My Evo 13.5.

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10/12/2019.

Ok so I may as well start a Tank thread to track my progression and hopefully get some advice if and when things go wrong, I’m going to be going along at a bit of a slow pace so this probably won’t be the most active thread but bare with me.
I’m starting a Fluval Evo 13.5, it’s my first Tank of any kind, I’ve never kept Fish before not even a Goldfish in a bowl so realise I’m jumping in at the deep end with a Nano Salt water Tank but none of the other types of Fish keeping have ever really appealed to me, I can appreciate a nice Planted Fresh water Tank but there’s just something about the Corals that really attracts me to this hobby.
I know it may be tough but I’ve been reading a lot about Reefing for a good while now and feel ready to get this up and running and I’m really looking forward to it!

I’m running the Fluval Evo 13.5,
Upgraded Return Pump to Ehiem Compact 1000lph,
Stock Lights for now,
Fluval M50 Heater,
No Skimmer,
Will be buying a Power Head when the Tank’s cycled, probably a Jebo SW2,
I’m using Caribsea Life Rock so I don’t get any unwanted Hitchhikers, very impressed with the look of this Rock also!
Caribsea Arag Live Sand,
I’ll be doing a Fishless Cycle seeding the Tank with Dr Tim’s One and Only and dosing with Dr Tim’s Ammonia.
I’m going to swap out the Sponge filter for a DIY Eggcreate Media Basket and run Filterfloss, GFO, Carbon and run some Bio Balls or something in the free Chamber from not running the Skimmer, I’ll only add the Carbon and GFO after the Tank has finished Cycling and when needed.

I’m only going to have two Fish as it’s a pretty small Tank, probably a pair of Clowns, along with CUC and a Shrimp of some kind, I’m thinking Fire Shrimp.
I just want to try and grow some soft Corals really and some LSP of the easier variety, Zoas, Palys, GPS, Xenia, Leather, Hammer and a Duncan, maybe a Montipora Cap down the line if all is going well.
I’m going to add the CUC after the Tanks Cycled and also set up a small QT Tank, then buy and QT the Fish so I have a bit more life in the Tank, then if no medication was used I’ll use the QT Tank for the Corals along with Dipping to try and stop any nasties getting in the DT.
This maybe a little overkill for this small Nano but I’d just like to try and keep it as clean as possible and do my best to avoid as many problems down the line as I can.

Doing it this way is going to take some time so my posts won’t be that regular but hopefully it will all come together eventually.


14/12/2019.

So it begins....

I’ve been leak testing the Evo over the last couple of days waiting for my Rock and other bits to arrive, it came this morning so I emptied the Tank and dried it out, then started aquascaping the Rock on my sideboard.
I had planned to cut a piece of card the size of the Tank bottom and side but as soon as I started unpacking the Rock, forgot all about that and just winged it.
Luckily the Rock was brilliant, I brought the new Shapes variety and it looks superb! It also fits together really well and it didn’t take long to get an aquascape I really liked surprisingly.
When I went to place it in my Tank though it looked as though I may have over estimated the size of it a little and I didn’t think it was going to fit but luckily it went in nicely, there’s one area where the Rock is a little closer to the glass than the 1 inch mark I originally wanted so the magnetic Algae Scrapper’s off the list now and I’m just gonna go with an old fashioned Razor on a stick to keep the glass clean.

Here’s a few pics of the Scape....
After I made it I didn’t realise at first but it looks like a sleeping Dragon, can you see it?
Last Edit: Dec 23, 2019 3:20:01 am by Esoteric

ajm83

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Reply #1

Looks awesome mate.  I would consider chipping a bit of rock off so you can use a magnetic scraper though.  I went too close to the glass with my rocks and really regret it now.  Once you got corals on the rocks it's very hard to get the scraper at the right angle to remove coraline from the glass. 

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Reefermad

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Reply #2

Looking good mate, I have the evo 13.5 aswell and love it its a great little tank to get into the hobby with, it's my first saltwater tank aswell, it has a bit of a learning curve but it's definitely doable just don't give up when things get stressful lol, some advice I'd offer as a newbie t saltwater is get a refractometer as the hydrometers are quite inaccurate and a bit of a headache when you think your salinity is always off when it isn't really, just the hydrometer giving a false reading, other than that just the diy media basket which you say you are going to do anyway and block the hole in chamber 2 and one you fit the media basket block the top 3 slit holes in chamber 1, good luck bud and there's plenty of help on here of and when you need it

Esoteric

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Reply #3

Cheers ajm83,
Yeah there’s just one spot I can’t fit a Mag Scraper in but I can fit an older type Scraper down there so should just about get away with it.
I didn’t even think about when it grows in with Coral though (seems like a long way off) so I’ll make sure to keep that area clear.


Reefermad,

I read through your thread as I was waiting for all my bits to come through, your Tank’s looking great! Really like them Green Zoas you’ve got, for some reason Zoas are the thing that attracted me most to this hobby.
Yeah I already got a Refractometer but haven’t gotten around to blocking the hole yet, something I’ll do this weekend.

Thanks mate!

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Esoteric

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Reply #4

Wednesday 18/12/2019.

Ordered my Live Sand today, along with Dr Tim’s Ammonia and these are the last bits I need to get up and running finally!
Well tell a lie, the last thing to get now is the Water and Containers to hold it so I’ll be getting that as soon as these other bits arrive, I’ll buy my own RODI Unit at some point down the line.
I did consider going Bare Bottom as I do quite like the look of this Tank with only the Rock and didn’t think I would, but reckon I’ll still prefer it with Sand.
Also received a few other bits today from Amazon, Mixing Heater, a big bag of Filter Floss and a Turkey Baster, the Red Sea Test Kit is on the way and so is the Dr Tim’s One and Only, should be here by Monday.

Hopefully I’ll have the Tank up and running before Christmas! 
Can’t believe it really, I put off getting into this hobby a few years ago when I was so close to buying a Tank but bottled it at the last minute, after that I thought “that’s it now I’ll never get one” yet here we are :grin:



Esoteric

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Reply #5

28th Dec 2019.
I got my Tank wet yesterday and hit my first little snag, the Fluval M50 doesn’t seem to be Man enough to get my temps up, it’s not going past 74.8 degrees even when turned on full.
The Tank is in a pretty cold room so I think that’s the problem so I’m looking to buy a 100w Heater to get temps up and stable.

29th Dec 2019.
Just ordered the Ireenuo 100w which is coming tomorrow along with some Eggcreate to make a Media Basket, I’m running the Sponge that Fluval comes with for now (without the Carbon) but will change that out for the DIY Basket.
I’m going to keep the Sponge in the Tank though so it will seed with beneficial Bacteria, then throw it in the QT Tank when I get it set up for some Biological filtration.


Loving having the Sand and Water in the Tank and everything up and running! (at last), the Eheim 1000 Pump is very quiet and I much prefer look of the Sand over Bare Bottom.
I’m going to add the Dr Tim’s One and Only tomorrow and start dosing Ammonia to get the cycle started.
Last Edit: Dec 31, 2019 2:12:17 am by Esoteric

tombob84

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Reply #6

Great looking tank mate, like that scape. These are very good tanks. Had mine on the go for only a couple months now but things are moving nicely. Keep it up and enjoy

Tom


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Tom

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Esoteric

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Reply #7

A few updates!

So got my new Heater (100w Ireenue), only £19.99 and it’s doing well, no problem keeping temp now (touch wood), I’ve got it running at 27 degrees and it turns on at 26.2 and off at 26.5 like clockwork, the Heaters display reads a constant 27 as it’s a little warmer in the Chamber.

It also has a nice Red illuminated display showing the temp that can be clearly seen from across the Room which I like as I had been looking to buy another Thermometer with lit up display but couldn’t find one, I would have payed the £19.99 for that alone so got a bit of a result.

After getting that sorted I started my Cycle yesterday (at last!)
Added the bottle of Dr Tim’s One and Only, gave it a good shake which clouded the water but I’d read that means the Bacteria’s good.
I’d removed all my filter Media apart from a few Bio Balls and just ran the Pump and Heater, not sure if you’re ment to do this but it’s just what I went for, the water cleared by the next day.


I made the DIY Media Basket out of Eggcreate and Zip-ties and after the water had cleared added it to the 1st Chamber, Filter Floss in the top and rehoused the Bio Balls to the bottom, I’ll add some Carbon and other Media when needed to the middle Shelf.
It fits in nice and snug and looks like it’ll do the job, next I’m going to cut some thin Plastic or something to block the top few Baffles going into the 2nd Chamber so it forces the water down through the whole Basket, is most Plastic safe for a Reef Tank or is there a certain type that’s preferred?

Lastly, did my first tests today!
Tested for Ammonia and Nitrite, I’ll do PH tomorrow.
Ammonia was higher than expected as I’d read after using One and Only you don’t often get an Ammonia reading but mine was around 0.8-1, trouble is I’m not sure exactly how much I dosed as I’d read a lot about the labels on Dr Tim’s Ammonia bottles being wrong and people adding to much.
Mine said 4 drops per gallon but a lot of people say that’s wrong and you only need 1 drop per gallon, apparently they lowered the concentration in newer bottles but some are still the higher concentration with the wrong labels.
Anyway just to be safe I split the difference and dosed 2 drops per gallon which would give me either 1ppm or 4ppm.
I had a small amount of Nitrite, 0.5 so looks like something’s happening, I’ll just wait until the Ammonia drops down to around 0.5ppm before adding any more, I’m in no rush and just enjoying the process really.
Last Edit: Jan 5, 2020 2:17:26 am by Esoteric

Esoteric

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Reply #8


So I’m having a bit of a nightmare with Heaters (good to happen now before any Livestock are in the Tank), my Fluval M50 wasn’t enough to get it to temp, the QT Heater I purchased has Glass and powder lose and rattling around inside it and my new 100w Ireenue I’ve been so pleased with has stopped heating the water even though it’s lit up like it should be, only lasted a week.
I’ve put my Fluval back in for now and it can hold temp with my heating on but it’s running full time, never turns off keeping the temp at 25.3-25.5 so I’m going to get another 100w Heater tomorrow and hopefully have more luck.

Just wondering is it ok for the 50w to be on constantly or will it burn out?

Esoteric

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Reply #9

Got the Heater problem sorted (touch wood), still using the M50 but just decided I need a bit more constant heat in my House as I usually run it pretty cold.
Temps are up and stable now but I’ve ordered an Inkbird Temperature Controller for a little piece of mind, I’m going to add a second M50 to it to act as a backup if one fails.

Cycle seems to be going well.
One Week in and I’ve only dosed Ammonia once so far but it’s still reading around 0.8, Nitrites really climbing though and there’s also some Nitrate being produced.
I’ll wait for the Ammonia and Nitrite to come down before dosing again.


Should be getting my Temp Controller and a few more bits Thursday so will get that setup and post an update.
Last Edit: Jan 8, 2020 3:08:34 am by Esoteric

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Reply #10

Received my Inkbird ITC-306T a couple of days ago, set it up and it’s working well, really liking the big Red digital display so I can see the temp and if the Heater is on or not at a quick glance and I think it just looks pretty cool to be honest.

My Ammonia is down to 0ppm!!
Nitrite is also coming down from a spike and is at around 0.5ppm now so I’ve redosed Ammonia and will see where it’s at tomorrow.
Nitrates aren’t to high at around 10ppm so it’s looking pretty good so far (I think).
Also received my Algae Scraper and cleaned the inside of the Glass today, no Algae or anything yet but there was a slight build up of something White which I removed and now the Tank’s looking spotlessly clean, I’m going to cut a little slot out of the Lid so I can remove the Light from it, that way I can keep the Light over the Tank without the Lid being on, making it easier to do maintenance and still see what I’m doing.

All in all a good couple of days.
Last Edit: Jan 13, 2020 5:12:41 pm by Esoteric

Reefermad

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Reply #11

Hi mate I'm glad your getting there with the cycle, I'm sure it's a 50w heater I have in my evo but I'll double check, the hardest thing about the heaters is making sure it's not too big for chamber 3, not sure if it helps but I usually just lift the light out of the lid and lie it across the tank horizontally when doing maintenance

Esoteric

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Reply #12

Cheers Reefermad,


Yeah that’s what I’m gonna do with the Light, I’m just going to cut a small slit for the cable to slip through releasing the Light from the Lid a bit easier.
I’m really impressed with the look from the stock Light, I’ve read usually all in one Systems have pretty naff Lighting but the Evo seems like a great little Tank so far, can’t wait to get some life in there!

Reefermad

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Reply #13

That's fair enough mate I'm guessing your going to cut where the cable goes through that hole in the lid so it's quicker to just remove from it? That's not a bad idea actually, your scapes looking great aswell mate, your definitely going to love this tank, for all the corals you had mentioned of keeping aswell I reckon they will do fine in there, have you had a go at blocking the slots in chambers 1 and 2, I just used an old bank card I cleaned and stuck on with gel superglue, totally reef safe and seems to fit perfect, can't wait to see it once you get your fish in there, don't think you can only have 2 clowns though, you'd be surprised what you can have if you pick carefully, I have 6 fish in mine and my water quality is fine for both fish and corals for upto 2 weeks, I still like to do waterchanges weekly anyway though just out of routine but I'll admit I miss them every now and then with no ill effects, it's nice to see another evo on here

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Esoteric

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Reply #14

Yeah just that little bit where the cable goes through.


I’ve been wanting to block them slots in the Chambers but haven’t gotten round to it yet, I made a Media Basket a couple of weeks ago and have been meaning to pick up a food grade Tub or something to cut up to block them but that’s a good idea about the bank card, I’ll use that instead and get that sorted tomorrow.
I also blocked up that little hole in the middle Chamber that goes through to the DT which definitely looks like it gives better flow in the Sump.


Good to hear that it can hold more Fish!
I’m now thinking of getting a Watchman Gobby to start with after my Cycle’s finished, then adding the Clowns a little later if all goes well.
I’ve never kept Fish before so thought I’d just start off slow and go step by step.
Really looking forward to getting some Corals in there! Probably also pick up a couple of small Zoa Frags after the Cycle and just see how they do.

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