Established Tank Wont Clear Up After Removing Fish

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AgentXpool

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Hi everyone, so basically what happened was I decided to remove all of the plants from my tank, which I knew would mess with the stability of the tank and figured I would have a few days of cloudiness. Nothing happened for a month, still crystal clear. So recently I sold off almost 80% of my fish, and during that process I had to remove all of my rock work from the tank to catch the fish. The rocks were outside of the tank for about 45 minutes, which means they probably lost their beneficial bacteria. I put everything back in, did a few water changes over a week, and added a few new fish. But for the past month, the tank has been cloudy and will not cycle. I have cleaned the filter (Fluval 306), done water changes, used Prime X5 dosage, and tried adding some Tetra Safestart, but it is still cloudy every day. Then a few days ago I came and it was crystal clear, but now its back to cloudy again. Any thoughts or advice? Am I just stuck in the middle of a re-cycle due to removing all of my rockwork? It is a 65 gallon tall tank with a Pearl Cichlid, 5 Odessa Barbs, a Firemouth (small one), 3 Flying Fox, and a few Catfish
 
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AgentXpool

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What are your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings?
Thanks for your response, I took measurements, and my Ammonia is at 1.0 ppm, nitrite is at 0 ppm, and nitrate is at 160 ppm

Also, I feed them 2 times daily, I feed some Krill in the morning (about 6 Krill), and a few pinches of Omega Cichlid flake at night
 
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AWheeler

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You want to do more water changes. Those nitrates are pretty high, don't do them too fast though, it will stress out the fish, 25% every day until they are down way further (they will get stressed with nitrates that high). If you are using prime then the ammonia shouldn't be a problem as long as you are doing those water changes. 0 nitrite reading with tss is normal from what I have had happen to me when i used it. It looks like you might be either dong a mini cycle or just re-cycling.
 
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You want to do more water changes. Those nitrates are pretty high, don't do them too fast though, it will stress out the fish, 25% every day until they are down way further (they will get stressed with nitrates that high). If you are using prime then the ammonia shouldn't be a problem as long as you are doing those water changes. 0 nitrite reading with tss is normal from what I have had happen to me when i used it. It looks like you might be either dong a mini cycle or just re-cycling.
Ok great thanks for the tips, I am hoping it is just a mini cycle. Just before I wrote this I did another water change and I sucked the gravel and did find that there was a large amount of organic waste under there, and since I have a Pearl Cichlid, he likes to mix it all up, so maybe he is stirring up pockets, I will have to make sure I clean the gravel more now that I do not have plants in the tank
 

AWheeler

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It could be that he is stirring up pockets, def do more gravel vac'ing when doing the water changes. Don't try to do it all at once though and if you do water changes every day, eventually it should all get more under control. Just remember that high nitrates can also stall a cycle sometimes.
 

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also while you are working on getting the nitrates down, you can move to just once a day feeding, or even every other day (just till you get the nitrates under control).
 
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