Fluval Evo 13.5 with Natural Sea Water

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jfoahs04

jfoahs04

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I've had my Evo running since 2018 with the standard pump. I've not once felt a need to upgrade it, however I did remove the internal sponge from it which got nasty too quickly. Obviously there's a risk in running it without the sponge but I have floss in the prior chamber. I did add a powerhead for more flow in general, but obviously that does not increase flow through the filter which might be some people's motivation to upgrade.
Thanks. I never even has the sponge in there. I have the Intank media shelf in chamber 1 with floss on top, carbon in the middle, and Fluval bio media in the bottom. Just the heater in chamber 2 right now. I have a powerhead for flow too.

I agree with the flow through the filter. I think if managing nutrients is an issue, I’ll consider a pump upgrade. But not now.
 
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So I ordered the AI Prime 16HD with gooseneck mount and it should be in by the middle of next week. Does anyone run this on the same tank? I have a pretty good idea of what preset schedules to run, but I’m not sure how to acclimate my tank from the Current Orbit USA light to the new, much stronger light. Any suggestions?

photo of my favorite (and currently, only) fish:
4B814BFB-EFD3-448C-A049-6ABA352D2CCB.jpeg
 

najer

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So I ordered the AI Prime 16HD with gooseneck mount and it should be in by the middle of next week. Does anyone run this on the same tank? I have a pretty good idea of what preset schedules to run, but I’m not sure how to acclimate my tank from the Current Orbit USA light to the new, much stronger light. Any suggestions?

photo of my favorite (and currently, only) fish:
4B814BFB-EFD3-448C-A049-6ABA352D2CCB.jpeg

No idea about the light as I still run standard, yours appears to be a popular upgrade light so others will advise.
I bet you talk to the blenny and blow it kisses, such a great fish. ;)
 
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No idea about the light as I still run standard, yours appears to be a popular upgrade light so others will advise.
I bet you talk to the blenny and blow it kisses, such a great fish. ;)

I talk to the blenny more than I care to admit. My fiancee thinks I'm nuts (though she talks to him too). She's probably right.
 
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I had the same light you are running for a few months. I was not impressed so I went with a AI and can tell you the colors are popping more. I just installed a Sicce Silent my *** pump. I am returning it and the Eheim is suppose to be here tomorrow. The thing with upgrading the pump is turn over. More turn over cleaner water. I have a flame tail blenny, two clowns and a six line. I want a tailspot no local had them so I went with the other and he drives me crazy laying on every coral he can.
 
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I had the same light you are running for a few months. I was not impressed so I went with a AI and can tell you the colors are popping more. I just installed a Sicce Silent my *** pump. I am returning it and the Eheim is suppose to be here tomorrow. The thing with upgrading the pump is turn over. More turn over cleaner water. I have a flame tail blenny, two clowns and a six line. I want a tailspot no local had them so I went with the other and he drives me crazy laying on every coral he can.

Yeah, this one came with the setup (I bought it used). I don't hate it to be honest but its definitely not enough for what I want to do. Aesthetically it looks nice and I love the set it and forget it programmability, but it's not going to give me the type of growth I'm looking for in the long run. So I have an AI Prime 16 HD on the way (actually missed the delivery attempt today, so tomorrow hopefully) and I can't wait. The bonus is that it'll make getting in/out of the tank a little easier for maintenance - the current light sits so low over the water, it's hard to reach in.

I definitely hear you with turning over the water volume a bit more, but I do think I'm going to wait a bit on the pump upgrade. I love how quiet this setup is and if anything, I'd like my water to be a bit "dirtier." As the new clowns eat, grow, and do their thing, we'll see how it goes. But right now, I'm hovering between 0-5ppm no matter how much I overfeed (and I do overfeed).

Do you have a build thread? I'd love to follow it if you do. Enjoy the new light, and good luck with the Eheim!
 
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So a little hiccup… I’ve got a rock that has 8 (that I’ve counted so far) Aiptasia anenomes. I’m debating trying to treat with Kalkwasser or even lemon juice (it’s worked for me in the past) just before the next water change.

The issue with these are that they’re deep in the crevices of the rock so it’s hard to get in there (even with a small syringe) and make sure I’m successful. If I pull the rock out to treat, they’re going to be harder to get to.

Since this is the only rock I see any Aiptasia on, I’m tempted to just toss it and replace it with more cured live rock. The problem is there’s a nice colony of zoas on the other end that I’d hate to lose. If you were in my shoes, what would you do?

EE14CBC0-E1C7-485E-8743-61B26A681A10.jpeg
 
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So I took out the aiptasia rock and broke off the end with zoas and no aiptasia (the zoas are happy in their new spot in the tank). I think it was the best option given how far embedded those nems were.

also, my Duncan is growing a ton of new heads. I’ve never had a Duncan before this and I really like it:

7D7D8877-3AC3-41E7-BE0F-7D9FEE62DCD2.jpeg
 
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So I took out the aiptasia rock and broke off the end with zoas and no aiptasia (the zoas are happy in their new spot in the tank). I think it was the best option given how far embedded those nems were.

also, my Duncan is growing a ton of new heads. I’ve never had a Duncan before this and I really like it:

7D7D8877-3AC3-41E7-BE0F-7D9FEE62DCD2.jpeg

Looks great, keep sand off the stem flesh as it will irritate it.
 
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Looks great, keep sand off the stem flesh as it will irritate it.
Great advice! I never would have known that. I’ll make sure I can keep it clear in the current location as it seems to be otherwise thriving, but I’ll move it if I have to.
 
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Well, we had our first livestock loss (inc. CUC and coral) overnight. One of our new DaVinci clowns, “Bubbles,” died.

He was actually the most active and voracious eater of the two and I think that’s what lead to his demise. I have a big rock in the center of the tank covered with frilly mushrooms. Bubbles quickly took to diving between mushrooms and, I think, was either plucking food off the rock, or (if my suspicions are right and he was turning into “she”) may have been exploring the space to nest. Last Wednesday evening, I noticed he/she had injuries to his mouth and his lower jaw was askew and open. He still responded during feeding (charging the food, swimming fast/actively), but wasn’t actually eating. The scars/abrasions looked to be getting a little bit better over the next few days, but he gradually seemed more and more lethargic and still wasn’t eating. Yesterday, when I work up, he wasn’t swimming great and didn’t respond at all to feeding. We left for some tailgating and the football game and didn’t have hopes he’d still be alive when we got home. To our surprise, he was swimming right next to the other clown when we got back. In spite of the moderate pang of hope, I woke up to him dead on top of my candy cane colony (who actually/morbidly seemed to be enjoying the meal as they were reluctant to loosen their grip when I was trying to remove the body).

I’m fairly certain that this death is the result of an injury and not illness. That said, I’m going to wait a few weeks on replacement and watch the other tank mates (blenny and another clown). There were no outward signs of illness while he was alive and the FW dip I did postmortem didn’t appear to turn up flukes or other visible parasites under the magnifying glass. I don’t have a microscope. So we’ll see. Always a bummer to lose a fish anyway.
 
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Sorry to hear that and as you say it's always sad to lose a fish, I only have a pink streak wrasse in my Evo now, still miss my twin spot blenny that I might have killed during a small re scape.
Thank you. Yeah, it's hard. I've also been there before with a blenny in the past. The two spot is a great fish.
 
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So after 2 weeks with my clown, I just realized it has an actual Nemo fin. The right one is significantly smaller than the left one. It’s not misshapen or damaged, just small. Doesn’t seem to bother him too much. Sorry for the mediocre pic, all I could get tonight:
FE349745-1081-4298-96B2-327ED07E3B23.jpeg
 
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New toy came in! I’m officially done with the Orbit Loop system (great to start, but not long term) and on to the AI setup which I love the controls for.

I was worried about the Nero 3 being too strong for the Evo based on some posts I’ve read, but it really isn’t. I have it maxed at about 33% right now (640gph according to the app), and it seems like there’s actually less flow than what I had before. I’m going to toy with it a bit and see how it goes. I LOVE the low-profile look of it.

3E3DEFAD-40F4-4EA8-B775-5CF1447C7EF7.jpeg
 
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About 2 month in and still loving this tank. It’s the smallest reef I’ve ever owned (and I’ve never had a “big” one) and I can definitely feel the constraint when it comes to the rock work. But I’ve also never had a reef where the coral growth has taken off so quickly. This is a very new reef but it’s acting more mature than any other I’ve had at this point. I don’t know if that’s experience, live rock, the natural sea water, or some combination of everything, but I like it.

My big challenge is algae. Diatoms came and went quickly. I had some bubble algae on a piece of live rock from the start which spread a little and has since been reduced down to near nothing (with some effort). Honestly, I don’t hate the bubble algae as long as it doesn’t take over. Finally, I had a round of hair algae on the sand bed. That’s now largely receded. I attribute that to operator error. I have about 10 gallons of actual water volume and I’ve always been an over feeder. 10 gallons can’t compensate for the over feeding like a large system can. Nitrates and phosphates never read high, but that’s probably because the algae was consuming it. I dialed back the feeding, started changing out my filter fiber every two days (instead of weekly), and manually removed as much as possible. It’s mostly gone now - lesson learned. I haven’t seen any aiptasia since I removed the section of rock where the colony was growing. I’m hopeful, but it’ll be awhile before I feel confident about it.

My favorite thing right now is that the the blenny seems to have taken to my remaining clown. I was worried about aggression (blenny was there first), but they are always hanging out together, they eat together, and even sleep together. The blenny had a few spots in the rocks where it used to sleep/hide. The clown took up residence by the thermometer in the back of the tank. Now the blenny sleeps next to him, “hiding” (not very well) behind the thermometer too (pic below). I wasn’t in a rush to replace the lost clown, but now I’m likely to hold off even longer. I like the two together.
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