Fluval Evo 13.5 Build - First Aquarium!

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Ollie67

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Day 23 Update

Quick update today! Corals seem to be settling in pretty well! The brown polyps are open when lights are on and I am seeing more of my GSP open up this morning. I will attach some nice shots I got of them :)

Currently I've been leaving on my whites for 2-3 hours and then blues the rest of the day (a few hours). Unfortunately, those are the only two modes on the stock Fluval light. Is this schedule fine for the moment? Less light or more light?

I will have my Prime set up hopefully mid-next week, so for anyone who uses one, I would be open to getting some suggestions for schedules!
 

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WalkerLoves_TheOcean

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Day 23 Update

Quick update today! Corals seem to be settling in pretty well! The brown polyps are open when lights are on and I am seeing more of my GSP open up this morning. I will attach some nice shots I got of them :)

Currently I've been leaving on my whites for 2-3 hours and then blues the rest of the day (a few hours). Unfortunately, those are the only two modes on the stock Fluval light. Is this schedule fine for the moment? Less light or more light?

I will have my Prime set up hopefully mid-next week, so for anyone who uses one, I would be open to getting some suggestions for schedules!
Looks good!
 
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Just a quick question on flow/powerheads-

Should I keep my powerhead where it's currently at? Or should I move it up/down more? While my surface agitation seems fine, I feel like the flow into the filtration chambers isn't the strongest. This could be because my powerhead is only at 30% right now, but I am worried that I don't have proper flow.

Before I had my powerhead, my flow was a lot stronger into the chamber than what is pictured below.
 

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Speaking of unexpected critters, I noticed a small starfish looking thing near my powerhead. Upon a quick google search, it appears to be an Asterina Starfish. I see a couple of sources saying they eat algae off the glass, but should be killed/removed because they can eat coral. Should I be concerned?
 

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Shrimp is a beaut! Corals looking good!! Just a word of caution, that GSP will surprise you how fast it will grow. It will lay down that purplish mat, it will take over that rock work and choke out other corals. If you’re unsure it’s going to be its forever place I would keep it off your main rock structure and put on an island by itself. You can always move it later!

First is your return pump flow adjustable? This would be the main thing controlling your overflow. I would try in on the right or left side. Try and get as much random flow as possible, like try and move the water opposite of the direction of your return so they at some point crash into each other. After a little you’ll be able to tell where your dead zones are and tweak from there.

More of a question on your power head, I still haven’t tackled the instructions. Is the magnet waterproof/in tank safe? I assumed it wasn’t but I’ve been very wrong before! Haha
 
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Shrimp is a beaut! Corals looking good!! Just a word of caution, that GSP will surprise you how fast it will grow. It will lay down that purplish mat, it will take over that rock work and choke out other corals. If you’re unsure it’s going to be its forever place I would keep it off your main rock structure and put on an island by itself. You can always move it later!

First is your return pump flow adjustable? This would be the main thing controlling your overflow. I would try in on the right or left side. Try and get as much random flow as possible, like try and move the water opposite of the direction of your return so they at some point crash into each other. After a little you’ll be able to tell where your dead zones are and tweak from there.

More of a question on your power head, I still haven’t tackled the instructions. Is the magnet waterproof/in tank safe? I assumed it wasn’t but I’ve been very wrong before! Haha
Thank you!! Yes, I was told (warned) by my LFS that it will spread very quickly and to make sure I like where I put it, or to put it on its own island. If you look at the picture, I do like the little place it is in to be honest. I wouldn't mind it growing over that part of the rock as it is very bumpy. I do have this smaller rock in between my two larger ones, and I was going to put it there, but there just wasn't a good place to apply it on (with glue even). It's just a super sharp angle and I wasn't a fan of the GSP looked on it. But... I can always trim it eventually right??

I believe so, I can move the nozzles around in multiple ways. Right now I have them aimed up toward the surface, I think you can see it in the picture of the powerhead. I will try and mess around with it, but currently, I have the flow to 40-50% on my powerhead and it's a bit better.

I don't think it says anything about the magnet in the instructions to be honest lol, but I don't think it should be an issue in water. As of now, I have the other end of the magnet for the head in my second filtration chamber. It sticks fine, with no issues. The reason I did so, is because I have seen others with the same tank (on youtube) place the same powerhead in the same way, so I went ahead with it.

Let me know if you have any other questions based on my experience with it!
 
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Actually… I’m considering moving my GSP after looking up more examples of people’s tanks lol. I may try and rotate the smaller rock and try and find a nice way to put it on its own.
 
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Day 24 Update

Just some maintenance stuff today. I changed the filter floss in my media basket and also finally added a bag of activated carbon to the media basket. I also removed the asterina starfish, as I do not want it to reproduce.

A more significant upgrade today would be the installation of my AI Prime (finally) and custom cover. My replacement part came and I was able to finally mount it. I am currently running a Pennywise Daylight Pop (12hr) at 41%. I will increase the schedule to 51% and then 61% over a few weeks.

Everything is functioning great so far. I've been feeding once a day in small amounts as of now. I am also planning to do my first water change (about 10-15%) in the next few days.
 

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lil sumpin

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I recently got a coral grow AI Blade and am liking the programmability on the myAI app. Previously was using a Reef Breeder Nano LED which had built in schedule and lighting, was a fan of that too. To reduce the blues you need to get some sorta lens like this. You can also play with the filters on your phone camera app and see if there's one that reduces 'cool' and provides warmth
 

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^It's not as dark as it looks on camera, for some reason cameras suck at taking pictures in the blue lights lol.
Looks great! There is a AI prime/hydra group on FB that share lighting schedules, great place for a reference if anything. Some really good people in there.
This is the one I use but there are quite a few options, you will want this!!
Orphek Coral Lens – Kit for All Smartphones – 4 Lens Included: Macro, CPL 37mm Polarized, 15,000k Orange, 20,000k Yellow – Universal Phone Clip – Lens Made of Glass – for Better Photography https://a.co/d/21bUaIo
 
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I recently got a coral grow AI Blade and am liking the programmability on the myAI app. Previously was using a Reef Breeder Nano LED which had built in schedule and lighting, was a fan of that too. To reduce the blues you need to get some sorta lens like this. You can also play with the filters on your phone camera app and see if there's one that reduces 'cool' and provides warmth
Sounds sweet! I was considering the Blade as well, as it matches the rectangular shape of the tank. But I ended up going with the prime. I wasn't sure if the Blade had compatibility with the app, that's good that it does!

Thank you (and @ralquist) for the suggestion on the lens kit! I'll order one now!

And yes, I am in the Prime/Hydra group! That's where I found my schedule :)
 
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Day 27 Update

Hello everyone. Today was mostly a maintenance day. I did my first water change today of about 20% (2 gallons). After the water change, my salinity did spike to 1.027, but I used a measuring pitcher to take out a small portion of water and replace it with RODI. This brought the salinity back down to 1.025. I also cleaned my glass on the inside and outside today. There was some green hair algae on the inside of the glass, so I went ahead and cleaned it with the magnet.

This morning I almost had a heart attack finding the exoskeleton of my fire shrimp. I had thought he passed, but after researching and getting advice this is just molt process. He is doing very good though. He was hiding behind the rocks but came out during feeding time.

Unfortunately, I do believe one of my snails has died as it has no longer moved all day. I found it upside-down this morning and flipped it over and still had no activity. I left the shell in the sand for now. I'm not sure what caused it, but the other two snails in my tank are fine. I do have two hermit crabs, so it could be possible that they killed it.
 

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Also! I'm not sure if I put this on my build thread, but I picked up a Xenia frag on Monday. Once acclimated in my tank, it seemed to be doing fine. I had it on my larger rock temporarily, as it was on a weird angle on the frag plug. Today, I finally got bone cutters and replacement glue so I went ahead a cut a piece of the frag off and glued it to the island I want it on. It seems to be doing fine after the transfer but it did close up on me as the lights turned off. This might be normal though and it might take a few days for it to get comfy.
 

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ralquist

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Day 27 Update

Hello everyone. Today was mostly a maintenance day. I did my first water change today of about 20% (2 gallons). After the water change, my salinity did spike to 1.027, but I used a measuring pitcher to take out a small portion of water and replace it with RODI. This brought the salinity back down to 1.025. I also cleaned my glass on the inside and outside today. There was some green hair algae on the inside of the glass, so I went ahead and cleaned it with the magnet.

This morning I almost had a heart attack finding the exoskeleton of my fire shrimp. I had thought he passed, but after researching and getting advice this is just molt process. He is doing very good though. He was hiding behind the rocks but came out during feeding time.

Unfortunately, I do believe one of my snails has died as it has no longer moved all day. I found it upside-down this morning and flipped it over and still had no activity. I left the shell in the sand for now. I'm not sure what caused it, but the other two snails in my tank are fine. I do have two hermit crabs, so it could be possible that they killed it.
Haha I just re lived your shrimp experience, same darn thing got me too on my first one!
Nice work on remounting your frag!
 
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Haha I just re lived your shrimp experience, same darn thing got me too on my first one!
Nice work on remounting your frag!
Haha it's funny, it happens to every new reefer I guess :grinning-squinting-face:

What shrimp do you have?

And thank you! In its new spot, there is a good amount of flow hitting it despite my powerhead being on the lowest setting. I don't think it's bad, as people have said Xenia can be in like extreme to no flow lol... I will see how it feels throughout the week!
 

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I started with a cleaner shrimp and a pistol shrimp(I’ve lost 2 watchman…) in my other tank. Those exoskeletons got me more than a few times. Thought my pistol had died, heard it popping in the night and was sure my tank was haunted! Cleaner got pretty big and was stealing food from corals and irritating them. Traded him back to the LFS.
The little Xenia frag I got last week seems like it’s doubled almost. It’s getting pretty strong flow from multiple side and seems happy. I think as long as you’re not laying them flat with flow you should be good lol!
 
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I started with a cleaner shrimp and a pistol shrimp(I’ve lost 2 watchman…) in my other tank. Those exoskeletons got me more than a few times. Thought my pistol had died, heard it popping in the night and was sure my tank was haunted! Cleaner got pretty big and was stealing food from corals and irritating them. Traded him back to the LFS.
The little Xenia frag I got last week seems like it’s doubled almost. It’s getting pretty strong flow from multiple side and seems happy. I think as long as you’re not laying them flat with flow you should be good lol!
That's nice! Yeah lol, it can throw you off because one day it could be the actual shrimp laying there... And that's good that you got the cleaner guy figured out.

I didn't know you got a Xenia too! Do you have any photos or is it on your build thread?? I'd like to see! And yes I heard they're the fastest growing coral, right on with GSP.
 

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That's nice! Yeah lol, it can throw you off because one day it could be the actual shrimp laying there... And that's good that you got the cleaner guy figured out.

I didn't know you got a Xenia too! Do you have any photos or is it on your build thread?? I'd like to see! And yes I heard they're the fastest growing coral, right on with GSP.
Yes sir! It’s on there, try and take a comparison tomorrow with some light!
 
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