes ago, ReefGoat said:

SWEET! Always best to go straight to the source. That's good to know. Your aquascape is legit also. I like it alot 

Thank you. I appreciate it.


I am always particular about aquascaping. I take a decent amount of time planning and laying it out. It is one of the reasons I like dry rock nowadays. It allows me to not rush and worry about live rock drying out.


I also glued the main structure together this time so I can move it out or around the tank. This also prevents me from knocking it over while cleaning.


I am interested to see how similar our cycle times are. :)

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Hi Kdrof, i really love your aquascape! Looks beautiful. 

Definitley going to be following this tank. We have got similar set ups. 

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15 hours ago, Rory282 said:

Hi Kdrof, i really love your aquascape! Looks beautiful. 

Definitley going to be following this tank. We have got similar set ups. 

Thank you :)


I am going to look for your thread now. 

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Quick Update 😁


The cycle is very close to being completed. I added 2ppm Ammonia the night before last and just tested this morning and the Ammonia was at 0 - .15 mg/L and the Nitrites were at .1-.25 ppm. With that said, I plan to add 2ppm ammonia this afternoon and test tomorrow to see if the nitrification cycle is complete within a 24 hour period.


I also tested my Nitrates and they were at 100 which is the darkest color possible on my Salifert test kit. Once my tank can consume 2ppm Ammonia/Nitrite within 24 hours, Ill do a decently sized water change. I should be ready for fish/inhabitants any day now.


This fishless cycle process with Dr Tim's One and Only and Ammonia (along with Microbacter7 before Dr Tim's) was absolutely wonderful. It was so easy. It gave me the ability to use clean pest-free Caribsea Liferock without having to cook the rocks, or throw stinky shrimp in the tank as an ammonia source, etc. etc. etc.. I will take it slow with inhabitants to ensure the tank matures since there was not actual live rock in the system. But wow, great products thus far. Now I just need to keep it pest free through QT, dipping, etc.


I also messaged LiveAquaria to see if they get Red Spotted Goby's (Trimma rubromaculatus) often. I also inquired if they ever get them in Diver's Den or if they can special order one for me. I know the fish is somewhat rare. I have searched them on google and seem to have trouble finding them. I have only seen one in another NR members one tank before. 🙄


I also am using Reef Crystals salt currently through the cycle. Long term, I wanted to get back to using RSCP salt to limit any dosing requirement. I think I might just use up the water I have made with post-cycle water changes and then go to RSCP salt. Probably not a bad idea to keep some Reef Crystals around in case I ever run out of other salt.

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I tested Ammonia and Nitrite this evening and they are both sitting right around 0. The cycle seems to be complete.


I have been chatting with @DaveFason regarding a Nanobox Tide Mini. Hoping to place an order with him soon...


Lastly, since the cycle is complete, I've been thinking through my options...The plan was to try to get a Red Spotted Goby as the first fish but they seem super rare so that could be a while..


I am contemplating two options 1.) using my temporary light and looking for another fish that is on my list (Snowflake clown or Helfrichi firefish)... Or, 2.) Ordering the Nanobox, a Sicce Silent .5 return upgrade paired with an IM Spinstream, then grabbing some Zoa's or Ric's... ah the decisions 😎




I hope that the Sicce and random flow created by the Spinstream would be enough flow to start with the Zoa's and Ric's..

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I WANT A NANOBOX SO BAD! Lol I love my Sicce 0.5 though. You do need some flow though. 

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Alright. So my wife and I have decided. We are going with the light, coral and invertebrates option and going to keep looking for the Red spotted Goby. If I cannot find one after searching for a little while, we will get another fish on the list.


We just ordered a Nanobox Tide!! 🤗 So excited for it to get here. The next purchase, around the time the light arrives, will be the return pump upgrade and a Spinstream.


Lastly, I think I may move the system from the office to the first floor... More to come on that. 😊

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Sweet! I keep having urges to get one. But I love the Kessil shimmer. Decisions......Plus I've just bought the kessil not long ago. 

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4 hours ago, Kellie in CA said:

Have you considered an RFG nozzle?

Hmm.. I will have to look into it. Actually have not heard of it before :) what is that?


4 hours ago, ReefGoat said:

Sweet! I keep having urges to get one. But I love the Kessil shimmer. Decisions......Plus I've just bought the kessil not long ago. 

I’d roll w the Kessil for a few and see how it goes. Both are viable lights. Be interesting to compare in person though. Difficult to compare with pictures due to camera settings and other factors. Hope the Nanobox has a shimmer. 😎

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4 hours ago, Kellie in CA said:

Have you considered an RFG nozzle?

Ah. Random Flow generator. :)


I see them from Vivid. I will look into them. Thank you for the info. Do you use one?

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