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Old 05-02-2011, 10:20 PM   #1
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Riddle me this...

Hi all,

I'm new to saltwater aquariums. Like a lot of folks, I thought I had it figured out. I have really enjoyed being a lurker here and didn't feel like I had anything to contribute until now.

I has my 36 gallon tank up and running with a few hardy fish for ammonia sources. I added a couple peppermint shrimp to help scavenge stuff. All of a sudden, one shrimp carcase was drifting along the bottom of the tank. It looked like the fish had picked it over pretty good and left a hollow shell. A day later, the other shrimp was lying dead on the bottom. I quickly removed both. While I thought my nitrogen cycle was complete, I had an ammonia spike. I used a couple PWC's and some amquel plus and a few days later, I had a clear tank, no ammonia, no nitrite. So, back to smooth sailing.

Then, something happened. Or had happened. My ammonia spiked again. at first to 1 ppm. PWC. 12 hours later 2ppm. PWC and ammo-lock. 24 hours after starting the spike reached 8ppm. Nitrites still zero. Nitrates steady.

So, any guesses about what happened and what I found?(I'll post the details in a few days)

I am still fighting the problem, but I think I have an edge on it now.

I hope this is a good post to get to know everyone with. Thanks to all the folks who post here.
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:28 PM   #2
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my suggestion would be remove all the livestock from the aquarium and take them to an established tank. let the tank cycle fishless

inverts should never be placed in the tank while it is cycling, they can tolerate the polutants. in a way niether can the fish, the ammonia has a serious effect on their respratory system and will burn their gills.

these are the reason we all believe in a fishless cycle, it may be slower but we all get into the hobby because we enjoy caring and maintaining the water columb so our fish/inverts/ coral all live a long and healthy life
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:28 PM   #3
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The shrimp shells could be molts from what you described. Are you sure you achieved your cycle? Read our article about it in our Sw articles section.
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melosu58 View Post
The shrimp shells could be molts from what you described. Are you sure you achieved your cycle? Read our article about it in our Sw articles section.

there is a molt to, my skunk cleaner molted 2 days after i got it
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:34 PM   #5
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I am reasonably sure I achieved my cycle, but that could be an issue. Unfortunately, I didn't hear about fishless cycling until too late.

The molting is a good point. But, any guesses about the cause of the ammonia spike? Or, the on-going low nitrite levels?
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:39 PM   #6
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an ammonia spike would be because soemthing died or there was massive overfeeding
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:43 AM   #7
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Yes, but what died?

Well, as it turns out, the shrimp did die, but did so in a hidden location. I got faked out by the molting. After several days, the shrimp started to decompose and release lots of ammonia. Lots of ammonia!
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:15 AM   #8
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how long has this tank been running?
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