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LukeC LukeC
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  • Posted on: 27/2/2015 9:14
Huge Ammonia and Nitrite Spike #1
Hi All

Guess this is a more of a sad story instead of help needed

We have been away for 7 days .

I did a PWC and cleaned out the canister filter the day before we left and everything was fine. perfect healthy water. Tested on the day we left and 0, 0, 5ppm for nitrates .

Came back last night to find the water cloudy with large spikes in ammonia and nitrite. I could not work out why until noticed the returning volume water was a lot smaller that it should be. at around 150lph (I used a liter jug and timed how long it took to fill)

Sadly on reconnecting the canister filter I had somehow kinked the outflow pipeline - as such the water was only circulating at a fraction of its expected volume for the whole time. Pretty sure the bacteria colony as all but expired due to lack of O2

Terrible rooky mistake. The large calico fantail has suffered the most. seems to lost his protective coating and has gone blind. All in the space of a week. Skin is bloodshot overall looks in a bad way. The redcap seems ok as does the three new chaps.

I feel I have no choice but to euthanize him which is terribly upsetting.

I stupidly did not keep the q tank filter running so I cannot transfer to a spare tank so I'm taking the other 4 to the LFS to keep for me.

I'm going to have to do a full cycle again which is very just so frustrating
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 27/2/2015 10:37
Re: Huge Ammonia and Nitrite Spike #2
Oh no Luke that's a horrible thing to happen. Try not to blame yourself, these things happen so easily (even to the very experienced) and it's awful bad luck that it would happen just before you went away.

The calico could possibly recover in clean water and with anti-bacterial treatment, but equally, he could be permanently disabled and you're best placed to make that decision.

The only encouragement I can give is that re-establishing the cycle may be quite quick as the bacteria are probably not all dead and could recover to usable colony sizes rapidly.
maccy_g maccy_g
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  • Posted on: 27/2/2015 12:16
Re: Huge Ammonia and Nitrite Spike #3
Oh jeez that's terrible, it's always a concern when you leave tanks on their own for a period of time.

As Fishlady says the bacterial colony may recover quicker than you might imagine, bacteria are more resilient than people think and although you will clearly have had considerable die-off it may not be case where you are starting completely from scratch.

Hope everything goes well in terms of getting the tank back into shape.
james15 james15
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  • Posted on: 27/2/2015 16:58
Re: Huge Ammonia and Nitrite Spike #4
Oh no Really feel for you mate, especially having watched everything coming together on here. I know you put a lot of time and effort into it. Hope everything goes well, and your tank (and fish) recover. Hopefully you won't be completely starting from scratch, severely reduced water flow is better than no flow at all so some bacteria may have survived, and the second colony (that convert nitrite into nitrate) will sometimes go dormant rather than dying completely. Don't blame yourself, mistakes happen. It's something that wouldn't have crossed my mind, I thought those pipes were pretty much impossible to kink. Good luck getting everything sorted
LukeC LukeC
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  • Posted on: 28/2/2015 9:04
Re: Huge Ammonia and Nitrite Spike #5
Morning guys

Thanks for the lovely words.

I rehomed the rest of the tank yesterday. Had no choice really. LFS was happy to take them. The calico was put into the 48l tank but no improvement at all . Changed 25% water every hour Keeps bumping into the glass. His eyes are both very cloudy and he is also gasping and not eating.blood shot skin. Figure his gills have been affected. Tail is ever so limp. I feel I have no choice but to euthanise. I can't provided a heathy hospital tank with filtration.

He was always the biggest and strongest one so odd he was affected the most. Have clove oil.

Tested the tank water this morning ammonia down to 1ppm but nitrite still very high . Considering been no fish in the tank for practically 24 hours as suspected something deffo amiss with both bacteria colonies.

Got some ammonia and will start dosing today. A fish in cycle with a large tank is just not practical. Much harder to clicnially control the water parameters and the large volumes of water change required will be hard to maintain daily and very unfair on the fish.

Fishless is the only safe way of doing the cycle

My OH is very upset about perky.

I'll restart one of the eheim bioball filters as well and run it in the tank . Can act as a power head I guess down the line. Need to have a back up filter ready for the future.

We are not sure what next for the tank. We may go tropical and fully planted with something like seachem black as the substrate. But long way of for that kind of decision.

The holes in the back of the tank are a fraction to low for the height of the filter. so the pipes have to come down at an awkward fangle rom the filter. I had pushed the filter to the back after its last clean so the pressure had kinked the line.
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 28/2/2015 9:52
Re: Huge Ammonia and Nitrite Spike #6
I have exactly that issue with the position of the opening for filter pipes in one of my cabinets. I keep intending to cut new holes higher up and not getting round to it. Your sad story has spurred me on and it will be done at the next filter clean.
fcmf fcmf
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  • Posted on: 28/2/2015 15:13
Re: Huge Ammonia and Nitrite Spike #7
A heart-rending and absolutely tragic event, having read so recently and enjoyed the pics of your fish in their new home. So sorry to read of this.

As you say, decisions can be made further down the line. Having been heartbroken over the death of my last goldfish, I did nothing for months until I could bear a fishless household no longer, and then took action. I went down the tropical route, and with a new tank, to break the association - and that was the right decision for me, and a different type of experience, much as I dearly miss the interaction and close attachment bond I had with goldfish. There are definite pros and cons, whichever (if either) route you eventually go down.

For now, sincere and heartfelt sympathies at this difficult time.
LukeC LukeC
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  • Posted on: 1/3/2015 19:11
Re: Huge Ammonia and Nitrite Spike #8
Hey all.

Update on tank. Dosed ammonia to 4 ppm, 28 hours down to around 2ppm. The good news is bacteria is there all be it in small amounts.

Went to lfs and sneakily checked in on all the fish I had taken back. All healthy and seemingly happy. Pinky the red cap was cruising with new friends. I do hope she goes to a good home.
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 1/3/2015 21:43
Re: Huge Ammonia and Nitrite Spike #9
Would the shop hold on to them until the tank is safe so you can have them back?
james15 james15
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  • Posted on: 2/3/2015 12:02
Re: Huge Ammonia and Nitrite Spike #10
Quote:

Fishlady wrote:
Would the shop hold on to them until the tank is safe so you can have them back?


I was thinking that...after all it sounds like your tank might be safe a lot quicker than you expected. There could still be a happy ending to this story