My Nano Reef Build

21 Aug 2015
Reaction score
Hi Everyone

Welcome to my Nano build, hope you like it. Decided to go the marine route 2 months ago which is when I came across this forum. To date I have managed to source answers from different members as well as materials to get the tank to its second week of cycling. So thank you to all that contributed.

Tank: 60 Litre Innovative Marine Nuvo in Black
Lighting: Stock LED units
Heater: 50 watt
Powerhead: 2 X Innovative Spin Streams
Filter media: Stock
Biological Filtration: 13 kgs mixed dry and live rock
Substrate: 6.8 kgs Aragonite Substrate (Fiji Pink)

First noob mistake encountered was the day I brought everything home, filled the tank up with tap water instead of RODI water from my LFS (woke up the next morning to measure my salinity level and the reading was 0!) Emptied all the water out and started again. Bought 60 litres of RODI in some buckets and proceeded with the salt mix. Made sure the salinity levels were acceptable before pouring the water in a couple hours later.

After a week of cycling and constantly re-scaping (Still not happy) I decided to find some live rock. Bought 4kg’s from another member on the forum as well as 2 spin streams for the tank. Tank is in its second week of cycling and I was lucky enough to get a blue and green mushroom with one of the rocks. I’ve noticed a couple of bristle worms lurking around in the evenings but nothing else that would suggest the tank has begun cycling. (Used a bacteria booster on the second day not sure if they work or not)

Took a sample of my water to LFS this weekend readings were:
Salinity – 1,026
Calcium – 450
Alkalinity – 11.8

So yeah, I'm pretty much staring at worms and two little mushrooms for the past couple of days :m37:

Would appreciate all feedback and comments here as its the first time I've setup a marine aquarium.

Setup with dry rock

RODI Water poured in :m12:

Added Live Rock and 2 Spin Streams

Live Rock

Live Rock with mushrooms

Awesome tank you have there, hope you enjoy every minute of having it! :)
When you start to get corals you are going to wish you had placed those flat rocks level. Get some Pratleys putty and make a tripod with the smaller rocks and put one or two flat pieces on it. This will allow you to easily place corals that want more light higher up and they won't fall down all the time, you can also then play with the coral placement without having to glue them each time. I would personally make a double decker on the right of the tank with both flat pieces and pile the other rocks as a separate pinnacle on the left.
Can the lights be moved closer to each other? Just looks for me if the one on the left spills a lot of light on the side panel. Instead of being on top of the future corals.

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions really appreciate it,

A bit put off at the moment, came home from work last night and found a water seeping through the base of the tank. Managed to move everything to a smaller tank in the interim.

Searching for someone who would be able to assist with a new silicon job just to ensure peace of mind in future.

Looks like my cycle might take a month longer :(
A bit put off at the moment, came home from work last night and found a water seeping through the base of the tank. Managed to move everything to a smaller tank in the interim.

seems to be a common problem with those tanks....
Hi Guys

Tank is in the capable hands of the guys at Dorry pets who will be rebuilding it for me without the curved glass. I could have purchased a new tank but I was really happy with the size and setup of the IM 16. So basically just getting rid of the weak point being the curved glass and making the tank look like the IM fusion 20.

My LR is still in the smaller tank for now. Seeing a lot of bristle worms and apitasia (going to get my hands on some apitasia x)

Heading down to Sodwana Bay this weekend for a couple of dives so perhaps Ill have some inspiration when it comes to scaping the setup once the tank comes back :biggrin:


Round 2

Hi All

So the tank came back from Dorry Pets who did a great job. As you can see the tank is no longer rounded. Happy with the look and feel and and don't think its a huge difference from the old one.

Finally got it up and running today, the cycle begins once again.

Added my salt mix directly to the tank and will wait a day or two before checking salinity. Can someone please advise when would be a good time to add the live rock I have in my smaller tank to this one?

Saw your tank while in progress at Dorry Pets. Looks very nice now.

You could add the rock back as soon as you are happy that there are no leaks. There should not be, Deon does good work.
Looking good,
I like the square look and the black silicone. One thing looking at the last pic. I see you using the plastic aqua syncro seawater hydrometer. Top right on the tank. When I started I had one of those and it is incredibly unreliable in my experience. I always used more salt than the mixing instructions to get the needle to 1.024 or 5 only to test my water at the shop one day and found that the actual reading was 1.029. I invested in a proper refractometer and since then I had no issues with my water salinity. Just a little heads up. good luck
Riaan appreciate the feedback, the guys at Dory Pets really did a great job. Live rock added yesterday along with my red fire shrimp who has been chowing down all the apitasia! He actually shed last night which is the second time in 3 weeks.

Thanks Starfire spin streams are still working like a bomb! My hydrometer will be replaced in the coming month, I've never really trusted the readings from the word go.

The cycle falls within exam month so I wont be rushing it. Once exams are over will look at getting a pair of clowns and some starter corals.
So the tank completed it's cycle finally! Took a sample of my water through to a lfs yesterday and it looked great. Purchased a pair of green chromis, turbo snails and one blue legged hermit. Acclimated them for about an hour and introduced them to the tank. So far everyone seems healthy and happy. Still not happy with the aquascape and feel that my lr is a bit too large for my tank.

Will be adding two clown fish within a week or so. I didn't measure calcium and magnesium levels yesterday as I was told its still too early to add soft corals. Can anyone confirm if this is true?

Tank is holding up fine no leaks cracks or scratches thanks again to the guys at Dorry pets.

Apologies for the pics cant seem to take a decent one with all the reflection going on in my home..




When was that Ammonia test done? Cause it's very "green"
Maybe take a pic from the top to see the true color, as that test seems to be in the 0.8 range which is very high.
Top Bottom