2020 Fluval EVO 13.5 Saltwater Aquarium Journal

Welcome to one of the most mundane post here on Spec-Tanks – our first annual EVO Marine aquarium journal!

I’ve kept a tank journal for our freshwater Spec V for several years and publish them on Spec-Tanks to help others understand our tank’s progression.  I figured I’d do the same for the new saltwater EVO.

Highlights for this first year of operation:

  • Tank setup – filled with water; cycled.
  • Added (2) clownfish and a skunk cleaner shrimp
  • The shrimp died; replaced it, and then it died.
  • We survived the worst of the ‘ugly phase’

Our EVO 13.5 Saltwater Journal: 2020

1/29/2020:
Leveled and positioned the stand. Leak test performed with tap water on the new stand.

Mixed 14 gallons of Salt water. Mixed as indicated with 1/2 cup per gallon (7 cups total)

1/30/2020:
Salinity of mixed water reads 1.026

Water got way hot in mixing barrel – 85 degrees. Either the heater is too much or the pump adds a lot of heat.

Added sand (2 liters). Probably less than an inch as an average.

Added water. Started with 14 gallons – 3 left at end so 11 gallons used.

1/31/2020:
Added a bit more sand. Clouded up again.

2/1/2020:
Water is more clear after cloudiness yesterday from adding sand.

Tested Ammonia: 0 ppm

Dosed ammonia based on 10% concentration, 11 gallons, target 2 ppm (which is 17 drops)

Tested after a few hours: Ammonia = 1.5 ppm

Dropped in 3/4 of the bottle of Instant Ocean Bio-Spira to start the cycle.

Installed the DIY mesh top.

2/2/2020:
Tested Ammonia = 0.15ppm; Nitrite (API kit) = 0ppm; Nitrate = 50 ppm. PH (high rage API) + 8.2. The Nitrite seems very high! The low level ammonia scale on the test kit is very hard to read, but it is down a lot since last night. That and high Nitrate tells me this is cycled.

2/6/2020:
I’ve been away from the tank since 2/2/2020 on a work trip.

Tested the following:

Salinity = 1.026
Ph (API High range) = 8.2
Ammonia = 0 ppm
Nitrite = 0 ppm
Nitrate = 25 ppm

I don’t know how the nitrate is high except perhaps that I messed the test up last time (it calls for 1 ml of test water but the syringe is 2ml so maybe I dumped 2ml in?).

It looks like all the ammonia is cleared out. I don’t want to kill off the good bacteria by starving them, so I’m going to start daily dosing of ammonia. 3 drops per day (that is about 0.3 ppm for this tank volume).

2/12/2020:
Nitrate = 25 ppm.

Will mix saltwater. Still have 3 gallons from first fill.

2/13/2020:
Nitrate = 50 ppm.

2/14/2020:
Water change with 10 gallons (of 11) – 90%. Lowered salinity a bit – water I put in was at 1.024 (1.026 in tank to start)

Added a 100ml bag of purigen and a bag with 2 tbs of carbon in the media rack.

2/15/2020:
Salinity = 1.0245 (half between 1.024 and 1.025)
PH = 8.2
Ammonia = 0 ppm
Nitrite = 0 ppm
Nitrate = 5 ppm

2/16/2020:
Added (2) ocellaris Clownfish. Named “Fanta” (larger) and “Frisco” (smaller). Also got a skunk cleaner shrimp (Sebastian). These were purchased from AquaDome.

Fed them less than 1/4 of a cube of Hikari Mysis.

clown fish and skunk cleaner shrimp in a new nano saltwater tank

2/18/2020:
Salinity = 1.0245 (half between 1.024 and 1.025)
PH = (not tested)
Ammonia = 0 ppm
Nitrite = (not tested)
Nitrate = 10 ppm
Phosphate (new test kit) = 0 ppm

Nitrate is a little higher than expected.

Replaced poly pad filter media. (First time I have done this – 19 days). I expect to be replacing this weekly.

2/20/2020:
I’ve been feeding them daily 1/8 of a Hikari Mysis shrimp block. I leave the wavemaker on and turn off the ‘return’ pump.

Alkalinity = 8.15 dKH
Magnesium = 1095

2/21/2020:
Changed out 2.1 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 19% water change.

The Salinity of the new water was about 1.025.

Salinity = 1.024

2/28/2020:
(Prior to water change)
Salinity = 1.0245
Nitrate = 5 ppm
Alkalinity = 8.0 dKH
Phosphate = 0.03 ppm

Water Change

Changed out 1.0 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 9.1% water change.
Salinity of new water was 1.025

I have set the light timer for 4 hours a day. (It was 3 hours a day).

Starting to see a few brown spots on the rocks.

3/1/2020:
Salinity = 1.025
PH = 8.2
Nitrate = 10 ppm (reads between the 5 ppm and 10 ppm)
Alkalinity = 8.3 dKH
Phosphate = 0.12 ppm (used the higher sensitivity method [doubled, then half the results])
Calcium = 350 ppm
Magnesium = 1110 ppm

Nitrates and Phosphates are high. I can only think of two things to do to lower this: 1) change out the floss. 2) larger water change next time.

Replaced poly pad filter media.

3/4/2020:
Increased light duration to 6 hours a day.

3/6/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Added ‘Pink Fusion’ Coralline in a bottle from ARC.

3/7/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

3/8/2020:
Sebastian (the skunk cleaner shrimp) died this evening. Not sure what caused it. Three things come to mind:
1. He molted on 3/2/2020. I know they are susceptible after that.
2. Water change yesterday. Maybe the larger (20%) change was a bit much parameter wise. I checked and the temp and salinity were very close.
3. This morning, the return pump was not on. I think it was an issue with daylight savings time (change) last night confusing the smart plug. Very strange. The tank dropped to around 74 (it was set on 78).

3/10/2020:
Increased light duration to 7 hours a day.

Salinity = 1.025
Nitrate = 5 ppm
Phosphate = 0.10 ppm

3/11/2020:
Mail order CUC (Clean Up Crew) arrived today from Florida (ReefCleaners.com)

Temp Acclimated and added them:

(5) Dwarf Certh
(5) Florida Certh
(2) Nassarius Vibex
(3) Trochus

3/15/2020:
Increased light duration to 8 hours a day. Want to give coralline algae as much of a chance to grow and I need to get the algae growing – the snails are very efficient – there is nothing left for them to eat!

Salinity = 1.0255 ppm

3/16/2020:
Changed out around 1.7 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 15% water change.

Replaced the carbon. Used slightly more (1-1/2 Tablespoon) than last time (1 Tablespoon).

3/18/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

3/19/2020:
Salinity = 1.025 SG
PH = 8.2
Nitrate = 5 ppm
Alkalinity = 8.3 dKH
Phosphate = 0.25 ppm
Calcium = 360 ppm
Magnesium = 1,200 ppm

Phosphates are a bit high and calcium is a bit low.

3/21/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Noticed the first (very small) patch of coralline algae (it is pink). There are also 3 or so bright green spots, but I don’t know if these are coralline or just nuisance algae.

3/22/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Salinity = 1.026 SG
Nitrate = 10 ppm
Phosphate = 0.125 ppm (used the higher sensitivity method [doubled, then half the results])

3/25/2020:
Lots more of the green algae on the rocks. Some signs of a few strands of hair algae (I think). The single spot of pink coralline is now joined by another small spot on the same rock.

flourescent green algae on new dry rock

 

3/27/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Spent some time stirring up and siphoning junk out of the sand.

3/28/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

3/31/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

I filled the makeup water tank to the 1-1/2 gallon line. I will watch how long it takes to get to 1/2 gallon to get an idea of evaporation rate.

4/1/2020:
Salinity = 1.0255 SG
Nitrate = 10 ppm
Phosphate = 0.03 ppm (hard to say between 0.03 and 0.1 but it is very light)

Interesting that Phosphates are lower this time than previous tests. I will keep with 20% water changes and changing out the filter floss twice a week.

4/3/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.
Pulled out the return pump and cleaned out the internal foam filter. Siphoned out all three equipment sections.

4/4/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Makeup water tank is just a hair below 1 gallon; it consumed just a hair over 1/2 gallon in 5 days.

4/6/2020:
Algae seems to be getting a bit heavy, especially on the sand surface. I reduced the light duration by an hour to 7 hours a day.

4/7/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

I turned the return pump off when I changed out the filter media. When I turned it back on, the rear chambers were low. I had to add a few quarts of saltwater to get it back to level.

I just realized that the level of the makeup water tank went UP! Now I remember hearing a funny sound (gurgling) – when the pump was off – water siphoned out of the display tank into the makeup water tank.

This was confirmed when I checked the salinity of the makeup water. It was 1.006 SG.

I will have to clean out the makeup water tank and fix the tubing into the display so it doesn’t siphon

4/09/2020:
Lowered the lighting duration to 6.5 hours.

Ammonia = 0 mg/L

Salinity = 1.025 SG
PH =
Nitrate = 0.5 ppm (I read 5 through the side – divide by 10)
Alkalinity = 9.3 dKH
Phosphate = 0.03 ppm
Calcium = 370 ppm
Magnesium = 1260 ppm

Nitrate and Phosphate are dramatically lower than what I have seen in the past. I was afraid they were high (especially phosphates) and were causing the algae. Looks like the other way around – maybe the algae is consuming nitrate and phosphate.

Calcium and Magnesium are slightly higher than previous. This could be because I have raised the salinity slightly (even though it doesn’t show in today’s test).

4/10/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

4/11/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

4/14/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Salinity = 1.026 SG
Nitrate = 0.0 ppm (absolutely clear)
Alkalinity = 8.9 dKH
Phosphate = 0.00 ppm (It might be the slightest tint of blue [0.03] but honestly it looks clear to me)
Calcium = 370 ppm
Magnesium = 1,230 ppm

Surprising – now phosphate and nitrate are zero. Calcium and Magnesium are steady.

4/17/2020:
Changed out 2.5 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 23% water change.

I think we have cyano algae that is growing on the rocks with the lowest flow. I brushed it off and tried to siphon it up.

4/18/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

4/21/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.
Replaced the carbon. Used 1-1/2 Tablespoon.

4/24/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

I brushed as much of the Cyano off the rocks as possible.
I moved one of the two return nozzles to point straight at the furthest rock to try and increase flow over the inflicted area.

4/26/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

4/27/2020:
Salinity = 1.026 SG
Nitrate = 0.0 ppm
Phosphate = 0.05 ppm (I used the higher sensitivity method [doubled, then half the results])

Having detectible phosphates is different from the last time. Maybe the algae has reached the limit (the brown stuff is everywhere) and now phosphates are detectible.

algae growing on dry rock in new saltwater aquarium during ugly stage

4/28/2020:
Added 1.15 TBS (approx.) of Seachem Phosguard (in bag) to the media tray.

4/29/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

4/30/2020:
Brushed the brown algae (cyano) off the rocks.

5/1/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

I brushed as much of the Cyano off the rocks as possible. Later I noticed most of it seemed to be reattached to the rocks (that I didn’t suck out with the siphon). I

5/2/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.
Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used 1.15 Tablespoon (approx.)
Replaced the carbon. Used 1-1/2 Tablespoon.

5/3/2020:
Salinity = 1.025 SG
Nitrate = 0.0 ppm
Phosphate = 0.00 ppm

5/7/2020:
Brushed algae off the rocks.

5/8/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

5/9/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

5/17/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

5/18/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

5/21/2020:
Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used 1.15 Tablespoon (approx.)

5/22/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

5/23/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

5/27/2020:
Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used 1.15 Tablespoon (approx.)
Replaced the carbon. Used 1-1/2 Tablespoon.

I might start replacing Phosguard every 5 days to ensure it is not depleted and to help with the brown algae issue.

Brushed algae off the rocks.

5/28/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Brushed algae off the rocks.

5/29/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

5/30/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

6/1/2020:
Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used a smaller dosage since I’m changing every 5 days – a little less than 1 tablespoon.

6/4/2020:
Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

6/5/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

6/6/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

6/12/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

6/14/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.
Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.
Replaced the carbon. Used 1-1/2 Tablespoon.

6/21/2020:
Changed out 3.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 29% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

6/22/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Replaced the Seachem Phosguard. Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

6/29/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

Replaced poly pad filter media.

7/7/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

7/8/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.
Replaced the carbon. Used 1-1/2 Tablespoon.

7/12/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

7/13/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

7/17/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

7/18/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

7/20/2020:
Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

7/23/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

7/24/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

Pulled the return pump; cleaned inside and out. Cleaned the sponge filter (which was nasty!). I haven’t done that since 4/3/2020 – almost 4 months, which is too long. I need to do that every 6 weeks or so.

Siphoned the bottom of all three back sections.

7/25/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

8/1/2020:
Got back from a week of vacation. Heather had taken care of the tank in our absence.

8/2/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks. There is much less of the brown algae growing on the rocks – right now it is only on the tallest rock at the top.

8/3/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.
Replaced the carbon. Used 1-1/2 Tablespoon.

8/4/2020:
Salinity = 1.026 SG
PH =
Nitrate = 0 ppm
Alkalinity = 8.3 dKH
Phosphate = 0.00 ppm
Calcium = 455 ppm
Magnesium > 1,500 ppm. I emptied all the reagent and it never changed colors. I repeated the test and got the same results. I added a bit more reagent and eventually it changed colors.

All of the parameters seem good – Calcium is raised up to where it needs to be. However, not sure how much of an issue the elevated magnesium is.

8/7/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

8/8/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Removed the stock light. Replaced with the AI Prime 16HD.

8/9/2020:
Started with the David Saxby lighting preset. No adjustments (stock intensity) except to add moonlight at night.

8/10/2020:
Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

8/11/2020:
I have started to see some spots that I thought were coralline but not sure as they aren’t big or vivid. Tonight, however, I see two tiny spots on the power head that are clearly coralline. Exciting to get some growth on plastic as it seems that’s a step in the right direction.

I added the ARC ‘Pink Fusion’ on 3/6 so it’s been about 5 months.

new coralline algae on dry rock

8/12/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

8/13/2020:
Scrubbed Algae off the rocks.

8/14/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

Purchased a new Skunk Cleaner from Austin Aqua Dome. Floated the bag and a quick drip acclimate. He will be Sebastian Jr.

8/15/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

8/18/2020:
Removed the stock dual 1/4” loc-line and nozzles that came with the EVO and replaced with (1) section of 1/2” loc-line and the 1/2” VCA Random Flow Generator nozzle. After adding it, the water level in the pump section dropped about an inch. I think this means it now has a higher flow rate (less restrictive).

8/20/2020:
Installed new In-Tank Chamber 1 Caddy (the 2020 version). This lowered the display water level by about 13mm.

8/21/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

8/22/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

8/23/2020:
Modified the In-Tank Chamber 1 media basket (version 1) but cutting down fromt edge about 5mm; paired with new weir of 2020 version to raise slightly the water level (halfway between version 1 and version 2).

8/27/2020:
Sebastian (Jr) molted this morning.

8/28/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

Took the return pump out and cleaned the sponge filter.

I have slowly raised the temperature of the tank this week from 25.5 to 26.0. Trying to see if raised temperature will increase coralline algae growth.

8/29/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.
Replaced the carbon. Used 1-1/2 Tablespoon.

9/2/2020:
Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks and back wall. Moved the wavemaker back to the far corner (opposite the return nozzle).

The brown algae is back. I have not been changing the Phosguard out as often, so I will go back to changing it out every 5 days for a while. Direct flow seems to make it grow crazy on the tallest rock, which is why I moved the wavemaker.

Replaced poly pad filter media.

9/3/2020:
Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

9/4/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

9/8/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

9/13/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

9/14/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

9/15/2020:
The shrimp molted.

9/16/2020:
Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

Replaced poly pad filter media.

9/18/2020:
Changed out 3.4 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 30% water change.

Scrubbed Cyano / Algae off the rocks.

The tank and especially the removed water smelled like sulphur, which is is something new. I sifted through the sand with the siphon, same as I always do.

9/19/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.
Replaced the carbon. Used 1-1/2 Tablespoon.

9/24/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Removed the bag of Purigen to start the cleaning process.

9/25/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Algae off the rocks.

9/26/2020:
Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

Put the cleaned Purigen back into the tank.

9/29/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

10/5/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Algae off the rocks. I did not siphon junk out of the sand – I want to try and not disturb it to see if the diatoms continue to reduce.

10/6/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

10/7/2020:
Salinity = 1.026 SG
Nitrate = 0 ppm
Alkalinity = 8.9 dKH
Phosphate = 0.00 ppm
Calcium = 450 ppm
Magnesium = 1,410 ppm

Since last time, parameters are about the same. Alkalinity is slightly higher

10/9/2020:
Changed out 2.2 gallons (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.

Scrubbed Algae off the rocks.

10/10/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

Added one bottle of purple coralline from ARC. We will see if this takes hold better than the first bottle that I added on 3/6/2020.

10/16/2020:
Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

Changed out 1.65 gallons [6.25 Liters] (of 11 gallons) for a 15% water change.

Scrubbed Algae off the rocks.

10/17/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

10/20/2020:
Sebastian (Junior) molted last night or today.

10/23/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

10/26/2020:
Changed out 2.65 gallons [8.2 Liters] (of 11 gallons) for a 24% water change.

Scrubbed Algae off the rocks.

10/27/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

10/28/2020:
Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

10/30/2020:
Changed out 2.17 gallons [10 Liters] (of 11 gallons) for a 20% water change.
Siphoned the sand.

Scrubbed algae off the rocks.

Salinity in both the tank and bucket was 1.027 SG. I lowered the bucket to 1.025 to lower the tank salinity (after the water change). I will remove some saltwater (and have the ATO replace) bit by bit over the next few days to get it down the target of 1.026 SG.

11/1/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

11/2/2020:
Replaced the Seachem Phosguard . Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

11/6/2020:
Changed out 2.53 gallons [9.6 Liters] (of 11 gallons) for a 23% water change.

Scrubbed algae off the rocks.
Took the return pump out and cleaned the sponge filter.
Siphoned out all three back sections and scrubbed some scum off the sides.

Salinity = 1.025 SG

11/7/2020:
Replaced the Seachem Phosguard. Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

Replaced the carbon. Used 1-1/2 Tablespoon.

11/9/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

11/12/2020:
Sebastian (Junior) molted last night or today.

11/13/2020:
Changed out 2.0 gallons [7.6 Liters] (of 11 gallons) for a 18% water change.

Scrubbed algae off the rocks.

Salinity = 1.025 SG

11/14/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Replaced the Seachem Phosguard. Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

11/22/2020:
Changed out 2.1 gallons [8.1 Liters] (of 11 gallons) for a 19% water change.

Siphon cleaned the sand. Scrubbed algae off the rocks.

11/23/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.
Replaced the Seachem Phosguard. Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

11/24/2020:
Replaced the Seachem Purigen Bag. Installed today is a brand new bag that I opened today. I will take the current bag (in the aquarium), clean it up and store to swap out for next time.

11/26/2020:
Salinity = 1.026 SG

11/29/2020:
Changed out 2.6 gallons [9.9 Liters] (of 11 gallons) for a 24% water change.

Siphon cleaned half of the sand (focusing on parts near the small rock that are clumping together). Scrubbed algae off the rocks. I actually removed the two smaller rocks and scrubbed them in the bucket. They got much cleaner but a surprising quantity of brown fluffy algae remained in the nooks/crannies.

11/30/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

Replaced the Seachem Phosguard. Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.
Replaced the carbon. Used 1-1/2 Tablespoon.

Scrubbed algae off the rocks.

Moved the power head back up high (It has been down low for a few weeks but it seems to play into my theory that flow directed at rockwork increases the diatoms [fluffy brown algae].

12/1/2020:
Sebastian Jr. passed away today. Looks like he was in the middle of a molt. Not sure what to do different. Perhaps he wasn’t getting enough to eat. Perhaps dose iodine (to help with the shell and molting) [actually, I just researched and adding iodine will make the shrimp molt more often, increasing their risk].

12/3/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

12/4/2020:
Changed out 2.3 gallons [8.8 Liters] (of 11 gallons) for a 21% water change.

Didn’t touch the sand or rocks. Took the return pump out and cleaned it. Removed the sponge filter from the pump.
Siphoned out the pump and heater sections.

Removed the bag of Fluval Biomax that I have had since tank setup (that was in the bottom chamber of the in-tank caddy).

12/5/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.

12/9/2020:
Scrubbed algae off the rocks. Stirred up the sand with the baster. Algae has taken off all over the place. I think it’s diatoms. We have an issue this time of year with sun streaming into the tank late afternoon. I’m going to try and cover the tank at that time to see if it helps.

12/10/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.
Replaced the Seachem Phosguard. Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

12/11/2020:
Changed out 2.5 gallons [9.3 Liters] (of 11 gallons) for a 22% water change.

Scrubbed algae off the rocks. Siphoned and stirred the sand.

12/14/2020:
Scrubbed algae off the rocks.

Replaced poly pad filter media.
Replaced the Seachem Phosguard. Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

12/16/2020:
Scrubbed algae off the rocks.
Stirred up sand and broke apart ‘chunks’ (forming from bacteria?) with a gloved hand.

Replaced poly pad filter media.

12/19/2020:
Changed out 2.6 gallons [10.0 Liters] (of 11 gallons) for a 24% water change.

Scrubbed algae off the rocks. Siphoned and stirred the sand.

12/20/2020:
Replaced poly pad filter media.
Replaced the Seachem Phosguard. Used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon.

12/25/2020:
Changed out 2.6 gallons [9.7 Liters] (of 11 gallons) for a 23% water change.

Scrubbed algae off the rocks. Siphoned and stirred the sand.

Replaced poly pad filter media.

12/26/2020:
Leave for Christmas vacation. Will return January 1, 2021.

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