Fluval Evo 13.5 Nano Reef

Discussion in 'Tank Builds' started by Lulu_Lunette, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. Lulu_Lunette

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    I had wanted to start with a 55 gallon+ for my first reef tank. All the reading I had done it was pretty clear that bigger was better for a beginner. I started looking into all in ones because honestly, I had no clue what anything did or what went where, at least with getting an all in one I would hopefully be on the right track. After looking at possible tank locations in my house I realized the nano was perfect. This tank lives on top of my bar in the basement. I ordered the Fluval Evo, it did not come with a heater or protein skimmer – I did purchase these items and have included these in the initial set up.


    Initial Setup –

    Having read nano tanks can be really hard and talking with my LFS I decided to essentially do a tank transfer in hopes it would save some frustration. I used live sand, live rock and water from their tanks. The clean up crew was then added and consisted of blue-legged hermit crabs (3), black-footed snails (2) and a narcissus snail. The tank was then left alone for two-three weeks. Water parameters were monitored and it did go through a mini cycle and two starfish appeared and aiptasia (sweet freebies!) I quick learned how awesome aiptsia is and killed it. The starfish, the plan was to see if the population could maintain itself because I was thinking about getting a harlequin shrimp.

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    First Fish and Corals –

    Having survived the hurdle and managing to not kill my clean up crew I decided to add the tanks first fish and coral inhabitants. For fish I selected two Clarkii clownfish and for coral I selected green star polyp, a hairy mushroom and clove polyp. By this time, the starfish seemed to have disappeared and I have not seen any since. A few weeks later I added a Kenya tree, an echinopora and a green nephthea.

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    First Issues –

    Everything was going great until about two weeks after the last additions were made. I encountered my first issue(s) – high nitrates and cyno algae. I figured I must have been over feeding my clownfish in combination with feeding them inefficiently. I increased the frequency of water changes and began to feed clownfish using a baster. Hoping this would decrease the cyno algae it seem to only make it worst, the plan was to wait and not use any chemicals but then the cyno started growing on to my corals. I ended up treating the tank with chemi-clean. I was amazed with how effective it was. I treated the tank in two doses. At this time I also added a wave maker to get rid of nitrate pockets. After the second issued occurred and was more self-inflicted than anything. I accidently did the 20% water change with freshwater. I immediately realized what had happened and did another water change to try and correct it, it ended up throwing the salinity off to 1.020. Boy, were my corals and clean up crew mad at me for the next few days. I did one-gallon water changes for the next week and then waited another two weeks for everything to stabilize before adding any new inhabitants.

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    Recent Additions –

    This weekend two fish– a rainfordi goby and an orchid dottyback and two corals – pulsing xenia and pocillopora were added. This is probably it for fish that will be added to the tank, so far my clownfish have been jerks to the goby. Luckily he has plenty of hiding spots and he is quick enough to get out of the way. There will be a close eye kept on him for the next few days as well. I’m hoping to add more corals to the tank as well – eventually I hope to add frogspawn and a hammer coral to the mix. I have decided against getting an anemone mainly because I read too much about them meeting the wave maker. My clownfish are really into the hairy mushroom and have hosted in it for the past month or so.

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    #1 Lulu_Lunette, Sep 24, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
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  2. ChristopherKriens

    ChristopherKriens Xenia Lover
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    Welcome to TCMAS!

    The tank is looking good. Chemiclean is one of those things that makes me nervous, but it really does work well.
     
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  3. RedHeckle

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    Looks good so far. What are you running for media in the chambers? I'm just setting up my Evo 13.5 while I rebuild my 90gal.
     
  4. cathorn

    cathorn Senior Member
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    Welcome
     
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  5. OP
    Lulu_Lunette

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    I started with the media that came with the tank but have since switched to using two chemo-pure blue nano all in one packets. I switched to help with nitrates, so far it has helped.
     
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  6. OP
    Lulu_Lunette

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    It has been about a month since my initial post - I have since added a torch coral.
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    My dotty back has also appeared to have developed lymphocystis, have been watching him closely for the past month and he is starting to look better.

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    I haven't seen my goby since day two of adding him. So far I haven't detected any parameter readings that would suggest that he is dead so I'm going to go with he is very shy...
    Here is a photo of the whole tank at three months old. - Enjoy!
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. RedHeckle

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    It's coming along nicely!!
     
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  8. SantaMonicaHelp

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    Yeah, it's looking great so far! That torch coral looks really good!

    -Kamran
     
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  9. OP
    Lulu_Lunette

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    Happy Holidays everyone!
    It's been awhile since I updated this. I've been having issues lately with the return pump that came with the tank. It randomly will quit working. I noticed that the temperature was lower then usual but just thought it had to do with us plunging into a deep freeze. Then my skimmer quit working. I took everything apart and and cleaned it really well and now it seems to be working... for now. I'm undecided what to do, I'd like to get a back up but with the space being so small I'm not sure where it would fit. I'm already considering upgrading my tank but not sure what to but I'd like to have a sump. I don't think I will do the all in one with all with everything in the back. My hands are small and I have a hard time getting them into the tank. I'm beginning to have a love hate relationship with the lid and light. The amount of salt that accumulates along the lid is ridiculous. It looks like I have salt-icles hanging off the side of it all the time. I have to chip them away before i do anything. The light for this tank sets into the lid - this make it really hard to set the lid any where for maintenance unless i fish all the cords out. I have all my cords running through a hole in my counter and everything plugs into an outlet underneath the tank.

    My orchid dotty back pulled through lymphocystis. It attacked on of its lower fin causing it to lose the fin. It seems to have grown back though.[​IMG]

    My clove polyp became infested with red wiry turf algae. It became tight and destructive when I tried to manually remove it. I ended up doing a hydrogen peroxide drip on it. Let it sit for about 15 mins and was able to gently remove it. This is now the scariest thing I have done to date. It was really mad at me and took about a week to reopen up. It has grown several new heads since then.[​IMG]

    I lost a couple of corals within the last month - on of the smaller pieces of liverock fell onto the echinopora. I didn't think anything of it until it started to die off in the middle and quickly spread in a matter of a few days :( I had a red acropora but accidentally hit it off my counter with trying to put coral glue on the frag plug *sigh* I tried to save it but ended up just pulling it out. I don't think I still have a rainfordi anymore. I haven't seen him since day two of putting him in the tank. I've contemplating adding another fish but I fear my clownfish are too big of jerks to risk adding another fish.

    Recently there has been an out break of aiptasia, so far they are small but I'm not quick enough with the Joe's Juice to get them all. So I got a peppermint shrimp - Pepe [​IMG]

    I started target feeding my corals - mainly the frogspawn and torch. They are placed further from where I feed the fish and I feel like they weren't getting enough nutrients to grow like the others. The corals that near the where the fish are fed are HUGE. I picked up some nano reef roids and some aquavitro fuel, we shall see how that goes over the next few weeks.

    Thanks for reading and here is a few shots from my tank
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  10. JT Hoffman

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    Love your torch coral. Beautiful!
     
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  11. JT Hoffman

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    Did you glue your rock arch to the bottom glass on your evo?
     
  12. OP
    Lulu_Lunette

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    I made the huge mistake of not gluing any of the rocks together in the arch and deeply regret it. It ended up causing a lot of problems
     
  13. OP
    Lulu_Lunette

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    So far the biggest regret I have is not securing my scape when I initially set it up. As my corals on top of the arch got bigger, it eventually collapsed. This last week was spent taking it apart and attempting to secure it. I tried using an epoxy but failed miserably. What ended up working the best was just using coral glue. Everything is secure now, but big lesson learned. Thankfully I was able to get the scape back pretty close to the original shape.

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    01.13.18 - Before

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    01.18.18 – After

    Everything appears to be hanging on and getting bigger. I really wanted to add more inhabitants to my tank. I am finding it rather difficult because my clownfish are such… jerks. I honestly was/am considering adding a six line wrasse to the tank bit with no quarantine tank am able to talk myself out of it. Still having the itch, I decided on adding some different invertebrates – sexy shrimp.
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    The only photo of my sexy shrimp

    I cannot believe how small these guys are. But their butt bobbing makes a great new form of movement for my tank. I ended up with three in total and was assured that the clownfish wouldn’t think anything of them. After acclimating them and getting them in, I watched them walk around exploring when out of the corner of my eye a clownfish made one of them a snack, an expensive snack… jerk. I don’t think the other two lasted the night. Discouraged after the sexy massacre I have come to the conclusion that only replacement cleanup crew and corals can be added to the tank.

    About a month ago I decided to try my hand at keeping zoanthids. I had been putting off getting any of these since the initial setup, mainly because I kept hearing that they were toxic, but after hearing they are only toxic when fragging decided to give them a go. Before restructuring the rock they seem to be doing great. However the last few days they have not been opening up, this causes me to worry. I checked my parameters and salinity and temp were both a little high – I got these back in line and waited. Within the next few hours they began to open up. I posted a photo of them on my Instagram story and someone noted there was detritus that needed to be removed. I removed it but they still were not opening. The last two weeks my kenya tree has grown a lot, so much that I believe that is was shadowing the zoas. Tonight I cut it back to allow more light to reach them, and hopefully they will make a full recovery within the next week or two.


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    Before
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    Not looking so great
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    After

    Here is the latest full tank photo and some macro shots of critters… enjoy!
    [​IMG] 02.01.18

    [​IMG] Blue legged hermit

    [​IMG] Asterina starfish

    [​IMG]Clownfish's new digs
     
  14. JT Hoffman

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    Have you tried hydrogen peroxide treatment to your Zoas? I have read that a 50% saltwater and a 50% hydrogen peroxide bath for 10 minutes does wonders. I tried it on a couple of my zoanthid frags recently and they were really pissed off for several days but are doing much better now. I recommend reading more on this and see what others have done and how long to leave in the HP/Saltwater bath.
     
  15. dougers31

    dougers31 Senior Member
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    50/50 peroxide dip for 10 minutes seems kinda strong/long. I usually use 15-25% hyd. perox for maybe 5 minutes or so. Kills algae and most pests(hopefully none present). Most zoas can handle the dip but some might not....
     
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  16. OP
    Lulu_Lunette

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    Honestly I’ve only done it on the clove polyp. I don’t know of anything else it can treat besides the wiry turf algae. The drip I did was 25% hydrogen peroxide for about 10-15mins. It took about a week for them to fully open up again. Curious to know what else this kind of drip can treat
     

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