Grant's Fluval Evo 13.5 Build!

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Hey everyone my name is Grant! I'm going to be posting my tank build here as the process goes along. Currently have most of the equipment and things I need to get the tank going. Just waiting on a few more items.

About to start cycling the tank tomorrow once the sand arrives. Going to be using fritz turbo 900 to get the cycle going.

Will be posting pictures of the aquascape tomorrow. Really happy with the pieces of CaribSea liferock that I got.

Tank: Fluval Evo 13.5
Pump: Sicce .5
Protein Skimmer: MiniQ Nano - Bubble Magnus
InTank 2nd Chamber Media Basket: Seacham Purigen, Chemi Pure Blue, Fluval Biofilter Media
Heater: Fluval M100
Powerhead: hygger mini wave maker (Amazon, but decent reviews)
Light: currently using tank light (14k led) - will eventually upgrade
Life Rock: 2 Arches, 1 Base, Frag Pieces
Sand: Arag Alive Special Grade
Water: Imagitarium Salt Water (Until My RO/DI arrives) has solid levels and decent reviews
 
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www.dinkinsaquaticgardens.com
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So Sand didn't come in today as planned. Still decided to put the aquascape together because I wanted to find the perfect layout for the rocks. Safe to say I couldn't be happier with the rocks I got. 1 base rock with 2 Arches leaning on each other and a little Frag island.

Now just need tomorrow to come so I can't start cycling this tank!

Sorry for the reflective images, sucks not having things in the tank and the lighting in my apartment at the moment sucks.

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Tank is fully up and running. Started cycling the tank last night. Got my ATO set up today and now just have to keep an eye on my water parameters. Not sure if I should run the protein skimmer during cycling. Seems to be a divided topic. Hygger fan and Mag Tool ATO seem to work perfectly so far (both Amazon products).

Last picture shows my ato tank underneath in the cabinet beneath the tank. Drilled a 3/4 hole for some wires to run through and the ato pipe so I could conceal everything.
 

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Got my first two fish today for the tank! Picked out a frostbite bullethole clownfish and a red firefish goby. Super happy with both choices! Decided not to do 2 clowns because if they mate in the small tank it's not good for any other fish in there and I want a few different fish.
 

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Diatoms are forming in the tank. Nothing major at the moment, but definitely starting to come quickly. Introduced a few snails to the tank today to try and help keep things under control (yes they won't be able to keep up, but at least do a bit).

Considering adding some copepods to the tank. First to build up my biome and second to try and keep the uglies from taking complete control of my tank.

I know it's a process we must go through but want to combat it as naturally as possible without dosing anything and just doing water changes.

2of4 snails pictured as 2 disappeared into the sand bed immediately.
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I found that the skimmer wasn't really necessary for such a small tank if you don't overfeed your fish. It was only sucking up the water and increasing the salinity faster than it would with normal evaporation. Just keep and eye out for that if you leave the skimmer running
 
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I found that the skimmer wasn't really necessary for such a small tank if you don't overfeed your fish. It was only sucking up the water and increasing the salinity faster than it would with normal evaporation. Just keep and eye out for that if you leave the skimmer running
I have mine set at a decent level. It doesn't really suck up just water. It actually gets a decent amount of impurities out of the water. I also have my tank stocked at the brim of what you'd want to for a tank this size so the protein skimmer is definitely necessary for me. Updating stock list below.
 
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Recently updated stock and layout of my rocks. Wanted something better for when I out in corals.

Stock:
2 clowns
1 firefish
1 watchman goby
2 nassarius snails
2 turbo snails
2 cerith snails (in the mail)
5 hermit crabs (in the mail)
4 sexy shrimp (in the mail)

Parameters for the tank are staying in check. Protein Skimmer definitely helps in addition to the weekly 25% water change.
 
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New firefish and watchman goby finally getting comfortable in the tank. Coming out to eat and enjoy the view instead of hiding in their dugout.

Protein Skimmer definitely helps to keep everything in check with 4 fish in this system.

Excited for the rest of my clean up crew to come in. Nothing better than a lively tank.

Corals will be coming in the next few months after my tank goes through the ugly phase.
20220914_182755.jpg
 
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Tank is finally in its final resting spot. Stand came in yesterday. I used cable management stickies to neatly get the cables to beneath the unit. Really happy with how it's looking.

Maybe time to buy some corals soon as I don't think I can wait as long as I planned.
 

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Some current photos of the tank.

Added my first corals as well as 3 sexy shrimp and a couple more snails.

3 alveopora @AquaSD
2 ticordea forida @AquaSD
1 favia (freebie from @AquaSD
2 rock flower anemones @AquaSD
1 hammer (gifted by fellow r2r member)
Birdsnest (gifted by fellow r2r member)
Acropora (gifted by fellow r2r member)

All of the corals are doing very well in the new tank. Dipped and found minor pests on all of the corals. Replugged them to be safe.
 

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Added a chaeto "media" reactor to the tank today. My nitrates and phosphates are a bit higher than I'd like so hoping this addition will help alleviate that a bit.

Going to hang it on the side of the cabinet for a cleaner look, just don't feel like doing that tonight.
 

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