Fluval 13.5 build

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uhgster1

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Hello all, I missed the chance to write a build up on my 65 gallon so I’ll contribute a build with this nifty 13.5 Fluval my kids got me for my birthday.
Im planning on keeping the stock return pump and lights for the time being. This is going to be strictly an LPS and softies tank. But if the light isn’t up to snuff I will upgrade it. I really want to keep the stock look with the lid and am contemplating using the Fluval marine light if I can modify it to fit in the stock light location. I’ll keep y’all posted on that front.
As far as equipment goes I have:
Stock return pump and lights
Mag Tool ATO (off Amazon)
SW4 Jabao pump I’ve had for years and is still working
Aqueon 50 watt heater
Fluval Protein Skimmer (small one)
Dry rock and Carib Sea live sand.
Fritz Turbo Start
Live rock from my established aquarium.
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I already added the rock, sand, and water, along with the turbo start. I put two rocks from my aquarium in which already had some blue discosomas on it and they are alive and well three days after adding them. I’m going to wait a week or two before adding fish. I know that you’re supposed to add the fish right away but being that the rock I added had mushrooms and a ton of copepods and other critters I think that it will do the job. I already saw copepods on the glass so I’m not to worried.
I’m planning on stocking a fire fish, a tail spot blennie, and a bangai cardinal. Along with a cleanup crew once I start seeing the uglies. I’ll keep this thread as current as possible. Any tips will be appreciated. This is my 65 gallon which I’ll be using to stock frags for the Fluval.
965F4AA1-C876-4EDF-8B3B-A0F68EBA0E09.jpeg
 
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uhgster1

uhgster1

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Hello all, I missed the chance to write a build up on my 65 gallon so I’ll contribute a build with this nifty 13.5 Fluval my kids got me for my birthday.
Im planning on keeping the stock return pump and lights for the time being. This is going to be strictly an LPS and softies tank. But if the light isn’t up to snuff I will upgrade it. I really want to keep the stock look with the lid and am contemplating using the Fluval marine light if I can modify it to fit in the stock light location. I’ll keep y’all posted on that front.
As far as equipment goes I have:
Stock return pump and lights
Mag Tool ATO (off Amazon)
SW4 Jabao pump I’ve had for years and is still working
Aqueon 50 watt heater
Fluval Protein Skimmer (small one)
Dry rock and Carib Sea live sand.
Fritz Turbo Start
Live rock from my established aquarium.
F895E378-6890-45E2-ABE2-172A165C4914.jpeg
EC686704-DD85-4D4C-B6C0-FD4DD870D225.jpeg
2C3C9B4F-C4C6-42AC-AE7E-9ED9BBC98133.jpeg
34A01247-094E-4C85-803E-03465A06FCD7.jpeg
A5DFCE45-4329-44D9-A660-A0A910D016B9.jpeg

I already added the rock, sand, and water, along with the turbo start. I put two rocks from my aquarium in which already had some blue discosomas on it and they are alive and well three days after adding them. I’m going to wait a week or two before adding fish. I know that you’re supposed to add the fish right away but being that the rock I added had mushrooms and a ton of copepods and other critters I think that it will do the job. I already saw copepods on the glass so I’m not to worried.
I’m planning on stocking a fire fish, a tail spot blennie, and a bangai cardinal. Along with a cleanup crew once I start seeing the uglies. I’ll keep this thread as current as possible. Any tips will be appreciated. This is my 65 gallon which I’ll be using to stock frags for the Fluval.
965F4AA1-C876-4EDF-8B3B-A0F68EBA0E09.jpeg
Here’s an update, I added some coral from my 65 gallon that I’d been wanting to move for a while. First I placed the discosomas to act as a gauge more or less and gave them a few days to see how they liked it. They did.
image.jpg

Then I added a ricordea, a recovering blasto, and an acan echinata (I think, might be something else), a few days later. It’s funny because in the white light they are obviously different, but in blue…
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They look almost identical in the blue light until you get closer. I’m still on the fence about the light. I’m thinking about getting a fluval marine 3.0 to replace the stock light. The only thing that is making me hesitant is that I would have to cut off the mounting legs it comes with in order for it to fit in the stock location. Has anyone else done this? I could use a pic to make up my mind.
I’m still going to add some more rock and a floating rock on the back glass, but so far I like what I see. More updates to follow.
 
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uhgster1

uhgster1

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Hi, It's not super pretty, but you don't *have* to cut the legs off to use the fluval marine 3.0. It just kinda blocks the feeding hole a bit
IMG_9358.jpg
How is the light working for you compared to the stock one? I know it has better features but I'm talking about the look in the tank as far as the whiteness of the stock light.
 
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ConnivingPigeon

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How is the light working for you compared to the stock one? I know it has better features but I'm talking about the look in the tank as far as the whiteness of the stock light.
Qualitatively, it "feels" brighter (though I never rented a meter to check). It would be easy to put the old stock light back in, but I got the new one because the old one managed to get corrosion through the sealant and the white channel went out
 
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uhgster1

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Update:
Well, I couldn’t take the stock light anymore. I’m spoiled, I hated having to turn it on and off and it just didn’t pop enough so I pulled out an old 1st gen AI Prime I had and mounted it. The difference is so vast I felt stupid. Anyway, I added a couple of favias and a neon trumpet frag from my other tank. Still no fish. I should be getting some screen clips from BRS tomorrow and then I’ll build a cover. The fish stock plan will still be the same along with a cleanup crew. I found out that the live rock I purchased from my lfs had a nice aptasia attached to it but I’m not going to stress over it yet.
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I’m missing something to add something vertical I like the small open area so whatever I decide on will have to maintain that area open. I might put an arch or something.
 
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uhgster1

uhgster1

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UPDATES
ok, so I replaced my first generation AI Prime with a 16 prime. I ditched the skimmer and got chamber 1 and 2 InTank media baskets.
image.jpg

the first basket has floss pad I got from pet smart, chemipure media, and matrix. The second chamber is straight filter floss. I used mature media from my 65 gallon and added some more rock to the tank. I upgraded the stock pump with a Sicce Syncra Silent 1.0, and a $25 top off from Amazon.
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image.jpg

I also got an incredibly sturdier wood stand. I’m dosing 5ml of AllForReef with a Kamoer Wi-Fi doser.
image.jpg
Until recently I’ve been struggling wit 0 nitrates and 0 phosphate so I increased my feedings and now I’m at a stable .3 nitrates and still undetectable phosphates but as you can see the feedings are keeping the corals happy.
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its a mixed reef with frags from my 65. EVERYTHING is doing great. Just a word of advice, the MOST important piece of equipment for every nano tank I have had is the automatic top off. I WILL be investing in a better one, probably an Osmolator. Don’t cheap out, my Amazon wonder is the only piece of equipment I don’t trust. Here are some shots of what I have so far.
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I have blasto merlettis and welsos, some micromussa lords, war coral, two unknown (to me) favias, an orange frogspawn,a bowerbanki, candy canes regular and neon, a space invader pectinia, monti cap and bubblegum digitata, a frag of PC Rainbow acro and some ricordia. I have a lone bangaii cardinal and a peppermint shrimp. Everything is doing great so far and I don’t foresee anymore additions in the immediate future, unless my foxface keeps producing frags! Wish me luck as my little Fluval 13.5 continues its journey.
 
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uhgster1

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Update 06/06/2022
Well I’m done adding anything else to the tank so here’s the final livestock list:
Space invader pectinia
Trachyphillia
Candy cane
PC Rainbow acro
Picachu acro
Two types of favia
1 favites
3 micromussa
1 ricordea mushroom
Blue discosomas
2 blastomussa
1 bowerbanki
2 chalices
And a Falconi hawk fish
The plan is to let it all grow out for placement in my new (hopefully) 180 gallon. I’m truly surprised at how everything is doing.
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uhgster1

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What power head is that you have on the side? How do you like the flow? I need to add more flow to my evo. i have two hyrdo 240s and its not enough
It’s a Jebao W4, it’s old. I got it around 2015 and it’s more than enough for the 13.5. I am going to upgrade to a an AI Nero 3 eventually. It has an even smaller profile. I think this particular Jebao was a Tunze Chinese knockoff but it’s obviously been very dependable. I just clean it very often. I don’t let any of my pumps grow coraline algae on them.
 
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jfoahs04

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It’s adjustable
This.

I have the Nero 3 in my EVO. I keep the flow variable throughout the day ranging from 18% overnight in "random," and peaking at 48% in "pulse" mode which amounts to about 1250gph. What works for others depends on the type of coral, amount of rockwork, and their personal preferences, but the Nero 3 is a great wavemaker for this tank (yours looks great, btw).
 
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