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Old 02-20-2005, 05:13 PM   #1
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I think I may have screwed up my QT

Hey Everyone --

The QT has been up and running for about a month, with the anticipation of getting some new fish. Life got in the way, and I didn't get around to it until a few days ago (got a royal gramma and lawnmower blenny). The QT was filled with water from the main tank (again, a month ago), but did not have anything in it all that time, except for a mantis shrimp and manthrix crab that I evicted.

So, when I got the gramma and blenny, I acclimated them as usual, and all seemed fine. Next morning, the gramma was visibly stressed. I tested the water, and it was all out of whack -- quite bad all around (and yes, I'll admit I made the mistake of not re-checking the water before adding them -- lessoned learned). So I did a 50% water change, and it brought everything much closer to normal. I've been rechecking the Ammonia and Nitrites every day, and they are both hanging around .5 ppm. And so each day (for three days), I've done a 50% change. Today I noticed a spot on the gramma.

So, knowing that I really !@#$%^'ed this, I need some thoughts.

1 - It didn't hit me until today, but I suspect that with all the water changes, I now have essentially uncycled water. I am now inclined to take the fish out, chuck the QT water as-is, bleach the hell out of it, and refill with water from the display tank (whose levels are spot-on).

2- Given that these fish have not had the most ideal home for the past few days, what sort of problems might come up? For instance, is the spot I see on the gramma now just a symptom of stress? Or will it made it susceptable to some other problem? If so, what should I look out for and what sort of medication should I treat him with?

I really am kicking myself over this -- and would appreciate some guidance. Thanks.

The setup:
55 gal, CC base with 120# LR
CurrentUSA ORBIT 4x65W PC with moonlights
Seaclone skimmer
Fluval 304 for carbon and LR rubble
couple of MaxiJet-900 PHs
Calcium and Corbonate supplements 2x/week

2 percula clowns | 1 kole tang
1 royal gramma | 1 lawnmower blenny
1 cleaner shrimp | 1 fire shrimp
2 emerald crabs | bunch of snails and hermits

The uninvited:
1 curlyQ anemone | 1 flower anemone
a boatload of fire worms and brittle/banded stars
... and now 100% mantis free!
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Old 02-20-2005, 05:41 PM   #2
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Most of your bio filter is in the filter media and on the glass and substrate. Not in the water. My suggestion is this: Continue to monitor the water parameters, add something like Prime to detoxify the amm, nitrite, and nitrate, keep up the water changes but 50% is quite a lot, and keep an eye on the spots . If you suspect that it is ich, you can bump the temp up and the salinity down to combat the ich. However if worse comes to worse be ready with something like coppersafe or some other ich med. JMHO

Good luck! Kat
90 malawia cichlid
55 planted tropical community
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Old 02-20-2005, 05:45 PM   #3
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First off, just calm down.
Now, to your first question about cycling. Water does not cycle, the substrate, filters pads, sponge filters, etc.. cycle. The bacteria is in the water, but most of it lives on the rocks and substrate. This is why when moving a tank most people say don't worry about moving all the water as well, just more of a hassle. Just keep enough to have the substrate coverd.

Now did you set up the QT as suggested in the articles? If so you should be okay with the sponge filter, just keep up on water changes, but a little smaller until the system catches up. Do not bleach the system, it will kill all you have in it, even the benificial bacteria.

Now for your second question, yes, the spot could just be from stress. Another possibility could be a parasite or what not, but don't jump to conclusions. If possible post a picture of the spot. If it is just 1 spot it is rarely ich, at least in my experiences. Now if the spots spread, that would be a sign of a bigger problem.

Is the main tank fully cycled? If it is you could move a piece of LR rubble to the QT to help jump start the benificial bacteria, although if there are problems and you dose the QT with meds you would have to get rid of the LR after you were done with the QT.

Hope this helps some, I am sure others will be along with more info for you.
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Old 02-20-2005, 07:18 PM   #4
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Yes, slow down the water changes to about 20%, this will allow the biofilter to set up and stress the fish much less.
A 50% should only be used in emergencies.
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Old 02-21-2005, 03:58 PM   #5
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Thanks. Reading through what I posted last night, I see now how I probably sounded like I was about to burst a blood vessle -- my apologies

Anyway, I'll keep an eye on the spot, and stay on top of the water changes as you suggest. Many thanks to all.

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Old 02-21-2005, 10:40 PM   #6
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Continued in the Sick Fish forum here:

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