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406nano

Another IM Nuvo 10 Gallon Reef Build

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406nano

Hey Nano Reef Crew! After a few year break in the hobby, I am finally getting back to reefing once again. I am planning on using this tank as a sort of 'frag tank' that will kick start a bigger effort a couple of years down the road. That being said, I would like to document this build as I progress through the many stages that are involved in this hobby. Yes, this is going to be another....IM Nuvo 10 gallon reef build. It is kind of hard to beat this tank around this price/size point. I am planning on doing this project the right way from the beginning and taking a little extra time in the initial setup phase. I am hoping to get advise from you master reefers out there and share my experience from start to finish.

 

Goal: To build one freaking sweet coral reef tank that will support mainly LPS and potentially SPS. I am also tossing around the idea of a fish or two. Keep in mind, this tank will be growing future live stock for a larger tank down the road (30-50 gal). Thoughts?

 

Alright, now for the good stuff. Currently in transit are the following:

 

- IM Nuvo 10 gallon

- AI Prime HD (couldn't resist a light I can control with my phone) 

- AI Prime mounting bracket

- 10# of AquaMaxx dry rock

- 150w heater with temperature display

 

Still trying to figure out what direction to go with these:

 

- Stand - I have a plan in the works for build this. Not sure exactly where the tank is going in the house yet. This will be my project this weekend.

- Extra filtration. Keeping in mind the limited space.

-  Pump - I have been tossing around the idea of getting an MP10. Do you think this is overkill for this size of tank? Or should I just upgrade the stock pump and call it good? Spin stream is not totally out of the picture either.

- ATO - I really want to get an auto top off going. My house is rather dry and evaporates water like crazy. Any recommendations for a nano aquarium?

- will be picking up substrate this weekend at my LFS and any other goodies I can think of.

 

My LFS is really lacking in the majority of the things I need to get this tank to where I want it to be but I do like supporting them when I can. I will more than likely be getting a 'seed' live rock from them when the time comes. Let me know what you think so far and I will be sure to post when the goodies arrive. 

 

 

 

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Clown79

I love my IM 10g. Great tank with a lot of potential. 

 

I have 1 clown because my tsb died(suspect lack of algae as the cause and not being able to compete with my super speedy Clown for food)

 

I used to have a powerhead in my tank but removed it since I upgraded the pump and theres lots of flow in there. I use an mj600 in the return. The stock return was very weak.

 

Now theres no obstruction and more room for corals.😁

 

I have LPS and Sps. 

 

I run just my media basket, heater with inkbird controller, nothing else. I fill my tank 1 time a day, about 300ml. 

 

Your plans sound good.

 

Looking forward to seeing it 

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Fragmental

Sounds like a great plan! Definitely put some utilitarian fish in for pest control/coral feeding. Skip the substrate and paint the bottom of the tank white instead. Put an mp10 on. Your plan is very similar to my build. Check it out! Happy reefing 🐠 

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406nano

Hey. Thank you both for the advice. You both have envious tanks! I do like the idea of leaving a little more display room as it is such a small volume. The cleaner look, the better. Maybe I will start out with and upgraded return and look at the mp10 if needed down the line since it looks like I can get a start with it one.

 

Interesting take on the no substrate. It has been a few years but I was under the assumption that the substrate helped out with some of the biological filtration? A clean bottom would look pretty neat. Do you run into any problems with cleaning the bottom glass?

 

What is your take on incorporating some sort of algae/chaeto in a tank this size? Can't wait for this tank to get here later this week!

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Clown79
14 minutes ago, 406nano said:

Hey. Thank you both for the advice. You both have envious tanks! I do like the idea of leaving a little more display room as it is such a small volume. The cleaner look, the better. Maybe I will start out with and upgraded return and look at the mp10 if needed down the line since it looks like I can get a start with it one.

 

Interesting take on the no substrate. It has been a few years but I was under the assumption that the substrate helped out with some of the biological filtration? A clean bottom would look pretty neat. Do you run into any problems with cleaning the bottom glass?

 

What is your take on incorporating some sort of algae/chaeto in a tank this size? Can't wait for this tank to get here later this week!

A deep sand bed helps with biofilter but in a nano most of us use a sand bed for aesthetics. Its suggested to keep it below 2" and vacuum it weekly.

 

A lot of us have incorporated macro algae in the display(I like dragons breath), some do chaeto in a media basket in the back chambers with reverse lighting schedule.

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Fragmental
6 hours ago, 406nano said:

Hey. Thank you both for the advice. You both have envious tanks! I do like the idea of leaving a little more display room as it is such a small volume. The cleaner look, the better. Maybe I will start out with and upgraded return and look at the mp10 if needed down the line since it looks like I can get a start with it one.

 

Interesting take on the no substrate. It has been a few years but I was under the assumption that the substrate helped out with some of the biological filtration? A clean bottom would look pretty neat. Do you run into any problems with cleaning the bottom glass?

 

What is your take on incorporating some sort of algae/chaeto in a tank this size? Can't wait for this tank to get here later this week!

Thanks 406! For biological filtration I use rock and marine pure.

 

I agree with Clown that the reason to use sand would be mostly for aesthetics. For me, sand is not practical since the mp10 i run almost full noise. 

 

I have never cleaned my bottom glass. I dont know why, but it may be due to the facts of setting my lights correctly with a PAR meter and spectrometer, and because I have an extensive cleanup crew (stomatella, turbos, pods etc).

 

I use chaeto on an opposite light schedule in the first chamber of my sump which also acts as my first stage of mechanical filtration. I also run carbon 24/7 which is changed every week. 

 

I hope this provides some insight. Let me know if you have more questions. Cheers 🐠 

 

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Fragmental

May be a bit easier to understand with a picture. Water spills over acrylic comb weir into first (right) chamber straight onto the chaeto. It's lit up by a 10watt warm white flood lamp. Then flows through marine pure balls in a media bag which sits on a piece of polyfibre supported by a perforated acrylic distribution plate. Then flows up the next chamber past the heater then down through another piece of polyfibre which sits on top of another media bag filled with carbon supported by another perforated acrylic distribution plate then under the bubble trap baffle to my return pump. That's as complex as my filtration gets. I adjust fuge light period to balance my nitrate levels. I balance my phosphate levels by how much I feed. I target 2-5ppm nitrate and 0.03-0.1ppm phosphate 🐠 

 

IMG20190108193733.thumb.jpg.368792be186c9b3804dfbf59eab92c36.jpg

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406nano
13 hours ago, Fragmental said:

Thanks 406! For biological filtration I use rock and marine pure.

 

I agree with Clown that the reason to use sand would be mostly for aesthetics. For me, sand is not practical since the mp10 i run almost full noise. 

 

I have never cleaned my bottom glass. I dont know why, but it may be due to the facts of setting my lights correctly with a PAR meter and spectrometer, and because I have an extensive cleanup crew (stomatella, turbos, pods etc).

 

I use chaeto on an opposite light schedule in the first chamber of my sump which also acts as my first stage of mechanical filtration. I also run carbon 24/7 which is changed every week. 

 

I hope this provides some insight. Let me know if you have more questions. Cheers 🐠 

 

I think you have convinced me to go bare bottom since an mp10 sounds like it is in my future. They can actually look pretty cool if done properly. Thanks for the visual on the back of the tank. I will have to set mine up similar to this. I see that you have tube running to the back of your tank. Is this for dosing purposes? Or is this your ATO? I am in the process of researching which ATO I will be using. Work sometimes has me travelling for a few days in a row and I want to be sure I can maintain a stable environment at all times with the direction I want to take this tank.

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Fragmental
7 minutes ago, 406nano said:

I think you have convinced me to go bare bottom since an mp10 sounds like it is in my future. They can actually look pretty cool if done properly. Thanks for the visual on the back of the tank. I will have to set mine up similar to this. I see that you have tube running to the back of your tank. Is this for dosing purposes? Or is this your ATO? I am in the process of researching which ATO I will be using. Work sometimes has me travelling for a few days in a row and I want to be sure I can maintain a stable environment at all times with the direction I want to take this tank.

No worries mate happy to help. Those tubes are for dosing. I use components 1+2+3+ by AquaForest. I dont have an ato since there's always someone around. It means I at least look at the tank everyday this way too. I'm still considering putting an ato on but for now I like how it forces me to always keep an eye on it. I'm looking at the tunze nano osmolator or the ripple ato. 🐠 

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406nano

Just a breif update on the tank. I received it earlier this week and was able to get the cycle started last night. I did make the final decision to go bare bottom with this one. I was also able to pick up a few pieces of live rock from my local fish store to 'seed' the rest of my tank. I hadn't been in there in a few years and that place has really gone downhill. Being the nice people they are, I still plan on supporting them whenever I can. That being said, I will be looking elsewhere to purchase most of my corals. Has anyone used world wide corals? They seem to have some pretty decent frag packs.

 

Anyways, here are a few pics of the current reefscape. Obviously this is all subject to change. Let me know what you think. On order now is:

  - Since 0.5 (stock pump sucks)

  - Jeboa OW-10

  - API test kit

 

  

 

 

IMG_20190112_085519.jpg

IMG_20190112_085532.jpg

IMG_20190112_085545.jpg

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Fragmental
4 hours ago, 406nano said:

Just a breif update on the tank. I received it earlier this week and was able to get the cycle started last night. I did make the final decision to go bare bottom with this one. I was also able to pick up a few pieces of live rock from my local fish store to 'seed' the rest of my tank. I hadn't been in there in a few years and that place has really gone downhill. Being the nice people they are, I still plan on supporting them whenever I can. That being said, I will be looking elsewhere to purchase most of my corals. Has anyone used world wide corals? They seem to have some pretty decent frag packs.

 

Anyways, here are a few pics of the current reefscape. Obviously this is all subject to change. Let me know what you think. On order now is:

  - Since 0.5 (stock pump sucks)

  - Jeboa OW-10

  - API test kit

 

  

 

 

IMG_20190112_085519.jpg

IMG_20190112_085532.jpg

IMG_20190112_085545.jpg

Awesome! Very exciting. Good to see this build come up quickly. What API kits are you getting? 

 

I would consider emptying the tank to puT white vinyl wrap or paint the tank white underneath. It gives the look as if there is sand. It's my single most regret on my tank. But it is personal preference, just something to consider while you can

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406nano
4 hours ago, Fragmental said:

Awesome! Very exciting. Good to see this build come up quickly. What API kits are you getting? 

 

I would consider emptying the tank to puT white vinyl wrap or paint the tank white underneath. It gives the look as if there is sand. It's my single most regret on my tank. But it is personal preference, just something to consider while you can

I took that into consideration but found that I did not want to scrape off the attached foam mat on the bottom of the tank. It appears to be glued on there. I do agree, it would look more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I have ordered the saltwater master kit to monitor the cycle process. 

Added bonus, a zoa polyp showed it's face today from the live rock I added!

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alpinestar

Zoas are the best! Upload a pic!

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406nano
56 minutes ago, alpinestar said:

Zoas are the best! Upload a pic!

I should have known not to post without a picture. That is half the reason people check out these threads! Here you go. My first tank inhabitant. Hopefully the little guy makes it through the cycle.

IMG_20190112_185409.jpg

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406nano

Update on the tank! I was able to get the rock set the way I wanted and bonded most pieces to form the final aquascape. I think it should allow room for most of the corals I am planning on keeping. The Jeboa ow-10 seems to being doing a decent job. So far, I am really happy with it. I am still waiting for the Sicce pump to arrive from marine Depot. I have also ordered the reef breeders ato. The Reef News podcast made up my mind for me on that front.

 

Now for the parameters update. I have seen a spike in ammonia to 1.0 ppm and has dropped off since then to 0.25 . Still no detectible nitrites. And nitrates have gone up to 10 ppm as of this morning. Seems a little out of order(and fast) but I will ride this out and see what happens.

 

Also, I have fallen in love with my little zoa in the tank(still doing great by the way). I am going to incorporate a mini zoa garden when the time comes. I never realized how big of a variety they come in! I am also growing fond of favia and lords.

 

I am getting excited to start adding corals! This cycle can't finish quick enough! Nothing too exciting but here are some updated pics.IMG_20190119_104901.thumb.jpg.024765111494b4ae62b6d0ae74b6fc7c.jpg

IMG_20190119_104943.jpg

IMG_20190119_105032.jpg

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406nano

The cycle is coming to an end! No detecatble ammonia or nitrites anymore. 20 ppm nitrates and a 30-40% water change this evening. It went by rather quick but I will take it. I did add a bottle of bio spira initially to get things going. I also picked up a couple of turbos today to try and come a wicked algae outbreak. I tried to manually remove as much as I could with a toothbrush. I have a clean up crew from reef cleaners coming next week since my lfs only had the two to offer. Fingers crossed it doesn't get out of control.

 

I have also ordered some Marine pure biomedia and carbon from BRS. Also a few media bags to hold them in the first chamber in the back of the nuvo. Have any if you had luck with the biomedia? Are the spheres good to hold in the media bags? Or should I just drop them in the back? There seems to be some really good reviews online.

 

I received and installed the reef breeders ATO last week, which I love! So easy to install and a great price.

 

The zoa still seems to be doing great! It looks like I will be placing my order with works wide corals here soon to start stocking the tank in the next couple of weeks. I will probably start with one of their starter packs. I like the surprise of not knowing exactly what corals you will get. I am also looking to get a fish as well. My lfs did have a tiny Orchid Dottyback that was pretty awesome. So much personality compared to some others  they had. Not sure if I want to go the clown route or not yet with this tank.

 

Anyways, here is an ugly shot of the tank post cycle. Most of the 'seed' rock will be removed from the tank in the next few weeks leaving a much cleaner look. I figured it couldn't hurt to leave it in there for now until I start adding livestock.

IMG_20190129_210035.jpg

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TatorTaco

That's...quite a bit of algae you've managed to grow in a couple weeks.  Did you have your light running during the cycle?  You may want to give the rocks a scrub and/or pick up a small CUC before you start with fish.  I bought a OW-10 for my Fusion 10, but I haven't put it in yet to replace a Hydor Koralia 240.  

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406nano
6 hours ago, TatorTaco said:

That's...quite a bit of algae you've managed to grow in a couple weeks.  Did you have your light running during the cycle?  You may want to give the rocks a scrub and/or pick up a small CUC before you start with fish.  I bought a OW-10 for my Fusion 10, but I haven't put it in yet to replace a Hydor Koralia 240.  

It is an insane amount. I do agree. I did have the lights in, probably too much, trying to keep that zoa alive through the cycle. I am going to try and scrub the rest later this week. I need to get this under control before I move forward. I am hoping a little bit of elbow grease and cuc will solve this issue for me.

 

So far, I am a big fan of my OW-10. LOTS of flow. It was a little noisy at first but now I can hardly hear it running. I don't think you will be disappointed for the price.

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406nano

Well...an update on the tank. I received a frag pack from world wide corals last week. Fantastic service and corals. I also picked up an orchid Dottyback from my local fish store. Everything seemed to be going great! I was testing daily and parameters were looking really good.

 

Now for the bad news.

My cheap Amazon heater blew up on my last night. I woke up to a white cloudy mess and 99 degrees. Unfortunately, it was a complete loss. Goes to show that you really should spend a little extra for better equipment.

 

Below are some pictures before the tank took a turn. It was still in it's ugly stage but definitely had potential. We will see how this pans out in the next few weeks.

IMG_20190131_152840.jpg

IMG_20190129_184756.jpg

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