I need some advice

Jubal_Harshaw

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I am new to the forum, and I need some advice.

I have a Fluval EVO 13.5, and it is FOWLR. It is cycled for about two weeks now, and I was thinking of starting a reef in October or early November.

Now here are some questions I have before I convert the EVO to a reef:

• I live in a rented apartment, and I cannot connect a RO/DI system. Can I only use RO water that I can buy at Target, or does it have to be RO/DI?
• The tank’s temperature is consistently between 78 and 80 F (max. 81 Fahrenheit). Is that ok?
• Do I have to use a Protein Skimmer? I know many people are asking this, but I am still not sure.

Before I spend more money on a custom cover and an AI Prime, can I convert to a reef tank? Does it make sense with the water temperature and only having RO water available? I want a reef, but before I go with a more extensive setup, I want to see if I can do this.

Current setup:
• Fluval EVO 13.5
• InTank Chamber 1 insert
• InTank Chamber 2 insert
• SICCE Syncra Silent 1.0
• Fluval Protein Skimmer (not yet installed)
• Aqamai KPS WiFI 4150l/1050 (not yet installed, bought it because I found it for around USD 75)

Fish:
• Two Clownfish
• One Azure Damsel

These are the fish I am planning to add over the next few months:
• One Hermit Crab
• Two Nassarius snails
• Two Astrea snails
 
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elorablue

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Yes, you can do it.

With such a small tank buying your water makes a lot of sense for your situation

Temp between 78-80 is perfect. Keep it as stable as possible with a heater and ink bird controller

No skimmer needed. Just regular weekly 10% water changes and you'll good.

Fish and cuc look good.

Go for it!
 

melonheadorion

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just for reference of the RODI setup, the setup from bulk reef supply, or at least the one i purchased, came with the connecter kit to connect to a water faucet, so i have mine connected to the bathroom sink, which still allows me full use of the sink, and use of the RODI when i need it
 

Townes_Van_Camp

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A cheap little RODI rig called the “RO Buddy” comes with all the attachments you need to get it hooked up to a kitchen or bathroom sink. It’s also compact enough that you can put it away when not In use. It was my go to unit when I was in an apartment. I would get it out once a week and spend the evening filling 1 gallon jugs. So long as you have good water pressure you will get water for a long time before you need to change membranes or di cartridges with a tank that small.
 
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MNFish

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Welcome to R2R!

Buying RO is fine in my opinion, I have used store bought water with no issues before.
I have an EVO 13.5 and do not use a protein skimmer, I regularly clean out my filter floss which sits on top of my intank basket in chamber 1 instead.
Mine runs about the same temp with no issues.
I think the light that comes with it is better than many give it credit for, but it depends on what you want to grow.
I have found using the light and lid that comes with it really keeps evaporation down and I do not need an ATO, if you switch light and lid you might also find it evaporates enough to justify an ATO as well.
 

Reef Jockey

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Welcome to R2R!
IME the skimmer is difficult to control and if you do get it working right, it's best in chamber 1. the fact that you have both InTank media chambers, you have no room for the skimmer. As mentioned, weekly water changes will help with dissolved organics that the protein skimmer takes out.
You could start with using distilled water in gallon jugs and use the gallon jugs for storing the RO/DI water should you get the RO/DI unit.
If you get the AI Prime and remove the cover, you'll get about +/- 1 1/2 cup of evaporation a day. I have the cover removed on my EVO because im running the Current USA Orbit light to regulate my temp and it is consistently 2-3 degrees lower than with the cover. trade off for steady temps plus i like the cleaner look. I don't have an ATO but using the gallon jugs makes it easier to top off and to add Kalwasser and elements gradually.
 

davidcalgary29

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The PS/2 skimmer isn't terribly useful. I have one in chamber one, but it if you use it, the surface skimmer really won't work properly. I have SPS in my Evo, so I'm keeping it in. For now.

My tank runs as at a pretty constant 28-29C, and largely because the closed canopy doesn't allow for much of a heat export. I think you'll be fine.

I'd add a tuxedo urchin to your CUC.

This is mine with the stock lighting, and it's fine (aiptasia and all). You should check out some of the Evo builds on this site; there are some truly spectacular tanks out there. :)

190E3983-9116-4422-AE4E-3D776448E97F.jpeg
 
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Baneston

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Welcome to R2R!

Buying RO is fine in my opinion, I have used store bought water with no issues before.
I have an EVO 13.5 and do not use a protein skimmer, I regularly clean out my filter floss which sits on top of my intank basket in chamber 1 instead.
Mine runs about the same temp with no issues.
I think the light that comes with it is better than many give it credit for, but it depends on what you want to grow.
I have found using the light and lid that comes with it really keeps evaporation down and I do not need an ATO, if you switch light and lid you might also find it evaporates enough to justify an ATO as well.
Could you send a pic of your back chambers. I have a13.5 I have used previously as a QT that I want to start using as a small DT. I only have the sponge in the middle compartment with biomedia and carbin
 

GHOSTLY

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In mine I have No true media but chamber 1 has a minimaxx Desktop reactor with purigen, carbon, phosban, or just anything I need. The second chamber is a refugium for pods since I have a mandarin, and the third is just the pump. I keep my heater in the tank since I upgraded to the maxijet 1200 I think so its hard to keep enough saltwater in the back chamber
 
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Johnb65

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The PS/2 skimmer isn't terribly useful. I have one in chamber one, but it if you use it, the surface skimmer really won't work properly. I have SPS in my Evo, so I'm keeping it in. For now.

My tank runs as at a pretty constant 28-29C, and largely because the closed canopy doesn't allow for much of a heat export. I think you'll be fine.

I'd add a tuxedo urchin to your CUC.

This is mine with the stock lighting, and it's fine (aiptasia and all). You should check out some of the Evo builds on this site; there are some truly spectacular tanks out there. :)

190E3983-9116-4422-AE4E-3D776448E97F.jpeg
28-29C? Wow that’s good news for me my tank always seems to be rushing above 27 close to 28 so I was considering setting the temp to almost 28C for consistency instead of fluctuating.
 

davidcalgary29

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28-29C? Wow that’s good news for me my tank always seems to be rushing above 27 close to 28 so I was considering setting the temp to almost 28C for consistency My of fluctuating.
My RSM is down to 27C now that the heat of summer has passed. My Evo still runs at 28-29C, though. I haven't noticed any particular harm to the corals (including SPS) in that tank.
 

Johnb65

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My RSM is down to 27C now that the heat of summer has passed. My Evo still runs at 28-29C, though. I haven't noticed any particular harm to the corals (including SPS) in that tank.
Cheers for that info! I was even considering moving my tank to another room because of the heat. I’ll give it a go where it is for now so.
 

jt8791

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Tank that small water changes alone should cover everything you need. See if you can find an lfs that sells rodi and saltwater, don’t buy the saltwater from Petco though, it’s garbage. Invest in renters insurance if you start going bigger on tanks, worth having anyways. If the heat bothers you ditch the hood, will give you better air exchange.

In my opinion it would probably be easier to maintain with just the clownfish. 3 fish in a 13.5 might be a tad cramped and eventually the clowns will claim the whole tank anyways. Some people might even consider it cramped for even the clowns alone, they typically recommend a 20 gallon.
 
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ShakerBreaker

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For the RO water, I used to use a new unused gas jug to haul ro water from the pet store to my apartment 20 years ago. Ask at your local LFS, I bet they will sell you ro water at a great rate just to keep you coming in. Cheaper than target.
 

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