cloudy, smelly water
Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum, although not new to marine aquariums. On Sunday, (five days ago), I converted an established 30gallon saltwater aquarium to a new corner 36 gallon aquarium. I used my existing crushed coral substrate, rock decorations and a few gallons of my old aquarium water in addition to about 20 gallons of declorinated tap water mixed with Instant Ocean and aerated for several hours.
I transfered one hermit crab to my new tank and some star fish. I also reconnected my fluval canister, protein skimmer, powerhead and heater.
The ammonium, nitrite levels spiked a bit the first day, but then fell. The nitrate level was very high.
By day two, however, things started to go really wrong. My water became really, really cloudy, so much so, I couldn't see any of the rocks in the tank. Within a few days, the water also developed a eggy odor. I am completely stumped on what happened. I've set up numerous tanks and never had cloudy water before.
The amonium, nitrite and nitrate levels are all now within range of safe levels, but my starfish have died. I'm not sure about my hermit crab because I can't see him.
I've asked several fish stores about it, and gotten a variety of answers. One fish store owner said he thought it was an enormous beneficial bacteria bloom spurred by the fact that I had transferred my crushed coral filter, releasing all sorts of wastes in it. He thought it would go away on its own.
Two days ago, I added some chemipure to my fluval,(in addition to the fluval carbon packet) but the water has remained really cloudy and smelly.
I'm really depressed about the whole thing. My husband jokingly called me a fish killer and I almost wanted to cry. He, of course, felt really bad then.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm tempted to take the whole thing apart and start over. HELP!