New TANK HELP

marcaharding

New member
Hey everyone, I have a 55 gallon tank set up and running for almost 4 weeks now, I bought the tank from someone and it cam with two hang on the back 30-60 filters a protein skimmer, 55# of live rock. I transferred all the water in 5 gallon buckets and I assume that the live rock would have been ok for the hour it was out of the water. Got home and cleaned the tank and added NEW 35# of live sand from LFS and added the water. All the test were good and the two clown fish and starfish that came with the tank were put back in. I know I was stupid but i added a small fox face and yellow tang to the bit thinking that all was good. Boy was I far from the truth. Since about two weeks ago I have lost the tang, foxface and starfish. I have got the two clown fish in a qt tank with sand and 10# of rock that I got from an established tank and changing water in that 10gallon every other day )+(50%) just to keep the two clowns happy. Now the Big 55, my ammonia level was off the chart and still is, my ph has stayed at 8.0 my nitrites are in the last two days starting to climb to almost 5.0 and the nitrates are around 80ppm and akleinity is 1.024 and has stayed that way from the start. At first I was doing alot of water changes with the fish and ammonia and adding prime, but since 3 weeks ago I have nothing but live rock and sand in the tank with temp at around 82 and I have not turned the lights on due to not trying to grow algea. My question comes to you guys on whether I should be doing water changes and how much or do I let it ride and let it equal out until ammonia and nitrites are at 0. I probably shocked the tank and I can only blame myself, but I have learned a valuable lesson from this all. I was under the understanding that the nitrates would not rise until the ammonia level was a zero. guess i was wrong on that as well. thanks for any input you may have.
 

Mark9

New member
From what I've read, you have caused a cycle in the 55 by adding the new live (probably dead) sand and die off from the rock being out of the water.
If the ammonia is > 4, do a water change to get it down so the cycle can continue.
It's good the nitrites are rising (they will eventually go through the roof), but come down quite quickly (in my experience, at least).

Prime will help the critters in the QT.
 

Cymonous

My Clown Attacks Me
The rock being out from water for an hour is going to cause dieoff. If the ammonia is higher than 5ppm, then you should do some water changes to get it at 5-4ppm of ammonia. Once you get it to there, then let it cycle on its own. Keep an eye on the ammonia in your QT too.
 

marcaharding

New member
I do that every day on the qt and do a 50% change on that and actually got some water today from an established tank and put that in. Will change 50% on the main tank this afternoon. It was just weird to see the nitrate level go up like it did. I posted some pics on my profile page as well
 

Cymonous

My Clown Attacks Me
Your rock probably has some live bacteria that is able to process the ammonia into nitrites, and the bacteria to process nitrites into nitrates. Its just that you had such a large dieoff from the rock, you got a huge spike from it and is thus causing all of your problems. High ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and your dead fish\starfish.
 

marcaharding

New member
I have also noticed that all of the little worms that were in the rock are also dead. Gonna do the water change for sure
 

Mark9

New member
just did a 30 gallon wc will check parameters in a little while

Just check ammonia.
If it's still high, don't bother testing the others until it comes down, it's a waste.
If ammonia is still high (>4), plan to do another water change.
 

marcaharding

New member
yea it is still very dark green, I dont even know how to measure that one but nitrates and nitrites are still up there to with nitrates very red so i would think that would be 160ppm and my akalienity just went up a bit too to 1.025 and ph is still at 8.0 with a temp of 82
 

marcaharding

New member
will try and work on, just got off the phone with the lfs and informed me just to change the water everyday maybe 30 to 40 percent until the ammonia starts going down then just leave it be and let the bacteria do its job.
 

Mark9

New member
will try and work on, just got off the phone with the lfs and informed me just to change the water everyday maybe 30 to 40 percent until the ammonia starts going down then just leave it be and let the bacteria do its job.

That's good advice, aim for 4.
 

marcaharding

New member
update on new tank

update on new tank

So, I did another water change just now this morning and my ammonia levels have gone down to below four and I would say in the middle of 2 and 3 ppm. My nitrites are still elevated which I suppose is a good thing, now I will just let it sit until the ammonia goes down to zero. thanks everyone
 

Mark9

New member
So, I did another water change just now this morning and my ammonia levels have gone down to below four and I would say in the middle of 2 and 3 ppm. My nitrites are still elevated which I suppose is a good thing, now I will just let it sit until the ammonia goes down to zero. thanks everyone

Sounds good.
Nitrites always went through the roof for me, but came down quite quickly.
Wait for ammonia and nitrite to both go to 0, then do a WC to lower nitrates, and the cycle is done.
 

Sugar Magnolia

Mother of Dachshunds
Staff member
RC Mod
It sounds like you are doing all of the right things. Just hang in there now and let the tank go through the rest of the cycle. Once your ammonia and nitrite are zero and your nitrates are around 40ppm, do a large 20-30% water change and wait a few more days and test again.
 

marcaharding

New member
I feel i am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, just wish I would not have made the mistakes at the start
 
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