Fluval Evo 13.5 (biome cycle)

reeferpercaso

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After months and months of my Evo sitting empty, and me doing reserach, I finally started my build just before Christmas and I am so excited to share my journey with you guys.

Tank: Fluval Evo 13.5
Light: AI Prime
Pump: Sicce silent 1.0 (chamber 3)
Heater? (chamber 2)
Filtration: filter floss and media (chamber 1)
Substrate: Ocean Direct

I am going to add live rock rubble at the bottom of chamber 1 (will arrive in a couple weeks tops) and maybe a refugium with chaeto in chamber 2.

Current Livestock:
These all came from our established tank and were added on day 1
  • 1 green mushroom
  • Kenya tree frag
  • 2 head Pandora Zoa
  • 2 asterina snails
  • 1 bristleworm
  • 1 brittle star fish
These were ordered on eBay and added on day 5
  • 4 zoa colonies
  • Codium macroalgae

Biome Cycle
Before starting the tank in an unorthodox way, I did my research, and specifically based my choices on this article: How to Cycle a Reef Aquarium Right Away – With Corals First and the BRS series on the biome cycle.

My takeaway from these sources were:
  • Start with live sand and dry rock (to maximise seeding with beneficial bacteria avoidingthe introduction of pests and 'uglies')
  • Use live rock rubble (dark cured if possible) in your sump/back chamber to increase seeding with non-photosynthetic, nitrifying bacteria
  • Add corals on day 1 with macroalgae to compete with Photosynthetic algae (on the assumption that corals are not as affeted by ammonia as fish and inverts are)
  • Add microcrustaceans (pods) as soon as possible to keep diatoms and other uglies at bay
  • Then add CUC for the green algae
  • Only add fish last, very slowly, once the tank is stable

I did not follow all the steps in the correct order as I started during the holidays and a few things took longer to arrive or are still in transit.
My timeline so far has been:

16/12
Added live sand and hand mixed water and started tank
17/12
Added livestock from established tank
21/12
Added zoa colonies and codium
22/12
Started noticing diatoms on sand, ordered pods (will arrive 6th of Jan)
24/12
First water test
28/12
First water change
30/12
Second water test

Next steps:
Adding pods and live rock rubble.
Wait and observe.
If/when green alge start to appear, add CUC.
I don't plan on adding fish until maybe Easter.

Current Parameters:
  • PH: 7.8
  • Ammonia: 0.15
  • Nitrite: 0
  • Nitrate: 5
  • Calcium: 494
  • dKH: 7.6
  • Salinity: 1.025

Livestock wishlist
CUC and Inverts
  • Astrea snails
  • Trochus snail
  • Cerith snail
  • Nassarius snail
  • Pistol shrimp
  • Cleaner shrimp
  • Sexy shrimp or anemone shrimp (once I have a rock flower nem)
Fish
  • Shrimp goby
  • Firefish (red or purple)
  • Tailspot blenny
  • Yellow-striped cardinalfish
Corals
  • Toadstool
  • Rodactis mushroom
  • Discosoma mushroom
  • Rocordea mushroom
  • Clove or pulsing xenia
  • Duncan
  • Candy cane
  • Blastomussa
  • Torch
  • Rock flower anemone
Pictures
20231230_145319.jpg


Full tank after 2nd water change, you can see the diatoms in the sand, rock and glass, but they are spreading very very slowly.

20231230_145325.jpg

Two of the zoa colonies with the mushroom, who decided to wedge himself there.

20231230_145338.jpg

The other 2 zoa colonies, sorry for the quality but the glass right here is quite dirty

20231230_145353.jpg

The Kenia tree with the codium in the background, this side of the tank is exposed to direct sunlight from time to time so I expect most of the algae will grow on this side.
 
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reeferpercaso

reeferpercaso

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Wow, I haven't updated in forever!

The tanks is kinda going through the uglies, but slowly and they don't last for long (until now ).

On the 4th of January I added one of each:
  • Astrea snail
  • Turbo snail
  • Nassarius snail
  • Orange lipped conch
As well as 250gr of live rock rubble in the chamber 1 and copepeds.

Around the 7th of January I had a diatoms and brown hair algae bloom:
20240107_182322.jpg


But by the 15th they were both receding and I spotted an aiptasia that was promptly dealt with
20240114_162057~2.jpg


The week after my trochus died and soon after cyano started to appear
20240210_182356.jpg



This was last week, I cleaned the tank, blasted the cyano away with a turkey baster and I'm currently monitoring the situation.

I have also changed the heater to the Eheim and added a bottle ATO.

The tank now:
20240213_121359.jpg


20240213_113810.jpg
 

Gumbies R Us

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Wow, I haven't updated in forever!

The tanks is kinda going through the uglies, but slowly and they don't last for long (until now ).

On the 4th of January I added one of each:
  • Astrea snail
  • Turbo snail
  • Nassarius snail
  • Orange lipped conch
As well as 250gr of live rock rubble in the chamber 1 and copepeds.

Around the 7th of January I had a diatoms and brown hair algae bloom:
20240107_182322.jpg


But by the 15th they were both receding and I spotted an aiptasia that was promptly dealt with
20240114_162057~2.jpg


The week after my trochus died and soon after cyano started to appear
20240210_182356.jpg



This was last week, I cleaned the tank, blasted the cyano away with a turkey baster and I'm currently monitoring the situation.

I have also changed the heater to the Eheim and added a bottle ATO.

The tank now:
20240213_121359.jpg


20240213_113810.jpg
Tank is looking clean!
 
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reeferpercaso

reeferpercaso

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Yesterday I went to the LFS to get salt and came back home with a new friend:
20240215_122102.jpg


20240215_122106.jpg


He made himself at home right away!

I also have some coral coming that I got online: a green Kenya tree, purple cabbage leather, pink Toadstool, fireworks clove polyps and a zoa to add to the zoa garden on the right.

This is my plan on how to place the corals, any suggestion welcome!
penup_20240214_105843.jpg
 

dbrown2120

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I absolutely LOVE that you glued the one rock higher up, I really wish I would have thought of that!
 

CCiPhantom

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Looks good, doing a similar office build now. Question, are you running your Sicce 1.0 wide open or got it throttled back some? I have mine a couple clicks closed and flow seems ok and all 3 chambers are about equal in water level. I want to turn it up and run 1/2" RFG but looking for someone who is running 100% first.
 

Gumbies R Us

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Yesterday I went to the LFS to get salt and came back home with a new friend:
20240215_122102.jpg


20240215_122106.jpg


He made himself at home right away!

I also have some coral coming that I got online: a green Kenya tree, purple cabbage leather, pink Toadstool, fireworks clove polyps and a zoa to add to the zoa garden on the right.

This is my plan on how to place the corals, any suggestion welcome!
penup_20240214_105843.jpg
Firefish are some of my favorites!
 

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