Help?? Starting over the right way

Mcewenstank

So needless to say being a newbie got the best of me and after having my tank set up since January, I think I either killed my cycle or never fully established one and my fish started to get sick and started dying off. So now I have a quarantine tank with what fish and fry are left and then my 20 gall setup empty. So how do I start my 20gall tank over the right way??? How do I clean it now? Do i have to buy all new sand? And is it ok to keep the remaining fish in the quarantine tank until the 20gal is cycled properly?
 

bcfishtanks

How big is the quarantine tank? What kind of fish are in there? Is the QT tank cycled?

I find that it's not that hard to start a cycle over, especially if it wasn't cycled to begin with. Give the filter and media a rinse in old tank water, do a 75% water change, and start feeding the tank ammonia. I do the old fashioned way of just adding flake food. The goal is to get the ammonia up to 2-4 ppm (I believe the exact number depends on how big of a bioload you're adding is) several times and wait for it to drop to zero. Once it processes the ammonia readily and the readings stay at zero, you're good to gradually add fish in. I do the old fashioned way and just add flake food in as my ammonia, but you can also get liquid ammonia and feed the tank that way.
 
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