First Tank - Innovative Marine 14G Peninsula

Jib

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I've kept a few freshwater tanks in the past, and this is my time time keeping a reef tank. Since COVID started hitting hard in March, I've been working from home with no end in sight. Wanted a tank I could put on my desk to try and help with the burnout I'm experiencing.

Tank - Innovative Marine Nuvo Fusion Pro 14 Gallon Peninsula: My first impressions of the tank are positive. Glass is thick and very clear. Seams are flawless and and build quality seems very high. The media basket seems great and a nice way to hold the filtering media. Pump is quite and produces quite a bit of flow. Has a Stream and Sine Wave mode with 10 power settings. Also has a feeding button which turns the pump off for 10 minutes. Came with a nice fitting mesh lid. My only small grip is there is not a way to cover the back filtration area. When I spoke with IM, they noted this would be tough since you can configure it multiple ways. This makes sense, but I'll have to build my own once I have a better idea what my end set up will be.

Sand - 10 pounds CaribSea Fiji Pink Special Grade (replaced at the 2 month mark, details in thread)

Rock - 10 pounds CaribSea Life Rock

Future plans - Will likely get a AI Prime 16HD for lighting and an auto top off. For stocking, plan on two fish eventually (tried a clown but it died, details in another thread) and some corals. Maybe some Zoa's to start.

Questions:

Anyone has an auto top off they recommend for this tank?

I like the idea of Sine Wave mode, but does that but extra stress on the pump motor since it's always turning on and off?

Feel free to give feedback on the rockwork.

-Jib

Tank 1.jpg Tank 2.jpg
 
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Jib

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Good looking tank. Tunze Nano probably a better ATO. But if your sitting next to it everyday, could probably get a way with a diy dripper or manually everyday.
I'll be honest, I'm surprised how much water evaporates from my tank. I don't think I'd be able to go anywhere for 2 days without running the pump area dry.
 

christwendt

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I’m excited for you. I personally started with my first tank 4 months ago. It was a 20G IM nuvo. I found the media basket super beneficial to upgrade with. I use filter floss in it, bio balls, and chemipure nano. I also use innovative marine UV sterilizer and IM protein skimmer desktop. Not sure if you have room for those. Good luck. I think the AI prime 16 is perfect don’t go cheap on the light. Also your scape is perfect it will allow for good flow. I made the mistake of having too much rock. Whatcha going to run in the sump ?

B339693C-076C-413C-935E-ADAC1EB2B14B.png 612437DE-74ED-4B90-9B3B-D2AE3F98C342.jpeg
 
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Jib

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Thanks, I appreciate it. Your tank is looking good.

I found the media basket super beneficial to upgrade with.
Out of curiosity, why did you move away from the Carbon & GFO set up that the IM's ship with? I'm overwhemled by all of the ways you can do things.

Whatcha going to run in the sump ?
No clue yet. I only have 3 slots so I need to be careful of how I prioritize the space. The first chamber I have the caddy with filter media it shipped with. Second chamber has the heater, but I'm pretty sure if I turn the pump around I can slip my heater on top of the return pump. That would leave the second chamber wide open. And I definitely want an ATO. I'm surprised at the evaporation I'm getting.

How do you like the IM skimmer?
 
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christwendt

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Thanks, I appreciate it. Your tank is looking good.


Out of curiosity, why did you move away from the Carbon & GFO set up that the IM's ship with? I'm overwhemled by all of the ways you can do things.


No clue yet. I only have 3 slots so I need to be careful of how I prioritize the space. The first chamber I have the caddy with filter media it shipped with. Second chamber has the heater, but I'm pretty sure if I turn the pump around I can slip my heater on top of the return pump. That would leave the second chamber wide open. And I definitely want an ATO. I'm surprised at the evaporation I'm getting.

How do you like the IM skimmer?
I’m honestly not sure what the tank came with as I bought mines used off Facebook. It came with the upgrades but I would suggest this definitely because it has 3 slots. I like chemipure nano because it’s pre measured and each packet is good for 5 gallons. It’s a mixture of carbon and gfo in little packets. Also the protein skimmer I think is a must it pulls a lot of gunk. I can take a picture if you want to see the waste it collects.

724A9DFB-3358-4B3E-A1BE-EFF58BF9D188.png
 

tescalante

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I'm brand new to the hobby and have the nuvo 14 as well. I've had good luck with the ATO
 
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Jib

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My tank has been running for a week now, and one thing I have noticed is how much water is evaporating. Seems to average approximately 20 ounces per day. Decided to get an Auto Top Off for a few reasons.
  1. Every time I add water to the sump, the water add creates a bunch of air bubbles that circulate in the tank for hours. Not sure if this will solve it, but hoping the small water additions throughout the day will help with this.
  2. Water evaporates at a rate that if I would forget to top off my water one day, I'm afraid the third chamber in the pump wouldn't have sufficient water for the return pump to operate correctly. Not entirely sure what would happen, but thinking best not to chance it.
  3. Post COVID - I will travel a lot for work and this will be less maintenance for my wife.
Went with the XP Aqua Duetto ATO. Tested it out with some bowls in the kitchen. Seems to work great and is very small, which will be perfect for my small sump area. The feature I wish it included that may be an issue is a way to pause it temporarily. Thinking it will kick in when I make adjustments to the pump flow or turn pump on/off for feedings / maintenance. No experience yet, but can see it being a small snag.

Since the tank is in my office, I wanted to keep a clean look. So I decided to sacrifice some filing cabinet space to place the water jug. Was originally going to try to find something smaller, but removing the bottoms of three drawers allowed me to place a 5G water jug inside to hide. Will drill a hole in the back to route the water line / cables. I was proud of myself for coming up with what i think is a clever solution to hid the jug.

ATO.jpg
 
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tescalante

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My tank has been running for a week now, and one thing I have noticed is how much water is evaporating. Seems to average approximately 20 ounces per day. Decided to get an Auto Top Off for a few reasons.
  1. Every time I add water to the sump, the water add creates a bunch of air bubbles that circulate in the tank for hours. Not sure if this will solve it, but hoping the small water additions throughout the day will help with this.
  2. Water evaporates at a rate that if I would forget to top off my water one day, I'm afraid the third chamber in the pump wouldn't have sufficient water for the return pump to operate correctly. Not entirely sure what would happen, but thinking best not to chance it.
  3. Post COVID - I will travel a lot for work and this will be less maintenance for my wife.
Went with the XP Aqua Duetto ATO. Tested it out with some bowls in the kitchen. Seems to work great and is very small, which will be perfect for my small sump area. The feature I wish it included that may be an issue is a way to pause it temporarily. Thinking it will kick in when I make adjustments to the pump flow or turn pump on/off for feedings / maintenance. No experience yet, but can see it being a small snag.

Since the tank is in my office, I wanted to keep a clean look. So I decided to sacrifice some filing cabinet space to place the water jug. Was originally going to try to find something smaller, but removing the bottoms of three drawers allowed me to place a 5G water jug inside to hide. Will drill a hole in the back to route the water line / cables. I was proud of myself for coming up with what i think is a clever solution to hid the jug.

ATO.jpg

I have the same office desk, might have to try this setup!!
 
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Jib

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I have the same office desk, might have to try this setup!!
If you try this, my tip would be to take the drawer apart from the front. The push pins that hold the back together impossible to get out without destroying them.
 
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Jib

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Tank update:

Got my light on and up and running. Went with an AI Prime 16HD on a 12 inch flex-mount arm. Have it set extremely low right now, with the highest light color running at 5%. Didn't want to fuel excess algae growth while my tank is still very new. But wanted to get the fish used to it, and it looks nice.

Really like the light. Customization seems limitless, and you can import other reefers lighting schedules to help out get you going. I'm going to run a modified BRS schedule. The tank sizes they tested were dimensionally smaller / larger (10 and 20 gallon cubes) than mine, so will end up going with something in the middle, set for softies / LPS. The only thing I don't like about the light is the clips that hold the power cord to the flex arm. The piece where you snap in the power cord seems a little too small, and it mars the the insulation of the power cord. Other wise, the light and arm seem high quality.

Other items in the works is another Eheim 50W heater (my single unit isn't keeping up at night with my cold room and fan going, and temps have dropped from 78 to 74.9 at the lowest. Have turned off the fan at night, which keeps the temp around 76.7 when I wake up.) , and the VCA random flow generator. The return pump can create quite a bit of flow in this small tank, so am going to try and just use it before getting a dedicated powerhead.

Lastly, I did get an Ink Bird temp controller. I've seen a lot a folks suggest that the heaters are the most likely piece of equipment to malfunction, so since I'm doubling my heaters (and chance for malfunction) I thought it would be wise to use one.

-Jib

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Just got a few new goodies for the tank.

Since my tank was running so cold at night with the single 50W, went ahead and got a second one. This really smoothed out the temp on the tank making is so much more consistent. Also went ahead and hooked them up to an Inkbird temperature controller (instructions and set up seem very confusing at first, but watched a quick YouTube video and it actually makes sense and is easy to operate.

Also got a 1/2 inch VCA Random Flow Generator with the 19mm drop adapter. It definitely changed up the movement of the water. My clown was not liking it at first. He got used to it quickly though. I also really like the drop adapter. When my pump used to kick on after feedings, water droplets would spray out of the tank. Now that the return sits lower, when ithe pump kicks on I don't have any more water spraying.

My hope is I can get enough flow for some corals I'd like to keep without buying a power head.

-JIb

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HaKs310

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Following.

You'll be happy with the Aqua Duetto ATO, I've been running it on an IM Nuvo Peninsula 20g for a little over a year and have had no issues with it.

As far as flow, I'm running an Aqamai KPS along with the MightyJet set to the 1.9 setting. I'm looking into picking up the new AI Nero 3 as I don't feel there's enough flow. If you're going with softies and LPs I would think the KPS more than adequate.
 
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Jib

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As far as flow, I'm running an Aqamai KPS along with the MightyJet set to the 1.9 setting. I'm looking into picking up the new AI Nero 3 as I don't feel there's enough flow. If you're going with softies and LPs I would think the KPS more than adequate.
Thanks for sharing. Flow is one of the things I'm still trying to wrap my head around what I should be doing. Helps to see what others are up to with similar tanks. You should do a build thread for yours.
 
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Jib

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Have been struggling with my sand bed blowing around from my return pump / any maintenance that I do. While the Fiji Pink looks great, it was simply too small of a grain to be practical for my set up. Wanted to change it out to something larger. After discussing various options on this thread, I settled on Caribsea Special Grade.

Since my tank only has 1 clownfish and 1 conch, now would be the time it would be the easiest to make this type of change. It was still major hassle, but I’m glad I didn’t have a bunch or corals or other inhabitants to worry about.

I also sought opinions on how to change out the sandbed without killing my fish and conch. I got lots of good ideas, but the best information came from someone linking this thread. It was a wealth of information and got me confident to make the switch.

I think the best thing I did was wash the sand before putting it in my tank. I used a 5 gallon bucket and garden hose and washed it thoroughly for about 30 minutes to where if I stirred up the sand that water remained cleared. I then rinsed in RODI, then twice in saltwater to remove any of the tap water. I then left the sand moist and covered it until use the next day.

I used a large syphon to drained water off the top of my tank into a storage tote that would contain my fish. I then pulled out the rocks and finished syphoning as much water as possible from the tank. Then took a solo cup to scoop out the sand.

I then added the new sand, put the rock back in, then started to scoop water out of the tote holding the fish back into the tank. Left about 2 gallons in the tote for the fish, and then filled up the rest with fresh saltwater. I’d estimate I put in about 4.5 gallons of new saltwater (I warmed this up by placing my water container in the bathtub with hot water. This was a great tip I learned from reading the second linked thread above). The tank was actually pretty clear considering all of the work I did. When the fish and conch were added, neither really showed signs of too much stress. Conch went back to eating, and the clown hid in the rock tunnel for about 30 minutes before going back to his normal tank location.

Overall, this went pretty smooth. Only had two small misshapes. I had not realized my tote has some holes in it where the handles attached, and a little water flowed out of the tote. The bathtub water heating method also worked a little too well, and I had to add some ice packs to cool the water before adding my fish back.

Overall, I’m happy with the change. The sand really stays in place nicely and retains a nice aesthetic.

Next tank additions: Trying to think about how to get the diversity in my tank up before adding corals or more fish. Going to place an order from the Algae Barn this week for some Pink Fusion (dosed the Purple Helix a few weeks ago), Copepods, and phytoplankton. Also considering renting a PAR meter from BRS to try and understand my lighting more. Once I start to see some Coralline Algae growth, going to attempt some Zoas and a gorgonian.

Sorry for the long write up, hoping this documentation might help someone in the future.

-Jib

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