Setting up IM Nuvo 16


New member
Dear all,

I am new to the hobby, after years keeping FW tanks. I have just bought a IM Nuvo 16 gal, and set it up yesterday. I have first a few questions about the sand and LR, on which I would like your opinion.

I have added:

13.3 lbs (6kg) of rinsed coral sand (pretty fine, most grains are 1-2 mm diameter). I was aiming for a 1" (2.5cm) layer. However, after adding it all, it looks closer to 1.5-2" (4-5 cm) in some areas. Is that too much? I am not planning to have digger or burrower inverts or fishes, apart from the CUC. Is there any other advantage to have a deeper sand bed (apart from the real, much deeper, deep sand bed approach)?
Live rock: I have decided to put a decent amount, 16.3 lbs (7.4 kg), with 2 big pieces of about 4.8 lbs each and 3 smaller pieces between 2.2 and 2.8 lbs. I figured I can still remove one of the smaller pieces later on if I want less LR. I understand the minimalist landscape approach, but I would like to run ultimately with only LR and skimmer, and only use chemical filtration when really needed to fix an issue. I have read some people are quite successful with a simple system such as LR + skimmer, whereas chemical filtration becomes more important if the tank is almost overstocked and/or with too little LR. Is there some truth in there, or is that a naïve (beginner) belief? Alternatively, I was thinking to break one of the small LR piece and put the rubbles in one of the back chambers. Is that a good option? The guy at the LFS also noticed one small piece was not fully cured; maybe I should remove that one?

I hope the LR arrangement is steady; I have spent a long time trying to find the best way to put it together, but I found it the hardest part of the 9 hour setup day! I will attached 2 pictures. Are the LR too close to the back? I tried to keep the open space in the front, but I also don't want to impair the flow in the tank by placing the LR too much in the back.

One of the LR pieces seemed to have some kind of algae (? see picture attached, basically a brown small filamentous aspect; Bryospis is green, not brown, right?). I removed as much as I could from it before placing it into the tank, but some was still left-over in crevasses, which I couldn't remove. Is that going to multiply once the cycle progresses? There is also a gluey dense green algae, which I try to brush off, but there are still some left on the LR. Hopefully those die off during the cycle instead of multiplying.
For now, I have the powerheads and heater running at 77F, one custom caddy media basket in which I fitted the top 2 compartments with filter floss, and I have left one of the default IM media baskets that come with the tank (which has filter floss, activated carbon sponge and phosphate sponge). Should I remove the carbon and phosphate sponge from that last basket?

Thanks for your advices. I will keep you updated during the cycle, as I am sure I will need some help.


  • QLD 417.jpg
    QLD 417.jpg
    41.9 KB · Views: 0
  • QLD 424.jpg
    QLD 424.jpg
    32.9 KB · Views: 0
  • QLD 428.jpg
    QLD 428.jpg
    28.7 KB · Views: 0