Ok here is the deal, I have been what I would have considered an advanced aquarist, but got out of the hobby completely about 5 years ago and have been tankless for 8 years. My daughter convinced me to set up a tank for her clownfish she go in her marine biology class. These were tank raised ORA clowns.
I set up a 20g long aquarium the last weekend in April.
-20 long tank
initially I used bio-material froman old wet/dry filter now it is a DSB
/refugium with some chaeto and a few small mangroves with a clip on power compact lamp
-AquaC Remora skimmer w/maxi jet 1200 pump
-(2) 450gph koralia pumps and (1) koralia nano run with a tsunami wave maker
-approx 40lbs of live rock (I believe it was cured, but possibly it wasn't)
-2" of (bagged) live sand
-CSL Prism pendant (2) cfl actinics and a 250w 20K metal halide (haven't run the metal halide, only the actinics)
All hardware is the same as I was using 8 years ago when the power went out for days, the tank died and everything was put in storage, pretty much as is, tank wasn't cleaned out. Upon setting it back up I tried to use one piece of previously lr
from the old tank it, all decorations and tank and equipment were bleached, for several hours then rinsed out, but since everything had been dry for 8 years....it wasn't scrubbed.
Week 1 I began putting small pieces of fish (frozen cod from the grocery store) to the tank. After 4 weeks I tested, readings appeared to be all 0s. I let my daughter bring home a hermit crab, almost immediately the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates soared, as in off the scale unreadable.
I went to the LFS
, got some salt and did a 100% water change. And since school would be out in a week and the LFS
would not take in the fish, I got some prime and once the fish came home we started dosing every other day and testing. Never occurred to me the API test kit would not read the water dosed with prime. After another 3 weeks the levels still would not come down and 2 of the 3 clowns had died, the other seemed unphased, I stopped dosing the prime and began doing some water changes several 25% pwc
's over the course of a week.
That has been about 3 weeks ago, and the ammonia has been stuck at approximately 0.7mg/l according to my new ocean systems test kit,(probably not any more accurate, but easier to read) and 0.3 mg
/l nitrite and the nitrates are off the scale which tops out at 100mg/l, ph is 7.8.
Last night the last clown died, got sucked into the skimmers power head. I'm about out of ideas, this tank has been up and going for going on 3 months and the cycle still has not finished.
There is coralline algae growing on the rocks that had none when I put it in the tank, and I have had a diatom bloom as well.
Please offer any suggestions on what I should do to get this thing where I can get this tank back on the right path.