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Old 12-31-2008, 10:05 PM   #11
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Well, thanks for your assistance. I when over to the LFS and they gave me some advice also. They said that since there is not much in the tank anyway, and chromis are good for cycling and can tolerate high ammonia, just treat this as a new tank and see what happens. The snails and hermits are starting to die, but I can accept that. Just to clarify, there was nothing in the tank but three blue green chromis and ten hermit crabs, and twenty small snails, turbo and one other type. There is no question that it was the rock.
I spoke with the "fish guy" who sold it to me and told him what happened, and he said he will replace anything that dies. It doesn't make up for my hassle, but it is at least a gesture of good will.

So I have let the light level go down, and did a small partial change if 15 gallons, which might give the fish a fighting chance. My understanding is that during cycling you don't want to drop the ammonia deliberately because that delays the growth of the ammonia eating bacteria.

So I think I will be okay.

Bruce
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:37 PM   #12
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I am only saying donít go crazy with the water changes... People have a tendency to over react, and overly stress the fish out.

I did -0- PWC for all the weeks I was cycling with my fish. It was the worst period of my life, I desperately wanted to change the water but I could not for the integrity of the cycle.

I take offense to the comment about cycling with fish, I knew the risks and rewards and I was entirely comfortable with them. That comment was completely uncalled for.
Water changes don't stress fish that much.

>5 ppm ammonia does.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:05 PM   #13
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Here is a follow up:
I just tested the tank for ammonia and nitrites. The nitrite level is starting to climb, at .25 , but the ammonia level is still reading 8 ppm, which I assume means that it was even greater than 8 to begin with and may still be >8. At least the system is starting to cycle. Of my three BG chromis, one is now eating and swimming around, one just sits at the bottom, and one is not to be seen. The snails are dropping like flies, but the hermit crabs are hanging on, and enjoying the feast. Well, I guess it is a good lesson to learn, and at least I did not have any expensive fish in there.
Thanks, once again for all your help.
Bruce
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:25 PM   #14
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I'm a little shocked that you're willing to sit by and watch all this happen and be passive around it, despite the advice of all of these folks here who have been doing this for years, some of them decades.

Doing a water change to get the ammonia levels down some isn't going to stop your cycle, unless you did a 100% change and literally got all of the ammonia out. Getting it down even by half is going to give your fish and CUC a fighting chance, letting it stay way up at 8+ is sentencing them all to their death.

The fact that this is probably coming from your LR, which doesn't sound to have been cured properly, means that there's more coming where the original 8ppm came from. Which means there's no telling how high it's going to get or even how high it already is. Want to check? Dilute some of your tank water with RO water (50/50 mix) and test. If you read 4 in this mixture, then double it (since half the water was RO) and your tank is at 8ppm. If you read 8ppm in this mixture, then you're above 16ppm and need to try again with a 75/25 mixture (then multiply the reading by 4).

Add to that the fact that you know snails and crabs are dieing, that's adding to your ammonia too.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:30 PM   #15
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I agree that the ammonia is getting too high. I would do a good size PWC to get that ammonia down. As Neilanh said your cycle will keep on going. Maybe a 30-40% PWC. It will give your CUC a chance.
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:12 PM   #16
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With a 125g tank, you should really consider the trash can on wheels. The Brute 44g and optional wheel base will help you a lot. With a new tank, things can go south real fast. Having 30-40 gallons of premixed, aged SW may save you and your livestock during this period.

Also, if I may, the comment about "those who don't know any better" was just that - compared to those who know about fishless cycling as a better, more humane option. Not a knock or a put down. Even though damsels and chromis are hardy fish, and used to cycle, it is VERY hard on them when the ammoinia and nitrites get that high. Yes they can live thru a cycle, but it was hard on them.

You stand a good chance of losing your snails and crabs IMO.
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:42 PM   #17
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...Of my three BG chromis, one is now eating and swimming around, one just sits at the bottom, and one is not to be seen. The snails are dropping like flies, but the hermit crabs are hanging on, and enjoying the feast. Well, I guess it is a good lesson to learn, and at least I did not have any expensive fish in there....


Like Neil, I'm a little confused. Seems like you know what the problem is, but are unwilling to do anything about it to try and get the tank parameters back in line. As things continue to die (and they will), your ammonia will go higher, causing more things to die, making your ammonia go higher...

I bet those chromis in your tank wish they were "expensive fish".
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:43 PM   #18
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Well, I feel like I am getting conflicting responses from everyone I speak to. One response told me not to do a water change as that will delay the cycling, another said do a 30 to 50% change. The fish guy who sold me the "cured" rock didn't even call me back! So he's history, frankly.
I think I am being anything but passive about this. I feel very sorry for the animals, cheap or not!
I already have been doing partial water changes since this fiasco began, it's just very frustrating getting so many completely different solutions to the problem. I know that everything is likely to die if it does not get better, and I am not naive. But it is very difficult when I get opinions ranging from "do no water changes" (local fish store advice, and here,) to "do complete change of water".
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:18 PM   #19
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Doing a water change will NOT delay the cycling. That is absolutely not true. As long as there is a little bit of ammona (1 ppm) the cycling will continue unabated.

You need to bring the ammonia level down big time. Do several 30-40% water changes, checking each time. Putting in some Ammo-Lock or SeaChem Prime will help neutralize the ammonia from being toxic to your fish and not affect your cycle.

You can also call your LFS to see if they have some Fritz-Zyme Turbo Start or similar in their fridge. This is a culture of live nitrifying bacteria that may help as well. You'd want to add this after you do your PWCs.
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:43 PM   #20
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I will do another change when I get home tonight (my third). You know, this has been very frustrating because my tank was working perfectly, with excellent water chemistry, healthy fish, and no problems. I don't understand how the fish guy did not return my call. I would have expected him to rush over to fix the problem.

I've been thinking. If I had simply removed the animals from the tank at the very beginning, and placed them into another tank, would the tank have re-cycled normally, or at that ammonia level is it a problem regardless?
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