Fluval EVO V Tank Rescue and Rehabilitation


Community Member
View Badges
Jun 6, 2021
Reaction score
Twin Cities
Hello all! About 2 weeks ago I rescued a 5+year old Fluval EVO V setup that the previous owner had let slide and was ready to flush and toss.

It has been setup as a reef tank with the stock AIO equipment and filtration, and what looks to be an aqueon 50w heater

Current inhabitants based on what I was told and have tried to ID:
-Humbug/three stripe Damsel
-Several blue leg hermits (I have seen at least 4 different ones)
-2 nassarious snails
-2 turbo snails
-Hammer coral
-Frogspawn coral
-Mystery coral #1 (see photos)
-Mystery coral #2 (see photos)
-Mystery coral #3 (see photos)
-numerous limpet looking creatures

The tank had a significant amount of hair algea all over the rockscape, brown/green algea on the glass and under the sand line, and coralline algea that has taken over the back wall to the filters, and a section of glass.

I checked parameters when I got the tank home, and there were a few issues:
Calcium was low at 300
Phosphate was elevated at 0.25
Nitrate was elevated at 20
Everything else was ok- used both the reef master kit and Ammonia tests from API as well as tetras easy strip (6 in 1 and ammonia).

I have been doing a 1 gallon water change weekly (2x so far) to try to get levels lower without adding a ton of chemicals, etc.

1 week recheck parameters showed slight improvement to Calcium (360) and Nitrate (10), with Phosphate the same. Still all could be better, but at least not worsening!

Currently trying to run blue lights for 7-8 hours, whites for 4-5, and 12 off. Dosing phytoplankton (seachem) 2x weekly- just ordered some from algea barn as the supply she sent with the tank looked super old! Have been dosing stability and pristine weekly with the water change. Am using Instant Ocean Reef Crystals.


Week 1

Week 2



As you can see, still very much a work in progress with the hair algea... stay tuned for updates as I hopefully get this tank rehabbed! I LOVE those nassarious snails though- remind me of narwhals!

Any tips/tricks, thoughts/ideas welcome! I have been a freshwater keep for years, but this is my first saltwater experience.

Mystery Coral #1

Mystery Coral #2

Mystery Coral #3

Reef Chasers Aquaculture


Corals over Crack
View Badges
Jun 14, 2020
Reaction score
Mystery 1 is Zoanthids
Mystery 2 is a goni

you need to get better test kits. Salifret is a good one.
Honestly your nitrates are fine.

you could run some phosphate remover (phosgaurd) but make sure you don’t bottom out.

But before you do that make sure you get better test kits

what’s the dKH?
What’s the salinity?


Community Member
View Badges
Jun 6, 2021
Reaction score
Twin Cities
Week 3 updates:

Upgraded the pump to the Cobalt MJ606- I lucked out and found it on the clearance table of my LFS! To make it fit and keep the flow adjuster I pulled the back off the pump, cut/ground off the edges to make it more flush, and it fits like a glove! The flow seemed a bit higher than my old Damsel liked, so I pushed it down a few notches for now. I have a RFG on order, so I will see how that impacts things and go from there!

I stopped by a LFS that specializes in salt/reef and picked up 5 gallons of their RO/DI and 5 gallons of their already mixed saltwater. The price seemed very reasonable considering the small amounts I will go through. I tested their mix and it matched what they said it would be, so that is great! I haven't used their RO/DI yet, but will test that with my TDS meter before I do, just to be sure.

I did a 1 gallon change using their mix (red sea). Phosphate is still a bit high- but I am still using an API kit- salifert haven't arrived yet.

Dosed phytoplankton (seachem that came with the setup as my algaebarn hasn't shipped yet), pristine, stability, and prime.


Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge the Damsel happily eats, though is quiet shy- he likes to hide and make himself feel secure under my hammer and frogspawn corals.

I added in just a few new coral frags- I dipped them prior to adding them with Seachem reef dip. I also added in a weed- pulsing Xenia, which I know I may regret someday and will need to keep in check, but I LOVE the way it flows. ♡


The tank came with omega one marine flakes,seachem nutridiet Marine flakes, and omegaone marine mini pellets, plus some crab cuisine. Damsel doesn't seem to like the mini pellets, and seems so-so on the omega flakes. Should he be getting a live option periodically? Frozen? Is there something else better? He eats good, but I just want to make sure he is getting a good diet. I was told he was like 8-10 years old- which seems very old!
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock