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Thetravelguy

13Evo first mini reef

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Thetravelguy

Current tank stocking 

- - -

4 Blue Hermit

2 Red Hermit

2 nacarius snail 

2 astrea snail

1 tailspot blenny
1 ocellaris clown

1 canary wrasse

1 Skunk cleaner

------

xxx 1 BTA (mini tank crash)

Xxx peppermint shrimp  -RIP, nem dinner

xxx 1 damsel (sorry dude I effed up the PH)

- - - 

GSP

Zoa (unknown variety) 

Zoa- King Midas

Clove

ricordea 

hammer 

Kenya tree 

chalice (Hollywood stunner)

candy cane (caulastrea)

Favia

Duncan

Meteor Shower Cyphastrea

Mystery frag

Mystery Acro

Toadstool 

 

 

 

Newest inhabitant 

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Current Tank Shot

 

 

 

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Hey y’all. I’m one of those people that has flitted off and on the forums over the years. I’ve also been in and out of the hobby. I’ve had freshwater off and on for about 15 years. I had a saltwater Fowler tank for a few years in high school but gave that up when I went to college. I’ve wanted to get a sw for years but I’ve been pretty unstable as far as taking temp jobs all over the country, living abroad and traveling tons. But now I’m kinda settled down a bit and decided it was finally time to jump back in! 

 

Back when I had my sw I tried my hand at a couple easy corals but they never did all that well. They kind of existed but never thrived. I suspect I was just too immature to understand how to truly care for em. 

 

Anywho I’ve been planning this comeback for a while and today I drove on over to my LFS and picked up my fluval 13.5 evo. I decided I really like the look of the tank, the price was right for what I was looking for and it’s not too big- but not too small. I’m super psyched to get the ball rolling. 

 

My intentions at the moment are to keep the stock lighting (kind of the point of getting an all-in-one system right? Haha) and I plan to mod some extra blue leds on in there (I saw a journal where someone did that here). I plan to pick up some eggcrate and also mod the filtration as it seems most everyone on her does. I’m not suuuuper diy minded but I love doing it (I just kinda suck at it, so we’ll see). 

 

Ive picked up all my extras as far as test kit and sand and even about 11lbs of rock from the lfs. I plan to get it thrown together tonight and to get that cycle started. I do still need to go get the eggcrate and some media for it. 

 

My plans inhabitant wise are still pretty up in the air. In the past I had a clown (honestly it’s been 10+ years and I don’t remember exactly which as far as percula or which). I had a sixline wrasse that I LOVED but unfortunately lost to a surfing accident. I had two cardinals and a bicolor blenny (ended up being the most active and interesting fish in the whole tank). 

 

- this time around I’d love to try some different things but my heart still tugs at the clown (why do we all love them so much). And I’ve been thinking perhaps a different species of blenny. But who knows. 

 

As as far as corals I want to start off real easy, so I’m thinking some zoas and maybe a hammer. I once saw a tank that had green star spread across the back wall and I loooved how that looked. Soo. We’ll see where I end up. 

 

 

Sorry now im completely rambling. In any case, I’ll document my journey here. And I consider myself an experienced newbie... any and all input is always welcome. I love to learn and grow and won’t be annoyed by friendly advice! 

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WV Reefer
1 hour ago, Thetravelguy said:

Hey y’all. I’m one of those people that has flitted off and on the forums over the years. I’ve also been in and out of the hobby. I’ve had freshwater off and on for about 15 years. I had a saltwater Fowler tank for a few years in high school but gave that up when I went to college. I’ve wanted to get a sw for years but I’ve been pretty unstable as far as taking temp jobs all over the country, living abroad and traveling tons. But now I’m kinda settled down a bit and decided it was finally time to jump back in! 

 

Back when I had my sw I tried my hand at a couple easy corals but they never did all that well. They kind of existed but never thrived. I suspect I was just too immature to understand how to truly care for em. 

 

Anywho I’ve been planning this comeback for a while and today I drove on over to my LFS and picked up my fluval 13.5 evo. I decided I really like the look of the tank, the price was right for what I was looking for and it’s not too big- but not too small. I’m super psyched to get the ball rolling. 

 

My intentions at the moment are to keep the stock lighting (kind of the point of getting an all-in-one system right? Haha) and I plan to mod some extra blue leds on in there (I saw a journal where someone did that here). I plan to pick up some eggcrate and also mod the filtration as it seems most everyone on her does. I’m not suuuuper diy minded but I love doing it (I just kinda suck at it, so we’ll see). 

 

Ive picked up all my extras as far as test kit and sand and even about 11lbs of rock from the lfs. I plan to get it thrown together tonight and to get that cycle started. I do still need to go get the eggcrate and some media for it. 

 

My plans inhabitant wise are still pretty up in the air. In the past I had a clown (honestly it’s been 10+ years and I don’t remember exactly which as far as percula or which). I had a sixline wrasse that I LOVED but unfortunately lost to a surfing accident. I had two cardinals and a bicolor blenny (ended up being the most active and interesting fish in the whole tank). 

 

- this time around I’d love to try some different things but my heart still tugs at the clown (why do we all love them so much). And I’ve been thinking perhaps a different species of blenny. But who knows. 

 

As as far as corals I want to start off real easy, so I’m thinking some zoas and maybe a hammer. I once saw a tank that had green star spread across the back wall and I loooved how that looked. Soo. We’ll see where I end up. 

 

 

Sorry now im completely rambling. In any case, I’ll document my journey here. And I consider myself an experienced newbie... any and all input is always welcome. I love to learn and grow and won’t be annoyed by friendly advice! 

96B80F60-F2B8-4309-A1A9-91A2F73FEDE6.jpeg

4D40434C-7619-4527-9F77-6A9BB15CE20A.jpeg

 

Now get some water in that thing. 😀

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Thetravelguy

Water will have to come tomorrow! Fixing up some distilled saltwater tonight. But I did get the rock I brought home in the tank and played around with placement. I don’t reallly looove some of the pieces I ended up with. We’ll see I may go back and get different pieces to replace em. Not sure. But for now this is kinda how I think it’ll be scaped...

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Elephant999

Like the rock work. I love my Evo, it’s such a good looking nano.

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Thetravelguy

Finally got water in the tank and hoping got my cycle rolling. I’m much happier with this rock work 👌🏻. Can’t wait til the water clears up a bit more. 

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Thetravelguy

I’m already thinking another powerhead will be necessary. The stock one isn’t nearly as strong as I had expected. 

 

Im struggling to get my salinity just right. It’s been so long since I’ve done it. We’ll get there. 

 

I already have seen seen signs of life, looks like some microscopic feather dusters and some other unknown stuff at the moment. As the water clears I’ll try to get better visuals 

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WV Reefer
2 minutes ago, Thetravelguy said:

Finally got water in the tank and hoping got my cycle rolling. I’m much happier with this rock work 👌🏻. Can’t wait til the water clears up a bit more. 

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Much better! 😃 The shape has more “flow” now. 

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Thetravelguy

Cycle is well underway. Getting my diatom outbreak! 

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Thetravelguy

I realize it’s nothing to look at right now And not very exciting 🤷🏻‍♂️. I’m just excited for it to be on its way. This tank is several years in the making so I’m excited. Hopefully within the next few weeks it’ll get a bit more interesting 🙂 

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billygoat
13 hours ago, Thetravelguy said:

I realize it’s nothing to look at right now And not very exciting 🤷🏻‍♂️. I’m just excited for it to be on its way. This tank is several years in the making so I’m excited. Hopefully within the next few weeks it’ll get a bit more interesting 🙂 

You should have seen me the day I added the first snails to my tank. I was so stoked! 😁 That's the sort of thing that probably makes no sense to people who don't "get" the hobby (they're just snails, after all - what's the big deal, right?), but the excitement is real, especially in the beginning of a tank's life! Imagine how it's going to be in a couple of months once the ball gets rolling. 😉

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Thetravelguy

WE HAVE LIFE

 

So thanks to some seeded media and rocks, this tank has soared gracefully through its cycle. Yesterday we were at 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 0 nitrate.  Ph is at a healthy 8.4

 

Yesterday the tank tank got its first inhabitants. 5 mini mini blue legged hermits (like so tiny I loose them constantly). They honestly seem pretty lazy 🤷🏻‍♂️ They mostly hang out on one singular rock. I’m not sure if it’s because they got up and now can’t figure out how to get down, or if they are genuinely just content up there. Who knows. 

 

We also got one nassarius (first time I’ve ever had one, not sure what I expected haha). He’s cool but I really only know he’s alive because in the morning I see the tracks of where he went in the night before in the sand. 

 

We got what I believe is an astrea, May be a turbo. He’s also fairly lazy. He’s been working on one piece of rock since he came home. But he poops a TON. Is there anything out there that will eat snail poo? 

 

I also brought home a beautiful yellow tailed damsel. I don’t intend for him to be a forever resident. But because this is my first sw tank in many moons, I didn’t want to drop $$ on a nice pair of clowns before I felt comfortable with the tank. So he will be with me for a little while. Until I feel comfortable that I can maintain the right parameters and such 👌🏻

 

I would like like to add to my CUC but I 1. Don’t know what I want. And 2. My lfs pretty much sucks and doesn’t have much, so I rely on what I can get there. 

 

Everybody is doing good. No signs of stress. Good coloring. Lots of swimming and activity. Hopefully in a couple weeks I’ll feel comfortable enough to add my first ever frag...

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Thetravelguy

I promise soon I’ll get out the pro camera and tripod. But, for now, iPhone shots is what I’ve got

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billygoat

Looks like it's coming together pretty well! I'm excited to see where this journey will lead you. 😁

 

I can't help but notice a bit of a film on the water there. How's your surface agitation looking? You'll almost certainly want to look into some sort of wavemaker at some point down the line, or at least an upgrade to the return pump to get some more water movement going in there. If I recall correctly the stock pump that comes with the Evo is not known for its exceptional power. 😅

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Thetravelguy

Yea I definitely have a film at the top but I can’t fogure out why. It had finally gone away then I did a water change and now it’s back. I do have one of the nozzles pointed right at the surface so there’s decent agitation but?? I do intend to get some more water movement in the tank though. 

 

 

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Ratvan
5 hours ago, Thetravelguy said:

Yea I definitely have a film at the top but I can’t fogure out why. It had finally gone away then I did a water change and now it’s back. I do have one of the nozzles pointed right at the surface so there’s decent agitation but?? I do intend to get some more water movement in the tank though. 

 

 

What is your water level like in the back chambers? I find with my smaller models that I need a fall from the weir into the back chambers to remove the film from the surface

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Thetravelguy
8 hours ago, Ratvan said:

What is your water level like in the back chambers? I find with my smaller models that I need a fall from the weir into the back chambers to remove the film from the surface

It was full! I took your advice and used the little clip it came with and I plugged the hole in chamber two and almost instantly film was removed from the surface and I feel the filtration is working much better now. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

 

Neither my nitrites or nitrates are high but my algae is getting crazy really fast. I gotta update my cuc asap...

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Wonderboy
On 8/21/2019 at 11:58 AM, Thetravelguy said:

1. Don’t know what I want

It's a little bit what you want but mostly what you're growing. I suggest only adding CUC members when their preferred food source is prominent - best way to avoid problems. -More snails- when brown algae is plenty. Looking great so far - tagging along  :]

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Ratvan
On 8/23/2019 at 6:19 PM, Thetravelguy said:

It was full! I took your advice and used the little clip it came with and I plugged the hole in chamber two and almost instantly film was removed from the surface and I feel the filtration is working much better now. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

 

Neither my nitrites or nitrates are high but my algae is getting crazy really fast. I gotta update my cuc asap...

Good news. If you want a higher water level in the display you can mod the weir with some plastic across the bottom to raise the weir height

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Thetravelguy

Well we’re at week 3.5 and all is well. No livestock death so that’s a plus! 

 

I have ave been having difficulty keeping my salinity down. My evap is negligible and I top off with pure fresh rodi water and in my last water change I replaced with only fresh water but my salinity is still high 🧐. It went down after the wc (obviously) but in the last few days it’s creeped back up (obvi evap but like I said I top off with fresh water so???) any tips or help? Not sure how to balance that out except doing another water change... and I’m getting eager to add my first frag(s) but don’t want to do so until I feel I can reliably keep my salinity consistent ( or st least in a healthy decent range).

 

that being said as far as livestock- I’m seriously considering a pair of clarkiis. I had never seen them before this last week but I kind of 100% love them. 

 

Anyways aside from the salinity all is well! 

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Wonderboy

Strange with the salinity thing maybe there was residual in the sand/rock?

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Thetravelguy

I mean I won’t be so arrogant as to state it’s impossible. But I kinda doubt it? I cleaned the rock fairly well when I received it. The sand would be the *most* likely culprit in that instance. But who knows? It’s a weird problem. I’m check every day/ twice a day and it’s kinda bouncy... 

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Thetravelguy

Introduced my first coral this week! I got three frags from my lfs. I got gsp (which I love and intend to let take over the entire back wall of the tank) and I got a gorgeous zoa colony (if I could figure out how to get decent pictures I’d ask for any specific I’d, but they are orange!). And a mystery frag. Well actually the guy at the lfs told me what it was but I forgot to write it down and ??? The zoas opened within about an hour of aclimation. The gsp took the night and the mystery coral took about 18 hrs but they are all open and shining beautifully under the actinc. Now to track down a pair of clarkii...

 

What’s the trick for taking pictures under actinc? 

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Thetravelguy

Today I introduced a peppermint shrimp. I think my damsel may have already attacked and killed him 😬😩😭. I never intended to keep the damsel long term but after this he may Ben out of here tomorrow 👎🏻

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Update: damsel did not kill peppermint. I went searching and found him hiding under a rock, neglecting his duties 🙄.

 

i think it’s about time for damsel to be gone anyhow. I’m feeling much more confident and am on the hunt for a pair of Clarkii. Once I find them I’ll switch out the damsel ( I feel like a bad person for saying this 😬😅🤷🏻‍♂️ ). 

 

 

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billygoat
3 minutes ago, Thetravelguy said:

Update: damsel did not kill peppermint. I went searching and found him hiding under a rock, neglecting his duties 🙄.

 

i think it’s about time for damsel to be gone anyhow. I’m feeling much more confident and am on the hunt for a pair of Clarkii. Once I find them I’ll switch out the damsel ( I feel like a bad person for saying this 😬😅🤷🏻‍♂️ ). 

 

 

I mean when you think about it, clowns are technically damselfish as well... so the spirit of the first inhabitant will at least live on in the tank! 😅 Clarkii clowns are an interesting choice; I feel like almost everyone goes for Percs or Ocellaris. I like Clarkiis though. They are very pretty.

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