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lrp693

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Hello all,

I am looking into upgrading the stock filtration on my Fluval Evo 13.5. I have been running the stock system for around 1.5 years and I am not seeing the kind of results I would like to. I believe there are too many nutrients building up in the stock sponge. Here is the diagram of what I'm thinking of doing and I was wondering if this would work or if anyone had any comments/suggestions. I plan on using an IM ChaetoMax stuck to the outside of Chamber 2 with a reversed schedule from my display tank and keeping my current bio cubes + new ones. Any advice is appreciated!

My build thread can be found at Custom Rustic Nano Reef Build.

Filtration_Diagram.jpg
 
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Sarcazian

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Following along.... I have been researching ideas for my one month old 13.5 and just picked up the two intanks. It seems like some people are recommending floss, media, floss, bio (if wanted) in chamber 1.

I am considering an algae scrubber like this person recommends - https://www.nano-reef.com/forums/topic/395122-fluval-evo-135g-uas-upflow-algae-scrubber/

I am torn though since I have been out of the hobby for ~8 years. My previous two tanks had Chaeto with little success, but my home grown scrubber grew like a champ. I guess the Chaeto grew like crazy, but I still had crazy blooms, but both tanks got taken down by a three week power outage and I never got to finish the experiment.

The next phase of that experiment is re-using that live rock in this Evo. It sat in a brute, covered in salt water after cooking, for like 8 years. Still had some Coraline on it too without light and likely huge temp swings between hot summer and old winter ~90F-28F.
 
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lrp693

lrp693

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Following along.... I have been researching ideas for my one month old 13.5 and just picked up the two intanks. It seems like some people are recommending floss, media, floss, bio (if wanted) in chamber 1.

I am considering an algae scrubber like this person recommends - https://www.nano-reef.com/forums/topic/395122-fluval-evo-135g-uas-upflow-algae-scrubber/

I am torn though since I have been out of the hobby for ~8 years. My previous two tanks had Chaeto with little success, but my home grown scrubber grew like a champ. I guess the Chaeto grew like crazy, but I still had crazy blooms, but both tanks got taken down by a three week power outage and I never got to finish the experiment.

The next phase of that experiment is re-using that live rock in this Evo. It sat in a brute, covered in salt water after cooking, for like 8 years. Still had some Coraline on it too without light and likely huge temp swings between hot summer and old winter ~90F-28F.
That seems like an interesting solution too. I think I might go with the chaeto; it seems to be a little “cleaner.” I’m not in love with the idea of reinstating hair algae into my tank after I fought so hard to get rid of it, haha. Nevertheless, the algae scrubber could work too.

I’ve had the Chamber 2 InTank basket for awhile but never got around to getting into place. The Chamber 1 basket will be here tomorrow and I plan on setting both up then. Hopefully all goes well!

(That’s crazy that coralline lasted through all that!)
 

Sarcazian

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You have a very valid point on the type of algae being generated... I will need to do more investigation on that front as in the previous tank I was indeed fighting HA issues.

The other advantage of using chaeto is it might be easier on pods although I had tons of pods/bristle worms on my algae scrubber back in the day.
 
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lrp693

lrp693

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You have a very valid point on the type of algae being generated... I will need to do more investigation on that front as in the previous tank I was indeed fighting HA issues.

The other advantage of using chaeto is it might be easier on pods although I had tons of pods/bristle worms on my algae scrubber back in the day.
Yes, I’m trying to avoid bristle worms at all costs. It’s been 1.5 years and I don’t have any and would like to keep it that way. I know they aren’t the worst to have as they do some cleaning but they creep me out haha!
 
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lrp693

lrp693

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Just to keep up to date, I have added both InTank Baskets to Chambers 1 & 2. I put together both chambers as shown in the diagram of my original post on this thread and within hours my water clarity was better than ever before. After removing the stock sponge filter, I realized that the filter floss is far more dense than the sponge ever was which is trapping a much higher amount of particulates as soon as the water exits the tank into the back chambers. Another plus of the InTank inserts is that the water is now forced to go through the entire filtration process through every stage without having the ability to diverge and simply return into the tank without being scrubbed. I am already very pleased with this setup and am just got some chaeto to fill Chamber 2. The ChaetoMax light installed very easily just outside the chamber and I don’t see any issues there so far.

I was glad to know that all of the equipment upgrades could happen relatively easily and not affect the exterior view of my tank at all. Everything fits into the surround I built for it changing so much on the inside but nothing on the outside!
 

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Very cool. Are you still using the stock return pump or did you replace it?

I should have mine here tomorrow along with a Sicce syncra silent 0.5. Totally unrelated, my seneye came today and I played around with the PAR values. I was surprised that the stock lights hit 268 at the peak of my aquascape. I am not sure if I need to re-scape or try some SPS's up there even though it's at the lower end.
 
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lrp693

lrp693

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No, I replaced my pump with the Sicce Syncra 1.0 and put a Random Flow Generator (RFG) on the output nozzle and did away with the double flared output tips. You should be good with the Syncra 0.5 though and have PLENTY of flow. I have my 1.0 dialed down to nearly as low as it will go because it really is overkill for the tank, haha.

That's interesting about the stock lights. I never tested them, but I could never keep SPS (still can't cause of all the other stuff I'm fixing, lol) but I replaced mine with an AI Prime 16HD. That choice was mostly based on the customization that comes with the Prime. It's just so much easier to deal with than the stock light was.
 

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Just came across your thread, and wanted to provide my input. I also have the Fluval 13.5, with the Sicce 0.5, intank media baskets, and a very similar setup to yours. I've only been running mine since November 1st, though.

I had some chaeto where you have it in your picture, and found that the flow wasn't great. Combined with a light that also wasn't, and my chaeto died off. I have a new light coming Monday, and more chaeto coming on Wednesday, so I'm thinking about putting a small pump down at the bottom of chamber two, if it will fit, and routing water back to the top of chamber two so it flows over the chaeto. I'm also going to scrape the black mesh off where the light will go.

Which RFG did you get?
 
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I got the 1/2” VCA RFG. My chaeto, so far, has been doing well. I already need to trim it after a little over a week. The flow seems to be fine through the chamber but I don’t have very much chaeto in there which I plan on keeping trimmed back regularly so that I can maintain that flow.

The ChaetoMax light seems to be working out really well since my growth rate is so high. And yes, I also scraped the black honeycomb off the outside of that chamber.
 
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thoughtnomad

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Awesome, thank you very much. I'm hoping it's more the light that I had versus the flow. Thanks for confirming about the honeycomb. I'll give it a go with removing that, and improving the light. Hopefully I have more success this time.
 
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Updating the thread here. I have been running the new filtration for a little over a month and everything seems to be working like a charm. The only complaint (which is guess is actually and good thing) is that the chaeto grows really fast. I thought I would only have to trim it about once a month but it’s more like every week. I get rid of 90% of the volume of it every week and it replaces itself fully within the following week.

Aside from that, the tank health seems to be doing much better with the new filter system. I have finally been able to keep SPS for longer than two weeks without it dying off. It’s even encrusting now! Changing out the filtration was definitely a big plus, I’m just mad I didn’t do it sooner!
 

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Updating the thread here. I have been running the new filtration for a little over a month and everything seems to be working like a charm. The only complaint (which is guess is actually and good thing) is that the chaeto grows really fast. I thought I would only have to trim it about once a month but it’s more like every week. I get rid of 90% of the volume of it every week and it replaces itself fully within the following week.

Aside from that, the tank health seems to be doing much better with the new filter system. I have finally been able to keep SPS for longer than two weeks without it dying off. It’s even encrusting now! Changing out the filtration was definitely a big plus, I’m just mad I didn’t do it sooner!
Sounds great!! Big ask but would you be able to post pics of the filtration setup you have now? Yours is what I was hoping to build. Would you also have the equipment you purchased for this ie the baskets, fuge light etc? Thanks
 
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