Fluval 13.5 - Different kind of tank setup

Users who are viewing this thread

dwebster86

Ko-Ko Worm
POTY Winner
POTM Winner
Joined
Sep 18, 2014
Messages
1,894
Location
Shreveport
Well starting something new and different from what I've done in the past. This tank is a 13.5g Fluval Evo. It will not be SPS/LPS/Softies. It will be a MacroAlgae/Invert tank.

I MAY put in a fish or two, haven't decided yet, if I do it will probably be some type of goby/pistol shrimp combo.

Anyways tank stuff:

Tank - Fluval 13.5g Evo
Heater - Aqueon 50w
Return Pump - Sicce Silent 1.0
Powerhead - Hydor Koralia pump (though this may change, got it in today and it was HUGE, like the actual size of it was alot larger than I was expecting for the flow rating it has)
Chamber 1 - InTank Media Basket. - Plan on putting Filter Floss on top. Marine Pure Gems (small bio balls basically) in second row. Possibly Carbon if needed on bottom.
Lighting - Going to use stock lighting for now, as I'm doing MacroAlgae only and inverts, don't really need a crazy light. Think an AI Prime is severe overkill and I don't really want to lose the lid.
Thats it. No other filtration. I've seen a few of these done and most of them say less is more when it comes to filtration as the entire tank basically is going to act as a filtration with all the macroalgae.

Dosing -
ChaetoGro
AllForReef (if needed)
Possibly some Iron if the Chaetogro is not enough.
Phytoplankton

Livestock plans -
Live rock from KP Aquatics
Live Sand - Caribsea Special Grade
TBD - Trying to decide which Special Inverts I can do that won't eat my MacroAlgae. Got to do some research.
Off the top of my head I want Halloween Hermit, Electric Blue Leg Hermit, Coral Banded Shrimp, Possibly Candy Striped Pistol Shrimp paired with like a Yasha's Goby.
Was possibly thinking some Porcelain Crabs, Sexy Shrimp, MAYBE a Harlequinn Shrimp. Not sure if I want to constantly feed Starfish or not.
MacroAlgae - Display Algae that I'm going to research.


Fluval Pic.jpeg
 

merlinr26

Harlequin Tusk
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
1,012
Location
Meraux, LA
I have a koralia nano if you would like to use it.
Can't wait to see the build thread to see the progress.
 

clsanchez77

Reefkeeping Extremist
Global Moderator
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
9,338
Location
Metairie
John Tullock authored a book published in 207 titled Saltwater Aquarium Models. The book never received the credit it deserves because of the hobbies overwhelming thirst for coral garden tanks all stocked with pretty much the same clownfish/tang combinations. In the book he describes 45 model tanks categorized as "Basic Low-Maintenance Designs", "Biotope Tanks" and "Small Tanks". My later tanks since this book came out have been loosely modeled after these. My forever pending redesign will follow one as well.

For you, he has two designs under small tank you might be interested in.

Model Design 39: Goby and Shrimp. Summary: 10-15 gallons, live rock in two stacks on either end of the tank, deep sand bed with small live rock pebbles. Stock with Single or mated pair of the appropriate Cryptocentrus (Watchman Gobies), Amblyeleotris (Shrimp/Prawn Gobies) or Stonogobiops (these will be your more unique smaller and high finned shrimp gobies) and a shrimp of the Alpheus genus (pistol shrimps). For CUC, he recommends only a couple of snails or a small cluster of hermit crabs, specifically Clibanarius tricolor (Caribbean Blue Leg). He does not specify the snails, but I think Ceriths are the best for a small tank like this.

Model Design 44: Atlantic-Caribbean Nanotank. Summary: 5 gallon tank, a single show piece of fresh high quality Atlantic Live Rock, no fish, algae snails (not specified, probably ceriths), 1 brittle starfish and 3 Lysmata wurdemanni (peppermint) shrimp.

I see no reason you could not combine the two models, just skip the peppermints in favor of the pistol as these will not mix well in such a small tank. Do keep you CUC light or your pistol will go crazy.

For algae, I would be a fan of Halimeda, Avrainvillea, Penicillus or Rhipocephalus. That last one is harder to lookup as it is only one letter off from a common brown dog tick lol. These were popular in reef tanks in the early days. You don't see these in reef tanks anymore and they all require reef quality water, alkalinity & calcium as well as your standard fair of nutrients no different from say Chaeto. In a small tank, I would focus on one instead of a smashing of many.

You say now you will not do corals, but I have seen this story play out so many times over the decades LOL. So let me suggest up front this could be a good NPS tank and I would rarely advise this. They key to NPS success is low stocking levels and limited species selection, otherwise you will crash the tank quickly. If you do not get any on your live rock, look into Tubastrea. If your live rock comes from KP, you will not get any corals, aside from maybe a small Siderastrea. If you purchase a show piece from Tampa Bay Live Rock, you have a higher chance at getting some Cup Corals. My rock from Gulf-View had 3 small ones and now I have 6 nice sized ones. You can also get Cladocora, which is small brown Atlantic relative of Calaustrea. I had one grow quite large, but then died on me in a tank crash 2 years ago, where the cup corals survived.
 

dwebster86

Ko-Ko Worm
POTY Winner
POTM Winner
Thread starter
Joined
Sep 18, 2014
Messages
1,894
Location
Shreveport
John Tullock authored a book published in 207 titled Saltwater Aquarium Models. The book never received the credit it deserves because of the hobbies overwhelming thirst for coral garden tanks all stocked with pretty much the same clownfish/tang combinations. In the book he describes 45 model tanks categorized as "Basic Low-Maintenance Designs", "Biotope Tanks" and "Small Tanks". My later tanks since this book came out have been loosely modeled after these. My forever pending redesign will follow one as well.

For you, he has two designs under small tank you might be interested in.

Model Design 39: Goby and Shrimp. Summary: 10-15 gallons, live rock in two stacks on either end of the tank, deep sand bed with small live rock pebbles. Stock with Single or mated pair of the appropriate Cryptocentrus (Watchman Gobies), Amblyeleotris (Shrimp/Prawn Gobies) or Stonogobiops (these will be your more unique smaller and high finned shrimp gobies) and a shrimp of the Alpheus genus (pistol shrimps). For CUC, he recommends only a couple of snails or a small cluster of hermit crabs, specifically Clibanarius tricolor (Caribbean Blue Leg). He does not specify the snails, but I think Ceriths are the best for a small tank like this.

Model Design 44: Atlantic-Caribbean Nanotank. Summary: 5 gallon tank, a single show piece of fresh high quality Atlantic Live Rock, no fish, algae snails (not specified, probably ceriths), 1 brittle starfish and 3 Lysmata wurdemanni (peppermint) shrimp.

I see no reason you could not combine the two models, just skip the peppermints in favor of the pistol as these will not mix well in such a small tank. Do keep you CUC light or your pistol will go crazy.

For algae, I would be a fan of Halimeda, Avrainvillea, Penicillus or Rhipocephalus. That last one is harder to lookup as it is only one letter off from a common brown dog tick lol. These were popular in reef tanks in the early days. You don't see these in reef tanks anymore and they all require reef quality water, alkalinity & calcium as well as your standard fair of nutrients no different from say Chaeto. In a small tank, I would focus on one instead of a smashing of many.

You say now you will not do corals, but I have seen this story play out so many times over the decades LOL. So let me suggest up front this could be a good NPS tank and I would rarely advise this. They key to NPS success is low stocking levels and limited species selection, otherwise you will crash the tank quickly. If you do not get any on your live rock, look into Tubastrea. If your live rock comes from KP, you will not get any corals, aside from maybe a small Siderastrea. If you purchase a show piece from Tampa Bay Live Rock, you have a higher chance at getting some Cup Corals. My rock from Gulf-View had 3 small ones and now I have 6 nice sized ones. You can also get Cladocora, which is small brown Atlantic relative of Calaustrea. I had one grow quite large, but then died on me in a tank crash 2 years ago, where the cup corals survived.
Great read. No I'm serious about the No Corals. Not just saying that, I've been thinking of doing this for awhile. There is a specific tank I'm kinda modeling this by that is a build thread off of R2R. Tigahboy, he has around 4 MacroAlgae tanks right now and I've already asked him a few questions, no coral, display Algae, some CUC and no fish.

I've always liked Planted freshwater tanks, but honestly don't want to get into the whole CO2 bottles and high tech of that world. So this is my version of a planted tank. Its also different from what you always see in the Reef World. SPS dominated, Mixed Reefs, Softie tanks (which im doing with my other tank), etc.

This is Unquie and I'm not doing it on a big scale, this is why I like the Fluval Evo, I can use stock lighting for this which also means I've got a lid which I love, helps with evap so much, I do have an Old Tunze ATO if I need it, but for now not going to hook it up.

Filtration can be super light so low cost on equipment, etc. Dosing is going to be the most expensive part of this whole tank besides buying the actual algae and getting it here. Dosing Chaetogro and Trace elements and probably AFR as they consume Alk/Calc pretty good.

Done alot of research on this, so I'm excited.

Thanks for the read though, I may go with the goby/pistol shrimp, not sure yet. Still researching that. I will be doing KP Aquatics Live rock though, my last ship order is shipping tomorrow and If I don't get pieces from that order, I'll pull a couple pieces from my DT.
 

clsanchez77

Reefkeeping Extremist
Global Moderator
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
9,338
Location
Metairie
Fluval will be a great tank for this, almost perfect really. Yea, lighting need not be intense for a marine planted tank. Let's not forget the bulbs we were using for refugiums before LEDs LOL. Don't get me wrong, I love KP Aquatics rock. But if I wanted a single or two show pieces for a biotope tank, both Tampa Bay and Gulf-View get there coral rocks from the vicinity of the Florida Middle Grounds reefs. This is the only legal way to acquire any Atlantic/Gulf corals. If you don't want the corals, KP is second to none!

With marine planted, you will not need the CO2. Just do not dose kalkwasser as that will consume the dissolved CO2 and actually compete with the plants.

Check out the older pictures of my 110 tank build. When I first stocked the tank with Gulf-View rock, I had about 4 different types of macro algae in there. I still have two of those today. One is some kind of Caluerpa that resembles grape, but looks more like moneywort from the freshwater tanks. The other one I still have is almost fern like shape on the leaves. It is not a Caluerpa, but I have never identified it. My favorite macro that I no longer have was a green bottle brush looking algae, but it was a soft algae and not calcerous....never ID that one either. The forth and final was brown Dictyota algae which I do not recommend lol. Was a beast to get rid of.
 

dwebster86

Ko-Ko Worm
POTY Winner
POTM Winner
Thread starter
Joined
Sep 18, 2014
Messages
1,894
Location
Shreveport
I found this nice magazine article with a feature on the sort of tank you are planning. My guess is that you may have read it already.

Yea thats Tigahboy! Who i referenced up above a few posts ago. He's the one that inspired me to make this tank. I've read all through his build thread and asked him questions and talked with him. Didn't know he wrote an article, but thats cool too.
 

dwebster86

Ko-Ko Worm
POTY Winner
POTM Winner
Thread starter
Joined
Sep 18, 2014
Messages
1,894
Location
Shreveport
Live rock from KP Aquatics in the tank and some form of macro algae already that came with it!

Also see how big that Powerhead is!!! Not even a high flow Powerhead. Gotta look at better options.
07D089DD-3FB4-4B13-A14F-AF84B76AFF71.jpeg
 
Top