Want to confirm if I am on the correct path with Fluval evo 13.5

FriedBambooFishWithC

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Hi, guys, I just started my first nano tank around 4 weeks ago with a Fluval Evo 13.5. I did have some experience when I was a kid with my father in China around 10 years ago. Although my father was doing most of the calculation and management at that time, I just helped him to finish some simple daily missions. (He has been in the hobby since 1999 but he quit his hobby 5 years ago for work reasons. ) The way we did in Asia and years ago was cycling the tank with tons of live rocks and a little blue damselfish and then you just wait for the algae bloom and the green hairy algae will finally turn white. However, it seems live rock is banned in Canada and I need to use dry rock with bacteria blend to start. My LFS recommends I using Fauna Marin bacto blend Fauna Marin bacto energy and bacto balls to start. So I followed the instruction on the bottle and start my cycle. (I did not get an ammonia test kit, since the LFS worker told me just follow the instruction and u will on the right path. And my dad also agrees that he thinks Ammonia kits are not necessary if you know what you are doing. )
So I cycled without light for 11 days and do a No2 test on days 10 and 11, it seems No2 was lower than 0.002 and No3 is around 5-10. Therefore, according to the Fauna Marin bacto blend guide, the LFS showed me in the store, I am ready to put my first fish in it. (Although I was not sure about that since according to my experience 12 days was a little bit too rush to add fishes in.) Then I asked my father if it was safe to add maroon clowns to the tank at that moment, and he thought it will be just fine with 2 maroon clownfishes. Therefore I went to the LFS and bought 2 tiny maroon clowns. Both of them seem to do fine in the tank so far, being very active and excited for the food, except the bigger one always bullies the smaller one and tears down a little piece of breast fin that belongs to the smaller one. Based on the past experience, my father and I thought it should be normal when you put two clownfishes together with a bigger one and a smaller one, and they need some time to get along with. (Please tell me if I am wrong. ) I feed the fish with Fauna Marin clownfish food every two days for the first week, 2-4 pellets for each. And we feed 1/10 cube of frozen brine shrimp last weekend, most of them have been eaten by the clowns. I used the Fauna Marin NO2&No3 kits to test the water. The NO2 and No3 were stable for the first 5 days after we add fishes in, No2 always stuck at 0.002 -0.005 but never turn to be 0, No3 is always 5-10. About the lighting schedule, I start to turn on the light after 2 days the fish settled down. I just use the stock light with a Walmart timer and exposed the tank for 6 hours of lighting the first 3 days and extend lighting to 10 hours later. At that point, Everything seems going fine.
However, after I add the fish into the tank for about 8-9 days the parameters go a little bit weird. No2 rises to somewhere between 0.5 and No3 is either be 0 or undetectable since the No2 is too high. And this situation has been for 3-4 days. Btw, I did a 30% water change with RO water every weekend. Although my dad told me with that amount of No2 and No3 the clownfishes will still be fine, what I need to do is just keep what I am doing daily and be patient, dt add any corals or fish to the tank at least for 2 weeks and the tanks will reach its balance one day. My question is should I need to worry about that or just do as my dad says so.
The second question is about the Diatom on the rocks. It begins to appear on the rock on day 20. Although I understand that there should be a diatom bloom for dry rock during the cycle period, since I have been away for this hobby for years, it is a little bit difficult for me to distinguish between a normal harmless diatom from a brown toxic one. Could anyone tell me that what kinds of diatom are on my rock, please?
Winson Lu

Diatom1.jpg Diatom2.jpg
 
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Ignore the diatoms. They are fine and normal.

However, I would argue that an ammonia test kit should be used, as it is more deleterious at low levels compared to nitrite at similar levels.

If you want to get around this, dose a small bottle of cycling bacteria. This should be able to handle whatever ammonia or nitrite is left. I say this because you could do that or get an ammonia test then see, but it would be easier and probably cheaper for you to add something like microbacter7.


Other than that, my only other advice would be to get something like the media basket from intank. Its easier to use compared to the built in sponge. If you stick with the sponge, give it a good squeeze in old tank water during your water changes.
 
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FriedBambooFishWithC

FriedBambooFishWithC

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Ignore the diatoms. They are fine and normal.

However, I would argue that an ammonia test kit should be used, as it is more deleterious at low levels compared to nitrite at similar levels.

If you want to get around this, dose a small bottle of cycling bacteria. This should be able to handle whatever ammonia or nitrite is left. I say this because you could do that or get an ammonia test then see, but it would be easier and probably cheaper for you to add something like microbacter7.


Other than that, my only other advice would be to get something like the media basket from intank. Its easier to use compared to the built in sponge. If you stick with the sponge, give it a good squeeze in old tank water during your water changes.
Hi, thanks for your advice. I am a little bit relieved when hearing the diatom is fine and normal. I think I would order an ammonia test kit as you said, so I could track the change of Ammonia better.I am dosing the Fauna Marin Bacto Blend with 4 drops(0.2ml) per day. According to what it says on the bottle I need 3ml /100L per week after the first 11 days. And I also place a Fauna Marin Bacto ball at chamber 1, where just below my ps2 protein skimmer. In my understanding, the population of bacteria should be enough to deal with the Ammonia and Nitrites. Do you think it's the product problem? Should I get microbacter7 you mentioned for better water quality?
 
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Ignore the diatoms. They are fine and normal.

However, I would argue that an ammonia test kit should be used, as it is more deleterious at low levels compared to nitrite at similar levels.

If you want to get around this, dose a small bottle of cycling bacteria. This should be able to handle whatever ammonia or nitrite is left. I say this because you could do that or get an ammonia test then see, but it would be easier and probably cheaper for you to add something like microbacter7.


Other than that, my only other advice would be to get something like the media basket from intank. Its easier to use compared to the built in sponge. If you stick with the sponge, give it a good squeeze in old tank water during your water changes.
I was considering the Intank Chamber 2 kit, but I think 75 cad is a little bit overprice for a plastic basket. I ordered some egg crates on Amazon last night and they may arrive in 2-3 days. I will try the egg crate first, if it does not works well, then I will ask somebody with a 3d printer to help me print out the kit. The Intank kit will be my last option.
 

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I have the same tank with the Intank media basket. I do like it, but imagine you can find a cheaper DIY option if you didn't want to spend money on it.

As spare time said, ignore the diatoms. They're a normal part of starting a new tank and I always view them as a good sign that things are progressing as they should be.

I think your father and LFS are right that an experienced reefer can get through a cycle without an ammonia test kit. However, I still view ammonia test kits as essential for diagnosing issues, setting up QT and hospital tanks, testing water change water, and troubleshooting throughout the life of the tank. Given that you've been out of the hobby long enough and you're trying to monitor a new setup without the experience of having done it several times before, I think you should definitely invest in a test kit.

Your dad is probably right. The fish will most likely be OK (though they're almost certainly stressed) if you keep doing what you're doing and be patient. But I would also consider getting a test kit to keep an eye on the ammonia.
 
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FriedBambooFishWithC

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I have the same tank with the Intank media basket. I do like it, but imagine you can find a cheaper DIY option if you didn't want to spend money on it.

As spare time said, ignore the diatoms. They're a normal part of starting a new tank and I always view them as a good sign that things are progressing as they should be.

I think your father and LFS are right that an experienced reefer can get through a cycle without an ammonia test kit. However, I still view ammonia test kits as essential for diagnosing issues, setting up QT and hospital tanks, testing water change water, and troubleshooting throughout the life of the tank. Given that you've been out of the hobby long enough and you're trying to monitor a new setup without the experience of having done it several times before, I think you should definitely invest in a test kit.

Your dad is probably right. The fish will most likely be OK (though they're almost certainly stressed) if you keep doing what you're doing and be patient. But I would also consider getting a test kit to keep an eye on the ammonia.
Thanks for your advice, I agree with your new tank statement, it seems I need something to track down the Ammonia change for a better understanding of this system.
 

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I was considering the Intank Chamber 2 kit, but I think 75 cad is a little bit overprice for a plastic basket. I ordered some egg crates on Amazon last night and they may arrive in 2-3 days. I will try the egg crate first, if it does not works well, then I will ask somebody with a 3d printer to help me print out the kit. The Intank kit will be my last option.

Yeah they are a bit overpriced. I did a diy mod t where I made a acrylic piece to cover 3/4 of the holes from the first chamber into the second and then just stacked filter media. I HAD to be on top of toping it off, but it worked well I think.
 

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Agreed that it never hurts to have a test kit for ammonia.
I should add that those appear to be occelaris clownfish rather than maroons. Maroons get too big for the tank and are far meaner. Occelaris is a much better clownfish for that size tank.
 
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Agreed that it never hurts to have a test kit for ammonia.
I should add that those appear to be occelaris clownfish rather than maroons. Maroons get too big for the tank and are far meaner. Occelaris is a much better clownfish for that size tank.
Omg, I confused the name of these two in English. Thanks for pointing it out. The clowns we got were actually Occelaris. I would correct the thread now.
 
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Hi, guys, I just started my first nano tank around 4 weeks ago with a Fluval Evo 13.5. I did have some experience when I was a kid with my father in China around 10 years ago. Although my father was doing most of the calculation and management at that time, I just helped him to finish some simple daily missions. (He has been in the hobby since 1999 but he quit his hobby 5 years ago for work reasons. ) The way we did in Asia and years ago was cycling the tank with tons of live rocks and a little blue damselfish and then you just wait for the algae bloom and the green hairy algae will finally turn white. However, it seems live rock is banned in Canada and I need to use dry rock with bacteria blend to start. My LFS recommends I using Fauna Marin bacto blend Fauna Marin bacto energy and bacto balls to start. So I followed the instruction on the bottle and start my cycle. (I did not get an ammonia test kit, since the LFS worker told me just follow the instruction and u will on the right path. And my dad also agrees that he thinks Ammonia kits are not necessary if you know what you are doing. )
So I cycled without light for 11 days and do a No2 test on days 10 and 11, it seems No2 was lower than 0.002 and No3 is around 5-10. Therefore, according to the Fauna Marin bacto blend guide, the LFS showed me in the store, I am ready to put my first fish in it. (Although I was not sure about that since according to my experience 12 days was a little bit too rush to add fishes in.) Then I asked my father if it was safe to add maroon clowns to the tank at that moment, and he thought it will be just fine with 2 maroon clownfishes. Therefore I went to the LFS and bought 2 tiny maroon clowns. Both of them seem to do fine in the tank so far, being very active and excited for the food, except the bigger one always bullies the smaller one and tears down a little piece of breast fin that belongs to the smaller one. Based on the past experience, my father and I thought it should be normal when you put two clownfishes together with a bigger one and a smaller one, and they need some time to get along with. (Please tell me if I am wrong. ) I feed the fish with Fauna Marin clownfish food every two days for the first week, 2-4 pellets for each. And we feed 1/10 cube of frozen brine shrimp last weekend, most of them have been eaten by the clowns. I used the Fauna Marin NO2&No3 kits to test the water. The NO2 and No3 were stable for the first 5 days after we add fishes in, No2 always stuck at 0.002 -0.005 but never turn to be 0, No3 is always 5-10. About the lighting schedule, I start to turn on the light after 2 days the fish settled down. I just use the stock light with a Walmart timer and exposed the tank for 6 hours of lighting the first 3 days and extend lighting to 10 hours later. At that point, Everything seems going fine.
However, after I add the fish into the tank for about 8-9 days the parameters go a little bit weird. No2 rises to somewhere between 0.5 and No3 is either be 0 or undetectable since the No2 is too high. And this situation has been for 3-4 days. Btw, I did a 30% water change with RO water every weekend. Although my dad told me with that amount of No2 and No3 the clownfishes will still be fine, what I need to do is just keep what I am doing daily and be patient, dt add any corals or fish to the tank at least for 2 weeks and the tanks will reach its balance one day. My question is should I need to worry about that or just do as my dad says so.
The second question is about the Diatom on the rocks. It begins to appear on the rock on day 20. Although I understand that there should be a diatom bloom for dry rock during the cycle period, since I have been away for this hobby for years, it is a little bit difficult for me to distinguish between a normal harmless diatom from a brown toxic one. Could anyone tell me that what kinds of diatom are on my rock, please?
Winson Lu

Diatom1.jpg Diatom2.jpg
Just to clarify, since I cannot edit the main thread anymore. The clowns were Occelaris, not Maroons, Rookie mistake.
 
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FriedBambooFishWithC

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Def not maroons. I have a maroon in mine
Screenshot_20200306-192145.png
Yeah, Def not maroons. since My father and I 's native language is Cantonese, we just communicate in Cantonese when I talked about the fish, we call the Occelaris as "公主小丑" in Cantonese or Mandarine, which means princess Clowns. And when I walked into the LFS, I just pointed to the tank full of tons of clownfish, which include Maroons and Occelaris, and ask for 2 orange one with a tag writing "Maroon Clowns" on it. I think the LFS just forget to update the tag when they move in the Occelaris to that tank. How dumb I am, lol
 

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