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M-A-T-T-Y Fluval Evo 13.5

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Hi all!

 

I had a large tropical tank (4x2x2) for a number of years but had to sell it all when I moved from a Country Town to an Apartment in the City.

Since then I have been dying to get back into Fish keeping and finally cracked over the weekend, got myself a little Fluval Evo 13.5g!!

 

So far I have not done much to the tank, I have 4kg (8.8lbs) of Live Rock and Red Sea Live Reef Sand.

I added a Fluval CP1 Powerhead (1000 lph / 285 gph) and a Aqua One 55 watt heater.

 

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My partner and I are very keen on 2x Ocellaris Clownfish, and a Royal Gramma Basslet.
As for Coral, I have always wanted something colorful that flows back and forth in the current, that is about the only criteria. 

If the tank can support those then we are very very happy Fish keepers :D

 

Tank has been running for 2 days now!

I am still waiting for my API Saltwater Test Kit and Refractometer to arrive, hopefully in the next couple days, then I can start tracking the water parameters and see how the Cycling goes.

 

Questions

  • Is the Protein Skimmer required? I was going to wait until I purchased the Fish / Coral before buying it but have read it may not be needed.
  • I am concerned the Fluval CP1 Powerhead does not put out enough flow, I don't feel like the current is very strong. I am considering a more powerful one however I don't want the fish to struggle, is there a recommended turnover?
  • I am struggling to get the temperature of the water below 28 degrees Celsius (82 Fahrenheit), which I believe is far too hot. It is not a malfunctioning heater, just simply a hot house (typically around 24-25 inside). Any tips on how to bring the Water Temperature down to a level that will be comfortable for Coral and Fish? I've read that it could be the Fluval Evo's pump generating the additional few degrees of heat.


Thanks for any help! Very excited to get all of this started :)

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Welcome to the community @M-A-T-T-Y! Great little system, I like your plans for it! For coral you might consider soft corals like GSP, xenia, zoanthids, and ricordea, or more movement with LPS corals like a hammer or torch coral. Do you have any plans to upgrade your lighting in the future?

 

As for the tank temperature issue, I think you may be able to actually forego the heater entirely and run the tank at 'room temperature'. The added warmth from the pumps and lighting may be all you need. Do you have a cold season? Increased airflow across the surface can help bring temperatures down as well, although your freshwater evaporation rate will increase.

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16 minutes ago, Christopher Marks said:

Do you have any plans to upgrade your lighting in the future?

Not currently, I quite like having the hood over it all but it is looking like I may have to remove the hood in order to run fans and cool the tank. In which case I'd then be happy to upgrade the light.
 

16 minutes ago, Christopher Marks said:

As for the tank temperature issue, I think you may be able to actually forego the heater entirely and run the tank at 'room temperature'. The added warmth from the pumps and lighting may be all you need. Do you have a cold season? Increased airflow across the surface can help bring temperatures down as well, although your freshwater evaporation rate will increase.

I actually have never seen the Heater turn on as it is currently set to 24 degrees, even without the heater turning on the tank still hovers around 27-28 (due to the pump I'm assuming).


We do have a cold season (Melbourne, Australia) however the house is very good at keeping the heat in, average temperature of the house is 24 degrees basically all year round. Not concerned at all about the temperature dropping below mid 20s.

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After a bit of research I am going to change the pump to a Sicce Syncra 1.0, a place not far from me sells it and that should double the filtration rate.

 

I also want to change the media from the stock media the Fluval Evo comes with to something better, any suggestions? 
A lot of people seem to use the inTank Media Basket, or the inTank Chamber Two media basket.

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I took the hood off the tank last night and ran a small PC fan aiming at the tank, managed to drop the temperature to 24 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit) which I believe is perfect.

I think unplugged the fan and left the hood off overnight, in the morning it was still the same temperature! I'll see how it is tonight when I get home but it looks like having the hood on traps heat. A shame, because I like the look better.

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Definitely, having a covered tank is ideal in cooler settings, but in your case it will insulate and trap too much heat. I wonder if there might be some creative solution to lift the light and cover off the edge of the tank by a few centimeters to create an air gap?

 

Maybe it's time to talk about lighting upgrades? It's a slippery slope :lol: 

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Welcome to the EVO club! lol

 

what an interesting rockscape. I had high temperatures on mine in the beginning which is why I run the tank without the hood.

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2 hours ago, Christopher Marks said:

Maybe it's time to talk about lighting upgrades? It's a slippery slope :lol: 

I'm already considering ditching the hood and going for an AI Prime HD
My partner is going to kill me haha

 

2 hours ago, Lugmos12 said:

Welcome to the EVO club! lol

 

what an interesting rockscape. 

Thank you! I am actually considering getting another piece of live rock to make a bridge/tunnel like I see many many people do. Looks nice!

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21 hours ago, M-A-T-T-Y said:

I also want to change the media from the stock media the Fluval Evo comes with to something better, any suggestions? 
A lot of people seem to use the inTank Media Basket, or the inTank Chamber Two media basket.

So to get the inTank Media Basket in Australia costs an absolute fortune.
Thinking of keeping the exist Foam that came with the Fluval Evo as the mechanical filtration, but:

  • Switch the Carbon to Seachem Purigen (100ml bag)
  • Switch the Biomax to Seachem Matrix (500ml (will place in a cutup stocking to keep it all together))
  • Move all of the filtration to the first compartment, it seems that forces the water through it all better than being in the second compartment

Thoughts?

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Don't keep the foam; I was told it can cause nutrient buildup. Use filter floss. You can also create your own basket (might be cheaper). I have all my filtration in the first compartment, heater + phosguard in second.

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1 hour ago, Lugmos12 said:

Don't keep the foam; I was told it can cause nutrient buildup. Use filter floss. You can also create your own basket (might be cheaper). I have all my filtration in the first compartment, heater + phosguard in second.

 

Thanks Lugmos, I am currently trying to figure out where I can get some sheets of egg crate here in Australia to create my own media basket. I'll follow your advise with the media basket and filter floss at the top.

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bad ass piece of rock ya got there!  Looks fantastic and fits well in the dimensions of this tank I think.  Personally I think you need a perching fish like a blenny that can make use of it!

 

As for the filtration - I agree ditch the sponge.  I'm not sure why they use such a large sponge in the first place... Sponges need to be cleaned regularly, and that's tough to do when it's so massive.  What we call "egg crate" works great for making a DIY media rack.  It's commonly used as a lighting diffuser for commercial fluorescent light fixtures so you might want to try a store that sells commercial lighting.

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On 23/02/2018 at 1:29 PM, ajmckay said:

As for the filtration - I agree ditch the sponge.  I'm not sure why they use such a large sponge in the first place... Sponges need to be cleaned regularly, and that's tough to do when it's so massive.  What we call "egg crate" works great for making a DIY media rack.

Managed to get a sheet of 600mm x 1200mm Egg Crate over the weekend so I will start making the DIY media rack tonight.

 

Got another 2kg (4.4lb) of Live Rock in the tank that has a lot more purple colour in it. That brings the total to 6kg (13.2lb) for 52L (13.7gal) of water which I am happy with.

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Also finally had my refractometer and test kits rock up! Did a test yesterday and got the following results (very happy!):

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Only concern is lately one of my older pieces of rock has started to develop a lot of yellow on it, is this good or bad? Is there a good link I can read up on this sort of thing?

Picture bellow of the yellow taking over the rock.

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From further investigation it looks like this might be a Diatom bloom and I should just keep doing what I am doing and it will go on it's own. Is that correct?

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Yes. It should go away on it's own. 

You may want to start adding your CUC at this point. That should help as well. 

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56 minutes ago, SeaFurn said:

Yes. It should go away on it's own. 

You may want to start adding your CUC at this point. That should help as well. 

A CUC! That's exciting, something actually living! I wasn't going to put anything living in until I changed the filter media.

 

What do you guys recommend for the CUC? I hadn't actually thought much about that.

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I should have mentioned you'll want to make sure your cycle is complete before adding a CUC. Just read your earlier posts and it sounds like the tank has only been running for a week. 

 

I like various snails - I have trochus, dwarf ceriths, Florida ceriths, nassarius, and nerites.

 

Others get hermit crabs. 

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19 hours ago, SeaFurn said:

I should have mentioned you'll want to make sure your cycle is complete before adding a CUC. Just read your earlier posts and it sounds like the tank has only been running for a week. 

Correct just over a week. I'll wait a bit longer, thank you for your suggestions!

 

Another question, the Diatoms have definitely spread and gotten darker today. But there seems to be a LOT of air bubbles coming out of my rock today?! That hasn't happened before, didn't know their was that much air in them! Is this okay or something to be concerned about?

 

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The air bubbles are coming from the algae, not the rocks themselves. They will go away when the algae runs its course feeding off the silica in the tank. 

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19 minutes ago, SeaFurn said:

The air bubbles are coming from the algae, not the rocks themselves. They will go away when the algae runs its course feeding off the silica in the tank. 

Excellent thanks SeaFurn! Sorry for all the newbie questions, your helping big time with putting my mind at ease :)

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Latest Update 02 March 2018:

Eheim Compact 1000 has arrived at my LFS so I will pick that up tomorrow, very excited to have a pump that is twice the flow!

Diatoms are still kicking however it does not look like it has reproduced at the rate they have the last few days, so that is good.

 

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I did another test of the water parameters and still looks pretty spot on!

 

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I got my hands on some Egg Crate and made the filter media rack for the first compartment. 

Fits pretty well and I am fairly happy with it.

 

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I am about to order the following things to go inside the media rack:

  • Filter wool (top compartment)
  • Seachem Purigen (middle compartment)
  • Seachem Matrix (bottom compartment)

Purigen and Matrix will be inside separate "Seachem The Bag" bags.

I was also considering purchasing Bacteria House Bio Balls to go under the media rack and in the second Fluval Evo compartment. Is there any downside to this?

 

Is there any harm in getting some Seachem PhosGuard to use for a few days/weeks to help clear out the Silicate (and therefore kill of the Diatoms)?

 

Thank you for your help again! Excited to see it progressing.

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Got some filter media in compartment 1 now and removed the media the Fluval Evo comes with.

Will get some Aquarium glue over the week to try and plug the hole in the wall for the AIO, then it should force all water through Compartment 1 and the new media.

 

Replaced the pump with an Eheim Compact 1000! Much more flow and much quieter/smaller pump, really impressed with it so far.

Replaced some rock with more Live Rock and re-scaped the tank. Pretty happy with the layout at the moment.

 

Still have Diatoms but seems to be disappearing slowly.

Updated photo:  

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06 March 2018 Update:

Performed another water test last night and have a rise in Ammonia.

I am thinking this is because I have replaced the filter media?

 

I am using Filter Floss at the top, followed by Continuum Aquatics Basis Power Cleanse in the middle and then Continuum Aquatics Power Cleanse Catalytic Carbon in the bottom. I am undecided if I like this stuff, but it came heavily recommended by the LFS and they have many successful tanks so thought it was worth a go.

 

The Power Cleanse Catalytic Carbon description does state: 

"Power•Cleanse CC will also remove toxic chloramine, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide from tap or aquarium water."

 

So I guess it is just a matter of waiting for the new media to do it's work?

 

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Just did another test ,seems like a small decrease in Ammonia but otherwise not much change.

 

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So I guess it is in a bit of a cycle again because of the change in filter media?

Do all other Parameters look okay to everyone?

Worried I may have missed something, all seems too easy so far for a first saltwater tank.

 

Thanks in advance.

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I think you're right, removing the stock filter media could be the cause of your ammonia spike, the denitrifying bacteria were likely establishing within it. Things should start to level out again soon. :) 

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