IM NUVO EXT 40 Reef Build

BeardedMcG

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This is my first build thread so go easy on me but I'm always open to feedback.

Back in November a friend talked me back into the hobby. It took him 16 months but the final straw was showing up to work with his retired 4 gallon pico sitting on my desk. I set it up and had a fun run with it but that wasn't enough for him. With strong encouragement I ordered the Innovative Marine NUVO EXT 40 in late March and it arrived around the middle of April! ;Happy The weeks following were pretty hectic for us with 2 kids birthdays and the birth of our 4th just last week.

Stand
My wife wanted a white stand and I agreed it would look best in our house. The only problem was the IM APS stand doesn't come in white. I thought about building my own stand but with free shipping and the sale price at BRS adding the stand was only an extra $140 over ordering just the aquarium from another retailer. Bummer that BRS doesn't sell the IM NUVO EXT 40 alone but getting an APS stand is still a win for me.

Plan A was to enclose the stand in something white. Plan B was to try and paint the stand. Once I got the stand I was really impressed with how it looked and decided on plan B.

Painting Failure
Putting plan B in motion was relatively easy but the journey was terrible. I started by removing the black side acrylic inserts and tested white enamel spray paint on the back. The test went well and I continued to paint the sides. My first real challenge was the front doors which have black acrylic inserts. Unlike the side panels the front door's are not removable as the whole door is glued together. My workaround was to tape the inserts off and put white gloss vinyl over them later. Little did I know but that would never come to be. The next day is where my troubles started. My technique had been to do multiple light coats to avoid dripping. I went to put on a second coat and got wrinkles. I'd never had this happen and looked it up via the handy internet. Apparently you need to do additional coats within 15-60 minutes or wait 48 hours for the first coat to cure. I waited 24 hours and sanded it down to remove the wrinkles. Another 24 hours later I tried to paint it again with the same wrinkled results. I have a video of this and will post it later. I did nothing with it for the next week as this is when we had the baby. I sanded it down again and tried for the 3rd time to paint the stand. Anywhere there was any white paint left wrinkled ;Rage I was broken and gave up.

Back to plan A. I had bought 2 white acrylic sheets to replace the black inserts and I cut them down. I used double sided foam taped to attach them to the sides. I got another for the front but still need to find a way to attach it so it's removable which is necessary to service the sump. Overall the white acrylic sheets enclosing the stand looks great.

Sump
I'm using the Somatic sump & skimmer 60 which fits the stand with a millimeter to spare.

Light
I'm not upgrading the light yet but plan to later this year. For now I'll continue to use a 23W Tuna Blue LED par38 bulb I ordered from Amazon for the pico cube. It's more than powerful enough for the corals I have at the moment.

Wrapping up
I've had 2 systems in the past a 50 followed by a 75 with the later being shutdown around '13 or 14' which I'll detail in the future. I'll post photos from the cube and my build on the 40 so far. I have moved everything to the 40 but haven't finished the last part of the plumbing as I'm waiting on my filter sock holder to come before cutting and installing the last piece of PVC.
 
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BeardedMcG

BeardedMcG

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I moved everything over from the pico. Just a few corals and an sps skeleton I was using as live rock. If I see a raise in nutrients due to the dry rock then I’ll set the pico back up but I doubt that will be needed.

Livestock is one yellow tail damsel and a few corals all were previously in the pico.

ECFFB533-5180-4740-8371-665DACCA92C4.jpeg
 
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BeardedMcG

BeardedMcG

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I ordered the Reef Breeders RP-M today and should have it next week. I thought about getting a gyre but ultimately decided that two RP-M’s would provide more customization. I’ll order a second at a later date.
 
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Dana Riddle

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23W Tuna Blue LED par38 bulbs? I see they're inexpensive - might order one since it's in my retirement reef allowance.
 

hart24601

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23W Tuna Blue LED par38 bulbs? I see they're inexpensive - might order one since it's in my retirement reef allowance.
Awesome! In the pico reef community these bulbs are pretty much the 'go to' for affordable options, and I know at least a couple that are still in use after a few years. Pretty curious how they perform and spectrum.
 

Dana Riddle

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Awesome! In the pico reef community these bulbs are pretty much the 'go to' for affordable options, and I know at least a couple that are still in use after a few years. Pretty curious how they perform and spectrum.
Just ordered. ETA is 5/21/2019.
 

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