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Felicia

Diver's Paradise: IM NUVO Fusion 20 Pro

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Felicia

FTS February 25, 2020

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Tank was started February 25, 2020, and entered into the 365 day challenge.  Here are the condiment photos for entry.

 

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Specifications

Tank

  • Innovative Marine NUVO Fusion 20 Gallon Pro AIO (23.62"L x 15"D x 13"H)

Rock and Sand

  • 9.7 lbs of Real Reef Rock
  • 20 lbs of CaribSea Arag-Alive Special Grade Sand

Lighting

  • Aqua Illuminations Prime HD

Flow

  • Innovative Marine MightyJet 326 GPH DC Return Pump
  • MP10 Quiet Drive

Filtration

  • Innovative Marine Media Rack with filter pad, Purigen, and Chemi-Pure Blue
  • Innovative Marine Filter Sock

Heating

  • Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm 100 Watt Heater
  • Finnex HC-810M Digital Heater Controller

Auto Top-Off

  • AutoAqua Smart Micro ATO
  • Innovative Marine AUQA Gadget HydroFill Ti Reservoir

RO/DI System

  • Bulk Reef Supply 5 Stage RO/DI System

 

Livestock

Fish

  • Yellow Watchman Goby
  • Onyx Percula Clownfish
  • 3 Barnacle Blennies

Inverts

  • Tuxedo Urchin
  • Nassarius Snails

 

History

Month Day, Year

 

My previous tank, the Innovative 14 gallon peninsula, had been running for about 2.5 years when I took it down on February 25, 2020 and moved all of the inhabitants into this new setup.  I really enjoyed the look of the 14 gallon peninsula, but ever since I moved into a new house in November of 2018, I've been having issues with the aquarium.  The system survived the move just fine without any issues, but the only place I had to put the tank in my new house was right in front of two big windows.  This issue was compounded by the fact that I had the peninsula-style aquarium sitting "sideways", such that the back of the aquarium was clear glass right in front of the window.  I've been keeping the blinds closed, but enough sunlight would still leak in to cause major algae growth.  After over a year of fighting the algae issues and having the algae grow back in a day or two after scrubbing the aquarium, I finally decided it was time to get more invested in the hobby again and come up with a solution to the problem.  I decided that my best bet was to switch back to a traditional (non-peninsula) tank shape, so that the back panel that faces the window would be blacked out and therefore block much more of the sunlight from the window.  Based on the size of the piece of furniture my aquarium sits on, and the fact that I didn't want to go much bigger, I decided to transfer the current tank inhabitants into a new Innovative Marine NUVO Fusion 20 gallon Pro.  I completed the transfer late tonight, and everything went very smoothly.  Now I'm just hoping I can get the algae under control and the corals looking happy and healthy again.  Some corals were smothered by algae, while others are just constantly annoyed by the algae growth.  I'm sure it will take a bit of time before this tank is looking good again and then I will work on restocking with some new corals. 

 

Here's a quick video of the previous setup show its placement in front of the window.

 

 

I made the decision to upgrade the aquarium without having been on Nano-Reef in months.  However, when I posted to Facebook about the new aquarium I'd just purchased, @yoshii let me know the 365 day AIO challenge was just starting on Nano-Reef.  The timing was too good not to enter, so this new build is officially entered into the contest.

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Ratvan

I'll be lurking here

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Felicia

For the Lily fans, here's Lily checking out the new aquarium after I completed the setup and transfer late tonight.

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Pjanssen

Welcome back. We've missed you.

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Ratvan

wrong thread - sorry

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seabass

:welcome: first timer.  Good luck!

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debbeach13

Nice. I like the tank and the stand. Good luck.

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Felicia
5 hours ago, Pjanssen said:

Welcome back. We've missed you.

Thank you! It’s nice to be back! I’m sure I won’t be as active as I used to be back in grad school because work takes up most of my time, but I’ll try to be on here a bit more consistently. The contest is a nice commitment to update at least once a month. That should be doable! Between having a long commute, a crazy job in engineering consulting, and my other hobbies - baking and refocusing on doing a lot more scuba diving, I just don’t have much time left in the day for the aquarium. Oh and I moved into a house with a yard, so no more one bedroom apartment for me and I’ve taken up gardening, working in my yard, preserving/canning, and DIY projects around the house as new hobbies!

5 hours ago, Ratvan said:

wrong thread - sorry

No worries!

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Felicia
4 hours ago, seabass said:

:welcome: first timer.  Good luck!

Ha! I wish! I’d have a lot more money if this was my first aquarium. I do however need luck because I’m starting with a hot mess and trying to rehab it back into shape. I always find that harder and way less exciting than starting from scratch. 😀

4 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

Nice. I like the tank and the stand. Good luck.

Thank you! When I took down the 40 gallon with the sump, I was in a little apartment, so I decided to change it up and not have my living room dominated by a big aquarium stand. I bought that dresser from West Elm and have been sticking to systems that are small enough to fit on there. I like that it looks a bit more like an integrated piece of my decor. Since I moved, I’m now using that piece of furniture as a buffet in my dining room, which works well. The IM 14 gallon was my first non-DIY AIO and I actually really liked it and how easy it was equipment-wise, so I was happy I could find another Innovative Marine tank that would fit in the spot on this piece of furniture. So far, I really like that the 20 gallon has a longer filtration section so there’s more space and my equipment and cords are less jammed together.

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seabass
20 minutes ago, Felicia said:

Ha! I wish! I’d have a lot more money if this was my first aquarium. I do however need luck because I’m starting with a hot mess and trying to rehab it back into shape. I always find that harder and way less exciting than starting from scratch. 😀

I know you're an old reef veteran who has inspired many of us; however, I believe it is your first time as a contestant.   But that's OK, newbies are welcome. :wink::lol:

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Felicia
25 minutes ago, seabass said:

I know you're an old reef veteran who has inspired many of us; however, I believe it is your first time as a contestant.   But that's OK, newbies are welcome. :wink::lol:

😂 Hey, well I’m happy to be a newbie! This is indeed my first contest. Honestly, I haven’t been keeping up with the aquarium hobby for like the last 2 years and I feel like a newbie because the technology and stuff changes so fast. I’m over here like, wait I’ve never even heard of that brand or vendor, etc. 😂

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Felicia

The 14 gallon peninsula tank had just housed my onyx percula clown and yellow watchman goby for quite some time, so when I went to the LFS to purchase the new 20 gallon tank, I ended up picking up some new fish to add.  They had a ton of barnacle blennies in, which were just so cute and tiny.  I've never kept barnacle blennies before, so I decided to get a little group of three of them.  They did well hanging out in the 14 gallon for a few days and then did just fine during the tank transfer last night.  They were all alive and well and eating this morning, so I snapped a few shots with my iPhone.  Excuse the crappy quality of the photos - I took these before the lights came on for the day.

 

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I also snapped a quick photo of the yellow watchman goby.  I've had this guy for about 2.5 years.

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Felicia

Ok, so since I titled this build Diver’s Paradise again, I feel like the thread needs some dive photos. I went on the trip of a lifetime back in December to Fiji for 10 days, including 6 days of non-stop diving and 4 amazing dives with huge tiger sharks, bull sharks, reef sharks, and nurse sharks. I’ll share some of those photos and videos soon, but in the meantime, I did one of my more usual day trips down to Monterey this past weekend for a day of boat diving and I want to share some of those photos.

 

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Metridium anemone

 

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Metridium anemone

 

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Goby

 

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Tube anemone

 

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Tube anemone

 

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Tiny Spanish shawl nudibranch

 

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Nudibranch

 

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Salp - this species is apparently called a Thetys Vagina

 

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Salp

 

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Salp

 

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Cabezon that was guarding its eggs.

 

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Cabezon

 

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Cabezon eggs

 

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Cabezon eggs

 

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I made a new friend. This male sheephead wrasse was sure hanging out with us and ready for his photo shoot!

 

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Sheephead wrasse


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Sheephead wrasse

 

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Nudibranch

 

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 Nudibranch

 

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Anemone

 

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Tube anemone

 

My dive buddy for these dives was also into photography, and was actually shooting wide angle, whereas I was shooting macro. He got a couple fun wide angle shots of me throughout the dives.

 

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Me photographing the Cabezon that was guarding its eggs.

 

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With my new sheephead wrasse friend.

 

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With the salp.

 

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Photographing the salp.

 

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yoshii

Love the personality of Barnacle "popcorn" Blennies! They are so fun to feed. What's your fish list so far?

 

Gorgeous dive photos too 😍 so cool to see that salp and get such great pics with it and the sheephead!

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Pjanssen

awesome photography Felicia! I'm jealous. I haven't been diving in forever. Your dive trip sounds like a dream come true, but your own backyard has some pretty amazing life.

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Felicia
On 2/26/2020 at 12:23 AM, yoshii said:

Love the personality of Barnacle "popcorn" Blennies! They are so fun to feed. What's your fish list so far?

 

Gorgeous dive photos too 😍 so cool to see that salp and get such great pics with it and the sheephead!

They are pretty darn cute little fish and a blast at feeding time.  So far I have a female clownfish who murders every male I've ever tried to pair her with along with several other fish and several shrimp.  She's pretty awful and also loves to bite me any time my hands are in the tank.  😅  Besides the clownfish, I have a yellow watchman goby that won't take her crap.  I was a bit worried about the barnacle blennies with her since they're so small, but I was hoping since they perch in the rocks they'd be out of her territory like the goby and that seems to be the case so far.  I haven't seen her even acknowledge their presence.  Beyond what I have now, I have no concrete plans for this tank besides trying to keep it simple enough for me to travel when I want and ignore it when I'm super busy and not stress about it.  😊

 

I'm glad you like the dive photos!  I've always loved underwater photography, but I've upgraded to a bit nicer camera rig and I've been trying to learn more.  I had never seen a salp before, so that was super cool!  Weird and fascinating creatures.  That sheephead was also really fun!  I've seen them plenty of times on dives out here, but they normally don't come close.  That guy got right up by me and just hung out with us for the longest time.  It was very cool!

On 2/26/2020 at 8:08 AM, Pjanssen said:

awesome photography Felicia! I'm jealous. I haven't been diving in forever. Your dive trip sounds like a dream come true, but your own backyard has some pretty amazing life.

Thank you!  I've been trying to learn more and improve my underwater photography skills!  I've always loved diving out here in the CA kelp forests, but I'm having fun going on tropical trips as well.  I'm headed to Costa Rica in June and then I already have a liveaboard trip booked in Palau for April 2021.  I'm trying to do one big dive trip a year.  Its such a wonderful way to decompress!  You should get back into it!

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Felicia

I have a fun tank update for today!  I lost several of the gorgonians that were in this tank ages ago when I had the major dino issue.  I never replaced them because I've pretty much just left the tank alone because I've been frustrated with the algae issues.  Anyways, now that I'm trying to revamp and get re-excited about the tank, I wanted to add some new gorgonians because they're my favorite.  I've been hooked for years and I don't think I could have a tank without some photosynthetic gorgonians anymore.

 

I'm going to place a KP order eventually, but as an initial order, I got a purple plume and a golden plume gorgonian as well as a corky finger "gorgonian" (actually a photosynthetic bryozoan) from Gulf Coast Ecosystems.  I also needed to beef up my clean up crew, which had slowly diminished to just two nassarius snails, so I also ordered 10 nerites, 10 ceriths, and 10 nassarius.  I've ordered from them in the past and been thrilled and I definitely wasn't disappointed this time.  I like that they'll ship the gorgonians USPS priority, which is much cheaper and a better option for small orders.  The gorgonians are nicely sized and showed up with nice polyp extension in the shipping bags.  I also got extra snails beyond what I ordered and they all seem to be alive and active.  Overall, I'm very pleased, especially for the price!

 

Here are the gorgonians and the corky finger.  The corky finger is the only one with no polyp extension yet.

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Here are a few of the snails right after I dropped them in the tank.

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And here's a shot of the tank showing my view from my couch.  The tank is in my dining room, which is open to the living room, so the couch has sort of an angled view of the tank.  I'm really liking the new 20 gallon compared to the 14 gallon peninsula, which had the filter chamber on the right side, which meant I didn't have a very good view of the tank from my couch.

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Also, I have one more fun photo from diving this past weekend.

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billygoat

Great photos, and so good to hear that you're getting back into it with the IM 20! I went to school in Santa Cruz, so seeing pictures of the Monterey Bay always hits me close to home. Amazing underwater photography too! Both you and your dive buddy are very talented.

 

Gulf Coast Ecosystems is a super underrated source for gorgonians. They're the only place I know of that ships them by priority mail, which is a total game changer. Some of my larger gorgs came from GCE as well. I wish I could do something to spread the word about the ease of ordering and quality of their livestock. 🤔 Those purple and golden plumes look great!

 

Anyway, I'll be following along! 😁

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Nano sapiens
10 hours ago, Felicia said:

Anyways, now that I'm trying to revamp and get re-excited about the tank, I wanted to add some new gorgonians because they're my favorite.  I've been hooked for years and I don't think I could have a tank without some photosynthetic gorgonians anymore.

Great to see that you are getting inspired again after the algae issues!  Can't go wrong with Gorgs ☺️

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Felicia
7 hours ago, billygoat said:

Great photos, and so good to hear that you're getting back into it with the IM 20! I went to school in Santa Cruz, so seeing pictures of the Monterey Bay always hits me close to home. Amazing underwater photography too! Both you and your dive buddy are very talented.

 

Gulf Coast Ecosystems is a super underrated source for gorgonians. They're the only place I know of that ships them by priority mail, which is a total game changer. Some of my larger gorgs came from GCE as well. I wish I could do something to spread the word about the ease of ordering and quality of their livestock. 🤔 Those purple and golden plumes look great!

 

Anyway, I'll be following along! 😁

Thank you!  I'm definitely trying to get re-inspired again.  I've enjoyed my reef tank the last several years, but I just haven't been that into it.  The Monterey Bay is a pretty beautiful place both above and under the water.  Do you dive?  The buddy I dove with this past weekend definitely had a much nicer camera set-up than I do, but I'm pretty happy with how my photos came out.  I'm trying to learn more and slowly upgrade my camera kit.  Underwater photography is yet another expensive hobby!  😂

 

GCE seems to have a good following on N-R as a source for live rock and macro algae, but they tend to get overlooked for their gorgonians.  KP Aquatics used to ship the smaller sized gorgonians priority mail, but they quit doing that quite a while ago and went to overnight only for the gorgonians.  They must have had some issues or something, but I've had gorgonians shipped two-day priority quite a few times and I've never had an issue.  I just hate paying the $40 for overnight shipping when I'm only getting a few things.  I'm really happy with the gorgonians GCE sent.  I actually also caved and went ahead and placed a KPA order to get the rest of the photosynthetic gorgonians that I wanted.  There's a particular set of gorgonians I've been really successful with over the years and I wanted one of each of those.  Those are:

  • Purple feather (from GCE)
  • Yellow feather (from GCE)
  • Purple ribbon (already have one in this tank that was in the IM 14 for over 2.5 years - came from GCE)
  • Purple candelabra/rod (I have a small one in this tank that came from KPA that I transferred over from the IM 14, but I also ordered a bigger one from KPA)
  • Purple plume (ordered from KPA)
  • Yellow sea whip (ordered from KPA)
  • Knobby sea rod (ordered from KPA)
  • Corky finger (from GCE)

I also ended up ordering a spiny orange gorgonian from KPA.  Weirdly those are listed as hardy, but I've tried them in different tanks of mine twice and had them die within only a couple days while all the other gorgonians died.  No idea why.  I decided to give that species one more shot since other people have good success with it.  My tank should be jammed full of gorgonians soon, which is basically the extent of my stocking plan.  I have lots of softies in this tank that are just pissy from the algae and should look great once I get the algae under control and they have some time to recover.  In terms of softies, I've got assorted Florida ricordea and zoanthids/palythoas, three different varieties of toadstool leather (including a weeping willow and a long polyp), a large crown leather, way too much cespitularia that grows like a weed, neon green nepthea, green kenya tree, thick finger leather and several other leathers that I don't have an ID for.  Hopefully I can get those all looking good again soon.

7 hours ago, Nano sapiens said:

Great to see that you are getting inspired again after the algae issues!  Can't go wrong with Gorgs ☺️

Thank you!  The algae issues aren't behind me, but I'm hoping the new tank with the different configuration will really help.  I'm just trying to stay inspired to fight the battle to get the algae under control and get all the corals looking good again!  And I agree wholeheartedly that you cannot go wrong with gorgonians.  I'm a big fan of cramming my tanks full of gorgonians and softies and then calling it a day because that kind of tank is generally super low maintenance.

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yoshii

Any update on all the new gorgs you ordered? 🙂

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DNR88

I like the natural Caribbean look of the tank. 👍

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