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Old 09/15/2018, 05:47 PM   #1
BeachVacationer
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Fluval Spec 16 nano build.

I've had my Fluval Spec V reef tank running for about 3 years now and I am upgrading to a 16 gallon to give my clownfish more room and to make this a BTA only tank.
Here's a video of my current 5 gallon reef.

https://youtu.be/J6RJU60He1U

My 5 gallon is ok but I want better lights for my new tank and a way to control them also.
I know that the Evo 13.5 is marketed for reef but since I'm upgrading the lights, I decided to buy the Spec 16 which is the same foot print but 2 inches taller.

Here's what I've spent so far on this build.
Tank $180
2 Kessil A80, controller, cable $377
Fluval PS2 skimmer $46
Inkbird ITC-308 temp controller $35
Florida crushed coral $30
Aquatop NP-305 return pump $27
3.5mm right angle adapters for cable $8
Thermometer $7
Total $710

I plan to use the stock cover, place the A80s directly on top of the cover and my current fan unit on top of that. Not exactly sure how that will look ultimately. But I really don't like lights hanging over the tank with light spilling outside the tank. When I'm sitting eye level with the tank, I don't want the light shining in my eyes.
I might make some type of box to cover the lights and fan unit. I've been playing with the A80s and the controller a bit. These are awesome lights. Amazing how 16 watts can generate so much light. 2 of the over this tank should be great for this tank!


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Old 09/15/2018, 08:42 PM   #2
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Old 09/15/2018, 09:22 PM   #3
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Current Tank Info: Frag tank at the moment, planning another
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Old 09/16/2018, 06:29 AM   #4
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Old 09/16/2018, 09:05 AM   #5
BeachVacationer
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This is what I'm planning to do with the lights and the cooling fan unit.

The A80s are going directly on top of the hood so none of the light bleeds out.

IMG_20180916_081701-01.jpg

Planning to use these strips of wood to hold the lights and fan unit together. I'll use Velcro to attach them so I can disassemble it easily.

IMG_20180916_081725-01.jpg

Then the fan goes on top of that. There's enough space between the lights and fan so I'm hoping air will move through the Kessil heat sinks for cooling the light when the fan is not on.

IMG_20180916_081829-01.jpg

Yeah, this looks rather cluttered doesn't it. I need to make this presentable. I was thinking of making a nice open top box for it but as a cludge I might just make a skirt that goes around it. Something like this but obviously not with tape showing!

IMG_20180916_083207-01.jpg

Now, I have to figure out how to secure the whole thing on the hood so it doesn't fall off.


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Old 09/17/2018, 08:20 PM   #6
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Old 10/01/2018, 05:47 PM   #7
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Quick update just to show the equipment I got so far for. The Kessil A80 Tuna Blue are awesome. Solidly build and the light out and color are more than I expected. Two of them on this tank which is 15 inches deep should be good for BTAs. Also got the controller. A bit surprised at the limited number of times the intensity can be changed for the day. It's only like 5 times. I don't see like a slow AM, PM ramp up/down function. Also upgraded the return pump which fits perfectly and is very quiet. Also got the Fluval mini skimmer. When the skimmer came, the cup was damaged, so I emailed them pictures. They asked my opinion on if it was damaged during shipment. I said it probably was. Next I get email saying a new one will be shipped and I can keep the one I got! Great, I'll use it for spare parts. Thought about buying just another cup, but it's $50! No way

Anyway, the tank is very nice. It's still small but way bigger than my Spec V that I'm replacing. I washed the inside with a bit of vinegar and rinsed it out many times.

If you get this tank, look at the bottom brace that will contact your stand. It was white rubber pad in it. After taking everything out of the box I saw a rubber pad in the box but didn't know what it was at the time. It was only when I looked underneath the tank and saw these pads and one was missing did I realize what it was. So before you put water in the tank make sure all the pads are there and installed correctly.

I'm not planning to modify the filtration section at all. I've seen people put the skimmer in the middle section and put the mechanical filter in the overflow section. But think fluval's got it right by putting the skimmer in the overflow section. I think it makes sense to skim whater it can before hitting the mechanical section. Plan to use carbon and phosphate reducing filter pads cut to size and place that under the sponge. That's it for filtration.

Still deciding to go bare bottom here. I like the look of the sand but not a fan of having to clean it with a vacuum hose. I'm just amazed at how much crap gets trapped in the sand. I think once coraline algae covers the bottom glass I think it'll look good to me.

I will be adding IO reef salt to the RODI that's in the tank now. Wanted to make sure it's not leaking. Since I'm transferring live rock with my BTAs on them, there's no need for cycling this tank. I just have to match parameters and temp when I move them. I'll use the light acclimation mode when I light this tank.

Here are some pictures.

IMG_20181001_115711-01.jpg

IMG_20181001_115725-01.jpg

IMG_20181001_115830-01.jpg

IMG_20181001_115841-01.jpg


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Old 10/01/2018, 06:15 PM   #8
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https://youtu.be/V7Q8G4rG_Bs


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Old 10/27/2018, 08:11 AM   #9
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Two weeks ago I transferred my live rock and my BTAs from 2 other tanks into this one. I also moved my 2 clownfish, snails and a tuxedo urchin in here too. After a week of acclimating the BTAs to the new light, I think they are doing really well. Surprisingly they have not moved much at all. I bought a rainbow BTA and put it at the top of the rock work 2 weeks ago too. It hasn't moved but it's stretching up so I might increase my Kessil A80 intensity to 80% at peak photo period interval. I have 2 A80s on this tank and this BTA is about 5 inches below the light.

The Fluval mini skimmer is working well now, pulling dar, yellow skimmate from the tank. I'm just using the stock filter sponge, not using the little bags of carbon and bio ceramics that came with it. I have plenty of live rock for biological filtration. I did put a larger bag of carbon below the sponge in the middle section. I also put some phosphate reducing filter pads in the 3rd section. After 2 weeks, Hanna checker shows 0.13 ppm phosphate so I need add more phosphate reducer to get below 0.03. My API shows yellow, so low nitrate. I use IO reef crystal salt. Surprisingly, after 2 weeks my KH has not decreased much. My API tester says 8 dKH, was 9. Not surprisingly my Ca has not changed. Still at 480 ppm. My plan is 20% monthly WC and it's been 2 weeks so I'll add alk today to increase it to 9.

I've had these BTAs for 1 to 2 years, except the new rainbow, and never fed them. But since they're in a bigger tank, I've decided to start feeding them on a weekly basis to promote faster growth. With additional feeding I expect higher nitrate and phosphate, so I'll have to monitor and address as needed. I'm hoping the feedings and more light will promote deeper color and longer tentacles. I like the bubbles but also like the long bubbleless tentacles. Any ideas to achieve that?

I'm going to feed them slices of scallops as I think the pieces are 100% digestival compared to shrimp. I've heard pellets are available too. Any recs?

IMG_20181019_160414-01.jpg

IMG_20181019_160436-01.jpg

IMG_20181019_160449-01.jpg

IMG_20181019_160517-01.jpg

IMG_20181019_160540-01.jpg


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Old 10/27/2018, 08:15 AM   #10
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Few more pics and latest vid.

IMG_20181019_160600-01.jpg

IMG_20181019_160632-01.jpg

IMG_20181019_160711-01.jpg

https://youtu.be/yo1jipmMLNA


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Old 11/08/2018, 10:10 PM   #11
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Looks really good! Also makes me realize how far I have to go with mine haha


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Old 11/09/2018, 02:01 PM   #12
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Looks awesome!


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Tank is finally wet!
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Current Tank Info: Marineland 93 gallon rimless cube, Radion LED/T5 Combo, Eshopps sump, Nyos skimmer, Apex controller
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Old 11/11/2018, 06:42 PM   #13
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I know I said this is a BTA only tank, but darn it the other side was just lifeless. None of the BTAs like that side. So to give it some life and color, I got a Fiji yellow leather. I like it there.

IMG_20181111_182612-01.jpg

IMG_20181111_182715-01.jpg

IMG_20181111_182929-01.jpg


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Old 11/15/2018, 07:59 PM   #14
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Coming on week 5 for this tank. Running perfectly. Haven't lost anything and no algae, diatom nor cyano outbreaks.

What I've noticed though is the amount of evaporation on this tank. I probably top off with 2 regular size plastic bottles of water everyday. Maybe it's due to the season and the fact that I use a fan to keep the tank around 77 degrees. Since I'd like to minimize maintenance, I decided to add an ATO. I already have 2 Tunze Osmolator nano 3152 but I'm not going to use it. I use these only when I go on vacations. But once it failed and overfilled my 5 gallon tank. Though I've been using them for a few years, I just don't trust it for every day use.

So I ordered the IceCap dual optical ATO. I like the obvious no moving parts design but also like the compact physical design. The Tunze needs too much vertical space above the water line. Plus the pump on the Tunze is too big and tall.

Everything about the Ice cap is great except the tubing. It's all kinked. It's permanently kinked like every 4 inches. I tried to blow air through it but can't. So it's useless. Plus it's like white color which I don't like because all the wiring so far has been black. I was about to make a trip to Ace but got the idea to use the tubing from the Tunze. It's black, no kinks and slightly smaller diameter. IceCaps tube holder is blue but Tunze is black so I used the black Tunze tube and it's black holder. It looks much better than white tube with blue holder. Everything worked out of the box, pump is quiet. The reservoir is perfectly tucked in the lower drawer and when it's pumping, I can't hear anything. Per suggestions here on another thread I put the sensor unit in the return section. I know it won't keep the water level as steady as I have been doing but it's less work for me. I'm sure the BTAs will be fine. They seem to be tough creatures.


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Old 11/15/2018, 09:27 PM   #15
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Some pics of my ATO install.

IMG_20181115_151521-01.jpg

IMG_20181115_200745-01.jpg

IMG_20181115_200710-01.jpg

IMG_20181115_200814-02.jpg

IMG_20181115_200852-01.jpg


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Old 11/16/2018, 11:21 AM   #16
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Beautiful, something for us other Fluval Nano owners to aspire to. Looks great!

I really want an anemone for mine, but I'm afraid it will get too big


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Old 11/16/2018, 09:21 PM   #17
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I love my icecap ato but my tubing was kinked too. I ended up putting it in a large bowl with hot water and microwaved it a minute or two at a time and it seemed to help release the kinks. Also did yours overfill? Mine did the second time it topped off, but I think it was either a sensor test or fluke as it hasn't happened since day 1


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Old 11/26/2018, 09:29 AM   #18
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I've had my ATO running for over a week now. The sensor is the return section and it's been working flawlessly. I'm amazed at how sensitive the sensor is. Meaning that it keeps the level very constant in the display tank. It works WAY better than the Tunze nano ATO. Don't know yet about reliability long term but so far this ATO I very good. I just wish they figure out the kinked tubing situation.


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Old 11/26/2018, 07:44 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachVacationer View Post
I've had my ATO running for over a week now. The sensor is the return section and it's been working flawlessly. I'm amazed at how sensitive the sensor is. Meaning that it keeps the level very constant in the display tank. It works WAY better than the Tunze nano ATO. Don't know yet about reliability long term but so far this ATO I very good. I just wish they figure out the kinked tubing situation.
I agree! it is super sensitive and accurate when it comes to filling. very rarely does it fill higher than half way up the main sensor. Now if I could get my dang trochus snails to stop cruising over my overflows, blocking them and lowering the level in my return section... I think they do it on purpose


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Old 11/26/2018, 08:29 PM   #20
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Since we're talking ATO, let me vent about my Tunze. While I was gone for the Thanksgiving break, I setup my Tunze Osmolator Nano 3152 ATO on my 20 gallon tank. While it worked ok, I'm going to give this away. I noticed a large air bubble formed at the bottom of the float switch causing the ATO to think the water level is higher than it really is. I also noticed the hose connector has cracked. I've only used this maybe six times for 1 to 2 weeks at a time. With these 2 things happening, I am done with this ATO. Don't buy it, I really think the IceCap is much better for a nano tank.

IMG_20181126_172037-01.jpg

IMG_20181126_184727-01.jpg


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Old 11/26/2018, 09:34 PM   #21
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Week 6 update, I have Coraline algae starting to grow on the back wall now. That's great because I'm not a fan of that black plastic. Coraline will make it more natural looking and also provide some food for my urchin.

IMG_20181126_204757.jpg

IMG_20181126_204832.jpg


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