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Old 10-09-2011, 11:24 PM   #1
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Gravel vacuum

So I've read that I should use a gravel vacuum and that I shouldn't. My 5 week old tank has high nitrite and high ammonia 2.0 ppm for both (after two water changes today!) From reading it seems that not having used a gravel vacuum yet could be the problem? But I've also read not to use them if you don't have an under gravel filter (I don't). I currently have two ocellaris clowns and a yellow tailed blue damsel. Please advise!

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Old 10-10-2011, 12:29 AM   #2
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What is the size of the tank?
This is a brand new system, there are expected spikes as it starts to cycle.
What kind of filtration?
What kind of substrate is it, sand or crushed coral? Where did you get it?
Do you have live rock?

Too many questions.

Don't stir anything up as that can make things worse fast. Until we all know more start with gradual water changes and keep it up. You can siphon the sand out while being careful you don't stir things up, then wash the sand in a bucket, if that turns out to be the source. More likely something died, or you are overfeeding. Then the sand can be redistributed in a a plastic cup on the bottom.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:21 AM   #3
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Thanks, sorry....wasn't thinking aboutthe fact that my tank info wouldn't be included with this new thread ....and I haven't been able to figure out how to edit my profile from the phone app? Maybe you can't?
Anyway, 30 gallon tank, 5-6 week old, sand covered with gravel....marineland filter and protein skimmer. Two t5 24 watt bulbs (have ordered new lites bc I want to have coral eventually). It is really strange bc the nite before I and the LFS had checked the water and there were trace nitrites and trace ammonia, did my weekly water change and both shot up to 2. nothing has died unless it's a hermit crab? I have 12, could one of them dying even cause it? How would I know if it was dead? I have two ocellaris clowns and a blue yellow tailed damsel and a coral banded shrimp. All doing ok, haven't even looked stressed which is also odd (I saw them look stressed once before). I know my readings are correct bc I used about three strips and double checked with API kit. Also checked the LFS water I had used for the change and it was perfect! I'll be glad when my tank is a few months old! So far this hobby has been stressing me out . (or wish I had read about fishless cycling before I had fish!)
Any other advice appreciated!
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:31 PM   #4
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Patience is my only advice. It takes a while for a new system to stabilize. Keep up with the water changes. You could try to use a product like Polysorb or others to reduce the organics, but in the end, it is water changes that will nudge the waste products down.
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:12 PM   #5
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Ok....should I do 20% every other day until the levels are back down? Tx for all your help!
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:17 PM   #6
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I would keep up on the water changes until the levels are down to 0 for ammonia and nitrite. especially since you have fish in there.

I don't vacuum my sand very much in my tanks, theres usually not much to suck up on the top since I have good waterflow. If you are getting residue on and in your sand you might want to add a powerhead or two or if you have 2 already adjust them. Mucking the sand up with a vacuum nozzle isn't good for the tanks parameters, it releases nasties when you do that.
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:29 PM   #7
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Thanks!
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carey
I would keep up on the water changes until the levels are down to 0 for ammonia and nitrite. especially since you have fish in there.

I don't vacuum my sand very much in my tanks, theres usually not much to suck up on the top since I have good waterflow. If you are getting residue on and in your sand you might want to add a powerhead or two or if you have 2 already adjust them. Mucking the sand up with a vacuum nozzle isn't good for the tanks parameters, it releases nasties when you do that.
That's why if you are going to do it you need to siphon the sand directly out of the tank for washing.
I would do 10% every other day, or 20% every week until parameters are okay. Be sure your fresh makeup water is okay as well.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:07 PM   #9
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Thanks again!
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:53 PM   #10
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My poor fishies are very stressed and not swimming much
Wish i had known about fishless cycling!
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brund
My poor fishies are very stressed and not swimming much
Wish i had known about fishless cycling!
Keep up the water changes, I think it is your best hope.
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:00 PM   #12
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Thanks, I am! Ive been doing them twice a day even....the notrte is almost zero but the amonia is sky high! Ive ised that amquell that detoxofies the amonia? Idk if it really works but figured its worth a try. The clownfish seem to be doing better, swimming around more and eating, and the shrimp is moving around a lot..the yellow tailed blue damsel has mostly been hiding though and hasnt eaten for two days
Plus my tank STINKS! I figure because of the high amonia? Whatever the reason it cant go awY fast enough....hopefully without my fish!
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:44 AM   #13
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You had a major die off, probably on the live rock. Fish were introduced way too early as the tank hadn't fully cycled. Might try some ammonia absorbing products for a quick fix until cycling completes.
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:27 PM   #14
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Yeah, unfortunately I found that out after I had fish! At the time I had read you needed fish to cycle the tank and the lfs had agreed! So far the fish are still hanging in there. I used amquell which is supossed to lower the ammonia (and nitrite, bc a couple days ago nitrite was also high) can i use the amno lock which is supossed to detoxify it at the same time, do you know? Right now the nitrite is almost 0 and the ammonia is off the charts! I should expect the ammonia to go down next and the nitrite to spike right?
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Old 10-12-2011, 04:35 PM   #15
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Yes, you are right.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:14 PM   #16
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Thanks for all your help.
Anyone know if you can use amquell and amno lock together?
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:20 PM   #17
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Just to update....nitrite and amonia are both back to zero and all fish (and coral banded shrimp) lived! Thanks for your help!
Brings me to another question, does anybody know if a coral bamded shrimp could eat two emerald shrimp? I bought two last night for the algae and today cant find them anywhere! I figure they're hiding....except it looks like there is a small piece of leg on one of the LR?
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:23 PM   #18
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My coral banded is ruthless. I had for years been under the assumption that they were reef safe. And while I have no documentable evidence to convict the shrimp of serial murder, there is signs that he has been up to no good. Mine has grown huge and only comes out to hunt at night.
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:31 PM   #19
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Jeez! What a creep! I find it hard to believe he could have killed and eaten two in one night....but im wondering more and more....especially with the 'possible evidence' of what could be a leg. Ive seen him snap at my fish a couple time! He has already molted twice! He hides behind this one rock all the time..started to remind me of the wicked witch of the west who lived on that mountain!
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:26 PM   #20
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Do you feed your shrimp? And if so how do you get the food to him without the fish eating it?
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