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Old 03-23-2015, 05:04 PM   #1
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Unhappy Help! missinformation by LFS!?

Okay so I am completely new to SW aquariums and of course my hubby wants the coolest thing he can have and afford so we decided we would want a snowflake moray eel that our LFS had in stock. Its just a baby and only 5 inches long. We set up a 15 gallon Aqueon tank that I had previously as a freshwater set up for my 2 year olds platy and barb fish. (Yes, I do know this tank will not be sufficient for him in the next 6 months at most, but that is why its just a starter tank. I read this is so much easier for a first timer to start with as small as a tank as possible and keeping it maintained better than a larger tank.) I did what I was told by my LFS, and set up the tank with live rock and live sand with a canister filter, heater, thermometer and hydrometer to test my salinity. With a tight budget that I stressed to my LFS, I purchased the API 5 IN 1 TEST KIT (which doesn't include a test for ammonia) and I was told I can hold off on a protein skimmer for a month or two. I just had this tank set up about 4 to 5 days ago. I brought in a water to sample to my LFS who then gave me the OK to go ahead and add two damsels and my SF eel to my tank. I was informed that the fish had a chance of dying but I didn't realize they were guaranteed to die within 24 hours after purchasing them. Now I am super concerned about our SF eel and whether he can make it thru this cycling process. He hasn't acted out of the norm since the fish have died. He is still active at night and he still has a great appetite. When I purchased him I explained everything that was going on with the tank and the guy never said anything about him being harmed or not making it but the more I read into this cycling thing the more worried I get. I did do a test last night when I noticed my fish acting strange, and the only thing that read abnormal was the nitrate. It was a little elevated. I did a 25% water change afterwards. I am waiting to take a trip back to the LFS to bring them back their frozen dead damsels and a water sample.
Has anybody ever dealt with something like this with eels? I'm in need of advice on what I can do to make this as easy as possible for my poor eel. I have been considering all day whether I should just bring him back to the place I bought him in hopes it will prevent him from dying from my stupid mistake.
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:17 PM   #2
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Yikes! Bad advice from the LFS is right. Yes, I'd make them take the fish back and at least have them hold it until you properly cycle the tank. I'd also get more rock in there. Rock is a large part of your biological filter and especially with a predator, you are going to need it.
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Old 03-23-2015, 05:41 PM   #3
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Do you think there is a possibility that the eel can pull through the cycling process in case the store wont hold him. Such as daily water changes?
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:49 PM   #4
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Daily water changes are going to hinder your cycle a bit. You could try some of that bottled bacteria like "Dr Tim's" , or Brightwell's "Microbacter 7"and feed very sparingly and hope for the best.
http://brightwellaquatics.com/produc...robacter7t.php
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Old 03-25-2015, 06:20 PM   #5
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Ouch that is horrid to hear. I am in no manner an expert but wanted to toss an idea out for the eels survival. Wouldn't it be possible to fill say a 5 gallon bucket with premixed SW and a heater until the hold over tank cycles? Most "fish" stores sell Rodi water mixed with salt. Not ideal but better then it being poisoned in the cycle...

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Old 03-25-2015, 08:33 PM   #6
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A strong bacteria colony will be necessary for it to survive- your bucket will be void of this. This water will show ammonia in a short time. I would monitor ammonia daily, and feed VERY sparingly if you intend to keep it in the display. A small amount of food twice a week should be plenty. Have a water change ready, and perhaps the use of an ammonia binding product like "Prime" or "Amquel".
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Old 04-02-2015, 02:23 AM   #7
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I would go with Dr Tim's One and Only bacteria. At lest it shortens the cycle time dramatically.

As for Doug's idea of using Prime...would that hinder the cycle in any way?


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Old 04-02-2015, 02:59 AM   #8
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I believe it makes it a non toxic form for a time but the bacteria can still convert it to nitrites then nitrates? I may be wrong but that's my understanding of prime....


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Old 04-03-2015, 12:45 PM   #9
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Keep an eye on the eel, if it starts to swimming nearby the surface. Its a bad sign, the eel is telling u something. It may jUMP to its death if the top aren't covered.

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Old 04-05-2015, 12:26 PM   #10
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Ammonia and Nitrites are the main concern. Snowflakes can live with pretty high nitrates, but you have to get that far. Honestly Petco has a sale on tanks, $1 per gallon......so if possible I would get at least a 30 gallon tank and move everything in there and use the 15 gallon as a sump/Refugium. He may make it, but it is a very low chance. I have kept snowflakes, lions, and zebras for many years and all are very hardy.....but not meant to live in a tank during the cycle. Make sure you are using DI water for the cycle.....and definitely get something to help with the bacteria growth ASAP.


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