My very first saltwater tank, the Fluval Evo 13.5 gallon

Snowywood

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So I am still pretty new to the world of saltwater! I have had freshwater water for years, mainly an axolotl for 12 years, he was rescued and going to be flushed down the loo! Back last year I bought a second little fluval tank for a couple of goldfish and a few months later my axy passed. I ended up buying a new tank, turning it into tropical barb tank, so I had to learn the world of tropical, now I have three tropical and one cold.

I have been thinking about getting a fifth tank for piranhas, but the room I’ll need, will mean a house extension, queue next years project lol. But my husband said why not saltwater, they are pretty and very colourful. So I thought about it and came up with the answer of why not! My mental health is shocking and fish really give me a focus and pleasure. Decided to a start off small and go from there. Even though my husband was surprised to come home one August day and find a new tank in the room lol as you do!

I went with the Fluval Evo after researching, my other tanks are all Fluval and I trust them. So I went all out, got the wave maker, which if you could tell me, is it in the right place? There doesn’t seem to be any dead spots of water flow, so I think it’s right? Bought the matching protein skimmer, which drives me mad, I will have it just right and the next day it isn’t quite so, is that how protein skimmers are? I ended up using Fritz turbo start, hard to find in the U.K. but I swear by it after using the freshwater turbo start. I had my tank cycled in a month! The aquatic shop were shocked haha, especially as I used dry rock and sand. The stuff they sell here takes three month.

At the moment my tank isn’t pretty, as it’s not ready for corals, lights are off 99.9% of the time, only on for feeding and quick check of the fish. I started with my favourite fish, pyjama cardinal, after a week and everything still reading 0ppm, we bought my husbands favourites, the clownfish, after yesterday's debacle with the cleaning pipe, I am hoping my silly clown will be ok, then got myself a little purple firefish and in love with his quirky personality and colour, plus the CUC! Now I have to wait to December for corals!

Sorry if I go on, am a creative writer and I do know how to write long messages >.< but thank you if you got here and looked at my ok tank :) any advice is very much welcomed!
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Snowywood

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Not so much as progress on my tank, but an exciting moment, for me, maybe I am sad lol. I was told within the month I needed to get new shells/homes for my hermit crabs, I was so pleased when I found, deep clean and popped the new shells in, to see the two hermits run over and swap shells, I felt like a proud mama haha. Yes, I did pop some in that are far too big, but had a mad moment and didn't know the size I needed, so got a selection.

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Welcome to saltwater!
The fluval evo is a great tank, I’ve had mine for 14 months.
I’d recommend getting the intank media baskets, it does a much better job than the stock filtration.
I love the stocking options! Firefish are a favorite of mine. Keep an eye on the clowns, they can be mean to each other and to their tankmates in smaller tanks (at least mine were).
Hopefully you’ll get your piranhas soon! Another favorite of mine!
 
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Rick's Reviews

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So I am still pretty new to the world of saltwater! I have had freshwater water for years, mainly an axolotl for 12 years, he was rescued and going to be flushed down the loo! Back last year I bought a second little fluval tank for a couple of goldfish and a few months later my axy passed. I ended up buying a new tank, turning it into tropical barb tank, so I had to learn the world of tropical, now I have three tropical and one cold.

I have been thinking about getting a fifth tank for piranhas, but the room I’ll need, will mean a house extension, queue next years project lol. But my husband said why not saltwater, they are pretty and very colourful. So I thought about it and came up with the answer of why not! My mental health is shocking and fish really give me a focus and pleasure. Decided to a start off small and go from there. Even though my husband was surprised to come home one August day and find a new tank in the room lol as you do!

I went with the Fluval Evo after researching, my other tanks are all Fluval and I trust them. So I went all out, got the wave maker, which if you could tell me, is it in the right place? There doesn’t seem to be any dead spots of water flow, so I think it’s right? Bought the matching protein skimmer, which drives me mad, I will have it just right and the next day it isn’t quite so, is that how protein skimmers are? I ended up using Fritz turbo start, hard to find in the U.K. but I swear by it after using the freshwater turbo start. I had my tank cycled in a month! The aquatic shop were shocked haha, especially as I used dry rock and sand. The stuff they sell here takes three month.

At the moment my tank isn’t pretty, as it’s not ready for corals, lights are off 99.9% of the time, only on for feeding and quick check of the fish. I started with my favourite fish, pyjama cardinal, after a week and everything still reading 0ppm, we bought my husbands favourites, the clownfish, after yesterday's debacle with the cleaning pipe, I am hoping my silly clown will be ok, then got myself a little purple firefish and in love with his quirky personality and colour, plus the CUC! Now I have to wait to December for corals!

Sorry if I go on, am a creative writer and I do know how to write long messages >.< but thank you if you got here and looked at my ok tank :) any advice is very much welcomed!
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I have so many shells for my hermits, snails I'm surprised that 1 so far has taken into another shell, even my small hermits have grown so much, I would at least get a mixture of sizes, I got 30 mixed sized for £10 , although some big.
My hermit moved into instead of killing others to try on for size :)
 

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Rick's Reviews

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I have never owned pistol shrimp so unsure of the outcome, if he comes out big and fat then yes he's happy, as for clean up crew, not so lucky ha ha, I would just throw some shells in for survival ability, , although you do not see them does not mean they are not alive
 
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I have never owned pistol shrimp so unsure of the outcome, if he comes out big and fat then yes he's happy, as for clean up crew, not so lucky ha ha, I would just throw some shells in for survival ability, , although you do not see them does not mean they are not alive
lol I mean the shells disappear. He will occasionally drag hermits under but they always get out.
The hermits all seem to be done growing, as they haven’t changed shells in a while. I periodically add extras back in.
 
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Welcome to saltwater!
The fluval evo is a great tank, I’ve had mine for 14 months.
I’d recommend getting the intank media baskets, it does a much better job than the stock filtration.
I love the stocking options! Firefish are a favorite of mine. Keep an eye on the clowns, they can be mean to each other and to their tankmates in smaller tanks (at least mine were).
Hopefully you’ll get your piranhas soon! Another favorite of mine!
Yes, I have seen and heard about these intank baskets, I was thinking how I go in the future to grab one of them and the pump from the Fluval Flex 123 and outlet, and pop a better pump in too, I can find the pump, but not the outlet/pump head. Search continues.
I have noticed my clowns doing a weird dance to one another, I believe that is saying hey I'm a boy, I'm a girl? But it is one clown with my filefish, they don’t nip fins, but they bite the water around the other, normally the filefish scares the clown off, so keeping an eye on that, always over in a second. Already had to take one Pyjama Cardinal back as having a pair, they ended up fin nipping and chasing, which was fairly tame to what my Barbs can do in the freshwater tank, jeez! Just hoping when I can get to that coral stage, things might be better, maybe that is wishful thinking :confused:
Good to come across a fellow piranha lover! Not many people get me, but I think they are beautiful :)
 
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I have so many shells for my hermits, snails I'm surprised that 1 so far has taken into another shell, even my small hermits have grown so much, I would at least get a mixture of sizes, I got 30 mixed sized for £10 , although some big.
My hermit moved into instead of killing others to try on for size :)
I live nearby many different beaches, so I am hoping over the coming weeks I can find a good selection. Don't panic, I really deep clean them haha, but I enjoy the hunt for the shells. I have heard the hermits will kill each other and snails for a shell :eek: But only one of yours has taken to the new shells? Awww, going to hate this, but one of mine tried four shells out before she was happy lol.
 
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I had a lot of shells…then I got a pistol shrimp. One by one, they all made their way into its cave…never to be seen again lol.
I am going to have to google later this shrimp! Poor crabs ... but have to giggle.
 

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Yes, I have seen and heard about these intank baskets, I was thinking how I go in the future to grab one of them and the pump from the Fluval Flex 123 and outlet, and pop a better pump in too, I can find the pump, but not the outlet/pump head. Search continues.
I have noticed my clowns doing a weird dance to one another, I believe that is saying hey I'm a boy, I'm a girl? But it is one clown with my filefish, they don’t nip fins, but they bite the water around the other, normally the filefish scares the clown off, so keeping an eye on that, always over in a second. Already had to take one Pyjama Cardinal back as having a pair, they ended up fin nipping and chasing, which was fairly tame to what my Barbs can do in the freshwater tank, jeez! Just hoping when I can get to that coral stage, things might be better, maybe that is wishful thinking :confused:
Good to come across a fellow piranha lover! Not many people get me, but I think they are beautiful :)
If they are quivering next to each other, it’s kind of like a fighting/mating ritual. They are figuring out who is dominant, whoever wins is the female. Their behavior is similar to cichlids if you are familiar with them. Surprised the firefish fought back, they tend to be super placid. Sounds like they were having a territorial dispute, firefish won. Cardinal pair not getting along doesn’t surprise me, they can be mean to each other so it works out better in bigger tanks.
Corals are a fun time. The fish give the tank activity, but the coral is usually the true focal point, lots of amazing options out there. Hopefully your clowns will find something to host (that they don’t kill in the process).
I miss my piranha…truly an amazing species.
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If they are quivering next to each other, it’s kind of like a fighting/mating ritual. They are figuring out who is dominant, whoever wins is the female. Their behavior is similar to cichlids if you are familiar with them. Surprised the firefish fought back, they tend to be super placid. Sounds like they were having a territorial dispute, firefish won. Cardinal pair not getting along doesn’t surprise me, they can be mean to each other so it works out better in bigger tanks.
Corals are a fun time. The fish give the tank activity, but the coral is usually the true focal point, lots of amazing options out there. Hopefully your clowns will find something to host (that they don’t kill in the process).
I miss my piranha…truly an amazing species.
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I do have one bigger than the other, but the difference in size is small, they tried to get me two different sizes, but I don't think it worked out that well lol. They aren't nasty towards each other, just do the dance.
Yes, I did read a little more in the end about pyjamas, they do well either on there own, or group of eight plus. I went to the local Sea Life Centre and saw they had a bunch of pyjamas together, tank didn't look big enough and they all looked in a terrible state :'( Mine is fine on it's own now, sounds random, but it was the pyjama that I fell in love with and made me decide to try saltwater. I was guided by the aquatic store what fish I should get, so I do wonder if they should have advised against it?
Yeah, my firefish is a bit of a bruiser, s/he often shoes away the clownfish, but having to keep an eye on her as I notice this morning she was flicking the sand, only three times, tried to get a video or photo, but hasn't happened again, worry about a sickness! So might need to do a post about it later.
At the moment my clowns are hosting all sorts of things in the tank haha, they haven't done it so much lately, but the pump head is a firm favourite lol.
Oh my! You had a piranha!!! Wow! So pretty! Did you just have the one? As I am thinking if I can build a 1000litre tank - need to build the extension on the house first haha (sorry, not sure what that is in gallons, think about 250g?) then I can have 7 piranhas, but I will never get any work done >.<
 

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I do have one bigger than the other, but the difference in size is small, they tried to get me two different sizes, but I don't think it worked out that well lol. They aren't nasty towards each other, just do the dance.
Yes, I did read a little more in the end about pyjamas, they do well either on there own, or group of eight plus. I went to the local Sea Life Centre and saw they had a bunch of pyjamas together, tank didn't look big enough and they all looked in a terrible state :'( Mine is fine on it's own now, sounds random, but it was the pyjama that I fell in love with and made me decide to try saltwater. I was guided by the aquatic store what fish I should get, so I do wonder if they should have advised against it?
Yeah, my firefish is a bit of a bruiser, s/he often shoes away the clownfish, but having to keep an eye on her as I notice this morning she was flicking the sand, only three times, tried to get a video or photo, but hasn't happened again, worry about a sickness! So might need to do a post about it later.
At the moment my clowns are hosting all sorts of things in the tank haha, they haven't done it so much lately, but the pump head is a firm favourite lol.
Oh my! You had a piranha!!! Wow! So pretty! Did you just have the one? As I am thinking if I can build a 1000litre tank - need to build the extension on the house first haha (sorry, not sure what that is in gallons, think about 250g?) then I can have 7 piranhas, but I will never get any work done >.<
Cardinals do pair off, so it isn’t surprising they suggested a pair. Usually it works best to have a large group and let them pair off, reduces chance of aggression. It’s also possible you have 2 males and one killed the other.
The bigger clown will eventually become the female, but yeah the bigger size difference the easier it is for them to figure it out.
Definitely keep an eye on that firefish. They are disease hardy, but you don’t want anything spreading. May have to get a qt tank ready to treat everyone (sucks but it keeps them all safe). Might be nothing, but always be prepared.

Just the one red belly. Only really wanted one at the time (they do fine on their own, just a bit more skittish/more aggressive). I had him in a community tank until I had his tank ready, by then he killed 2 gourami. In his tank, I moved my banded leporinus in with him. They always butted heads but he let it live (after taking its eye out). I tried various tankmates, each ended up dead except the leporinus. Lep eventually won, I found the piranha dead in a corner, not a scratch on him. My theory is that the lep took a shot at night, and the piranha got scared and swam headfirst into the wall, and died of a concussion. I’d hope to do it again (the proper way) someday! A nice big mixed pygo shoal with caribe, piraya, and natts (and terns if I can find them) all together. Would need a big tank, at least the 250 you suggested. Well there I go rambling about piranhas again lol.
 
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Cardinals do pair off, so it isn’t surprising they suggested a pair. Usually it works best to have a large group and let them pair off, reduces chance of aggression. It’s also possible you have 2 males and one killed the other.
The bigger clown will eventually become the female, but yeah the bigger size difference the easier it is for them to figure it out.
Definitely keep an eye on that firefish. They are disease hardy, but you don’t want anything spreading. May have to get a qt tank ready to treat everyone (sucks but it keeps them all safe). Might be nothing, but always be prepared.

Just the one red belly. Only really wanted one at the time (they do fine on their own, just a bit more skittish/more aggressive). I had him in a community tank until I had his tank ready, by then he killed 2 gourami. In his tank, I moved my banded leporinus in with him. They always butted heads but he let it live (after taking its eye out). I tried various tankmates, each ended up dead except the leporinus. Lep eventually won, I found the piranha dead in a corner, not a scratch on him. My theory is that the lep took a shot at night, and the piranha got scared and swam headfirst into the wall, and died of a concussion. I’d hope to do it again (the proper way) someday! A nice big mixed pygo shoal with caribe, piraya, and natts (and terns if I can find them) all together. Would need a big tank, at least the 250 you suggested. Well there I go rambling about piranhas again lol.
We did think that at the store, that I might have two males, we tried to look for a female and male, as the one I have now, has a shorter back fin, it was worth a try, they let me take back one, which had the worst fin damage, but in fairness, I wanted to keep the first cardinal as he was my first marine fish.
Yeah, think I am going to have to do a thread about firefish, managed to get a video of it happening, it's not great but you can see what happens. Good to know they are hardy though! I was thinking they might be a bit temperamental, as they cost a decent amount over here in the UK, but that might be just the UK. Hoping while I have a small tank I wouldn't need a QT tank, but if I am to do it, might as well get a bigger tank and turn this one into a QT tank lol. Tell the OH that and he'll just walk out the door lol.
Aww ramble away about piranhas! I love anything to do with fish talk, I have no one around me that cares to listen about me and my hobby, bar my mother, but she pulls me down, especially when I give her advise on how to solve an issues. She only has freshwater, but over stocks, not enough plants and wrong food, but what do I know after four successful freshwater tanks :rolleyes:
Never knew you could happily keep a piranha either on it's own or with other fish that isn't one of it's own :oops: I know my husband's boss had piranhas, about three or five, can't remember, about 15/20 years ago, but in a 100litre/25gal tank ...the knowledge of them was the film, I swear! I can't keep gourami's alive, let alone with a piranha though haha, not sure why, everything is perfect in the tank, just didn't work out for me, but found if I have the same family of fish, things tick along so much easier!
 

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We did think that at the store, that I might have two males, we tried to look for a female and male, as the one I have now, has a shorter back fin, it was worth a try, they let me take back one, which had the worst fin damage, but in fairness, I wanted to keep the first cardinal as he was my first marine fish.
Yeah, think I am going to have to do a thread about firefish, managed to get a video of it happening, it's not great but you can see what happens. Good to know they are hardy though! I was thinking they might be a bit temperamental, as they cost a decent amount over here in the UK, but that might be just the UK. Hoping while I have a small tank I wouldn't need a QT tank, but if I am to do it, might as well get a bigger tank and turn this one into a QT tank lol. Tell the OH that and he'll just walk out the door lol.
Aww ramble away about piranhas! I love anything to do with fish talk, I have no one around me that cares to listen about me and my hobby, bar my mother, but she pulls me down, especially when I give her advise on how to solve an issues. She only has freshwater, but over stocks, not enough plants and wrong food, but what do I know after four successful freshwater tanks :rolleyes:
Never knew you could happily keep a piranha either on it's own or with other fish that isn't one of it's own :oops: I know my husband's boss had piranhas, about three or five, can't remember, about 15/20 years ago, but in a 100litre/25gal tank ...the knowledge of them was the film, I swear! I can't keep gourami's alive, let alone with a piranha though haha, not sure why, everything is perfect in the tank, just didn't work out for me, but found if I have the same family of fish, things tick along so much easier!
When juvenile they aren’t any meaner than a congo tetra or a tiger barb. Once they put on some size they realize that other fish are food. The only reason the lep survived was that it was always bigger than him, everyday I expected it to be dead. With that said, a well fed piranha in a large tank with tough fish can survive. At the aquarium they have them in with pacu, silver dollars, leporinus, flag tails, plecos, and rays. In a small tank I wouldn’t recommend doing what I did.
As for being alone, they shoal more for protection, they like the company but will just as quickly kill the weak piranha
What kind of gourami? Dwarfs are notorious for getting sick and dying.


For the firefish price, that sounds right. The helfreichi and purple are quite expensive in the US as well.
 
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When juvenile they aren’t any meaner than a congo tetra or a tiger barb. Once they put on some size they realize that other fish are food. The only reason the lep survived was that it was always bigger than him, everyday I expected it to be dead. With that said, a well fed piranha in a large tank with tough fish can survive. At the aquarium they have them in with pacu, silver dollars, leporinus, flag tails, plecos, and rays. In a small tank I wouldn’t recommend doing what I did.
As for being alone, they shoal more for protection, they like the company but will just as quickly kill the weak piranha
What kind of gourami? Dwarfs are notorious for getting sick and dying.


For the firefish price, that sounds right. The helfreichi and purple are quite expensive in the US as well.
I think a tiger barb is scarier than a piranha haha, its the only barb I will not have in my barb tank. I have never seen piranhas over here with other fish, always separate to others, why I just thought it couldn't work, but I get your logic.
I think we all do something we shouldn't, at the moment I have a weather loach in a tropical tank, he was from my Coldwater tank, when all the goldfish died, I went tropical, I wasn't giving him up, I love him! but he is happy. Then I have an armour shrimp in a 14gal tank, should be in a 25gal tank, but he was sold to me as a bamboo ... when I finally got a good look at him after a month being in the tank, oh, he's an armour shrimp, cool, but ek! So I need to get him a new tank at some point.
Yep, I had the dwarf kind, just couldn't work out why they died, test the water, water changes on time, filter etc etc no reason, just died!
Ahh ok, I have in my head, the more money they cost, the more they are harder to keep and rarer they are lol.
 
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