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Innovative Marine Nuvo 25g Lagoon Journal 21:13


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I've never done a tank journal, at least not one that I've ever kept up with - recently "rebooted" my tank a little bit, so I thought I'd try to keep up with a journal to track the progress.  


Bit of background; I was 12-14 when I got my first saltwater tank (15-17 years ago).  Except for a few short periods between now and then, I've had some kind of reef tank for pretty much all of those years.  Some of the equipment/rock/livestock/etc. on this tank were previously used in an IM Nuvo 20 for a few years, and a Biocube 14 for a few years before that.  


This 25g has been up for about two months; a direct swap from the 20g (which was set up for either 4 or 5 years), just liked the footprint better and found one used locally.  After doing the tank move, I also swapped out some equipment - I'll note what was swapped in the equipment/setup section.  For the past two or so years, I hadn't been taking the greatest care of the 20g - not too neglectful, but certainly not clean enough to grow SPS.  A coworker of mine had driven about six hours each direction to pick up captive bred mandarins from a small breeder, and asked if I wanted one while he was making the drive; I've always wanted a mandarin that could actually succeed in a nano, so I jumped at the offer.  When the little guy arrived, he was smaller (tip to tail) than my pinky nail, under 1/4" if I had to guess.  It was in a regular fish store type bag, and I thought it was empty for a minute; it was that hard to see it in the corner of the bag.  I thought there's no way that it would make it, but I didn't have any award winning coral, so I overfed, reduced water changes, etc, and focused on trying to keep the mandarin alive.  


Turns out most of that probably wasn't necessary; it's grown steadily and stayed fat regardless of how much attention I did or didn't pay to it during various periods over the last two years. I throw some pods in every now and again for fun, but otherwise I see it pick at frozen food and things besides pods.  It's one of the most active inhabitants, doesn't really chase food in the water column, but regularly swims out in the open, with the clowns, etc, and will pick food from the top of the water.  It's a lot of fun to watch. So now that it's happy, healthy, and grown a bit, I can focus on coral and parameters a bit instead of wildly overfeeding, leaving old media in for pods, etc. That's sort of what the reboot is all about! 



Tank: IM Nuvo 25g

Flow: IM MightyJet 326gph (Stock Return Pump) with spinjets, Vortech MP10

Lighting: 1x Kessil A360X (Upgraded during tank swap from a Kessil A160WE I'd had for 6+ years)

Rear Chambers: 2x Media Baskets (Floss, Chemipure Elite, Purigen), 1x Bubble Magus MiniQ Protein Skimmer (Upgraded during tank swap from IM Ghost Skimmer), 1x Refugium w/ Chaeto (More for pods than nutrient export)

Misc: Heater, Amazon lights for the fuge, Tunze Nano ATO, Kraken Lid




2x Clownfish

1x Mandarin Dragonet

1x Purple Firefish

1x Small Watchman/Prawn Goby (unsure on his exact type, had him for a long time)

1x Blue Stripe Pipefish 

1x Pygmy/Cherub Angelfish (Added 10/2/23)


1x Cleaner Shrimp

3x Peppermint Shrimp

1x Emerald Crab

1x Pom Pom Crab

1x Conch (forget the kind)

3x Splatter Red BTAs (it was just one anemone about two weeks ago!)

Virgin nerites, Nassarius, various Ceriths, Ninja Star Snails, Bumblebee Snails, etc


Nothing too fancy - some hammers, palys/zoas, GSP, couple stylos, mushrooms, acans, a lepto; the toughest thing I'm trying is an acropora just to see how it goes - looks happy so far.  Everything is doing well besides a montipora, which came in looking rough. Not sure if it'll turn around or not. 

think that's about it for now! The pictures make things look a bit different than they are - I'll have to retake them when an orange filter that fits over my phones camera comes in.IMG_6803.thumb.jpg.9ea814eb0caa869673e7dce371a3218d.jpgimage0.thumb.jpeg.96819e1107f720b3eea7c5d8ebd1fcff.jpeg































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27 minutes ago, TheKleinReef said:

Tank looks great!

Thanks! I'll try to get some better pictures up soon. 


No real plans currently other than to let things grow - I lost a tailspot blenny that went floor surfing during the move and died a few days later, I'd like to replace it; it was active and friendly with a big personality. And my girlfriend would like some proper frogspawn, whenever I find one that looks cool.

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12 hours ago, Elizabeth94 said:

Beautiful hammers!

Thanks! I really love the one on the left, but I need to learn how to take better pictures of things - with no filter, it just all runs together into a blue blob; with the orange filter, it looks more like if I were only running whites on the tank. 



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Nothing too exciting, but I had been using the gooseneck from my A160WE for the A360X - I ordered a fixed mount from the far east a few weeks ago, and it just arrived today.  Looks a little more clean, and I can sell the gooseneck with the A160WE. 


The mounting hardware turned out to be slightly different than the OEM Kessil, so it's mounted with zip ties until I grab an adapter!


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After tonight's water change; 


Current Parameters; 

Temp 78.7

SG 1.026

Nitrate .98

Phosphate .01

Alk 8.3 

Calcium 432


Planning to raise my alk a little bit over the next two weeks or so to see if it effects skeletal coral growth - I'd like to increase by .1-.25 dkh per day and attempt to hold at around 9.2.  Will accomplish this using Tropic Marin's all for reef - it's pretty gentle and isn't "immediate" alkalinity. I've been getting consistent dkh dosing at the standard daily dose of 5ml/25 gallons; that should put my current daily alk use in the range of .15-.28 per day. 




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Decided to add a pygmy angel yesterday; I'd been thinking about one, as it seemed like a nice addition if I could get a friendly one.  The last one I saw at my preferred LFS seemed feisty - smacking itself repeatedly against the glass, trying to get to the other fish in the tank next to it.  This one is quite small, smaller than my clowns, and it was hanging out happily with a variety of other critters in it's temporary home, so I figured it was as good a time as any to try. 


Getting along well with everyone so far - it doesn't bother the pipefish or the mandarin when they run into each other around the rocks; I've not seen it bother any other fish or vice versa, and hasn't bothered any coral yet. On occasion, it seems that it will pick at the clowns, but I think it's trying to socialize with them? It sort of hangs out with them and then waits for one of them to pick back at it, then acts like it's trying to "shake" like the male clown usually does when the female picks at it. Whatever it is doesn't look malicious/hurtful/bothersome at all to either party, and they don't chase each other around, go after each other during feeding time, appear territorial, etc.  Fun stuff! 


If it ages into a jerk, it'll be easy enough to remove from this tank, so no big deal.  I'll have to get some pictures when it's more cooperative!





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I asked and received on a pic of the angel - definitely fighting a little GHA as you can see, I think the upgrade from the A160WE to the A360X (just done a week or so before I started the tank journal) is fueling it a bit.  Starting to kill it back a bit, not super concerned long term. 

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The pygmy angel is doing an excellent job of decimating the hair algae, and is still getting along great with everyone.  Monti is officially dead, his bleached corpse is still hanging around in case a polyp decides to emerge someday, but I doubt it. For some reason, I've never been able to keep a monti alive (though, this one did arrive rough).  On the flip-side, the acro looks AWESOME, and the favia has shown some pretty noticeable growth.  A duncan has already added some noticeable growth over the last 3-4 weeks as well, but that's less shocking - pics below (3.5 weeks apart, and with bad focus on the favia), or you can read on for a bit about the green hair algae. 


Green Hair Algae: So as mentioned previously, the IM Nuvo 20 gallon was set up for years before becoming this 25 gallon; I always thought I had GHA and that it was just managed/stable, always stayed tight on the rocks and I assumed flow, CUC, water changes, etc. kept it from growing into the nastiness I associate with a real GHA "problem".  What started to take over recently (and appears to have peaked and begun dying) is REAL green hair algae - the kind that grows quickly even in high flow spots and becomes longgggggg strands of algae waving in the water.  I haven't observed any nutrient issues in my tests, and I haven't seen GHA like this in a tank of mine in ALMOST 15 years.  When I bought the used Nuvo 25g, I guess I didn't do a thorough enough job with the vinegar scrubbing - once water was in, lights were on, rock was in place, etc, I noticed some "dirt" near the seams.  The "dirt" started to turn into obvious algae spores, not the innocuous film that mag-floats exist for.  I removed as much as I could, but knocking those off into the water column was the birth of my GHA. Still not concerned - some manual siphoning and my snails were managing it, and as a new introduction to the tank, it seems to have skyrocketed and then started to die back.  Between it coming to equilibrium and the pygmy angel's insatiable appetite, should be a thing of the past soon. 





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Had no idea I could order the RF module for $20 to make the MP10 Mobius compatible - that arrived today, and for the minor expense, it's pretty cool to be able to set a schedule for it.  I'm trying out nutrient transport at night at 45%, lagoon for a couple hours at 55% when the lights come on, reef crest at 65% during peak lighting (with a 1 hour 15 minute nutrient export in the middle of this), then lagoon at 45% until the lights go out and nutrient export runs at 45% lights out. 


I'll play with it a bit, pretty nifty! Also sold one of the bubble tip nems today - it moved into the sandbed last night where it was easy to grab, surprised how fast someone took that on FB marketplace.


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