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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up a established 300 gallon marine tank from craigslist. I picked it up and had it running on the 19th and added the fish on the 20th. The Ammonia levels have now spiked to .25-.50 as it looks as if I wasn't able to save most of the bacteria on bio media. There is no live rock present...no protein skimmer, original substrate has been replaced to sand. How can I get the Ammonia levels down during this cycle? Is there anything I can add via mechanical or chemical filtration? I here conflicting views on water changes, some say they are imperative to keep livestock alive while othere say it does more harm than good. What about using prime? I went to Seachem's website and it says that Prime does not interfere with a tank cycling. Will using prime too much be a problem?

Stock levels are as follows:

1 Centropyge bicolor Common name: bicolor angel
2 yellow tangs
1 Two Barred Rabbitfish
1 turquose clown fish
3 Serpent Sea Star, Fancy Banded ( one of them lost a limb during the move)
1 7" tang
1 Damsel
 

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You really don't have any choice but to do water changes. It's going to be a bit harder with salt water as far as mixing the water goes and monitoring things, but you could lose your fish if you don't do something.

Adding the new substrate probably cost you alot beneficial bacteria wise, and not having live rock in the tank isn't helping, either.

You're more or less going to have to start all over.

I'd start by doing 25% water changes, twice daily. Allow a few hours between each water change. Monitor your water levels, and keep it up until things level out.

I'm pretty sure you're going to have some major problems down the line from this, and it would probably be best for the fish if they could be moved elsewhere.

Damsels are best for cycling a saltwater tank, they are hardier, and tend to weather the cycling better than other fish.

Don't be surprised if your serpent starfish loses all it's limbs...It might not be today or this week, but they don't take well at all to things like this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I added Bio-Spira on Monday.

Ammonia has dropped the last 24 hours from .25-.50 to .00-.15

Nitrite is undetectable.

Nitrate is at 10.

Fish are all active and show no signs of stress. They have ferocious appetites as I've been limiting their food intake. What happened? Has the Bio-Spira done it's job or did I not have the die-off of bacteria that I thought i had?

I was going to sell most of them today but now I'm rethinking that.
 

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Well, since the ammonia dropped after adding the Biospira, it sounds like it did the job.

Not sure how much damage was done to the fish before you added the Biospira, though, so don't be surprised if they have health issues down the road.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
According to a rep at Bio-Spria, my levels never reached a toxic state. Hopefully there won't be long term damage from the levels they did get hit with.
 
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