IM Nuvo Fusion 30L Upgrade

Tihsho

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Hey all! Due to modifying my IM 14 Peninsula I ran into an issue where the return pump I upgraded to (stock IM pump to a Sicce 1.5) started to cause a flood when I was running filter mat in the InTank basket. Within 2-3 days I started to run into an issue where the filter mat would clog and in return cause the tank to over flow since the flow into the back chambers was throttled by the clogged media. I couldn't pin point how soon the pad was going to need to be replaced, so I was replacing the pad daily. This not only damaged a few things with the over flow of water, but also caused a rapid drop in salinity as my ATO would go off due to the back chamber going low as the front display would over flow. This was concerning solely as I don't overfeed this system. I feed the fish in there on average twice a day (Neon Goby, pair of Rose Antenna Gobies, Sailfin Blenny and a Rainfords Goby) I feed small amounts as to make sure the food is going to the fish and left over is getting caught by the cleanup crew and/or the two torches in the tank. Since I have another AIO system running (Cobalt C-Vue 40) I knew that the pads shouldn't be caking up so fast. Then I realized I wanted to move everything from this nano into either a 25 Lagoon or a 30L AIO due to liking both of these models floor prints as well as the main fact that they have dual intakes which should help remediate the issue of flooding!

Yesterday I was lucky enough to find a local getting rid of a 30L Nuvo Fusion! I went and picked it up and brought it home and cleaned what little mess was there up. Initially, I was hoping the tank came with media baskets, but sadly it didn't. The previous owner also had lost the pump for the tank as he pulled it out to clean it and it was lost in a move. Due to this I pulled my Sicce 1.5 off the 14 and put it on there and put the stock pump back on the 14. Right now I'm trying to figure out what other hardware to go with on this system as not everything will be moving over from the 14. Currently this is what will/has been moved over from the 14:

- Sicce 1.5 Return pump
- Eshopps Nano Protein Skimmer
- Jebao RW-4 Wavemaker
- Jebao DP-4 Doser

Right now the system is full and has freshly mixed salt water in there that for some reason is still cloudy post being run overnight (not sure why, but this is a whole other issue.) I plan on getting some substrate in there this week, as well as ordering some other hardware for the tank to get the cycle going. My question is the following; should I run dual baskets on this system or a single basket and a floss holder? I don't plan on using any chamber as a refugium as I want to reduce the buildup of debris in the back chamber. If anything, I will do what I do with my Cobalt system and run a Chaeto reactor. On top of that I was looking at running a few "in-sump" model reactors in the system as well. One dedicated to biopellets and the other either running carbon or GFO.

Thoughts?

The final debate I have going on is lighting. I'm a Kessil person, but in the spirit of trying something new, I picked up a AI Prime from a local person when I setup the 14 and have had that running. I have to say I've had decent success with it, but at the same time it can cause a headache with the discoball effect. What I'm considering on this system is mixing things up and going with a hybrid approach. Issue is that Hybrid fixtures are going to be way oversized for this system. I'd consider either staying with AI and offsetting the lighting with t5's, but then I'd be running 4 t5's with two AI Primes which seems to be overkill for a 35.43" x 11.22" x 12.99" display area. A lot of that light will be blasted into the rear chambers behind the false wall and I don't want that area to become an algae farm. Are there any hybrid solutions for a tank this size?

I know questions are going to come up with goals for the tank, initially when I set up the 14 it was supposed to be my segue into SPS. I just wanted to be able to create a decent display with Monti's, birds nests and once those were successful attempt an acropora or two. Initial attempts failed due to a giant algae boom, so the tank has become more of a mixed reef with only a few monti's and pavona's in the system that were able to pull through from the algae issue. Now with the 30, I'd like to try again as I feel like I have more water volume to be slightly more successful. At this point I'd like to pave the way to success and make sure I have everything in order so I can start into SPS right.
 
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Colinadam80

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I just started up the same tank, cant wait to see what you do with yours.

With the AI Primes I heard of the disco ball effect and got some light diffusers from 3D Reef, will have to see how those help.

For the 2 return chambers I went with the Intank filter floss holders on both. I'm with you, don't want debris buildup back there.

How do you like your skimmer? I went with the IM skimmer, will see how that one does but some people are not fans of it so a plan b would be nice.
 
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Tihsho

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I saw the diffusers in a few other people's build threads and I don't like the look. It seems like I'm putting a lampshade on the fixture and it just takes away from it. That plus the reduction of PAR due to the diffusion just doesn't seem like a gain. It might just be me though.

I ended up ordering a pair of InTank media baskets earlier today as that's what I'm running in my 40 so I figured I'd keep at it. I'm just going to not run the Brightwell Aquatics biomedia like I had on other tanks, the stuff breaks down and is messy. I'm going to just throw a bag of Seachem Matrix in the middle cambers and Purigen and Chemipure in the bottom chambers down the line.

As for the Eshopps skimmer, I'm a fan. It could be a little easier to pull the skimmer cup off for cleaning, but it skims like a dream. You do have to dial it in though. But once you do you can go from wet skimming to producing slime (a little exaggeration but you get the point.)

While I'm trying to figure out my lighting options I'm going to put some substrate in tomorrow and tinker with some dry rock I have for a scape. Considering using the dry Caribsea rock I have and see how it turns out, but also debating hitting up the two LFS's and picking through their Caribsea Liferock and just starting out with the purple. That said though, I do have some rock moving from the 14 that have some corals mounted to it, so I'll have to see what they are.
 
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Tihsho

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Thanks @[B]Tuffyyyyy[/B] !

So I'm making a LFS trip today to 'look around' and more than likely pick up a few things. With the new tank I'm wondering if I should start this tank out with cured live rock, or if I should go the route of using the dry base rock I have or going with the CaribSea Life Rock option. My substrate shows up today as well as some other odds and ends so I can actually have something in the tank.

I made the mistake of mixing my salt in the new tank and now I can't get rid of the cloudyness... Here she was as of last night:



Disregard the Zetlight, I had it sitting around and wanted to see how cloudy everything really was. I guess I'll drain the tank tonight before I introduce the substrate and then I'll mix salt like I normally do in my Brute can and add that. Can't believe how much of a mess this made. Figured I'd save some time by adding fresh RO and just mixing it in the tank with the return pumps and the Jeabao pump in there... Seems like it just wasted RO and salt... That said, I don't have my media baskets yet, so I'm not sure how efficiently the pads I have in the return chamber are actually 'filtering' the particles.

Took a peek at the 14 to see how things are doing with the reduced flow and the lack of their Jebao pump and things seem to be OK.

 
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Tihsho

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People highly recommended the bump to the 1.5 over the .5 and the 1.0, but honestly, the reduced flow would have just prolonged the issue. I need to find out what was actually clogging the pads since I know it wasn't food waste. The only thing I could think of was overspill of light causing algae to grow on the pad and then the pad getting so full that it wasn't as easy for the water to go through. That said though, the pads were brown when I pulled them out, so it would have had to have been some sort of waste or just getting packed with diatoms.

I had an algae outbreak in this tank a few weeks ago to almost a month that seemed to be a mix of hair algae and what might have been dinos. A heafty water change, turning off my skimmer and a new cleaning crew later the algae was gone.
 

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People highly recommended the bump to the 1.5 over the .5 and the 1.0, but honestly, the reduced flow would have just prolonged the issue. I need to find out what was actually clogging the pads since I know it wasn't food waste. The only thing I could think of was overspill of light causing algae to grow on the pad and then the pad getting so full that it wasn't as easy for the water to go through. That said though, the pads were brown when I pulled them out, so it would have had to have been some sort of waste or just getting packed with diatoms.

I had an algae outbreak in this tank a few weeks ago to almost a month that seemed to be a mix of hair algae and what might have been dinos. A heafty water change, turning off my skimmer and a new cleaning crew later the algae was gone.
This is very interesting feedback - thank you for being candid. I know that many people have upgraded to either the small Sicce pumps or the Mighty Jet 326 and I’m now wondering how wide spread this issue is with pump upgrades on IM nano tanks.
 
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Tihsho

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@Peace River Pump issues? Are you meaning that the stock pump is junk? Or are you talking about the upgraded pumps causing an issue with overflowing an IM? If you're talking about the stock pump being junk I'd have to agree. The stock pump was even replaced by IM with their DC model which has a much better flow rate and even is controllable.
 

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@Peace River Pump issues? Are you meaning that the stock pump is junk? Or are you talking about the upgraded pumps causing an issue with overflowing an IM? If you're talking about the stock pump being junk I'd have to agree. The stock pump was even replaced by IM with their DC model which has a much better flow rate and even is controllable.
I was specifically curious about how widespread any potential overflow issues are with upgraded pumps. And yes, there’s a reason why the stock pumps are being upgraded to begin with!
 
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Tihsho

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I was specifically curious about how widespread any potential overflow issues are with upgraded pumps. And yes, there’s a reason why the stock pumps are being upgraded to begin with!
When it comes down to it you have to be smart about it. Normally most people probably don't run into the issue I did. I just happened to be away for the long Memorial Day weekend to come home to a mess. Fixed the issue with a new pad thinking it had just been a long time since I had cleaned it. Two days go by and I come down stairs to another mess... Look at the pad and at that point I just pull it and get everything going again and then clean up the mess and go on to look for a replacement system. Dual intakes should relieve the issue drastically. The issue with the peninsula models are that there is a lack of space in the area behind the false wall. That said, there is also a much smaller surface area for mechanical filter media, so it would logically need to be replaced more often. When it comes to the 20 Nuvo (non peninsula) and the 25 Lagoon and up the dual intakes I feel would reduce the issue. But keep in mind that the people who design the tank do factor in the GPH and the flow rate of the filter system based on OEM specs, so going out of those specs you always run a risk. If it were a stock IM tank with IM media, I would have been more concerned and reached out to them to solve the issue. But like everything I tinker with, once I modify it I can't go back to the manufacturer and complain when something breaks or damages something else. That would be like me slapping on a bigger turbo on my car, putting a crappy ECU tune on it and blowing the block and going to the dealer like "well it died, you need to fix it." All of that aside though, I did reach out to IM and let them know my concern about popular upgrades to their tanks causing overflow issues.
 
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Tihsho

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Update:

Yesterday evening I unpacked the substrate that came in and had to deal with a lot of silt. Initially, from what I read about the substrate I didn't see if anyone pre rinsed it or not. So, I went through and took a scoop from the bag and added it slowly to the tank... Big mistake... Rest of the substrate was then poured into a bucket and rinsed thoroughly with RO/DI. 30 Gallons later of rinsing 70% of the cloudiness went away and I figured I'd take the rest out with filtration. Added the media to the tank... Again, mistake. The tank was already cloudy still due to having mixed the salt and RO/DI in the tank to begin with. It cleared up significantly than day 1, but it was still hazy. That mixed with substrate dust, eh... It was time to do a water change. Filled up my Brute can this time and started mixing salt. Pulled out the trusty DIY python and went to town with a 50% water change. Since there was nothing in the tank that is alive, I walked away for a few hours to let the salt mix. Went through and then topped off the tank. As I'm still waiting for my media baskets (which should be here today) I rigged up some filter socks from my Cobalt C-Vue 40 that I never used as I started with the InTank baskets in there since day 1. As the tank filled up it was about 40% more visible and I hope by tonight I can get a clear shot.

What substrate did I go with? Well you will have to wait and see. It's not live and not as popular, but I wanted a change.

My buckets of Seachem media also showed up, so I bagged up two media bags with Seachem Matrix bio media and put them behind the false wall. Going to DIY some bags for the Seachem Matrix carbon once I get the media baskets in the tank.

Oh, I also stopped by the LFS with the misses on our way out to dinner. Sadly the LFS we went to was running low on Liferock, so I didn't see anything particularly calling my name. Not sure if I'm going to go that route anyways, but I'll dig through my dry rock stash this evening if the tank is clear and start playing with some setups. Looking to go with some mini islands so I can work on getting some SPS growing in the long run off of them and they have vertical space to grow.
 
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Tihsho

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Update:

So here's the first look at the tank with substrate and a scape! The substrate I went with is Seachem's Gray Coast. I know it's not the most popular to be used, but I enjoy contrast in tanks. When it comes to saltwater, why get a tank that's so bright because the substrate pops, to me it's distracting and I think this will be a solid solution.

Last night I went through and played with the rock scape a bit with some dry rock I had sitting around. I selected the pieces that had the most large holes so I could place frag plugs into them later. A few actually had little caves and this will be useful for the fish that will be going into the tank, which are mainly gobies.

This is the first iteration of the tank:



My last build I made the mistake of building the rockscape so high that it was the focal point of the tank and was next to impossible for future growth of any branching SPS species. This time I wanted to change that. I did some tinkering with the rock and then came up with this:



I think this setup is going to work well with all the nooks and crannies.





For the first fish that will be going in, I believe the rocks are going to provide them with safe spaces to make homes:

- Antenna Goby 'pair' (unsure if it's a sexed pair as I only picked up two that the LFS had and they get along)
- Neon Goby
- Rainford's Goby
- Black Sailfin Blenny (Emblemaria pandionis)

Those are what will be coming out of the 14. I'm considering adding another pair of shrimp Gobies, specifically Yasha Gobies, to go with another Randall's Pistol. Speaking of the Pistol, this is the inverts that will be migrating over in time:

- 8 Sexy Shrimp (4 from the old system and 4 from another system I have)
- 1 Randall's Pistol Shrimp
- 2 Lettuce Nudibranchs
- Longspine Urchin
- 3 Neon Hermits
- 2 Nassarius Snails
- 2 Astrea Snails

For additional fish I was looking at the following:

- Yasha Goby pair (as I mentioned above)
- Flaming Prawn Goby
- 2 Dragon Pipefish

Additional CUC:
- 1 or 2 Randall's Pistol Shrimp
- Fighting Conch

May seem like a lot, but they are small bioload species. I was considering some Cardinal species in the short term, but not sure I want the hassle of trying to catch them out once they start to get bigger. I couldn't find anything oddball as a midlevel swimmer that I would like to house in here long term.
 
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Tihsho

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Made a run by the LFS tonight to see what new they got in. They happened to have a few neat things in stock, but I came home empty handed. They did have a gorgeous yellow angler, but sadly I have no where for it to go. It would either take up my 40 and I wouldn't be able to house any other fish or it would be the sole fish in this 30, either way I had to let it pass.

Tonight will be day 3 of being wet, but only day 2 of adding Brightwells NeoBacter and 1ml of ammonia to the tank. Going to test in the afternoon tomorrow and see how things are going.

Once the tank is cycled I plan to move over the fish (and pistol) and then work on slowly moving over the coral. Wondering if I should move over the softies (Ricordea, Mushrooms, and Zoa's) first and then wait a week or two then move over the LPS then the SPS? I may move some of the liverock rubble from the 14 to the intake on the 30 just to give it high flow and to seed the Seachem Matrix biomedia in the caddies.
 

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Nice to see another 30L owner. That is strange about you overfill issues. Maybe it is an issue with the type of pad you're using, or do you have the media basket or chamber packed tight with stuff? I have a sicce 1.0 on my IM 10g and don't have any problems. I am using polyfil filter floss though, you can get it from walmart, its pretty much just pillow stuffing and it works great.
 
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Tihsho

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Update:

A little progress on the tank today. Last night I had spent some time with a set of calipers and started to measure out the rear area just to see what space I have overall. Part of this lead me to follow a little mod that @SavAqua20 did, but rather than use acrylic I sketched out a design in CAD and sent the file off to one of my 3D printers. This morning I woke up to the part:





Since the Eshopps skimmer is held on by magnets, it slides all the way down when I need to reconnect the cup to the body. So now, when I remove the cup and press down on the skimmer it keeps the skimmer at the right height to function and provides some feedback at the base to reconnect the cup. Pseudo skimmer stand complete!

Besides that I've been dosing some Caribsea Purple Up to the system in hopes to get the system what it needs to start producing coraline. Oh, also picked up a bucket of Tropic Marin Pro Reef salt so we will see how this goes as I'm going to transition my displays from AquaVitro Salinity over to this. Hopefully it will give me what I'm not getting in Salinity.

Just found out some great news! Seems the AI Prime I have is actually an HD model. This I didn't know as it came with the IM 14 tank that I'm upgrading from and as far as I knew it wasn't the HD model. Due to this I'm going to hunt down another Prime HD to run on this tank and maybe run a strip of t5's to combat the disco ball effect.
 

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Nice job on the skimmer stand, really looks nice. As far as coralline I used the stuff from Ark Reef and I have tons. With the purple up I heard it raises alkalinity and calcium so when you transfer the corals just make sure your levels are where they need to be. That’s awesome the light is a Prime HD, they are top notch. I’m curious how would you mount the t5 while using the primes?
 
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Tihsho

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Thanks! I need to check that out. I was trying to get the coraline out of the way with the PurpleUp as it does cause alk and calcium swings. Figure if I do that now without anything in the tank it wouldn't bother anything. I'll have to check out the Ark Reef stuff.

In the case of the T5's I'm going to have to go the retrofit route with a DIY light chassis. I think I'll end up pulling the AI Primes from the tank mounts and come up with something with aluminum and 3D printed parts to come up with a frame and suspend it from the ceiling or mount it to the wall.
 
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Tihsho

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Update: (sorta)

Tank is still cycling. Not sure if the MB7 I've been using is still good (bought a liter of it in February to start another tank) and I'm not noticing any numbers for Ammonia change in the tank. I dosed 1.5ml of Dr. Tim's ammonia to feed the bacteria, but the waiting game will continue.

Ordered a few things for the tank. :cool:

Figured rather than burning through test chems I'm just going to slap one of the Seachem ammonia checkers in the tank. That should be here later today.

I also snagged a new AI 26 Hydra HD for $300 shipped so that will be on its way this week or next. Originally was going to go with another Prime HD, but with this being a 36" tank I'm not sure 2 Primes would have been enough. Going to run the Hydra 26 HD solo for a bit while everything gets sorted and most likely add another and look into a T5 retrofit as well. Figure I can run the Hydra 26 HD's at a low output percentage, but I'll at least have some room for some extra power from them rather than running the Prime's maxed on the blue's and violets. As for the T5's, those are going to be there to assist with fixing issues with shadowing, but mainly to get rid of the discoball effect as I don't like the idea of running diffusors. Two T5's should be enough to do the job.

I also snagged a bundle of sprouted Mangroves. They have been a challenge for me in the past and I'd like to incorporate them into some of my systems. I know the nutrient uptake on them isn't as noticeable as say Cheato, but the aesthetics of them are a whole new level. I just need to go through and figure out if they will be going on this system, one of the other SW systems, or somewhere in my FW Fish Room.

In addition to all of this I've started to gather some current hardware to get back into my side project of #reefpi so I'll be digging into that a little more with hopes to do some testing of my take on it on this tank. Some key things I'd like to work towards are parameter monitoring and trending, voltage monitoring and trending for pumps, and power automation to make it a little more simpler (allowing me to be a little more lazy) when it comes to turning pumps on/off for maintenance. By a little more lazy, I mean turn things on/off with software rather than opening my stand and flipping the switches on my unlabeled Triplite power strip... I'll most likely be setting up an R&D tank for a few other tests, but that tank will be a scaled system that's most likely going to be minimalistic and won't see much life besides maybe a test coral.
 
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