The Little Tank That Could...
The Story of our Fluval Sea Evo 52L
Our little shop counter system started out simple, with basic livestock, live rock and coral sand, but went on to grab the attention of anyone approaching with awe stricken gazes. This, in a nutshell, is how we did it.
Here at aquariumkeeping.co.uk we've always been amazed at what these little tanks are capable of. Even with the basic setup in the box these tanks can keep Soft Corals and many species of LPS Corals happily, but with a few upgrades they can be made to keep just about anything, even high end SPS Corals!
The basic setup of our system was straightforward, we started out by filling the system with preheated, ready mixed TMC saltwater from our instore system, after which we added a few pieces of mature live rock, dry coral sand and a bottle of ATM Colony Marine. A Firecracker Goby was then acclimated and
introduced, along with a Blue Pipefish, Live Copepods and some Soft Corals. For filtration we used bags of Rowaphos, activated carbon and biospheres in the inlet chamber, and the stock foam block in the middle chamber.
After a few weeks of settling the system, we removed the stock lid and light and fitted the tank with an AI Prime 16HD LED Light and a Jecod SOW-2 powerhead. This is where the magic truly began, the growth rate and polyp extension under the new light was astonishing, even managing to grow and colour SPS corals with astonishing speed. You would think that putting SPS corals in a small, immature tank would be a headache: but amazingly, the tank kept on surprising us; even to this day it continues to thrive.
How we maintain the growth and colour in this system is by a simple routine of water changes, weekly live copepod feedings and testing. Water changes are done with a 2 litre jug, and typically 2 out 2 in with fresh saltwater 3 times a week is sufficient, along with daily topups for evaporation and new Rowaphos
and carbon monthly. Alkalinity consumption is particularly high in this system, and is monitored daily with a Salifert Alkalinity Test Kit. An ideal level of 8.3 DKH is maintained closely with daily doses of KH Buffers: with Calcium and Magnesium typically maintained with water changes; but supplementary
doses are provided when needed.
Amongst the beautiful livestock in the tank, there are a few creatures that truly stand out to us, here are 5 of the best.
Sexy Shrimp (Thor amboinensis)
No Nano Tank is truly complete without a gang of these pretty ornamental shrimp dancing and wiggling in plain sight all day. These little shrimp provide a valuable service, cleaning up detritus and any uneaten food. They will happily perch on our corals all day long, and have been growing rapidly.
Blue Striped Pipefish (Doryrhamphus excisus)
This little pipefish has been a wondeful addition to our system. Though these fish can often be difficult to keep, ours has thrived on its weekly copepod feedings and is always seen happily grazing the tank for the little invertebrates, poking its head around corals and rocks.
Raja Rampage Chalice (Mycedium sp.)
A truly beautiful and unique Chalice Coral descended from a single colony collected by Jason Fox Corals back in 2015, The awe inspiring colour and growth just keeps getting better, the colony has doubled in size since its introduction, and now has more new heads than we can count.
Strawberry Shortcake Acropora (Acropora microclados)
The colour and growth of this Strawberry Shortcake frag in our system has surprised all of us. For a fragile Acropora, that is prone to bleaching and stripping when unhappy with its water, this coral has thrived. This frag has been kept high up in the tank, with the high light and flow similar to its natural environment. throughout its time in the tank this coral has continued to grow and colour up, with amazing polyp extension every day.
Toxic Green Toadstool Coral (Sarcophyton sp.)
When this coral first came in, it was a much larger colony. We fragged it up and the cuttings were so colourful, with such good polyp extension they sold out within minutes. The remains of the mother colony were then placed in the center of this tank, where it has since recovered well and is now growing rapidly
once more. Its stunning green colour and movement make a truly wonderful centerpiece for this tank.
The Fluval SEA EVO 52L is a tank we covet massively, and this little system is all the proof you need that it can be done even on a tighter budget. If you wish to purchase one of these systems and replicate our miniature paradise on a desktop, we at aquariumkeeping.co.uk have the experience and the
expertise to guide you on your journey. If you have any inquiries feel free to contact us at anytime on our website and on our social media links below.