Saltcat's first reef! IM Nuvo Fusion Pro 14

saltcats

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Hi all! I'm so excited to start my build thread for this tank.

A little background about me first - I've been keeping freshwater fish for the past 12 years, planted tanks for the last 6 or so. I started planning a nano reef last spring but ended up travelling out of the country suddenly; now that I'm back in one place for the foreseeable I decided to make it happen.

Setup:
IM Nuvo Fusion Pro 14 peninsula


Started with about 6lbs of dry rock, and 2lbs of wet rock from my LFS (I won't call it 'live' since there's not much on it but I figured it'd seed my bacteria colonies!), and 20lbs Fiji pink sand. Will try to get some photos after I get everything rinsed out and ready for use!

I plan to keep a pistol shrimp/goby pair as the main livestock of the tank. My anticipated CUC would be dwarf hermits, nassarius snails, and dwarf ceriths.


All that said, I definitely have a few questions!
First, anyone else who has this tank or similar - I was sent 2 power supplies for the pump; is that normal or a mistake? I can't find any reference to it in the manual.
Also, I can't quite figure out how to remove the pump, and I'm sure it must be possible for cleaning. Could someone be so kind as to give me a quick walkthrough of the back compartments?

Would the middle compartment, where the filter sock is placed, be the correct area to put a heater (with the sock removed, I imagine!)?

I understand bristle worms are very beneficial, but they are also rather frightening! How essential would you consider them to be?

And finally - would dwarf hermits be happy to eat fish food or seaweed strips, if I wanted to get some early before I have much algae?

Thank you very much for following this journey with me!
 
BRS

samnaz

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Dwarf hermits (blue leg or scarlet in particular) will happily eat meaty pellets and many types of algae. However, you'd be surprised how quickly the algae will begin to grow in a new tank. Especially with mostly dry rock and seeded with live.

I wouldn't consider bristle worms to be essential, as my tank does fine without them. Some consider them a nuisance, but if their population is kept in check they are generally harmless beneficial detritivores. They are creepy but nothing to be afraid of compared to fire worms and bobbitt worms ;-)

Hopefully someone with your same tank will chime in about the specifics, I know these are popular tanks! I'd also recommend doing a quick search for other IM14 builds, may answer your questions as well as inspiration and ideas.

Don't forget to share some pics!
 

lotekfish

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Don't know why you would have two power supplies, must be an extra. The filter sock should go in the 1st section behind the intake slots to filter out debris first so it can't collect in the rear chambers. I have my heater in the 2nd chamber but it could also go with the pump if you keep the water level high enough to keep the heater submerged.

As for bristleworms... it depends. I think there must be different species because I have seen some pretty big and gross ones at public aquariums, but the ones in my tank are only 1/2"-1" long. I barely see them and generally feel they are doing good. As long as they stay that size and generally hidden they're OK with me.
 
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saltcats

saltcats

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Thanks both for replying!

Don't know why you would have two power supplies, must be an extra. The filter sock should go in the 1st section behind the intake slots to filter out debris first so it can't collect in the rear chambers. I have my heater in the 2nd chamber but it could also go with the pump if you keep the water level high enough to keep the heater submerged.

As for bristleworms... it depends. I think there must be different species because I have seen some pretty big and gross ones at public aquariums, but the ones in my tank are only 1/2"-1" long. I barely see them and generally feel they are doing good. As long as they stay that size and generally hidden they're OK with me.

I thought the extra seemed a little odd, but I suppose at least I have a backup. There doesn't seem to be anything missing in its place.
That's good to know that I could possibly put the heater in either of those chambers, since I am tempted to go for 2 lower powered heaters rather than 1 stronger one, and I wasn't sure if there was anywhere discreet to put the second.

1" bristle worms sound okay to me ! The larger ones definitely creep me out, but I guess any excuse to keep my hands out of the water as much as possible is good ;)
 

ScubaEthan

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Congrats on your tanks! I plan to get a goby/pistol shrimp pair too.

Where did you travel? I was in SE Asia over the winter kind of digital nomading. Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, and diving in Raja Ampat, Indonesia :)
 
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saltcats

saltcats

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Congrats on your tanks! I plan to get a goby/pistol shrimp pair too.

Where did you travel? I was in SE Asia over the winter kind of digital nomading. Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, and diving in Raja Ampat, Indonesia :)

Thanks! Have you got a particular goby in mind yet? I really like the look of the tangaroa, personally :)

That sounds amazing, I'd love to visit Thailand someday. I lived in Sweden for 8 months or so; was supposed to be longer but I ended up returning early after everything shut down.

In an exciting (to me at least!) update - the bucket I'm cycling the rock in has got some kind of pinkish brown film growing today. Is this perhaps the beginnings of my ugly phase?
Tank unfortunately is still dry since I no longer trust the stand I'd planned to use. Not sure quite what I'm going to do yet.
 

ScubaEthan

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Ooooo good question. Wow I had not even thought of any goby other than the yellow watchman. The tangaroa is one fabulous fish. I do want to try to stick to captive-bred or rehomed fish, so that limits me. It will be a very tough self-imposed rule to follow.

Hooray on the beginning of your ugly phase! lol. Oof yeah, definitely want to trust your stand.
 

Jib

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I have this same tank. Couple of responses to some of your questions. When I spoke with IM, they said to run either the filter sock or media caddy, not both. They noted the filter socks is capable of catching very fine particles, and does clog easily. Best used after you would stir up a bunch of stuff you'd like to remove.

As far a the back chambers go, I run the media caddy in the first one with the cotton balls on top, carbon / GFO in the middle, and I added a bunch of bioballs (not included) to the 3rd slot of the basket. The second chamber I have the bracket for my light, as well as two heaters (50W Eheim (my tanks temp would drop a few degrees at night)) . Third chamber is my return pump as well as the sensor for my ATO.

I am currently running the Fiji Pink as well. I do not like it. It looks great, but the fine particle size blows around in my tank easily. I'm going to be replacing it next weekend with the CaribSea Special Grade.

I ahven't tried to remove the pump yet. Maybe a suction cup on the bottom?

Hope this helps, looks forward to seeing what you do with your tank! Post updates when you can.
 
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saltcats

saltcats

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I have this same tank. Couple of responses to some of your questions. When I spoke with IM, they said to run either the filter sock or media caddy, not both. They noted the filter socks is capable of catching very fine particles, and does clog easily. Best used after you would stir up a bunch of stuff you'd like to remove.

As far a the back chambers go, I run the media caddy in the first one with the cotton balls on top, carbon / GFO in the middle, and I added a bunch of bioballs (not included) to the 3rd slot of the basket. The second chamber I have the bracket for my light, as well as two heaters (50W Eheim (my tanks temp would drop a few degrees at night)) . Third chamber is my return pump as well as the sensor for my ATO.

I am currently running the Fiji Pink as well. I do not like it. It looks great, but the fine particle size blows around in my tank easily. I'm going to be replacing it next weekend with the CaribSea Special Grade.

I ahven't tried to remove the pump yet. Maybe a suction cup on the bottom?

Hope this helps, looks forward to seeing what you do with your tank! Post updates when you can.

Thanks very much, that's really helpful to know!

I managed to get the pump out in the end - once you take off the output nozzle it lifts out pretty easily.
 
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saltcats

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Nearly a month later and well due for an update, I think. Picked up 20lbs of special grade reef today, as well as finally moved my rocks over from the bucket into the tank. Aquascaping with reef rock seems a lot harder than freshwater - normally don't have this much trouble making something I like the look of!

I definitely will need to pick up some more rock, to get some more height going, since the current stuff barely makes it halfway up. I'm also worried about the weight on the base of the tank, since the rocks only seem to make contact in small points - I know egg crate is widely used in freshwater to distribute the weight out but I rarely see it mentioned here so perhaps I don't need to worry after all! That, or get some of the flat stacking rocks to make a base for them to go on...

But most exciting of all - I have a hitchhiker! I definitely didn't expect this since my LFS's "live rock" is really just "wet rock", but there's definitely the world's smallest feather duster in there! Now I'm thinking I have no idea how to keep him alive, although I guess he's made it this far! I turned the powerhead off for now since he's right in front of it and I was worried he was getting blasted, but I'm not sure how I could try to move him to a safer location on the rocks?

Will see if I can get any pics :D
 
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samnaz

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Pics!

I wouldn’t attempt to move the duster from the rock, can you just slightly rotate the rock or the powerhead? I’m not even sure if intense flow bothers them enough to bail out. If anything more current means more particulate treats for them.

The “stax” rocks are fun and make aquascaping soo much easier to create and secure. Egg crate beneath the rocks is fine if used in small amounts but generally it’s a death trap for detritus. But do you have sand in there? If so make sure the rocks are on top of the sand, more so than sitting directly on the bottom glass, you needn’t worry about the weight of the rocks.

Also I think there’s rock specially for creating a foundation, it’s sliced flat on one side, natural on the other. Marco rocks makes it, or used to anyway.
 
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saltcats

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Pics!

I wouldn’t attempt to move the duster from the rock, can you just slightly rotate the rock or the powerhead? I’m not even sure if intense flow bothers them enough to bail out. If anything more current means more particulate treats for them.

The “stax” rocks are fun and make aquascaping soo much easier to create and secure. Egg crate beneath the rocks is fine if used in small amounts but generally it’s a death trap for detritus. But do you have sand in there? If so make sure the rocks are on top of the sand, more so than sitting directly on the bottom glass, you needn’t worry about the weight of the rocks.

Also I think there’s rock specially for creating a foundation, it’s sliced flat on one side, natural on the other. Marco rocks makes it, or used to anyway.

It's on the glass bottom, and it seems to have attached itself.... That's where the sand is supposed to go, little guy! Think I'm going to have to try moving the powerhead instead - it's really blasting from just an inch or two away there and I'm worried he'd get sucked right in if he bails.

I will be adding sand! I figured I'd put the rock in first and make sure it's stable by itself before adding sand around it, since I will be having a shrimp and goby who'll dig. I think the Marco rocks is what I have been looking at. Thought it could make a nice stable base and then I'll put my pretty rock on top, and it won't get half hidden in the sand then :D

It's a pretty awful photo since he's so tiny and my phone's zoom isn't great but here he is!
1605152302628.png

You can just see his tentacles facing the camera, and the little clear spot he's made on the bottom. Now I'm worried what else might've been in the rock dust left in the bottom of the bucket!
 
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saltcats

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A few days later than planned but an update at last.

I ordered some foundation rocks with the flat bottom, and they and my heater seemed to go in circles with the post office for a while before finally turning up yesterday. I was really pleased with the marcorocks piece, the texture on it was really good and there were lots of openings throughout it.

With that, at last I was able to get my sand added and fill the tank up for real. I'm not totally sold on the scape yet - kind of thinking about rotating the large rock on the left to interlock more snugly with the one below it, and the pink piece can perhaps stack on top of that. They're all very secure, I'm not worried about anything getting knocked over.

11-24-20 first fill.jpg


Unfortunately I miscalculated the length of the heater, and I don't think there's any way to make it fit in the back compartments :( Not the end of the world though, and it's not in it's final position yet.
There's definitely a learning curve with this tank - I'm not at all sure I've got the filter sock in correctly and the instructions make no mention of it. Ah well; if I'd had a shorter heater I wouldn't have even been using it so can't complain!

Thanks for following along!
 

Turkey head

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There’s always a learning curve! I’ve had a 28g AIO for 4 ish years. I’m starting a 65 g AIO. I thought it would be no problem since “I know what I’m doing now”. Yeah right! I’m going through all kinds of learning curves with new pumps, lighting, water flow, etc. Even with cycling the tank. It’s part of the fun.
 
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There’s always a learning curve! I’ve had a 28g AIO for 4 ish years. I’m starting a 65 g AIO. I thought it would be no problem since “I know what I’m doing now”. Yeah right! I’m going through all kinds of learning curves with new pumps, lighting, water flow, etc. Even with cycling the tank. It’s part of the fun.
Seems every new piece of equipment has its own idiosyncrasies! What is the plan for your 65?

The most confusing thing since filling the tank properly has been topping off with RO - before this I just had a line I kept it filled to, but now the pump keeps the display at the same level constantly. I guess I go based off the height in the pump chamber? But that seems to fluctuate based on what filter media is running... Ah well, it'll be second nature soon, I'm sure.
 
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I'm not at all sure I've got the filter sock in correctly and the instructions make no mention of it.

I have this same tank and can help. The filter sock will go in the first chamber, and hang the plastic pieces over the edge of the edge of the tank and the wall for the second chamber. I spoke with IM about the use of the sock. They noted it is best used tactically. After water changes or maintenance where the tank get stirred up with fine particles that you want to remove. The fabric is very tight, and can clog easily. Not making it a great overall filter option. The media basket they included is better for all around use. I only use the basket. I place the cotton balls in the top section (with thin filter floss on top so I can change every 2 or 3 days easily, keep the cotton balls cleaner and a secondary source of mechanical filtration). Carbon and GFO (might remove the GFO, PO4 not present currently.) in the middle, and some bioballs in the bottom.

I guess I go based off the height in the pump chamber?

Yes, base your top off on the water level in the return chamber, not the tank. If you get an ATO, this is where you would put the sensor and the top off hose.

Edit, and if your using an Eheim heater, the 50W is what fits in back chamber.
 
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saltcats

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I have this same tank and can help. The filter sock will go in the first chamber, and hang the plastic pieces over the edge of the edge of the tank and the wall for the second chamber. I spoke with IM about the use of the sock. They noted it is best used tactically. After water changes or maintenance where the tank get stirred up with fine particles that you want to remove. The fabric is very tight, and can clog easily. Not making it a great overall filter option. The media basket they included is better for all around use. I only use the basket. I place the cotton balls in the top section (with thin filter floss on top so I can change every 2 or 3 days easily, keep the cotton balls cleaner and a secondary source of mechanical filtration). Carbon and GFO (might remove the GFO, PO4 not present currently.) in the middle, and some bioballs in the bottom.



Yes, base your top off on the water level in the return chamber, not the tank. If you get an ATO, this is where you would put the sensor and the top off hose.

Edit, and if your using an Eheim heater, the 50W is what fits in back chamber.
Thanks very much! That's kind of what I'd figured - that it was one or the other intended to be used, and not both. Thin filter floss on the top is a great idea; I'll probably do that, especially the first few weeks while there's still some residual dust from sand/rock!

I've been following along with your build thread, great to see what someone else is doing with the same tank! I ended up with the special grade reef rather than fiji pink based on your experience :)

Following along, what is the size of the heater that didn't fit in the back chamber? I'm thinking of setting up this tank while I treat my 20 gallon.
The eheim jager trutemp 75W - I oversized slightly because the room the tank is in gets cold in winter. I had forgotten to take into account that the water level wouldn't be to the top of the back chambers when I measured - the perils of having never had an AIO before! I'll see how things go with the temperature over the winter, and might switch out for a smaller heater after that (it bothers me to see it in the display when for once nothing else is!)
 
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saltcats

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It's been a while since my last update! Things have been moving along steadily, and I'm at the point now where it's about to get quite exciting, I think.

Firstly, we now have light!
IMG_20201228_145244.jpg

I got an AI Prime 16HD for Christmas, and I'm really liking it! I'm running a modified Saxby preset, scaled way down for now (I think it's probably scaled too low but I thought I'd start small and increase). I also increased whites a little bit, since I don't love the ultra blue look, but I didn't want to mess too much while I am so new and don't really know what I'm doing!
Screenshot_20201228-150156.jpg

One thing I'm confused about is that little peak at the beginning? I definitely didn't create it, but it doesn't seem present on the picture on AI's website, so I'm not actually sure if it's supposed to be like that or if something weird happened during download. I'd be quite happy if I can remove it, since it'd free up a programming slot for things I'd rather modify!

I also got my first official inhabitants! 4 little blue leg hermits, and I love them to bits. I know I don't have much algae yet, so I've been feeding them regularly. They seem to be doing well!
IMG_20201228_145706.jpg
IMG_20201228_145717.jpg

(Now I can join everyone else in posting excessively blue photos lol!)
I also discovered a brittle star hitchhiker, who I'm delighted by! I'd really hoped to have some, but hadn't seen any yet. He seems partial to mysis shrimp; he's far more likely to make an appearance when I feed that than any other foods. No photos, he is shy.

Things seem to be going smoothly so far, and I'm pleased with how it's coming along. I'd love some advice for my next steps.
My light has been up and running since December 15th, and I'd expected some noticeable algae growth by now? I'm a little confused by that; should it normally take so long for the "uglies" to get started? Admittedly I haven't tested nitrate etc so it's possible I have nothing to fuel it, but I have been feeding the tank reasonably IMO and if the levels were really 0 I'd have thought dinos would appear?
I do want to change out my heater, since it's so obtrusive in the display, and it prevents me from shutting the lid tightly. I was looking at the Finnex titanium tubes, which want to be mounted horizontally, and had the idea of putting it in that closed off little area below the first 2 chambers. Does anyone know if there'd be enough flow there?

And lastly, I'd really appreciate some feedback on my planned stocking!
Definitely want:
- Candy cane pistol shrimp + goby pair (most likely either tangaroa or randall's)
- Dwarf feather duster
Considering (not necessarily all of these together!):
- Porcelain anemone crab
- Micro decorator crab
- Cowrie (chestnut or ring?)
- Pompom crab?
- Anemone shrimp?
I'm also really tempted by a yellow ball sponge, but I know they can be harder to keep (feed properly?). Would one be at all possible down the line, do you think? Or an anemone - rock flowers seem popular for nano size tanks like this, and have a reputation for being safe with fish. On the other hand, the mini maxi carpet appeals more, but I definitely don't want to take a chance on my fish being killed, and the jury seems out on this one. Perhaps I'd be better with a Ricordea? They have a similar appearance.
Additionally, would it be okay to have a second fish? I'm not sure yet if I want more than one, but I've been looking at a Tanaka's pygmy wrasse if I went this route. Would it be aggressive towards my goby?
If I added some live mysids, would my pistol shrimp hunt them?

Thanks for reading all of this, and following my journey! I've learned a lot from the community here :D
 
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