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  1. After starting my membership here with a strong showing, and for my own educational purposes and record, I guess I’ll start a journal. Seems like a good place to keep a list of ideas and tips to help me on this journey! Tank: Fluval Evo XII 13.5 gallon started 1/21/2019 Equipment: Fluval spec return pump 132gph Fluval sea mini protein skimmer 5-10gallon Fluval 50W heater In Tank Chamber 1 media basket Current Orbit Marine LED light w bracket arm Current Orbit Eflux Wave pump 660gph (along w their hubs) IM mesh screen Media: Fluval bio rings (bottom level of media basket) Fluval 100gm carbon (bottom level media basket) Fluval clearmax (middle level media basket) IM filter floss (top level media basket) Stock: 14lbs live rock ? Lbs of life sand Black oscellaris clown True percula clown Blue spotted goby watchman Red banded snapping shrimp Scarlet shrimp Trochus snails x4 Dwarf red hermit crabs x 10 Star polyp x 2 (one split into two sections thanks to hermits, so there’s three-ish) Palys x 2: both protopalythoa Hairy mushroom x3 (all on one big rock) Hammer x 1 Zoa x1 Now obviously I didn’t start with all of this at once. We started with three clowns in fact- two percula and the oscellaris, but the two bigger fish kept trying to kill the smaller so I took the small guy back to save him from certain death within a week. Following that, the black was named Jolly Roger and the percula Jack Sparrow. (What can I say- this tank is “supposed” to be owned by my soon to be 9 year old who LOVES POTC, but secretly, it’s mine 😁) We started with two trochus and five hermits, but I doubled that for more cleaning power after about two and a half weeks. Those guys don’t get names. We added the goby and his “pal” Jan 22, but they NEVER hang with each other and in fact I’m not sure they know the other exists anymore. The goby was named J Edgar Hoover because he is always watching us with disapproval from across the room and follows us around the tank with his permanent frown. The pistol shrimp was named Snappy because well..... 🤷🏻‍♀️ We added the scarlet shrimp a week ago, and he’s quite the personality. We call him the Red Baron. We started the tank with a zoa and the little star polyp that the herms split in two. We next added the protopalys. Added the hammer today, with some drama due to the LFS lady who evidently thinks I’m out to kill everything in my tank 🤦🏽‍♀️. That’s it for this tank in a nutshell.
  2. Started my Fluval Evo 13.5 tank about a month ago and I am loving it. This is my first saltwater tank. My name is Price, and I love my new hobby (addiction). Going to try to keep my entries concise & informative... I'll likely always have questions, so I'll try to organize them into the last section of each post. I’m an eager learner and not at all afraid to research and dig in… which seems a key factor to succeeding in (& enjoying!) this hobby. Tank Specs! Display: Fluval Sea EVO, 13.5 gallon AIO Stand: Husky tool cart -- I LOVE this as my stand. $100 from Home Depot. Has built in power strip and awesome storage for all my tank supplies (and possibly perfect place to house refugium tank in cabinet in the future) Lighting: Stock Fluval light Lighting: NanoBox Mini Tide Plus M -- ordered 03/11 Heater: EHEIM 75W (and have a PENN PLAX 75W backup heater) Primary Pump: Stock Fluval pump Wavemaker: Innovative Marine Wavelink DC Wavemaker Powerhead - Desktop 165-1500 GPH Skimmer: None -- no plan to add. Current Filtration: Stock Fluval Foam filter + Carbon + Biomax Filtration & Media: DIY egg crate basket + PolyFill + Carbon + Biomax Dosing: None yet -- researching. Test Kit: API Saltwater Master kit Current Water Source: Purchasing RO/DI premixed saltwater from LFS Planned Water Source Upgrade: I hear all of you! I need to get an RO/DI system to start making and salt mixing myself. This upgrade seems like wisdom I should heed. Am a bit lost on what exactly I should look for in the system for only a 13.5g tank – welcome (affordable) recommendations (and apartment friendly setup/storage ideas). Husky tool cart stand! Fishless Cycle! *Week 1* • 3 wet live rocks: I think the tall/wide brown one has been best source of beneficial bacteria • 1 large dry live rock: the white long one that looks like the spine of an alien • Approx. 15lbs of live carab-sea sand • pH: 7.8, Ammonia: 0.25ppm, Nitrite: 0ppm, Nitrate, 20ppm *Week 2* • pH: 8.0, Ammonia: 0ppm, Nitrite: .25ppm, Nitrate: 20ppm *Week 3* • pH: 8.0, Ammonia: 0ppm, Nitrite: 0ppm, Nitrate: 20ppm • Performed about 30% water change, waited couple hours for water to pump cycle, retested and nitrates dropped to 10ppm • I'm still confused on what my goal nitrate levels should be… I’m reading lots of mixed feedback. Welcome input and I plan to keep researching. Invertebrates//Inverts//Clean Up Crew (CUC)! (added once nitrates dropped to 10ppm after first water change) • 5 black snails • 6 hermits • 1 turbo (omg… the poop) • 2--3 bristle worms (hitchhikers) • 1 pencil urchin – admittedly, an impulse buy at LFS. Now know these cuties aren’t always reef safe – plan to keep my eye on him, be sure he has plenty of non-reef snacks near his hideouts… and learned my first livestock lesson – research everything first lol. • 1 fire shrimp – I love him. Acclimated perfectly and already trying to set his “cleaning station” up – small clown is working up the courage to trust him it looks like 🙂 Fish! (added 3 days after CUC and water test params were same) • 2 Black Darwin Ocellaris I made sure to inspect both closely at my LFS before selecting them. Unfortunately, my larger one appeared to have her tail fin and one pectoral fin damaged in the transport. I feel confident this was physical damage and is not an infection or disease. Today is day 3 in their new home and am already observing improvement to her pectoral fin, as well as some good grow back on her tail (increased temp to 80 degrees to help encourage regrowth)! The damage hasn’t affected swimming patterns, she’s eating – seems happy. Am closely adoring//monitoring//observing (I work from home most days). I've also observed the smaller clown… vibrate a few times back to back (there is truly no other word to describe it). I was terrified – researched it and am SO happy this is normal and seems to indicate the pair will at least get along well together. Diatoms!! Sorry so cloudy in this one -- was shortly after a water change so bit of a sand storm that was settling. **I’ve drip acclimated all my livestock for at least an hour each (fire shrimp had an extended drip), with the exception of my hermits & snails** Future Fish! • Leopard Toby – I’m dead set on this one. I am SO inspired by @teenyreef. Yes, I know these guys are “reef-risky”. Yes, I (now) know my snails, hermits and fire shrimp would either be meals or need rehousing (fire shrimp may actually be large enough to be safe, but will certainly be rehoused if problematic). I am not actively hunting for this fish yet. I’d like to get a few corals in and my tank more matured first. • Dragonet? I want to read up on Mandarins a bit more – already know they are piiiiicky eaters and often starve. My initial thoughts are if I end up adding a Leopard Toby, I’ll need to change my CUC from snails/hermits and replace with copepod population…. which feeds Mandarins! Same deal though, current plan is to bide my time – focus on tank maturity – keep researching livestock care and balance. • Holding on any additional fish livestock for now. Corals! I don’t have any yet and past few days I’ve just started to dive into researching them. I would LOVE input here from seasoned nano reefers. Based on my tank size, rock scape and plans for my livestock, what are some good ones to start with? I’m considering mushroom or toadstool softies? I'd love to get some sort of shelf-like coral to start growing from the large tall/thick/wide rock piece and extend over the back of the white long rock -- I'm sure that will take patience and care, but seems a mushroom coral may give me that look. Good callout – I know I need to focus on softies and/or LPS at first with the Fluval stock light until I upgrade to the NanoBox Mini Tide Plus M. Questions//What I’m Still Researching! • Alternative livestock options? • Recommendation on this tank’s back chamber setup? My egg crate and polyfill arrive tomorrow so only current plan is to replace the foam filter and add polyfill media. I have 3 compartments and my current setup (from left to right if you’re facing the chamber) is… FIRST CHAMBER (far left): Fluval pump + backup PENN PLEX heater (set to 75 degrees – so if my EHEIM kicks out I’ll see temp change and swap the PENN PLEX to primary heater without big temp sway in interim) + one small live rock piece (may add to display area in future) SECOND CHAMBER: Stock foam filter + Carbon + Biomax THIRD CHAMBER: EHEIM heater + 4 small live rocks resting at bottom (also may add to my display area in the future) • Skimmer for this tank? Needed? If so, what models? Risks if I do add or don’t add that I should watch out for? If I add a skimmer, I’d like one that can be hidden/not popping up from back chamber. The designated skimmer compartment is approx. 12.4” in height x 5” wide. • What RO/DI system will get the job done for this 13.5G tank? Looking for affordable (under $150… prefer way under if possible). • Bit concerned my sand bed may be too deep? Should I start to siphon some sand volume out with my water changes? I know to do a “zone by zone” vacuum, over numerous water changes, to avoid picking everything up that may be buried. Visually, I like the current thickness, but if it will be problematic, I’d rather course correct. *& Fellow Nano-Newbies! Or anyone looking for an INCREDIBLE “first time saltwater setup” reference to point newbies to or to use, I cannot recommend myfirstfishtank.com enough. This dude gets it. He’s created 4 different budgets/tank setups – each build includes a mandatory, optional and upgradeable purchase list. He also has setup steps, with concise short videos (think 15-30 seconds/each) and instructions for each step. All the instructions/purchase lists/videos are free. I truly do not think I’d be where I am without his comprehensive purchase list and instruction guide. My other advice is read read read forums on THIS site. It’s obvious in this hobby there’s no one right way to do anything. I’ve loved checking out tanks of the month!! So inspiring and informative. I also keep a hand-written tank journal – it’s total self-satisfaction looking back at hand written notes and doodles.
  3. Today I went to the opening of a new fish store and saw some bumble bee snails that looked cool. I picked up 2 of them plus a few frags for my evo 12. After looking them up when I got home I’m wondering if I made a mistake. Anyone have experience with these guys? I have 3 astraea snails and one Halloween hermit plus 1 citrinis clown goby in my tank and a few corals. Used to have a couple of more fish but an ich outbreak got them 😢
  4. I was wondering if I could take off the plastic on the bottom of the Fluval evo 13.5. It’s kind of bothering me. It wouldn’t be hard to remove because it’s only held on by 6 silicone dabs, thanks!
  5. Currently running a fluval Evo 13.5 with stock lighting. I am having no real issues with the light and corals I have. As we all know with the whites on the colors don't seem to have the desired pop so I have already added a blue strip and have been considering adding a couple more strips to potentially get more color. I specifically been looking at the ones listed below. https://www.21ledusa.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=15050PRWP&CartID=1 https://www.21ledusa.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=3528UVWP&CartID=2 https://www.21ledusa.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=3528DBLWP&CartID=3 https://www.21ledusa.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=15050BL&CartID=4 My biggest questions are 1. Will the violets be too much for my tank? 2. Will I even notice the violets or will whites drown them out? 3. If violets are good would 100 or 250 lumens be suggested. 4. 100 or 250 lumens on the blues? 5. If I go with 2 strips what combination would be suggested. Ultimately my goal is just visual improvement with hopes of improvement in growth but I do not want to sacrifice coral health for improved look. If this is the wrong place to post please accept my apologies. I have been a long time lurker here and have read a lot but just couldn't seem to find an answer to my questions so thank you in advance.
  6. Hello All, I'm newish here, but I have been really enjoying reading though various tank journals and articles on here whilst planning my tank. This is my first marine tank so I would welcome any advice anyone has for me. As I have said in the title the tank is a 13.5 gallon fluval sea evo and I have some real reef rock and dry sand in it. I filled it with salt water I bought from the LFS, I plan to buy some salt and use RODI water from the LFS in future but until then I will keep buying the ready mixed salt water from the shop. I am using Fluvals bacteria starter following the instructions on the bottle and have one of the API marine test kits in the post, hopefully will arrive tomorrow. The plan I have created from advice I have seen on here and from talking to the staff in the fish shop is once the cycle has completed (hopefully only a couple of weeks) is to get a pair of blue legged hermit crabs to start off my clean up crew, and as long as things remain stable follow it up with a small pair of clowns the week after. I am not a big fan of snails and don't want to put things in the tank if they are likely to be eaten so I think I would like to use a tuxedo urchin to replace snails in the clean up crew. That is likely to be it for animals and will be introduced over a matter of weeks. I am keen to have corals in the tank too, and would be interested in any advice on when its best to start adding them? I am thinking after the crabs whilst being aware not to add to much to the tank at any one time. The corals I am keep to add at some point are: Pulsing xenea A torch Kenya Tree Some brightly coloured zoanthids I'll add some photos from my phone after this of my scape, I have struggled with getting something that looks good from both sides with it being a peninsula tank.
  7. Welcome to my Fluval Evo 13.5 Nano Reef Journal  I've been researching reef tanks and learning all I can the past 3 months or so, watching lots of BRS TV on youtube and joining several saltwater groups on FB and piles of internet reading. Anyway I decided to go with the Fluval Evo 13.5 because of it's peninsula shape and the fact that it would fit well and look great on our pass-thru bar between our kitchen and living room, allowing it to be seen from both rooms. I hope to keep this tank as simple as possible w/very little added equipment.  The tank was started up this past Friday 1/12/2018 and is cycling, dosing with Brightwell Aquatics Microbacter 7 daily. I am in love with looking at it, can't wait to put something in but am planning to take it slow and add things slowly as most experienced reefers recommend.  Currently consists of:  Caribsea Ocean Direct Sand Dry Rock unsure how many pounds as I didn't add all 15lbs (from World Wide Corals, we visited in person, loved that place!) Wet live rock rubble... 4-5 pieces Cobalt Neotherm Heater 100w  this size was too large to fit in the return chamber returning  Future upgrade plans currently include:  Tunze Osmolator Nano 3152 ATO Jebao PP-4 wavemaker with controller I've seen where a few others used this one their Evo's but I'm open to other suggestions Intank Chamber 1 Media Basket HOLY COW at the price of that thing! Using Chamber 2 as a refugium looking into cheap refugium LED lights, any ideas?  As of now, I have no plans to upgrade the light as I need the canopy to help prevent evaporation and to protect the tank from contaminants as it's nearly in the kitchen.  Undecided if I need to upgrade the return pump  From what I've learned so far, it's not necessary to have a skimmer on a nano, so I'm hoping to go without.  The pics were taken right after it was filled, it has since cleared. I ended up adding a little more sand after pics were taken. The rocks are stabilized with Holdfast Epoxy.  I'm waiting to receive my magnet scraper today, can't wait to clean up the glass. I settled for the API Master Saltwater Test Kit for now, I figured it was better than nothing.  Right now my fish/CUC stocking plans include:  1-2 Ocellaris Clowns  1 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp  2-3 Turban snails  2-3 Nassarius Snails  Copepods   Doing this on a budget (horses are my main hobby and they aren't cheap either), so not adding too fast probably won't be too difficult, lol.  Any thoughts/comments are appreciated.  Thanks for looking!       Kitchen View:  Living Room View:            Â
  8. Intro: Hey guys, Luxembourg here. I am a longtime lurker and decided to make an account, and make an aquarium journal. I ended up getting a Fluval 13.5. This is my second reef/SW tank, After a yearlong hiatus I decided to startup another tank. I will (hopefully) update you guys on the status of my tank. Current setup (03/16/18): Tank: Fluval Evo 13.5 Rock and Sand: CaribSea Base Rock (Dry Rock) and CaribSea Arag-Alive "Fiji-Pink" Heater: Cobalt Neo-Therm 75w Lighting: Stock Fluval Evo 13.5 LEDs (I may upgrade, they seem sufficient for now) Cheap LED light for chaeto Filtration: First Chamber inTank Media filter. Chaeto, then filter floss in the top slot. Purigen and more filter floss in the second slot. In the bottom I have ChemiPure Elite and a little more filter floss to top (bottom?) it off. Coralife Nano/Biocube Protein Skimmer (in 2nd chamber) Livestock: At least in my opinion, the most important part of a tank: Fish: x2 Black-Ice Snowflake Ocellaris Clownfish x1 Royal Gramma Basslett x1 Tail Spot Blenny Invertebrates: x1 Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp x1 Blood Red Fire Shrimp x1 Candy Cane Pistol Shrimp x3 Dwarf Hermit Crabs x3 Nassarius Snails x2 Trochus Snails x2 Cerith Snails Corals Soft Coral Glove Polyps LPS Torch Coral ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pictures: Royal Gramma Basslett Tail Spot Blenny Blood Red Fire Shrimp Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp Torch Coral (below same frag under blue) Green Glove Polyps Thanks for taking the time to read my aquarium journal! I will end with my most recent FTS (updated 03/16/18). -Luxembourg FTS Archive:
  9. Hi there, I've had my Fluval Evo up and running for about 2 months with live sand and live rock. So far, I've added 4 small Hermits, 1 Emerald, 3 Turbos, 1 Peppermint Shrimp and 2 young Ocelaris Clowns. Parameters are all good and the tank is healthy (well apart from 2 small Aiptasia). I will be introducing some coral over the next couple of months but wondered if people thought there is scope to add another fish or shrimp perhaps? Many thanks.
  10. Does anybody who upgraded their lighting for their fluval evo 13.5 want to sell their stock lighting fixture that came with the tank? Quote me price and shipping!
  11. LFS is having a boxing week sale - $30 off either the Fluvo Sea EVO series. I'm debating whether to get either the 5 or the 13.5Gallon, or neither? This would be my first marine tank set up. Looking for advice on whether this line of tanks are any good for a starter or what are my alternatives. If I would leave the tank as stock, would it perform well enough. Do I need a skimmer? Hearing that with such a small size, I wouldn't need one? Thanks
  12. Hey guys!! Newbie here. These forums have been immensely helpful with this project!! Such a source of wisdom! I’m setting up a Fluval Evo 13.5. I’m new to saltwater/reef tanks but not the hobby. I live in central Florida and we have a lot of power interruptions down here. I have a generator for the tank for long term outages. But I really need a battery back up that can run the tank for about 12 hours in case power goes out while I’m at work. I was looking at the Icecap, but discovered I know very little about AC/DC current and electricity in general (long time since undergrad physics). Can anyone tell me if the stock pump will run with an Icecap battery back up? Is the Fluval Evo stock AC or DC current? If it’s AC, is there a battery back up on the market that is compatible? I looked at the ones meant for the computer/tech world.. but it seems they only last 15-30mins which won’t get the job done. I need something that can run the length of my 12 hour hospital shift until I can connect to the generator. Can anyone suggest a good DC pump that will fit the Fluval 13.5? Thanks for your help!!
  13. I just got the fluval evo 13.5 gallon tank and the touch sensor light doesn't work on mine. Idk if I am doing something wrong I keep tapping it but nothing happens. Any ideas?
  14. JoeMan02

    First Reef Aquarium

    Hi guys! This is my first reef tank, It's a fluval evo 13.5 with the fluval SEA PS2 mini protein skimmer and a hydor koralina 240 pump. My first corals were a mushroom rock, kenya tree, and green palythoas. My tank has been set up for almost 7 months now and since I bought my first corals I have accumulated 14 more types and not my tank is really starting to look like a reef! My favorite corals include the multiple types of zoas i have collected, my red digi, my aussie green leather, and finally my orange galaxea. The tank is stocked with a green chromi, two ocellaris clowns, and a royal gramma basselet, along with the classing cleanup crew of hermit crabs and some snails. I would love to hear your feedback and suggestions! sorry about the poor picture quality, iPhone 6
  15. I recently ventured into saltwater tanks and decided on a fluval sea 12g. I started my tank with about 10lb of live sand and 8lb of live rock. A month later,I got my water checked and was told it was ok to start adding fish. I went with an orange spotted goby/tiger pistol pair and two turbo snails. After another week I added in two peppermint shrimps and 5 hermit crabs. Now, im wondering if I can add any more fish to it and if the original lighting can support corals?
  16. Hi, I've recently setup my first sw tank a 13.5 Fluval Evo and it's currently cycling. I bought the PS2 Skimmer (which is also the first skimmer I've bought) and I'm having some noise issues with it, mainly a really annoying humming sound. I have left it to run for a week and the humming has continued. I pulled it apart as per the instructions and I've noticed the pump by itself isn't that loud, it's when you put it into the two pieces of plastic housing that the sound becomes really noticeable. I tried adding a small amount of vaseline to the impeller shaft and it was a lot quieter for about a day but it has already gone back to making the same noise. Just wondering if anyone else here has experienced this issue or has any ideas how to fix it? Thanks
  17. I recently got ventured into saltwater tanks and decided on a fluval sea 12g. I started my tank with about 10lb of live sand and 8lb of live rock. A month later,I got my water checked and was told it was ok to start adding fish. I went with an orange spotted goby/tiger pistol pair and two turbo snails. After another week I added in two peppermint shrimps and 5 hermit crabs. Now, im wondering if I can add any more fish to it and if the original lighting can support corals?
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