Stevebutters IM Nuvo 30 Reef build

Stevebutters

New member
Hi all! So forgive me, but I am a complete newbie to marine aquariums, but have always loved them! I recently decided to jump in to the hobby with a new IM Nuvo 30 tank. I bought the tank just over 3 weeks ago along with 25 lbs of live sand, and 35 lbs of live rock (cured). I then took my LFS advice and filled it with tap water and Instant ocean salt mix :uhoh2:... I then installed all live sand and rock, then went and got some accessories. I work at a local Petsmart taking care of all the freshwater fish, so I get a nice discount there. I got a dual strip t5 light with one actinic bulb and one 10,000k bulb. I also got a IM Skimmate, an Eheim 150W heater, and two hydor 425 GPH circulation pumps. I converted one of the original filter media baskets to a small refugium with chaeto and live rock, and replaced the other basket with the skimmer. About 4 days after set up, I noticed my live rock turning brown, sure enough it was a massive diatom bloom cause by my tap water. I then went to a different LFS for advice. They explained diatoms to me, sent me in the direction of a good water store, and I bought a bunch of RO/DI water. I then went and did a succession of 50% water changes with the good water for 3 days. The diatoms were still there, but not advancing anymore. I started to only run the lights over the small refug and continued the cycling wait. 2 weeks passed (as well as two more 25% water changes) from there (this weekend) and I went to the good LFS and bought two nicely sized zebra turbo snails on their advice. They have been in my tank for 2 days now and have almost eaten all of the diatoms! :D. My water tests this morning were:
Ammonia- O
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate- 0
PO4- 0
Mag- 1300
Calcium- 480
Salinity- 1.025
PH- 8.2
Alk- 12 dKH
Temp- 77 F
Snails seem to be fat and happy, very active at night. I did break my skimmer bracket, so until I get a new one the original media basket is sitting in that side. But this weekend I think I will go and buy my first coral! My wife wants Xenia very badly, and from what I've read, its a good starter coral. I also have a 10gal QT set up with a Fluval U2 filter with biomax (rated for 30 gal) that has been running for 3 weeks as well, so I may also try to find a red firefish to put in there to start my journey.
Again, I am a newbie so go easy on me, but I welcome all criticism and advice! I'll try to get some pics up when the wife gets home, she is the one with the camera and computer skills :) Thanks for reading!
 

terrypercula

New member
Couple things here. One great choice on the nuvo tank! I have a 16 gallon and couldn't be happier. Number two xenia is a great starter coral and my advice is to isolate it to one rock because it does grow quickly and can actually take over a tank quickly. Last thing your calcium seems a touch high not dangerously high by any means but something to look into. Are you dosing anything or dies your salt mix set the calcium that high?
 

Stevebutters

New member
Thanks for the reply and advice! I will definitely isolate the Xenia. I havent been dosing the tank, but with the 25% water change I did yesterday I switched from using regular Instant Ocean salt mix to reef crystals because I ran out of the regular and I figured it might be good to start using the reef crystals before I start introducing corals. Will high calcium be bad? Also any other suggestions for starter corals? Also, I'm guessing to go slow introducing the corals to let my tanks Bioload adjust?
 

terrypercula

New member
High calcium isn't the worst thing in the world. I've found there's a correlation between calcium and alkalinity though. Usually when one is high the other is low. Like I said hours isn't dangerously high so nothing to be concerned with now. Once you introduce more and more corals they're going to start using that calcium especially if down the road you start doing SPS. Did your tank come with the dual dimmable strip light?
 

Stevebutters

New member
Ok cool, good stuff to know. Sadly it did not come with the LEDs, and the T5 HO set up was less than half the cost of the Skyylight so my wallet made me go with those (For now...)
 

terrypercula

New member
Ok cool, good stuff to know. Sadly it did not come with the LEDs, and the T5 HO set up was less than half the cost of the Skyylight so my wallet made me go with those (For now...)

That's not a bad choice. I was just curious because I don't know how people feel about them yet. Personally I'd probably get the tank only and choose my own light for it.
 

Stevebutters

New member
Update on my Nuvo! Since I last posted I have gradually introduced some corals and fish over the past month. My tank is now home to a yellow watchman goby and his pistol shrimp buddy. It is just recently become home to a pair of firefish that have been in my qt for 3 weeks. Today I bought a scissortail dart fish to go with the dart fish/goby theme. Also got two xenia islands going on in my tank with two different types of xenia. Also aquired a liking for LPS, so went and got me a nice favia frag, as well as some frogspawn. Lastly added a purple ribbon gorgonian. Tank looks so active! Thousands of these little white pods crawling all over everything. Shrimp and goby are always excavating a new tunnel. Though I did watch the pistol git tired of a baby cerith in his way, so he popped at the snail till it released, then was dragged into the den.... No more baby cerith. I also bought a nice freshwater mollie from work and have acclimated him to my QT. Im not worried about introducing anything, but want to make sure the poor guy survives the FW to SW change. He seems to be doing fine, eats the mysis I offer, and the pellets, I hear I will make quick work of whatever algae I have in the DT. Id really like to post up some pics, but Im not the greatest with figuring this stuff out. I will probably release the molly in the DT tonight, and I will keep you posted!
 

Stevebutters

New member
Also forgot to mention that I upgraded my lighting from the t5 HO to a kessil A150 ocean blue LED. The difference is amazing, and I feel much more free now to consider growing SPS and maybe even a clam! :)
 

Stevebutters

New member
Think I figured out how to add pics... Heres one of the whole tank, and one of the Molly looking a little out of place!
 

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