Slow-walking the Nuvo 40 I never wanted, and the spiral back into madness

92Miata

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Circa 2005 I was a young, 20-something hotshot reefer - living in Boston, and pretty active in the local club. I had a whole bunch of tanks, no money, and a small apartment. Life was good.

Then I met a girl at the fish club who had a 125, and worked at the New England Aquarium - and fell hard. She got a job offer at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago - so we bundled up the dog and cats, sold off a lot of the livestock and equipment, and gave what was left to my little brother for what was expected to be a relatively short break from reefing.

She got different jobs - a stint at the Smithsonian, followed by some time at the Maryland Zoo - and I followed along. We set up small freshwater tanks along the way - we had bettas for a while, and then I bred Praecox rainbows in a planted 40 breeder for a bit. There were killifish. But there was never saltwater - because moving a reef tank is hard.

In 2013 we bought a house outside Richmond Virginia - and among other things, I ended up with a 150g stock tank chock full of water plants and comets.

Flash forward to last fall - I get a text message from my wife saying that a co-workers reef tank (wait, what?) had crashed, and that she was giving up. Then I got another text with a picture of a clownfish in a bucket. Great. Its starting.

I head out to the garage to see what we've got left for equipment - there's a 5 gallon marineland acrylic all-in-one thing - the acrylic is a little crazed - but looks whole, assorted pumps and flotsam and jetsum - a whole bunch of heaters that don't work - and under a pile of wood stove pellets, what do I see? Two boxes of Reef Crystals, and a 50lb box of MarcoRocks that I think I got from Marco before MarcoRocks was really a thing. And the Reef Crystals? Who knows - probably a group buy from Boston.

So my Wife sets up the clown in some bucket-water in the Marineland with some rubble from the coworkers tank and a little bit of dry rock - and off we go. For like 3 weeks. And then there's salt creep everywhere, and the Marineland AIO is clearly leaking - big crack across the bottom.

So she goes out and finds someone on facebook selling an IM Nuvo Fusion 10 with skimmer and a Black Box led light, and sets that up in the home office. Some more of the dry rock finds a home - as well as some live rock she found on facebook - with some button polyps. So now its not a clownfish, its a reef tank.

We've got a rambunctious 2 year old and full time jobs, and too much going on. I don't want a reef tank again. Too much work. But its her tank, not mine, so whatever.

A couple months go by, and the single clown has miraculously become a pair, there are zoas, and mushrooms and a rose BTA and she's looking at captive bred mandarins online. We drive down to Virginia Beach to pick up a Nuvo 40 and stand and a bunch of caribsea rock and a bunch of other stuff someone is getting rid of. I make the mistake of saying I'll take the Nuvo 10 if she's upgrading.

This is a mistake for a couple of reasons:
 
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92Miata

92Miata

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Reasons this is a mistake:

1. I'm too old for this.
2. She wants to do a clean upgrade, because the rock in the 10g is covered in aiptasia and majanos. And vermetids. And everything else because its a combination of old dry rock that's never been cleaned and people's cast off live rock from tanks being shut down.

So now she's got a 40g tank, and I've got a 10 with a whole bunch of trashrock, and no cleanup crew. Reefcleaners to the Rescue! I get some peppermint shrimp, and some run of the mill cleanupy stuff - and they mostly take care of the aiptasia. I manually deal with the majanos. Its tough, but it gets done.

Great - now I've got a reef tank too. :/

My wife makes an order for a captive bred Coral Beauty angel for her tank and asks me what I want - couple small corals - something to start with, etc. We wait - bated breath - pins and needles - she's excited. Then she gets a text message from the store she ordered from - some guy in South Carolina just called saying he got the wrong box - and it has a coral beauty and some nice LPS in it.

We get our box - its a captive bred blue devil damsel. Of course. Into the 10 it goes, because what else can I do here? Got some zoas and xenia. Xenia immediately melts down.
 
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92Miata

92Miata

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We're starting to get up to present day -

On May 2nd, I'm working in the home office - and my wife texts me from downstairs. She's found another cheap Nuvo40 on facebook - tank, APS stand, IM skimmer, return pump, etc, for $350. I drive 30 minutes or so to check it out with my face mask and hand sanitizer and all that. Stand is a bit of a mess - door hinges are broken, it was a wood tone stand that somebody poorly spray painted black, and is missing some of the parts. I pay the lady. I take it home. I leave it in the car for 3 days. The back acrylic panel warps because the inside of my car is like the surface of the sun because its 90 degrees out.

I leave it out in the sun with some bricks on the divider. It doesn't look great, but it's not broken, and the seams are ok. That'll do pig, that'll do.

I give the stand a once-over. I call Innovative Marine. $35 and 24 hours later I have new hinges, feet, and a bunch of other junk.

I take it apart, lay down painters cloth on the front lawn, and paint it. It looks great. My father-in-law decides to do me a favor and mow my lawn. It doesn't look great anymore.

I strip it again, and paint it again. It'll do.

Its in the office and Its got water in it now. It got a bottle of Bio-Spira two days ago. We're on our way.

(forgive my horrifying cameraphone photos - and dirty tank)

IMG_20200521_154412066.jpg
 
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92Miata

92Miata

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Have been dealing with some alkalinity issues - that I finally got figured out. Details are in this thread:
 
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92Miata

92Miata

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Had a hell of week last week, which culminated on thursday with me trying to catch my wife's 2nd mandarin (to move him to the 10g fuge tank because the other mandarin is beating him up) and accidentally spooking him into the rear pump section of the Nuvo40 he was in. Getting him out was a nightmare, and her AI Prime took a bath, as well as my cell phone. So yay.

Anyways,new phone got here today, so I'm going to post some crappy photos as I try to figure it out.

Tank has been rock solid at 8.4dkh for a couple weeks dosing 10ml of each part of Randy's 2 part, and phosphates have crept down from .37 to .08 (via Hanna ULR Phosphate).

Tank is definitely stabilizing, although I'm starting to get a bit of hair algae, and definitely getting some brown crud to go along with the hair algae. Scraping the glass and turkeybasting the rocks seems to mostly be keeping things in check.

My wife ordered her replacement box for the Damsel Fiasco, and bought me a pair of Captive Bred Mocha Occelaris - they came in huge and healthy and are doing great. I bought them a RBTA split - and it came in tiny - so there's a lot of sillyness going on there.
 
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92Miata

92Miata

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Equipment:
Tank : AI Nuvo Fusion 40 - black starboard on bottom
Lights: Radion XR30W Gen3 running "Radiant Color" plan at 65%, Noon - midnight.
Return : Jebao DCP 2500
Flow: 2x Jebao OW-10 in corners pointing straight down.
Skimmer: IM Ghost Desktop

Timeline so far:
5/2/20 - Buy AI Nuvo Fusion 40 off craigslist
5/12/20ish - Stand is finished being painted, and water goes into the tank, as well as bottle of Bio-Spira, and 20 lbs of dry rock.
5/20/20ish - Damsel, Clowns, and a piece of live rock with some palythoa goes in the tank from the 10g.
5/25/20 - Radion Xr30w Gen3 arrives - corals from 10g transferred as 10g is a mess. This includes Red Digi, a Cali Tort, ORA tricolor valida, and some cyphastrea.
6/13: Begin dosing 2-part to deal with issues after realizing old box of Reef Crystals has 3 dkh.
6/20: Dosed half bottle of ARC purple and half bottle of ARC pink
 
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92Miata

92Miata

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Here's 3 weeks post ARC helix:
IMG_20200710_214341_08.jpg


And my awesome jingle bell cyphastrea - all the growth to the left to the square piece is since it went in the new tank.
IMG_20200710_210128_99.jpg

And some purple and red favites?
IMG_20200710_210251_94.jpg

And some encrustation from the ORA tricolor and the piece I accidentally broke off.
IMG_20200710_210505_70.jpg

And batch 2 - some local $10 acro frags now that current sps are growing and starting to color up. They're tiny, and too pale, but $10.
IMG_20200710_210656_54.jpg


And the requisite awful FTS for later comps:
IMG_20200710_215510_04.jpg
 
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JBKReef

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See how smug this Perc is? This is all her fault. Her and her trashy Occelaris boyfriend.

IMG_20200521_155304856.jpg
Laughed out loud at this. Bravo.

I'm also in the initial stages of getting a NUVO 40 up and running for the wife. She was the one who had a reef tank in high school and "it was her favorite class" so as a surprise and expecting a joint hobby I got us a reef tank to work on together. 3 years later I'm 100% the owner of the tanks and have taken the hobby much further than she ever intended.
Her Nuvo 40 will have the pulsing xenia, GSP, and annoying anemones that wont stop scorch earthing my corals. Easy peasy.

Best of luck! Very enjoyable thread.

How is the AI Prime doing post dunk?
 
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92Miata

92Miata

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Laughed out loud at this. Bravo.

I'm also in the initial stages of getting a NUVO 40 up and running for the wife. She was the one who had a reef tank in high school and "it was her favorite class" so as a surprise and expecting a joint hobby I got us a reef tank to work on together. 3 years later I'm 100% the owner of the tanks and have taken the hobby much further than she ever intended.
Her Nuvo 40 will have the pulsing xenia, GSP, and annoying anemones that wont stop scorch earthing my corals. Easy peasy.

Best of luck! Very enjoyable thread.

How is the AI Prime doing post dunk?
My only complaint about the nuvo40 is I wish it was like 3 or 4 inches deeper front-to-back - can get a little tough on spacing, and no matter how much I try to keep the rocks away from the glass, I still end up catching corals when I'm trying to clean the glass. I do a lot of the maintenance on both tanks - so I get where you're at.


The AI Prime is in pieces at the moment - I can't see anything wrong - but it won't fire up. I need to take the heatsink/fan off and see if there's any crud under there - and it'll probably get an alchohol bath at some point.

I ended up buying her a used Gen4 Radion XR30w - so pretty major upgrade - I've been really happy with my Gen3. Her two RBTAs are moving around all over the place trying to figure things out (even with the light running at like 25% now during acclimation mode) - but it should give us a little more flexibilty as far as backup frags/moving things between tanks. She's got some nutrient issues that need to be worked out (lots of food growing out the mandarins and low flow) - but we're moving along.
 
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92Miata

92Miata

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Just wanted to document corraline here - it's been almost exactly 2 months since the tank was started and 1 month since adding the ARC Reef stuff.

IMG_20200722_155713_05.jpg

Starboard is about 50% of the coverage the back is - but I'm pretty happy with my $24 purchase.
 
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92Miata

92Miata

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Mute the.sound - I had the 3d printer running in the background - so.its a mess.

Biota mandarin got moved out of the 10g - converting it slowly to qt/etc.

He's enjoying some brine In the 40.

 
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Tahoe61

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"You are too old for this" lol.
It looks great, and I am sure it is a nice diversion from life of late.
 

Coral in your reef tank?

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