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Reefer madness 420

Fluval Evo 5 Reef Build

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Reefer madness 420

Hello All,

 

I have decided to jump back into the reefing hobby with the Fluval Evo 5 and will be documenting my build here.

 

Introduction:

 

This will be my second reef build.

 

While I was in college/university I had a successful 10 gallon mixed reef which over time ended up paying for itself through coral sales (See attached photo). Unfortunately, I had to break it down and sell all my equipment and inhabitants because of lack of time to maintain the reef. 

 

I live in Canada and have two degrees in Biology and Chemistry. Upon graduating I worked as a Pharmaceutical Chemist and recently switched over to the cannabis industry where I am the Extraction and Isolation Scientist. Having the 10 gallon reef tank assisted me in university courses such as Animal Biology - I was even given the opportunity to bring in a water sample from my reef to show how diverse the life in the water column is.

 

Around December last year, I started to get the itch to jump back into the hobby. I asked my wife to purchase me a 90 gallon rimless cube, for Christmas, which I would use to build a reef tank in our basement. Unfortunately, I talked myself out of the 90 gallon reef due to our growing family and the potential of a move in the near future. Recently, with COVID-19 plaguing the world, my employer asked me to work from home and only go in when absolutely necessary. This gave me the opportunity to look into starting up a new hobby and opened a can of worms! I decided the Fluval Evo 5 would be a viable option due to its small size in the event we do move and will be documenting my build. 

 

Equipment purchased:

 

Fluval Evo 5 

Coralife Digital Thermometer

Cobalt Mini mj 606 (To replace the under powered stock pump)

InTank Media Basket (Yes I know you can make them out of egg crate for a fraction of the cost - but I noticed you lose a lot of space due to the egg crates thickness and it doesn't look all that great)

Hydor Flo Rotating Water Deflector

Hydor Koralia Evolution Nano 425 Powerhead

InTank Chamber Plug (I didn't want to risk using silicone and making a mess to block the slits and it was essentially the same price if not cheaper than silicone)

InTank Surface Skimmer attachment (Increases the display tank water level and acts like a skimmer for the filtration system)

Two Little Fishies NanoMag Magnetic Cleaner

Filter Floss (From previous 10 gallon reef days)

UPDATE: 04-13-2020:

Aqueon Pro 50 watt heater

Refractometer

API Saltwater test kit

Caribsea Ocean Direct Live Sand (5lb)

Instant Ocean Reef Crystal or Red Sea Blue Bucket or Aquavitro Salinity - have to see what is the most viable option

 

 

Equipment Needed:

 

Heater - I had my eyes on the Cobalt Neo-Therm 50watt, but they seem to be sold out everywhere that ships to Canada and outrageously priced for the places not sold out. Can someone suggest an equivalent that will fit the back area of my filtration system and has a thermostat as the basement temperature can fluctuate. 

Upgraded light (I will do this further down the road but open to suggestions! I am sure a lot has changed in 10 years and the stuff I know is out dated)

API Reef Master Kit (is this still a good one?)

Refractometer

Activated Carbon (Not a priority until cycle is complete)

Marine Pure Plates (I heard these degrade fast, fact or myth? Equivalents?)

Substrate (Still looking into this. Any suggestions? I believe I used Carbisea Crushed coral live substrate or something in the 10 gallon)

6 LBS Live rock (Need to brush up on the types still)

RO/DI Unit (Probably later on but I can get away with the LFS jugs for now)

Salt Mix (I believe I use to use Instant Ocean purple container. Is there a better salt mix?)

 

Not sure if I am missing anything in this department.

 

Live Stock (Clean up crew, corals, inverts, fish):

 

Under review. Open to suggestions. 

 

Coral options: Zoas, duncan or torch, birds nest (needs upgraded light), monti, acans, mushrooms

Invertebrates: Pistol Shrimp/ Goby combo (I know Gobys aren't invertebrates.) or skunk cleaner shrimp

Clean up crew: 1 Turbo Snail, 3 Hermit crab (blue/ scarlet/ Pumpkin(Orange and Black)?), 2 Nassarius snails, 1 Astrea snail, emerald crab.

Fish: open for suggestions - probably only one.

 

 

Looking for commendations on my equipment lists so i can get the tank cycle started. 🙂

 

Also looking for advice on the Marine Pure plates. I was thinking of using them in the display under the substrate layer. I know this wont work if I want to do the goby pistol shrimp combo because the sand bed isn't deep enough, but if its more beneficial to the tank over all I am ok with omitting those animals. Will put the marine pure blocks in the filtration area.

 

 

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debbeach13

Hi reefer madness

 Welcome back to the hobby and welcome to NR. I like your tank choice. Of course I would I set one up the beginning of March. I am still running the stock light and pump. The good news is that there are several members using this tank. I am using a Ultraslim 50W from ocean box. I got mine from Aquaforest Aquarium for $29.99 it has an external controller. 

Some threads you can check out are - Fluval Evo 5 gallon Marine Kit build, Banasophias Evo 5 - 365 Day Challenge, Fluval Evo 5, 365 day challenge - First Timer Flower Power, and Sandsifter. Good luck with your new tank.

Edit: Looks like you had a nice little tank. 

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Reefer madness 420
42 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

Hi reefer madness

 Welcome back to the hobby and welcome to NR. I like your tank choice. Of course I would I set one up the beginning of March. I am still running the stock light and pump. The good news is that there are several members using this tank. I am using a Ultraslim 50W from ocean box. I got mine from Aquaforest Aquarium for $29.99 it has an external controller. 

Some threads you can check out are - Fluval Evo 5 gallon Marine Kit build, Banasophias Evo 5 - 365 Day Challenge, Fluval Evo 5, 365 day challenge - First Timer Flower Power, and Sandsifter. Good luck with your new tank.

Edit: Looks like you had a nice little tank. 

Thank you! I will definitely check out those builds. I don't think I can get that heater to Canada. I was looking at the Aqueon Pro 50 watt heater but I'm not sure if it will fit in the pump chamber.

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Reefsamurai

I and a few other have posted in the Fluval Evo 5 thread with FTS so you can get ideas on setup. I personally mounted my finnex heater in the display because according to the instructions, it has a gauge that requires a horizontal not vertical mounting to be temp accurate. I also started my tank cycle without the heater on because I was trying to find the right one. 

 

What kind of corals are you wanting that you feel the need for a 425gph powerhead in a 5gal? I am using the 250 pointed upward, directly underneath my return nozzle with the IM slipstream. I did this because the rotation helps cut the constant flow down and gives it a randomness. If I didnt, it would blow my corals away.

 

I use jbj nano ATO with the pump in a 5gal jug. I don't have issues with the lfs ro water and even if there's trace nutrients, my SPS loves it anyway. 

 

I highly recommend sealing up the hole in your back chamber at the top. It helps with the water flow through your media basket and if you don't keep chamber 2level high enough, it gurgles like crazy.

 

I upgraded to the AI prime SOL lighting with the Saxby setting and acclimated my corals with the month long ramp up, everyone is happy, new zoo polyps all over, SPS is growing like weeds and a favia is recovering nicely after being saved from killer palys from the lfs(palys so big on the frag plug you couldn't see the 7 head brain).

 

Caribsea live sand is what I went with and I can't remember the name of the rock, just that it was already purple(a coating maybe) $7.99/lb. I think I have about 6lbs of sand and the same for rock.

 

I have zero inhabitants except what has come out of my live rock, so just feather dusters, a load of pods and a collonista snail. With weeklywater changesusing floss, chemipure(might switch to blue) the ceramics that came with the tank and a piece of foam too, to seed the new filter, I've had zero issues other than the usual GHA. 

 

Good luck

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Reefer madness 420
28 minutes ago, Reefsamurai said:

I and a few other have posted in the Fluval Evo 5 thread with FTS so you can get ideas on setup. I personally mounted my finnex heater in the display because according to the instructions, it has a gauge that requires a horizontal not vertical mounting to be temp accurate. I also started my tank cycle without the heater on because I was trying to find the right one. 

 

What kind of corals are you wanting that you feel the need for a 425gph powerhead in a 5gal? I am using the 250 pointed upward, directly underneath my return nozzle with the IM slipstream. I did this because the rotation helps cut the constant flow down and gives it a randomness. If I didnt, it would blow my corals away.

 

I use jbj nano ATO with the pump in a 5gal jug. I don't have issues with the lfs ro water and even if there's trace nutrients, my SPS loves it anyway. 

 

I highly recommend sealing up the hole in your back chamber at the top. It helps with the water flow through your media basket and if you don't keep chamber 2level high enough, it gurgles like crazy.

 

I upgraded to the AI prime SOL lighting with the Saxby setting and acclimated my corals with the month long ramp up, everyone is happy, new zoo polyps all over, SPS is growing like weeds and a favia is recovering nicely after being saved from killer palys from the lfs(palys so big on the frag plug you couldn't see the 7 head brain).

 

Caribsea live sand is what I went with and I can't remember the name of the rock, just that it was already purple(a coating maybe) $7.99/lb. I think I have about 6lbs of sand and the same for rock.

 

I have zero inhabitants except what has come out of my live rock, so just feather dusters, a load of pods and a collonista snail. With weeklywater changesusing floss, chemipure(might switch to blue) the ceramics that came with the tank and a piece of foam too, to seed the new filter, I've had zero issues other than the usual GHA. 

 

Good luck

Hello,

 

Heater wise I think I may go with the hydor theo 50watt heater in the pump chamber. 

 

As for the pump, I read that more GPH turn over is better for the tank as a whole. I was planning on directing it upwards to break the surface tension and create better gas exchange. I will most likely be positioning it across from the return and pointed towards the filter inlet, coupled with the deflector, like yours I'll have a randomized pattern. Are you thinking it's too much?  I'll see how it goes and adjust if need be🤷‍♂️. I know the upgraded pump will also add to that total flow. 

 

As for the water I'm not worried about trace elements or anything like that. Me wanting  a system is for my own convenience and will come later on. I use to have one when I was running the 10gallon.

 

I will be sealing both holes with 5he plugs from intank. The one on the wall separating filtration area and display tank and the one separating chamber 1 and 2. Is it actuate that I'll have to cut holes in the return tube to have proper circulation. I want to leave the heater in that chamber and heard it can become stagnant. 

 

It wasnt the crushed coral? Is it a fine sand? Is crushed coral still the way to go? If I placed marine pure 1inch plates on the bottom of the display tank then another inch of sand would that work to produce a better bacterial colony?  Pros or cons? 

 

Going to stick with the stock lighting for now and possibly do the island type aquascape. Down the road I will look into upgrading the lights. 

 

Have to look into the types of live rock to see what would work best in my tank. Might be limited to what bigals has. Not many options for reefs where I am.

 

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Clown79

I had a spec 5, pretty much the same as the evo but the evo light is for SW.

 

I upgraded the pump and flow was so strong that no powerhead was needed. Same gph as the 606. 

 

The hydor 425 may be too much with the upgraded pump, so you may not need it other than for mixing sw.

 

A good heater besides the cobalt is Aqueon Pro, it's made of the same material as cobalt and it was very stable.

I used the hydor heater- i personally had nothing but issues with it and it went to the garbage. 

 

For sand, caribsea is good. Crushed coral isn't popular anymore because it traps detritus and needs more thorough cleaning whereas a good cuc and light sand vacuuming works with aragonite sand.

 

The marine block I wouldn't put under the sandbed, it may cause issues with keeping the sandbed working properly and clean.

These usually go in a sump.

 

Not sure about the intank surface skimmer or the need for it. The aio filter system keeps the surface pretty clean. 

 

I would definitely plug up the hole fluval adds to their aio's, that hole creates issues with filtration of the surface. 

 

Api master kit. Just buy their ammonia, nitrite, nitrate for cycling and get other kits for Ca, phos, and alk. There are better options that are more precise with results.

 

Salt. Everyone has their preferences. Some like IO, some like reef crystals. Some of us don't like them. 

I prefer red sea blue bucket. Great parameters and consistent parameters, fast mixing, batch controls

 

 

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Reefer madness 420
24 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

I had a spec 5, pretty much the same as the evo but the evo light is for SW.

 

I upgraded the pump and flow was so strong that no powerhead was needed. Same gph as the 606. 

 

The hydor 425 may be too much with the upgraded pump, so you may not need it other than for mixing sw.

 

A good heater besides the cobalt is Aqueon Pro, it's made of the same material as cobalt and it was very stable.

I used the hydor heater- i personally had nothing but issues with it and it went to the garbage. 

 

For sand, caribsea is good. Crushed coral isn't popular anymore because it traps detritus and needs more thorough cleaning whereas a good cuc and light sand vacuuming works with aragonite sand.

 

The marine block I wouldn't put under the sandbed, it may cause issues with keeping the sandbed working properly and clean.

These usually go in a sump.

 

Not sure about the intank surface skimmer or the need for it. The aio filter system keeps the surface pretty clean. 

 

I would definitely plug up the hole fluval adds to their aio's, that hole creates issues with filtration of the surface. 

 

Api master kit. Just buy their ammonia, nitrite, nitrate for cycling and get other kits for Ca, phos, and alk. There are better options that are more precise with results.

 

Salt. Everyone has their preferences. Some like IO, some like reef crystals. Some of us don't like them. 

I prefer red sea blue bucket. Great parameters and consistent parameters, fast mixing, batch controls

 

 

Hows it going? Do you have a journal for your build? I'm just starting to dig into the forums to get some much needed info.

 

The flow is strong enough for SPS? Also, can't you adjust the flow on the 606? My plan was to have the 425 on the opposite side of the return pointing up to break surface tension. I was always under the impression lots of flow was good to keep everything circulating. 

 

I was also looking at the aqueon pro because the hydor has some almost as many bad reviews as good lol. Will the pro fit in the pump chamber? Would I have to cut the tube to allow better circulation there like I've been reading? I plan to plug the hole between the two chamber also. 

 

Sand wise I'm happy to go with the finer stuff. I completely agree all sorts of algae etc. Gets trapped in the crushed coral. One of my biggest pet peeves was how nasty it looked after time. Can you suggest a good siphon that will agitate the sand bed? How much should I purchase? I wouldn't mind entertaining the purchase of a pistol shrimp goby combo so I know itll need room to dig its hole. 

 

I only saw one build with the marine block in its sand bed and they stated it's to create the deep sanded without having to purchase all the sand. They also claim it's a great spot for notification bacteria and increases the theoretical amount of live rock you have in your system. A negative to this was I heard these blocks break down pretty quickly. I guess I will omit these blocks in the display. What line up of media do you have in your basket? Are you using any cheeto or natural filtration?

 

The intank surface skimmer comes with the basket and plug. Apparently it allows you to adjust the water level by blocking some of the baffle (?) Making the skimming of the top layer more efficient. 

 

For the API kit just buy the basics correct? Can you recommend a good brand for the other tests?

 

Red sea blue bucket salt. Does this mix support all types of corals? Is there a more popular brand over another for obvious reasons? Or is this one of those big debate topics? 

 

Thanks for all the info..let me know what your build thread is!

 

 

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Clown79
2 hours ago, Reefer madness 420 said:

Hows it going? Do you have a journal for your build? I'm just starting to dig into the forums to get some much needed info.

 

The flow is strong enough for SPS? Also, can't you adjust the flow on the 606? My plan was to have the 425 on the opposite side of the return pointing up to break surface tension. I was always under the impression lots of flow was good to keep everything circulating. 

 

I was also looking at the aqueon pro because the hydor has some almost as many bad reviews as good lol. Will the pro fit in the pump chamber? Would I have to cut the tube to allow better circulation there like I've been reading? I plan to plug the hole between the two chamber also. 

 

Sand wise I'm happy to go with the finer stuff. I completely agree all sorts of algae etc. Gets trapped in the crushed coral. One of my biggest pet peeves was how nasty it looked after time. Can you suggest a good siphon that will agitate the sand bed? How much should I purchase? I wouldn't mind entertaining the purchase of a pistol shrimp goby combo so I know itll need room to dig its hole. 

 

I only saw one build with the marine block in its sand bed and they stated it's to create the deep sanded without having to purchase all the sand. They also claim it's a great spot for notification bacteria and increases the theoretical amount of live rock you have in your system. A negative to this was I heard these blocks break down pretty quickly. I guess I will omit these blocks in the display. What line up of media do you have in your basket? Are you using any cheeto or natural filtration?

 

The intank surface skimmer comes with the basket and plug. Apparently it allows you to adjust the water level by blocking some of the baffle (?) Making the skimming of the top layer more efficient. 

 

For the API kit just buy the basics correct? Can you recommend a good brand for the other tests?

 

Red sea blue bucket salt. Does this mix support all types of corals? Is there a more popular brand over another for obvious reasons? Or is this one of those big debate topics? 

 

Thanks for all the info..let me know what your build thread is!

 

 

I actually combined my 5g and 10g and upgraded to a 20. I no longer run the 5g. I had too many tanks going. Lol. 

 

The maxijet 606 and aqueon 400 which fit in the back of the fluvals usually need to be molded to fit, preventing the ability to control flow. 

 

I only ran my aqueon 400 and had to remove my 80gph fountain pump from display. It was just too much flow for such a small tank.

 

You aren't supposed to put the heater in the return chamber. I made my own media basket and ran that and the heater in chamber 1. I used an aqueon pro in my spec.

 

I imagine if you want to run a dsb you could put the blocks under the sand but a dsb runs completely differently than a regular sand bed.

 

I use salifert for nitrate, ca, magnesium

Hanna checkers for alk and phos

 

Salt preferences is individual. 

What parameters you want to maintain, salt mixing ease, and storage time all need to be considered when choosing your salt brand.

 

Aquaforest and rscp both have specific mixing instructions to prevent precipitation and can only be stored for a week.

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Reefer madness 420
On 4/11/2020 at 9:53 PM, Clown79 said:

I actually combined my 5g and 10g and upgraded to a 20. I no longer run the 5g. I had too many tanks going. Lol. 

 

The maxijet 606 and aqueon 400 which fit in the back of the fluvals usually need to be molded to fit, preventing the ability to control flow. 

 

I only ran my aqueon 400 and had to remove my 80gph fountain pump from display. It was just too much flow for such a small tank.

 

You aren't supposed to put the heater in the return chamber. I made my own media basket and ran that and the heater in chamber 1. I used an aqueon pro in my spec.

 

I imagine if you want to run a dsb you could put the blocks under the sand but a dsb runs completely differently than a regular sand bed.

 

I use salifert for nitrate, ca, magnesium

Hanna checkers for alk and phos

 

Salt preferences is individual. 

What parameters you want to maintain, salt mixing ease, and storage time all need to be considered when choosing your salt brand.

 

Aquaforest and rscp both have specific mixing instructions to prevent precipitation and can only be stored for a week.

I have canceled the purchase of the 425 power head as I found my old equipment and have two 240 power heads. One will be used in the tank the other for mixing salt.

 

I also found my old 100 watt heater (Marineland Stealth) but unfortunately there is a recall on them for fire and shock hazard. I am going to purchase the aqueon pro 50watt to be safe.

 

As for modifications on the upgraded cobalt mini mj 606 pump - I read you only have to take off the front cover plate to fit.

 

Why cant we put the heaters in the return chamber?

 

I also purchased the base API saltwater test kit and will but the specific tests for everything else once needed.

 

As for salt - the only viable option I have is through Big Als and Petsmart. All online retailers have shipping double that of the salt and it just doesn't make sense. Big Als is really pushing me to purchase Salinity but upon research I see there is a number of potential problems with this costly salt. As stated above I have used IO Reef Crystal for my 10gallon tank and was happy with it. I am also happy with the price! Im also not opposed to Red Sea Blue bucket (I don't know how SPS dominate my tank will become so I rather have a mixed reef salt). 

 

I'm trying to choose the right salt off the bat because once I go with one I would like to stick with that brand. From my research I see a lot of people running into problems when switching salt brands in established reefs. 

 

My LFS (Big Als) say the closest they stock to live rock is the stuff people bring in from their own tanks. They also said they carry some painted purple base rock that they seed and just plain base rock. I think the most beneficial for me would be to take the returned live rock as those will be seeded the most. Due to COVID 19 I will have to draw them a  picture of a potential aquascape and they're going to try to pick out pieces for me.

 

 

During cycle is there anything you'd recommend running in the filter? I was only going to run filter floss.

 

Later I plan to add marine pure, filter floss, activated carbon, cheato and maybe something for phosphates. Is there a particular set up that people usually run in their filters for greater success? 

 

Now I sit and wait for all my supplies to be shipped. Once the tank is set up mechanically wise, my next trip will be LFS for live sand, RODI water, salt and live rock.

 

Thanks for your input!

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Reefer madness 420

I also found my old Current USA dual power compact light. I think they're 40watt dual bulbs. One is blue and the other white. It also comes with a moonlight. I don't think these lights exist anymore but if I can find bulbs, would these lights be more powerful than the stock lights and would they be able to grow SPS? 

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Clown79
6 minutes ago, Reefer madness 420 said:

I have canceled the purchase of the 425 power head as I found my old equipment and have two 240 power heads. One will be used in the tank the other for mixing salt.

 

I also found my old 100 watt heater (Marineland Stealth) but unfortunately there is a recall on them for fire and shock hazard. I am going to purchase the aqueon pro 50watt to be safe.

 

As for modifications on the upgraded cobalt mini mj 606 pump - I read you only have to take off the front cover plate to fit.

 

Why cant we put the heaters in the return chamber?

 

I also purchased the base API saltwater test kit and will but the specific tests for everything else once needed.

 

As for salt - the only viable option I have is through Big Als and Petsmart. All online retailers have shipping double that of the salt and it just doesn't make sense. Big Als is really pushing me to purchase Salinity but upon research I see there is a number of potential problems with this costly salt. As stated above I have used IO Reef Crystal for my 10gallon tank and was happy with it. I am also happy with the price! Im also not opposed to Red Sea Blue bucket (I don't know how SPS dominate my tank will become so I rather have a mixed reef salt). 

 

I'm trying to choose the right salt off the bat because once I go with one I would like to stick with that brand. From my research I see a lot of people running into problems when switching salt brands in established reefs. 

 

My LFS (Big Als) say the closest they stock to live rock is the stuff people bring in from their own tanks. They also said they carry some painted purple base rock that they seed and just plain base rock. I think the most beneficial for me would be to take the returned live rock as those will be seeded the most. Due to COVID 19 I will have to draw them a  picture of a potential aquascape and they're going to try to pick out pieces for me.

 

 

During cycle is there anything you'd recommend running in the filter? I was only going to run filter floss.

 

Later I plan to add marine pure, filter floss, activated carbon, cheato and maybe something for phosphates. Is there a particular set up that people usually run in their filters for greater success? 

 

Now I sit and wait for all my supplies to be shipped. Once the tank is set up mechanically wise, my next trip will be LFS for live sand, RODI water, salt and live rock.

 

Thanks for your input!

I order my salt and most dry goods from reefsupplies.ca or aquarium depot.ca

I paid $10 to ship it all.

Big al's deals with only certain products and charge more for them.

 

For me spending more on a good salt that I can rely on is important and it cost me less in the end. 

With other salts I was having to spend more money on test kits and dosing products because the salt was unpredictable and I had to chase parameters before waterchanges, after waterchanges, and in between. 

 

Choose a salt that has parameters you want to maintain, has consistency in parameters, and mixes easier.

 

Blue bucket red sea and fritz are good brands for mixed reefs.

IO and reef crystals, many use it. Some like it some don't. I'm in the latter party.

 

Heaters aren't supposed to be in return chamber because the water level in that chamber changes, causing the heater to be exposed which is very dangerous. It's also dangerous to keep the heater up against any hoses. 

 

Many use caribsea liferock. Its dry rock epoxies purple and with bacteria. 

Most use dry rock because it's very difficult to get real liverock 

 

 

During cycling running filter floss only, carbon can be used if you aren't dosing ammonia/bacteria.

 

As for future media plans. Phosphate reducers should be used ONLY as needed. These strip your phosphate and you need phosphate in the tank.

 

Sterile aquariums have more problems then you want. 

 

Chaeto, it's great but should be added for need. It needs nutrients to survive and do do corals, if you don't have enough nutrients for the corals and chaeto you will run into the issue of lack of nutrients which leads to chaeto death, coral growth issues, coral death, and nuisance algae.

 

 

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Clown79
16 minutes ago, Reefer madness 420 said:

I also found my old Current USA dual power compact light. I think they're 40watt dual bulbs. One is blue and the other white. It also comes with a moonlight. I don't think these lights exist anymore but if I can find bulbs, would these lights be more powerful than the stock lights and would they be able to grow SPS? 

Power compacts are pretty old. I started in 2007 and ppl weren't using PC lighting anymore unless you had low light corals. At that point t5ho and halides were the best.

 

I'm not sure if anyone sells them anymore. 

The cost of bulb replacement, hydro costs, and lack of controllability has made fluorescent lighting unpopular.

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debbeach13

You really can not get any better advise than what clown79 has stated 

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Reefer madness 420
4 hours ago, Clown79 said:

Power compacts are pretty old. I started in 2007 and ppl weren't using PC lighting anymore unless you had low light corals. At that point t5ho and halides were the best.

 

I'm not sure if anyone sells them anymore. 

The cost of bulb replacement, hydro costs, and lack of controllability has made fluorescent lighting unpopular.

 

4 hours ago, Clown79 said:

I order my salt and most dry goods from reefsupplies.ca or aquarium depot.ca

I paid $10 to ship it all.

Big al's deals with only certain products and charge more for them.

 

For me spending more on a good salt that I can rely on is important and it cost me less in the end. 

With other salts I was having to spend more money on test kits and dosing products because the salt was unpredictable and I had to chase parameters before waterchanges, after waterchanges, and in between. 

 

Choose a salt that has parameters you want to maintain, has consistency in parameters, and mixes easier.

 

Blue bucket red sea and fritz are good brands for mixed reefs.

IO and reef crystals, many use it. Some like it some don't. I'm in the latter party.

 

Heaters aren't supposed to be in return chamber because the water level in that chamber changes, causing the heater to be exposed which is very dangerous. It's also dangerous to keep the heater up against any hoses. 

 

Many use caribsea liferock. Its dry rock epoxies purple and with bacteria. 

Most use dry rock because it's very difficult to get real liverock 

 

 

During cycling running filter floss only, carbon can be used if you aren't dosing ammonia/bacteria.

 

As for future media plans. Phosphate reducers should be used ONLY as needed. These strip your phosphate and you need phosphate in the tank.

 

Sterile aquariums have more problems then you want. 

 

Chaeto, it's great but should be added for need. It needs nutrients to survive and do do corals, if you don't have enough nutrients for the corals and chaeto you will run into the issue of lack of nutrients which leads to chaeto death, coral growth issues, coral death, and nuisance algae.

 

 

Thanks for the information, I am obviously out of date in the hobby! I will definitely check out those sites for the salt and sand. 5LB bag of Ocean Direct Live sand should be sufficient in a 5gallon, correct?

 

 

Out of curiosity, what was your negative experience with reef crystals? I have seen good reviews on blue bucket, so I am leaning towards that. Do you do weekly water changes?

 

 

Big Als also said something about the purple painted rock seeded with bacteria. That being said, how would you get the beneficial organisms that come with live rock such as coraline algae, pods, filter feeders etc.? I think my best bet would be to purchase the returned rock since there is a higher potential for more biodiversity. What are your thoughts?

 

If I were to go with live rock I wouldn't need ammonia or bacterial additives correct? If I still do, what do you recommend? Also, aren't you able to start the cycle with a raw piece of shrimp or some fish food?

 

I wouldn't use phosphate remover unless I ran into  an algae problem and same goes with chaeto. These are items I would add later on if needed.

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Reefer madness 420
4 hours ago, Clown79 said:

Power compacts are pretty old. I started in 2007 and ppl weren't using PC lighting anymore unless you had low light corals. At that point t5ho and halides were the best.

 

I'm not sure if anyone sells them anymore. 

The cost of bulb replacement, hydro costs, and lack of controllability has made fluorescent lighting unpopular.

So that fixture is pretty useless like I thought. Those are the lights I used for the tank above. 

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Clown79
1 hour ago, Reefer madness 420 said:

 

Thanks for the information, I am obviously out of date in the hobby! I will definitely check out those sites for the salt and sand. 5LB bag of Ocean Direct Live sand should be sufficient in a 5gallon, correct?

 

 

Out of curiosity, what was your negative experience with reef crystals? I have seen good reviews on blue bucket, so I am leaning towards that. Do you do weekly water changes?

 

 

Big Als also said something about the purple painted rock seeded with bacteria. That being said, how would you get the beneficial organisms that come with live rock such as coraline algae, pods, filter feeders etc.? I think my best bet would be to purchase the returned rock since there is a higher potential for more biodiversity. What are your thoughts?

 

If I were to go with live rock I wouldn't need ammonia or bacterial additives correct? If I still do, what do you recommend? Also, aren't you able to start the cycle with a raw piece of shrimp or some fish food?

 

I wouldn't use phosphate remover unless I ran into  an algae problem and same goes with chaeto. These are items I would add later on if needed.

My experience with reef crystals was constantly low magnesium and alk was inconsistent. It also hardened even when properly stored.

 

IO was fine but the params were low and i prefer salts that mix quickly.

I do waterchanges every 14 days now.

 

With liverock that is established there should be no cycle as long as it comes from a tank with life and never allowed to dry. 

 

With dry rock, ammonia dosing is preferred for cycling as you have more control with it and its cleaner.

Raw shrimp and food can be used but you can't control ammonia levels and both methods create higher nutrient/waste in the tank. 

 

Bacteria additive is fine in either situation. Biospira is a popular brand. 

 

As for obtaining life in the tank, with dry rock it's often introduced via frags and does develop over time. 

You can always seed a tank with pods, it very beneficial.

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Reefer madness 420
14 hours ago, Clown79 said:

My experience with reef crystals was constantly low magnesium and alk was inconsistent. It also hardened even when properly stored.

 

IO was fine but the params were low and i prefer salts that mix quickly.

I do waterchanges every 14 days now.

 

With liverock that is established there should be no cycle as long as it comes from a tank with life and never allowed to dry. 

 

With dry rock, ammonia dosing is preferred for cycling as you have more control with it and its cleaner.

Raw shrimp and food can be used but you can't control ammonia levels and both methods create higher nutrient/waste in the tank. 

 

Bacteria additive is fine in either situation. Biospira is a popular brand. 

 

As for obtaining life in the tank, with dry rock it's often introduced via frags and does develop over time. 

You can always seed a tank with pods, it very beneficial.

What would be the best way to seed the tank with pods? I see you're in Canada also, so include where you purchase please.

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Clown79
1 hour ago, Reefer madness 420 said:

What would be the best way to seed the tank with pods? I see you're in Canada also, so include where you purchase please.

I order mine from canada copepods.

 

Great company and products. I order the zooplankton blend and phyto pack. I get it within 2 days.

 

https://copepod.ca/

 

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Reefer madness 420

So I finally found a table inorder to set up a quarantine tank. I am trying to reuse most of my equipment from my old 10gallon reef.

 

Would it be ok to have a QT/ frag tank in one or no? This would be dependent on if I'm able to find replacement bulbs for my old current power compact light.

 

I also have the choice between a canister filter which I would put rock rubble, filter floss and carbon. Or a large HOB filter. Which do you guys think would be best? I plan to make frag racks from egg crate when the time comes and I will add PVC pipe and a airline into it. Depending which route I go I will also have to add another power head for flow. 

 

Still waiting on all sorts if supplies inorder to start the reef build. 

 

 

20200419_112100.jpg

20200419_112112.jpg

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debbeach13

I think the hang on is easier to keep clean. I hope you can find bulbs for that fixture. Is it the one that uses compact florescent? Not sure if CF bulbs are obsolete now. QT/frag tank? QT to observe new fish or coral before placing in your display is a great idea. Fragging your corals and placing them in a tank that will have new coral or fish put in there probably not such a good idea. That would be the same as putting new items directly in the DT. 

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Reefer madness 420
6 hours ago, debbeach13 said:

I think the hang on is easier to keep clean. I hope you can find bulbs for that fixture. Is it the one that uses compact florescent? Not sure if CF bulbs are obsolete now. QT/frag tank? QT to observe new fish or coral before placing in your display is a great idea. Fragging your corals and placing them in a tank that will have new coral or fish put in there probably not such a good idea. That would be the same as putting new items directly in the DT. 

That's what 8 thought. Maybe I'll leave it as a QT since I dont think I'll be able to find the bulbs.

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Reefer madness 420

I am still waiting for a few supplies to come in and will be starting this set up soon.

 

What is the best timer option for this tank? I am running stock lights but will upgrade later on. Would the stock light be able to ramp up slowly? Is it only whites or can you control whites and blues?

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debbeach13

The Evo light is off, all white and blue, just blue. No controls or intensity adjustments 

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Reefer madness 420
25 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

The Evo light is off, all white and blue, just blue. No controls or intensity adjustments 

So dont bother wasting money on the fluval dual digital timer and just get a mechanical timer for on and off? I read the fluval timer allows for sunrise and sunset ramp up and down? 

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debbeach13

yes just a timer like home depot or lowes has.

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