Plans for a Fluval Evo13.5

Jallen42
Member
so I’m starting my first saltwater tank! The plan is to get a Fluval Evo 13.5 and just start out on a nano aquarium. I plan on using fry rock and cycling with some sort of bottled bacteria maybe fritz? And a source of ammonia. Let that cycle for a whileI believe I should start light on CUC maybe:
1 trochus snail
1 Nassarious snail
Maybe a hermit crab?
After a while of seeing how that goes should I go for fish or corals to the tank? Or would you generally have to see the tank to tell the better option?
mid I go for fish I think I’d either choose some sort of shrimp goby then wait a while(3-4 weeks) and get a pair of clownfish completing the fish stock I believe.

for corals I would like to choose soft corals mainly and maybe in the future try out a torch coral or hammer coral.
UPGRADES:
i really like the hood and maybe in future if I wanted different corals I would upgrade it

I heard a lot of people changing pumps or adding nano power heads into it not sure which route is necessary I have a small power head I had on a freshwater tank would that be useable?

i love the refugiums people build so I thought of maybe adding copeopodsand macro algae’s into the filter compartment and possibly in the tank itself.

for the media I heard there are bio balls from marine pure? That work very well or the brightwell brick that is possibly an option they both looked like very good sources!

is there anything I should buy now like a refractometer and fritz rpm salt? I won’t be getting the tank for atleast 2 weeks or more.
 
Jesterrace
Member
Looks like you are off to a good start and have done some research on what is well suited for that tank. I will do my best to answer your questions:

1) a test with a few clean up crew is a really good way to go. I see lots of people recommend testing with fish, but a few inverts are much cheaper and a much better indicator of water quality (since inverts tend to be more sensitive). As long as you wait for the diatom bloom aka brown algae bloom to come in at the end of the cycle you should be good with adding a few CUC as they will eat it and help clean it up for you. Make sure you test weekly and leave the lights off for the first couple of weeks (offers zero benefit and just promotes unwanted algae growth).

2) Fish definitely. Even soft corals can be finicky in brand new tanks. That would be a good time to add a small yet hardy goby (ie small watchman goby).

3) Softies are generally good choices and Euphyllia Corals (ie Torch, Hammer, Frogspawn, Grape) are great. Torches IMHO tend to be more finicky than Hammers or Frogspawns though. If you do go with a Hammer go with a Branching Hammer instead of the Wall Hammer variety. Branching Hammers are much hardier and better at bouncing back from newbie mistakes. Be aware that Euphyllia corals do sting their neighbors and can be aggressive growers in that respect, so give them some space from other corals (it's generally recommended to give them about 6 inches). Euphyllia also prefer low to moderate flow and lighting so lower tank placement would probably be best for that tank. Good news is that they generally like dirtier water so you don't have to worry about nitrate levels.

4) If you keep the tank long term then it might be worth the upgrades but if not and you are just sticking to softies and easier to keep LPS (ie Branching Hammer) then you should be fine with the stock equipment in that respect. Definitely add a small powerhead though as they are crucial to the health of a saltwater tank. The freshwater powerhead should be fine as long as you clean/sanitize it well before use. A powerhead in the 180-240gph range should be plenty for that tank. Any more than that and you risk damaging the corals or kicking up sand all the time.

5) Yes, that is a wise method to go with a refugium in one of the compartments. A cheap grow LED a small piece of Live Rock/Dry Rock and some chaeto are all you should need. Just keep it in mind you will need to trim it periodically. You don't want it in the display tank as it will overrun things.

6) Honestly I don't care for the Bioballs or Bricks. Anything beyond a filter sock,cup, pad, etc. that is designed to trap things frequently causes long term issues and pain in the butt maintenance. I've tried several different things and my tank has never run as well as it has when I do frequent filter sock changes (you can wash and reuse them) and use nothing but Cheato to help filter nutrients. It's a lot cheaper and less hassle for you as well.

7) An RODI Water source (whether you buy your own system or get it from a reliable LFS) would be top of my list for early purchases. Takes so much hassle and variables out of your tank. So if you intend on getting a system I would add that to my early purchase list.
 
  • Thread Starter
Jallen42
Member
T
Jesterrace said:
Looks like you are off to a good start and have done some research on what is well suited for that tank. I will do my best to answer your questions:

1) a test with a few clean up crew is a really good way to go. I see lots of people recommend testing with fish, but a few inverts are much cheaper and a much better indicator of water quality (since inverts tend to be more sensitive). As long as you wait for the diatom bloom aka brown algae bloom to come in at the end of the cycle you should be good with adding a few CUC as they will eat it and help clean it up for you. Make sure you test weekly and leave the lights off for the first couple of weeks (offers zero benefit and just promotes unwanted algae growth).

2) Fish definitely. Even soft corals can be finicky in brand new tanks. That would be a good time to add a small yet hardy goby (ie small watchman goby).

3) Softies are generally good choices and Euphyllia Corals (ie Torch, Hammer, Frogspawn, Grape) are great. Torches IMHO tend to be more finicky than Hammers or Frogspawns though. If you do go with a Hammer go with a Branching Hammer instead of the Wall Hammer variety. Branching Hammers are much hardier and better at bouncing back from newbie mistakes. Be aware that Euphyllia corals do sting their neighbors and can be aggressive growers in that respect, so give them some space from other corals (it's generally recommended to give them about 6 inches). Euphyllia also prefer low to moderate flow and lighting so lower tank placement would probably be best for that tank. Good news is that they generally like dirtier water so you don't have to worry about nitrate levels.

4) If you keep the tank long term then it might be worth the upgrades but if not and you are just sticking to softies and easier to keep LPS (ie Branching Hammer) then you should be fine with the stock equipment in that respect. Definitely add a small powerhead though as they are crucial to the health of a saltwater tank. The freshwater powerhead should be fine as long as you clean/sanitize it well before use. A powerhead in the 180-240gph range should be plenty for that tank. Any more than that and you risk damaging the corals or kicking up sand all the time.

5) Yes, that is a wise method to go with a refugium in one of the compartments. A cheap grow LED a small piece of Live Rock/Dry Rock and some chaeto are all you should need. Just keep it in mind you will need to trim it periodically. You don't want it in the display tank as it will overrun things.

6) Honestly I don't care for the Bioballs or Bricks. Anything beyond a filter sock,cup, pad, etc. that is designed to trap things frequently causes long term issues and pain in the butt maintenance. I've tried several different things and my tank has never run as well as it has when I do frequent filter sock changes (you can wash and reuse them) and use nothing but Cheato to help filter nutrients. It's a lot cheaper and less hassle for you as well.

7) An RODI Water source (whether you buy your own system or get it from a reliable LFS) would be top of my list for early purchases. Takes so much hassle and variables out of your tank. So if you intend on getting a system I would add that to my early purchase list.
thank You so much!!! I plan on getting the RODI 4/5 stage unit from BRS!

Are there any cheap lights for the refugium that you recommend or have tried?

I may just buy a new one, but I should probably try out my old power head it’s just laying around anyway!

I have a freshwater test kit what test do you recommend getting for saltwater purposes? Alkalinity? Phosphate? Calcium when I try LPS corals?

Will the algae grow without the light? Or would that just start at a slower rate after the few weeks?

I saw a small clip with a watchmen goby and his pistol shrimp pal and thought it was so interesting!!

are there any gobies that may provide even more utility to an aquarium I may be wrong, but should I worry about the algae grazers or aptasia eaters? I figure if not there would be Inverts I could get for that.
I plan on getting an emerald crab later on as I heard they are very good cleaners is there a reason I should avoid it?
 

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