View Full Version : EVO 13.5 Startup Questions and Observations

09/22/2017, 06:17 PM
Hi all. I have a brand-new EVO 13.5 in my home that I am about to bring to life. I have made some observations, and that leads me to some questions that I hope you can help answer.

First, I have purchased a heater to fit in the chamber with the return pump. But it appears to me that the pump that shipped with my tank is physically larger than the one that is shown in the included quick start-up guide. My pump must sit sideways, leaving very little room for a heater. I have a Fluval M50 heater, and even though it would be described as thin, it is still a very tight squeeze to fit in with the pump. Has anyone else run into this, and should I be concerned that the heater is right against the pump?

My next question is how much live sand is needed in this tank?

Finally, how much live rock, and assuming sand & rock take up a percentage of the total tank volume, how many gallons of salt water ultimately occupies the tank/filter area? I am trying to decide how many 5-gallon (empty) jugs to purchase in order to get things going. For now, I plan to purchase RODI & salt water from my LFS, and wonder how many bottles to bring for the initial purchasing. I know there are lots of variables and preferences. I am just trying to get a ballpark idea.

Thanks all. Iíll probably have many more questions as things move forward. Thanks in advance for your replies and advice.


10/20/2017, 01:26 PM
I just recently set my fluval evo 13.5 up and I'm having the same issue. It isn't suppose to be submerged all the way but the top part is way to tall to allow for that and it won't go all the way down to the bottom due to the pump. All the images show the pump being down further but that would put it past the submerge line. It is the exact heater that they recommend. Very confused as to what I should do. I have a small heater but I can't control its temp so that concerns me too.

10/22/2017, 08:13 AM
I never have been comfortable with how the heater needed to be crammed into the chamber with the pump very much in the way. I went to Amazon, and searched around for a smaller (shorter) heater of similar wattage. I found one. It was extremely inexpensive, and looked as if it would fit in the chamber comfortably with the stock pump. The reviews were OK (3.5 out of 5).


So while I am still cycling, and there is no livestock to worry about, I bought it. It fits right over the pump without touching. And being fully submersible, there's more latitude as to where it can go. It's been in the tank for more than a week, and the temps are rock solid.


So far, so good. I'll be watching it closely.


10/23/2017, 05:15 PM
After 18 days of cycling, my LFS confirmed that my numbers were where they need to be to introduce... LIFE!


Up next... media change, and my first water change. Oh, and lots of staring at this thing!

10/27/2017, 04:43 PM
Looking nice

10/30/2017, 06:16 AM
I have read that as many folks that like the PS2 protein skimmer, hate the thing. I am just learning, but I have to say that I'd rather have this stuff in the collection cup than in my display area. The below photo is 24 hours of skimmate collection.


10/30/2017, 06:17 AM

10/31/2017, 04:50 PM
Yeah it can pickup quite a bit when its tuned. I need to setup the ATO to keep the right water height.

11/01/2017, 08:31 AM
After 18 days of cycling, my LFS confirmed that my numbers were where they need to be to introduce... LIFE!


Up next... media change, and my first water change. Oh, and lots of staring at this thing!

I recently got my Fluval 13.5 set up too. I was wondering if you had any major algae problems and how you deal with it. Also what kind of clean up crew you have.
I see you have a wavemaker installed right under the power head nozzle, would this not make it a bit redundant in terms of flow? I see a lot of people keeping it diagonally opposite to the nozzle. I am looking to get one soon..so was wondering which model and what part of the tank would be the best.

11/01/2017, 02:12 PM
Nice to hear from another EVO 13.5 owner.

I had a diatom bloom 6 days into the cycle. Many folks here (and other forums) said to just leave it alone, and it will fade on its own. That was good advice. After 13 days, I had some green algae start in a few places. I was pretty close to the tank being cycled by then, and I got the start of my cleanup crew a few days later. They have trimmed the green stuff to almost nothing now. My cleanup (for now) crew is:

10 very small hermit crabs {teeny}
1 Peppermint Shrimp {juvenile and small}
4 Turbo snails
1 Nassarius snail (all snails are fairly small)

The power head is a low powered Hydor Koralia 240. I have the 2 jets from the return pump aimed down along the sides of the rocks, and the power head aimed upward toward the surface. Not sure if that's how they will stay set, but it seems to be working without 'conflict' so far.


11/01/2017, 02:13 PM

11/01/2017, 02:14 PM
Sorry - images not working currently...

11/28/2017, 10:28 AM
tank looks great and im surprised to see your skimmer working so well. any coral plans?