Ok, now I've got problems, I'll sum up as best I can.
The class tank still seemed to be doing well on monday, but it looked like the green chromis that I thought was being picked on by the striped guys was getting worse.
That afternoon while digging through drawers in the back storage room I found 10 to 15 pounds of rock that clearly used to be used in aquariums (I have no idea how many YEARS its been sitting in a drawer though). I set up a small tank with an old HOB
filter and several bubblers and put the rock in along with the domino's body that I dug out of the other tank, hoping that I could add some live rock from my LFS
over the weekend and then add everything to my tank in a couple of weeks.
Tuesday morning the green chromis died so I added him to the tank with the base rock. That afternoon I noticed that the striped damsels had now started picking on another one of the green chromis, but he seemed to be doing all right. Wednesday afternoon one of my students commented that the green chromis was acting funny, I checked and he clearly seemed to be struggling.
Since I've been concerned about my water chemistry without a proper testing kit I decided to do a partial water change which seemed to help for a while, but the second green chromis had died when I got in this morning and one of the striped damsels was also clearly not doing well. I ran to the petco near my school as soon as the day ended and got a testing kit (would have sooner, but paycheck didn't go in until today).
I tested the ammonia levels immediatly, they were at around 3ppm, clearly too high, I did another 20% water change to try and get them down, but unfortunately it wasn't in time for the striped damsel. After everything had settled down from the water change I went through and tested everything and the Nitrate and Nitrite are reading near zero. I'm not sure if this means I don't have ANY bacteria, or if I just don't have ENOUGH bacteria and need to add more surface area.
At this point I am planning on trying to do major tank renovations on Saturday. I was thinking of moving the fish along with their filter to an empty tank and pulling out all the gravel and decorations from my tank (there's not much to begin with so I doubt this would remove much in the way of bacteria). Then I was going to add in argonite sand, the base rock I've been working on in the other tank and about 5-10 pounds of live rock from my LFS
, let everything settle down and then move the fish back in.
My biggest concern is that we'll be leaving for christmas break for the next two weeks and I'll only be able to get in to the school on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays. I'll come in on those days, test the water and do PWC
's as necessary, but is there anything else I can be doing?