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2 Month Old Tank. Questions and Concerns. Help?

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(EDIT. I'm chopping this down so it's not so long and overwhelming and some better photos.) PLEASE HELP! lol.



2nd Reef Tank Ever. Not a total Noob (I can cycle and get my tank ready for livestock like a PRO!) 


It's keeping everything once it's inside that's was always the hardest for me.



2 Clowns (Katara and Aang) 🙂

Fire Shrimp - Sebastian

Pistol Shrimp - Thelma

YWMG - Louise


I always name them, and I think it’s important in this hobby.



The ones I know are:


#6 - Hammer

#7 - Frog Spawn

#9 - Silver Xenia

#5 - Zoathind


Then these I'm not sure. IF you know please let me know. the "fill in" girl at LFS 1 week ago did not.


#1, 3 & 8 - Acans? Purple & Orange, Green & Purple, and Green & Brown


#2 - Brain? NEON GREEN!!!!


#4 - Duncan? Brown & Orange



2 month old Tank, So far no problems except some Diatoms and whatever I'm about to post below:


1. Was I right in identifying my corals? When I bought them at my LFS the only girl attending had no idea.


2. Is my orange and brown Duncan okay? It has a bunch of white stuff on it now 😞


What had happened was, Yesterday, I cut all the frags off after acclimation for a week and stuck them in the rocks. my water turned a slight pink! I was washing the apoxy before I put it in the tank with the corals and that bucket was DARK Pink. So I did a rapid 20% water change, and then a second 20% Water Change 1 hour later after it had settled a little. There was no pink after the first water change but I was still scared. Surely that can’t be good? It says “100% reef safe” but I’ve never seen pink reef water.


3. Is the stock 13.5 Fluval lighting enough for these corals?????


4. I have some Diatoms, and Green Hair but they're not getting bigger, and since I added my 2 hermits and 4 snails, it's been getting less. I thought I'd leave it there for them to eat. But should I not? Is that dangerous?


I appreciate all of you. I learned EVERYTHING I know from this website and BRSTV Thank you.




Corals 2.jpeg

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imo the tank doesn't seem fully cycled yet and now there are life forms inside adding waste nutrients to the tank and it is trying to balance out. on new tanks i typically add things slowly so the tank can balance the bio load. add more, let the tank balance the bio load. beneficial bacterial only grows enough to maintain what is inside creating waste. if it cycled with very little inside (or nothing inside), adding a bunch of corals/fish at once can tip the tank into a cycle basically.


what kind of media do you have in the chambers?

why is your heater in the display when it could be in your pump chamber?

you can move the temp probe into the back chamber too.


the fluval 13.5 is a great little tank with great potential but the stock lighting and filtration media isn't exactly the best. diatoms and green hair algae are key signs the tank isn't mature yet. with life in it, it could be an uphill battle. i setup my fluval 13.5 back in sept and didn't reall start adding any stock til march. by then my tank was crystal clear, pristine, with purple coralline starting to grow all over the rocks and tank.


i tossed the black sponge and ceramic rings immediately after opening the box. i tossed a media basket in chamber 1 with mechanical stuffing up top, filled chamber 2 with marine pure bio balls, and let it cycle for nearly 6 months with a basic cleanup crew. even after 9 months and a fully mature tank i only have 2 clowns and a cleaner shrimp with some snails and i feel like my bio load is tapped out.

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Hi Smirkis,


I get what you're saying for sure, and when I set up my final tank (plan to buy a home and put in a custom 300 Gallon, I'll probably be a little more Patient on cycling and starting the tank up. Also there are a few things I do different than most reefers when setting up a tank. I always, always get Liverock from my LFS that he keeps in his main Display. So it's already FULL of so many positive and great bacteria, I also ALWAYS use live sand, and I'll cycle a tank in a week with 1 Bacteria Starter from Toms, and then at the end of the week, JUST incase, a second, one, then I wait 3 days, and got my first fish. So the Live bacteria in there was probably DYING due to lack of bio-load to be honest.


But what you're describing with the bioload being that out of wack is not really what I see. The corals have grown in the last 3 days small amounts, and the Algae is getting less now as well, meaning my parameters can't be that out of wack.


Honestly, I just wanted to make sure I hadn't picked out some really hard to keep coral I wasn't aware of, that was going to die, or that the Algae would give a negative impact upon my coral growth/life. But no one seems to want to answer that question yet haha.... ^.^.


But again, with this hobby, just waiting, watching, and testing seems to be the best advice, as so far everything seems to be improving. For now everything is happy except a Goby with some parasites that must've been from LFS since none of my other fish have anything, :(((( I'm working that out and hopefully I can get him back to health.


Did you make a media basket or buy one? If you bought it where from? I'm a buy instead of DIY cuz i'm lazy and can kind of guy. Would love to see a photo of the back of your set-up. I think I'm going to do a similar custom filtration in the back.


I was thinking of making a media basket, in the first chamber, running it through a Pre-Filter, Ceramic Rings (or Bioballs) (You seem to hate ceramic rings but there's nothing wrong with them IMO), Carbon, and Pho-Guard, then Protein Skimmer in the 2nd Chamber, and Return pump in the 3rd.


I need to go get another Heater that's shorter or slimmer that heater does NOT fit in my 3rd chamber with the pump. 😞 I tried, many, many different ways... trust me. I always keep my temp probe in the DT with Nano tanks, believe it or not I've had them very by 1 to 1.5F before, the return pump because I have it breaking the flow of the water up top, is going to cool down the water more than when it is being heated with a heater/thermo in the back chamber.


I was thinking about getting the Syncra 1.5 357GPH or the Eheim 264GPD Return pump, instead of the stock, and just not bother with a Flow Pump. do you have a Flow Pump? I was looking at the MQ10, but honestly I think maybe with a better return pump my flow will be more than adequate.

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for chamber 1 i use the intank media basket. i don't run a skimmer because they don't do much on small tanks imo. i do water changes maybe once a month now that things are mature. i used to do them once a week. i wish i used a media basket for the middle chamber to house the marine pure bio balls to make cleanup a little easier but i don't typically touch the bio media on my tanks anyway. i wish i could take a picture for you but my tank is setup like a peninsula so the chamber section is against my wall.


the torch, hammer, xenia, and zoas "should" be okay under the stock lighting but from my experience i couldn't keep anything really thriving under the stock light. it was the first piece of equipment i upgraded after finalizing my filtration. those acans might not last or may look faded and not grow much with the stock lighting alone. i upgraded to a prime 16hd and i feel like i have an entirely new tank with how it looks. the stock light is very washed out looking and doesn't do corals any justice.


i do have a jabeo slw-10 in my tank mounted against the false wall near the top in the center of the tank. i had this before i decided to upgrade my stock return pump to the sicce syncra 1.0. it was highly suggested due to size and tbh it barely fit back there. i don't think the 1.5 would fit but you can try if you want. after upgrading the return pump i added a random flow generator from 3dreefer. my tank could probably get away with just the upgraded pump and RFG but i like high flow in my tanks (i run bare bottom) to prevent detritus settling anywhere in the tank. so i run both the jabeo slw-10 and the sicce 1.0 with RFG for flow and my tank seems to love it.


if you search for my previous posts you can see pictures of my tank. 

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I see nothing that indicates a tank not ready for live stock. Corals all look decent. Diatoms and hair algae completely normal. 

Cant answer anything about the epoxy situation. I have used reed epoxy and haven’t gotten discoloration of the water. But if these photos are the aftermath, I wouldn’t be concerned. 

As far as coral IDs, the ones circled as numbers one and two look like Favias. Eight looks like a maze brain or “Platygyra”. Favias and mazes can send sweepers so watch them as they grow. 

Coral circled as number seven looks like a torch to me, not a frogspawn. Cant tell what four is from pics. 

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Just an update 🙂



2 Clown (1 Perc, 1 Oc)

1 Cleaner Shrimp

1 Pistol Shrimp

1 Mini-Maxi Carpet


Last to come: 1 Randall's Goby, 1 BTA



1 Trachy

1 Torch

1 Hammer

1 Acan

1 Goniastrea

1 Leptasrea (says Goniopora in photo)

1 Poly

1 Xenia


Last to Possibly come: Will add a Mushroom, and Green star. Maybe in 6 months will add just a single beautiful isolated SPS on a pillar of rock haha.




Here's my tank now, all algae gone, I realized i had NO cleaner's in my tank, got 2 Nass, 2 Astrea, 2 Trochus, 2 Hermits and they're all super happy. Also the 2 Trochus had Corraline Algae on their shells and introduced a bunch of spores, and my rock took to it like a sponge. So that was great.


Lost the YWMG he had some disease which thankfully didn't get to anyone else. I separated him 2 days before he died. So my pistol has been lonely, but I wanted to make sure everything was stable and happy again before I tried to introduce anymore residents.


I beat the 4 day Algae bloom and with all the corraline growing now my hopes are super high and happy.


I upgraded the return pump, but I'm going to do another upgrade soon to a higher priced but smaller model so I can finally get that heater into the back chamber.. jeez... should've measured better.


Upgraded to a AI Hydra 32 light :P. I know overkill, but I have it about 20 inches above the tank at 80% and everyone is growing and happy so looks like it's great.


Added some phoguard, but probably when I do my bi-weekly equipment scrubs, I'll just ditch it and see how the situation goes, if it starts increasing a bunch I'll add back a half bag and go from there, I always like to use as little chems as possible.


Finally identified all my corals properly after a good couple hours of online comparison, a lot of them can look alike unless you really look so that's always fun.


Well. That's all for now. I just like to let people know when things are going swell.

















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