innovative marine nuvo 24 – The lost shrimp city

After realizing i was severly suferring from multiple tank syndrome i decided it was time to consolidate a few of my tanks.. but if i was going to cut down on tank s the new one had to be pretty awesome. I love the look of Mr Aqua 12G long tanks however it wasnt quite enough capacity to combine a few shrimp tanks..

Let me introduce the innovative marine nuvo 24. This stylish little tank is is made of 6mm bent glass and has a built in sump… this is generally a salt water thing but seemed perfect to hide all of the equipment and keep that clean look. One of the best part are the dimensions. The tank is 36x12x13. The sump area is about 3″ deep leaving 10″ ish deep for the display area.

Innovative marine nuvo 24

The stock pump is 460 ish GPH which has tons of flow for a small thank however i feel its a bit overkill for my shrimp (and a little loud) so i just ordered a Sicce Syncra Silent 1.0 Pump – 251 GPH.


For lighting I decided to try out the new ecoxotic e-series, this awesome little light has tons of par and a wireless remote that lets youe-series-ecoxotic fine tune each color to achieve the perfect blend. the light also had a built in timmer and a few pre-programmed modes to simulate clouds and thunder storms. (these modes cant be used with the built in timer.. but i plan on fixing that later with an arduino based controller) The light it selv is very small and sleek




The wood for the scape was stolen out of my other nano tanks. After about 20 different spaces i finally designed on a layout using 3 chunks of driftwood into one feature.



(offsetted for astecticinterest.. always rember to use the rule of thirds!) it was time to start my dry start (DSM)

For my new tank i decided to go with Glosso due to is ease of maintenance.. but omg was it a slow proccess. I had a lush carpet of HC in a little over a month. my glosso dry start had two months to grow before i start to fully fill and even when flooded 2 months later it still had lots of work todo.





Now with a pretty cool design ready i needed to find a stand. The cube stand I had was 36″ wide and fit the tank perfectly.. however it was pretty flimsy and I didnt trust it with 150lbs of water ontop of it.  Time to re-enforce it!


To add strength I glued strips of 5/8″ plywood to the stand using PL400 , clamped it down and let it dry over night.


Once dry i used a bit of drywall mud to smooth it out and bled the seams from the origional stand with the plywood.
with the structural work done it was time for paint.


And i do say it turned out awesome!  The seams blended perfectly and gave the stand a nice chunky look… which a weight worthy stand ready it was time to fill it.


I added a giant bag of bio-rings from various other tanks and let the tank run over night, tested the water the next day and things looked good so i added my first batch of shrimp



More updates to come once I get the new pump and co2 diffuser 🙂

Jan 12 2015:
Well it’s been a good month plus since the last update and the glosso is slowly but surely spreading. I finally almost have a nice lush carpet!








Dry Start HC (Dwarf Baby Tears) – DSM

Many aquatic plants can be grown emersed rather than submersed.  The main reason to grow a plant immersed is faster growth.  The air around us has an abundance of CO2 which greatly accelerate plant growth.  Hemianthus callitrichoides commonly known as HC or Dwarf Baby Tears is an excellent example of plant that can grow both submersed and immersed.

I decided to try out the Dry Start Meathod (DSM) in 6 Gallon fluval edge tank with the top removed. HC originates from Cuba and loves a humid environment.

My Process:
Tank: 6G Fluval edge (topless)
Lighting: Finnex Planted Plus
Substrate: Fluval Stratum
CO2: Paintball tank with Aquatek mini regulator
Filter: Zoomed 501 with 9mm glass lilly pipes
HC loves a soft smaller grained soil, this ensure the delicate roots can make they way down with minimal resistance. In my case i used Fluval Stratum due to local availability. For lighting I decided to try out Finnex’s new planted plus led light.. which so far is yielding fantastic results. If HC does not have enough light it will grow vertical rather than spreading across the substrate to form a lush carpet.

To start you will want to find a foal point (either rocks or driftwood) and play around to find your desired look. This can be a interesting process.. i know i tried at least 20 different combinations of rocks and layouts until i decided on this one.

Aquascape Hardscape

For the 6 Gallon tank i used 2 pots of HC.. three would have been nice but two is doing the job.
You ideally want to plant small plugs about an inch apart for maximum spread.  You can get quicker spread the more you break up the bunches.. this can however be a time consuming process.. so get comfy!

Insert each mini clump with long tweezers and ensure the roots are within the soil. I try to leave just the top leave above.
I also randomly inserted about 8 root tabs to aid in future growth once flooded.

HC first planted

I filled a spray bottle with distilled water and a bit of Excel (metracide 14) to help prevent any mould or algae from forming.
Spray your HC so that all of your substrate and leaves are moist. Next take a chunk of clear cling wrap and cover the top of the tank… Covering the tank with clear cling wrap will let in the light and hold in the humidity.  I opened up the syranwrap for about 20-30 min every 2-3 days. re misted and let it air out.  Its important to get good air exchange in your tank… alternatively you could leave a corner or two not fully sealed to allow air exchange or lower humidity if there is any sign of mould. (Distilled water is more pure and will bring in less foreign bacteria to the tank.. using excel or metracide in the water also acts as an anti fungal)

Photo update:  1 week into my dry start (DSM)

Dry Start HC  - 1 week

Two weeks into the HC DSM

Dry Start HC - 2 weeks

Three weeks into the DSMHC 'Dwarf Baby Tears' dry start - 3 weeks

Three weeks into HC DSM – Top view of spread

HC spread 3 weeks

DSM does work very well.. how ever it does require patience.. but that seems to be most thing when it comes to aquascaping.  After another week or two i will flood the tank.
Once flooded the HC will be starved for CO2. I plan on injecting pressurized CO2 at a high rate for the first 4-5 days to allow the HC to adapt.. then i will slowly lower the CO2 over the next week or two until it is at a low steady ammount. I plan on using this tank for fancier shrimp (who generally dont like high CO2 or PH swings..) so I plan on getting the CO2 as low as possible while still keeping the the HC happy.

Week 4

Just over 4 weeks in we have a lovely carpet of HC taking over the tank! IT looks so nice its time to flood it.


When filling i used a tuperware lid to pour onto so i did not disturb the HC/substrate

Filling the tank using a lid

Since i have such a shallow tank I decided to burry the ceramic co2 diffuser into the carpet to to partially hide it and give the bubbles a little more time to float up.. The output of the lilly pipe is aimed so that it pushes the bubbles across the tank allowing more diffusion time.

Co2 diffuser in HC

Co2 diffuser in HC

I set the CO2 to 3-4 bubbles /second for the next 4-5 days then turned it down and added a few CPD’s for the next 1.5-2 weeks while still slowly lowering the CO2.

The HC looks happy and is pearling!


Once i got the bubbles down to 1 ever 2-2.5 seconds i decided it was time to add in my shrimp. One of the OEBTs enjoying its new home!