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Roachant

My Fluval Evo 13.5 journal... thing!

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Roachant

Hello all!

 I have taken the plunge into nano reefing and bought myself a Fluval Evo to start with!

I plan to keep the light and pump stock for now, but I will be adding a heater, a hydor centrifugal pump 300 gah with rotating water deflector and will do a diy media basket using floss, seachem matrix and other media which I haven’t decided on yet. I may add a refugium  to it as well as I have an extra phosguard 150 reactor in my aquarium bin that’s just sitting there.

It will be a slow build so I will update as needed.

My liverock is currently soaking in r/o water which I am testing for phosphate. I want too see if any is leaching from it as I had it sitting outside for the past year so it has been free of life, except the odd terrestrial isopod that snuggled into it.

So I guess that’s it! 

Next update I’ll show my dry live rock scaping ideas.

 

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Lula_Mae

Welcome! These are great tanks for getting started in the hobby. If that rock's been outside you will definitely want to clean it well.

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Roachant

Just a quick update, got some seachem matrix media and got a sheet of acrylic that I will try to cut and make a media basket for the sump part of the tank. Not going to lie, I’m probably going to copy the intank media basket design :).

My dry liverock is still soaking in r/o water, going to test for phosphates once i get my new test kit in.

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Roachant

Passed the leak test! I also tested the temperature to see if the pump and lights would heat the tank because I have been hearing some complaints about overheating issues. Everything was fine so I’m guessing it was only during hot weather periods.

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Roachant

So, i cut my acrylic pieces and it turned out ok. All I’m looking for is a functional media basket so looks aren’t that important. What is important is that for about 17$ I was able to make an approximation of a 55$ media basket! Well I think so I still have to glue the ring together but the final result should be ready by tomorrow 😀.

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Roachant

So here is the final product... I’m not too happy with it but, it’s functional!

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Roachant

Dry rock is in! To the cycle! Charge! I may change the location of the circulation pump, it’s a bit obtrusive.

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vlangel

Nice.  Circulating pumps always feel obtrusive to me but it's the lesser of 2 evils and is better than too little flow.

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Roachant
On 10/15/2018 at 6:26 PM, vlangel said:

Nice.  Circulating pumps always feel obtrusive to me but it's the lesser of 2 evils and is better than too little flow.

Yeah, I really like the way the flow nozzle works, it makes such a nice wave action in that spot that I’ll leave it there.

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Roachant

So, I’ve decided to try a refugium in this tank and bought this bulb to light it.

 

 

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Roachant

So here is my light set up for the ‘fuge! It takes up room but it was far cheaper than alternatives out there and it doesn’t bleed out too much light which is another bonus. I put in a golf ball sized piece of chaeto so time will tell if this works out.

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Lula_Mae

I'd probably try to make sure the bulb has room for a little airflow for cooling purposes, don't want it to get too hot!

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Roachant

Hmm good idea, although it’s been running for a few hours now and it’s warm, but not hot at all. 

I noticed the chaeto appears to be making bubbles, I didn’t know it can pearl like freshwater plants do.

 

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Lula_Mae
12 hours ago, Roachant said:

Hmm good idea, although it’s been running for a few hours now and it’s warm, but not hot at all. 

I noticed the chaeto appears to be making bubbles, I didn’t know it can pearl like freshwater plants do.

 

It's mostly to extend the life of the bulb, apparently running too warm (even if not "hot") can shorten it. Of course it can also be a fire hazard if too hot. 

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Roachant

Update! 

So, my chaeto light was too powerful like that, the chaeto that was closest to the light died but the chaeto furthest away looked really nice and green so I move the light further away and we shall see what happens. 

Diatoms have started to grow everywhere, as expected. 

I added my chemipure blue to the filter chamber to help it a bit, although I know it will go away on its own after a while.

My nitrites fell to zero and my nitrates went up, so I tested by adding ammonia and although my ammonia disappeared within less than 24 hours, my nitrites are still present after 24 hours so it’s not fully cycled yet. 

I saw some animal life though! I have some copepods that must have come from the chaeto and I saw a near microscopic flatworm and some tiny things which looked like ostracods mayabe? Everything was so small I had to use my handheld microscope to see them. They were eating the diatoms from what I could tell.

i added a small upgrade to my lights, I added a strip of blue leds from 21ledusa just to see what kind of effect they would have. I was surprised that even a strip added a noticeable effect to the tank. I will post more pics soon!

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Lula_Mae

What color is the flatworm? The rusty colored ones are known to be a potential nuisance. 

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Roachant
4 hours ago, Lula_Mae said:

What color is the flatworm? The rusty colored ones are known to be a potential nuisance. 

It’s white, and really small, smaller than a pinhead I could only tell it was a flatworm by using my handheld microscope. 

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Roachant

Update again!

here is a pic of my hood modification with the added led strip:

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I siliconed it all the way around per the manufacturers suggestion and sealed the ends where the connectors are.

Although the light is not overly powerful on its own, i find it does add a more of a blue hue when the lights are on and I’m hoping the corals will benefit in some way. I do plan to add another strip to the other side in the near future.

 

So, after adding some ammonia bringing it up to 1 ppm on Friday, I did a test yesterday morning and saw that the ammonia fell to 0 in about 10 hours. There was still a small bit of nitrite seen, as my test kit showed a hint of colour but by last night there was 0 nitrite in the tank. My nitrate however was at 20-30ppm so I did a massive  water change and as of this morning it dropped to 5 ppm. My phosphate also registered at, what I think was 0.03 on the salifert kit. I found it was hard to notice any colour in the vial and even my wife said it’s clear so I’m not sure. At any rate it’s low enough for me!

temp has been a consistent 78 degrees and calcium is a bit low at 420 ppm while pH is also a bit low at 8.0.

Ill have to monitor that for a bit. 

 

I saw the flatworm again and decided to remove it just in case. I haven’t seen any more of them but I guess when you see one there’s bound to be more so I’ll be vigilant.

 

Im debating whether or not to add one creature in there to eat some of the diatoms. I’m a bit worried that there may not be enough for it to eat as it appears to have stopped growing. I really want a small hermit crab and even though I have heard some horror stories about them, I find them so adorable, so I may pick one up today to have a bit of life in the tank. I plant o add a dwarf electric blue one or scarlet red one.

 

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Lula_Mae
On 11/11/2018 at 11:56 AM, Roachant said:

Update again!

here is a pic of my hood modification with the added led strip:

9FBA5695-0CAC-453B-9719-214E298298E8.thumb.jpeg.d17c05e8d8a6a264e8574916ec7e2f43.jpeg

I siliconed it all the way around per the manufacturers suggestion and sealed the ends where the connectors are.

Although the light is not overly powerful on its own, i find it does add a more of a blue hue when the lights are on and I’m hoping the corals will benefit in some way. I do plan to add another strip to the other side in the near future.

 

So, after adding some ammonia bringing it up to 1 ppm on Friday, I did a test yesterday morning and saw that the ammonia fell to 0 in about 10 hours. There was still a small bit of nitrite seen, as my test kit showed a hint of colour but by last night there was 0 nitrite in the tank. My nitrate however was at 20-30ppm so I did a massive  water change and as of this morning it dropped to 5 ppm. My phosphate also registered at, what I think was 0.03 on the salifert kit. I found it was hard to notice any colour in the vial and even my wife said it’s clear so I’m not sure. At any rate it’s low enough for me!

temp has been a consistent 78 degrees and calcium is a bit low at 420 ppm while pH is also a bit low at 8.0.

Ill have to monitor that for a bit. 

 

I saw the flatworm again and decided to remove it just in case. I haven’t seen any more of them but I guess when you see one there’s bound to be more so I’ll be vigilant.

 

Im debating whether or not to add one creature in there to eat some of the diatoms. I’m a bit worried that there may not be enough for it to eat as it appears to have stopped growing. I really want a small hermit crab and even though I have heard some horror stories about them, I find them so adorable, so I may pick one up today to have a bit of life in the tank. I plant o add a dwarf electric blue one or scarlet red one.

 

Scarlets are some of the more docile hermits. You could start with 1-2 snails and a hermit if you wanted. Diatoms will burn out after a couple of weeks usually. 

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Divingdad

Hi Roachant.  Congratulations on the tank.  I took the same plunge two weeks ago and I'm cycling the tank (Monday nights are water testing night).  I just wanted post a quick note about the LED fuge light, LED's are sensitive to heat (I used to represent an LED manufacturer) as it can drastically impact the life of the light.  It may not feel hot to your hand, but still be considered hot for the LED.  Not a safety hazard (usually), just reduces the bulb life.

 

Back when LED bulbs were $20-$30 per bulb the manufacturers jumped through hoops to make sure the life was as long as possible.  Now that the LED bulbs are more affordable its probably less of a concern.

 

Dave

(here's a picture of my tank :))

 

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Roachant
21 minutes ago, Divingdad said:

Hi Roachant.  Congratulations on the tank.  I took the same plunge two weeks ago and I'm cycling the tank (Monday nights are water testing night).  I just wanted post a quick note about the LED fuge light, LED's are sensitive to heat (I used to represent an LED manufacturer) as it can drastically impact the life of the light.  It may not feel hot to your hand, but still be considered hot for the LED.  Not a safety hazard (usually), just reduces the bulb life.

 

Back when LED bulbs were $20-$30 per bulb the manufacturers jumped through hoops to make sure the life was as long as possible.  Now that the LED bulbs are more affordable its probably less of a concern.

 

Dave

(here's a picture of my tank :))

 

WIN_20181112_18_36_00_Pro.jpg

Thanks for the heads up, I had already moved the light about 5 inches away from my fudge area on Lula_mae’s advice and because I found it was way too much for my chaeto. I’m also going to run it for a lot less long than I had it originally. Good luck on your tank, you should start a journal to show us your progress!

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ninjamyst

nice build so far!  following along to see more progress pics

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ninjamyst

by the way, scarlett red hermit is the way to go.  much better than the normal red / blue legs.  make sure it's a scarlett red and not just a regular red light hermit.  

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Lula_Mae

And don't do zebra hermits.  Zebras are dicks. :mellow:

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Roachant

Thanks for the info!

I picked up my hermit yesterday and so far, he/she is doing great. I think the poor thing was hungry because it started eating the instant I placed it in the tank. The store owner also gave me a shell that was covered in coralline algae to help jump start it in my tank. I turned off my return pump and just had my circulation pump going and scraped a bunch off the shell into the flow to scatter some spores around the tank.

 

I discovered something about the shell, it wasn’t just an empty shell it still had a snail inside! So i got a free snail,  I’m not sure sure which species yet, I’ll try to identify it but it’s shell is so covered by coralline that I can’t tell the shape of it. 

 

My diatoms have have stopped growing for some reason and I see a few specs of green algae starting. I’m going to monitor the tank this week and will likely get my first corals this coming weekend! I was going to wait for a while longer but the tank has been doing great so I’ll try a mushroom or two and see how that goes.

 

 

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