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Frozen_Reef

13.5 Fluval Evo as nature intended: We have....Oysters?

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Frozen_Reef

I have been keeping reefs for the past few years and every time I have wanted to try out the live ocean rock for a while. I also tend to focus more on the unusual natural habitats of the ocean, like the sedimented mangrove lagoons/tidepools/macroalgae reefs. So I might be focusing on a more natural take on a reef tank. Where crystal clear water is not the important and I really want some microalgae growths/detritus build up. The only true filtration will be marine pure gems filling both the 1st and 2nd chambers. I might also get a full spectrum light over the stock light, but this stock light can throw out some PAR. A NR member (cannot remember the name) tested his light and found these levels:

E192B043-93BE-4FCA-A270-F9E77C1F3BA8.jpeg.2e5b8fb36fa0b7009b5864c1bd6741b6.jpeg7723B82F-088D-4C53-9D76-1D1B56484B45.jpeg.dff81d89873f46b12adf3c30f9a734c5.jpeg25F5C6B1-DB25-4764-AAA4-06F0CF71B032.jpeg.6f243fd5fa9ade9716cd6c2029b6f4e2.jpeg5DE5E1BB-EDF0-4001-8C3A-D0F215793FDA.jpeg.434987ee272de9c2f18cea5302373f32.jpeg

So for the time being the light is just fine for what I want. 
 

One big thing about the fluval 13.5 is upgrading it, that’s the fun part of these budget AIO tanks. I already upgraded the return pump to a sicce 0.5 and I ordered the plug from Intank aquatics as well. Other upgrades I’m thinking of are:

ATO- probably the reef breeders prism ATO

Wavemaker- might happen, maybe a Nero 3? 
Timer- Nicrew dimmer/timer for the stock lights

Lights- Really not thinking of upgrading them at the moment 

Other- maybe the RFG nozzles 

 

Now onto the fun part of tanks, the inhabitants. I really really love green porcelain crabs and saw a few videos on habitats that they are found in. I want to replicate this, they come from a bit more turbid water and have a lot of nooks and crannies from oyster shells. An ideal habitat would a few rocks with some oyster shells on them. Most of the habitats I have seen have negligible coral growth, mostly some macroalgal clumps and some hardy anemones. The substrate is very muddy and less of white sand typically found in reefs. 
 

So my plan is to get some ocean rock and then look into getting an ATO. For now I might get the Amazon bottle ATO, while looking over other ATO options. 
 

Here is my FTS for now and I’ll update when I know more

C0343B2F-2212-4ACE-B714-D9E01173CCEF.thumb.jpeg.7f3e4485dec1372437c96b3afc5a040a.jpeg

 

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Frozen_Reef

Might want save this post as well for later use

 

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SaltyGallon

Sounds cool - following along 🙂

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Frozen_Reef
4 hours ago, SaltyGallon said:

Sounds cool - following along 🙂

I ended up getting a big bigger thank than I expected 😂

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debbeach13
16 hours ago, Frozen_Reef said:

I really really love green porcelain crabs and saw a few videos on habitats that they are found in. I want to replicate this

Sounds interesting I like species/habitat tanks. They give us a chance to watch a more realistic view of the natural habits of the livestock.  Following for sure.

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Frozen_Reef
1 hour ago, debbeach13 said:

Sounds interesting I like species/habitat tanks. They give us a chance to watch a more realistic view of the natural habits of the livestock.  Following for sure.

Getting the rock soon. Have to wait for the sand to get here first. Also might get an ATO soon

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DevilDuck

This is an exciting project, following this closely!

 

The issue with the stock light is that you cannot control the whites vs blue channels independently and there are not enough blue LEDs for decent PAR without the whites. I added two supplemental blue 9w LED strips to help with this. 

 

Are those PAR values through air or through water?

 

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Frozen_Reef
17 minutes ago, DevilDuck said:

This is an exciting project, following this closely!

 

The issue with the stock light is that you cannot control the whites vs blue channels independently and there are not enough blue LEDs for decent PAR without the whites. I added two supplemental blue 9w LED strips to help with this. 

 

Are those PAR values through air or through water?

 

PAR was through water I think, I can’t remember who did the test on it. In all actuality I think there might be too much blue and not enough white or full spectrum LEDs 😂

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Frozen_Reef

On tonight's episode of "what do I do" I present the issue of wanting to upgrade my tank.

Powerheads: considering the tank will probably be a more near shore habitat there will be more flow. Right now I have an IM wave link 165-1500 GHP powerhead. It works well, but when the powerhead changes flow rates it is very loud/whines and the tank is on my desk so I would like something that is a bit more quite if possible. I saw the Coral Box QP-5 which could work out for what I wanted, just have not heard much about them. What would you guys recommend for a wavemaker for a soft coral dominated tank.

 

Return: I already upgraded the actual pump to the sicce 0.5 that I had laying around so that should be fine, I am thinking of maybe getting the RFG nozzles. Do I need two of them so they take place of the stock nozzles and if so what size? 

 

Filtration: As I stated above I know I will have a lot of marine pure gems, do I get the InTank chamber 1 & 2 baskets and also run a small bag of carbon to help with the soft coral toxins? The only issue is that the carbon could take away from the macroalgae.

 

LightI know I said I would not upgrade the light, but I really do not like the Evo light and was looking at an AI Prime 16HD. For me I want some macro algae and soft corals which is why I am looking more at the freshwater version. I know a few people (specifically @inland_reef and @Tigahboy) use full spectrum freshwater lights with corals and they are growing perfectly fine. So that might be what I do in the future.

 

Hood: Well now that I will most likely end u with an AI Prime I will have to get a new lid, and I was thinking a KrackenReef lid. Heard good things about it so I that will probably be what I end up with. 

 

ATO: I had a Duetto that worked fine but I dropped the actual "computer" portion in water and fried it I'm pretty sure. I will probably end up getting another one soon.

 

Rocks: I see a few more people getting KP rock, and I think I will finally get some as well. I have wanted some for the past couple of years. I will get the coralline rock as I really don't need or want to cure the rock as much.

 

I think that does it for upgrades and updates for the most part, I am still unsure on exactly what I want the final tank to look like but I will hopefully figure it out soon.

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Frozen_Reef

Some updates for the tank project, we have a lot of progress that I need to unfold so here we go! 
 

Substrate: I got my mangal substrate from tannin aquatics a day earlier than I thought I would which was amazing! It looks so natural and I mixed it with some ocean direct sand to make it look even better. Besides the new substrate I took a few pounds from my old tank and put that as an enriched base layer for my tank. I might also do a WC on my 5N and use some of that water in the new tank as well. 
 

orders: I do have a few orders coming next week and I’m excited about them all. First off an InTank filter plug for that dumb hole that is in the Fluval Evo false wall which should be here Tuesday.

I have another package coming but this one is from bulkreef supply. It is my Duetto ATO, my marine pure gems and some brightwell multiviatems for my fish. 
Probably the biggest, most important order of this whole project are the rocks I have coming. I have wanted and waited for over 1.5 years to get Florida aquacultured rocks and I finally am getting some. I picked up 20lbs of coralline rock as well as some gorgs and tunicates (gorgs and tunicates will go in my 5N grow out tank). I cannot wait to get this rock and I am soooo excited for it. Will for sure document it for everyone. 
Also picked up some copepods from joeys reef juice so that will be nice to support a smaller business.

Lastly I got some roti-feast, beta-brine, and artic pods from reef nutrition which brings my total bottles up to 6 foods. I swear my fish eat better than me. 
I am also looking to get a 200lb reef crystal box from Amazon (right now it is $60) and the Nicrew pro dimmer timer. 
 

FTS:

Here is the FTSs for tonight, I didn’t make enough saltwater so I’ll make a quick batch tomorrow just so I can get the heater and flow going. I will for sure take water out before adding the rocks to account for displacement. 
The front

1A21292D-5690-40D8-AAC3-9940B3BBA10F.thumb.jpeg.fc6adabab6cd2829fdcff16db65c6def.jpeg

The left (put my inkbird controller on this side)

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The right (put my wavelink controller on this side) 

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Livestock: Still not fully sure exactly what I want but it will be a soft coral dominated tank. Possibly a group of green banded gobies if I can get some more in at work, or maybe some neon gobies, a blenny and an elongate dottyback too

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natalia_la_loca

I’m still in startup phase with my Evo too and can’t answer all your questions, but re: the RFG nozzle, you don’t need to buy two IMO, especially if you’re using an additional circulation pump. You can remove the loc-line before the split and install the RFG there. The size RFG you need is 1/2.” Depending on your water level, the RFG may suck air. To fix that, you could either add another section of loc-line, or keep your water level a little higher. I did the latter.

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Frozen_Reef
59 minutes ago, natalia_la_loca said:

I’m still in startup phase with my Evo too and can’t answer all your questions, but re: the RFG nozzle, you don’t need to buy two IMO, especially if you’re using an additional circulation pump. You can remove the loc-line before the split and install the RFG there. The size RFG you need is 1/2.” Depending on your water level, the RFG may suck air. To fix that, you could either add another section of loc-line, or keep your water level a little higher. I did the latter.

I might do that. I’ll see how the stock nozzles work for the time being. I also can finally get the water all in the tank 😅

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Frozen_Reef

THE ROCK IS AMAZING!!! I only got 20lbs of the "coralline" so it didn't have as much life but it's better because it still has all the color and less die-off from organisms. My NH4 has stayed around 1.0ppm the past 2 days and is slowly getting lower. I also decided that I want to upgrade the light to a Kessil A80 and I finally found a Nero 3, so both of those are coming very soon! I am still not 100% sure what will actually be going with livestock or coral wise, but I did order some coralline clusters from Russ at gulf ecosystems so that is the first real coral/macro order for the tank. 

 

I also just got my Kessil A80 Tuna sun today! I love the shimmer and I actually prefer the simplisitc knobs to change intensity and color. Right now I would guess my color is around 7000-7500K with intensity at 85-90%. I did pick up 3 mini colonies of what my LFS is calling "asterospicularia" which they might be but I have not seen a coral like this before. Really my "theme" is dull colors and biodiversity as much as possible. That being said I have some osyter shells coming from florida to add to my rocks, I have an order of pods coming from florida pets as well as some shore shrimp, mysid shrimp, and "ocean plankton" from Sachs aquaculture. 

 

Here is the softie I have, it might go in this tank or it might stay in the 5N 

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Here are some FTSs of the tank with the Kessil, and I love the shimmer (Peep the diatoms on the second pic)

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I think that is all for now, I am trying to figure out what way I want this tank to go. Maybe I do go with the more proper reef, ideally I would love these fish for the tank:

-Elongate dottyback

-Perchlet "hawkfish" (actually an Anthias)

-Hasslet goby

-Pair neon goby

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debbeach13

That is some Good looking rock.

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DevilDuck

Is that the aquacultured live rock? They look spectacular with your layout!

 

Can't wait to see what corals and macros pop out of those! 

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Frozen_Reef
2 hours ago, DevilDuck said:

Is that the aquacultured live rock? They look spectacular with your layout!

 

Can't wait to see what corals and macros pop out of those! 

Yeah, that is the aquacultured rock. I can’t wait either!

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Frozen_Reef

So I had the idea of stocking the tank with the hasslet goby, but the place wanted to ship it for $80 plus the $30 goby so I passed because I can wait to see if one comes up locally. I also thought of the perchlet hawkfish which might still happen but it might not.

 

I DID get a fish on that list today, an ORA Elongate dottyback! This is such a cool dottback that is surprisingly relaxed and stays small, maxing at 2”! This also kind of sparked an idea to get all captive bred fish, I think it would be a cool thing to know all my fish were born in captivity. So I present the revised stocking list of fishes:

-Elongate dottyback

-Pair sharknose, neon, or yellow line gobies

-Pair radial or white-spotted pygmy filefish 

 

Coral wise I think it would be awesome to get mainly captive raised corals as well. I guess there are a lot more captive corals, but it does seem like a lot are wild, maybe? 
 

Anyways here is the dottyback! Still a little skittish (has been in the tank less than a day) and will feed for the first time tomorrow. 
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Still have more microinverts and cleaners coming. I am unsure on what corals to get for the tank, still need to test PAR levels. 

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Frozen_Reef

I would say that I am in full swing of the diatom bloom...so I moved over some of my codium as well as my clusters of coralline. Here are some more shots of the tank

 

Left (Main view from my desk)

1324527131_FluvalFTS4-12L.thumb.jpg.f2f8c5245d758981fc41d54deaf9e365.jpg

 

Front

816896590_FluvalFTS4-12.thumb.jpg.788bf5bb5286b90999940230416e4876.jpg

 

Right (The unloved back view)

953225193_FluvalFTS4-12R.thumb.jpg.8080af9fd05c61b72aa64f90b0c9a004.jpg

 

As you can see there is a fair amount of diatoms on top of the rock and on the pathway between the two rock structures. I got some Hawaiian feather dusters as well as a Hawaiian zebra hermit. The Codium might be temporary until I get more of the coralline clusters later this week. Waiting for some fine coralline clusters to be available as well. The idea is to have a tank dominated in the coralline clusters with a few corals and feather dusters. I do want to get some curly que anemones I think or maybe I will stick with flower nems. I also made a glass lid for the tank to keep things in the tank. 

 

I am possibly thinking of moving over my 5 green banded gobies and the tiger goby, maybe even some more green banded gobies? I think that is all for now I do have some fun things coming this week for the project.

 

Gulf Ecosystems:

10 x Rigid Coralline clusters

 

Sachs Aquaculture:

100 x Mysid shrimp

25 x Shore shrimp

"Ocean plankton"

 

New Wave Aquaria:

Nero 3

 

Florida Pets:
100 x Amphipods

 

Reef Cleaners:

Clean up crew

Brown palys

Caulepa prolifera

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debbeach13

Yes reef soup

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natalia_la_loca

I’m very curious about how you’ll like the Nero 3, it’s still high on my “maybe” list.

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Frozen_Reef
30 minutes ago, natalia_la_loca said:

I’m very curious about how you’ll like the Nero 3, it’s still high on my “maybe” list.

I'm curious about it too, it was totally an impulse stimulus purchase 😅

35 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

Yes reef soup

Oh thats nothing, I should take pictures of my step-by-step food slurry I feed the tank 

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Frozen_Reef

Today is the day for the Nero 3 and Coralline! A bit nervous about the coralline and all other packages due to Minnesota getting a late season snow storm...I hope my ReefCleaners order makes it just fine. Besides all of that I also saw Gulf Ecosystems got Galaxaura back in stock so I picked up 6 new clumps for the Fluval. My other Galaxaura is covered in a specific epiphytic algae that seems to target just the Galaxaura on top of the having GHA. The plan for the tank is to have more red/pink dominated macroalgae, I think this will look really nice and be a bit unique for sure. 

 

On a side note I saw that Biota has Black Belly Eviota Gobies (Eviota atriventris)  in stock again and I might get a shoal or group of them and call the tank fully stocked with those gobies and the elongate dottyback. I also plan to take out the Hawaiian feather dusters to swap them with dwarf pink feather dusters to really complete the overall look 

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Frozen_Reef

Well that last post might have been in vain, I was talking with John at Reef Cleaners about finding oyster clusters and he added one to my box. That might have been a bad idea 🤣 because did I spend $200 on live rock? Yes, and now do I just want to have oyster clusters? Yes I do, what will I do with my ocean rock? No idea, maybe keep the base rocks and give the larger rocks to my LFS? Who knows, NOT ME! But I just LOVE how the ulva and other macros are growing on the oyster cluster...oh and did I say SOME OF THEM ARE ALIVE!!! I think the biggest shock was that 90% of my CUC order survived even though this week in MN we have had snow/slush Monday-Wednesday. 

2113322724_FluvalFTS5-15Oysters.thumb.jpg.fb6fbc50a688aaa0f53c34720684152a.jpg1687113570_FluvalFTS4-15-2.thumb.jpg.149978e13298e76e7f0a6f6abbea06f3.jpg

 

I am doing a bit of search for care on oysters but I just love how natural and unique this tank looks with just a single cluster, so much so I asked John and a friend who is down in Florida to get me more! Anyways there were some green porcelain crabs that did not make the trip but that is okay, I can get some from John as well. With all of these new developments I think my idea of a rhino blenny and a pair of small filefish (either Radial or White-spotted) will be my livestock.

 

Anyways here are a few shots of the tank, and don't worry all the coralline is in my 5N goby tank at the moment until I know what I will do with it. I did also inquire with Gulf Specimen Marine Lab about getting a small (dozen shells) of their "Living Shell Assortment" the description is as follows:

"Dead oyster and clam shells are of great ecological significance on sandy bottoms where they provide a substrate for an entire community of sessile animals and plants, which either encrust or bore directly into the dead shells. By distributing one or more shells to each student, observations can be made concerning the various adaptations common to this specialized lifestyle. Some shells are covered with barnacles, others have pink and red Astrangia coral or orange bryozoans; and still others support tunicates. Sabellarid and serpulid polychaetes encrust the surface with their limestone or sandy tubes. Feather duster worms expand their crowns from within the shell. Limpets and chitons move about on the surface grazing on algae, and some shells have orange dorid nudibranchs, Doriopsilla pharpa. The juvenile stages of the boring sponge, Cliona celata, riddle the shells, dissolving away the limestone substrate. These are not just specimens; they are entire living mini-habitats"

 

That just sounds totally amazing! How cool would it be to get some of the Astrangia coral in my tank! I feel like this is more of what I wanted and not the Florida rock tbh, but I guess I live and learn. I did read that oysters like temps a bit cooler so I set my ink bird to be at 75 degrees instead of 78, I am curious to see how my palythoa react to the temperature change. 

 

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Frozen_Reef

Figured it share a bit of an update with the oysters. They eat a lot! Here is a pic right after feeding and then the next pic is 12 hours later, and it’s already clear! 
5D557AFC-8500-4F29-8944-250B95A0CE01.thumb.jpeg.bf3d9680da49a8fb65a4a786d89017fe.jpeg

17047961-9B3F-4D67-A42A-AC4F2771FC24.thumb.jpeg.a5b0335190d1d1b936f428edff5658ce.jpeg

 

Just have to wait a few weeks to get some more of these oysters

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natalia_la_loca

That’s amazing, what are you feeding? I’m thinking about maybe getting some filter feeders for my tank.

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