Help! All Fish Dead

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by poki99, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. poki99

    poki99New MemberMember

    10 gallon tank using Aqueon carbon filter system. I did a fishless cycle for about 2 months using ammonia powder designed for cycling and API test strips. After dosing to 4 ppm ammonia and testing results were zero for ammonia and nitrites within 24 hours, I considered my tank cycled. Nitrates also tested to make sure present at appropriate levels. I did this multiple times to make sure before buying fish. My mistake was overstocking, I think. We got 6 guppies and 3 Cory cats (all babies). After getting fish, I tested and ammonia at zero but nitrites were sky high (deep purple). Made sure not to over feed. Started doing huge water changes. Testing after water changes still showed no improvement with nitrite levels. After a week all the fish are dead. How do I recover so that all my efforts in cycling were not for nothing. With no fish now, do I go back to dosing with ammonia? And once levels are right do I just get a couple fish to avoid this again? Thank you!
  2. mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    The number of fish you can add after doing a fishless cycle depends on the amount of ammonia the cycle was processing. If it was only processing low amounts you can only add one or two fish. If you were dosing the ammonia up to 4ppm or more and it was processing it back to zero within 24 hours you should be able to add all the fish you did without causing a spike.

    How much ammonia was this tank processing when you considered your cycle complete?

    to answer your question. Yes, go ahead and add ammonia to keep the cycle fed. Gradually raise the amount of ammonia you are adding up until it will process at least 4ppm back to zero in 24 hours. Then you can add all your fish at once.

    it is bed time for me but I will be back in the morning to answer any questions you may have.

    oops: I should have waited 'til morning to post this. I re-read the OP and see you were processing 4ppm ammonia so should have had enough bacteria to handle the bioload of the fish you put in there.

    I also noticed you didn't say whether or not you did a big water change once the cycle was complete and before adding the fish. If this tank was processing 4ppm ammonia I have the think the nitrates were through the roof if you didn't do a water change.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  3. Fishfan1

    Fishfan1New MemberMember

    There are pre made bacteria for quick starting tanks adding a bit of that might help the tank recover faster.
  4. Galaxsy556

    Galaxsy556New MemberMember

    Did you do a water change before adding the fish to lower nitrate levels? And if so did you use a dechlorinator to make your water safe (if your using tap water)?
  5. Heron

    HeronValued MemberMember

    You say you were using a carbon filter. I am not familiar with aqueon is it a complete filter that has carbon as well or is it just a carbon filter designed to be used along with a regular filter? What does it contain with regards to biological filter media?
  6. JayH

    JayHValued MemberMember

    Depending on exactly how the activated carbon was treated, it may be removing the ammonia. You should remove any chemical filter media before starting to cycle the tank. All you want in the filter is the mechanical and biological media. Since you've lost all the fish, I'd start over with another fishless cycle without any chemical media in the filter.
  7. Cale24

    Cale24Valued MemberMember

    What is your tank’s KH? Cycles can take ages if it’s too low (less than 4) as beneficial bacteria doesn’t develop as quickly. Two months is a long time! Warmer temperatures also help as does a PH above 7.