Fluval Sea EVO 13.5

RhiD08

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
42
Reaction score
26
Location
ontario
Hello everyone!

Today marks the first day of running my first saltwater aquarium, a Fluval Sea EVO 13.5. I have been researching for quite a while and decided about a month ago that it was time, and so I ordered my first all in one saltwater aquarium along with any other necessary accessories. I also decided that I would start a build thread here on Reef2Reef where I will be positing regular updates so that you can all join me on this exciting journey!

I spent all day yesterday running around all over the city, collecting everything and setting up the aquarium! As of right now, the aquarium is running on stock equipment including the lights, the filter in chamber 2, and the return pump in chamber 3. I am running a 100W Eheim Jager heater in chamber 1. I know this is not ideal but it was too big to fit anywhere else and it is has been heating the water just fine. The aquarium is set up with 15 lbs of CaribSea's aragonite aquarium reef sand (sand bed is just over an inch deep) and about 12 pounds of wet live reef rock that I picked up from a local Big Al's. I am using RODI water from another local fish store with Coralife Marine salt mixed in.

The live reef rock was kept wet but out of water for many hours before it was placed in the aquarium. With that being said, I did not add any ammonia or nitrifying bacteria to the aquarium because I thought that the little bit of die off from the live rock and any bacteria on it would be sufficient enough to start the nitrogen cycle. I know that this may take a bit longer than it would if I had added anything to it but I will monitor the parameters and add anything if it is needed.

I allowed the aquarium to sit overnight and settle. This morning I checked the water parameters using an API saltwater master test kit. The pH was about 8.0, the ammonia was about 0.50 ppm, and the nitrites and nitrates were 0 ppm. I believe that this is where it should be and that the nitrogen cycle has started but please feel free to correct me if I am wrong. I also checked the temperature which is 78 and the salinity which is 1.025 PPT.

1604987532290.png


Today I ran the lights on a 12 hour schedule that I worked out. I ran the blue light from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, the white lights from 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm, and the blue lights again from 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm. I know that the lights can promote the growth of algae but I figured that the aquarium will have to run through its "ugly" stage at some point so why not get it over with as soon as possible. The live reef rock that I picked up also had beneficial algae growing on it and so I figured that the light will keep it alive. Again, if I am doing something wrong or anyone has some recommendations, feel free to let me know!

With that being said, I believe that day 1 was a success! Below are some pictures of the aquarium. Tomorrow I will play around with the rocks and finalize the aquascape!

1604987473904.png
 
Corals.com
OP
R

RhiD08

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
42
Reaction score
26
Location
ontario
Looks like a good start to me!

I def recommend looking into the inTank media baskets for chambers 1 and/or 2. I’m running the chamber 1 basket with filter floss and chemipure blue. That stock filter pad is a bit of a nitrate factory

Following along!
Thank you! The InTank media baskets are definitely high on my list for future upgrades!
 

calila

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
36
Reaction score
97
Location
New York
Looks like a good start to me!

I def recommend looking into the inTank media baskets for chambers 1 and/or 2. I’m running the chamber 1 basket with filter floss and chemipure blue. That stock filter pad is a bit of a nitrate factory

Following along!
Agreed. I have the media basket for the 2 chamber.
 
Lazys Coral House
OP
R

RhiD08

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
42
Reaction score
26
Location
ontario
Hello everyone!

Today marks the third day of running my first saltwater aquarium! Not much has happened, as expected, but I do have some minor updates that I thought I'd share with you all.

Since the aquarium has been up and running, I have been running the lights on the same 12 hour schedule that I explained in my first post above. I have been monitoring the temperature (still at 78 ℉) and water levels but I skipped yesterday and checked the water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates) this morning. Based on the tests, it seems that the pH levels have dropped to 7.8, ammonia is still around 0.50 ppm with the nitrites and nitrates at 0 ppm. Since there has been no major changes, which I don't expect will happen at least for the first couple of weeks, I will continue to check the parameters every few days until there is a noticeable change.

1605160793806.png


With that being said, I have noticed some growth on the live rock which I believed to be sponge! I created another thread where I posted pictures of the growth to confirm what it actually is and I was informed that it is a sponge. There is a larger section of of the rock that is covered in sponge as well as a small sponge that has begun to grow. I was informed that there are many vermetid snail tubes on the rocks which I have been keeping a close eye on but I have yet to see any unwanted hitchhikers.

1605160489472.png

1605160527201.png

Now, the real reason for this post! Today I messed around with the live rock to try and create an aquascape that I will be happy with. But, I had no luck! I have three large pieces of rock, which can be seen in the middle of the aquarium, that I cannot get to sit quite right! The first rock is almost like a base with a tower on the left side. The second piece is very large and bulky but is hollow on the bottom, creating tunnels through the rock. The third piece is almost like a wedge. I plan for these three rocks to be the main centrepiece in the tank with the other smaller rocks around it. The picture below is how it is currently set up (front and right side view) after I messed around with it a bit and the diagram is a sketch of the three large pieces of rock. I thought I'd show you all in case anyone had any ideas that are different for the aquascape! And to go with that, the tank can be seen from the front and right side and so I'd like the aquascape to work with that!

1605160337512.png

1605160408744.png

1605160446541.png

Well, that ends this post! Feel free to give me any recommendations that you have, I'm always open and appreciate the knowledge of all the more experienced reefers out there!
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

tdcjr85

New Member
View Badges
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
11
Reaction score
15
I’m pretty new to the hobby (I also just set up an EVO after following forums and talking with someone with a reef tank) but I’ll tell you what worked well for picking my aquascape.

I had my friend help me with the setup and we took turns moving rock around and bouncing ideas off each other until I was satisfied with the look. It’s crazy how much of a creative difference one other opinion can make!

Good luck, you’ve got some interesting rock shapes so I’m sure you’ll come up with something awesome.:)
 
OP
R

RhiD08

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
42
Reaction score
26
Location
ontario
I’m pretty new to the hobby (I also just set up an EVO after following forums and talking with someone with a reef tank) but I’ll tell you what worked well for picking my aquascape.

I had my friend help me with the setup and we took turns moving rock around and bouncing ideas off each other until I was satisfied with the look. It’s crazy how much of a creative difference one other opinion can make!

Good luck, you’ve got some interesting rock shapes so I’m sure you’ll come up with something awesome.:)
Congratulations on setting up your EVO! Thank you for the advice, maybe I’ll get one of my siblings or mum to help me come up with an interesting aquascape!
 
OP
R

RhiD08

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
42
Reaction score
26
Location
ontario
Hello everyone!

This post is a day late but today marks day 8 of running my first saltwater aquarium! I have a couple of updates as well as good news.

The nitrogen cycle has progressed! Yesterday I tested the water parameters and based on the tests, the pH is at 7.8, the ammonia is still around 0.50 ppm, the nitrites have gone up to 0.25 ppm, and the nitrates remain at 0 ppm. I will start testing the water parameters every other day or every few days again since the cycle is progressing.

1605548390194.png


On Saturday, I received the Capetsma thermometer that I had ordered. It looks really sleek and works like a charm! With that being said, I have been having slight problems with maintaining the water temperature. Throughout the week, the temperature has been consistently increasing. At the start of the week, I had my Eheim Jager 100w heater set at 78° F but after a few days, the water temperature increased to around 82°F. I assumed that this increase in temperature was due to the return pump and lights giving off heat and so to fix this, I set the heater to 76°F and now the temperature of the water has decreased to 80°F. I may set the heater slightly lower (maybe 74°F) so that the temperature of the water is closer to 78°F which is where I would like to keep it.

1605548451361.png

1605548710777.png


I have still been running the lights on the 12 hour schedule with no problems. There hasn't been any signs of algae growth yet! The rock work is still the same as it was in the last post, I haven't messed around with it anymore but I don't think that it will change much from what it is now.

And thats the end of this post!
 
Fritz

SolisFirefish

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
196
Reaction score
189
Location
Canada
Hello everyone!

Today marks the first day of running my first saltwater aquarium, a Fluval Sea EVO 13.5. I have been researching for quite a while and decided about a month ago that it was time, and so I ordered my first all in one saltwater aquarium along with any other necessary accessories. I also decided that I would start a build thread here on Reef2Reef where I will be positing regular updates so that you can all join me on this exciting journey!

I spent all day yesterday running around all over the city, collecting everything and setting up the aquarium! As of right now, the aquarium is running on stock equipment including the lights, the filter in chamber 2, and the return pump in chamber 3. I am running a 100W Eheim Jager heater in chamber 1. I know this is not ideal but it was too big to fit anywhere else and it is has been heating the water just fine. The aquarium is set up with 15 lbs of CaribSea's aragonite aquarium reef sand (sand bed is just over an inch deep) and about 12 pounds of wet live reef rock that I picked up from a local Big Al's. I am using RODI water from another local fish store with Coralife Marine salt mixed in.

The live reef rock was kept wet but out of water for many hours before it was placed in the aquarium. With that being said, I did not add any ammonia or nitrifying bacteria to the aquarium because I thought that the little bit of die off from the live rock and any bacteria on it would be sufficient enough to start the nitrogen cycle. I know that this may take a bit longer than it would if I had added anything to it but I will monitor the parameters and add anything if it is needed.

I allowed the aquarium to sit overnight and settle. This morning I checked the water parameters using an API saltwater master test kit. The pH was about 8.0, the ammonia was about 0.50 ppm, and the nitrites and nitrates were 0 ppm. I believe that this is where it should be and that the nitrogen cycle has started but please feel free to correct me if I am wrong. I also checked the temperature which is 78 and the salinity which is 1.025 PPT.

1604987532290.png


Today I ran the lights on a 12 hour schedule that I worked out. I ran the blue light from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, the white lights from 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm, and the blue lights again from 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm. I know that the lights can promote the growth of algae but I figured that the aquarium will have to run through its "ugly" stage at some point so why not get it over with as soon as possible. The live reef rock that I picked up also had beneficial algae growing on it and so I figured that the light will keep it alive. Again, if I am doing something wrong or anyone has some recommendations, feel free to let me know!

With that being said, I believe that day 1 was a success! Below are some pictures of the aquarium. Tomorrow I will play around with the rocks and finalize the aquascape!

1604987473904.png
Very Nice! I'm getting one of these on black friday and I'm planning to stock it with a cleaner shrimp and red firefish! I love big al's!! Which one do you go to? I love the Scarborough one!
 
OP
R

RhiD08

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
42
Reaction score
26
Location
ontario
Very Nice! I'm getting one of these on black friday and I'm planning to stock it with a cleaner shrimp and red firefish! I love big al's!! Which one do you go to? I love the Scarborough one!
That’s so exciting, stock sounds great! It’s definitely a great hobby to get into! I’ve never been to the Scarborough one but I’ve been to the Mississauga one, it’s huge! I usually just go to my local store in London though.
 
OP
R

RhiD08

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
42
Reaction score
26
Location
ontario
Hello everyone!

Today marks the 16th day of running my first saltwater aquarium! It's been just over 2 weeks now since I first set it up.

1606263264257.png


Last week I tested the water parameters regularly (every other day or so) but there wasn't much change between each of the tests except for of course, the initial spike in nitrites at the beginning of the week. With that being said, I stopped testing the water parameters and left it for a few days to allow the nitrogen cycle some time. I tested the water parameters today and there seems to be some progress! The salinity remains at 1.025 PPT, the pH is still at 7.8, the ammonia has dropped to around 0-0.25 ppm (looks darker than it is in the picture), the nitrites have dropped to 0 after spiking at 2.0 ppm, and the nitrates are back to 0 ppm. I will start to test the water parameters regularly again but it seems that the nitrogen cycle is coming to an end!

1606263070297.png


1606263038305.png


I mentioned in my last post that I was having troubles maintaining the temperature of the water but I seemed to have resolved the problem. I set my Eheim Jager 100w heater back at 78°F and the water temperature seems to have stabilized around 78°F (ranges from 77.9°F to 79.0°F but usually is around 78.4°F to 78.6°F).

I have been running the lights on the same 12 hour schedule that I have mentioned in my past posts and I have actually started to see an algae bloom! There is a variety of algae growing on the live rock, sand, and glass, from diatoms, to red coralline algae, to green hair algae.

1606263329103.png


1606263493805.png


1606263567409.png


I'm hoping that the tank will be fully cycled and that I'll be able to get some fish in there for Christmas! And that ends this post!
 
Last edited:
OP
R

RhiD08

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
42
Reaction score
26
Location
ontario
Hello everyone!

Today marks the 18th day of running my first saltwater aquarium!

I tested the water parameters today and I believe that the nitrogen cycle has come to an end! Temperature is 79°F, salinity is 1.025 PPT, pH increased slightly around 8.0, ammonia dropped to 0 ppm, nitrites are 0 ppm, and nitrates are 0 ppm too. I am thinking that I will give the aquarium a bit more time before adding any livestock, just to make sure that the cycle has actually finished. With that being said, what exactly do I do once the aquarium has finished cycling? Do I perform a water change? I haven't been able to find anything on what the next steps would be so any help and advice is much appreciated!

1606437592587.png


1606437653301.png


I have continued to run the aquarium on the same 12 hour light schedule and have seen a bit more algae growth on the live rock and sand, mostly red coralline algae (at least I think thats what it is) and green hair algae!

1606437695549.png


1606437837455.png


Before I end this post, does anyone have any livestock suggestions? I was thinking maybe a pair of clowns (very basic, I know!) and in the future, maybe some LPS and soft coral!
 

Would you be interested in seeing the Reef of the Month come back?

  • YES

    Votes: 385 95.3%
  • NO

    Votes: 15 3.7%
  • Other (please explain in the thread)

    Votes: 4 1.0%

Online statistics

Members online
2,682
Guests online
7,473
Total visitors
10,155
Pieces of the Ocean
Top