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Old 05-26-2011, 07:28 PM   #1
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all my fish died.. ph/nitrate/ite spike.

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....

ammonia 0ppm...
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!
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:36 AM   #2
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Did you add all theses fish at the same time
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:13 AM   #3
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Sounds to me like your ammonia spiked with that bioload increase and the subsequent nitrite spike killed your fish. Did you do any water changes for a time after you bought your fish? Unfortunately, even after you cycle your tank, any increase in waste production, especially when adding large fish or large numbers of fish, can cause mini cycles. You have to be diligent in your testing and PWC's during that time in order to allow the number of bacteria to increase to convert the waste. You may be better off, IMO, adding the fish slowly. You may also want to make sure that they weren't accidentally exposed to something chemical in nature.. No windex or toxic air fresheners. Sorry to hear about your fish. Keep your head up and try not to get discouraged.
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:28 AM   #4
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Well I think you over loaded you tank do a 1/3 water change leave the bio filter in and keep doing water changes to your levels come down just take it as a learning experience only ever add one thing to your tank at a time you don't want to over load your tank
With you small tank yes do daily water changes till your dt ready to go then add the fish
How much lr do you have?
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:21 AM   #5
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If you added all six of those fish at the same time, that's what led to the demise of them all. I wouldn't recommend adding more than one fish per week/ two weeks. If you add too many fish, the ammonia will spike dramatically which would eventually be turned into nitrates, which is why you had a large amount of nitrates
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:22 AM   #6
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All the fish are usually very hardy. Is there anyway something could have gotten into the tank like a spray cleaner or something else? Check your temperature sometimes a heater will go out. The nitrite jump could be from all the fish dieing or might be the cause but it really isn't that high.
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:35 AM   #7
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How long has the tank been running before you added the fish?
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:06 PM   #8
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thanks for the advise and input guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keysman View Post
Did you add all theses fish at the same time
i added the 4 damsels one day and then the 2 clowns 4 days later. i specifically asked the person @ the LFS if that was ok. he said i would be fine considering how big my tank is and how damsels and clowns are hardy


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Originally Posted by Maya View Post
. Did you do any water changes for a time after you bought your fish? .
nope. i didn't do any water changes. should have i? the one damsel is still alive and well but when i do decide to put him back should i do a PWC prior?

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How much lr do you have?
about 25lbs of live rock

Quote:
Originally Posted by joy13 View Post
Is there anyway something could have gotten into the tank like a spray cleaner or something else? .
i'm positive that cleaning chemicals did not get into the tank. i was second guessing my self the whole day i found them dead but i'm positive nothing air born fell inside

Quote:
Originally Posted by bart051284 View Post
How long has the tank been running before you added the fish?
it has been running since dec. ... about 5 and a half months without any fish. only LR and 2 pieces of shrimp.
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:13 PM   #9
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i'm thinking about adding more live rock.. would adding about 20lbs more benefit in a way?
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:16 PM   #10
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tested the water today... nitrite and nitrate went back to normal... ph is still down ... ammonia looks a little bit there




any suggestions on how to bring the pH up?
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