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Bigals-nano-1

My Fluval evo sea 13.5 gal is up and running

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Bigals-nano-1

Hey all just wanted to share my first saltwater tank build with you. I purchased this tank second hand on June 15th 2021 and started it cycling that day with substrate from another tank, dry rock bought from LFS and some media that had been running in another tank. I used the Red Sea reef mature kit and everything seemed to go fine.  I am running the Fluval PT2 skimmer in chamber 1 (which can be a bit fiddly to get it set properly),  a diy basket in chamber two with filter floss on the top, Fluval carbon bag on the middle shelf and Fluval Biomax on the bottom shelf. I have the original return pump in chamber 3 fitted with a 1/2” random flow generator on the outlet. I also have a 50w heater in this chamber. I have fitted a Sicce Voyager Nano 1000 wave maker to give a bit extra flow around the tank and will see how it goes with the stock pump. I’m running the standard light controlled by a Nicrew single channel Led ramp timer pro.  I have added the CUC over the past 10 days which now consists of 5 nassarius snails, 2 red legged hermit crabs, 2 turbo snails, 2 cleaner shrimp and 5 sexy shrimp. Added some corals a couple of days ago and they all seem to be opening and happy.( Zoas, mushrooms, green star polyp and a tiny green Kenya tree frag.) I plan to add a pair of clowns to this tank I a week or so then maybe one other fish in a month or so. I’m looking forward to seeing things grow in this tank for a while before deciding what other corals to add. (any suggestions?) I have only been very lightly feeding the tank (a couple of pellets once a day) for the last few days as the cuc have done a great job on the algae that had formed and don’t want them to starve. Thanks for looking and I will try to keep this updated as things are developing. 

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Ratvan

Looks good, I like the rockwork that you have set up. 

Following to watch things grow out

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Bigals-nano-1
5 hours ago, Ratvan said:

Looks good, I like the rockwork that you have set up. 

Following to watch things grow out

Thanks, I tried it few different ways and it changed a few times during the cycling period but I’m very happy with it now. I went to the LFS on my way home from work tonight and came away with this pair of clowns. Meet……. Bon-Bon and Boo. 

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DevilDuck

Wow it looks great!

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Bigals-nano-1

So last night whilst looking at the tank I noticed something new on the GSP rock, after doing a fair amount of googling I think this was aiptasia which must have been on the rock which was purchased at LFS. This area of the rock had nothing else growing on it and it didn’t seem to be anywhere else so out the tank it came and after a few hits with a hammer and chisel the GSP rock is now back in the tank, just a bit smaller than it was. Do you think I am correct in thinking that this was aiptasia?  If I shone a bright spotlight torch directly on it, it would close up and disappear back into the rock. 
Everyday is a learning day!!

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PeterU

Really hard to tell from your picture but it looks to me more like a feather duster of some sort and not aiptasia

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Bigals-nano-1
23 minutes ago, PeterU said:

Really hard to tell from your picture but it looks to me more like a feather duster of some sort and not aiptasia

How do you tell the difference between the two for future reference as these are now out the tank in the bin. I am new to marine tanks and just trying to learn as I go. They did seem to disappear back into the rock whenever I went close to them or shone a bright light on them which made me think it was aiptasia. Thanks. 

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PeterU

Here's a good thread when trying to identify

 

 

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Bigals-nano-1

So I was at one of my LFS today to pick up a couple of items for my fresh water tank and ended up coming away a few more corals to add to the Fluval. I dipped the new corals before adding them to my tank and still waiting for my new hammer to open, it has been in the tank for about 10hrs now and it was showing signs of opening just before lights out, hopefully it will open tomorrow. 
I also picked up these two but I have forgot the proper names for them. I think the first picture is a “green favia” and the second one which ended up being free is some kind of zoa I think but not too sure. This is about 40-50mm high and each stem is at least 5mm thick.  Can anyone properly identify these? I will add an updated tank picture tomorrow when the lights are on and hopefully the hammer is showing itself.   

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Bigals-nano-1

The tank is coming on nicely and the hammer opened up during the night. Checked all the parameters a couple of hours ago and everything good. I’m still deciding on what other corals I want to add and more so where to place them. I had to move a couple of Zoas out it the hammers reach. Are there any other colourful corals that could go at the top of rockwork that the hammer wouldn’t sting while still using the standard light.? 

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Bigals-nano-1

I have found that my temperature is fluctuating a few degrees and peaking at just over 28°C so I have fitted a NICREW Temperature Controller, Heating and Cooling Thermostat and just waiting on a new fan coming which I am going to DIY fit on the standard Fluval Evo Sea cover/lid to help with keeping the temperature stable in this summer heat. I have made a box to cover up the ugly electrics etc and only have the return pump and wave maker switches visible for turning off during feeding time. I will post pictures of my cover/fan upgrade later this week once I have it up and running. 

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Bigals-nano-1

Received a few parcels in the post today and got the diy fan fitted on the hood which is definitely doing a great job in keeping the temperature down and is almost silent. Probably going to fit some black plastic card to the sides of the fan to blend it in more with the lid. I also got a new eheim compacton 600 return pump to replace the very under powered standard Fluval pump and it has made a great improvement to the general flow in the tank. Stopped in at my LFS on the way home from work to check out the fish stock but they didn’t have what I was looking for but I didn’t come away empty handed as I managed to knock the price of a candy cane coral down to just over half the price they were originally asking. Only managed to get the coral dipped etc and sat on the sand bed of the tank for now but I have a place in mind for it. It wasn’t opening before lights out but I’m sure it will be showing it’s full beauty at some point tomorrow. 

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Bigals-nano-1

The candy cane is still not opening up fully but I have moved it about in the tank and it looks like it is making an effort to do so now so I will leave and see what happens. I have added a few more corals, some of which were for a bargain price so just going to watch things hopefully grow now as I am running out of space for more. The DIY fan is doing a great job at keeping the temperature stable combined with the controller and only fluctuates .5 deg.  All parameters seem to be good and just need to look at getting test kits for Ca and Mag as  only getting them tested at LFS about once a week. Waiting on my LFS to get a spot tail blenny in stock then will be adding one as the final inhabitant. I’m still learning every day and find some great information within this group. 

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Bigals-nano-1

Things are growing and all the colours are coming out. The candy cane is starting to plump up a bit and It’s hard not to buy more corals when I visit my LFS to collect water, not sure how long that will last though haha. 

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johnnyvega252

Hello awesome little tank how are you liking your temperature controller? I was looking at getting one 🙂

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Bigals-nano-1
1 hour ago, johnnyvega252 said:

Hello awesome little tank how are you liking your temperature controller? I was looking at getting one 🙂

Thanks and I can’t fault the temperature controller, seems to be very accurate and combined with the diy fan mod I done my temperature stays at 26°C +\- 0.3°C. It is very easy to set up and keeps your settings in memory if you unplug it for any reason.  

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Bigals-nano-1

I have been waiting on the order of livestock coming into my LFS and hoping that they managed to get a tailspot blenny but unfortunately they didn’t manage to get one. I have checked many other suppliers within a few hrs radius of me but no one has had any luck in getting on. They are saying that they are finding them hard to come by and not been able to get them for the last 8 months so I decided to get a Dot Dash Blenny that my LFS got delivered. This wee guy “HOPPER” is so comical and already made himself at home in the tank. I also couldn’t resist in picking up this Yellow Sulphur Goby “Wally” at the same time and after him hiding out next to the overflow grills for about 24hrs he seems to be much happier now and finding his way around the sand bed. The tank is now fully inhabited apart from maybe a pistol shrimp to pair with the goby but I’m still undecided as I’ve heard mixed reviews on them with other shrimp that I already have in my tank. I would be interested in your views on pistol shrimps and if I should add one. Thanks. 

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Bigals-nano-1

It’s been a few weeks since I updated here and not much has changed apart from my sand bed looking different every day due to “Pops” my new tiger pistol shrimp constantly digging and digging again. “Wally” the yellow watchman goby met and paired up with “Pops” within the first few hours of him being added to the tank and it’s fascinating watching them work together. I have added a few new corals including a few branching monti’s which seem to be doing well. I might have lost my green torch due to a swing in alkalinity caused by a miss calculation but time will tell as it still just hanging in there but isn’t opening up very much. All the parameters now seem to be stable and I’m doing daily dosing after calculating and fine tuning my daily dosing amounts. 

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Bigals-nano-1

Haven’t posted an update for a while so here it is. There has been a few more corals and an anemone add to the tank and most of the them seem to be doing fine now that the anemone has found it’s spot. The green torch didn’t make it and is now being used a a doorway to one of the pistol shrimps caves.  I’m managing to keep all my parameters stable with daily dosing and weekly 20% water changes and my sand bed is constantly changing due to pops the pistol shrimp digging and digging some more. I’ve tried to frag a few Zoas so will see how they go and maybe be able to trade them in for a little store credit at my LFS. My Florida ricordia coral disappeared off the rock and I thought it was a goner never to be seen again but a few days later it reappeared at one of entrances to pops caves so I managed to rescue it and currently got it in a breeding box in the tank to try and get it to attach onto a larger piece of rubble so I can fix it onto the main rockwork better. 

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Bigals-nano-1

A few more corals added over the last week and my long tipped anemone decided to move and take up residence in the middle of the tank witch I don’t mind but did force me to move a few corals around a bit. I am still looking to upgrade the stock light at some point but still undecided which light to go for. 

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sirrtuan@yahoo.com

I have fluval Evo as well and recently upgraded to AI prime. I would highly recommend.

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Bigals-nano-1
38 minutes ago, sirrtuan@yahoo.com said:

I have fluval Evo as well and recently upgraded to AI prime. I would highly recommend.

Yeah I have been looking at the ai prime but also looked at some cheaper alternatives as between the light and then the need to buy a jump guard the cost fairly adds up. I’m also not sure if her indoors is going to be happy with extra ambiant light around the tank area that will be given off by doing a light upgrade.  

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sirrtuan@yahoo.com

I started out with a reasonable price led as well ( aqua knight).  It was ok but It doesn't have full control like AI Prime. If I have to do it over again I would just spend money up front for good light.

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NoviceNanoReefer

How have you found the pistol and cleaner shrimps to be getting on? I've heard that some people have had compatibility issues, but I guess it depends how smart the cleaners are in giving a wide berth to the pistol.

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Bigals-nano-1
9 hours ago, NoviceNanoReefer said:

How have you found the pistol and cleaner shrimps to be getting on? I've heard that some people have had compatibility issues, but I guess it depends how smart the cleaners are in giving a wide berth to the pistol.

I have had no problems between pops the pistol shrimp and the cleaners as they seem to stay away most of the time unless there is food going then they try and steal as much as they can. Pops is constantly digging and I’ve had to move a  few of the corals out of the way as he would not leave them alone but he is fascinating to watch. 

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