Quick backstory. My tank is/was a 3yr old FOWLR
54 corner. In early 2013, I was blessed with the news of becoming a Dad again. It was a grueling pregnancy though with many weeks spent in the hospital. Mom and baby were healthy though in the end. In the mean time, my tank suffered as I had no time or money to maintain. Many months between water changes. When time and money finally became available last summer, I screwed up. While doing my first water change, I thought it would be a good idea to ruffle up my deep sand bed so it looked a little fresher. A week later, 3 of my fish were struggling, then dead. I took the remaining to the LFS
for credit, as they were still somehow healthy. Backwards as it sounds, I came home and tested my water for the first time. Nitrates were and still are 160ppm. Bought a new test kit (API) just to be sure. I have probably done 15-20 10% water changes and the test tube color is still
So, my questions are: 1) Are my high nitrates the result of messing with the sand last summer? 2) X% water change will reduce nitrates by X? If true, I would like to do a 90% water change, all at once, to get a handle on this. My fear is that with the water being so low at that point, that when I begin add water, the force is going to disturb the sand once again and put me back at square one.
Also, I still have no fish at this point. 1 blue leg hermit, and 2 nassarius snails, and many pods