M-A-T-T-Y's Fluval Evo 13.5g

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by M-A-T-T-Y, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. M-A-T-T-Y

    M-A-T-T-Y Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Hi all!

    Last year I moved from a house in the country to an apartment in the city, unfortunately my 4x2x2 Tropical tank could not come and I had been fish-less for a few months. The urge to get back into it was too much a couple weeks ago and I decided to setup a small Fluval Evo and try my hand at Saltwater!

    The tank has been running for about 3 weeks, I started it using Saltwater from the LFS, 6kg of Live Rock and Red Sea Live Reef Sand. I've made the following changes to the tank:
    111.jpg 222.jpg 333.jpg

    I have a small problem with keeping the temperature down, I live in a rather hot house.
    However without the lid on the tanks temperature is perfect, this is fine because I intend to replace the hood/light with an AI Prime HD in the next month.

    Overall things have gone quite well, I had Diatoms take off, but that appears to have significantly reduced in the last few days. Water tests have all gone well except for the test I did last night there appears to be a small increase in Ammonia.

    6Mar2018.png

    Questions:
    1. I have no idea if the 2 Continuum Aquatics products are any good, I was going to get Seachem Purigen and Seachem Matrix but the LFS did not have it and recommended these instead. Thoughts?
    2. I believe the Ammonia increase is likely due to me replacing the filter media? I've probably thrown it into a mini-cycle and I am assuming the new media has not had a chance to grow beneficial bacteria to break down the Ammonia yet?
     
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  2. M-A-T-T-Y

    M-A-T-T-Y Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Just did another test, seems like a small decrease in Ammonia but otherwise not much change.
    Very keen to see it hit 0 again, but if my thoughts are correct (that I put it into another cycle) this wont happen for a few days?
    Hopefully this new filter media is decent so I wont have to go through this again.

    Screenshot 2018-03-06 at 9.56.06 PM.png

    Do all other Parameters look okay to everyone else?
    Worried I may be missing something as it has seemed to easy so far haha.
     
  3. rich nyc

    rich nyc Well-Known Member

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    love your aquas-cape. mine only had one rock
     
  4. yungreefer2410

    yungreefer2410 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    The filter media such as the filter floss is a secondary host of the ammonia neutral bacteria. The main source of that and other beneficial bacteria will be your live rock. As it gets more established you do not need to worry about mini cycles every time you change the filter floss.

    As for the products you have, the power cleanse seems more like a more powerful carbon. The seachem purigen is a different product. It removes trate/trite and more from the tank. Feel free to swap it out if you would prefer. Once your ammonia reaches 0 again and stays there I would get a clean up crew followed by your first fish or corals.

    Best to start off with easier lps or softy corals.
     
  5. M-A-T-T-Y

    M-A-T-T-Y Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thank you! I am constantly undecided if I like the aquascape or not.
    I am awful at scaping so that is the work of my partner, each time we do it we love it, but then a few days later are unsure haha.

    I guess we won't properly love it until there is some fish and Coral in there :)

    Thank you Yungreefer! Good to know what could have caused the spike, I will do another water test tonight and top the tank off with RO water. Then I will be away for 4 days, so hopefully when I get back I get a 0 reading for Ammonia.

    Would there be any harm in having Purigen and Matrix in compartment 2? (in addition to the current products I have in compartment 1). Might be overkill, but if it benefits the tank and makes me sleep easier I am happy to do it.

    I am very glad to see it all coming along.
    Will be remove the hood and adding an AI Prime HD in roughly 1-2 weeks time.
     
  6. yungreefer2410

    yungreefer2410 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I wouldn't think that would be a problem
     
  7. M-A-T-T-Y

    M-A-T-T-Y Member Build Thread Contributor

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    13 March 2018 Update:
    Tank Age is about a month now!
    Just got back from my 4 days away, tank has taken a bad turn :(

    Diatoms are completely gone as far as I can tell, however it has now begun to develop Green Hair Algae!
    I am thinking I will leave lights off for the rest of the week and see how it looks on Friday.
    1.png

    In addition, my Alkalinity has dropped below a suitable level, and Ammonia seems to be getting worse!
    My High Range PH Test I cannot even determine what it is, as it doesn't appear to match any of the colours...
    2.png
    3-2.png 4.png

    After I performed the test, I replaced filter floss, did a ~25% water change and scrubbed what algae I could with a tooth brush (seemed to have no effect on the large GHA). Here is a current Full Tank Shot:
    5.jpg

    Questions:
    1. Anyone able to tell what Ammonia reading is? I am guessing around 0.4 at the moment. Fairly disappointing to see it is still increasing. I am not entirely sure why but I will see how we go during this week.
    2. The High Range PH results don't look anything like what is on the scale. Thoughts? I am assuming this is very bad.
    3. Do I need to be concerned about the Green Hair Algae or part of a new tank cycle?
    4. What would cause the Alkalinity drop, and how do I bring it back up?
    Thanks in advance for your help, feel like I badly need it at the moment.
     
  8. M-A-T-T-Y

    M-A-T-T-Y Member Build Thread Contributor

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    13 March 2018 Update:
    Did another test today after yesterdays big scrub and water change.
    • Looks like I did not add enough Salt Water back in, so I have just added a bit more Salt Water.
    • PH I think is 8.3? Bit hard to tell.
    • Ammonia looks a lot closer to 0 today than it did yesterday.
    • Calcium dropped significantly so I have dosed the tank with some Calcium.
    • Still unsure what to do about Alkalinity.
    2018-03-13 23_17_30-Fish Tank - Google Sheets.png
    2-3.png 1-3.png

    Questions
    1. Anyone able to tell what Ammonia reading is? I am guessing around 0.1 at the moment.
    2. The High Range PH results don't look anything like what is on the scale. Thoughts? I think roughly 8.3?
    3. Do I need to be concerned about the Green Hair Algae or part of a new tank cycle?
    4. What would cause the Alkalinity drop, and how do I bring it back up?
    5. What would cause the Calcium to plummet overnight like it did?
    Thank you.
     
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  9. M-A-T-T-Y

    M-A-T-T-Y Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Have been doing a lot of testing and water changes, GHA appears to have stopped growing and is disappearing so that's good.

    Parameters are starting to look good again, everything is where you'd want it to be except for Alkalinity and Calcium which are both low.

    However I've discovered 3 small bits of Aiptasia...

    I quickly scrubbed them off, then researched it more and found out that's not recommended as it can cause it to spread, bit disheartening to find that our afterwards.

    What's the most recommended method of removing Aiptasia?

    Feel like I'm making every "new tank owner" mistake there is! I'll get there eventually I'm sure.
     
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  10. db75Reef

    db75Reef Member

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    There are commercial products available, but works well with lemon juice and a syringe; When aiptasia is open put the needle on it and give it a drop of lemon juice; They will just melt once take a sip of it; Too much lemon juice can affect you water parameter (specially PH) but on a new tank is not such a big issue; Other use coral glue and just add a bit on the rock where aiptasia is placed - will just die under the putty :)
     
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  11. db75Reef

    db75Reef Member

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    the tank have some weeks already looks like... But as long as still have amonia reading is not cycled; Dont bother too much on calcium and Kh values and just leave it run its cycle. After the cycle can start testing and adding stuff
     
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  12. M-A-T-T-Y

    M-A-T-T-Y Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks db75Reef!
    I saw another recommendation to use boiling water from a Syringe on them and gave that a go. Seems to have done the job for now, the existing ones appear to be gone and no others have popped up. If they come back I will give the lemon juice method a go.

    Latest test results are starting to look good again! Ammonia could be 0, but it is rather hard to tell with the API Test Kit. So I am marking it as 0.5 until I get another Test Kit and can get both showing 0.
    TestUpdate.png

    Algae appears to have cleared right up and I have noticed some critters!
    I am pretty sure they are Stomatella snails after researching online. Seems like they are good to have? I noticed 3-4 of them in the tank last night when I turned the light on, they seem to hide when the light is on so it's quite hard to get photos.
    Stomatella.png

    Replaced the filter wool again and it gets brown fairly quick.
    Will leave the tank alone today and do another round of testing tomorrow.
     
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  13. samnaz

    samnaz Coral Nerd R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    yep those are stomatellas. Any other algae grazers added to the clean up crew yet?
     
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  14. samnaz

    samnaz Coral Nerd R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I'd recommend trying a different brand test kit for the ammonia. Just to be sure. Seems strange to me that ammonia would be rising and falling without seeing a change at all in nitrite or nitrate.
     
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  15. M-A-T-T-Y

    M-A-T-T-Y Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Nope I haven't actually added any amimals myself, the Stomatellas must've been on the Live Rock. I guess I only just noticed them now?

    Yea it does seem very odd, I've been thinking of getting the Salifert test kits to replace the API test kits. I basically want to replace all the tests that come in the API Saltwater Master test kit with the Salifert version.
     
  16. M-A-T-T-Y

    M-A-T-T-Y Member Build Thread Contributor

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    22 Mar 2018 Update:
    Stomatellas seem to be reproducing, or I am just noticing more. They are hard to see during the day but we've counted at least 6 out at once (various different sizes). They appear to make a big difference on the rock but not so much to any algae on the glass of the tank.

    I have been considering getting the following to start my CUC after a couple more good water tests in a row:
    • 2x Trochus Snails
    • 2x Nassarius Snails
    Latest Tests have been pretty good! I think Ammonia is 0, it is hard to tell but the last few days the Ammonia has looked like 0.
    I am going to get a new tub of RO Water, and a tub of Saltwater from my LFS on Saturday morning. I will get a different brand of Ammonia Test Kit while I am there so I can try and confirm it is 0.
    22Mar2018.png

    It does still seem odd that Ammonia has fluctuated but no difference in Nitrite, and minimal difference in Nitrate.
    Not sure if I should be concerned about that or not.

    All in all a pretty good week for the Tank, we are very pleased [​IMG]
     
  17. M-A-T-T-Y

    M-A-T-T-Y Member Build Thread Contributor

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    26 March 2018 Update:
    Got the new tub of Saltwater Parameters are all good except for Specific Gravity which is rather high at 1.029.
    This just means I will have to add the Saltwater to a bucket and some RO water before putting it into the tank though, not really a big deal I don't think. Testing results for the Saltwater batch:
    26Mar2018SWBatch.png

    The tank is doing great, Ammonia is definitely a solid 0 now.
    I purchased a Phosphate Test Kit and have begun testing that as well now, all parameters seem good except for Calcium.
    I have a bottle of Continuum Reef Basis Reactor, which I've noticed in the past if I add a cap (5ml) it seems to bring Calcium up by roughly 20ppm, so will probably use that every few days until Calcium is mid 400.
    26Mar2018.png

    I purchased 2 snails, the LFS didn't have technical name of them (just listed as "Algae Eaters") but I believe they are Nassarius snails. They don't seem to have made too much difference to the Algae on the glass in the time I have had them, but I didn't want to overdo it and felt buying 2 was sufficient for now.

    I have not purchased any Fish yet, I think it's best I go a couple weeks of good parameters before I get my first fish (planning on 2x Clowns). However the LFS had a special on some Coral, perhaps it was a newbie mistake but I couldn't help myself from picking up 1 piece.

    The LFS again didn't have specific names listed, but I believe it is an Alveopora Coral? The LFS has grown one of them very well in their display tank and uses Hikari Corilific Delite to feed it, so I got a pack of that as well. Fed it last night by turning all pumps/filters off, squirting the food all over the coral and letting it sit for a while. LFS said they only feed it once a week, does that sound right?

    After some additional research last night, I placed the Alveopora fairly high up in the tank, but not in too much flow. Here is an image of the Coral:
    IMG_20180324_220135-02.jpeg
     
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  18. M-A-T-T-Y

    M-A-T-T-Y Member Build Thread Contributor

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    04 April 2018 Update:
    Tank seems to be going fairly well lately!

    There is still some small pieces of Aiptasia that are sticking around, boiling water doesn't seem to be doing the trick so I will try using a small amount of lemon juice mixed in water and see if that works.

    Water Parameters have been great:
    Image05.png

    I bought 2 small Clown Fish 2 days ago, they seem to be pretty happy although one of them doesn't seem to like it's food much and prefers to bite at the Algae on the glass. One of them has also taken a liking to the Alveopora coral which so far is still alive haha.

    rsz_image01.png rsz_image02.png

    I have also noticed 2 worms in my tank, very hard to get photos of and only come out at night.
    I think they are Bristleworms and not something to worry about, can anybody confirm?

    rsz_1image04.png rsz_2image03.png

    Thanks in advance! :)
     
  19. M-A-T-T-Y

    M-A-T-T-Y Member Build Thread Contributor

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    13 Apr 2018 Update:

    Parameters are looking good still, the 2 Clowns seem to be happy and the Alveopora seems to be healthy.

    Unfortunately I have had some Algae outbreak again. I think it is Green Hair Algae, Calothrix anad maybe some Lyngbya?
    I pulled out every rock last night (slowly, after carefully removing all the Stomatella's off each piece [​IMG]), gave them all a scrub and then re-aquascaped.

    I am tempted to get something to remove phosphate as I am concerned the Algae is using it all and that's why I am getting 0 readings. I am also considering buying the following to assist with CUC:
    • 2 x Trochus Snails
    • 2 x Astareas Snails
    Photos of the Algae before I scrubbed everything:
    IMG_20180411_221735.jpg IMG_20180411_221738.jpg IMG_20180411_221740.jpg IMG_20180411_221747.jpg

    Going to hold off on buying any corals etc. for a while until Algae is sorted.
    Also someone did a hit and run on my motorbike so I have to spend money fixing that instead [​IMG]
     
  20. M-A-T-T-Y

    M-A-T-T-Y Member Build Thread Contributor

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    24 Apr 2018 Update:
    Tested all water parameters, did a big scrub of all the glass, and did a ~30% water change last night.
    Water Parameters are still looking great and have been for quite a while now so I am very happy with that!

    20180424.png

    Did find a large piece of Aiptasia which I will get onto tonight, the Lemon juice idea suggested another user seems to have worked a charm on all the old Aiptasia (much better than just boiling water). It has not come back where I used the Lemon Juice so I am very happy with that method of removal at the moment.

    Unfortunately the LFS had no snails when I visited, so that is still on the "to get" list.

    However while we were there we did buy a Royal Dottyback (Pictichromis paccagnellae) and a piece of Coral, I was not sure what it was at the time but my partner said "we needed it" and who am I to say no to her? [​IMG] After some investigation I believe it is a Open Brain Coral (Trachyphyllia Geoffroyi).

    Pictures of the Coral and updated tank shot:
    rsz_img_20180422_151648-01.png rsz_img_20180423_203008-01.jpg rsz_img_20180423_222548-01.png
     
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