My 13.5 build - a wee reefie

OrdinaryGirl

New member
Hi everybody!

I received a fluval 13.5 gallon tank "kit" for my birthday (boy is kit ever a general term here). It took us some time to get rolling, but three months in we are starting to stabilize and become self sustaining. That said, I'm still looking to build a refugium because coming from a freshwater world, I love what plants offer in terms of natural filtrations - in this case, macro algae.

If anyone happens to know, would I be able to build a refugium in a Stainless container? I have an extra light, but I'm wonder about reflection and what not. I only ask because my partner is a Stainless fabricator and is insisting this is the way to go. I suppose also the welds will only off gas for so long but I also know glass is kind of the standard with saltwater so I just wonder if anyone has any experience they care to share in that regard!

Our current inhabitants are:

Purple polka dot hermit
Scarlet hermit
Skunk cleaner shrimp
Hectors goby
Clown goby (the clown and the shrimp just moved in today - Hector seems alarmed by the clown, the clown is staying out of the way but we're supervising closely. He may not be a good fit for the tank after all, Still time to go back to the lfs today if we have to, Hector was here first)
Purple feather duster
2 nassarius vibex snails
2 trochus snails
1 turbo snail
1 tiger nassarius snail
1 spiny astrea snail
4 assorted mushroom corals
1 tiny pink anemone

The anemone and the hairy mushroom coral were unexpected hitchhikers on the rock the worm was attached to.

OK, picture time. Everyone loves pictures. I am still getting the hang of taking the photos in the first place, but here's a sample!

Thanks for having me!

-H
 

Attachments

  • 20240415_184437.jpg
    20240415_184437.jpg
    1.2 MB · Views: 15
  • 20240415_184314.jpg
    20240415_184314.jpg
    1.7 MB · Views: 15
  • 20240416_174134.jpg
    20240416_174134.jpg
    1.9 MB · Views: 13
  • 20240414_174613.jpg
    20240414_174613.jpg
    1.7 MB · Views: 14
I'm having some problems with image sizes so I'll figure that out and try and post some more!
 

Attachments

  • 20240421_133300.jpg
    20240421_133300.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 14
  • 20240418_210621.jpg
    20240418_210621.jpg
    2 MB · Views: 13
Looks good. I often use a image resizing site for my images.

That said, I wouldn’t use stainless due to possible leaching (I’m not sure if stainless leaches to be completely honest.)

As an option, I know Aqueon makes a 2.5 gallon and 5.5 gallon tank that may work well for your needs. Are you running the tank stock or are you running it without the lid? Without the lid, you may consider a hang on back (HOB) refugium option? Could also go old school and do a DIY HOB fuge using an aquaclear 110 filter
 
Looks good. I often use a image resizing site for my images.

That said, I wouldn’t use stainless due to possible leaching (I’m not sure if stainless leaches to be completely honest.)

As an option, I know Aqueon makes a 2.5 gallon and 5.5 gallon tank that may work well for your needs. Are you running the tank stock or are you running it without the lid? Without the lid, you may consider a hang on back (HOB) refugium option? Could also go old school and do a DIY HOB fuge using an aquaclear 110 filter
I'm not using the lid - I nixed it pretty much upon arrival but I did save the light and ordered a screen from fragbox. I have space behind the tank for either option, my partner was hoping with the stainless more that it wouldn't be visible back there. I think I may just make a panel in between for that purpose, and find another tank. I will see if I can find the aqueon ones you're talking about locally (some stuff is readily available in Canada and some of it is a wild goose chase so we're no strangers to DIY).

He built a cabinet for the tank that also houses all my house plants and their grow lights. I have all my electronics and ato in a cabinet so they're already hidden from view, I just need to move the controller for my wave maker back up top so I don't have to dig it out at feeding time.

Now that we've gotten through the uglies and my cleanup committee seems to be catching up, and the water is stabilizing I'm wondering how necessary the refugium might even be. However, I know it probably won't hurt to set it up and make the whole thing just a bit more self sufficient. I'm still doing at least weekly water changes but nothing is getting out of whack really. My salt falls slightly still so I'm back up to every four or five days for changes but I'm also trying not to create additional drama in there lol.

What a glorious hobby lol. And to think for fun, I gardened.
 
In my opinion, a refugium can’t hurt. Main thing is making sure sufficient nutrients are there for their survival
 
In my opinion, a refugium can’t hurt. Main thing is making sure sufficient nutrients are there for their survival
I think I needed to explore more real life setups/examples a little bit, to see what I might do. If that makes any sense.

We only have one saltwater store where I am, but I grew up in a small town with a marine research facility and still have some contacts there so I may actually be able to find some "surplus" I can use for this. I am collecting pieces like I'm making it myself I think I'm just at the "needs a container or I'm going to have to keep feeding the extra caulerpa to my garden" stage lol. That stuff grows really quickly.
 
Also with one store in town it's limited my chances to go crazy with livestock so that's probably honestly for the best 🤣
 
I hear you. I’m in a major metropolitan area and I used to have 3-4 good SW LFS within 20 minutes. In the last 10-20 years, those have disappeared and I have to drive 30-45 minutes to get to a decent LFS.
 
Yeah we're on an island - this is *the* store for the whole island. Which, is actually, not small (it takes about 8 hours to drive from the south end to the north end). But, once a month or so they actually deliver up island which I think is pretty cool.

We have other pet stores but they mostly carry little stuff. Although the one I get most of my freshwater plants from has a constantly changing and incredibly random selection of stuff.
 
1000006513.jpg
I think I may make Murphy my new profile picture at work (that's what I named the clown goby).

Currently it's my old dog, and if I'm totally honest I've tried to change it previously and it just reverts to her picture somehow 🤣 anyway, he's a spicy little fish and I think he would do her memory proud.

Maybe not this pic but I'll catch him one of these days. The guy at the lfs said i might even be able to condition him to perch on my hands (tho I'm sure I don't really want to encourage that - I try to keep my hands out as much as I can).

Updates are: new auto top off arrived today, tomorrow I'll plumb it in and move the wave controller up so I don't have to futz around in the cabinet to find it. No refugium yet. Have changed to browsing market place for a tank that will just fit behind. Grape caulerpa is almost out of control but my plants love it.

I have not seen a sign of the shrimp in a couple of days. I'm hoping he is molting but as time goes on, I suspect I may not be good at shrimp. This is my second skunk, and the first one got caught in his shell while molting and I caught the hermit crab eating him. All parameters tested good, salt, calcium, iodine, alkalinity... All parameters are still good, so if I lost a second one, honestly, I think maybe I'm just not a shrimp owner. And that might be ok. Everyone else is alive and accounted for, and there is nothing strange happening other than I keep finding tiny corals?!

I didn't intend on getting into corals right away but the mushroom garden has (slowly very slowly!) taken off so... At least I can do that!
1000006509.jpg
 
I love small tanks. We ran a 10g for a ueD before moving up to our current 40 but the 10 was easier to aquascape lol.

The 40 is just more expensive cause it has room for so much rock and corals 😂
 
Back
Top