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Old 09/15/2018, 04:47 PM   #1
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Location: Naperville, IL
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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.

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, 07:42 PM   #2
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Location: Mascoutah, IL
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Tank is finally wet!
USAF Veteran, 12 years
Go Cardinals!!

Current Tank Info: Marineland 93 gallon rimless cube, Radion LED/T5 Combo, Eshopps sump, Nyos skimmer, Apex controller
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Old 09/15/2018, 08:22 PM   #3
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Subscribed as well.

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Current Tank Info: Frag tank at the moment, planning another
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Old 09/16/2018, 05:29 AM   #4
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13.5G EVO
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Old 09/16/2018, 08:05 AM   #5
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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.


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.


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.


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!


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, 07:20 PM   #6
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Old 10/01/2018, 04:47 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.





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Old 10/01/2018, 05:15 PM   #8
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