13.5 nano build

Detri50

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Hello R2R,

My name is Ron. I'm not new to reef keeping. But, it's been 15 years. Yes it's just a nano. But, space is the reason.

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Let me now, from the top 2 pics how you like the the small rock placement.

I had a 90 cube. 15 years ago. To me, it was the ultimate reef cube size. I don't have pics anymore of the tank stocked or the dimensions. I worked for an aquarium builder and I built the stand myself , at the time.

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I am so figity. I can't wait until this is cycled so I have a reason to do maintenance/manage parameters. Haha. My hands want to be in the tank.

I just ordered a slew of upgrades for the tank. I tried to buy local as much as I could where available.

I bought, chamber one media basket. A back up/salt mixer sicce return pump. Another heater. Hydros x2 starter kit and ato kit. A maxspect 2k gyre with controller. And a fan to cool the water when the lights heat up the tank.

I planned to buy a light as well. I narrowed it down to 2 choices. I feel for the size and depth. An AI prime or a maxspect jump 65w will suit my needs. I'm leaning heavily towards maxspect, for price point and control. I am going to put sps in the tank. Just lower light ones like slimers or monties and or birdsnest. Everything else will be fine. Undecided on uphilia or goneopora. Both are amazing.

Thank you
Ron B.
 
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Ron Reefman

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Hi Ron,

I've been in the hobby for 20+ years and I just sold my 90g DT and 99% of the livestock. Now I have a 16g rimless tank that I made. I have the glass to build a 40g tank, but that won't be until winter (plenty warm here in January).

BTW, I'm Ron Reefman (a Reef Squad member here) and both my parents were born in Ontario. One in Stratford and one in Cobalt. I was born in Detroit and now live in sunny SW Florida and get to go snorkeling and collecting in the Keys and even some local beaches.

So how big is your new tank? I'm kind of debating building my 40g again and using a HOB filter or getting a new AIO tank. What brand is yours?
 
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Detri50

Detri50

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Hi Ron,

I've been in the hobby for 20+ years and I just sold my 90g DT and 99% of the livestock. Now I have a 16g rimless tank that I made. I have the glass to build a 40g tank, but that won't be until winter (plenty warm here in January).

BTW, I'm Ron Reefman (a Reef Squad member here) and both my parents were born in Ontario. One in Stratford and one in Cobalt. I was born in Detroit and now live in sunny SW Florida and get to go snorkeling and collecting in the Keys and even some local beaches.

So how big is your new tank? I'm kind of debating building my 40g again and using a HOB filter or getting a new AIO tank. What brand is yours?
It's a 13.5g fluval AIO. If you plan it right you can make your 40g an AIO peninsula. The display will vary if you want a skimmer and or a realtor. I may build one in the 20-30 gallon range in the future as an upgrade.

I'm from NFLD. I currently reside in Orillia. And build custom homes in muskoka(gods county haha).
 
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Ron Reefman

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It's a 13.5g fluval AIO. If you plan it right you can make your 40g an AIO peninsula. The display will vary if you want a skimmer and or a realtor. I may build one in the 20-30 gallon range in the future as an upgrade.

I'm from NFLD. I currently reside in Orillia. And build custom homes in muskoka(gods county haha).
When I was in my 20's I'd go snow skiing at the Blue Mountains, kind of due west from you. But what is NFLD?

I'm just starting to look for help with how to go about building an AIO so I don't have the ugly HOB filter stuck on. I've always been into bigger tanks with sumps and refugiums. At one point I had a 180g and a 75g hexagon on one stand and tied them both into an old LFS frag tank that I used as a sump, refugium, DSB. It was 8'x2'x18" and held 180g. The 2 pannels on the front of the stand would slide side to side for access to the inside.

P1060001R1.jpg
 
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Detri50

Detri50

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When I was in my 20's I'd go snow skiing at the Blue Mountains, kind of due west from you. But what is NFLD?

I'm just starting to look for help with how to go about building an AIO so I don't have the ugly HOB filter stuck on. I've always been into bigger tanks with sumps and refugiums. At one point I had a 180g and a 75g hexagon on one stand and tied them both into an old LFS frag tank that I used as a sump, refugium, DSB. It was 8'x2'x18" and held 180g. The 2 pannels on the front of the stand would slide side to side for access to the inside.

P1060001R1.jpg
NFLD is the acronym for the province of Newfoundland. Or current post acronym NF.

It will take me a few days, well I work full time, so most likely a week to sketch a computer generated drawing of a top down view as to what I feel would work. Can you provide length and width of the top down view?
 
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It will take me a few days, well I work full time, so most likely a week to sketch a computer generated drawing of a top down view as to what I feel would work. Can you provide length and width of the top down view?
Hey, no rush at all. I'm retired and have some spare time occasionally! I'd really appreciate anything you can do to help me in the building of an AIO system. I can get glass cut to any size I may need and I can also work with acrylic pretty well.

My new tank will be exactly 23.75 inches (60.325cm) on the inside all the way around and 19 inches (48.26cm) deep.

Are there any AIO tank builders out there that sell any of their hardware (i.e. pumps, skimmers, filter systems) as parts or substructures separate from a complete tank that you are aware of?

Again, I appreciate your help!

Ron

BTW, this is a photo of the 40g tank when it was in use and had a sump.

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The Fluval EVO 13.5 is a great little tank for a beginner or a veteran. 26 years in the hobby myself and I graduated from large systems back to just the EVO and love it. There is A LOT of previous posts and threads on here in regards to upgrades that improve this tank (pump, wave maker, lights, etc.). Look into it on the search and kick back and read. Then enjoy it! Happy Reefing and Welcome back.
 

Ron Reefman

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The Fluval EVO 13.5 is a great little tank for a beginner or a veteran. 26 years in the hobby myself and I graduated from large systems back to just the EVO and love it. There is A LOT of previous posts and threads on here in regards to upgrades that improve this tank (pump, wave maker, lights, etc.). Look into it on the search and kick back and read. Then enjoy it! Happy Reefing and Welcome back.
Thanks for the lead. And I'm not 'back'... I've never left. :cool:
 
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Detri50

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Hey, no rush at all. I'm retired and have some spare time occasionally! I'd really appreciate anything you can do to help me in the building of an AIO system. I can get glass cut to any size I may need and I can also work with acrylic pretty well.

My new tank will be exactly 23.75 inches (60.325cm) on the inside all the way around and 19 inches (48.26cm) deep.

Are there any AIO tank builders out there that sell any of their hardware (i.e. pumps, skimmers, filter systems) as parts or substructures separate from a complete tank that you are aware of?

Again, I appreciate your help!

Ron

BTW, this is a photo of the 40g tank when it was in use and had a sump.

20181006_102258_resized.jpg
Hey Ron

I've been going through my old sketch files. The all in one systems are very standard. I'm not trying to be lazy, but, if you look up any all in one system. IE the Fluval Evo 13.5, you can see their basic design in the back chamber.

The only advice I would give, make the over flow, mechanical and return area wider front to back. If I had the space to build my own. I would design the back of the house to accommodate 2 dc return pumps, for 30g or less. Allowing you to control a pulsing method to ultimately reduce the need for a flow pump, ir at the very least just needing a small/nano rated power head.

Design the surface skimmer area to make a acrylic media basket or accommodate a popular upgrade type. Like the Evo 13.5 upgrade.

As for skimmers. I haven't used a nano skimmer yet. Not sure I will on this tank yet. The amount of fish/inverts you can keep in one reduces the need compared to regular water changes. But, Fluval has an in tank skimmer for the Evo, Octo reef has one as well. I'm sure there are a number of all in one skimmers on the market. Other than that, my biggest advice is make the back chambers bigger to increase your options for your taste and style.

Ron B.
 
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Detri50

Detri50

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Well, I intended on hopping on the forums just to update my build. BUT, I got side tracked for a few hours reading posts, haha.

I received the chamber 1 media basket. It's installed and working well. I'm a little disappointed that it doesn't regulate the water level more. It makes the ATO redundancy that much more narrow. But, happy all in all.

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Everything is set up and working. I have everything set to min/max, so I can monitor all of it over the next month and tweak as needed.

I decided to go with the hydros x2 mainly for price point. There are a few cheaper ATO options. But, I'm a gear head, haha. For what this package has to offer, Heater control, light control (though limited at this point with the stock light), and ato. For $368 cdn, it was far cheaper and better control than buying a heater monitor, wifi strips and a separate ATO system. Plus, if I upgrade my tank. It goes with the upgrade as well as expandable. I'm planning an AWC (auto water change). But, that will be after my light upgrade (probably 6 months from now).

As I said I have a flow pump on the way. I will update when it arrives.

I love the Hydros. So easy to set up, and worth the kit I bought for this tank. Though it's no aquatronica. Wish I still had the one I had. The Hydros is worth every penny spent so far!!
 
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Detri50

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Hey all,

As previously mentioned I'm cycling the tank old school (fishless though). I am at the end of week 3. And very confused!!! I sent in a water sample to my lfs day 2, and got the expect parameters results back. Since then, I ghost fed the tank every 3 days. And followed the directions on the bottle of Seachem seed from day 1.

Day 9 I tested nitrates. I got a result of 0.9. I didn't expect that at all. Though expected a small result since I'm ghost feeding. Sent in a sample and got,

Ammonia 0.87 (totally surprised!) I refuse to test ammonia and nitrite myself. But I bi-monthly get it tested at my lfs.

Nitrite unreadable. Not sure if the test couldn't read that low or not.

And nitrate 0.86. Close enough to my Hanna checker.

Yesterday, day 21. My nitrates result.
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The results from my lfs,

Ammonia 0.09
Nitrite unreadable
Nitrates 26.9

My tank is obviously Dry rock. Caribsea aragonite live sand and bio media. And seeded with only Seachem's Seed.

Can a cycle without live rock cycle faster than normal? Not that I think I'm ready to add live stock. But, confused all the same. As far as this hobby has come in the past 15 years. These results surprise me.

Thanks
Ron B
 
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Detri50

Detri50

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Well, a little over 49 hours ago my nitrates were at 27.8. I just tested nitrates again. It tested 26.0 even. I was so excited I forgot to take a Pic haha.

You know, small things amuse small minds. As surprised as I was, with the first reading, as well as the reading I've been doing for information. I believe my cycle is on the down side of its peak.

I am so excited to hopefully get a couple fish sooner than I expected. I'll see what the reading is after my water change this weekend.

Ron B
 

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I completely understand your excitement. But do your best to try and take is slowly, or at least do things in very small steps.

I've been in the hobby for 20+ tears and over that time I've started 11 or 12 tanks (often more than one going at the same time. I just started a 16g nano that will probably become a 40 aio in the not too distant future (maybe 6 to 9 months). I've never been so relaxed about starting a new tank as I have been with this one. I think I started to really slow down my rush to get things going about the 4th or 5th tank. Now, really moving along slowly, I really see the advantages.

Good luck and enjoy the process, not just the end result!
 
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Detri50

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I completely understand your excitement. But do your best to try and take is slowly, or at least do things in very small steps.

I've been in the hobby for 20+ tears and over that time I've started 11 or 12 tanks (often more than one going at the same time. I just started a 16g nano that will probably become a 40 aio in the not too distant future (maybe 6 to 9 months). I've never been so relaxed about starting a new tank as I have been with this one. I think I started to really slow down my rush to get things going about the 4th or 5th tank. Now, really moving along slowly, I really see the advantages.

Good luck and enjoy the process, not just the end result!
I agree, once the nitrates are down to safe levels. I only plan to get a couple fish. Then let the ugly stage (if it happens) do its thing and get a small clean up crew during that time.

I've set up a few tanks in my time. The fun part for me is the maintenance. I find there is always something new to discover.
 
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Hey R2R,

Just a small update on Hydros system.

I am very impressed with my current ATO setup. I read a lot of information about using a dosing pump for this purpose. But, with the help programing on the Hydros forums. I feel I have my ATO kit dialed in very well.

As per the advice I lowered my "Min Time on" to 3 secs. I left "Max time on" at 5 secs. In advanced setting I set "Max time off" to 72 hours. Even in this summer heat the canopy helps with evaporation. To my surprise my tank doesn't overheat.

In my AIO, I have the level sensor in the return chamber. Set at a level, combined with "Max time on", the water level only drops 1/4 inch in that chamber. I have my salinity calibrated to 34ppm when topped off. And only raises to 35ppm at the time the pump tops off the tank.

During the entire test period, due to thunderstorms. I've lost power 6 times. Not once did I have an issue with the controller.

Livestock is close to being purchased. After I check my parameters this weekend and do a waterchange. I'll see if I feel comfortable adding Livestock.
 

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