Built like a tank: my Innovative Marine Nuvo EXT 100 build

GunnarH

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It's time for an upgrade from my trusty Coralife BioCube 32 LED, and here it is; an Innovative Marine Nuvo EXT 100 Complete Reef System. The display is 4' by 2' and just a hair shy of 100 gallons. It has an external overflow and "Bean Animal" plumbing*. This is my first ever sump-based system and I'm really looking forward to learning how to master this beast.

I went back and forth a lot before choosing this particular tank. It's great value for the money and both the stand and the tank itself appear to be very well built and they are quite elegant looking.

The RFS39 sump is very large (57 gallons), to the point where it fills the entire stand. This is both good and bad. It sucks that there's no room for basically anything else inside the stand, but it's a good thing that the sump contains 50% of the volume of the display. This allows me to maximize the filtration (lots and lots of biomedia!) and keep water changes at a minimum once the tank is established.

I'm adding an IM 15 gallon HydroFill ATO Reservoir for RO/DI top off on one side of the main display and a smaller IM APS stand for holding the electronics and misc. supplies on the other side. Unfortunately, this negates one of the very cool features of the EXT 100 stand; that both side panels are doors that open wide. On the other hand, I'll make sure all cables and tubes are long enough so that both side cabinets can be moved if necessary. It's a trade-off, but one I'm willing to make.

The tank will start out almost a FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock) system. If there's one thing I've learned from the BioCube it's that patience is key in this hobby. You need to wait for the full ecosystem to establish itself before your tank will thrive.

In the meantime: Don't panic. Allow the tank to go through stages and accept that there will be days and even weeks where it looks like crap. It's all part of the natural process of establishing a very complex and inter-connected/inter-dependent ecosystem.

This could take as long as a year. Once we're past that point, I'll refocus the tank to be somewhat lighter on fish and heavier on corals. That said, another thing I learned from the BioCube is to allow room for the corals to grow. Now that I know a tiny little bit more about reefing, I'll be more careful about which corals I choose and where I place them in the tank. But expect a lot of hammers and torches. I can't help it, I just love Euphyllias.

As usual for me, everything will be controlled by Hydros controllers, and critical components will be hooked up to a UPS.

Wish me luck!

IMG_2761.jpeg


*) Don't ask, I don't know. I just like that it has multiple emergency overflows.
 
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GunnarH

GunnarH

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Step 1: inspect the tank for damage in transit before signing off on it. I was very lucky because the driver who delivered the tank to me was an old reefer himself! He had no problems waiting a few minutes while I unpacked and checked.

Safety notice: wear gloves for this step! I didn't, and cut my finger on the metal frame around the edge of the lid. It's a lot sharper than you think.

My tank looked perfect, no cracks or chips that I could see.

IMG_2762.jpeg

IMG_2786.jpeg

IMG_2787.jpeg


The last picture shows the pre-measured, glued, and assembled plumbing that's included with the IM complete reef system.
 
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GunnarH

GunnarH

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Nice! Massive upgrade from a biocube!
Thanks!
a real person who pioneered this style overflow
Dang! I'm so glad you told me that. Massive respect and many thanks to them.

This is such an awesome hobby, you get to swim with the pioneers and learn something new every day.
 

JayM

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I won’t booger up your thread with the gory details, but I have the same tank and am in need of bulkheads for the overflow and returns.

What size is the plumbing? I’m assuming 3/4” for the drains and 1/2” for the returns?
 
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GunnarH

GunnarH

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What size is the plumbing?
Here's what Innovative Marine say on their page (select the Features & Specs tab):
  • 3 - 1" Pre-drilled "Bean Animal" Internal Overflow [Primary Drain, Emergency Drain and Secondary E-Drain]
  • 2 - 3/4" Pre-drilled Return Hole
 

Naekuh

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Have fun assembling the stand.
I don't want to even tell you how many times i had to take it appart and reassemble it because i put something in the wrong direction and didn't realize it until i was almost done.

Also i highly recommend you watch the video's on IM's youtube channel.
The mid vertical braces i accidentally installed on the outer rail, only to realize they were suposed to go in the inner rail also added to me reassembling it.

Lastly seeing how you also got the plumbing, don't bother with the shelf.
The plumbing will interfer with it, so unless you want to take a jig saw to it and cut out partitions to allow the plumbing to fit, its just best not to mess with it.

Lastly, i would avoid putting on the doors until you finished setting it up.
Its so much easier to work on the sump with the doors off, along with all the wiring.
But these are the things i ran into while setting up my 150G EXT.

Oh finally, if your going to use RO/DI.
I would bypass the waste line and plumb it to a brute trashcan, so you can use the waste water to leak test the tank, as your collecting DI water, thats if your going to leak test.

I am currently on this stage.
 
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GunnarH

GunnarH

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There you go putting bad thoughts in my head!
Sure, blame me! :face-with-tears-of-joy:

If it helps, I went back and forth a lot before I pulled the trigger. It's an investment a money pit, and you and I both know that the actual tank is just a small part of it. I tell myself (and my very understanding wife) that it's cheaper than a gambling or any other addiction. And, if I manage to do it right and not crash and burn, it's something very pretty to look at once it's up and running.

Good luck, and keep thinking those thoughts.
 

Snoopy 67

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Do yourself a favor and put a piece of wood into the rear top brace of the stand.
If you have a table saw it will be easy to make because of the metric size.
This will allow you to screw anything into the rail without worry of stripping a screw out & something not holding. You can do the front if you feel it's necessary too.
Take care when attaching the side doors too. They should open front to back, I messed mine up by missing any markings on placement. Not horrible but it's a pita sometimes.
All this has to be done before the stand is fully assembled of course.
Enjoy!
 

Naekuh

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Take care when attaching the side doors too. They should open front to back, I messed mine up by missing any markings on placement. Not horrible but it's a pita sometimes.
All this has to be done before the stand is fully assembled of course.
Enjoy!

I think they come as one piece now on the side.
Well IM sent me the two sides with doors attached.
The only thing i had to do was make sure i put them on the right side so the APS was front, and the doors opened from front to back like you stated.
 
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GunnarH

GunnarH

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Have fun assembling the stand.
Thanks, I did, and it's mostly done. By pure chance I happened to do all of the things you recommend. I'll post pictures soon.
use the waste water to leak test the tank
That is an excellent idea, thank you!
 

Snoopy 67

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Something else---
The 1st screw I used to hold the mat that goes on the stand under the tank was not straight & bothered me that it would compromise the tank bottom.
I used tape folded over to hold that mat on the stand before setting the tank down.
 
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GunnarH

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put a piece of wood into the rear top brace of the stand
That's a very good idea. I'll probably add a UV light at some point, and this will make mounting it that much easier.

Not sure where/how you mean to add the wood. Do you have a picture?
 

X-37B

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Something else---
The 1st screw I used to hold the mat that goes on the stand under the tank was not straight & bothered me that it would compromise the tank bottom.
I used tape folded over to hold that mat on the stand before setting the tank down.
Yea I used blue painters tape to hold it in place on my 170.
Nice build start.
 

JayM

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Here's what Innovative Marine say on their page (select the Features & Specs tab):
  • 3 - 1" Pre-drilled "Bean Animal" Internal Overflow [Primary Drain, Emergency Drain and Secondary E-Drain]
  • 2 - 3/4" Pre-drilled Return Hole
I saw that and went ahead and purchased bulkheads for 1" and 3/4" PVC. They're way too big to fit the holes.
My guess is the sizes they list are actual hole diameter, not PVC size.

I even watched the installation video for clues, but I still can't tell what size PVC pipe they're using.

Hopefully not some obscure/proprietary fittings.
 

X-37B

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Yea I used blue painters tape to hold it in place on my 170.
Nice build start.
I also used caulking tape to seal the bottom. No water can leak through the stand.
I will do it around the front and sides to hide the shims too.
20240109_141625.jpg
 

Naekuh

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I also used caulking tape to seal the bottom. No water can leak through the stand.
I will do it around the front and sides to hide the shims too.

I saw a lot of people use 6mil plastic sheet to make the entire floor waterproof.
I personally went with a PVC table cover and used rubber cement on the inner rails to hold the sheet in place.

Its not the prettiest, setup, but it will keep the floor water proof incase of accidents.

But then i realized on EXT setups, its probably not even needed as most of the plumbing is outside, so the only way you can have a flood accident inside the stand is if your sump was to overfill.
 

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