Sudden Ammonia / Nitrite Spike After Super Ick Cure?

MrCheesey

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Several weeks ago I had an outbreak if Ich in my tank. It was my fault for not quarantining my new stock before adding them to the tank. I treated with API Super Ick Cure, following the directions on the bottle. The water quality after treatment was good, however several of my fish started to act odd and I ended up losing all six of my Cherry Barbs as well as a Tiger Barb. I was able to find and scoop all but three of the dead fish out.

Over the weekend I noticed a sudden brown algae growth happening in the tank and I checked the water again. I came up with 1.0 Ammonia, 1.0 Nitrites, 30 Nitrates. I went and did a 50% water change and cleaned the gravel, then added API Quick Start to the tank. Two days later I checked again and the water was 1.0 Ammonia, 1.0 Nitrites, 40 Nitrates.

I did another water change and cleaned the gravel again. I also took the HOB filter apart and removed the charcoal (it was in there since the treatment) and also rinsed the filter floss off in aquarium water. I'm not sure if this was a good thing or not.

I'm thinking that the Super Ick Cure may have killed off my Bacteria and may have also killed off some of my fish. Would having three dead fish hiding in the tank cause a huge spike? What's the best way to 1) protect the fish from the spikes and 2) get the tank re-cycled and back to a healthy state?
 

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You are going through a minI cycle. The medicine that you used most likly killed off some of your beneficial bacteria. The charcoal does not take out ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.

And yes the 3 dead fish in your tank IMHO definitely added to the ammonia spike. What kind of filter do you have? And do you have any type of biological media In your filter?

The best way to prevent spikes is to have cycled biological media in your tank, use a medicine like Seachem paraguard which is a little less harsh on your beneficial bacteria, and to get your tank recycled try and get some Seachem stability or tetra safe start. It’s always a good idea to have those or others like those on hand to help maintain your beneficial bacteria.
 

Sion

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The three missing dead fish could be a big problem depending on the size of the tank. I'd be doing daily 50% water changes until the ammonia and nitrite levels fall.
 
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MrCheesey

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Thanks for the replies.

The tank size is 45 gallons. The filter that I have is a Fluval C4 that is rated for 70 gallons. The filter has two levels of bio filters: 1) wet / dry sponge and 2) ceramic pellets. It has a slot where I could add even more pellets (since I don't use the carbon) if I wanted.

Like I said I have been adding Quick Start to the tank but I have not seen any improvement. On a side note I added Quick start to my new quarantine tank and it was cycled in about a week.
 

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What could be going on is that your 3 missing fish is putting out more ammonia than your bacteria can process. Your bacteria can only grow so fast and it will take a few days for your bacteria to catch up. Sorry but it’s something that you cannot rush. I would really try to fish to 3 missing fish. That would be a big help to your tank.
 
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MrCheesey

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Thanks for the replies.

I've been doing 50% water changes for the last two weeks and also using API QuickStart / SeaChem Stability to add back beneficial bacteria. The problem is things are getting worse. I have to do a water change again tonight but here are the results from this morning's test.

Ammonia: 0.25.
Nitrites: 8.0
Nitrates: 40

Specs:
45 Gallon
Fluval C4 HOB (No Charcoal)
Whisper 60 Air pump
Water temp: 77F
PH: 8.0

The ammonia levels are going down a bit but I can't seem to get the nitrites under control. Any ideas? I never had problems like this before.
 

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