Little Fish House on the Prairie - Nuvo 20

AdamBWS

Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
27
Reaction score
50
Hey guys, what is up.

Here's the thread for my Nuvo 20. About 7 years ago I had set up a 240 gal in-wall aquarium at my dad's office. First venture into saltwater. Really enjoyed it but the tank maintenance really lapsed and it got shut down to rent the space out. Ever since I've wanted to have a tank at home where it's many times easier to enjoy and find time to maintain it. Especially with no skimmer, I think it'll really help to be able to clean up the detritus and swap out the filter floss every couple days, and be way easier to feed high quality frozen instead of just pellet or flake from an auto feeder.

Really looking forward to seeing how much I can get coral to thrive in this little glass box!



Equipment List
Tank: IM Nuvo Fusion 20
Light: Kessil A360WE
Skimmer: none
Return: Jebao DCS-2000
Filtration: diy filter caddy on each side (filter floss, carbon to polish water as needed)
Circulation: MP10qd
Heater: Cobalt 100w
Dosing: BRS 1.1 2-part
Automation: Apex Classic
 
Last edited:
OP
AdamBWS

AdamBWS

Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
27
Reaction score
50
Well, here's the start of my first at-home reef tank. I had run a 240 gal aquarium at my dad’s office a few years ago that got taken down, so I’ve got a pretty decent handle on what I’m wanting this tank to turn into. I’m hoping for a medium bioload BB SPS heavy tank, with a couple soft corals, maybe a RBTA or some zoas to give it a bit of movement so my friends think I’m cool.

DSC_5241.jpg


Potential livestock list:
Pair of Black Ice Clowns
Firefish
Orchid Dottyback (can this work in a 20 gal?)
Sexy shrimp (do these need a host?)
Fire shrimp (maybe)
Snail CUC

Coral plans:
Acropora heavy (I’ll be shooting for pieces I like and trying to let them grow out to colonies, as opposed to putting a billion frags out and having tiny little clusters)
A couple encrusting chalices or montipora
Maybe a couple plating montiporas
Favia or zoos at the base of the rocks
Hammerhead (maybe this instead of a RBTA or different nem…)
Other

Maintenance plans:
No skimmer
Replace filter socks with IM desktop size media baskets - run filter floss and change every few days
~15% water change each week - building a water change station in the basement to make this as easy as possible so I can keep it up
Blow detritus from bottom and rocks / siphon every 2-3 days (Is there some kind of electric vacuum type thing that just puts the water back in the tank? Siphoning without a sump below the tank to dump the water in sucks)
Feed every two days (this is one thing I know very little about). For my fish list should I be making up my own raw frozen food ice-cubes? Buy something off the shelf? Pellets? I’m guessing that the nutrient quality of frozen real food is probably better than something dried.
Planning on running some live rock rubble in media bags in the 2nd and 4th overflows to increase my surface area, because I don’t have a ton of rock in the display.

Planning to make short videos for all the maintenance items so I can get a family member or friend over to do maintenance really easily if I’m gone for a while. The whole plan for this tank is to have minimal equipment and keep it simple so that maintenance is fast and easy to do.

Re: media baskets
Do I need to get media for those now, based on what everyone else is using? Or should I be waiting until I have phosphates I need to handle, or water that needs to be polished with carbon? Not thinking there's any point in running media during cycle.

Return pump woes
The return pump that my tank came with is silly loud. I can hear it from my second floor in my house. I’ll be contacting the LFS I bought the AIO setup from for a replacement, and if that doesn’t work well enough I’ll be looking for a quieter alternative. I made sure it’s not touching any corners on the pump, and when I put the pump in the display side not touching anything it’s just as buzzy and loud.

Building ATO
I’ve got a 5 gal ATO reservoir that will be sitting on the floor beside the tank. Floor to top of tank is about 44”. Will a maxi jet 400 work for this? I think I’ve got one kicking around. Or should I grab one of the 1200’s and try to use that? I’d like to throttle it down and reduce the output to 1/4” to put in a dosing tube holder into the sump.

Apex
I was running a full Neptune Apex system on the old tank (now called the apex classic). I’m working on wiring up the stand, but the base unit seems to be totally crapped out! Hoping Neptune will fix it for me, or I’ll be looking at other more affordable options. RMA is in the works.

Dosing
I’m planning on setting up a 2-part dosing setup with my BRS 1.1 dosing pumps. I’m a ways off from needing this obviously.

Kessil fan
The A360we that I took from the old tank was full of dust, so I disassembled and cleaned it. Still has a pretty loud fan. Will probably be replacing the fan with an upgraded part. Fan says 12v right on it, but everyone else is looking for 48v fans. Might need to measure with a multimeter...

MP10QD noise
The used MP10 that I bought appears to be in awesome condition and was cleaned up really well. I can definitely hear it buzzing when it ramps up. The cover on the wet side appears to be a bit loose, tough to tell. It doesn’t really tighten down as much as I’d like. I might put a dab of silicone on the cover to give it more tension and then re-install.
 
Last edited:

Dine

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
430
Reaction score
607
Looks good. Like the scape!

I’d wait on media until you decide what you may want or need. Good to have a bag of carbon on hand for emergencies but I wouldn’t keep it in the basket 24/7.

Filter floss is an excellent upgrade and I like InTanks brand. I change mine every 1-2 days. I’ll explain the frequency below

the stock pump is what it is. Look at a sicce when you finally decide to stop the noise.

feeding can be tough in a nano. I’m an over feeder. So I feed VERY tiny cubes (I cut it myself and store it in Tupperware) 1-2 times a day. I run my mp10 in nutrient export once a day and remove the filter floss shortly after.

Good luck. I’m following along
 
OP
AdamBWS

AdamBWS

Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
27
Reaction score
50
Looks good. Like the scape!
...
Good luck. I’m following along
Thanks! I think the scape will work well with what I want in the tank.

I've got bulk carbon and gfo on hand from the last tank, so we are ready to rock there.

I put an old rattly cobalt 1200 back there for the return. It's about 1/4 the noise and way more flow. I'll probably get a new cobalt 900 down the road.

Thanks for the recommendations on the floss! I'll probably be putting media baskets in, they just seem like a better option than the socks.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics
OP
AdamBWS

AdamBWS

Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
27
Reaction score
50
Meet my new arrivals, a couple Black Ice Clowns. Love these guys.
They learned in about three days what the feed mode on the MP10 meant. Tons of character and they're absolutely beautiful.





I also added 10 snails while I was at it (trochus, cerith and astera) to start up my CUC. I got a mini-cycle after adding the fish, so I changed the water pre-emptively to keep ammonia down for the time being. Fish are super happy and comfortable.



Fixed the MP10 buzzing with elastic bands. The wet side cover is a bit loose, I'll have to find a more long-term fix.

Built myself some DIY media baskets with egg crate. Running a little bag of carbon right now and the water is crystal clear.

Neptune had me mail my apex base unit that wasn't working to them. I had taken it apart and there was a fried resistor on the board. They said there were too many broken components to fix (ie. they didn't actually look at it). I'll be buying an apex classic base unit for the meantime to get the peripherals running and then fix my unit once I figure out what the resistor size is. Unless someone can pop the four screws off of their apex classic and take a picture for me...
 
OP
AdamBWS

AdamBWS

Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
27
Reaction score
50
great thread honestly bookmarked it but my setup is gonna be basically exactly the same with a few differences but its coming together.
Very cool! Following!
Thanks guys, appreciate it.

My tank has blown up with green coralline. I thought initially it was hair algae that couldn't really gain any length because I have really strong flow, but it doesn't come off with scrubbing with a toothbrush. Really sweet to see so much growth from a ~2 month old tank.



I bought a used apex base unit from a user on here. Now have my Kessil programming completed, dosing running, and a temp ATO system going. Currently have one level switch with no redundancy. I expect my new switches to come this week so I can set it up properly.

Tank has been rock solid. On boxing day I went to the LFS to see if they had any cheap acro or birds nest frags that I could throw in the tank to see how it's doing. They had about 7 brown mystery frags for way too much money. To their credit, they said they can get me anything I want, but it's going to be expensive. I found a new friend via a local FB page who had some extra frags kicking around that he was willing to get rid of for cheap. I'm making friends in the right places!

3 corals added three weeks ago:



ORA Chips Acropora
This thing has gotten more colourful every day. Super fuzzy acro. Polyps have gotten more green/turquoise and the tips are getting more blue.


Forest Fire Digitata
Slower growth so far on this one, but still some growth. It wasn't super healthy to start with, so I think it needs some healing time. Tips are colouring up a bit.


FCC Green Goddess Birdsnest
This isn't my first pick, but he gave it to me for free! At minimum I'll move it to the back of the tank once I get some more sticks, and I can definitely frag it as it grows to get some store credit. A few of the tips were bleached from laying on the bottom of the tank and it's growing and healing really fast.

My few year old Red Sea Mg test kit is telling me my magnesium is 950. Need to order a new kit.

So far I'm really happy running no skimmer. Bioload will be increasing with another fish and as the fish grow. I think the green coralline is ugly so I'm looking forward to purple/red.

Hopes for the next month:
Clean up ATO system
Get a Red Firefish
Get a Fire shrimp
Get a Sexy Shrimp?
Aquire some more acros
Get a macro lens so my pictures don't suck
 
OP
AdamBWS

AdamBWS

Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
27
Reaction score
50
Well, I've had a few pretty big updates in the last month. Tank is coming together really well.

Three weeks ago I drove 2 hours each way to a small town in -25C weather with 60 km/h wind to pick up a purple firefish, sexy shrimp, and a fire shrimp. Fish store locally was taking a while to get in what I was looking for.

Replaced the noisy MJ1200 return I had with a Jebao DCS-2000. Running it at around 35%. Much, much quieter than the stock pump (loud from 60 feet away on the second floor of my house). Has a very quiet whine sound that isn’t noticeable. Can hear it from 20 feet away if the house is silent and I’m listening really closely for it.

Still waiting for my float switches to show up. Canada post has had them for 4 weeks. Very disappointing. I’m planning on building a suction cup bracket and using 4 floats for lots of redundancy. Two switches to run the top off, as well as an extra high and low limit. I’ll set up Apex alarms to tell me if the switches are in an orientation that shouldn’t exist.

Levels have been solid. Having trouble getting the Nitrates and Phosphates up above zero, which is a problem I never thought I’d have without a skimmer. I probably need to get more precise test kits, but my algae growth on the glass is generally really low. I’ve been putting some small pieces of seaweed in to try to dose the system with nutrients, but I might seriously look into nutrient supplements once I get a better test kit.

Dosing is all set up and I’ve been consistently maintaining 8-9 dKh and 450-460 ppm cal. Might drop the alk a little until I can get my nutrients sorted.

I'm probably going to try to make a black acrylic cover for the back section of the tank to hide the wiring and clean it up.

Coral and fish pic updates to come.
 
OP
AdamBWS

AdamBWS

Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
27
Reaction score
50
Unknown Stylophora - Any ID's? Rainbow?


I'm having more issues with my Neptune Apex. Two days in a row the programming decided to clear, so I had to clear my evening to reprogram everything. I'm very close to just calling it quits with Neptune and going all standalone. I'm hoping for the sake of all of us that they don't lose me as a lifelong customer.

Corals and fish are all happy. Forest Fire Digitata had looked really bad for a couple months, I think it had STN, but is starting to color back up and seems healthy.

Starting to feed some Reef Roids and other really little frozen food for the acros. I went a bit crazy on trying to get my nutrients up, and now they're too high. Algae grows on the glass too quick, quite a layer after only one day. I won't dump extra food or seaweed in for a while till it's back in check!
 
OP
AdamBWS

AdamBWS

Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
27
Reaction score
50
Thanks, I think you might be right on the money.

If that’s the case I’ll probably move it to a lower light spot. Once I get my light ramped up over the next month the spot where it’s at right now is going to be cooking.
 
OP
AdamBWS

AdamBWS

Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2019
Messages
27
Reaction score
50
Little update

Pod population is blowing up, and corals are starting to take off. I’m feeding some reef roids and eggs a couple times a week, and all the coral seems to be coloured up awesome and very happy.

Forest fire digi is now very happy, seeing encrusting on a few more acros, and the orange passion frag has a bunch of new polyps. Millepora is starting a couple new nubs, really excited to see that take off.

Question about nutrients - now my levels seem kind of high - daily cleaning the glass for film algae is very necessary. I have hair algae growing on the back of a few snails, but don’t really have pest algae other than that. If the corals all seem healthy I don’t really have a nutrient issue, do I?
 

Are you loyal to a certain brand or product in the aquarium industry?

  • Yes

    Votes: 157 41.5%
  • No

    Votes: 208 55.0%
  • Other (please explain in the thread)

    Votes: 13 3.4%

Online statistics

Members online
2,900
Guests online
7,431
Total visitors
10,331
Chaos Aquaculture
Top