New QT tank journal

Fiish

New member
I just installed my 30 gallon quarantine tank, I finally did it after reading various things about QT tanks here on the forum. For a long time I have stored the water from my water changes in a bucket, with rock and a small wave generator to give movement to the water, a month ago I took out a couple of rocks to sell them and turned off the wave generator, so I forgot to connect it again and the water was without movement for two days until I was aware, I connected the generator again and it has been in motion since then, a week ago I installed my QT tank and also did tests, the ammonia levels were 0.25 ppm, 0 nitrites and more than 100 ppm nitrates, so add 50% new water and add API Quick Start, wait a week and today I did tests again and the levels are the same as the previous week, only with a nitrate drop to 80 ppm, what could be happening here? I have my QT tank set up with some rocks, PVC, HOB filter with a sponge to house bacteria. I'm thinking that the tank is cycling again but the nitrites at 0 make me doubt, by the way, I will place in this thread any questions or details related to my quarantine tanks instead of making separate threads for any question in specific, I just like it that way, thanks.
 

Fiish

New member
After a week I have measured levels this morning, the ammonia continues in the same way, showing 0.25ppm, however my nitrates have dropped considerably to 40 ppm, the nitrites remain at zero, I don't understand the situation with the ammonia that has not down in more than two weeks, any ideas? I'm thinking of doing a 30 or 50% water change and adding more bacteria.
 

Fiish

New member
I agree with your suggestion, but after checking my notes on the measurement of the parameters I see that the ammonia has been at the same level for more than two months, when the water was running in a container with the rocks.
 

Michael Hoaster

Registered Seaweedist
Premium Member
If you had fish in there, for sure do a water change. But if you're focused on the cycle, let ammonia rise, to bring up nitrifying bacteria levels, so your bio filter has more capacity to handle higher levels for the fish, etc. By 'correcting' the levels with water changes, you're not allowing Nature to make the adjustment, which takes time. A good time to do a water change is after Ammonia and Nitrite have zeroed out. Then add fish to keep bacteria happy.

By the way, I think cycling a quarantine tank is a good idea. I'm going to do the same. I don't like worrying about ammonia when I'm trying to qt fish.
 

Fiish

New member
If you had fish in there, for sure do a water change. But if you're focused on the cycle, let ammonia rise, to bring up nitrifying bacteria levels, so your bio filter has more capacity to handle higher levels for the fish, etc. By 'correcting' the levels with water changes, you're not allowing Nature to make the adjustment, which takes time. A good time to do a water change is after Ammonia and Nitrite have zeroed out. Then add fish to keep bacteria happy.

By the way, I think cycling a quarantine tank is a good idea. I'm going to do the same. I don't like worrying about ammonia when I'm trying to qt fish.

I agree with you, but my ammonia levels are the same as two months ago, so that worries me, I have not had fish, last night I measured the parameters again and there is a very small drop in ammonia, nitrite is still in zero, and the nitrate rose again.
 

Michael Hoaster

Registered Seaweedist
Premium Member
Two months with high ammonia is strange.

First, I'd try a different test, to double-check ammonia numbers. Then I'd look at your rock. Is it live rock? If so, something could be dying off, producing ammonia. Look for a bivalve or sponge. You could test each rock individually. Using newly made saltwater, test the water with each rock, to see if one rock is the culprit.

I'm sure there are other things to try, but it's early, and my brain's not fully awake.
 

Fiish

New member
Well, I have no live rock in the quarantine tank, just some rock cycled from several months ago but with nothing growing on it. I'm curious because of the salt I'm using, I use instant ocean and even though I mix it as well as possible there are some "large salt grains" that do not get diluted and go into the tank, is this possible that causes the ammonia spikes?
 

Fiish

New member
Last night I did another test of parameters and they have not changed at all, ammonia and nitrates are still present, 0.25 and more than 80 ppm, nitrites at 0, so I did an ammonia test in my main tank and mark 0, so I have discarded any problem with the test, I will do a large water change and thoroughly clean the HOB filter because I will receive fish within 48 hours, any suggestions?
 

Michael Hoaster

Registered Seaweedist
Premium Member
Why would you clean your filter? You will wipe out the nitrifying bacteria in it, lowering your filtration capacity.

Buy an ammonia neutralizer in a bottle to keep ammonia low, with fish in your qt. That should help you avoid ammonia spikes, while your tank slowly stabilizes.
 

Fiish

New member
Why would you clean your filter? You will wipe out the nitrifying bacteria in it, lowering your filtration capacity.

Buy an ammonia neutralizer in a bottle to keep ammonia low, with fish in your qt. That should help you avoid ammonia spikes, while your tank slowly stabilizes.

I just thought that there would be something stuck in the tubes or in the filter propeller, and that it would also cause the ammonia, I have not done the water change yet, I preferred to wait until tonight. I will not tamper with the sponge inside my filtration.
 

Fiish

New member
All good so far, nitrates rose rapidly in less than 4 days, I did a water change and the fish are eating and doing very well, I was supposed to have gotten a blue damsel but instead got this little damsel who didn't I have been able to identify, any ideas?
 

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Fiish

New member
Thanks Michael, quite successful, this fish has the same shape and points as those of C. immaculata, however it does not present any yellow color, I suppose it is some stage of its growth.
 

Fiish

New member
These are the results of the tests tonight before the water change, I expected the highest nitrates but I was surprised with the ammonia higher than usual, maybe between 0.25 and 0.50 ppm, this alarmed me a bit so I cleaned the filter for accumulated debris (didn't do it last time) and I think I did a good job. I have no other explanation for the high ammonia, every night I raise the fish waste and the food that was not used with a net, on the other hand, I see my damsel stressed, I hope she does not have any problem with Cryptocarion, I lost a Emperor Angel four months ago and I'm going to hate having to deal with the parasite again, I hope not.
 

Fiish

New member
Well, the server shows problems to upload the file, the fact is that the ammonia shows between 0.25-0.50, I asked opinions of some aquarists and most opt for 0.50, some up to 0.40, I have nitrites at 0 and nitrates at 40
 

Fiish

New member
So I just got AmGuard from Seachem to control ammonia, I will start using it from tonight, I also got Garlic Guard, do you know how much this product supports to benefit the immune system of fish?
 

Fiish

New member
After the passage of Grace Hurricane, only material lost and 48 hours without electricity, I must say that I'm quite fortunate to have electricity, and that is more appreciated by my quarantined fish, especially the coral beauty angel that was already quite affected by ammonia and nitrite in the water, do an emergency water change last night a couple of hours after the power returned and everything seems fine, it was difficult to move the water in the tanks every 40 minutes for two days to keep them oxygenated but everything in order thank goodness.
 
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