My IM Nuvo EXT 100 Build

cedwards04

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I decided to make a thread documenting my Innovative Marine Nuvo EXT 100 build. Feel free to ask questions or make suggestions. I am a little late starting this, so the build is nearly complete at this time, but we all know a tank is never truly "finished" anyway.

So this build started out as my "dream tank" build. I know for some of you this may seem like nothing, but for me this has been well over 10 years in the making.

I will try to split it up into several posts to make it easier to follow the pictures as I progressed through the build. Plus this gives me the opportunity to take a break from this write up since it may take a while to go over everything haha.

Below I will list the equipment I originally planned to use, as well as document what ended up changing once the tank was running:

Innovative Marine Nuvo EXT 100.
Custom designed/built wood stand.
Petco 40g breeder DIY sump.
36" aquatic life t5/led hybrid fixture.
2x AI hydra26hd's.
Amazon par38 grow bulb over fuge.
Vertex omega 150 skimmer.
Sicce 1.5 dedicated manifold pump.
Pentair 25w smart uv sterilizer.
Brs carbon/gfo dual reactor.
2x sicce 3.0 return pumps.
2x finnex titanium 300w heaters.
Tunze 3155 ato.
Jebao dp4 dosing pump.
Skimz dlc3 dosing container.
Neptune Apex system controller.

Originally I planned on using a pair of icecap 3k gyres, you will see them in the photos. They ended being too strong for the tank and I am currently looking for their replacement. I have an ecotech mp40 on the way to try. If that works out I will purchase a second one.

In preparation for the tank, and in the name of redundancy, I ran a completely dedicated gfci circuit for the tank, as well as utilized a 2nd/separate gfci circuit. I split the 2 eb832's across both circuits. This way if one breaker trips, I still have a back up. I have placed 1 return pump, 1 heater, and 1 powerhead on each eb832 in hope's that in the event of a breaker failure, I still have a tank capable of supporting life. All of the equipment drawing significant power is on the eb832 plugged into the dedicated circuit. The remainder of the equipment is plugged into the eb832 on a shared circuit with other items in my living room.

Items that still need to be completed:
1. Canopy for the lights. I have them temporarily hung from a 2x4 bracket that is sitting directly on the glass. I unfortunately have not had time to start building the canopy yet but I hope to get to this soon.
2. Stain/attach wood lip on top of stand. Unfortunately I wasnt thinking about humidity, and stored these boards in my shop that isn't climate controlled. They warped a bit and no longer fit as well as I would like. I have discussed it with my stand builder and he is going to remake the boards for me.
3. Wire management. I have a few wires that just simply were not long enough to reach. I have extension cords now, just need to make time to get in there and fix it. I also did not account for the amount of wiring running into and out of the stand, so I will need to drill an additional hole for wiring.
4. Ato reservoir. I plan to make a custom ato reservoir using acrylic. I have the acrylic so it is just a matter of making time to do it. For now i am using a black plastic trash can, you will see it in the pictures.

There are a few other things I plan to add in the future, I'll post those things as they come up.

Here is a quick photo of the tank today.

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cedwards04

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The day I received the tank. To my surprise, it actually showed up earlier than I was initially told. Overall impression of the tank is good. Build quality seems to be great. Glass is really thick (15mm) and super clear (low iron). Black silicone seams are nice and straight, very neatly done. Much better than any if my previous tanks.

My only complaint with the tank is nothing major, but they claim this tank to be 48x24x20 when the actual outside dimensions are 47x23.5x19.5. Not a huge deal, but had I let me stand builder go off of their claimed dimensions rather than waiting to get actual dimensions, the stand would have been too big and not worked out right at all.

I went ahead and attempted a DIY screen lid. My first attempt was a complete fail. The screen was too tight and warped the framework. I really wanted to make all the squares in the mesh line up perfectly, but in the end I determined it either isn't possible or it is beyond my skill set. So I had to settle for the screen having a little more slack in it than I would like. Overall I am mostly happy with it.

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cedwards04

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Next is the stand and plumbing. I do ok with woodworking, but I'm far from a finish carpenter. I decided to do what I do best, and pay someone else to do what they do best! Haha. It just so happens i have a very good friend who builds custom cabinets and such for a living. His wife had recently backed her new Yukon into a fence, and since i do paint/bodywork, we worked out a trade deal. He built the stand, i fixed the Yukon, win/win. I opted to do the finish painting since that is what i am best at.

I think he did a fantastic job taking my wife's vision of what she wanted the stand to look like, and what I needed in terms of function, and turned it into a beautiful reality. We wanted something to match the current decor of our living room. I wanted it tall enough to not keep me bending over looking in the tank, and sealed up tight at the bottom incase of a leak in the sump area. Dont want to ruin wood floors if I can avoid it.

I didnt get a good picture of it, but i had asked him to try and find a way to make the center brace in the door opening removable so that i can get a sump in there, but without having a gap in between the doors where light from the fuge would shine out. He came up with a notched brace that uses magnets to hold it in place, and braced the stand so that a center brace isn't needed. Genius!

On to plumbing. I decided to go with colored coordinated pvc. Hard to tell in some of the pics, but I went with blue for the returns, red for the overflows, and orange for the manifold plumbing. I opted for black fittings as I just didnt want white, and the grey fittings were stupid expensive. I think the black looks pretty nice.

It drives me a little crazy that my siphon drain with the gate valve had to be slightly angled, but it wouldn't clear any other way, so I just have to live with it. It still functions perfectly.

I also bulkheaded every pipe to the sump. I dont think I got a picture during the build process of it, but I made an acrylic ledge all the way around the sump to attach the plumbing to so that everything is firmly supported. You will see it in other pics.

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cedwards04

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Next up, sump! I originally planned to build a completely custom glass sump, but in the end decided to just go with a petco 40b and be done. Saved a lot of money and just couldn't justify the added expense when this works really well.

I've never been a fan of filter socks, so I skipped them completely on this build. No need to waste the space in my opinion.

I wanted a fairly large refugium, a place to put frags, a skimmer section, and a return section. The frag section doubles as a place for added bio filtration. I added some pieces of rock in there for now, in the future if i need it, i can add some ceramic media here. For now the rock pieces work fine and are large enough to easily remove for cleaning detritus that may have found it's way in there.

I used glass baffles I had cut at lowes and siliconed them in place, along with a piece of thin black abs at the fuge to keep light spillage off my frag section in the future.

I also decided to paint the sump black, but to leave little windows on the front so you can still see inside. This also helped mask my terrible silicone seams haha.

Overall I am pleased with the sump. I have plenty of room to hold any water that may drain back into the sump during a power outage even if a check valve fails (we all know they will at some point).

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cedwards04

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I had originally planned to use a shorter sump so that I would have room to build an electronics cabinet inside the stand, accessed by the side door. This way all my electronics would be out of any moisture rich environments. Unfortunately after ditching the diy sump idea and going with the 40b, I just couldn't physically fit everything like I wanted. So I ditched the cabinet idea and went with an electronics board mounted to the back wall.

I installed small ventilation fans inside the stand to hopefully keep moisture and heat buildup to a minimum.

I placed everything on the board, cut it out and drilled holes and slots for cord management. Then built a frame to mount the board to in order to give me room to tuck cords inside. Worked out fairly well. It can be a little bit of a pain to fish cords through but its doable.

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cedwards04

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After I was confident everything was test fit and going to work, it was time to paint.

I wanted the stand sealed up good incase of leaks. I have a good tall lip inside the stand so it can hold a fair amount of water before it hits the floor.

I caulked all the seems on the inside, then applied several coats of automotive primer to the wood. After it dried I blocked it all down smooth, and applied a couple coats of single stage urethane to the inside of the stand.

I went with a blue green color just to give it some pop. The urethane will last for years and years and give me a solid waterproof finish.

After the inside had dried, i taped up all the openings, and repeated the process on the outside except for on the outside instead of a urethane single stage i decided to do a basecoat topped with a satin clear coat. We went with an off white color that matches some other furniture in the living room.

I think it turned out pretty good.

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cedwards04

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After letting the paint cure for a while it was time to get it wet. When I started this whole build process, the first thing I did was order 100lbs of dry rock, place it in a brute can of saltwater with heat and a powerhead, and began the cycling process by ghost feeding. I continued to ghost feed the rock after it cycled to keep a good bacterial presence. I wanted to be able to transfer livestock immediately from my old tank without needing to move any rock over. This whole build process took over 6 months, so my rock was good and cycled at this point.

With the help of a good fellow reefer friend, we got the tank and stand setup in place. Ironically the tank sat 100% completely level right off the bat. We didnt have to adjust or shim anything, I was pretty shocked haha.

Once the tank was in place and I had enough equipment in place to circulate water, we began filling the tank. Prior to this day I had been making up saltwater and storing it so I knew I would have enough.

Once the tank was half full we began aquascaping. We kept the rock wet to prevent die off. And filled the tank as we worked. Once we were happy with the scape, we cleaned the sand (dry aragonite special grade) and began slowly scooping it in.

Once the next day rolled around the dust had settled and the tank was ready. I moved all the livestock over from my previous tank (a lightly stocked 40b). I did dose some turbo start to the tank as a precaution against an ammonia spike. Thankfully I never saw one, so I feel confident my 6 months of cycling in a brute can paid off.

As stated previously, there is still a decent amount to be done, but the tank has been up and running for a few months now and is doing great. I have lots of spots of coraline growing everywhere, and all of my fish and corals seem happy.

Thanks for tagging along. Feel free to comment or offer advice. I've only been in the hobby now for about 3 years although I have spent the last 10 yrs or so reading and researching on places like reef2reef and reefcentral. I look forward to learning more.

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cedwards04

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Last thing I have done to the tank is add the jebao dp4 dosing pump and skimz dlc3 containers. I am dosing brs 2 part a long with tropic marin part c (balling method). I also dose brightwell coral aminos daily, and occasionally dose brightwell neonitro and microbacter7 to help keep nitrates and phosphates balanced and in check.

And here is how the tank sits today. I think it has turned out pretty good.

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Ron21

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Nice build, lots of helpful info. I was planning to upgrade from a 20G to either a Nuvo Ext-75 or 100 but after reading your post, I’ll probably go for the Ext 100. I also started cycling my rocks Just like you did. Unlike you however, I’ll probably buy a combo tank/stand with a Trigger sump as I’m not a very good DIYer. I haven’t pulled the trigger on the tank yet, still trying to convince my wife to say yes. Looking forward to your posts. Thanks.
 

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Thats awesome! I especially like the apex mounting board. Wanted to do something similar with mine, but room didn't allow for it. SO to the side of the stand they went.
 

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Looks great! I just started my first SW tank and i'm already looking for the next. I.M. is a consideration because they offer a aluminum stand; although, my brother is a custom cabinet maker. Really like what you did for the sump, but for me, I'd buy one--one last thing I have to deal with. Following along to see where you go with this build and to give me some ideas for my next build. Thx.
 

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Thanks for the compliments.

I did end up swapping the 2 ice cap 3k gyres out for an mp40. I think the I’ll mp40 is a much better fit for the tank and I will be adding a second one as soon as funds allow it.
With the Nuvo EXT 100, will an MP10 on each side of the tank provide enough flow for an LPS dominated tank? I figured that MP40 might be too much and more expensive for my needs.
 
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cedwards04

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Great looking stand! The whole build looks good but that stand is eye catching.
Thanks! My wife came up with the design idea and a buddy of mine brought it to life. Usually I build my own projects like this, but we really wanted it to be extra nice and his carpentry skills are better than mine.
 
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cedwards04

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With the Nuvo EXT 100, will an MP10 on each side of the tank provide enough flow for an LPS dominated tank? I figured that MP40 might be too much and more expensive for my needs.
2 mp10's would provide enough flow, but unfortunately the glass is way to thick for them.
 

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