Getting a nano started, looking for advice

CoreyT355

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Hello,

Long time lurker here. I've had freshwater tanks in the past, and helped take care of a couple reefs and salt tanks as well.Never my own though.

As the title says I am setting up a Fluval Evo 13.5, and I am looking for a little advice on sand, rock, and stocking it. Below is what I have for my setup so far. Nothing is running yet, so I am pretty far away from any type of live stock right now.

Equipment
Fluval Evo 13.5
Stock light, I plan on adding a dimmer/timer for now. Eventually I'll upgrade to an AI Prime 16, or maybe the Marine 3.0 as I read somewhere the stock lid can be modded to fit it.
Stock pump
AI Nero 3
Fluval M50 heater

Filtration
inTank Chamber One
Filter floss
Carbon
Biomax

16 lbs of sand. I'm not sure if it should all be dry, or some live should be mixed in.
16 lbs of rock. Same thing here. Not sure how much to mix dry and live here.
I don't want a very deep sand bed, and this seems like a good middle ground.

Clean-up Crew
I see a lot of different things online for this. I'm genuinely stumped what to put in first for the clean-up crew.

Eventual Livestock
I'd like a tailspot blenny as the main fish in the tank. I like the colors and personality they have.
At most I am thinking 3 fish based off what I read in the fish guide on here. A pair of clowns would be cool, but I see different things about how that will work with the tailspot. Is there something else that would work better, maybe 1 or 2 cardinals?
My main idea is the tailspot, and then something hangs out higher in the tank, so there is some movement to see.

Corals
This is another unknown for me right now. Sticking with the stock light limits me to LPS I know, and as I am starting out that's fine. I'm just not sure what to go with once the tank is cycled and stable.

Thanks for any advice.
 
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sunken3

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i set one of these up a few months ago. i had to put the light on a timer. it has 3 modes, all, blue, off... however, when the timer comes back on it will be "all" on.. the only blue can only be utilized manually. it is a nice setup, but i didn't really give it much of a chance because I like the ramp up ability of an AI prime (or any other higher end light). I then got a Kraken Reef lid to replace the stock.

I used arga-live sand and live rock i already had. added a bunch of sps, lps, shrooms, flower anemome's, etc. I also added a cheap canister filter so I could pipe in a Chill Solutions thermo-chiller (my space is warm). I bought the InTank chamber one and 2... but after a few days only use chamber 1 (#2 was in the way for other things, like the light).

I have a few snails, hermits, shrimp, feather dusters, crabs, etc. I also have a clown, orange spot goby, mandarin and a sixline wrasse.

oh yes and added 2 additional small powerheads which i have set to power off a few hours at night.
 

Gedxin

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Hey, welcome to R2R! I recently set up my own tank and am very familiar with the questions you're going through right now, happy to offer my personal advice.

I highly recommend live sand (I went with Carib Sea Special Grade.) It will speed up your cycle time (how much is really difficult to say, but it won't slow it down.)

Rock is completely up to you. I highly recommend going with at minimum life rock (rock infused with bacteria.) If you go live rock, it is the best for bio diversity and will near instantly cycle your tank. It does carry it's own risks though (brings in a bunch of unknown organisms.) About the only benefit of dry rock is the cost.

Lots of options for CUC. Go with what you like, start with only a dozen inverts or so. I went with nassarius, astraea, and bumble bee snails, also got a few hermits. If you go live rock, maybe get more to handle the additional bio diversity.

Corals can come later when you figure out your light situation.

As for your fish questions...I'm no expert on compatibility. I do know if you have a 'must' fish, there are strategies. For instance, a tailspot blenny is generally peaceful, and clowns can be considered semi-aggressive. The best way to handle having all three of these in your tank would be to get the blenny first, and add the clowns later. This makes it so clowns don't have a chance to establish an area they own and the blenny comes in and ruins their day.
 

FishyFishFish

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I use the Nicrew Single Timer Pro to control the LED on the Fluval Evo. Look for it on Amazon but make sure it is the Pro version and not standard. It only costs $12.99 and mine has been brilliant.

Technically you can't turn off the white separately but when it dims the whites go first, so you end up with mainly all blue when the dimmer is at 2 or 3%.

Mine ramps up to full white in the early afternoon, stays there until mid evening and then ramps down to blue for a couple of hours before ramping down to off overnight. It's probably the best $13 I've spent on my tank.
 

sunken3

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I use the Nicrew Single Timer Pro to control the LED on the Fluval Evo. Look for it on Amazon but make sure it is the Pro version and not standard. It only costs $12.99 and mine has been brilliant.

Technically you can't turn off the white separately but when it dims the whites go first, so you end up with mainly all blue when the dimmer is at 2 or 3%.

Mine ramps up to full white in the early afternoon, stays there until mid evening and then ramps down to blue for a couple of hours before ramping down to off overnight. It's probably the best $13 I've spent on my tank.
very good to know. thanks!
 
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