Disrupt cycle

  1. r

    ravenxcore Well Known Member Member

    So my tank was finally at the end of it's in fish cycle, so I decided to add 10 lbs of sand substrate to benefit my cory's because I know even the fine gravel might hurt there little tummies. <3

    I washed the sand thoroughly, in conditioned water, turned my filters off, added the sand, waited about 5 minutes for it to settle and netted as much floating particles as I could, and turned my filters back on. Well low and behold I woke up the other morning and both my filters had clogged and weren't pumping water. Cleaned them, turned them back on.

    Tested my level's, everything was through the roof. Nitrate is around 20 ppm, ammonia between .50 - 1.00.

    Within three hours, I lost both my panda cory's, probably to poisoning since they turned completely white and died. I lost my black female platy as well. I was able to net a few fish and put them in my other cycled tanks temporarily, but I don't wanna overstock them and cause those cycles to go out of wack so now I have a potential fish graveyard on my hands.

    40g still has...
    2 albino corys, 2 emerald green corys, 2 adolfoi corys, 4 agassiz, 1 sunburst platy, and 2 or 3 cherry barbs still left in it.

    Can anybody give me any advice on how to save these guys?
     
  2. M

    Maxi1 Valued Member Member

    I have no idea how to advise you, just wanted to say I am sorry for your losses and good luck. Hope someone answers you soon.


    Sent from my iPad using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
     
  3. FiscCyning

    FiscCyning Valued Member Member

    You should do water changes to lower the nitrite and ammonia levels, and then dose with Prime at up to 5x the normal conditioning dose to bind the nitrite and ammonia.

    HOB filters are likely to clog with sand because the water goes through the impeller first. If they're still clogging you can put rocks or decor underneath the intake to keep it from sucking in sand. Or you can remove or shorten one of the pieces of the intake tubing to shorten it so it's farther up from the sand.
     
  4. h

    hopeful fish Well Known Member Member

    Definitely perform some water changes to help lower those levels. I second using 5x the dose of Prime to detox.

    In your situation, I may also add some TSS after your water changes. Be sure to wait 24 hours after the changes with Prime to ensure that the water conditioner has dissipated. If you time it right, you'll be adding the TSS the second the detoxification wears off.

    Remember to keep testing the levels on the tanks you relocated fish to, too. If ammonia or nitrite climbs above .25PPM, you can perform a water change with Prime.

    A nitrate level of 20 isn't much to worry about. The tap water at my school runs at 40-80PPM of nitrate. My fish are OK in that water.
     
  5. v

    valau Valued Member Member

    What kind of sand did you add?
     
  6. Mortisha

    Mortisha Valued Member Member

    I'm very sorry for your loss. Take some filter media from your cycled tank and add to that tank to jump start the recycle.I have sand substrate in my tank but I use canister filter b/c the impeller is on the top of unit so the media catches any sand that might get sucked up. My fish love to do landscaping. I used pool filter sand b/c it settles very quickly and it heavier and denser than other sand on the market.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    r

    ravenxcore Well Known Member Member

    Thank you everybody for your advice. I tested my levels when I got home last night after having the filter running for 12 hrs and my levels have dropped off a bit. Its quite possible my cycle wasnt interrupted after all. My ammonia is down to .50 and my nitrate was under 5ppm. I did lose two more corys but I suspect it was from stress because no red spots or white. I relocated all my platies to my betta tank and they seem to be doing fine. I tested all levels this morning on my other tanks and ammonia did go up a bit on my betta tank so did waters changes on all three tanks just to be safe. My catfish seem to be a lot happier as well, there dancing around like normal again instead of hiding in the corner. Hoping when I test tonight the ammonia hasn't peaked again since I did put the two albinos back in.

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
     
  8. FiscCyning

    FiscCyning Valued Member Member

    Glad to hear that your tank issues are resolving themselves. At .5 ammonia I would still recommend a water change as under .25 is preferable (with 0 being ideal).

    Also, was it nitrites or nitrates that you you had 20 ppm of? Nitrates won't generally lower on their own without a water change, so that makes me wonder if what you had were nitrites.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    r

    ravenxcore Well Known Member Member

    I dont have a nitrite test so it was def nitrates. I had ammonia levels of .50 than did a 15 gall water change

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
     
  10. OP
    OP
    r

    ravenxcore Well Known Member Member

    So hopefully tonight it will test lower

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
     
  11. petaddiction

    petaddiction Well Known Member Member

    I hope it is okay for you. :)
    Are there any fish in the tank right now? Removing the fish completely will only hurt the cycle even more.

    I think you have a hob filter? If so if I were you I'd put a prefilter on the intake so no more sand can get in the filter and ruin it. I have one of them on my job filter to prevent sand from getting in. I have this one from amazon. http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004K9A15G?pc_redir=1407014572&robot_redir=1


    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
     
  12. OP
    OP
    r

    ravenxcore Well Known Member Member

    Yes there are fish in the tank, I did remove a little less than half the fish because they looked like they were hurting and I didn't want to lose anymore. Out of the 23 fish that were in the tank, I re homed my 6 cherry barbs into my goldfish tank, re-homed 3/4 platiy to my betta tank and put 4 corys in a quarentine tank temporarily. I did re add the two surviving cory's this morning, but the rest of the fish are going to stay where they are now as I see no reason to stress them any further with yet another tank change. Going to test my water as soon as I get home. Hoping it dropped down to .25 after my water change this morning, but needed the water to settle before testing or I feared it'd be a false test reading.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    r

    ravenxcore Well Known Member Member

    re-homed 5 cherry barbs** haven't caught the last one just yet lol, he's a fast lil bugger
     
  14. OP
    OP
    r

    ravenxcore Well Known Member Member

    Tested this morning, nitrate 0ppm, ammonia still at .50 so water change planned for tonight.

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
     
  15. petaddiction

    petaddiction Well Known Member Member

    Alright, if you haven't yet, add some prime to the water. It will help keep your little fishies in there safe until the water change.


    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
     
  16. h

    hopeful fish Well Known Member Member

    What are your nitrite readings?
     
  17. M

    Mamajin Fishlore VIP Member

    Nitrates at 20ppm are perfectly safe for fish, and in fact is a nice healthy level to be at. You want Nitrates to be anywhere between 5ppm and 40ppm in order to maintain a healthy Nitrogen Cycle. Without Nitrates, there is no cycle. Somehow you either lost your cycle or it was never fully finished to begin with.

    As for the Ammonia levels... they would of had to stay fairly high for a period of time and you would of seen obvious signs of Ammonia Burn on the fish a few days before death. Something else killed them, although without knowing what the Nitrite levels were it's hard to say. Could of been Nitrite poisoning.

    I recommend doing a forum search on all of the appropriate steps that you need to take before and during the use of Tetra Safe Start. Huge water change, Prime, wait 24 hours, dose with TSS.

    Get a Nitrite Kit ASAP.