Tank went awry

Corndogs

Hello, I am hoping for some advice.
I have a ten gallon tank with a heater and filter that I have had running for over a year now. It house(d) two mollies, some guppies and a pleco. The tank was well established, I performed parameter checks frequently, water changes, etc. I haven’t lost a fish in a long time. l recently went on vacation and left a friend in charge of the tank. I’m not sure what happened but I came back to four fish dead against the filter and my whole tank looking and smelling like a pond. The pH was around 7.8 and the nitrite, ammonia, and nitrates were higher than my water testing kit had on the chart. I immediately removed the dead fish, changed the filter bag, performed a 50% water change, and treated the water with acid buffer and fritz zyme to balance the ammonia and nitrite. The tank looks a little better and the other fish are eating again, but I’m still worried. There’s a ton of stuff on the bottom of the tank and I’m not overly skilled with the vacuum so I’m afraid I will add too much stress to the fish. Should I remove them and do a better clean of the tank (being careful not to change their water levels too quickly of course) or should I leave them and allow the tank to balance itself out through more gentle nudging? Thanks to any advice!
 

Spudsssy

Same thing happened to me. Fish can survive no problem for a week without feeding so best is to leave them in future or get someone to only feed them once or twice if holiday is longer.

I would remove the remaining fish and pop them in a 2gal bucket. Remove all objects from the tank and completely clean the substrate as it sounds like its covered in rotting fish food which for sure caused the fish deaths.

Since your parameters are soo bad it's probably best to acclimatize fish back into clean tank from bucket.
 
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Corndogs

Thank you for the advice!
 
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