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CoreyT355

Starting my Fluval Evo 13.5

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CoreyT355

Hello,

Long time lurker here. I've had freshwater tanks in the past, and helped take care of a couple reefs and salt tanks as well. Never my own though.

 

As the title says I am setting up a Fluval Evo 13.5, and I am looking for a little advice on sand, rock, and stocking it. Below is what I have for my setup so far. Nothing is running yet, so I am pretty far away from any type of live stock right now. 

 

Equipment

   Fluval Evo 13.5

   Stock light, I plan on adding a dimmer/timer for now. Eventually I'll upgrade to an AI Prime 16, or maybe the Marine 3.0 as I read somewhere the stock lid can be modded to fit it.

   Stock pump

   AI Nero 3

   Fluval M50 heater

 

Filtration

   inTank Chamber One

   Filter floss

   Carbon

   Biomax

 

16 lbs of sand. I'm not sure if it should all be dry, or some live should be mixed in. 

16 lbs of rock. Same thing here. Not sure how much to mix dry and live here. 

I don't want a very deep sand bed, and this seems like a good middle ground. 

 

Clean-up Crew

   I see a lot of different things online for this. I'm genuinely stumped what to put in first for the clean-up crew. 

 

Eventual Livestock

   I'd like a tailspot blenny as the main fish in the tank. I like the colors and personality they have.
   At most I am thinking 3 fish based off what I read in the fish guide on here. A pair of clowns would be cool, but I see different things about how that will work with the tailspot. Is there something else that would work better, maybe 1 or 2 cardinals?
   My main idea is the tailspot, and then something hangs out higher in the tank, so there is some movement to see.

 

Corals

   This is another unknown for me right now. Sticking with the stock light limits me to LPS I know, and as I am starting out that's fine. I'm just not sure what to go with once the tank is cycled and stable. 

Thanks for any advice. 

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rough eye

i'm like a broken record so i'll just say what i say over and over:

 

1) LIVE ROCK. get live rock that's wet and stuff is living in it. as the tank is cycling you'll see lots of life flourishing, developing a diverse and balanced system, and this will save you from a multitude of problems. By the time i added the first fish i had tons of life in my tank.

 

2) WAIT. the trick is patience. if you say to yourself "ok i'll wait 2 months before adding any livestock," it might be 4 weeks, 5 or 6 weeks, but it's always safe to WAIT one more week regardless of how ready the tank is, rather than rushing in. this will also save you from a multitude of problems. 

 

here's how i disgree with others here:

1) i don't like the idea of a mated pair of clowns. they turn into assholes, both to one another and to others in the tank.

2) i've cycled with lights on. i'd rather have algae than other, worse things.

 

tailspot and clown in my tank are all over the place. no need to have more motion than those 2. if i were to add a 3rd fish it'd probably be somebody a lot more mellow, maybe a sand sifting goby or a clown goby.

 

Clean up crew: add what you need, when you need it. Buy them 1 or 2 at a time and be flexible, depending on what the tank needs.

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Clown79

The equipment list is good.

 

For sand, dry is fine. You don't need livesand. Washing the sand is really beneficial, then you don't need to deal with cloudy tank.

 

Established liverock is always the best. Not only do you often not go through a cycle but you are introducing a lot of beneficial life. 

 

If you can't get liverock,dry rock is fine but then you will need to introduce an ammonia source and bacteria(biospira). 

 

The tailspot is an amazing fish. Another one to look into is the pink streak wrasse. They both could be in that tank together.

 

I often start out with a cuc after cycling but only enough for the amount of algae i have.

 

I've also started tanks with coral or fish first. I usuly wait a few weeks after cycling is finished.

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ninjamyst

Get a better light right away.  It will make you love your tank a lot more.  Instead of spending money on nero3, get a $60 light from Amazon.  Buying brand like AI and Kessil is great if you got the money but just know you are paying a huge premium.  

 

You dont need 16 lbs of rock.  1lb per gallon rule is outdated.  The trend is minimalistic and negative space aquascape.  YouTube NSA aquascape.  You can build an awesome aquascape using dry rock and glue.  

 

For CUC, bue leg hermits + trochus snails.  Just 2-3 of each is enough.  CUC poops too.  Don't make the mistake of getting too many. 

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Seadragon
19 hours ago, CoreyT355 said:

I'd like a tailspot blenny as the main fish in the tank. I like the colors and personality they have.
   At most I am thinking 3 fish based off what I read in the fish guide on here. A pair of clowns would be cool, but I see different things about how that will work with the tailspot. Is there something else that would work better, maybe 1 or 2 cardinals?
   My main idea is the tailspot, and then something hangs out higher in the tank, so there is some movement to see.


I love Tailspot Blennies too.  I also love experiencing everything the hobby has to offer.

 

If you have the option and interest, you should start with 2 small Clownfish along with the TSB.  I have 1 TSB, 1 Clownfish and 1 YWG and it’s a very peaceful tank. Because my current Clownfish is much larger now, if I were to add another to the tank, it would chase it endlessly until it kills it off.  Eventually once Nemo dies, I’ll experience 2 small Clownfish again and watch them grow old together over the years.

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CoreyT355
On 7/17/2021 at 8:31 AM, ninjamyst said:

Get a better light right away.  It will make you love your tank a lot more.  Instead of spending money on nero3, get a $60 light from Amazon.  Buying brand like AI and Kessil is great if you got the money but just know you are paying a huge premium.

The light has been something I’ve gone man and forth on. I already have the Nero 3, so that ship has kind of sailed haha. 
 

I am hoping to keep the lid stick if possible. I know the Fluval Marine 3.0 has controls for spectrum and everything. That’s where I’m leaning right now. Unless anyone knows of something else that fits the Evo lid. 

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rough eye

i kept the stock light, added an actinic strip and added a 2 channel timer so i can ramp the 2 lights up separately.

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Ratvan

regarding the light, how badly do you want to grow SPS corals (specifically Acro's and Millies)? If the answer is not very I wouldn't bother upgrading the light. PLenty of Soft Corals, LPS and even some SPS will grow under the stock lighting

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DevilDuck
On 7/16/2021 at 9:27 PM, rough eye said:

i'm like a broken record so i'll just say what i say over and over:

 

1) LIVE ROCK. get live rock that's wet and stuff is living in it. as the tank is cycling you'll see lots of life flourishing, developing a diverse and balanced system, and this will save you from a multitude of problems. By the time i added the first fish i had tons of life in my tank.

 

2) WAIT. the trick is patience. if you say to yourself "ok i'll wait 2 months before adding any livestock," it might be 4 weeks, 5 or 6 weeks, but it's always safe to WAIT one more week regardless of how ready the tank is, rather than rushing in. this will also save you from a multitude of problems. 

 

here's how i disgree with others here:

1) i don't like the idea of a mated pair of clowns. they turn into assholes, both to one another and to others in the tank.

2) i've cycled with lights on. i'd rather have algae than other, worse things.

 

tailspot and clown in my tank are all over the place. no need to have more motion than those 2. if i were to add a 3rd fish it'd probably be somebody a lot more mellow, maybe a sand sifting goby or a clown goby.

 

Clean up crew: add what you need, when you need it. Buy them 1 or 2 at a time and be flexible, depending on what the tank needs.

I agree with all these points. Keep the stock light for now or add a cheap blue strip to add a bit more blue. Keeping the stock lid will help tremendously with evaporation and stability and you can save on not needing an ATO. 

 

I've also made the mistake of purchasing too many CUC and had to give some away. Buy them as your algae increases. Start with different types of snails over any crabs. 

 

I also have a pair of clowns and unless you are really set on them I'd avoid them. They will bite your hand every time you try to do maintenance. Go with something more mellow like cardinalfish.

 

Start a journal for your build so everyone can follow along! Good luck!

 

 

 

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CoreyT355

Awesome feedback, thanks a lot everyone. 

I'm not planning on anything specific coral wise like @Ratvan asked, so the stock light seems like the way to go for now.

The CUC info was helpful. I see a lot of builds with what seemed like a long list of things for the crew. I definitely want to keep things low to try and let the tank run with minimal work. We'll see how that goes. 

This week I am going to get the rock and try to build the aquascape. I like the idea of an NSA aquascape, with a couple low caves for the tailspot. I'll post a thread once I get that in there and there is actually something to see. 

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ninjamyst

Stock light has too much white and makes your coral look fugly.  Adding actinic strip may help but the whites will still overpower the blues.  But it's up to you.  If you are looking for that coral color pop, the stock light won't cut it.  I wonder if people that says to keep stock light had actually tried a better light...

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ninjamyst

Also live rock is not always best. You can't aquascape it and you will most likely get stuff you don't want from it.  There are pros and cons to live vs dry.  Just make sure you know what they are.

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CoreyT355
11 hours ago, ninjamyst said:

Also live rock is not always best. You can't aquascape it and you will most likely get stuff you don't want from it.  There are pros and cons to live vs dry.  Just make sure you know what they are.

Yeah as I am reading things now I see that live rock is not as favorable as it was in the past. My last experience was more than 10 years ago with my brother's 75 gal. reef. Apparently a lot has changed since then. 

I'm planning on going with Caribsea Life Rock now. The 20 lbs pack should be more than enough to break up and make an NSA aquascape. Maybe keep a couple chunks in chamber 2 for filtration as well. After watching BRS' video on 23 mistakes people make when aquascaping one of their things was to account for the lower amount of rock in the tank if you go with NSA by tossing some into the sump/filter area.

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e3pillereefer

I just added the AI Prime 16 to my evo 13.5.  My corals look waaaaay happier I have to say.  The stock light worked to keep things going but the Prime seems to have things flourishing!  Also, I got the Kraken lid for the Fluval...looks great and works perfect with the Prime...great combo!

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e3pillereefer

One anectdote on the stock light:  I have a Goniapora in this tank that was yellow when I bought.  Under the stock light it turned brown.  Hoping the Prime will turn it back to yellow?  Have no idea, really, all new to me.

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CoreyT355
9 minutes ago, e3pillereefer said:

I just added the AI Prime 16 to my evo 13.5.  My corals look waaaaay happier I have to say.  The stock light worked to keep things going but the Prime seems to have things flourishing!  Also, I got the Kraken lid for the Fluval...looks great and works perfect with the Prime...great combo!

I've considered this a lot, but the evaporation is my main issue. I don't want to have to add an ATO really. I'm thinking of trying the Fluval Marine 3.0, or maybe attempting to build and add in a custom LED setup to add into the hood. I have some programming experience, and work with some people that have built LED systems for other things. Famous last words for sure, but I think it might be possible. 

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e3pillereefer

I'm no authority so take for what it's worth but I do 2 WC a week for this tank, about 7 gallons, and I haven't really had to top off in between them.  I'm kinda a helicopter reefer...

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ninjamyst
10 hours ago, CoreyT355 said:

Yeah as I am reading things now I see that live rock is not as favorable as it was in the past. My last experience was more than 10 years ago with my brother's 75 gal. reef. Apparently a lot has changed since then. 

I'm planning on going with Caribsea Life Rock now. The 20 lbs pack should be more than enough to break up and make an NSA aquascape. Maybe keep a couple chunks in chamber 2 for filtration as well. After watching BRS' video on 23 mistakes people make when aquascaping one of their things was to account for the lower amount of rock in the tank if you go with NSA by tossing some into the sump/filter area.

People use Marco rocks for NSA because it's very porous and full of holes.  It's easy to break apart.  Not sure about Caribsea rocks but I had the old reef rocks from them and they are solid through and through.  Heavy, impossible to chisel.  Here's a rock scape I just built with only glue and Marco rocks.  

 

PXL_20210718_220223826.thumb.jpg.09bedca88311ec25063f416df6a2c148.jpg

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ninjamyst
13 hours ago, CoreyT355 said:

 

Also note that I bought 50 lbs of Marco rocks for my 160g tank and that photo is only half the rocks.  So 20lbs is way too much for you.  Instead of putting leftover rocks in the filtration chamber, you should put biomedia spheres or blocks that are much better than just rocks that collect detritus.

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Clown79
13 hours ago, ninjamyst said:

People use Marco rocks for NSA because it's very porous and full of holes.  It's easy to break apart.  Not sure about Caribsea rocks but I had the old reef rocks from them and they are solid through and through.  Heavy, impossible to chisel.  Here's a rock scape I just built with only glue and Marco rocks.  

 

PXL_20210718_220223826.thumb.jpg.09bedca88311ec25063f416df6a2c148.jpg

Caribsea liferock is easy to break, the standard caribea dry rock, is impossible.

22 hours ago, CoreyT355 said:

I've considered this a lot, but the evaporation is my main issue. I don't want to have to add an ATO really. I'm thinking of trying the Fluval Marine 3.0, or maybe attempting to build and add in a custom LED setup to add into the hood. I have some programming experience, and work with some people that have built LED systems for other things. Famous last words for sure, but I think it might be possible. 

You could just manually top up daily, takes about 2 mins.

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