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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ammonia spike in 75 gallon

I will call it a rescue 75 that housed some community fish. Fully cycled poorly maintained a few years old.

I took the tank home, upgraded a leaking magna flow 360 canister to a fluval 407, transferring all the bio media. Expect the bioballs that got plaed in the tank in a filter bag, added a liter of eheim substrate pro.
Let of run for a month.

Chemistry looked good

Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates to 20 weekly, 30 % water changes bring it to 10

I treat the water with stress zyme and api tap water treatment.
Ph is aroun 7.6

Over the past 4 weeks I have added about 4 peacock 2 haps , most around an inch. 2 are around 4 inches.

0 ammonia and 0 nitrites testing still every week

I have been taking note of one fish not eating and hiding most of the time ( assumed to be aggression)
This morning a found a separate peacock dead on the bottom of the tank. He displayed no signs of stress or issues.

Water test shows
0.5 ammonia
0 nitrites
10 nitrates

I performed a 40% water change this am.

And this evening i am still testing the same 0.5 ammonia.

I dosed the tank with ammonia lock and stress zyme.

Could the ammonia still be a result of the deceased fish?

What should by next step be ?

Planning on doing daily water changes
 

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I read through your other post in the illness section - sorry about the dead fish.
You are doing everything to handle this situation pretty much like I would do. A possible reason you're having this problem is that the aquarium may have been put at it's biological filtration limit in stocking with the fish you added. The new/upgraded canister you installed on the aquarium with the non-established bio-media in it, definitely contributed to the problem. And so, the dead fish possibly just over-loaded the biological filtration capacity. And now, you are dealing with a partially cycled aquarium. Challenging I know, but the situation should resolve fairly quickly as you've got established filter media in contact with your new stuff.
- Don't feed anyone for a few days.
- Keep testing the water for Ammonia and Nitrites
- Keep doing those water changes (daily if needed) until the filtration gets colonized/built-up with enough of the beneficial bacteria needed to safely maintain the bio load of the tank.
And, good luck with it! Hopefully this situation will resolve itself for you pretty quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the reply,

I have continued with another water change this am. This evening ammonia is at 0.25, 0 nitrites, 10 nitrates.

My plan for this weekend is to continue with daily changes and to get my old magniflow 360 fixed, stocked with 2 liters of matrix and added to the tank. This should by far be enough biological media to handle any future needs of the tank.
I'll give it a few weeks to establish before I look to introduce enough peacocks to keep the aggression down.

I did feed lightly this evening, ( before seeing your response) but I will hold for the next few days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just to close out the discussion in the case anyone was following.
Ammonia is at 0 today. no nitrites, and 10 nitrates
It looks like it took 3 days, the first two with 40% water changes to clear the ammonia build up from the deceased fish.

What worried me was the fish loss, but the remainder of this tank looks active, healthy, and eating well. I will look to expand the bio media to insulate me from any future instances.
 

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Additional media does not increase the beneficial organisms...only additional bioload (ammonia) increases the beneficial organisms.

Since your fish was removed promptly, I don't think the additional ammonia was due to that one death. The fish had not yet had a chance to rot and create ammonia.

I agree with Auballagh...the bioload was increased beyond the capacity of the beneficial organisms to support initially.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
DJRansome said:
Additional media does not increase the beneficial organisms...only additional bioload (ammonia) increases the beneficial organisms.

Since your fish was removed promptly, I don't think the additional ammonia was due to that one death. The fish had not yet had a chance to rot and create ammonia.

I agree with Auballagh...the bioload was increased beyond the capacity of the beneficial organisms to support initially.
I appreciate the information, i did test 0 ammonia the day prior to the death and then 0.5 after, I must of been close to the BB limit.

I guess my next question is how should I prepare my tank to handle the goal of 12 male cichlids? or can you not prepare it, just add them in and manage the inevitable ammonia spike with daily water changes and products like prime?
 

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You CAN prep things a bit for your filtration to handle some expected arrivals to the tank. You just need to build up the beneficial bacteria (BB) numbers on the filtration media that will be in-use, to accommodate these new fish.
- It helps a LOT if you have an empty aquarium to work with.
- Install filtration onto the empty aquarium (tub, whatever....). Use established/cycled filtration media. It will grow out the additional BB you need, much quicker.
- Start dosing the temporary tank with ammonia. (Fish-Less Cycling procedures).
- 'Forcing' the BB to grow out like this, will enable them to handle the larger bio-load of your additional fish.
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Give the filtration a few days of dosing and growing out your BB colony. You'll see results in measuring how long it takes the BB to work through the ammonia you are dosing their temporary tank with. When satisfied with the level of enhanced biological performance you are going to see, add new fish and your 'enhanced' filtration back to the aquarium. You're ready to deal with the new occupants without having to face a mini-cycle to grow out the BB (you've already grown out the colony).
Does that recommendation make sense?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Auballagh said:
You CAN prep things a bit for your filtration to handle some expected arrivals to the tank. You just need to build up the beneficial bacteria (BB) numbers on the filtration media that will be in-use, to accommodate these new fish.
- It helps a LOT if you have an empty aquarium to work with.
- Install filtration onto the empty aquarium (tub, whatever....). Use established/cycled filtration media. It will grow out the additional BB you need, much quicker.
- Start dosing the temporary tank with ammonia. (Fish-Less Cycling procedures).
- 'Forcing' the BB to grow out like this, will enable them to handle the larger bio-load of your additional fish.
-
Give the filtration a few days of dosing and growing out your BB colony. You'll see results in measuring how long it takes the BB to work through the ammonia you are dosing their temporary tank with. When satisfied with the level of enhanced biological performance you are going to see, add new fish and your 'enhanced' filtration back to the aquarium. You're ready to deal with the new occupants without having to face a mini-cycle to grow out the BB (you've already grown out the colony).
Does that recommendation make sense?
Yes, that makes sense. However i don't have a third thank, and I think my wife my skill me if i setup a third. lol
I guess i could run my extra canister on a 5 gallon buck or rubbermaid bin and dose that with ammonia in order to cycle the bio media?
 

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Just don't add 12 at once. How many fish are in there now?

You would need six weeks to start a new cycle in a separate container.
 

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DJ Ransome is absolutely correct in that it will take possibly 12 weeks to to start up and establish BB for a completely new filtration system, independent of the existing aquarium.
However...
Auballagh said:
Use established/cycled filtration media. It will grow out the additional BB you need, much quicker.
So, as shown above, I'm not recommending that you do that. I believe you just simply need to grow out MORE BB on your filter media that is already colonized. You could enhance filtration capacity and grow out your BB colony to greater numbers (greater bio-load capacity) using ammonia in a separate, fish less cycle with a tub or something (A Rubbermaid 44 gallon trashcan would work great for this). That way you can boost up ADDITIONAL (new) filtration for this aquarium and have it ready for install, along with the additional fish you are planning to add. Avoiding 'piecemeal'/onsie-twosie fish additions to the aquarium is safer for everyone, to prevent territority defense aggression, and potential beat downs of your new Cichlid additions.
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Sorry if these recommendations seem contradictory. DJRansome and I both recognize the same problem - we are just providing you with different methods to overcome it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
DJRansome said:
Just don't add 12 at once. How many fish are in there now?

You would need six weeks to start a new cycle in a separate container.
6,
1 hap
4 peacocks
1 moori dolphin

So my goal would be for 6 more, i am looking through your species page and i have local guy who will order some, or try to stock from the local Florida fishery
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Auballagh said:
Avoiding 'piecemeal'/onsie-twosie fish additions to the aquarium is safer for everyone, to prevent territority defense aggression, and potential beat downs of your new Cichlid additions.
This exactly what I have been doing wrong....
I added 2 at a time to try to slowly build up the bB of the tank, and yes i have been experiencing aggression issues...

So will 6 additional 2-3 " peacocks be to much of a shock to my bio capacity (I am guessing yes), or should i start the process of cycling the additional canister with some borrowed bio media on a temp tank/bin.

My current canister that is running on the main tank is a Fluval 407 with a liter of Eheim substrate pro, and a liter or fluvial ceramics, + all the bio foam for what that is worth.
Additional i have some bio balls in the tank for the purpose of generating some BB to transfer to the QT tank ( which so far has shown to work)
 

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I like to add at least three adult fish at once, and increase your bioload by 1/3 (as opposed to 1/2 or more).

If you are transferring "established" bioballs from the main tank to the new tank...why are you getting ammonia? Don't add them to a separate tank...add them to the tank when you add fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
DJRansome said:
I like to add at least three adult fish at once, and increase your bioload by 1/3 (as opposed to 1/2 or more).

If you are transferring "established" bioballs from the main tank to the new tank...why are you getting ammonia? Don't add them to a separate tank...add them to the tank when you add fish.
ammonia is all gone, now even the QT tank appears to be cycled as it does not ammonia or nitrites and is producing nitrates,

I will give it some time and aim to pick 3 more, then i guess 2 weeks and then the last 3.
 

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I would wait a month between additions if you don't have additional established media from another tank to add.
 
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