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Ajh715

Help with cycling Fluval Sea Evo 13.5

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Ajh715

Hello, I am cycling my first nano tank, which is a fluval sea evo 13.5. I've got 12 lbs of LR, 10 lbs of live sand, and 5 lbs of regular sand. I went to the fish store yesterday to pick up a test kit and a few other small things, and the worker gave me advice on cycling the tank. He told me to put in 2 damsels, which he said are hardy enough to take the cycling okay (after coming home and researching I have found that this is not advisable). He also gave me a bag of water from the tanks at the store that was super dirty (very very brown). He told me this would provide enough to kick the cycle and allow for the good bacteria to build up off eating it. I put that dirty water in the tank, and acclimated the damsels and put them in as well. It has been 24 hrs since I put these in, and I'm still getting perfect readings. The tank has been up for 4 days, so I figured between the LR/LS and the damsels and gross water I should be getting some ammonia reading. But it's still zero. Why is that? Also, I would love to hear you guys opinion on this guys method. Should I just return the damsels and not use them in the cycle? And if the dirty water is not something I should have put in the tank? should I drain all the water in the tank and just restart and fill it back with new r/o water? I was skeptical on putting the dirty water in the tank, but this guy seemed to know more then me. My water is already crystal clear again with good readings. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

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Drewbedo

Cycling with live rock and live sand is sufficient enough.  Cycling with fish is not advised, it can be done but it's not really healthy for the fish.  As for the dirty water, water is not the best medium for containing bacteria as there's nothing really for it to hold onto (don't get me wrong there is bacteria in water but not like there would be on live rock). In such small amounts of water (15 gallons and under) if you use 1lb of live rock per gallon of water your cycle should be very quick.  I once did a full cycle of 10 gallons in 3 days but to be safe always wait as much as you can and test test test.  If after 2 weeks tests are still showing a cycled tank go ahead and start stocking. 

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Ajh715

Thank you so much! So I should return the fish? As for the dirty water, should I just drain the aquarium and start with clean water, or just go ahead and leave it how it is 

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Drewbedo

If the water is clear your fine, no need to drain anything.  At this point if your tests are showing good and ammonia, nitrates, nitrites are all showing fine then you can keep them in, you probably already cycled. Also quick question, are the damsels the same species?  If not then you might have some aggression issues between them in a tank that small. Just be sure to keep on top of test every day for the next 10 days or so and make sure you don't hit another cycle on the way. 

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ninjamyst

return the fish, never go back, leave a bad Yelp review.

 

where did you get the live rock from?  it is very possible your tank is already cycled.  do you have nitrate?

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Drewbedo

If the water is clear your fine, no need to drain anything.  At this point if your tests are showing good and ammonia, nitrates, nitrites are all showing fine then you can keep them in, you probably already cycled. Also quick question, are the damsels the same species?  If not then you might have some aggression issues between them in a tank that small. Just be sure to keep on top of test every day for the next 10 days or so and make sure you don't hit another cycle on the way and keep up on water changes too, I recommend at lest 50% every week in the beginning and then no less than 25% a week after about a month.  In tanks these small WC are easy so do as much as you can, WC are 1 of the most important things to keep a tank healthy especially in this small amount of gallons

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Ajh715

The damsels are different species but I have seen no signs of aggression between them.. the lfs also had them in the same tank and told me he had never seen them fight either and they had been there together for a few weeks. I will continue to test and if I do end up with an ammonia spike, I will just take the damsels out, as not to be cruel to them, and allow the tank to cycle itself. I really appreciate your feed back, you have helped me a ton, as I have no friends with saltwater aquariums and I have grown to distrust lfs. Thank you!!!

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Drewbedo
1 minute ago, ninjamyst said:

return the fish, never go back, leave a bad Yelp review.

 

where did you get the live rock from?  it is very possible your tank is already cycled.  do you have nitrate?

I do agree though, I wouldn't go back to that LFS again.  I know it can be hard if you don't have many around you but finding the right store can make this hobby so much easier and more enjoyable. 

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Ajh715
3 minutes ago, ninjamyst said:

return the fish, never go back, leave a bad Yelp review.

 

where did you get the live rock from?  it is very possible your tank is already cycled.  do you have nitrate?

The live rock was from the same Lfs. All the rock I have (just 2 bigger pieces) was from a guys tank that had been established for years, and had to move, so he sold it to the lfs. The lfs kept all this rock by itself in a tank, and sold it to me. The nitrate is around 5-10 ppm, ph is a little low, 0 ammonia and nitrites 

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ninjamyst
4 minutes ago, Ajh715 said:

The live rock was from the same Lfs. All the rock I have (just 2 bigger pieces) was from a guys tank that had been established for years, and had to move, so he sold it to the lfs. The lfs kept all this rock by itself in a tank, and sold it to me. The nitrate is around 5-10 ppm, ph is a little low, 0 ammonia and nitrites 

you are most likely cycled then.  do you even like the damsels?  see if you can take them back and get a fish you actually like and want in your tank.  you can only have 2-3 small fish in the Fluval Evo 12 so choose wisely =P.  Small clown, blenny, and gobies are good choice.

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Ajh715
4 minutes ago, ninjamyst said:

you are most likely cycled then.  do you even like the damsels?  see if you can take them back and get a fish you actually like and want in your tank.  you can only have 2-3 small fish in the Fluval Evo 12 so choose wisely =P.  Small clown, blenny, and gobies are good choice.

I think I'm going to do 1 clown, and a royal gramma, maybe 1 additional clown max. This tank will be going to and from college with me so I want to keep the stock low so if it ever were to crash, I wouldn't lose much in fish. When I was younger we had a 55 gallon crash and we lost a ton of money in fish, so I'm going to keep the stock as low as I can. One of the damsels I do actually like.. it's a blue damsel. I don't know how he would do with the clown though so I most likely won't keep him 

Also, is there any sand sifting fish that would do well? I would like to keep the sand clean, but I figure it may not be enough food for him in that little amount of sand 

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Itwasn'tme

FWIW, I have had my EVO set up for about 6 months now. I cycled for 4 weeks with a bag of live sand (20lbs? its about 1" on the bottom) and about 15 lbs of live rock. The ammonia and nitrate readings never seemed to spike. I added a few coral and fish after the 4 week mark. I think the tank is still cycling, but not for ammonia/nitrate. It went through a rough phase of hair algae, then diatoms. I had an interesting cycle of really small shrimp that seems to be tapering off, but now am getting into a red mat algae I don't really like.

 

I would consider returning the fish, you only have so much  room in the tank and they are not on your wish list. Other than that, be patient and let the tank run for a few weeks.

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bennyd

Pretty cruel to cycle with live animals. Can't believe stores still advise people to do this... get a raw shrimp and let it rot in the tank for a couple days. I have cycled every tank I've setup that way... little late this go around, but think about it in the future. And I'm not saying that it's "wrong" to cycle with a live animal, however it's not very humane. 

 

Small tanks with the proper amounts of live rock can cycle fast or have no cycling period at all if you spent the money(or got a good deal) and got really good quality rock. Quality of rock is everything. Reliable sources with quality rock usually aren't cheap. 

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Clown79
6 hours ago, bennyd said:

Pretty cruel to cycle with live animals. Can't believe stores still advise people to do this... get a raw shrimp and let it rot in the tank for a couple days. I have cycled every tank I've setup that way... little late this go around, but think about it in the future. And I'm not saying that it's "wrong" to cycle with a live animal, however it's not very humane. 

 

Small tanks with the proper amounts of live rock can cycle fast or have no cycling period at all if you spent the money(or got a good deal) and got really good quality rock. Quality of rock is everything. Reliable sources with quality rock usually aren't cheap. 

I agree with everything but the raw shrimp cycling. To me its as outdated as the live fish cycling.

 

It adds unnecessary nutrients to a tank which leads to more issues in the future. Why pollute a brand new tank with stink and rotting shrimp.

 

Easiest method to cycle a tank: LIVEROCK

 

Then dry rock and ammonia dosing

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Ajh715

Update:

 

I have had the tank up for about a month now, took the damsels out a few weeks ago... still have never gotten a reading on ammonia or nitrie. Nitrates stay around 10-15ppm though, so looks like a protein skimmer will be needed. In the middle of a bad diatom bloom, and a shorter greenlike algae (maybe hair) 

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Clown79

A skimmer is not necessary. Determining cause of nutrients is.

 

Its a new tank. They often have high nutrients. Doing a 50% waterchange will drop it by half.

 

15 isn't that high. Ppl try to keep it between 2-10. 

 

The first step is doing a large waterchange after a cycle.

 

Second- what water are you using, how much do you feed, whats your maintenance routine

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