Going Nano after 10+ year absence from reefing. Nuvo 10 build with questions

SDK

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Hi all

Kids are getting a bit older and I finally feel like I have some time for small scale reefing again. A lot has changed in the hobby, mostly for the better it seems.

I’ve been keeping aquariums since the age of five (back in 1973). I started with dead skeleton SW aquariums and have been through Plenums, Berlin Systems, Halide Lights that would heat my entire home in winter lol, etc... I have managed to maintain freshwater tanks non stop (primarily killifish, hi tech planted tanks and African Cichlids) but hung up the SW hobby when the kids came.

I am now looking to do something relatively simple to get back in the hobby again. Thinking LPS, Zoas, and maybe an Occelaris Clown and a few inverts. If all goes well I may upsize in a few years, but nothing big in the near future.

I have a very good grasp on the fundamentals, but know I will have some ongoing questions, so thought I would do a build thread. I have the following equipment out for delivery:

IM Nuvo 10
Spinstream
InTank Media Basket
Sicce .5 pump upgrade
Auto Aqua Smart ATO
Assorted test kits, filter media and refractometer
Red Sea Blue Bucket Salt
Eheim heater

I will post pics when I start putting it together, but this brings me to my first question. I purposely held off on ordering a skimmer, but absolutely want to have one for this build.

After much reading I am leaning heavily towards modding a Tunze 9001 and adding it to the center chamber. I would love to hear thoughts from anyone who has done this mod and what they think.

Are there any other good options that I am missing? I don’t want to fiddle with air driven lime wood air stone types, and I also don’t want a collection cup sticking up too far as this will be in the living room. Also want it to actually, reliably work, which seems to eliminate the ghost and several other models.

Thoughts are appreciated.....
 
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SDK

SDK

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I went with an eshopps nano skimmer for my nuvo 20. No modification necessary but it is a snug fit in the chamber next to the intake chamber (chamber 2) I dont have much of a bio load yet, but it pulls stuff out every day
I was looking at this model as well. Can you comment on a few things?

It is reviewed as both loud and fiddly after cleaning the cup by some. What was your experience? I take adjustment issues with a grain of salt because I think it is user error much of the time. The noise would be a bit of a concern...

Also, how noticeably does it stick up out of the back? This will be in a prominent part of the living room so I want it all to look super clean.
 

Retro Reefer

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I wouldn’t worry about a skimmer on that tank water changes are all you need.. down the road if your are struggling to keep nutrients in line then maybe consider adding one. I also returned to the hobby after a long break going from large tanks to a 14 gallon, I to thought I needed skimmer but it was just a waste of money and I don’t even use it now except for gas exchange.
 

btmedic04

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I was looking at this model as well. Can you comment on a few things?

It is reviewed as both loud and fiddly after cleaning the cup by some. What was your experience? I take adjustment issues with a grain of salt because I think it is user error much of the time. The noise would be a bit of a concern...

Also, how noticeably does it stick up out of the back? This will be in a prominent part of the living room so I want it all to look super clean.
There was a noticeable hum for the first 2 weeks or so, but it has quieted down. Something I learned about the magnet mounting system is you have to be aware of which side is on the glass. The magnets are closer to one side and will have a much stronger hold than the other. Once you realize that, the adjustments aren't fiddly. As for how high it sticks up, I'll take a pic for you and post it when I get home from work this afternoon.
 

NS Mike D

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I wouldn’t worry about a skimmer on that tank water changes are all you need.. down the road if your are struggling to keep nutrients in line then maybe consider adding one. I also returned to the hobby after a long break going from large tanks to a 14 gallon, I to thought I needed skimmer but it was just a waste of money and I don’t even use it now except for gas exchange.
+1 Pulled my skimmer a year ago. There are mixed opinions on skimmers for nanos. IMO, they just aren't as efficient as the ones for big tanks, and as stated above, water changes should do the trick.

I am more and more convinced that more problems arise from starving corals as we chase zeros and scrub our water of much needed "stuff". Then get on the hamster wheel by buying "stuff" we removed and dosing it back into our tanks.

Spend the money on nice corals that naturally filter the water.

And I urge the purchase of a temperature controller like an inkbird or willhi to override the heater in case of a heater fail.
 

reef-rc

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it's hard not to scratch the reefing itch isn't it ;)

my two cents. imo for anything less than 20G I would recommend skipping the skimmer if you can regularly do water change on a weekly basis. It will not only save some bucks for other things but also less moving parts, maintenance and a little less noise (i noticed you mentioned the tank would be in the living room). I have a few nano tanks
  • Fluval Evo 13.5G - almost 2 yrs.
  • IM Fusion 20G - 1.5 yrs
  • Waterbox 10G - 2 months
  • IM Fusion 20G - 1 month...currently cycling
I had started back into reefing with Fluval Evo 2 years ago with a skimmer going day 1. I recently took my skimmer out a few weeks back and was glad I done it...just wished I had done it sooner.

Having said that, if you go skimmer-less, do change your filter pads often (more than weekly for sure). hope this was useful.
 
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SDK

SDK

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it's hard not to scratch the reefing itch isn't it ;)
Yes- I can’t go any length of time without an aquarium in the house and have been missing my reef badly. It’s worse now that life, age and kids have severely restricted scuba diving. The ocean is definitely my happy place/ zen recharger.
 

NY_Caveman

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Sounds like a good plan @SDK ! Looking forward to seeing it come together. I would agree that a skimmer is not a necessity on a tank that small. Most reefs I had 20 gallons and under never had skimmers and ran fine on water changes.

To be clear though, I find skimmers very beneficial in any larger tank.

 
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SDK

SDK

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After considering all the pluses and minus, I just cant find a skimmer that checks all the boxes...

Instead, I ordered the InTank Fuge for the second chamber and will add some rubble and Chaeto to it. Now I just have to look into some alternative and/or DIY options for a light. InTanks $60 option seems a bit much for a tiny refugium light.

With these very small tanks, are people running the fuge light in a reverse cycle or keeping it on 24/7? Not sure if PH swings are more of an issue with Nano's....

Edit- this light looks promising and I can drop it right in alongside the fuge. It has a lot of good reviews from people using it for the same purpose.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00X84LMHK/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1545068981&sr=8-2&keywords=fuge+light&dpPl=1&dpID=41ZvsnzGWdL&ref=plSrch
 
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