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NaturallyKait

Kait’s 13.5g Kiddo Tank

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NaturallyKait

Well, I've wanted to set up a reef tank for years, but life kept getting in the way. I had bought some stuff to start a 40B a few years ago but that project got derailed when I got pregnant with my oldest. Fast forward almost 4 years and the aforementioned derailment is now an almost 4 year old who absolutely loves fish (and so do his little brothers). The one bright point of all the time he and his siblings spend at hospitals is always checking out the fish tanks they have for some time to de-stress. So this little guy is getting a 13.5g evo for his birthday for he and I to enjoy together. 

 

His is birthday is the first week of June, our current goal is to have it cycled and ready for his first fish on his birthday. I have the tank sitting waiting, refractometer arrived just now and the stand should be here today too before the holiday. Going to be sticking with the stock lights and such at least for now, since we’re not looking to get into anything too complicated for a tank for a 4 year old, we’ll be sticking to softies and maybe some LPS. I’ll probably end up at least adding a power head sometime soon, but for cycling we’ll be ok with the stock return pump. I have to check my gear in the basement, I had a heater that was supposed to be for a QT tank that might work for this tank, if not I still need to grab one, along with some salt, distilled water (we don’t have the space in our little rental for a RODI unit right now so we’re starting with distilled), test kit and some rock from the LFS. They only carry the Caribsea Life Rock so we’ll see how that works out for us. Hoping to get the tank wet this weekend to start cycling. 

 

Stocking plans are up in the air mostly except for a clownfish, or maybe a pair. This is a tank (mostly) for a child after all, so it wouldn’t be complete without a clown. 

 

 

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yoshii

Congrats on being able to finally get a tank started! I'll be following along

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NaturallyKait

So the courier messed up and my stand didn’t arrive today. Which means it won’t be here until Tuesday due to holidays. 

 

So I said screw it and went and bought a cabinet instead. It’s technically meant for a garage but it’s heavy duty and stronger than the table I was going to use anyway so that’s nice. More expensive, but means we’re still on track for setup this weekend. 

 

Tomorrow’s goal is getting the cabinet together and water test the tank with fresh water. 

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NaturallyKait

Cabinet is built, tank is unboxed and mostly set up. Leak testing tonight. I just need to finish clearing out the stuff behind it. 

 

The box was missing the return hose and the skimmer plate so I guess I have to contact fluval. Hoping I can find some tubing to replace the return hose for now to start cycling while I wait. I need to grab a power bar tomorrow, along with the other stuff I already mentioned. Guess I’ll look for some kind of tubing too. Also debating putting a piece of plywood or something between the tank and the metal of the cabinet, I can’t decide. 

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pricewayne
55 minutes ago, NaturallyKait said:

Cabinet is built, tank is unboxed and mostly set up. Leak testing tonight. I just need to finish clearing out the stuff behind it. 

 

The box was missing the return hose and the skimmer plate so I guess I have to contact fluval. Hoping I can find some tubing to replace the return hose for now to start cycling while I wait. I need to grab a power bar tomorrow, along with the other stuff I already mentioned. Guess I’ll look for some kind of tubing too. Also debating putting a piece of plywood or something between the tank and the metal of the cabinet, I can’t decide. 

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Love the stand!!!

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NaturallyKait
6 minutes ago, pricewayne said:

Love the stand!!!

It’s supposed to be a wall cabinet for a garage to hold tools lol, but it works! 

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pricewayne
Just now, NaturallyKait said:

It’s supposed to be a wall cabinet for a garage to hold tools lol, but it works! 

Totally works! I'm so sold on the tool cart//table//benches as a stand. A long term goal of mine is to get the Innovative Marine 40g tank and want to either modify the Husky cart I have now or find a really fun new one to use as the stand. I've seen some awesome ones that are brightly colored.

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billygoat

Congrats on your new setup! I am sure it will be a lot of fun for both you and your kiddo 😁

 

If you haven't gotten a power strip yet, I can recommend this one by Tripp Lite. It has a simple design and switchable plugs with recessed switches that allow you to put big adapters into its plugs without blocking them.

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Neb

Was reading the fluval thread where you gave a link to your journal. I have the same tank and I’ll be following along. I bet a £1 you’ll hate the cover lol

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NaturallyKait
1 hour ago, Neb said:

Was reading the fluval thread where you gave a link to your journal. I have the same tank and I’ll be following along. I bet a £1 you’ll hate the cover lol

Oh it’s already driving me up a wall, but with 3 kids under 4 a cover is a necessity lol. Just in the time it took to drain the water I used to leak test they threw 3 stuffed animals and a potato chip into the buckets of water. Toddlers are fun. 

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ChristopherDido

Love the garage cabinet stand! That's a great idea, how solid is the top of the stand? And is it on wheels?

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NaturallyKait
1 minute ago, ChristopherDido said:

Love the garage cabinet stand! That's a great idea, how solid is the top of the stand? And is it on wheels?

The top is stainless steel, pretty darn solid. We did add a piece of plywood this morning just in case to help distribute the weight. It’s not on wheels, it’s technically meant to be mounted as an upper wall cabinet but we just have it on the floor obviously. 

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NaturallyKait

Playing around with rock scapes now while my first 5 gallons of water mixes. Rock selection was all pretty large or boring at the LFS, but I think I can make it work. This is the favourite as of now. 

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ChristopherDido
2 minutes ago, NaturallyKait said:

The top is stainless steel, pretty darn solid. We did add a piece of plywood this morning just in case to help distribute the weight. It’s not on wheels, it’s technically meant to be mounted as an upper wall cabinet but we just have it on the floor obviously. 

Thanks for the reply. I've always been curious how a stand on wheels would do. I'll be following this build. What an awesome thing for you to do for your 4 year old.

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NaturallyKait
Just now, ChristopherDido said:

Thanks for the reply. I've always been curious how a stand on wheels would do. I'll be following this build. What an awesome thing for you to do for your 4 year old.

I think @pricewayne upthread has his on wheels, he actually was the one to point me in the direction of garage gear haha. 

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pricewayne

Liking the rock scape!!

 

@ChristopherDido I’ve got the same fluval tank on a Husky tool cart so wheels came with it. It’s nice knowing I “could” move it but haven’t needed to so not sure how stable it would be in motion. Two of the wheels lock so keeps it stable in place at least.

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NaturallyKait

Here we go! Tank is wet, and now we wait. 

 

Acclimating our first “livestock” (aka the official owner of the tank) 😉

 

 

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Gravity

Nice rockscape! I like all the caves and the cliff at the end. 

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pricewayne

Woohoo!! Let the hours of endless fascination begin 🙂

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NaturallyKait

We have ammonia today, so I guess we’re getting started. We have 6 weeks before his birthday, so we’ve got time to take it slow. 

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pricewayne
20 minutes ago, NaturallyKait said:

We have ammonia today, so I guess we’re getting started. We have 6 weeks before his birthday, so we’ve got time to take it slow. 

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Nice! If you care to expedite the cycle at all, a good option would be to swing by a local fish store that has wet live rock in their store that's cycled (will be in a tank or sump) -- can grab a cheap piece and drop it in your tank to "seed" your rock more quickly. Once your cycle is up & running, can remove the rock you used to seed, or find a way to incorporate into your scape 🙂 I'm no pro, but based on what I've read this is my preferred way to help speed along the fishless cycle. You do increase your chance of finding some hitchhikers from the wet live rock -- which I actually find quite fun (and most of em are good guys!).

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NaturallyKait
2 minutes ago, pricewayne said:

Nice! If you care to expedite the cycle at all, a good option would be to swing by a local fish store that has wet live rock in their store that's cycled (will be in a tank or sump) -- can grab a cheap piece and drop it in your tank to "seed" your rock more quickly. Once your cycle is up & running, can remove the rock you used to seed, or find a way to incorporate into your scape 🙂 I'm no pro, but based on what I've read this is my preferred way to help speed along the fishless cycle. You do increase your chance of finding some hitchhikers from the wet live rock -- which I actually find quite fun (and most of em are good guys!).

I would have liked to grab some good live rock but our LFS doesn't sell it, and we only have one LFS. The hitchhikers would have been nice. The sand was technically live sand, but I know that doesn’t really mean much in the end. I’ll have to seed the tank with pods later at least to get those. 

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pricewayne
8 minutes ago, NaturallyKait said:

I would have liked to grab some good live rock but our LFS doesn't sell it, and we only have one LFS. The hitchhikers would have been nice. The sand was technically live sand, but I know that doesn’t really mean much in the end. I’ll have to seed the tank with pods later at least to get those. 

Ended up with a great scape, at least!! Just takes a bit more time & patience (a recurring theme in this hobby) 🙂 

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NaturallyKait

The water had cleared up completely last night and was crystal clear, but now it's suddenly starting to get cloudy again. Nothing has been stirred up and I’ve only had lights on for photos. I’m hoping it doesn’t stay cloudy for too long. It’s hard to catch on camera but you can kind of see it. 

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pricewayne

May try to scrape the glass — looks like it may just be sediment caught on the walls? I know my water can appear a bit cloudy when that happens.

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