Help!! Wife Cleaned Everything In My Sons Tank

Bpkeeper

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So we started a new aquarium for my son about 3 months ago. 4 glofish and they lived very well. This past monday my wife decided to do a huge cleaning. All the plants, gravel, filter everything was cleaned. I know big mistake. Those fiah died the day after that ckeaning. We bought all new fish, and two of those died, and two more don't look good. I assume this is the nitrogen cycle starting? Is there anyway to help the 3 fish left? Just water changes with prime? Thanks in advance!
 

Pavan95

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Bpkeeper said:
So we started a new aquarium for my son about 3 months ago. 4 glofish and they lived very well. This past monday my wife decided to do a huge cleaning. All the plants, gravel, filter everything was cleaned. I know big mistake. Those fiah died the day after that ckeaning. We bought all new fish, and two of those died, and two more don't look good. I assume this is the nitrogen cycle starting? Is there anyway to help the 3 fish left? Just water changes with prime? Thanks in advance!
I would suggest you complete one cycle (4-6 weeks) before you get any new fish.
 
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Bpkeeper

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Pavan95 said:
I would suggest you complete one cycle (4-6 weeks) before you get any new fish.
Thank you. I am learning a lot about beneficial bacteria, nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia. I currently have 0 readings for nitrites and nitrates.
 

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Are you testing with a liquid kit? API test kit. That's the best investment to make at this point. Strips don't show you ammonia levels . Keep them under .50 and when the get above that do a 50% WC till you see nitrites and keep them below .50 as well and always treat with Prime till you get 0 ammonia 0 nitrites and traces of nitrates 5-20 and you will be cycled and safe to add fish back in. what size tank do you have?
 

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Welcome to FishLore! I hope you find the site helpful and enjoyable.
 
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Bpkeeper

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So I have the test strips, but they do not cover ammonia. The tank is 10 gallon. I plan on doing 25 percent water changes daily with prime and see how things go.
 

max h

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Mine doesn't really mess with the fish tanks much as far as cleaning. Maybe just a gravel vac and scrap some algae off the glass. No filter stuff since most of the filters are to hard for her to lift out of the stands. The one good thing about big canisters. Now when she cleans the rest of the house it takes weeks for me to find somethings.
 

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Bpkeeper said:
So I have the test strips, but they do not cover ammonia. The tank is 10 gallon. I plan on doing 25 percent water changes daily with prime and see how things go.
3 small glofish in a 10 gallon tank, you should be fine doing water change every other day. Prime detoxes ammonia for up to 48hrs.

unless you have an Aquaclear or Tidal filter, i'd suggest you read THE GUIDE and upgrade your filter media now while you're doing a fresh new cycle https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfi...ar-and-other-hob-filters.385506/#post-3957588
 

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What did she use to clean the tank? It's really important not to use soaps and chemicals in/on a fishtank. Just checkin
 
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She says that she used no soaps or chemicals to clean. After doing lots of reading I think we are just going through the nitrogen cycle here.
 

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If the tank has been running with fish in it for 3 months, your cycle would more than likely already been established. Have you guys been changing filter cartridges/media? That's where the majority of the beneficial bacteria lives, which is what your cycle is dependent on.
 

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Algonquin said:
If the tank has been running with fish in it for 3 months, your cycle would more than likely already been established. Have you guys been changing filter cartridges/media? That's where the majority of the beneficial bacteria lives, which is what your cycle is dependent on.
If wife cleaned the filter, its safe to assume all the media has been cleaned out and possibly replaced, destroying all the beneficial bacteria.
 

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Ahhh... I thought it was strange that the tank's been running for 3 months, and NOW your cycle is starting...
 
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She dumped all of the water, cleaned all of the props and changed the filter. Were down to two glo fish. Our pleco died today. Anything else I can do at this point other than partial water changes and prime?
 

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Is it possible to get cycled media from the fish store, or a friend who keeps fish? Just even a small piece will help.

You could also add Tetra Safestart+ to help boost bacteria too
 

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What fish are in the tank? In the original post you mentioned 4 glofish but you said a pleco died today. Can you please clarify what the current stock is? I think most plecos get too big for a 10 gallon, and they produce a lot of waste. Maybe don't plan to replace him?
Best you can do is keep tabs on the parameters, water changes and dose prime. Fingers crossed you can get some seeded media from a friend or local shop like missnoodle suggested.
 

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I always say a fish tank is one thing in our home we don't want to keep spotlessly clean. We want the bacteria growing and thriving in there. Hopefully you can convince her of this fact.

Killing the cycle with over cleaning shouldn't have killed the fish so quickly. I have to assume she moved the fish to something else while doing all this cleaning. It could have been stress that caused it. If you are absolutely positive she didn't use any kind of cleaner to sterilize the tank then it is just a matter of recycling the tank.
 

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Welcome to the forum Bpkeeper . Is that you driving the late model?

Sorry to hear of the tank's situation.

Although it sounds counterintuitive, a smaller tank is harder to keep cycled than a larger tank.

A tank with more volume can be "more forgiving" sometimes.

Replacing the cartridge as you've found out was about the worst thing that can be done.

An ammonia spike may not have caused the fish deaths if it occurred only one day after, with only 4 fish in the tank.

When the tank was refilled, was the appropriate dechlorinator mixed in as well at the same time?

Also, was the decor and gravel washing in the sink or a bucket that may have had soap in it before?

Since your going through a rebuilding phase at the moment, you may want to consider switching out the gravel and out sand in its place. If yall ever get corydoras or kuhlI loaches, they prefer sand.

Also, sand is a lot easier to maintain than gravel. Our first tank was a 20 gallon with gravel. It was a black hole, drawing in uneaten food and fish waste. Once a week, I would perform a large water change and clean the substrate with a siphon gravel vac.

Our next tank was a 75 gallon and we used sand instead. Uneaten food and fish waste sits on top of the sand, making it easier to remove with a siphon vac, or for fish to eat later. Now all of our tanks use sand. I prefer Quikrete Pool Filter Smad from Home Depot, its $7 per 50lb bag. After its rinsed thoroughly with a 5 gallon bucket and a garden hose, it will not cloud up the tank. It's great!

Here is a link to a thread on the forum that may be of help to you better keep your cycle going, DIY Media Guide for HOB Filters.
 
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Thank you all for your replies. The first batch of fish that died off were 4 glofish. After they died we bought 4 more glofish plus one pleco. Since tuesday two glofish and the pleco have died. I am doing a daily 25 percent water change with prime mixed in. I will ask the store if they have a dirty filter I can put in there. Should I remove the clean filter or just drop the dirty one in the tank?

Islandvic said:
Welcome to the forum Bpkeeper . Is that you driving the late model? Yes that's me!!

Sorry to hear of the tank's situation.

Although it sounds counterintuitive, a smaller tank is harder to keep cycled than a larger tank.

A tank with more volume can be "more forgiving" sometimes.

Replacing the cartridge as you've found out was about the worst thing that can be done.

An ammonia spike may not have caused the fish deaths if it occurred only one day after, with only 4 fish in the tank.

When the tank was refilled, was the appropriate dechlorinator mixed in as well at the same time?

Also, was the decor and gravel washing in the sink or a bucket that may have had soap in it before?

Since your going through a rebuilding phase at the moment, you may want to consider switching out the gravel and out sand in its place. If yall ever get corydoras or kuhlI loaches, they prefer sand.

Also, sand is a lot easier to maintain than gravel. Our first tank was a 20 gallon with gravel. It was a black hole, drawing in uneaten food and fish waste. Once a week, I would perform a large water change and clean the substrate with a siphon gravel vac.

Our next tank was a 75 gallon and we used sand instead. Uneaten food and fish waste sits on top of the sand, making it easier to remove with a siphon vac, or for fish to eat later. Now all of our tanks use sand. I prefer Quikrete Pool Filter Smad from Home Depot, its $7 per 50lb bag. After its rinsed thoroughly with a 5 gallon bucket and a garden hose, it will not cloud up the tank. It's great!

Here is a link to a thread on the forum that may be of help to you better keep your cycle going, DIY Media Guide for HOB Filters.
 

JChi

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Sorry that you are in this situation. It's tough. I had to do an emergency fish cycle-in with 2 GloFish, which essentially what you are doing. I found this article and it was extremely beneficial. Emergency: Performing a Fish-in Cycle The RIGHT Way. I followed this method, along with adding the BB and my fish survived. Don't worry about adding anymore fish, or that they aren't in a big school. You need to get the tank established otherwise you'll just be saying goodbye to a lot of fish. The fish-in cycle only works if you have a small amount if fish.

What you are doing now (lots of water changes) you will keep doing, but before you change the water, test your levels. I would advise two things to do today if you can, then tomorrow start this process. 1) Get a test kit if you don't have one. You will need to understand your levels on a daily basis. and 2) test your tap water. Testing the tap water is critical because you need to accommodate for any ammonia in the tap when dosing with Prime. I bring this up because my tap water registers at .25 if I test it. So I always dose to Prime with this in mind. However, the next day after a water change I will test at zero since the biofilter took care of the ammonia (My tank is cycled and has been running for 9 months. Using Prime just renders the water safe, the filter and bacteria actually break down the ammonia and get rid of it).

But this article will help give you a sense of how big of a water change you need, as well as how much you need to dose with Prime. If your ammonia levels are high, do bigger water change to reduce the overall ammonia, nitrates and nitrites, and then also do a larger dose of Prime (the article breaks down the math for you).

Also, to make the process less painful, when you are doing so many water changes, you can just do a true water change during the week, and then weekly get into the habit of siphoning the gravel. Feed sparingly during this process and they won't have too much waste at the bottom of the tank. It makes it seem less daunting.

Good luck!
 

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