Fluval Evo 13.5 Gallon Review: Best Saltwater Aquarium for Beginners

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fluval evo 13.5 gallon fish tank review

Finding the right saltwater aquarium for your requirements might be complicated and intimidating, especially if you’ve just started. We have reviewed a lot of fish tanks, and Fluval Evo 13.5 can be your best saltwater choice. There are several paths to pursue in the search for the best fish tanks. If you’re looking at the cool fish tanks, design plays an important role in the vibe a tank can give, meaning you’d prioritize that over something else.

Maybe you’re looking for a nano aquarium, meaning size and brand are your main concerns. Keep in mind that specs and what differs from tank to tank are relevant to your unique demands and those of your fish. 

However, there are numerous factors to consider while selecting a product to maintain tank quality standards. You can’t just purchase a cheap 5-gallon fish tank and be done with it. There is a lot of work and research that has to be done so that your fish do not suffer as a result. Our staff is committed to conducting that research for you. Our goal is to give you the best choice out of all the products out there.

Walls MaterialGlass
ShapeCuboid
ColorBlack
StyleCuboid
Size Options5 and 13.5 Gallon
Light11000K LED Light
Filter 3-stage filtration
HeaterNo
Air PumpYes
LidYes
Accessories/DecorNo
Require aquarium stand Yes
Ideal ForSaltwater, reef tank
ExtrasDaylight/moonlight LED light settings

Fluval Evo 13.5 Overview

Make no mistake; despite its modest stature and compact design, the Fluval Sea EVO fish aquarium is equipped with the same performance characteristics as a tank several times its size. However, it is still small enough to fit on any desk or countertop. In addition, a robust 3-stage water filtration system with large media ensures that the water is of the highest quality. 

Fluval Evo 13.5 Gallon reef tank

You can set up your saltwater aquarium or your small reef tank with confidence and inventiveness without spending a lot of money or taking up a lot of room. No matter your incentive, the options are endless.

Fluval Evo 5 Gallon Version

If you need something smaller, there’s a 5 gallon version that has everything included on the 13.5 gallon version. There’s a forever dilemma between fish enthusiasts between tank sizes; however, we recommend getting the one you’ve got the time for. Bigger tanks require more maintenance time and care in exchange for more fish and a bigger thing to look at. There’s really no right or wrong for it all depends on what you want your experience to be. 

fluval evo 13.5 aquarium unboxing

Smaller tanks are just limiting, but when you’re just starting out, having limits might be comforting and good not to be confused with what you’re doing. In this tank, you are limited to stocking, and you only can choose fish suitable for 5 gallon tank. Besides the size and slightly the price, everything is pretty much the same, and there’s no compromise either way.

What’s Included in the Box?

Fluval Evo 13.5 is an all-in-one saltwater aquarium kit, meaning it has all you need in the box, making its way on the best saltwater aquarium list. This modern fish tank comes with all it needs to be set up without additional purchases. Keep in mind that almost everything is upgradeable if you have other requirements for your setup.

  • Glass aquarium with cover
  • LED lighting system
  • Safe, low-voltage transformer
  • Circulation pump with output nozzle
  • Fluval foam filter block with handle
  • Fluval activated carbon insert
  • Fluval BioMax insert
fluval evo 13.5 gallon fish tank accessories

Features of Fluval Evo 13.5

The Fluval Sea Evo is a glass aquarium that comes in a kit to complete all necessities, whether you’re setting it up for the first time or the 100th. Fluval Evo can fit into many spaces, giving them a nicer look and not only providing a good home for your fish but also giving you fewer things to worry about and nicer things to look at. 

This Fluval nano tank makes for a great office aquarium as well with no problems to lift or move around due to its size. Setting it up has never been easier, and maintaining it requires nothing more than any other tank.

Design

Fluval Evo saltwater aquarium kit has a very sleek and modern appearance, making it a great addition to any home. Fittingly, the design provides for a three-dimensional perspective of the product, unobstructed from both the longer and shorter sides. With the Fluval Sea Evo, you have more options for where to put it, considering those viewing angles. 

fluval evo 13.5 gallon aquarium review

However, in order to have the best view of your tank, the filter chamber should be placed against a wall and near an electrical outlet. Although the filtration mechanism is hidden under honeycomb trim, it does not look odd at all. The waterline is hidden by more honeycomb trim on the tank’s top. Fluval Sea Evo 13.5 gallon dimensions are 23.4 x 11.5 x 15.6 inches and weigh around 27 pounds.

Filtration System

The Fluval Evo 13.5s filtering mechanism is identical to that of other Fluval tanks. It’s essentially an overflow system. The tank includes three types of filtering media: one bag of activated carbon, one bag of ceramic rings, and a foam filter block with two cutouts for the bagged media. 

fluval evo 13.5 gallon aquarium filter and pump review

Filtration is provided in three stages. To eliminate the big floating particles from the water column, the mechanical media is a foam filter block with a handle for easy removal for cleaning. The BioMax insert includes biological filtration. In this environment, beneficial microorganisms can thrive. 

As part of the nitrogen cycle, these bacteria eliminate ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate from the aquarium. To complete the triple-stage filtering process, an activated carbon insert has been added. Contaminants such as smells or discolourations are removed by using activated carbon.

Lighting System

The Fluval Sea Evo has excellent illumination. To encourage coral development, both versions are equipped with a built-in LED light. In addition, because this is particularly a marine aquarium, you may use any coral you want, including LPS and SPS. We kept Candy Cane Coral (an LPS coral) into it, and the lighting system worked just fine. It provided the coral with all the necessary lighting needed to thrive. 

fluval evo 13.5 gallon aquarium light review

The lighting in each of these tanks is ideal for coral development. Corals will appear brighter when the lighting temperature optimizes their hues. The LED lighting includes a touch-start function for the day or night lighting system. There are 31 separate LEDs, and the Fluval Evo 13.5 generates 1383 lumens at 14,000 K.

Fluval Evo 13.5 Upgrades & Mods: Essential Products

Now, there might be some of you that aren’t yet all about this product. Maybe you need some other things for your fish. If that’s the case below, you’ll find upgrades for your tank to enhance it to meet and exceed your needs.

Lighting Upgrade

Lighting is one of the most popular upgrades for tanks. As part of the Fluval Evo, a hood has LED illumination built into the design. We already mentioned that the included LEDs are excellent for most corals and will amazingly illuminate the tank. However, there’s some occasions where a different LED is needed.

fluval evo upgrade aquaIllumination ai prime reef aquarium led
AquaIllumination AI Prime Reef Aquarium LED
Best reef light upgrade for Fluval Evo

Excellent brightness

Ideal for any coral size

App control

AI support

Check Latest Price

For the Fluval Evo 13.5, one of the best lighting upgrades is the AI Prime 16HD. This is a fantastic light suitable for all coral types and will make all colours pop in your tank. Fish included. 

The AI Prime is a well-known LED, and it is reliable and long-lasting. It’s suitable for the Fluval reef aquariums, and it will make everything look better and cooler. The price is also amazing for the service, and it won’t break the bank.

Circulation Pump Upgrade

The Fluval EVO 13.5 includes a 132 GPH return and it may be replaced with an Eheim Compacton 1000 if you want to improve flow rates in your tank. When it comes to the quality of the Eheim pumps, you can’t go wrong.

fluval evo pump upgrade eheim compacton 1000 aquarium pump
Eheim COMPACTON 1000 Aquarium Pump
Best circulation pump upgrade for Fluval Evo

Powerful pump

Silent

Adjustable flow

Max 264 GPH

Check Latest Price

Finding a stock return pump that fits the chamber area is one of the most challenging aspects of replacing it. It might require additional research that takes up time and effort to conclude and might also end up in a fail. 

The Eheim will be a great fit for the EVO 13.5 with the ability to regulate the flow rate as well with a minimum flow rate is 105 GPH, and a highest flow rate of 260 GPH. There’s barely a problem with this pump and you won’t really have what to complain about.

Heater Upgrade

You might’ve noticed by now that there isn’t a heater included with the EVO kits, so you’ll need to purchase one separately. We recommend that you use the Cobalt Neotherm heater with the Fluval EVO in the midst of other alternatives. You don’t want your heater to be bulky or cheap-looking and this one is the furthest from that. 

Fluval Evo Heater Upgrade Obalt Aquatics Heater
Cobalt Neotherm Heater
Best heater for Fluval Evo

Super-flat design

Accurate

Safe and reliable

Electronic thermostat

Check Latest Price

There are quite a several things that a good heater must-have, and this checks all the boxes. The Cobalt Neotherm is both dependable and durable, and we recommend using the 75-watt version. Although a tad is more pricey than some other heaters on the market, this is a one-time investment and a reasonably good one that’s such a good fit for the Fluval Evo 13.5 you’d think it was custom made. You may hide it in the back chamber as to not ruin the aesthetics and never have to think of it again.

Alternatives

In the vast array of choices and certain specific needs of everyone, there might be some things that don’t quite fit the things mentioned above. We understand that sometimes you simply want to keep your choices open, and there’s no need to feel pressured to make a choice. Everything is in accordance to your personal taste and situation.

Below you’ll come across the greatest and most deserving alternatives so you can see for yourself which would be a better fit for you or your fish. All the products below have been tested and are suitable for whoever might need something bigger, smaller, or just a different aesthetic than the one we just reviewed. 

Keep in mind that all of these have their own perks and benefits but essentially contain the same elements that a good tank should have. Meaning you can’t go wrong with either of them.

Coralife Biocube 32

Coralife Biocube 32 gallon is a modern, round-edged design, all-inclusive, and creative aquarium. Sleek and suited for all of your demands, making it the first contender to be a very close-cut in all honesty. It is virtually completely devoid of flaws: LED lights, a 24-hour integrated timer to regulate each of the three separate light channels, 30 and 60-minute functionalities incorporated to imitate your fish’s natural day and night cycle, and the tank itself, the main attraction. 

Coralife Biocube 32 Aquairum Review
Coralife Biocube 32 Gallon
Best reef aquarium

Well- built

Easy to operate

Integrated 24-hour timer

Color enhancing LED

Check Latest Price

The Coralife Biocube 32 gallon comes with a free package that contains all of the above. Because of its size, you might need a 29 Gallon aquarium stand and Coralife has designed a unique stand called Coralife Designer Biocube Stand, but other than that, you’re good to go.

It’s also ideal for beginners because it’s simple to keep a score. It’s also ideal for beginners because it’s simple to maintain and set up, so there’s not much to think about. So, let’s get into the specifics:

Product Specs

  • Brand: Coralife
  • Color: Black
  • Shape: Square
  • Filter: 3-stage filtration
  • Light: Color enhancing LED light
  • Size options: 16 / 32 Gallon
  • Item dimensions LxWxH: 21.7 × 20.2 23.2 inches

Fluval Sea Flex

The Fluval Sea Flex Saltwater aquarium kit is an exciting addition to Fluval’s distinctive curved aquarium line. It comes with a Marine 3.0 LED that is controlled by your mobile device, giving you total control over bright customized colors, numerous dynamic effects, and a programmable 24-hour light timer. 

Fluval Sea Flex Aqaurium Review
Fluval Sea Flex 32.5 Gallon
Best large saltwater aquarium for coral growing

25000 K lighting

Extra space

App control

Great price

Check Latest Price

To add to the enchantment, this revolutionary Fluval Flex has an integrated filtering system with double the independent multi-stage chambers for optimum cleaning effectiveness. Let’s go right to the meat of the matter:

Product Specs

  • Brand: Fluval
  • Colour: Black
  • Item weight: 23.11kg
  • Shape: Rectangular
  • Filter: 3-stage filtration
  • Light: 25000 K LED Light
  • Size options: 9 / 15 / 32.5 Gallon
  • Item dimensions LxWxH: 32.2 × 15.7 × 15.3 inches

Final thoughts

As a beginner, we understand that it could be a very big challenge to even know where to focus when exploring the very confusing world of aquariums. Whether it’s design, practicality, appearance, sturdiness, price, or functionality you’re after, the terms can be confusing, and the numbers can overthrow you completely. Fluval Evo seems to fit everyone’s needs. Especially with its two versions, 5 and 13.5 gallons, you have the option of choosing the size of your future tank by keeping the same features.

It should be very obvious by now that the decision should be made very carefully and that there always needs to be a lot of thought put behind the final choice you make. All we hope to have achieved so far is to have broken down all the big words and successfully led you on the right path towards building a permanent home for your beautiful fish family.

There was a lot to unpack about Fluval Evo but we can now say that seemingly endless journey is nearing its finality with an unshaken conclusion: it is just so hard to go wrong with the Fluval Evo 13.5; actually, the pickier you are, the more fun it will be to prove how amazing this tank proves itself to be with every feature.

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I am Mario, a expert aquarist who is sharing his knowledge with everyone.

Keeping innocent fish and aquatic plants safe and healthy is my daily routine. With my experience and my passion for aquatic life, I will advise you through the long run of keeping an aquarium.

Disclosure: EpicAquarium.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.