This is probably the most made NOOB mistake of all time... I overloaded the tank before it cycled... here is my info:
I am new to saltwater and just started my 55g about 2 weeks ago. I obviously was not very fluent in my terminoligy because I thought that cycling meant let the thing run for a week with the substrate until all the tests check out. OK I know I am stupid so here is the problem...
I bought a maroon clown and a shrimp (forgot the name but he was small and a translucent red). Everything was cool... all the tests were ok... PH
was a tad high (8.4-8.5) but aquarium pharmaceuticals fixed that. So what do I do when I see that everything is going good but I have all this empty space? I buy a Niger Trigger... everything is still great... fish look happy... (btw
he showed no interest in the shrimp in fact they were buddies it seemed). So now that that is going well two days ago I buy a Foxface Puffer (I think he is a foxface but he is yellow with stripes and dots). The puffer never seemed to take to the tank very well. Mind you I had been checking the salinity, temp, ph
, ect before the puffer came. Last night I check the stats and the AM has skyrocketed. It is almost off the chart. I do a partial water change and add some more ammo lock. The Nitrate is also a tad high (I believe 10ppm) but not as big a deal as the AM. Anyways I awake this morning and the shrimp is dead... not surprising because the salinity was a bit towards the lower of the safe side combined with the high AM. All the others are still alive and don't seem to be in awful condition but I can tell they are not right. The Trigger is constantly sitting under a log.. the maroon clown looks not to bad although he seems to be fond of the top of the tank (he has always been though), but the puffer is kinda just floatin around mainly. I know that they don't eat everythign they get even when it is in small amounts so I am sure that contributed to the spike as well as the cycling.
Here is what I have done so far:
I added Stress Zyme, Ammo Lok, and Cycle (just got that today) to the tank. The Cycle I put in the canister as well. I added some Zeolite media in addition to new carbon but I left the foam media alone. I changed a good deal of water in small steps today also. I vacced the substrate (which is part sand bottom with crushed coral on top... sand is dead btw
). The ammonia levels are still off the chart.. I know this isn't an immediate thing but I changed about 35% of the water... shouldn't I notice some difference? I refrained from feeding them today... it is better that they are hungry for a day than die (they had brine yesterday anyways so they should be fine).
Sorry this was so long but what do I do? I don't want to lose any more animals. Thanks in advance.