My Nuvo Fusion 10 Thread

chammergren

New member
In January of this year I decided for a number of reasons to venture into the aquarium hobby. My experience with keeping an aquarium is limited to goldfish in a glass bowl as a child and having a few fire belly newts in a water terrarium that my mom took care of when I was 8.

I rarely, if ever, thought about being interested in keeping an aquarium throughout my teenage and college years. Recently, in the grind of what is the Minnesota winter, I got tired of only seeing white and brown when I looked outside. I started watching youtube videos of people who had freshwater aquariums with Discus and other tropical fish. The thought of having color and life contained within my home suddenly became a way for me to escape the ugly cold winter days.

After watching a lot of videos of freshwater tanks I decided to look into the costs of getting a tank that would fit my current apartment well. After a week or so of research, I stumbled across a youtube channel of an American guy living in China who has an incredible reef tank.

https://youtu.be/xaJk8K5ZxCQ?list=PLCXSKSR1qp-vQAUeuFaIuV-BfbXw-Mx1N

I knew that there must be a lot more work involved in setting up and maintaining a reef aquarium but I was amazed by his tank. I wished I could have even a small fraction of the type of tank he had but I was somehow convinced that having no experience in keeping even a freshwater tank I would fail miserably at trying saltwater.

I realized that I would never know for sure unless I tried. I understood that setting up a saltwater would be more expensive than I would plan for (it was) and that it would be more work than freshwater but it would not be impossible. I have a bachelors degree in biology with a minor in chemistry and I work in a microbiology lab. The skills used between scientific work/academia are not the same as those used in reef keeping but I thought some of them had to be transferable or similar at least.

So in February I researched equipment and general reef keeping information. I wanted a small tank because I knew it would cost less and I incorrectly associated smaller with less responsibility in my head. It wasn't until after I had purchased most of my equipment that I realized a smaller tank you lead to less stability and a more fragile environment but my excitement could not be dampened and I forged ahead. By the end of the month I had purchased all of the equipment necessary to begin cycling my tank.

Tank
Innovative Marine Fusion 10 Premium Starter Kit
Stock pump (92 GPH)
Hydor Koralia 240 GPH powerhead
100 Watt Cobalt Neotherm Heater

Filtration
Through the cycle, I used the 200 Micron filter sock that came with the system.
Upgraded after the cycle to the Innovative Marine AUQA Gadget CustomCaddy - Media Basket
Top chamber - Mechanical filtration foam (Fluval Bio Foam)
Middle chamber - Filter bag with Chemi-Pure
Bottom chamber - Poly Filter

Skimmer
Innovative Marine AUQA Gadget Ghost Protein Skimmer - Desktop

Lighting
The premium starter kit I purchased came with the SKKYE Light 18 Watt LED light (6x 3 watt LEDs).
I upgraded to a Kessil A160WE with the gooseneck when I realized the other light would likely severely limit the types of corals I could eventually keep.

Rock
I have roughly 10 LBS of rock in the tank. I purchased 10 LBS of live Pukani rock and 10 LBS of base rock hoping to do half and half. The live rock I received came in as one large piece but I really liked the shape and didn't know exactly how to go about breaking it without proper power tools. In the end I decided to place the large piece leaning against one small piece of base rock in the tank to create an archway. I wish I had less rock in the tank because it is crowded for sure but due to an ongoing battle with diatoms I don't want to remove the large piece and introduce fresh rock with new silicates and the potential for a new cycle.

Substrate
Roughly 10 LBS of CaribSea Arag-Alive Special Grade Reef Sand, Fiji Pink. I have about a 2 inch deep sand bed that over the past couple months I have been slowly siphoning out with water changes. The diatoms I have are pretty persistent so I am trying to remove them with the sand as I go but I have only removed a cup or two of sand total this way.

Day 1 of tank having water, substrate and rock 2/28/16:
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Cycle ended 16 days later 3/14/16.

Tank Inhabitants:
3/18/16:
First tank inhabitants! High Fin Goby and 4 Trochus Snails, all are still alive and well. (Note the start of diatoms in the photo.)
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4/2/16:
True Percula Clown (Went carpet surfing when I forgot to put the lid back on the aquarium before work one morning :()
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4/15/16:
First corals added to tank once I got the magnesium and calcium levels high enough. Frogspawn, Branched Hammer, GSP. (Note the algae on the live rock forming and the diatoms worsening)
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Unfortunately I learned the difficulties of keeping such a small volume of water steady when we had a weekend where temperatures were in the mid 80's for 3 days straight. I made the mistake of not turning on the portable AC unit I have and keeping the temperature in the house low. I had the tank set at 78 degrees and noticed on the second afternoon of the hot weather that the temperature of the tank had jumped to 82 degrees. I closed up the house and started the AC but the time temperature swing in the tank had already stressed my goby. The goby had dug out a cool little cave under the live rock and stayed in there most of the day but would come out to eat mysis twice a day when I would feed him. The next week he came out less frequently even though I had the tank stabilized. Another week and I saw even less of him, I would use a turkey baster to put mysis directly into his lair but when I turned the pump and powerhead back on it would just blow out and around the tank. I ended up lifting the rock to try to get a look at him and he was ravaged by ich. He was covered in it and his fins were shredded. I felt absolutely terrible, like I failed him and that I wasn't proactive in finding out if he was sick. Not to mention, I don't have a quarantine set up and if I decided to try to use medication to help, it would have meant the end for my corals. I ended up putting him out of his misery in the most humane way I could, one strike with a hammer through a ziploc bag with tank water in it, but I decided that until I can afford to have a larger aquarium and a full quarantine set up that I won't be keeping fish, not to mention the ich life cycle in a fallow tank can last 8 weeks before it starves out completely. I feel it is my responsibility to not care for fish without being prepared to take care of them when they are sick.

More catching up in the next post...
 

chammergren

New member
4/20/16
I noticed a patch of small red macro algae popping up on my live rock. I haven't been able to identify it but it looks similar to some form of Scinaia sp. I plan to let it grow out because I enjoy the aesthetic of it. Here are a succession of photos of the growth over the last couple of weeks.
View attachment 350761
Scinaia.jpg
View attachment 350763

5/1/16
First appearance of what I believe to be coralline algae on the rock. It started in the same area as the red macro but has spread around the rest of the rock and fluoresces under the blue lighting.
View attachment 350764

5/17/16
I have been fighting the diatoms since the beginning of the tank pretty much and have gone lights out for 72 hours but it did not completely eradicate them. To help fight them I purchased a couple of Tongan Nassarius snails and also purchased some Nerite snails to help eat the algae on the rock. At the same time I purchased a few SPS corals. I know that my tank is probably not the best candidate for healthy SPS growth with the size and stability associated with that but I wanted to give them a shot and I went with easier/hardier SPS varieties.

Raspberry Eye Robokaki Chalice Coral
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chammergren

New member
Pink Polyp Capricornis Montipora Coral
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Purple Rimmed Danae Montipora Coral
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Current photographs of the original 3 corals added on 4/15/16
Neon green center pink frogspawn
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Branched Hammer
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GSP
IMAG0369 (2).jpg

I apologize for the poor quality photos. They were all taken on my phone and had to be cropped to meet the size requirements for uploading directly from my computer to the site.

I plan to update this thread mostly for my own personal log of this tank but if you have any questions feel free to ask and I will gladly do my best to answer! Likewise if anyone has suggestions for my tank set up please leave a reply because I will take any criticism I can get being so new to the hobby.
 

chammergren

New member
One last post regarding my current set up and future plans. I plan to purchase an AutoAqua Smart ATO Micro - Automatic Top Off System in the next couple of weeks to further stabilize the tank environment. I also plan on purchasing the Kessil Spectral Controller with lighting consistency in mind.

Here are the supplements I currently have:
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The tank today:
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One note - The 4 clips that hold the lid above the water are starting to wick water up and over the glass when the water level is touching the bottom of the clips. I am not sure why but this only started a week and a half ago even though I have kept the water level the same the entire time I have had the tank. As such I have had to put paper towel in the clips to prop them up above the water line so they are not touching the water. Would it just be better for me to remove the lid completely since I have no fish to worry about jumping out? There is something about the lid being there that makes me feel like less dust particles and other things from falling into the tank. Is that even remotely true? If its the same either way I will just take the lid off.
 

SMSREEF

New member
Hi Chammergren,
Nice tank! I did not like the screen either for mine. I had a piece of glass cut and siliconed a knob to the top. This cuts down on the amount of evaporation. I was afraid of the salinity swings too. It helps, not too much evaporation.
I love the look of the kessil on yours. I should have gotten a better light for mine. But I'll see how it does for a few weeks.
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chammergren

New member
SMS - The glass lid you had cut for yours looks really clean! I bought the Kessil with the thought that my next tank up in the future could still make good use of it, might have to add a second depending on the size of the tank but that is a ways off.

I actually just purchased the Kessil Spectral Controller tonight along with the auto top off. They should be here by the weekend hopefully. I also purchased a 55 gallon mix of Red Sea Coral Pro salt. I have been using regular Instant Ocean but I think it will be worth it to have the Coral Pro salt when it comes to not needing to dose as much to keep my levels high enough.
 

Aggiefish12

New member
Be careful with the kessil for larger tanks. It will cause shadowing of sps corals if you ever go that route. Other than that it's an awesome light!


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chammergren

New member
Thank you for the tip Aggie! Like I said, I am still a ways off from upgrading but obviously I have already thought about my next tank. At this point I think my next tank would be somewhere between 30-40 gallons. I do really like the Fusion Lagoon but I wish it was a little bit bigger than 25 gallons. I definitely have time to think about it but I do appreciate the lighting tip!
 

chammergren

New member
Montipora.jpg
I took this picture of my Montipora capricornis on my phone and thought it looked cool. You can see on the bottom left hand side of the frag plug (just to the right of the light glare) there is some weird hitch hiker. It is so small I can't make out much detail with my eyes. It looks like a mini torch coral or something. I am debating on scraping it off, I feel like I probably should.
 

Babydaull

New member
Hey guys my name is Lucas, I am just getting started in this hobby, I have a 20 gallon nuvo fusion. I am in my second week of cycling. picking up cleaner crew tomorrow.
 

ken1977

New member
My 8 Gallon CADLights started it last Wednesday. Seems to be doing well so far lights are off for thirty days, any helpful tips would be well appreciated since this is my first small tank. Your tank looks really nice.
 

leviburns89

New member
Fellow minnesota reefer here.

Awesome nano, are you a part of our club? TCMAS?

There is a meet Saturday in St paul, I will be bringing a coral or two for trade.

How are you liking the coral pro salt? I run a 50/50 mix of coral pro with IO, my corals love it.

I will be switching from Kent marine coral foods to Reef- roids this week.

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Reeflife916

New member
My 8 Gallon CADLights started it last Wednesday. Seems to be doing well so far lights are off for thirty days, any helpful tips would be well appreciated since this is my first small tank. Your tank looks really nice.
I like the black sand against the real reef, nice contrast

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chammergren

New member
Fellow minnesota reefer here.

Awesome nano, are you a part of our club? TCMAS?

There is a meet Saturday in St paul, I will be bringing a coral or two for trade.

How are you liking the coral pro salt? I run a 50/50 mix of coral pro with IO, my corals love it.

I will be switching from Kent marine coral foods to Reef- roids this week.

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Awesome! I am not part of the club currently. I am still very new to the hobby in general and when I joined Reefcentral I checked the Midwest region reef club forums I noticed that nothing had been posted in the Greater Minnesota Reef Society forum for almost two months so I wasn't sure if the community in MN was just smaller or not very active on here. I did not know anything about the meet up but I was busy today any way. I will definitely keep an eye out for that type of thing in the future! Is there a thread for MN reefers on this site that is active?

In regards the the coral pro salt, I haven't actually done a water change with it yet as I just got it yesterday in the mail. I am still have a bit of instant ocean left so I think I might try to use a mixture of the two the next couple of changes so that the switch is not as drastic. I will definitely test the parameters regularly on the first few changes to get an idea of what a difference there is chemistry wise but I will try to notice a difference in the response of my corals as well.

I also just installed my ATO and the Kessil Spectral controller today so hopefully that only means more stable/regular conditions for my tank!
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leviburns89

New member
Check out TCMAS they have a forum and are on Tapatalk.

We are pretty consistent, and post quite frequently, nothing compared to RC, but rc has almost half million memebers.

Tcmas is however the largest club in minnesota, and have 2 meetings a month usually.

I found many local breeders for corals and fish thru it. Helps a lot when you can get a fish in state a few hours after the order vs waiting days for an online shipment or paying a premium at an LFS.

Let me know when you want to add corals, I will throw you a free frag!

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leviburns89

New member
Just noticed you already have corals! A few of the later shots were empty tanks.

If you want a frag, the deal is still on the table!

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chammergren

New member
Thanks again Levi! I will definitely be looking into TCMAS!

Just wanted to post another photo of the unidentified Macro algae I have growing in my tank. I posted a thread in the Macro Algae forum hoping for some help IDing it but no luck yet.

Here are the 4 pictures taken each of the last four Saturdays so you can see week by week growth.
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leviburns89

New member
It's some type of calciferous algae. Do a Google search of that term and you should find something

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chammergren

New member
Whatever it is, the growth has slowed a good deal over the last two weeks.
IMAG0466_zpscnxpyq6x.jpg


It was 93 degrees here on Friday and 97 Saturday and with my portable AC unit running my room managed to stay cool enough to keep the tank at a steady temperature all weekend. I am relieved to know that I should be able to maintain the temperature of this tank from here on!
 

chammergren

New member
Well after doing a few water changes with the new Red Sea Coral Pro salt I can say I am glad I switched. I also bought the Red Sea Reef Foundation Pro Test Kit that has Mg, Ca and KH tests. I had been using API for KH and Calcium and a Salifert Mg kit but was out of one of the reagents.

My parameters require much less supplementing than before and my pH is now 8.2 where before it was about 7.9.

I haven't updated this thread for a couple of weeks but there is not much to update. I haven't added any new corals or any fish. There have been some feather dusters popping up in holes in the live rock and in the back compartments. The macro algae growth is moving along slow and steady. I have been having much less diatom activity.

My GSP has encrusted the entire frag plug and looks like it is beginning to encrust the rock as well which I am just going to let happen (I know I may regret that down the road). Also, I have a huge population of Munnid Isopods. They are all over the place on the rock, sand and glass but I have no fish in my tank so there is no predation currently. I know their population will only grow as large as the ecosystem I have provided them will allow, simple ecology, but I do think it might be nice to have a pygmy wrasse in the tank that could benefit from having so many around. I'm sure it wouldn't take long for it to decimate the population in such a small tank but I have been thinking of checking my LFS for one or maybe ordering a Tanaka's Pygmy Wrasse on LiveAquaria.

Does anyone have any thoughts on a White Banded Possum or Tanaka's Pygmy Wrasse in a tank this size?
 
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