Have To Start My Tank Over

luckdown

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Ugh this is so frustrating. My 40 gallon tank WAS cycled. Then I had a couple of my females die giving birth (removed all the fry, sadly lost half of them and all of the older fry I was going to use for breeding but that's another story)

I removed the bodies no more than 9 hours after death. Did a major water change each time

I got a bad ammonia spike. And okay yeah I get why. But the ammonia keeps getting worse and worse even with daily 70% water changes.

It's been 2 days at an insane level and I can't put these guys through this anymore. Gonna have to start the tank over.

Now I gotta figure out how to split these guys into my other tanks without killing their cycle as well.

I swear the ammolock is the only reason these guys are alive (I've been doing it daily after the water change)

I just don't understand why the cycle broke this bad xP

Thankfully all my other tanks are fine

I feel so bad cuz I have 2 batches of fry in the tank who thankfully are all doing well but D:
 
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luckdown

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TexasGuppy said:
Have you checked tap water for ammonia? It could change...
How high is it spiking? Did you clean your filter?
Just checked it still reads as .25

It was spiking at 2, then it jumped to 8, now it's off the charts

I checked the filters for dead fry (can't find any dead bodies anywhere) beyond that no I did not clean my filters. Aren't you not supposed to cuz you'll get rid of the bb?
 

Mick Frost

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It sounds like you may have missed some fry. I suggest removing all decorations, substrate, etc and doing a thorough scrub.
Keep the AmmoLock going until either the Ammo comes down or the tank inhabitants are somewhere else, and test your source water first.
 
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luckdown

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Mick Frost said:
It sounds like you may have missed some fry. I suggest removing all decorations, substrate, etc and doing a thorough scrub.
Keep the AmmoLock going until either the Ammo comes down or the tank inhabitants are somewhere else, and test your source water first.
Okay. Lemme start acclimating as many as I can to other tanks and I'll start that fun process. Thank you.

I just tested the tap water so I know that's safe.

I know there's dead bodies somewhere. That's the only thing I can think of that's causing this. But it'd have to be dead fry cuz the adults are all accounted for
 
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luckdown

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Okay so there was some weird gunk in one of the filters so I cleaned that cuz sadly I gotta start over anyways and maybe this was part of the problem?

Found out food was hiding under a decoration so that's not good. It wasnt that much but still it was there.

I have found no dead bodies at all.

I'm working towards getting everyone into new tanks one batch at a time.

Sadly I will have 5 fish plus fry left that can't be moved without possibly ruining another tanks cycle.

They are however fish I had always meant to go in another tank and had just started the process of moving them to. So only a few more days and I can move some of them into that tank.

I'm at a loss for what to do in the meantime though xP
 

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Keep AmmoLock going, missing a dose is bad. Otherwise just try to get everything as clean as possible without stressing your fish too much.
 

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what a bummer very sorry that you have to do that! it must be so frustraiting to get a tank cycled and then loose it, i mean a mimi cycle stinks but a compleate crash must be infuriating
 

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Sorry to hear about your loss.

Is it possible the death of the fish are a symptom of the ammonia spike and not the cause? What's the stocking in your tank? For a 40 gallon to spike in ammonia from 2 to 8 that quickly is unusual.

How old is the tank? Are you sure you've lost your cycle? If the ammonia is climbing that fast your beneficial bacteria may not be able to keep up. If that's the case I would only wash the filter sponges in tank water so that you keep the beneficial bacteria. Your timelines short enough that it could be a spike and not a lost cycle. A lost cycle is more indicative of adding tap water without dechlorinating or some source that would kill your bacteria. You may not have to reset the whole process.

I haven't used ammolock but it's my understanding that even if the ammonia is neutralized it would still show up on your tests? If you haven't stopped feeding your fish I would for a day or two and see if the ammonia still climbs after water changes.
 
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luckdown

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Mick Frost said:
Keep AmmoLock going, missing a dose is bad. Otherwise just try to get everything as clean as possible without stressing your fish too much.
Okay. I did a 75% water change again and sucked up as much as what was on the bottom as I could. Calling it quits for today cuz my filter snapped and omg. I "fixed" it. I'm done. This tank needs to leave me alone right now.

I'll test the water in a couple hours to see if it's any better but I doubt it.

But at least a good chunk of them are in better places now

Ms rose said:
what a bummer very sorry that you have to do that! it must be so frustraiting to get a tank cycled and then loose it, i mean a mimi cycle stinks but a compleate crash must be infuriating
It is frustrating I'm so done with this tank today lol


Trott said:
Sorry to hear about your loss.

Is it possible the death of the fish are a symptom of the ammonia spike and not the cause? What's the stocking in your tank? For a 40 gallon to spike in ammonia from 2 to 8 that quickly is unusual.

How old is the tank? Are you sure you've lost your cycle? If the ammonia is climbing that fast your beneficial bacteria may not be able to keep up. If that's the case I would only wash the filter sponges in tank water so that you keep the beneficial bacteria. Your timelines short enough that it could be a spike and not a lost cycle. A lost cycle is more indicative of adding tap water without dechlorinating or some source that would kill your bacteria. You may not have to reset the whole process.

I haven't used ammolock but it's my understanding that even if the ammonia is neutralized it would still show up on your tests? If you haven't stopped feeding your fish I would for a day or two and see if the ammonia still climbs after water changes.
No I test my water mid week between changes to make sure I don't need to change earlier. I tested the tank a day before they gave birth and died. Then throughout the others giving birth and also dying (3 fish). The water was fine until that happened.

The tests were a bit apart but yeah this doesn't make sense to me.

I know it's not lost but Its still killed and broken ;o;

The filter was precycled from another tank (with all but the hybrids) for a month before I started this tank 2 months ago.

There's 3 Platies, 2 swordtails, 6 guppy endler hybrids, 5 corries

I added the 6 in two batches. The tank was running fine with them until recently. I had 2 batches of fry no issues (all removed) then the 3 batches where the moms died happened. And there's crazy ammonia.

Yeah it will still show up on tests when you use ammolock. So I know they're okay but xP


I'm aware the bacteria just needs to catch up but I don't know why everything is so bad xP
 

purslanegarden

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I'm surprised the baby fish or baby fish bodies weren't eaten. I can barely get any new babies because the current adults take care of the babies pretty fast.

I do recommend to clean that filter pad though (like you did). People often forget that the filter has been sucking up all the gunk from the tank water...it gets pretty nasty with all that stuff on it...In other words, the filter removed that gunk from the water and made the water look like it was pretty clean, but all the gunk is still in the filter, decaying and creating possible problems.
 
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luckdown

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I just realized one thing that I forgot about. I just added some guppy grass and they ate most of it but some slightly brown ones. Could this be the culprit?

purslanegarden said:
I'm surprised the baby fish or baby fish bodies weren't eaten. I can barely get any new babies because the current adults take care of the babies pretty fast.

I do recommend to clean that filter pad though (like you did). People often forget that the filter has been sucking up all the gunk from the tank water...it gets pretty nasty with all that stuff on it...In other words, the filter removed that gunk from the water and made the water look like it was pretty clean, but all the gunk is still in the filter, decaying and creating possible problems.
Ahhh yeah I didn't think of that. Thank you for pointing that out to me. That would explain a lot.

I'm usually good at catching them as they're born cuz I check the tanks a few times everyday. I'll raise them up about a month then put them back in. Though someone just gave birth and I had a ton of guppy grass so they were hiding in there pretty well. Can only confirm 3 fry from the latest batch but that's pretty good



All that's left in the tank now are the fry. I really don't have anywhere they can go cuz I'm already pushing the limits of my other tanks so sadly they'll have to ride this out. You can do it little buddies!
 
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luckdown

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I did it! My tank is down to .5 ammonia and should be back to testing perfect tomorrow.

This was so stressful. I'm so happy it's finally over.

I kinda feel like keeping everyone where they are now for the moment though. Just one of the tanks is over stocked but still testing perfect so it's not really an issue.

Now the only issues are two of my tanks are cloudy. This one and a 5 gallon I accidently got water from this tank in. It's not really clearing up on its own and water changes make it worse. But everyone's happy so I don't think it's that big of a problem?
 

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luckdown said:
I did it! My tank is down to .5 ammonia and should be back to testing perfect tomorrow.

This was so stressful. I'm so happy it's finally over.

I kinda feel like keeping everyone where they are now for the moment though. Just one of the tanks is over stocked but still testing perfect so it's not really an issue.

Now the only issues are two of my tanks are cloudy. This one and a 5 gallon I accidently got water from this tank in. It's not really clearing up on its own and water changes make it worse. But everyone's happy so I don't think it's that big of a problem?
Sounds like a biobloom. If it doesn't settle in 3-4 days it means your filter isn't adequate for the amount of bacteria needed. Cartridge Filters can't really handle the bioload they advertise (which leads to "OMG You're way overstocked!" whether you are or not).
 
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luckdown

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Mick Frost said:
Sounds like a biobloom. If it doesn't settle in 3-4 days it means your filter isn't adequate for the amount of bacteria needed. Cartridge Filters can't really handle the bioload they advertise (which leads to "OMG You're way overstocked!" whether you are or not).
The thing is there's basically nothing in the tanks where as other tanks are over stocked with no issues

I'm also not over feeding and there's no leftover food anywhere in the tanks. Plus the filter was working perfect for a good time before all this. maybe it crapped out on me.

jdhef said:
Here's a link you may find helpful:
Bacterial Blooms Explained
Thank you for the link.
 

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If you still had .5 ammonia, the bacteria is still growing... it will clear up once the bacteria growth is caught up.
 
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luckdown

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As of today it's testing;
Ammonia 0
Nitrite .25 (this has been lowering by itself pretty quickly as well and I don't think it'll take much longer for it to be 0 again)
Nitrates 10

I know i still have to wait for the bacteria and it to finish cycling again. But still the crazy stress from this is over.
 
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