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MHNano

Back in with Evo 13.5

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MHNano

I originally got into reef keeping after running a planted water and got my wife an Evo V. Things went well and I ended up building a 75g with 20g sump. I drilled and plumbed it myself. Great experience and I learned quite a bit about reef keeping. I also learned to appreciate a well designed pre built system. I ended up getting out of the hobby for a while but I'm starting up an Evo 13.5.

I have to admit I slacked on build pictures but they would have only consisted of me chiseling some reef saver and adding rock, sand, water. My timing was ill conceived since I had a 10 day vacation planned right after the cycle completed. 

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MHNano

I used turbostart 900 in my 75 and was happy with the results so I used it again in my Evo. A small piece of deli shrimp and my tank competed the basic cycle in 3 days.

It's been warm here and the upstairs sits in the low 80s. I had the same heat issue that others did so I hot glued some 40mm fans in the feeding opening. Bonus is they run on 5v so I cut an old USB cable for power. One problem down, plenty more to solve. 

I don't plan on any fish but I really enjoy the invertebrates, big and small. Well, small and smaller in this tank. I wanted to have some form of CUC to keep things under control while I was away. I figured an emerald crab could work on a chunk of deli shrimp food a few days and algae until I got back. Also grabbed a star astria.

With a bare minimum CUC in the tank I needed to address evap since I would be gone for so long. I was fine with manual adds on the V but I was never gone long. I'm glad to see that sensors have been miniaturized for ATOs and grabbed a Duetto because of the second eye for overfill conditions. I put a gravity siphon between my 5 gal jug and a 7 gal water jug I use for camping. 

I set up a web cam pointing at the tank so I could call the neighbor if something went terribly wrong, dropped a chunk of deli shrimp in the morning I left and crossed my fingers. 

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Christopher Marks

Welcome to the community @MHNano! I think you're going to love the simplicity of an AIO nano reef 🙂 

 

I like the open reef scape, this is going to be fun to follow. Keep up the good work!

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MHNano

When my neighbor stopped in I asked if he could take a few pictures of the tank. The webcam let me check on the water level, temp, ATO reservoir level and a decent picture but not in very good detail. Just a few closeups of the rock work so I could see how things are progressing. Didn't look to bad and the fact that I had set up a 5 gal and 7 gal connected by a gravity siphon as my ATO reservoir I felt OK about the tank for last half of my trip.     

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MHNano

After 10 days away with a newly cycled tank the first thing I did was test my parameters. Ammonia and nitrite were 0 but nitrate was a touch high. I've ever seen the test water turn to the darkest shade after adding the 1st part of a two part test. The accumulation was slow so my cuc of 3 didn't seem any worse for wear but a 50% water change was done immediately. Nitrates were still in the 40 - 60 ppm range but I didn't want to drop them to quickly from there.

 

Not my proudest moment and I'll be paying one of the local aquarium maintenance companies to do a weekly water change next time I'm on vacation

 

I had ordered a fuge light and set delivery for the day I got back so I stopped by my LFS to get some chaeto to help with overnight PH and minor nutrient control. I put it in chamber 1 and turned the fuge light on. After an hour or two I was checking on the tank and noticed at least 2 digitate hydroids tucked in the chaeto so it went into the trash and I placed an order with Algae Barn. When they say their macroalgae is cleaned, treated & quarantined to prevent unwated parasites I figured it would be fairly devoid of life. To my pleasant surprise it had amphipods and copepods that you usually have to buy separate. I like seeing the little critters moving around the tank and had already seeded some pods but had I known the clean chaeto would have some I could have saved a few bucks.   

I also added mocha ogo to my order thinking it was a single mass like chaeto, live and learn. I did put a few pieces in the sand and rock work for the time being until I get corals and they grow in. 

 

After a few days of water changes and having the macro in the tank my nitrate was down to the ~10ppm range so I picked up a Yuma. I had one that went from my Evo V to my 75 and even split off a few clones so I got one for nostalgia's sake. My favorite LFS, Aquatic Art Inc, only has retail hours on Friday and Saturday so I've been waiting to add corals until the weekend. My wife likes open brains so that will occupy the left side and I'm torn between duncan, micro lords, blastos, and possibly a fuzzy Pavona. We'll see once I get there. 

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Scotty Amen

Well, welcome back home!

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