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New tank issue: Nuvo Fusion 10 w/Skimmer

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Hi all,


Returning back to the hobby after a 12 year hiatus. Former tanks were 125+ gallon reef setups...but I chose to make my life hard with a Nuvo Fusion 10 Pro. I have been cycling my tank for almost 2 weeks and I am already seeing positive results (see graph below). I have been anticipating having a higher than average bio load for this size tank so I decided to pick up a Tunze 9001 skimmer to assist. I understand it is controversial in having a skimmer in a tank this size and it is pretty early in the tank cycle for a protein skimmer to be effective, but I would still like to get things sorted out before adding livestock so I don't have to introduce major changes in the future. Happy home = happy fish. 


Anyways, I have set the skimmer up in chamber 2 (link to similar setup) and left the air valve fully open. I am getting about 1/2" of bubbles rising in the cup, pure white, so I am planning to leave the air valve fully open for now. The problem I am experiencing is the amount of micro bubbles that are escaping...worsening more so if I close the air valve. I have read up (link to similar issue) on why these may occur and it seems it may be any of the following:

  1. Water level (my suspected culprit)
  2. Break-in needed 
  3. Broken parts (inspected mine, no issues)
  4. A surfactant - (ammonia additive?) 
  5. Oxygen saturation
  6. The skimmer is near a pump, current pulls bubbles out of skimmer

Currently the water sits about 1/4" below the Tunze water level indicator, I can't get it any higher due to the tank over filling or me needing to cut & modify the Tunze plastic housing to sit lower (I might have to).


Does anyone have any thoughts on what else it could be? Or should I shut up and let the thing break in for a week or two? The bubbles are driving me mad, but I am sure the cycling process & algae are going to love it. Would also appreciate a sanity check on tank cycle process, seems to be going well...add fish soon?


Sorry for the long post, but thanks for those who do read!



  • IM Nuvo Fusion 10 Pro
  • MightyJet DC Return Pump 326 GPH - AUQA Gadget Desktop
  • Cobalt 50W Neo-Therm Heater
  • Kessil A80 Tuna Blue
  • Kessil Spectral Controller X
  • Reactor Media (substrate)
  • Dry Reef rock (~7 lbs)
  • AutoAQUA Smart ATO Lite SATO-260P
  • Innovative Marine Spin Stream Universal Nozzle
  • Tunze DOC 9001 skimmer
  • Filter Pad only (no bio filtration)



  • Empty, but planning for (4) fish, some inverts, & various SPS & LPS corals


Current Testing Results:

  • Overdosed ammonia on setup, plz ignore 🙄 ( Dr. Tim's SW Live Bacteria & Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride)
  • The...correction (9/10):
    • Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride 
    • Instant Ocean BIO-Spira 100mL
  • Dosed Ammonia again on 9/13
  • Dosed Ammonia again tonight 9/16 (not shown in test results)


Tank Pics:

Holy friggin bubbles


Tank water level - pretty much maxed


Back of tank - need more room


Bubble action pt. 2 - escapement from skimmer


Water level in skimmer (cap off) - about 1/4" off Tunze water mark


Water level in skimmer (cap on) - sits just below edge of opening 


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Hi, welcome to Nano-Reef.com.


I imagine it might take a week or two for the skimmer to break in.  The bubbles shouldn't really hurt anything, so I wouldn't worry.


As far as the water level, it seems high.  The last chamber (with the return pump) should have fluctuating levels due to evaporation.  If you remove some water until the level in that chamber becomes lower than the other levels, then that is how much water you should have.  Don't worry if it doesn't match any waterline marks on the tank.


As far as the waterline on the skimmer, try to match it with the surface of the water in its chamber.  It's not critical if it doesn't match up exactly, but that might affect its efficiency.


I wouldn't say that running a skimmer in a ten gallon tank is controversial, just usually not required.  Yeah, I'd get this sorted prior to adding livestock.

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Christopher Marks

Welcome to the community @tankfullofderps! 👋


I agree that the break-in period for your skimmer will probably take a week or so, especially on a new system. It's likely to help reduce the amount of bubbles escaping as well. I've seen some people try adding sponges to the skimmer outlet to catch some of the bubbles, but your milage may vary. I'd give it some time before making any other changes though.

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Thanks for the welcome & responses @seabass & @Christopher Marks! I am experimenting with dropping the water level (still not a waterfall effect in the 3rd chamber) and letting the unit run for a week. I do have an ATO, so I am not too concerned with level changes due to evap. Bubbles have already reduced, but still present. Due to the fact the skimmer is resting on the divider between chamber 2 & 3, I can't lower the actual skimmer when I drop the water level. Going to see how it goes with the new water level before I decide to modify the skimmer housing to allow height adjustments. 


Testing Results:

  • Nitrates spike hard, seems to take 48 hours to recover.


Skimmer Images:






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You don't need a waterfall between chambers, the water line in the back shouldn't be too high and completely level.


I keep my return chamber water 1/2 an inch down from the others, its never been an issue.

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@Clown79 - when you say 1/2" down from others, is that in relation to the side of tank? Or chamber 2 edge? Beautiful Nuvo 20 btw. 


Example of fitment issue:


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