i started my tank back in november. added some live rock and "live bacteria" the LFS
recommended back in mid. december. the ammonia was still very high (8ppm), ph nitrate and nitrite were @ acceptable levels. a week or 2 later i added 2 pieces of shrimp b/c after doing research online i was convinced it was the best and humane way to cycle a tank. months have passed by and maybe about 3 weeks ago (early may) the ammonia was reading 0ppm. i decided to get a few fish last week; 2 yellowtail damsels; 2 stripe damsels; 2 clowns. my tank is a 50 gallon. the person at the LFS
said i would be fine starting off with them. a few days go by and every thing still tested fine ammonia was not detected.
well, late tuesday night i was watching them and they all seemed fine. i decided to go to sleep around 1:30am-2am. before i fell asleep i took a look at them and they were still swimming around as usual. i woke up at 6:15 to get ready for work (slept for about 4 hrs or so). first thing i did was check on them. when i approached the tank i found one of the clowns dead at the bottom of the tank. i quickly turned on the light and saw all the other fish dead, scattered in different areas of the tank. i noticed that one striped damsel was still breathing but laying on its side. i quickly took him out and put him in fresh salt water that i had in a 2gallon tank just in case some thing happened. right now hes doing fine. hes back to his normal color and swimming around. i just have to change the water in the 2gal tank every night.
i took all the fish out asap and tested the water. i had work at 7 so i just tested the ammonia and nitrate. ammonia still read 0ppm but the nitrate went up to 80ppm, maybe even 160ppm. what could have gone wrong?.. went i got home at 5pm wednesday(yesterday) i tested the water again....
ph went down to 7.4
nitrite went up to 5ppm
nitrate went up to 80ppm
i can't do any thing now. i just feel bad for the fish. i thought i did enough research. what should i do next? should i do a water change? if so how much? change filter media? i have the fluval 305 filter and a protein skimmer running. or should i just wait and don't do any thing and see if the biological filter will catch up?.. all i am doing right now is changing the water in the 2gal tank.
any advise please let me know. thanks!