Fluval Evo 13.5 Build - First Aquarium!

mdpitts

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By contrast, my storm body slams the other.
Ha, "by contrast" that made me laugh but I don't know if I should be laughing. Is that a playful thing or is it aggression? I just have the one clown, a royal gramma and a blue neon goby and they are all cool with each other. Sometimes the goby does minor things to irk them like try to maybe pick off something on them. They haven't figured out he could be helpful and just think he's a little punk.
 
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Ollie67

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Ha, "by contrast" that made me laugh but I don't know if I should be laughing. Is that a playful thing or is it aggression? I just have the one clown, a royal gramma and a blue neon goby and they are all cool with each other. Sometimes the goby does minor things to irk them like try to maybe pick off something on them. They haven't figured out he could be helpful and just think he's a little punk.
Lol... I think @accidental_reefer mentioned earlier that it was a "domestic violence" situation, hence suggesting aggression :(

Glad to hear everyone is getting along in your tank @mdpitts! A royal gramma and goby sound like a nice addition to the clown! I am thinking about adding a goby (watchman) as my third and most likely final fish for this tank.
 
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Ollie67

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Just a small update today. The clowns are doing great so far, they seem to be comfortable and having no issues settling in. I haven't noticed an ammonia spike so far, so looks like established bacteria is doing its work. This morning, I added a small piece of the cube of frozen shrimp in and I saw one of the clowns take a small nibble. So I think that is a good sign that they will be eating now hopefully. I will try and keep feeding portions small as they aren't eating a ton right now and I have nothing else eating up the scraps. All the extra food is in my filter floss now.

I was thinking about possibly adding a cleaner shrimp, specifically a fire shrimp, to the tank. Would it be a good time to add one in right now? I will add some snails and CUC later down the road, but I think it's too early right now as there is not a ton of algae for them to eat.
 
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Ollie67

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Last update today. I went ahead and installed the SLW-10 powerhead for additional flow. Currently, I just have it set to a flow mode at 30%, but may turn it up in the future. Immediately upon turning it on, it kicked up a bunch of the food from the last two days and some other particles, but as time passed it got into the filtration. Does anyone have a recommendation for what mode/speed to use? I was also thinking about using the wave mode, which caused more movement on the surface. I will attach a photo of the instructions with the various modes (it's not super clear lol).

On the other hand, I went ahead and swapped the lens on my AI Prime, as the lens was melted just a little bit in two of the LEDs. I bought the light second-hand in good shape. I also gave the internals a blow to remove dust. It should be ready to go, I am just waiting on the mount replacement screw to come in.

I also fed my clowns again, they took a few nibbles of the frozen food, which is good! There was still a lot left over, despite putting in a very small portion.
 

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ralquist

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Hey Ollie! Great start and following along, love your clowns! No reason to hold off or wait on the shrimp! I’ve not had a fire shrimp but if anything like a cleaner it will def take care of that extra food!
Your SLW-10, I have one also I plugged in last week! I haven’t dove into the settings yet until it’s really needed, saw the instructions and just put them back in the box! Haha
What kind of corals to you plan to start with?!
 

mdpitts

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Lol... I think @accidental_reefer mentioned earlier that it was a "domestic violence" situation, hence suggesting aggression :(

Glad to hear everyone is getting along in your tank @mdpitts! A royal gramma and goby sound like a nice addition to the clown! I am thinking about adding a goby (watchman) as my third and most likely final fish for this tank.
I had a yellow watchman/tiger pistol shrimp pair that lived front and center in my tank and were always out. I LOVED watching them. Unfortunately something happened one night and both disappeared with smooth sand and no new caves. I sifted the sand and found the shrimp dead but still haven't found the goby. I assumed something (maybe my trochus snail) collapsed their den. It still breaks my heart that I lost them. Here is my opinion of trochus snails - POOP FACTORY. I got two and returned one because they left SO much poop everywhere. Then I had algae problems and got a Tuxedo Urchin who is really scrubbing my rocks of algae. Plus, they love to pick up stuff around the tank and wear it as a "hat" or in their mind it's camouflage.
 
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Ollie67

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Hey Ollie! Great start and following along, love your clowns! No reason to hold off or wait on the shrimp! I’ve not had a fire shrimp but if anything like a cleaner it will def take care of that extra food!
Your SLW-10, I have one also I plugged in last week! I haven’t dove into the settings yet until it’s really needed, saw the instructions and just put them back in the box! Haha
What kind of corals to you plan to start with?!
Thank you!! I will possibly pick up a shrimp when I stop by my LFS today for water.

So far I'm pretty happy with the flow of the SLW-10, it seems like a solid unit for the price. Yes haha, the instructions are poorly written. For now I'll be keeping it in flow or wave mode on a low speed, as there are no corals.

I honestly haven't explored the world of corals too much yet, especially since it's a new tank. I should start getting myself familiar though. I've been told to hold off on most corals for now (for a few months), as the tank just cycled and the parameters for corals (magnesium, phosphorous, alk) aren't established yet most likely or stable enough for healthy corals. I may, however, pick up a hardy coral of some sort within the next month or two. This could be a mushroom of some sort, as they are pretty resilient.

Here are some corals that I like and would eventually like to add:
-Torches
-Zoanthids
-Green Star Polyps (I like how these look)

I'm open to some recommendations for corals to consider, as I'm not super familiar with them!
 
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Ollie67

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I had a yellow watchman/tiger pistol shrimp pair that lived front and center in my tank and were always out. I LOVED watching them. Unfortunately something happened one night and both disappeared with smooth sand and no new caves. I sifted the sand and found the shrimp dead but still haven't found the goby. I assumed something (maybe my trochus snail) collapsed their den. It still breaks my heart that I lost them. Here is my opinion of trochus snails - POOP FACTORY. I got two and returned one because they left SO much poop everywhere. Then I had algae problems and got a Tuxedo Urchin who is really scrubbing my rocks of algae. Plus, they love to pick up stuff around the tank and wear it as a "hat" or in their mind it's camouflage.
Watchmans and pistol shrimp are an awesome pair from what I've seen and read! I'm sorry to hear about the loss of them. How long have you not seen the goby for?

Trochus snails sound like an interesting experience, lol...
 

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Definitely start with a handful maybe 2-3 hardy frags you would like to see grow out and keep long term. GSP is a good starter coral but can spread crazily unless managed. People often let it grow out across the back glass of their tank which makes for a nice back drop. Some zoas and mushrooms can be finnicky but they are generally good beginner corals. Duncans, Candy Canes and Hammers are less demanding LPS and make great starter corals.

I would avoid encrusting LPS types for now, Favia, Cyphastrea, Acans and Chalices while colorful they can be finnicky with water quality. Wait a few months until you've gotten the gist of water changes, nutrients and or dosing before you add those. In general this is one of the most important components to keeping a reef tank, you wanna get into the habit of testing your parameters frequently enough so you are able to determine the demand and then take actions based on that. Usually in a nano, a water change alone is enough to make up for depleted alk/cal/mag.
 
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ralquist

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Very nice, I just started pushing buttons until my sand started to blow around then backed off a notch or 2. Those directions are something else!
Saw you were doing some research on Hannah checkers, they are worth the investment in the long run if your planning to do a coral heavy tank. BRS has some great videos on youtube for testing, I believe Thomas there has a favorites pack that I mainly use. Always check from Hannah directly if you decide to buy, 10% off first purchase and free shipping! Salifert makes some cheap easy to read test kits (Amazon), you want to get close but you don't need perfect (Hannah wont do this either). You could spend that cash somewhere else for now!
Depending on your salt brand and frequency of water changes, your system should be pretty close with Mag and Cal since this is in your salt mix. First checkers I would get would be Alkalinity, Nitrate, and Phosphate get a test or 2 done to see where you are. Biggest advise I can give you once you start testing is don't chase numbers!!! You will end up down a very deep rabbit hole chasing your tail and don't be afraid to fail, things happen and coral dies lol sometimes for no reason at all other than eyeballing them too hard!
Getting a cheap zoa, mushroom, or GSP and see what happens!! A duncan (should be cheap) would be a great started, grow very fast and have a very visual feeding response. Doesn't have to be your dream coral, think of it as a tester that will give you the confidence that you can do it!
 
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Ollie67

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Definitely start with a handful maybe 2-3 hardy frags you would like to see grow out and keep long term. GSP is a good starter coral but can spread crazily unless managed. People often let it grow out across the back glass of their tank which makes for a nice back drop. Some zoas and mushrooms can also be finnicky but they are generally good beginner corals. Duncans, Candy Canes and Hammers are less demanding LPS and make great starter corals.

I would avoid encrusting LPS types for now, Favia, Cyphastrea, Acans and Chalices while colorful they can be finnicky with water quality. Wait a few months until you've gotten the gist of water changes, nutrients and or dosing before you add those. In general this is one of the most important components to keeping a reef tank, you wanna get into the habit of testing your parameters frequently enough so you are able to determine the demand and then take actions based on that. Usually in a nano, a water change alone is enough to make up for depleted alk/cal/mag.
Thank you for the suggestions and information! When I was picking up my shrimp today, I actually picked up a small piece of GSP and I believe some type of button polyp. I will send some pictures here soon!
 
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Ollie67

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Very nice, I just started pushing buttons until my sand started to blow around then backed off a notch or 2. Those directions are something else!
Saw you were doing some research on Hannah checkers, they are worth the investment in the long run if your planning to do a coral heavy tank. BRS has some great videos on youtube for testing, I believe Thomas there has a favorites pack that I mainly use. Always check from Hannah directly if you decide to buy, 10% off first purchase and free shipping! Salifert makes some cheap easy to read test kits (Amazon), you want to get close but you don't need perfect (Hannah wont do this either). You could spend that cash somewhere else for now!
Depending on your salt brand and frequency of water changes, your system should be pretty close with Mag and Cal since this is in your salt mix. First checkers I would get would be Alkalinity, Nitrate, and Phosphate get a test or 2 done to see where you are. Biggest advise I can give you once you start testing is don't chase numbers!!! You will end up down a very deep rabbit hole chasing your tail and don't be afraid to fail, things happen and coral dies lol sometimes for no reason at all other than eyeballing them too hard!
Getting a cheap zoa, mushroom, or GSP and see what happens!! A duncan (should be cheap) would be a great started, grow very fast and have a very visual feeding response. Doesn't have to be your dream coral, think of it as a tester that will give you the confidence that you can do it!
That's good that you figured it out! When I was at my LFS today, one of the guys really likes the SLW-10 over, let's say, a nero 3. He said he prefers the wave mode, and I tried it and it actually creates really nice waves in the water, you can see it on the surface. I may use this mode or flow mode for now. I am trying to figure out a good flow so that all the junk on the surface flows into filtration, and doesn't get stuck on the end corners of the tank (current issue).

I will make sure to take a look at Hanna's website when I order!

And I will also show what 2 corals I picked up today soon! GSP is one of them! The GSP hasn't opened up yet, should I be concerned?
 

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The wave mode creates a pulsing flow, right? Sounds like it would do a lot of good for the corals you plan on having one day!
 
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Ollie67

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The wave mode creates a pulsing flow, right? Sounds like it would do a lot of good for the corals you plan on having one day!
Yes I believe so, as opposed to just constant flow. It also moves the water around from one side to another, so it seems to be doing a good job!
 

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That's good that you figured it out! When I was at my LFS today, one of the guys really likes the SLW-10 over, let's say, a nero 3. He said he prefers the wave mode, and I tried it and it actually creates really nice waves in the water, you can see it on the surface. I may use this mode or flow mode for now. I am trying to figure out a good flow so that all the junk on the surface flows into filtration, and doesn't get stuck on the end corners of the tank (current issue).

I will make sure to take a look at Hanna's website when I order!

And I will also show what 2 corals I picked up today soon! GSP is one of them! The GSP hasn't opened up yet, should I be concerned?
Good to hear on the slw! That’s awesome, excited for you!!! It will take a bit to settle in, you would make sure it’s not getting blasted with light and place towards the lower portions while it acclimates to your tank. After a few days you can move them higher without shocking them.
 
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Ollie67

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Good to hear on the slw! That’s awesome, excited for you!!! It will take a bit to settle in, you would make sure it’s not getting blasted with light and place towards the lower portions while it acclimates to your tank. After a few days you can move them higher without shocking them.
Sounds good. I currently placed my GSP on the rock that is further away, I might leave it there tbh. Looks like two stars opened up a little in my blue light. The other polyp seems to be doing well too, it opened up pretty quickly under some light. It was near the powerhead at first, but I moved it to the other rock as well for now. It's currently on a frag, and I am thinking about cutting the lower part of the frag so I can glue the top part on a rock.
 
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Ollie67

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Day 22 Update

Hello all! Here's today's formal update of the day. I stopped by my LFS to get some pre-mixed water to top off my supply for future water changes. I ended up purchasing the following while I was there:
-Fire Shrimp (1)
-Snails (3)
-Hermit Crabs (2)

I also purchased two hardy corals that were recommended to start with:
-GSP Frag (currently taken off frag and on rock)
-Brown Button Polyps (I think! Correct me if I'm wrong!)

I am planning on moving the brown polyps to another area, but they are there temporarily. The GSP piece had two stars just open up, so I am hoping more will follow later this week. Any tips on these corals I would appreciate :)

You can see the work the snails (specifically the one on the small rock pictured LOL) have been doing so far. Some of the green hair algae has already been munched up, which I previously thought was diatoms.
 

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