Jump to content
jwalsh

Fluval Spec V five gallon

24 posts / 4177 viewsLast Reply

Recommended Posts

Having been out of the hobby for a while, I finally dove back in a month ago and started an apartment-friendly nano tank with the sleek Fluval Spec V. Full equipment and stocking list is on my thread at Nano-Reef.com, but since I'm in DC I thought I'd introduce myself and post a few pics here. (I apologize for the iPhone photography, but so it goes for now).

 

Things are still very new but long-term plans are for a mixed reef with lots of sessile critters as well. I'm going for SPS with small-pattern growth forms so they look attractive and appropriately sized for this little tank.  With this small of a volume, I'm happy to do the maintenance required to keep up with the high bioload. You'll notice I have five fish (here's where I drop a sarcastic joke about "one per gallon, right?"), but everyone's happy so far and once the clowns get of age, they'll graduate out. 

 

Anyway, I plan to be at the event this weekend and wanted to say hi in advance. (In case anyone reading this is attending, I'm very interested in decent size frags of pocillopora and possibly millepora.) I will do a more final aquascape following the weekend event and whatever frag haul it brings in. 

 

 

Full tank shot 7.9.14:

14637140833_da480b2b3c.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome! What are the five fish, 2 clowns and...

 

What light are you running?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome! What are the five fish, 2 clowns and...

 

What light are you running?

 

Thanks! The other fish are a yellow clown goby, a Wheeler's watchman's goby, and a tailspot blenny. Critters include a porcelain crab and a Wheeler's pistol shrimp.

 

The light is a NanoBox Mini Tide with Storm controller. Loving it so far, but trying to find the sweet spot to build up color with the acros.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Real estate is tight, but I'm also looking for:

 

-2 heads of frogspawn and/or blue hammer

-plating monti with polyps and base different colors

-unique clove polyps

-maaaaybe want some short-stalk white pom-pom xenia

 

I have one or two 4-5 head acans for trade as well as. Will definitely be at the FF this weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Almost five months in the books for this tank. There have been a lot of additions since the last post thanks to this summer's FFE, generous WAMAS members, and last weekend's ERC live sale. Some final arrangements to do and frags to glue, but it's finally in a place where I'm not embarassed to show it off. Looking forward to watching things grow out and hopefully color up based on some new dosing.

 

11/5/14 FTS

15540982888_5fc9fdc2de_z.jpg

 

New ERC orange fungia + $8(!) lobo

15726417635_5f6dcf10e9.jpg

 

New ERC teal hammer making friends with frogspawn from the FFE (which has already split heads 1 1/2 times)

15540982708_c4faafbb78.jpg

Edited by jwalsh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's an awesome amount of life in that little tank.  Looks very cool.   

 

I had wanted to do a Spec V build in the past, but was worried about keeping params stable enough to keep coral happy.  How are your numbers (NO3, PO4, Ca, Alk, Salinity if you know them) and what do you do to keep them stable in such a small tank?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's an awesome amount of life in that little tank.  Looks very cool.   

 

I had wanted to do a Spec V build in the past, but was worried about keeping params stable enough to keep coral happy.  How are your numbers (NO3, PO4, Ca, Alk, Salinity if you know them) and what do you do to keep them stable in such a small tank?

 

Thanks! Stability is the major concern since I'm going sumpless. Even with once a day feedings for the fish and once every ten days for the corals, nutrients are still higher than I would like.

 

NO3 is usually between 5 and 15 ppm, which might account for some of the general browning of most of my SPS. PO4 low, but I test infrequently. I do 1.5 gallon water changes once a week, which amounts to 1/3 of the volume after sand, rock, equipment, and livestock eat up about 1 gallon of volume. 

 

I keep Ca around 450-480, which is high, but since I started dosing Ca and Alk (.5 ml/day), growth has taken off and the SPS are doing a good job of encrusting. 

 

Salinity is my big weakness right now. My target is 36, but even with the lid (which has a big opening down the middle), I still lose around 1/4 cup or so of water per day. For long weekends when I'm out of town, I have to make sure salinity is 34-35 so it's at 36-37 by the time I get home. I'm thinking about doing an ATO, but the risks/rewards with something this small have me on the fence. 

 

This is my first re-entry to the hobby in seven years, so it took a while to figure things out and I lost two good acros along the way. The trick now is to get things to thrive with good PE and much better color. I'm dosing a few Zeovit addities (amino acids, Phol's, etc.) that don't require the full Zeovit system to be effective. That's produced maybe 20% boost in color and a noticeable improvement in PE the last two months. I just started dosing Red Sea Coral Colars A-D and am proceeding very cautiously as overdosing these guys could get real bad real fast. However, I want my red dragon to be red, and my blue acro to be blue, darnit. I realize that a skimerless, sumpless, ATO-less, bell and whistle-less pico will have a ceiling when it comes to thriving acros. Still, let's see what we can do with what we have, right?

Edited by jwalsh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I have skimmer, sump, ATO, etc and most of my things are green/brown, lol.  If you can get great color in a 5g tank hats off to you and to that nice nanobox light.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ato would make a huge difference. Play with it while you are around to check on it. There are diy ones that would work well. I find that my pico inhabitants are less sensitive to salinity changes than I would expect, but I don't have SPS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Tunze ATO 3155 (float switch plus optical sensor) and right now I'm not sure if it's more trouble than it's worth. They make a nano version also, but I didn't consider systems that don't have redundancy.

 

Since my rear chamber in my AIO is so small, it can overfill too quickly, and when it overfills it emits a continuous piercing beep. Often in the middle of the night. So basically I've developed a lazy system where I manually plug it in whenever I hear a waterfall trickle, wait for it to fill, and then unplug it again. It's more convenient than fetching a bucket of RODI water, but for $210, I dunno.  I need to do is get a controller or timer and have it run for 30 minutes in the AM and the PM.

 

My fear for your pico is that a single ATO failure event could not only devastate your tank, it could ruin your floors, too.

 

When I was a poor college kid and wanted to go away for a long weekend, I would use a gravity based drip. It was basically a 1 gallon milk jug on a shelf above my nano, with two tubes through holes I poked in the lid.

 

But you could use something like this drip acclimator to really dial in the speed of the drips... maybe that would work for the occasional trip.

 

edit: I didn't use a drip acclimator at the time, I found a small plastic valve and I could get it where it would be only about 1 drip every several seconds. Like this but even cheaper and flimsier looking http://www.aquacave.com/micro-valve-barb-x-barb-by-two-little-fishes.html?fee=10&fep=3999&gclid=CMmz_dq-68ECFbHm7AodjXMA4w

Edited by MrSexyShrimp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I have skimmer, sump, ATO, etc and most of my things are green/brown, lol.  If you can get great color in a 5g tank hats off to you and to that nice nanobox light.

 

Very familiar with the curse of green and brown. :)

 

The ato would make a huge difference. Play with it while you are around to check on it. There are diy ones that would work well. I find that my pico inhabitants are less sensitive to salinity changes than I would expect, but I don't have SPS.

 

What pico are you running?

 

I have a Tunze ATO 3155 (float switch plus optical sensor) and right now I'm not sure if it's more trouble than it's worth. They make a nano version also, but I didn't consider systems that don't have redundancy.

 

Since my rear chamber in my AIO is so small, it can overfill too quickly, and when it overfills it emits a continuous piercing beep. Often in the middle of the night. So basically I've developed a lazy system where I manually plug it in whenever I hear a waterfall trickle, wait for it to fill, and then unplug it again. It's more convenient than fetching a bucket of RODI water, but for $210, I dunno.  I need to do is get a controller or timer and have it run for 30 minutes in the AM and the PM.

 

My fear for your pico is that a single ATO failure event could not only devastate your tank, it could ruin your floors, too.

 

When I was a poor college kid and wanted to go away for a long weekend, I would use a gravity based drip. It was basically a 1 gallon milk jug on a shelf above my nano, with two tubes through holes I poked in the lid.

 

But you could use something like this drip acclimator to really dial in the speed of the drips... maybe that would work for the occasional trip.

 

edit: I didn't use a drip acclimator at the time, I found a small plastic valve and I could get it where it would be only about 1 drip every several seconds. Like this but even cheaper and flimsier looking http://www.aquacave.com/micro-valve-barb-x-barb-by-two-little-fishes.html?fee=10&fep=3999&gclid=CMmz_dq-68ECFbHm7AodjXMA4w

 

The Spec V rear chamber (like pretty much all AIO chambers) is very small and would overfill very quick, so the margin for error is... pico. I hadn't even though of using a drip acclimator to regulate flow. Time to look around for simple but elegant gravity-fill solutions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FTS from last week. It's a fun little tank with interesting proportions. I wish it was an inch wider, but still love it.

 

15594364848_36a8515fc8_z.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got a great new order with silly prices on livestock from KP Aquatics. Not a fan of paying $40 for shipping, but everything else was so cheap it made it worth it. 

 

Full disclosure, I now have six fish in a five gallon: juvenile pygmy angel, Wheeler's goby, hi-fin goby, masked goby, and 2 rusty gobies. The Wheeler's gonna go to make room soon, but I plan to keep the remaining five for a while. KPA says the strain of pygmies they sell don't get above 2". We'll see and I'll be monitoring how it's doing as it gets bigger. It's a long tank and not very tall, so the five gallons is stretched compared to a cube. Combined with an open aquascape, there are good swimming lanes that ideally will provide a medium to long-term home for the angel. 

 

That still leaves four gobies, all of which stay 1"-2" and simply don't need to stretch their legs since they're hoverers or rock-huggers. Again, we'll see how it goes. I'm fairly convinced that for fishes that don't burn a lot of calories, such as gobies, they're simply not going to need to eat as much and thus won't produce as much waste as say clowns or wrasses (or angels). 

 

Past the fish, I got a orange spiny gorg, a bunch of dwarf cerith, a Pederson's anemone shrimp, and a tiny urchin. Algae was starting to become a thing, so this is a welcome boost to the CUC. 

 

Bagged goods

15893868681_8ddfc48314.jpg

 

Little man likes the Pederson's anemone shrimp

15710095007_8b4d00a4aa.jpg

 

Ordered a mated pair of rusty gobies - this is the brave one

15276222803_c5071fc210.jpg

 

 

 

  biggrin.png

Here's a link to my first video - couldn't figure out how to post directly here if it's hosted on Flikr

 

 

Last weekend I picked up two new corals from a local grower - love the new blue/orange fungia

15895863545_0e45a9b69f.jpg

 

And the Japanese toadstool with pencil urchin and Wheeler's goby photobombing

15894017061_8fe5e28dbc.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm curious how that Pygmy Angels do with the corals. I've read "reef safe: with caution"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had three over the years and other than the odd exploratory nip (that's a technical term!) they've left corals alone. From what I know, they have the best reputation for reef safe among angels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's good to know. I've been eyeballing them for a few months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My flame angel bothers the sps. I dont get very good polyp extension with him in the tank, but he doesnt eat anything, and everything seems to grow fine.

 

He is very pretty, very active, and kind of an a-hole to other fish, but not actually destructive, heh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, your spec v is sounding awesome. Hope it keeps doing well.

 

Thanks! Putting way too much time into the thing. 

 

Speaking of which, here's an update video from yesterday with a new setosa and sympodium from Issac. (Great trade, thanks!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's what glueing down frags looks like in a five gallon. Just take the water level down to where the lowest frag will be placed, then fill it back up. Total exposure time under five minutes if it's planned right. 

 

15955242416_bcaa1a43d2_z.jpg

 

And as you can see, colors in my SPS are pretty lacking, the acros especially. Blues, purples, and pinks are just absent, with brown the color du jour.  Here is my "brownout" thread over on Nano-Reef detailing everything. Would appreciate feedback any of you might have as well.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lotta action since the last post. Had some major alk swings that overtook a few corals, sold or swapped some things out, some "out of the house" fatalities, and one stinging situation that leads us to today:

28470977783_a0e8cabaa8_z.jpg[/url]

 

 

29056337976_db76d71373_z.jpg

 

Had been fishless for a few months while things stabilized in the tank and I could find a Saturday to be at home to receive an order. Finally made the plunge for this guy: 

 

28470977623_915e3b03d5_z.jpg

 

Yeeeeees. This is a sunburst anthias in a five gallon. Noooooo, this is not a permanent home nor is it recommended. I made sure to get a 1.5 inch fellow and am able to spot feed him twice a day. Two weeks in, he's gaining mass and seems mostly acclimated. They definitely are a timid species, so a peninsula 5 gallon helps with visibility. 

 

Currently doing a low-level battle with montipora-eating nudibranchs. Its under control, just trying to get it completely solved so curious if anyone's had any successes they can share. 

Edited by jwalsh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks great!  I have a 3g Fluval pico that doesn't look 1/4 as good as this one.

 

I had MENs in my tank a while ago.  Haven't seen them in 2 years.  I got rid of them by using a turkey baster to suck them out, blast them off the monti's and eventually they went away.  It's possible they are in there, I guess, but if they are I'm not aware of it.  I think it's possible that blue leg hermit crabs ate them too.  I have lots and lots of hermits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@jwalsh

 

We need to chat! I'm converting a freshwater tank I had at work to a SW downgrade for my bedroom.  Turns out it's the same tank as yours, white Fluval spec V!  It's literally still full of FW and plants at work, but hoping to make the initial switch this weekend, switch the water over, throw in some rock, and let it start cycling while I figure out the other details.  I'm not looking to do nearly as much as you have, rather just a couple clowns, and some flowy softies and/or BTAs.  I want it to be a zen meditation spot for my room.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...