Ammonia spike.....tank crashed

Discussion in 'Water Parameters' started by roxanaromaniak7, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. roxanaromaniak7New MemberMember

    Hi everyone this is my first post here, super excited to have an actual group to talk to lol but this post is gonna be lengthy so please bare with me...I have a 75 gallon tank, which is my first, and I made a huge boo boo with and learn....I realized I added fish too early and too many at once and over about 2-3 months the chemicals went hay wire and unfortunately all of my fish except for one, for whatever reason, died.... I had a blue hippo tang and a dotty back ( the survivor ) left when i tried to save them in a qt but the ammonia ended up spiking thru the roof in the qt because I put some of main tank water in it in attempts to not stress the fish too much.... I put them both back in the main, which probably stressed them more anyway, since its ammonia was lower and removed all my live rock. At the time, I wasn't sure what the reasoning was for the spike so I had a theory that maybe there was decaying matter on my rock and thats why the ammonia rose. I left the rock outside for probably two weeks to dry it out and it was also soaked in rain water in the midst of that too. I did about 50% water change to try to remove ammonia when I did the qt. When I finally came to conclusion that it had to be too much bio load at once I scrubbed all my rock down with fresh water and put it all back in the main with my dottyback. I have filter socks in my sump, the half water change was a little over a month ago and since I've put the socks in the ammonia has dropped but still around .25 ppm. I've also been doing 10% water changes every week since I have a fish in there. My questions are should I be doing water changes since I have a fish in there or leave it to do a full cycle again? Should I take the fish out? <~ he's very lively and active, doesn't seem to be stressed or anything. I so desperately want to completely understand everything with this hobby but I can't seem to get over this hump. Any advice is appreciated!!
  2. happyfins14Valued MemberMember

    Did you cycle the tank first? And did you add all the fish at once?

  3. roxanaromaniak7New MemberMember

    I don't think it was done cycling in the first place but I thought it was. I didn't add them all at once but I think I just added too soon in between each other
  4. happyfins14Valued MemberMember

    Okay then I would just do plenty of water changes and monitor the parameters very closely. Good luck!!
  5. roxanaromaniak7New MemberMember

    Ok thanks!
  6. roxanaromaniak7New MemberMember

    Do you think I should still be doing water changes if I'm trying to cycle the tank again? I don't know if the ammonia is still high because I keep changing the water and it's cycling again or it needs to be changed
  7. happyfins14Valued MemberMember

    If there are no fish in it I would stop doing water changes.... Just keep cycling it and testing the water to make sure you're on the right track.

    Sorry I do freshwater and am just taking my best guess.
  8. roxanaromaniak7New MemberMember

    That's the problem I do have a fish in there I don't know how it survived the ammonia spike
  9. blubudgieNew MemberMember

    I'm still relatively new to fish keeping so I might not be 100% correct. I recently had an ammonia spike too. Luckily no one died. Anyway, what I did was immediately do a large water change and stop feeding for two days to reduce food waste which leads to ammonia. I didn't scrub/kill my live rock since the organisms on the live rock act as my filter (I don't have a mechanic filter, only a skimmer), and I definitely needed filtration after an ammonia spike.
    I think since you're cycling again maybe you can get a piece of live rock from the LFS to help start the cycle and build your good bacteria or whatever. My LFS told me to cycle with live rock. I let it cycle for 2-3 weeks and then did a water change and slowly added cheaper animals first to see if my tank was ready (shrimp-->hermit crab-->conch; basically my clean up crew). Then when I was sure my tank could hold life I added my clownfish. Basically, go slow and don't overcrowd the tank; make sure you have a clean up crew to get rid of any left over food. Check your water chemistry often.
    Since you still have a fish in there I would think u still need to do maybe 10% water changes weekly since you are feeding the fish. Just don't overfeed. You can google info about how to cycle with fish just in case though.

    hopefully someone with more experience can correct me if im wrong but that is what i would do in your situation
  10. happyfins14Valued MemberMember

    blubudgie's advice seems like your best bet :)

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