Im Nuvo Fusion 10 Gallon Set Up


Hey folks,
I'm in the process of getting all the equipment together for my big tank, and since I'm spending so much with nothing to show for it yet, I picked up a nuvo fusion 10 gallon.
I found it on Facebook marketplace, and got a pretty awesome deal, I think, for about $150.

- nuvo fusion 10 (with the included pump)
- ghost skimmer
- AI prime hd
- smaller heater for the sump. 661521f2f40381c562f0eb0588d371e7.jpg8472b1458ec85908fc814cc9ff7ab28a.jpg

Just ordered some rock and sand from BRS last night.

Now I'm reading mixed schools of thought on stocking. Obviously I can't have more than 2 fish...if that.....but I really want a clown, so at least my 3 year old can enjoy something colorful.
I also need reccomendations on a clean up crew.

Any help would be great


Holy moly you grabbed a bargain. !!!!! Nart has one of these I think he is putting designer clowns in his. He is the innovative marine man round here he also has the im25.


Yeah, I thought it was a great deal....for the light alone from what I can tell!

I bought a spectrapure for the big tank for rodI water.....but I think I'm going to just try to buy some from a lfs if I can find one, so I don't have to deal with the mixing for the first fill anyway. I'd assume I wp uldnt have to do water changes while it's cycling, no?
That would give me some time to experiment the best way to mix and store rodI water of my own.


Holy poopers! $150 for the IM10, ghost skimmer, and AI Prime HDs.... you practically got it for free. Way to freaking go.
Also - welcome to the IM10 club

You shouldn't have to do any water changes during a cycle. Unless you get crazy high Ammonia/Nitrite. Otherwise, just leave it and it'll cycle.

What rocks did you get from BRS? Also, what heater did you get? and what return pump came with it?

As far as stocking goes, yeah, you are a bit limited do fish stocking in the IM10 because of the small foot-print.
Here are some stocking options:
A) 2 ocellaris or percula clowns.
B) 1 clown and 1 Pink-Streaked Wrasse
C) 1 clown and 1 white banded possum wrasse
D) 1 clown and 1 clown goby
(You can put in 1 neon goby to any of the mixes above and be okay)

The fishes above are what I would consider bright, and for the most part peaceful fishes that will get along in a IM10. Always buy small clown fishes when you get one. They seem to be less aggressive at a young age and will learn to get along with other tank mates.

Max invert stocking: 1 banded trochus, 1-2 cerith, 1-2 nessarius snails, 1-2 scarlett hermit.

Hope this helps.


Heck yeah!!! Congrats on the sweet deal!!! It'll be fun to watch another IM10 come together. Keep us posted please.


Nart the heater is a smaller, non adjustable jobby. Can't see any markings on it, but when I cleaned it up, it was certainly used in that tank. One of those fully submersible ones, prob 6-8" long.
The return pump, I believe, is rated at up to 80 gph.
I'll take pics of both.
I got reef saver rock, obviously the price was a no brainer, but it seemed a lot easier to manipulate to a scale, since it'll be my first saltwater adventure.


Oh! This will be your first dabble into SW. Gotcha.
Well let us know if you have any questions. Hopefully we'll be able to help.

Might I suggest a few awesome upgrades for the IM10? Especially with deals going on right now.
Return pump = I would suggest getting a Sicce Syncra 0.5. High-end pumps for nano. Need I say more? It's rated at 185 GPH, so it gives the tank plenty of flow without having to put in a power-head in the display. Keeps the tank looking sleek. I paid $42 for this pump and it's onsale for $36.54 on Marine Depot. Here's the link if you are interested. Sicce Syncra Silent 0.5 Multifunction Aquarium Pump (185 GPH) - Marine Depot

Heater = I would replace the heater just because you don't know the reliability of it and the lifespan left. I highly recommend getting the Cobalt Neo-therm 50W. It is slI'm small and digital. Fits right in the return pump chamber. I found that Amazon had the best price on that:
Culprit can vouch for this heater. worth every penny.

Future items for the tank you might want to consider:
Random flow generator nozzle. Love this nozzle. Provides the tank with better flow basically.

In-Tank media basket. It's a nice little acrylic basket. Fits in the overflow chamber for you to neatly organize your chemical bags, bio-media, and to put filter floss up top to help floss the water.

Good choice on the reef saver rocks. At least you won't have to cure it. I would just rinse it thoroughly to get all the dust out.
Here's my IM10 thread if you are interested in sifting through my gear and what I've done so far with it.
Nart's Im10 Fusion Build


Heater = I would replace the heater just because you don't know the reliability of it and the lifespan left. I highly recommend getting the Neo-therm 50W. It is slI'm small and digital. Fits right in the return pump chamber. I found that Amazon had the best price on that:
Culprit can vouch for this heater. worth every penny.

I can TOTALLY vote for this. I've used big bulky long glass heaters my whole time with aquariums. My most recent was the eheim jager so I wasn't using the knockoffs. I got this, and was SHOCKED at how slI'm and sleek and unobtrusive it was. All other glass you have to calibrate it, and temp still varietes by a degree or two. This one, I put it in at 78 (super easy to set, its a button you press, no calibrating, no nothing), 30 minutes later I read the temp it was 78.6. The next day, 78.6, a week later, 78.6, today, 78.6. I'm never going back.


Nart would the random flow generator be needed if I got one of those nano 240 powerheads? That was my plan, once the tank was cycled, before I put any livestock in it. Especially before I try my hand at some novice corals.

Ok I just saw you posted about swapping the return pump, and avoiding the powerhead....but would that work with corals down the road, or would I need one then. I'm guessing flow is flow, regardless of what is creating it. And the random generator would take the place of the powerhead
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I would definitely get that random flow generating nozzle. I don't have any experience with IM's or all in one reef tanks, I just know that you'll end up wanting that pulsing, wave like motion for some of your corals. Euphyllia in particular is a coral that most people want eventually and that random flow will make it look beautiful! Duncans too!


Yup. Unless you get into higher demanding corals like Acros... it'll be sufficient. That's the setup I'm using now. It's able to provide a medium flow to the entire tank.

You'll only want/need a powerhead in the back if you end up stacking lots of rocks towards the back of the tank to prevent detritus from settling.


Ok, so the rock and sand from brs arrives today. I went to a big box and grabbed the stick of epoxy.
This scaping is MUCH harder than previously anticipated!
I've thought I had it and just needed minor shaving, and CRACK...have the **** rock falls
Oh well, with the epoxy I'll have to piece meal it together.
So far, using as big of pieces as I can, here's what I've come up with, but am open to suggestion.
The cardboard underneath is a template of the bottom of the tank...minus a touch. I made it 11"x 11"

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Haha... yeah... you start to have an appreciation for other rockscapes, once you start your own rockscape. It's hard work.
It looks fairly straight forward, and easy... but boy... coming up with a rock structure that fits with what you have on hand is entirely different.

So, the IM10 is pretty tall. Maybe add another piece of rock that's around 2-3" in height to fit on the top left portion? This way you can utilize the height of the tank if you wanted later on with higher demanding light corals. Also, one thing to note, with your rock edges so close to the glass, you might have trouble cleaning the glass. Might I suggest taking a filer and filing off some rocks from the left and right? This way you can use a glass cleaner stick to clean. Otherwise, it looks great!


Ok, so changed things a round a bit for the main base of the "structure". I need to devise a way to build up from it with enough places to put corals in the future...but I only want to go about 9" vertically, and this currently sits at about 6" at its highest....
This is the front

Left side
Right side
And the rear view

Once this epoxy hardens I'll try to come up with some other "branches" on top

Phase 2 of this mess is done.
Nart my question is this....
All this rock only equals like 8lbs. Is that enough? Where the heck am I supposed to add another 2-3 lbs of It? A chunk in the corners for future corals? I assume frags have to be put on rock, no?'s what I got
Front side view

Right side view

Left side view

Rear view
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Front side view for broken link on the previous post

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Looks good!
You don't have to worry about adding more rocks. It matters on how porous the rocks is, in holding the beneficial bacteria colony. What you have is plenty. I think I only use like 2lbs if that in my IM10. But I also use PukanI rocks which are veryyyy porous along with cycled bio-media in the back chambers.

My only comment is with the top rocks like that it'll work. But becareful of Coral placements in the future. Any big corals with branches placed on top will shade the corals in the bottom.


Ok. Yeah, it seemed crazy town that I would need more. I may also do some fine shaping with the dremel once the epoxy fully cures.
Now the next nervous step is making the


Well, it was much easier to set up than I anticipated....but hot **** does it take a long time!0c6849d03261489b1eb8d19e13bf872c.jpg


Nart , here's a question for you. I've got the water in 2 lidded buckets with heaters and small circulation pumps in each. They've been running for nearly 24 hours now in said buckets.
I fired up the nuvo pump that came with the setup and it is abysmal. Barely flows water. So I ordered the syncra .5 as you suggested...but it won't be here until Monday. (You are more than welcomed to say I told you
So can I put the sub and rock in the tank, and fill her up and let it settle without circulation for nearly 2 days? Or will that screw everything up? I figure 1 day would be ample to settle the sand....but am unsure about longer than that.
Worse cased scenario, I can use a little mixing pump in the meantime to get some kind of water movement....


Haha. All good. One never knows the equipment situation till you try it.

You should be fine putting rock and sand in the tank without heater or circulation. It won't hurt anything since you are using all dry rocks and non-live sand. You would only need a pump/heater if you had live rocks and live sand to keep the beneficial bacteria alive.


Filled it up last night and let it sit with dribbling circulation overnight. This morning it looked like this....pardon the sloppy sides from drippage 7e2c61a3df7a8b1ba61c206ac26ac3d2.jpg

I guess USPS is delivering packages today because my Dr. Tim's ammonium chloride came on a Sunday! God bless commerce and holiday greed!

So I added ammo for about 8.5 gallons, because that's about all I could get in with the water and sand. Then I added the bacteria for about the same amount of water.

I am currently using 2 pumps to circulate, until tomorrow when the sicce comes.

Before I added anything to cycle, I tested and got

PH 8
Ammo 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0

Obviously, they were all zero but I wanted to be sure for a baseline.


Nart Seems to be clearing up nicely. Don't know if it's the circulation, or the starting of the cycle. Either way, I'll take it. Will post another update tomorrow after the final pump is in and I test the parameters again.



Looking good!
It's just the dust clearing up.

What are you planning to start the cycle with?


I got some of the Dr. Tim's ammonium chloride, and biro spira bacteria.
I think the biro is to add fish immediately, but I'll prob go through the fishless cycle if I can. I don't need a spike of something to kill off anything that I put in just for cycling.
I'm assuming it's the safest bet


Yup. Go with the fishless cycle route. Cycle as you would with a Freshwater tank. It's the same.

The bio-spira bottle bacteria stuff has never worked for me. and I would definitely not add fishes in till the cycle is done, no matter how instant the bottle tells you it is and no matter how hardy the fish is. You know this stuff, ammonia burns are ammonia burns.

As for the Ammonium Chloride. Less is more. So, just dose to around 1-2PPM of Ammonia and just let the tank do it's thing.

Oh - the only bottled bacteria stuff that I am curious to try if from Algae Barn called turbo start. That stuff seems legit. It's the liquid looks like a bottled detritus of fish poo lol. I think they claI'm it'll cycle a tank in as little as 1 week.


Well we have got flow....and lots of It! I put the skimmer in the chamber, without running it since I'm trying to cycle (I think that's the right move). When I did that, since it took up space and added restriction to the chamber to chamber flow....the pump sucked the return chamber I pulled it out, and turned it down a couple well as added a cup of water to the chamber as a buffer.

I took a video, and if I could figure out how in HelsinkI to post it, I will.
Otherwise I will post the cycle numbers after I settle the family down after the first day back to normal post


Day 2 (yesterday) of the cycle start
Ammonia 2ppm
Nitrite. 2ppm
Nitrate. 10ppm

Day 3 (today)
Ammonia 1ppm
Nitrite. 2/5ppm....
Nitrate. 10/20ppm

They are so close it's tough to decipher which level is the one627ae627fd3186458d0e2f3c26623b73.jpg


Nice! you are really staying ontop of testing the cycle huh?
It's pretty exciting to see the progress.


Update on a lot of nothing happening. Past few days ammonia has been getting cleaned out from 2 ppm to close to 0ppm within 24 hours. So I continue to dose ammonium chloride to bring it back up to 2ppm (once it goes to 0ppm)to feed the beasts. Nitrite has pretty much held steady at around 5ppm...and nitrate fluctuates between 10 And 20ppm throughout the testing. I think today was day 6? Who knows, I write them down and forget

Just the waiting game for the nitrite to dissapear.


Are you quite sure the nitrite level isn't over 5ppm? It's dang near impossible to know with the API test. I've been told that nitrites over 4ppm can slow, or at the worst, stall a cycle. When I'm cycling a tank, I do water changes if nitrites are over 4ppm.

To get a more accurate idea of your nitrite levels you should do a dilution test. Just in case you don't know what I mean by that, I'll give instructions.

50/50 test - Take 2.5ml of tank water and 2.5ml of RODI water, for a total of 5ml to test. Run the nitrite test as usual, but multiply your result by two.

1/5 test - Use 1ml tank water with 4ml RODI water, test as normal and multiply the result by five. You should do this one if you have reason to believe nitrites are very high. I would do it this way first in your situation, since a 5ppm reading on the API test is unreliable. In fact, it is very hard to tell a difference between 2 and 5 on the API test. So, doing a 1/5 test should give you a very low result and it is so much easier to read with accuracy in the lower range of that particular test.

Edit: Oops! Made a mistake above in saying "Are you quite sure the ammonia isn't over 5ppm?" Ammonia has been replaced with nitrites, as that is what I meant, somehow the fingers typed ammonia....
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The ONLY reason I "assume" it drops to zero is from the day to day testing. I didn't think anything if it, since I added the bio spira. So itn not like I was adding ammonia and it was just vanishing without any way of it being processed.
I will try this other method though, when I test tomorrow.
Please stay tuned


So the update...
stella1979 Nart
I did nothing yesterday, and did the dilute test for nitrate.
Ammonia 0
Nitrite off the charts
Nitrate 10ish

I dosed up to 2ppm of ammonia, and then brilliantly decided on a 20% water change.
So I'm sure I got rid of most of the ammonia with that...

Today's test
Ammonia 0
Nitrite (1/5 dilution test) 2.5ish...but not we are getting somewhere with that.
Nitrate I'd say 20 to 30ppm....definitely higher then before.

All I've done wqas the water change, and increased temp to a touch over 80 degrees f.

My question is if I let it ride, without dosing ammonia (which in my opinion is clearly being processed) w ont the rest of the bacteria die off? From my understanding, ammonia is the building block of the whole nitrogen cycle, no?


Edited my post above, sorry for any confusion.

Yes, ammonia is the building block of the nitrogen cycle. I would let ammonia doses ride for 3 days, the ammonia eating bacteria will not starve for at least that long. Still, I wouldn't let nitrites ride over 4pmm for more than a day. FYI, I've recently experienced a stalled cycle on a qt tank, and it's no fun. Your nitrites are converting if nitrates are rising, so at least you have confirmation that things are moving.

If I understand correctly, yesterday nitrites were off the charts, but you went ahead with an ammonia dose to feed ammonia eating bacteria. All good except the very high nitrites make me nervous. However, nitrites today are 2.5, yes? That's good if 50% or more converted in a day. You really don't need to dose ammonia daily though.

I've cycled what amounts to 7 tanks in the last year and had no trouble with 6 of them, all but the stalled one cycled in 30 days or less. You seem to be moving well through the nitrite phase right now, just don't get them too high by dosing ammonia more than you need to. If ammonia and nitrites are both zero in less than 3 days, go ahead and dose ammonia again at that point. Dose every 3 days, or whenever both ammonia and nitrite are zero, and as long as nitrates aren't over 100ppm.


Correct. I dosed ammonia to about 2ppm, but then within 30 minutes did the water change. So I'm figuring some of that ammonia got taken away with the change.
Yes, it certainly seems the nitrites were on the decline..even if minimal....but the increase in nitrate has me hopeful.
I'm going to hold off at adding ammonia today, and see what happens with nitrogen testing tomorrow, and take it from there.


Sounds good. You know, you may have not lowered the parameters as much as you think you did. I recently watched a video using food dye to mimic 'stuff' in aquarium water. So dye goes in the tank, then a 10% water change but the color did not lighten. Same for a 25% change. The color only started lightening at 50% plus. Not to mention all the very high nitrate threads around here where someone does a 25% change and doesn't see a big difference on the nitrate test afterwards. Small changes do very little as far as significantly changing things, after all, 20% after 2ppm still leaves you with more than 1.5ppm. All this to say, it sounds like your cycle is moving well.


Every day this thing does something I'm not expecting.
Today I didn't test Ammonia, because it was zero yesterday.
Nitrites showed barely a trace, on both the full and the dilution test (1/5 dilution) and nitrate showed maybe 10ppm.


What the heck????!!!

Sorry to say it, but this almost must be user error. Are you shaking the heck out of that #2 bottle then beating on it like it kicked your dog? Seriously though, an ingredient in the reagent in bottle #2 can crystallize between uses. You really should shake it hard and even bang it on a table a few times to make sure your mixing it up good. Do that for at least 30 seconds, add the drops, then shake the tube (you can be gentler ) for at least a minute. You could test again, but you probably don't have to unless you have reason to believe the nitrates are super high. Give it another go tomorrow and let us know how it's going.


What the heck????!!!

Sorry to say it, but this almost must be user error. Are you shaking the heck out of that #2 bottle then beating on it like it kicked your dog? Seriously though, an ingredient in the reagent in bottle #2 can crystallize between uses. You really should shake it hard and even bang it on a table a few times to make sure your mixing it up good. Do that for at least 30 seconds, add the drops, then shake the tube (you can be gentler ) for at least a minute. You could test again, but you probably don't have to unless you have reason to believe the nitrates are super high. Give it another go tomorrow and let us know how it's going.
Well, the nitrite test is only one bottle...And I shake them like I'm Michael j fox!!!
We will see what happens tomorrow.


Oh my goodness... I really need to double check myself. I'm involved in a few cycling threads right now. But didn't you already have nitrAtes registering well over 10ppm?


Sure did....which is why I'm confused.....the nitrate gets shaken pretty good, I'm second guessing how long I did it....
I'll test now and update in a minute


Soooooo.....I must NOT have shaken that well.....we are in the 40+ range...I'm wondering if a pwt is in order if they stay that high ....tomorrow I'll do the dilution test on get a more specific number....I don't think it's dark enough to hit that 160......but the 40 to 160 jump is pretty vast


Right, ok, lol... nitrates were what I was referring to above, I'm not sure I was clear.

So, it looks like you might be cycled, but you should definitely be dosing ammonia again today. Yesterday though nitrites were 2.5, and today they're zero, so that's awesome! I've been stuck in the nitrite phase for a qt tank, so your quick conversion time is makin' me a little jealous.

You really don't need to do a water change unless those nitrates are hitting 100 or so... I've seen that brick red in the test vial before, you'd know it if you were there. I'd dose ammonia again asap, maybe tomorrow will be the day!


Yeah, I dosed ammonia per the bottle for 9.5 I waited about 30 minutes and it was tomorrow I'll see what everything reads out.....if it's cycled that quickly I'd be shocked. Just using biro spira and live sand from brs


Well, when bottled bacteria actually works, it can work pretty fast. I once got a fw tank cycled with TSS+ and ammonia in 11 days! Anyhow, even if you're not there yet, with nitrites at 2.5 yesterday then zero today, then I'd say you're darn close. Have you decided what's going in first? What are you thinking for the CUC?


Nart had some sduggestions as far as compatibility and size....a clown is certainly going in. My 3 year old daughter looooooves "nemo fish" so that's what the first run to the not so lfs. When I was there buying t he salt and testing kits, they had some very small ones that would prob be best.
I want colorful stuff, mainly, so she can watch them. Haven't made up my mind on cuc yet...Nart had posted some options....but it depends on what's attainable w without having to order online


Hmmm, I have a 3 year old too, and a 5 yr old and a 10 yr old, so I get it. Here's the thing though, clowns are damsels and get quite territorial. If you're putting another type of fish in the tank, it's best to add it first, before the clown establishes territory over the whole tank. Those cute little clowns have been know to be murderous little fish with both other species and their own kind if they are not introduced correctly.

I got a firefish first and had to explain to the kiddos that Nemo would have to wait. Then I started cycling the qt for the next fish.... it was a very slow cycle to begin with, I was a couple months in..... then Hurricane Irma came along and killed the cycle by knocking out power for a week.... then I started cycling again near the end of September.... it is still taking 36 hours to convert ammonia. But that's better than the 5 days it was taking a month and a half ago. I couldn't say what in the world slowed this cycle so bad, I tried 2 bottled bacterias, put cycled media in it, put cycled rock in it, plus I've cycled several other tanks this year. I swear I know how... Anyway, there is yet another fish, (a goby), that must be introduced before we can get our clowns. Hopefully the poor kids will have their nemo fish in a month or so. I have to say, they're pretty impressed with the firefish.


Well gonna have to give it more time....nitrites aren't converting fast enough...
Dosed yesterday to 2ppm ammonia

Test results today
Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 2ppm
Nitrate 40+....didnt do the I just know it's not


I'm with you... I hoped today would be the day, but nope. Hope we're both there soon!


Today's update:

Didn't test Ammonia as there was none yesterday.
Did a regular and a 1/5 dilute test on both nitrite and nitrate

Nitrite 0ppm (so that's taking 2 days to process to 0ppm)
Nitrate pushing 100ppm

Does letting it sit without ammonia let that naturally come down? Or is that what the water change once you've cycled does.


The only thing that will bring nitrates down in your tank is to do water changes. If it's nearing 100ppm, I would go ahead and do a >50% wc, then dose ammonia again.
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