13.5 Nano Build

mbri

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Edit: Fish Plan! Thanks to all for the feedback/recos, I really appreciate it!

First aquarium from scratch! :) grew up with a 45g that I adored as a child, so my mom surprised me with an Evo 13.5 for my 26th birthday!

Tank/Equipment: Fluval Evo 13.5g, stock light & pump, hygger 1,600GPH wave maker, Fluval E100 heater

Substrate/Rock: CaribSea Fiji Pink Live Sand, ~13lbs dry rock

CUC Plan: ceriths, (possibly) a hermit, astraeas
Inverts Plan: cleaner shrimp, boxer crab, mime crab, some sort of (small) anemone
Fish Plan: Ocellaris or Percula clown, and one more that's TBD (sticking with 2 fish due to the tank size)
Macro/Coral Plan: red ogo, blue hypnea, Xenia, green star polyps, sinularia leather

First days photo attached. Gotta love the spooky “The Mist” vibes the settling sand is giving - appropriate for October! I will likely be rearranging the rock, I picked up a new dry shelf piece from a local store that I like a lot, hoping it will help give me the look I’m going for. I will be gluing/cementing/epoxy-ing everything together before any livestock goes in. Excited for the journey!

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Sharkbait19

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Love the tank! I have one too!
I am sorry to say that I wouldn’t put a maroon clown or a mandarin in that size tank.
Maroons get huge, occy fits better for that tank size. And the mandarins eat a lot…like a lot. They need a constant supply of copepods/amphipods that quickly runs out in a tank less than 30 gallons.
 
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jfoahs04

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Congrats on the tank and welcome to the EVO club! I’m also running the same tank.

I agree with the others, skip the maroon and definitely the mandarin (you’ll go broke adding pods or the fish will slowly starve). But there are good stocking options. Can’t wait to see what you do!
 

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Congrats on your Evo. I love mine. Great size tank, I think. You can do fun stuff with it and maintenance is relatively easy on a tank like this. Here's a pic from mine.
 

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mbri

mbri

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Love the tank! I have one too!
I am sorry to say that I wouldn’t put a maroon clown or a mandarin in that size tank.
Maroons get huge, occy fits better for that tank size. And the mandarins eat a lot…like a lot. They need a constant supply of copepods/amphipods that quickly runs out in a tank less than 30 gallons.
Thank you for the feedback! Maroons are my favorite but definitely don’t want to put anything in a tank that’s too small (just gives me an excuse to upgrade to a bigger tank down the line ). Good point about the mandarin as well. Appreciate the help! I was spoiled at a young age with a decent sized tank, have to get used to the nano-life.
 
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Sharkbait19

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Thank you everyone for the feedback!! I definitely don’t want to give any fish a bad life in a tank that’s too small, any recommendations on some fish you like to stock in a tank this size?
Occy or perc clown, royal gramma, coral gobies, coral croucher, Pygmy wrasses, neon gobies, shrimpgobies + pistol shrimp, firefish, tailspot blenny, and cardinal fish are all great options. Gobies and blennies have similar behavior to dragonets.
 
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mbri

mbri

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Update #1:

Things are getting ugly in here! I don’t actually mind the “uglies,” I like seeing things come to life. So far it’s been.. surprisingly stable? Nitrites/nitrates were high, as one would expect, but they’ve since stabilized. I did get some red ogo as I was told it would be okay at this point, and I’m sure that’s part of the reason why nitrates are stable. I haven’t seen an ammonia spike just yet. Currently my nitrites are at 0, nitrates are around 3ppm, ammonia is 0, phosphate is 0.1ppm, alkalinity is at 8.9ppm, pH is 8.2.

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mbri

mbri

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For the past few weeks I’ve been having algae issues, I figured it was in part due to the new light I got and possibly over feeding. So, I upped my water changes, reduced feedings, and made sure to keep the lights on for ~6 hours vs my usual 8, which helped marginally, but I was/am still struggling with it. I tested my phosphates to find they were still at ~1ppm (Salifert kit). Lots of people (that are much smarter than I) on this incredible forum have stressed the need to use RO/DI water, but we never used that growing up, always just the tap, so I (mistakenly) completely wrote that off as a possible culprit. Well, I decided to read the water supply and quality report to find that they add quite a bit of phosphoric acid to the water supply down here, resulting in higher phosphate levels than my hometown’s water. Since it’s also very dry and warm in my apartment I’ve been needing to constantly refill my ATO.. so I’m starting to think you guys are onto something with the tap vs. RO/DI water thing. ;) I’m planning on getting a system this week, fingers crossed! :)
 

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