My First Tank (13.5 gallon)

skyecw

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My First Tank!

Hi everyone, I’ve been lurking around R2R for a while whilst trying to research the hobby. I’m just under two weeks into cycling my first tank and decided to create a thread here to track it all and my progress! Here’s a photo of my tank as it is now (bar a couple of changes):

IMG_9542.jpeg


So I bought the Fluval Evo 13.5g AIO tank - in hindsight I kind of wish I’d gone for a 20 gallon however that just means more tanks in the future… (I’m also aware that a tank this size isn’t the easiest for a beginner however I’m a full time student and it’s sitting on my dresser, so it’s all I have space for right now!).

I used the CaribSea Arag-alive sand in the ‘Bahamas oolite’ colour, and the CaribSea ‘LifeRock’ nano pack, which came with two arches, and three individual rocks. I’ve used D-D purple reef epoxy to fix the first arch to the rocks it’s sitting on as it didn’t feel as stable as I would’ve liked.

It came with a stock pump and the stock filtration sponge with a bag of carbon and some ceramic rings.

Apparently the stock pump is super quiet but that wasn’t my experience and it was doing my head in - so I bought the TMC500 Reef Compact pump and I love it so far, stronger flow than the fluval even on less than half power, and is also completely silent! Going to buy an RFG nozzle at some point as well.

Filtration wise - currently running the stock filter sponge (apparently a nitrate/phosphate magnet), with the carbon and rings, and I have four maxspect biospheres sitting in the chamber with my heater, planning on ditching the stock sponge when my D-Flow media baskets arrive, then running filter floss and biospheres, and the stock media for a bit.

I’m using the AquaEl 75w Ultra Heater, it’s currently in the first chamber purely because that’s empty but will be moving it in with my pump in the third chamber once my baskets arrive. I did buy the recommended skimmer but on further research I don’t plan on using it for now so may try to return. Apart from that using the stock lid and stock light - will probably upgrade the light at some point but definitely not for a while! Also manually topping off evaporation with RODI, I don’t have the space for an ATO and also don’t need one with the stock lid as the evaporation rate is super low.

CYCLING:

I started the cycle with FritZyme 900 (not the turbo) and dosing Fritz Ammonia to 2ppm.

I last measured yesterday and my parameters were:

AMMONIA: 0.5ppm

NITRITE: 2ppm

NITRATE: 10ppm (although I’m aware nitrate reading could be falsely high in the presence of nitrites?)

Super excited to see how everything goes!
 

bigluc33

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My First Tank!

Hi everyone, I’ve been lurking around R2R for a while whilst trying to research the hobby. I’m just under two weeks into cycling my first tank and decided to create a thread here to track it all and my progress! Here’s a photo of my tank as it is now (bar a couple of changes):

1713022600661.png


So I bought the Fluval Evo 13.5g AIO tank - in hindsight I kind of wish I’d gone for a 20 gallon however that just means more tanks in the future… (I’m also aware that a tank this size isn’t the easiest for a beginner however I’m a full time student and it’s sitting on my dresser, so it’s all I have space for right now!).

I used the CaribSea Arag-alive sand in the ‘Bahamas oolite’ colour, and the CaribSea ‘LifeRock’ nano pack, which came with two arches, and three individual rocks. I’ve used D-D purple reef epoxy to fix the first arch to the rocks it’s sitting on as it didn’t feel as stable as I would’ve liked.

It came with a stock pump and the stock filtration sponge with a bag of carbon and some ceramic rings.

Apparently the stock pump is super quiet but that wasn’t my experience and it was doing my head in - so I bought the TMC500 Reef Compact pump and I love it so far, stronger flow than the fluval even on less than half power, and is also completely silent! Going to buy an RFG nozzle at some point as well.

Filtration wise - currently running the stock filter sponge (apparently a nitrate/phosphate magnet), with the carbon and rings, and I have four maxspect biospheres sitting in the chamber with my heater, planning on ditching the stock sponge when my D-Flow media baskets arrive, then running filter floss and biospheres, and the stock media for a bit.

I’m using the AquaEl 75w Ultra Heater, it’s currently in the first chamber purely because that’s empty but will be moving it in with my pump in the third chamber once my baskets arrive. I did buy the recommended skimmer but on further research I don’t plan on using it for now so may try to return. Apart from that using the stock lid and stock light - will probably upgrade the light at some point but definitely not for a while! Also manually topping off evaporation with RODI, I don’t have the space for an ATO and also don’t need one with the stock lid as the evaporation rate is super low.

CYCLING:

I started the cycle with FritZyme 900 (not the turbo) and dosing Fritz Ammonia to 2ppm.

I last measured yesterday and my parameters were:

AMMONIA: 0.5ppm

NITRITE: 2ppm

NITRATE: 10ppm (although I’m aware nitrate reading could be falsely high in the presence of nitrites?)

Super excited to see how everything goes!
Awesome! This is my first post too. I am about a year in and also have the Fluval 13.5. I am a first time reefer as well. Frankly, you appear to have WAY more knowledge than I had. Here is a pic of when I first started as well a few I snapped the other day.


IMG_2587.PNG
IMG_5925.jpeg
IMG_6063.jpeg
IMG_5945.jpeg
 
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skyecw

skyecw

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Awesome! This is my first post too. I am about a year in and also have the Fluval 13.5. I am a first time reefer as well. Frankly, you appear to have WAY more knowledge than I had. Here is a pic of when I first started as well a few I snapped the other day.


IMG_2587.PNG
IMG_5925.jpeg
IMG_6063.jpeg
IMG_5945.jpeg
Wow it looks great!! That’s reassuring - I was a bit worried I’d maybe jumped the gun a bit lol
 
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skyecw

skyecw

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Small Update:

Been away for a week but had someone checking my tank and parameters and seems that the tank is cycled now as ammonia and nitrite down to 0! Am I right in saying I should dose to 1/2ppm ammonia when I’m home just to check it all goes back down within 24 hours, big water change, then fish ready??!

Super excited - planning on getting a pair of clowns and feeding TDO Chroma Boost pellets alongside various frozen options. :)
 

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Small Update:

Been away for a week but had someone checking my tank and parameters and seems that the tank is cycled now as ammonia and nitrite down to 0! Am I right in saying I should dose to 1/2ppm ammonia when I’m home just to check it all goes back down within 24 hours, big water change, then fish ready??!

Super excited - planning on getting a pair of clowns and feeding TDO Chroma Boost pellets alongside various frozen options. :)
What is your nitrate? I wouldn't dose any more ammonia if you have 0. Best of luck with the new fish you are on your way!
 
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skyecw

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What is your nitrate? I wouldn't dose any more ammonia if you have 0. Best of luck with the new fish you are on your way!
The nitrate is at 15ppm - I’m wondering if I need to do a partial water change before the fish? Getting a pair of clowns this Tuesday - very excited!!
 

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Oh wow! I love the rock-scape! So happy to see another 13.5 on here. What's funny is that I'm also a full-time college student, and my 13.5 is also on my dresser... :grinning-face-with-sweat: Definitely upgrading in the future, but so far I'm enjoying mine! Some people do a small water change after cycling, and I suppose you could a little before you get your fish!

I started mine around early January I believe, if you'd like to see how it's going I have it on my build thread under my profile!
 
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skyecw

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Oh wow! I love the rock-scape! So happy to see another 13.5 on here. What's funny is that I'm also a full-time college student, and my 13.5 is also on my dresser... :grinning-face-with-sweat: Definitely upgrading in the future, but so far I'm enjoying mine! Some people do a small water change after cycling, and I suppose you could a little before you get your fish!

I started mine around early January I believe, if you'd like to see how it's going I have it on my build thread under my profile!
Thank you!! The tank is a perfect size for the dresser, and with the upgraded pump mine runs completely silently which I’m super happy about! I’ve done a 20ish % water change and my clowns arrive tomorrow, so excited!!

I believe I already follow your build thread actually - it’s what inspired me to make my own! Your tank looks fab, especially given how young it is
 

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Thank you!! The tank is a perfect size for the dresser, and with the upgraded pump mine runs completely silently which I’m super happy about! I’ve done a 20ish % water change and my clowns arrive tomorrow, so excited!!

I believe I already follow your build thread actually - it’s what inspired me to make my own! Your tank looks fab, especially given how young it is
Of course! I completely agree haha, it's a very great aquarium for small spaces! The TMC pump is a great pump, I went with a Sicce return pump and it has also been pretty quiet. A 20%ish change should be perfect! When you get to doing routine changes 2-3 gallon weekly or bi-weekly changes work just fine. Excited to see your clowns and what comes next! Do you have any first coral in mind for the future?

That's great, I'm glad my tank was an inspiration! I was also inspired by all the 'nano' tank setups here on R2R, it's such a great resource!
 
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skyecw

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Of course! I completely agree haha, it's a very great aquarium for small spaces! The TMC pump is a great pump, I went with a Sicce return pump and it has also been pretty quiet. A 20%ish change should be perfect! When you get to doing routine changes 2-3 gallon weekly or bi-weekly changes work just fine. Excited to see your clowns and what comes next! Do you have any first coral in mind for the future?

That's great, I'm glad my tank was an inspiration! I was also inspired by all the 'nano' tank setups here on R2R, it's such a great resource

Thank you! I feel like I have a lot more research to do vis a vis corals, and I’m also still unsure on when is appropriate to add them!! I love clove polyps so maybe I’ll start with one of those!
 
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Exciting update!

I am so so excited - my first two fish arrived about an hour ago. A pair of clowns, one snow storm and one davinci/gladiator! I was so surprised by how tiny they are. They’ve been acclimated and seem to be doing okay so far, I can’t stop watching them! Any advice regarding care/testing/literally anything I can do to look after these little guys would be super helpful :)

I’ve provisionally named them Orville (gladiator) and Cowboy (snow storm), although the snow storm is a little bigger than the gladiator so may well end up being a female named Cowboy!! I have some not great pics of them here:
 

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Dom

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My First Tank!

Hi everyone, I’ve been lurking around R2R for a while whilst trying to research the hobby. I’m just under two weeks into cycling my first tank and decided to create a thread here to track it all and my progress! Here’s a photo of my tank as it is now (bar a couple of changes):


So I bought the Fluval Evo 13.5g AIO tank - in hindsight I kind of wish I’d gone for a 20 gallon however that just means more tanks in the future… (I’m also aware that a tank this size isn’t the easiest for a beginner however I’m a full time student and it’s sitting on my dresser, so it’s all I have space for right now!).

I used the CaribSea Arag-alive sand in the ‘Bahamas oolite’ colour, and the CaribSea ‘LifeRock’ nano pack, which came with two arches, and three individual rocks. I’ve used D-D purple reef epoxy to fix the first arch to the rocks it’s sitting on as it didn’t feel as stable as I would’ve liked.

It came with a stock pump and the stock filtration sponge with a bag of carbon and some ceramic rings.

Apparently the stock pump is super quiet but that wasn’t my experience and it was doing my head in - so I bought the TMC500 Reef Compact pump and I love it so far, stronger flow than the fluval even on less than half power, and is also completely silent! Going to buy an RFG nozzle at some point as well.

Filtration wise - currently running the stock filter sponge (apparently a nitrate/phosphate magnet), with the carbon and rings, and I have four maxspect biospheres sitting in the chamber with my heater, planning on ditching the stock sponge when my D-Flow media baskets arrive, then running filter floss and biospheres, and the stock media for a bit.

I’m using the AquaEl 75w Ultra Heater, it’s currently in the first chamber purely because that’s empty but will be moving it in with my pump in the third chamber once my baskets arrive. I did buy the recommended skimmer but on further research I don’t plan on using it for now so may try to return. Apart from that using the stock lid and stock light - will probably upgrade the light at some point but definitely not for a while! Also manually topping off evaporation with RODI, I don’t have the space for an ATO and also don’t need one with the stock lid as the evaporation rate is super low.

CYCLING:

I started the cycle with FritZyme 900 (not the turbo) and dosing Fritz Ammonia to 2ppm.

I last measured yesterday and my parameters were:

AMMONIA: 0.5ppm

NITRITE: 2ppm

NITRATE: 10ppm (although I’m aware nitrate reading could be falsely high in the presence of nitrites?)

Super excited to see how everything goes!

That tank is shaping up nicely.

You've managed to build an interesting rock-scape in a small area; nicely done!

And yes, while it is true that small tanks are more difficult due to chemistry swings, you will be okay with faithful weekly 20% water changes (a bit more than 2.5 gallons weekly). In a tank that size, consistent water changes will keep your chemistry stable.

If you go away to college, demonstrate the water change process to your family and ask them to cover it while you are at school.
 

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