Newbie Nuvo 40 Gallon Build

  1. T

    TheWalkman Valued Member Member

    So after a few freshwater tanks decided I'm going to try a reef tank. Been getting some good advice from members like @Nart and @stella1979
    Real excited so I decided to start the build forum early because I'm so excited and still need advice. Plan is to have the tank fully cycled and ready by October 6th. Just in case we see anything cool at reef-a-paloza
    So far I have bought/ordered:
    30lbs of reef cleaner rock
    100 watt ehiem heater
    50 watt ehiem heater (for salt mixing)
    Colbalt mj1200 pump/power head (for salt mixing)
    Aquamaxx refractometer

    Still need to get:
    Inovative marine 20 gallon (unless I decide/ talk my girlfriend into the 25 although probably 20)
    Live sand
    Prime HD
    Buckets for mixing

    Need recommendations for:
    Test kit
    Salt to use
    Anything else that I need?

    Fish interested in stocking:
    Clown pair
    Goby shrimp pair
    Cleaner shrimp
    Royal grama
    Know I can't stock all these listed from most wanted to least still need to research comparability. Any suggestions much appreciated though.
    Current plan is to get my rock in spend my time aquascaping on a mock up. Thinking about an arch of sorts. Get my rock glued together then put in a bin to start cycling. Get live sand and tank beginning of September set up sand and rock continue to check cycle. October start andding corals and live stock :)!
    Anything I missed that I should be doing?
    Thinking about possibling adding a chaeto reactor in one of the chambers in the back. Any advice on how to do this?
  2. Nart

    Nart Well Known Member Member

    Very awesome. I know that exact feeling of setting up a brand spanking new tank.
    Do let us know if you need help along the way. Feel free to message me on Instagram if you use it. I'm way more responsive on that media platform. My handle is @mightynanotank

    It's not that much more for a IM25 is it?
    I would personally go for the IM25 over the IM20 if you can swing it.
    it's an awesome cube setup. Also, it'll give you a bit more space and water volume to work with.

    The same equipment you've listed will also work in the IM25 as well.
    But hey - both tanks are awesome!

    For stocking, I wouldn't do more than 2 clowns + 2 other fishes.
    That seemed to be the perfect number for me without running into any excess nutrient issues over time.
    So I would do: goby shrimp pair, (blenny or firefish or wrasse), and 2 clowns.
    I highly suggest you set-up a QT tank if your LFS doesn't already QT for you. It's a pain in the butt to deal with any illness spreading in your tank.

    No need for a chaeto reactor - with the IM tanks, the backing is just a black vinyl. you can use a razor and lightly score the vinyl and remove the backing to expose the chambers in the back. That's where I grow my chaeto. I just toss a grow light in the back and boom done. A mini macro refugium in the back to help handle the excess nutrients and add bio-diversity to your tank.
    Like I said, the AIO tanks are really great for this stuff. Doing all this behind the scenes and leaving your display tank looking clean.

    When your tank is ready for chaeto by October or November. let me know.
    I can hook you up for some ;) just pay the shipping.
  3. OP

    TheWalkman Valued Member Member

    My LFS said a firefish wouldn't pair with a shrimp.
    I think watching the shrimp goby relationship would be cool. Actually real interested to watch shrimp and snails in the tank.
    Ok so special basket or anything needed for the chaeto? that makes life easier.

  4. Nart

    Nart Well Known Member Member

    Right. You need a Goby like Yasha Goby, hi fin Goby, yellow watchman Goby, those will usually pair with a pistol shrimp. The pistol shrimps I like are the candy cane pistol shrimps aka Randall pistol shrimp.
    Maybe just egg crates to save some money
  5. OP

    TheWalkman Valued Member Member

    What would the egg crate be for?
    I wish a firefish and pistol shrimp would pair! Really like the firefish color. I do like the body shape of the yasha though.and I feel watching the relationship of a shrimp and goby would be way more interesting then then colors.
  6. stella1979

    stella1979 Fishlore VIP Member

    The egg crate would be for making a chaeto basket, or guard. Idk though, I have a finer grid holding my chaeto in place, and still. sometimes it escapes. Of course, it's in an HOB instead of an AIO, so that of course may make a difference in how you need to modify things to suit your needs.

    You can have the firefish in addition to the pistol goby/shrimp pair! :D Though, with a pair of clowns, this would reach your stocking limit, so no wrasse, blenny, or gramma. Basically, if you definitely want the clown pair, you'll have to pick only two fish from the rest of your list. This is the precise reason that I've given up on mating a couple of clowns, though that would be awesome... I just decided that with only 20 gallons, I'd stick with one of everything for variety.

    Still undecided on my 4th fish, but with two fish with burrows they spend time in, I want the next one to be highly visual. I'd love a gramma myself, but am unsure if he'd fit the bill.
  7. OP

    TheWalkman Valued Member Member

    Still very open to stocking suggestions.
    Leaning towards: clown pair, goby pistol shrimp pair, royal gramma, and cleaner shrimp.
    Clowns because everyone recommends them and hardy. Really interested in seeing the goby shrimp relationship and I think gobys are cool.

    Also how did everyone cycle their tanks?
    Thinking about going with dr tims one and only. But did see the Red Sea tank mature kit last night and was trying to research.
  8. stella1979

    stella1979 Fishlore VIP Member

    I like your stocking plan. :) I had the exact same plan at one time but it has taken forever for me to stock the reef and plans change.;)

    Hmmm, I don't know that it did much of anything, but I started my tank with a 2ppm dose of ammonia and a bottle of BioSpira. The same product did not help in a difficult to cycle qt setup. However, for the reef tank, I did not use any live rock, only live sand, dry and uncured Fiji rock, ammonia and BioSpira. Watched nitro cycle parameters, dosed ammonia as needed, probably did a water change or two if nitrites got really high, but otherwise, let it ride. The tank was cycled in 30 days. :)

    I don't know much of anything about Red Sea's kit, but if I were getting bottled bacteria again, I'd go with Fritz Turbostart. ;) I don't completely trust any of them, due to the nature of bottling live 'things', but I've heard great things about Fritz's stuff.
  9. OP

    TheWalkman Valued Member Member

    So I ended up getting paid more then expected for a job this weekend, so instead of saving the money decided to get the nuvo 40 instead of the 20. So excited to be playing with a bigger tank.
    I pick the tank up and 30 pounds of south sea base rock today.
    Going to start playing with aquascape ideas with the rock tonight.
    Only down side with a 40 is I might have to rethink my lighting plan. Tank measures 24x20x19. Think I can use an AI prime still or should I go with something a little bigger?

    Attached Files:

  10. stella1979

    stella1979 Fishlore VIP Member

    First off, AWESOMESAUCE! I love the tank!!! :D:D:D

    I have no experience with the Prime but would think that you might need an upgrade if you want to keep more difficult corals, and I can assure you that we all eventually take the gamble on Sticks, lol, that is, branching SPS corals such as Acropora. My assumption comes from @Nart eventually adding a 2nd AI Prime of his IM25 Lagoon, and eventually even upgrading to Radions... though I believe those are now on his bigger tank. Perhaps an AI Hydra would be a good option? I'm not really sure, but hope Nart or one of our other AI users chimes in soon.