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Unread 07/08/2011, 04:55 PM   #1
Prairie Reef
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Exclamation Cycle in the QT: need direction ASAP

Hey - I've got some issues with the QT here.

Here is the set up right now... I have a 10G QT with about 10" of fish. I have some crushed coral substrate just to cover reflections (I'll throw it away after) and some hiding spots. There is a HOB filter with a carbon filter and a 3x5inch piece of sponge from the sump of a cycled tank that I placed in the HOB between the water return and the carbon.

I'm running my tank at 1.018 hypo. Temp is 81. Today I did my API tests and found that the ammonia was at 2ppm, nitrite at 2ppm and nitrate at 20ppm!!!!

I did a 30% water change and added another 3x5" piece of sponge from the DT sump.

I'm trying to figure out how to proceed...

I don't want to panic, but should I forget the QT and move them to the DT? They've been in there for a week and "look" fine (feeding well, swimming out and about from hiding spots). It definitely isn't the 4 weeks I was planning on.

Will it help to sacrifice a baseball sized piece of live rock from the DT sump to the QT?

Should I just keep doing 50% or greater water changes?

I'd also like to not have this problem happen in the future... did I vastly underestimate the amount of sponge needed for biological filter purposes in a 10 gallon?


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Unread 07/08/2011, 05:26 PM   #2
aquaph8
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Dont bother adding rocks, just do small water changes often and use some amquel to detox your ammonia. I would do one fish at a time in a 10 gallon. What do you have in there right now? I also recommend Quarantine to last for atleast 6 weeks, 8 would be better. Dont give up on the QT, your doing the right thing. Just make sure its cycled good before the next fish, you'll get it.


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Unread 07/08/2011, 05:36 PM   #3
Prairie Reef
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Ok. I'll see if I can get some from Petco on the way home. I have apparently way to many I got two clown, fire fish and royal gamma all about 1 inch and a goby at 5 inches.

Would it make any difference if I got another tank running (don't have anything "live" to put in there ready right now) or would I just have TWO tanks that I'm doing big water changes on?


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Unread 07/08/2011, 05:48 PM   #4
aquaph8
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The sponge from your display is the way to go, I just think you have a little too large bio load too fast for your little tank. I would just keep doing frequent small water changes


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Unread 07/08/2011, 06:16 PM   #5
SkullV
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Your QT is way too small for that much fish. That is why your levels are spiking like that. It's going to take a lot of biofilter, and a pretty hefty skimmer to keep levels correct with 10" of marine fish in a 10g tank. I would recommend upgrading to at least a 20L QT if not a 29G if you wish to keep those fish in that tank for the duration of a 4 week hypo. Otherwise you are in for daily water changes which will make keeping the salinity a constant 1.009 difficult if not impossible.


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Unread 07/08/2011, 06:35 PM   #6
aquaph8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkullV View Post
Your QT is way too small for that much fish. That is why your levels are spiking like that. It's going to take a lot of biofilter, and a pretty hefty skimmer to keep levels correct with 10" of marine fish in a 10g tank. I would recommend upgrading to at least a 20L QT if not a 29G if you wish to keep those fish in that tank for the duration of a 4 week hypo. Otherwise you are in for daily water changes which will make keeping the salinity a constant 1.009 difficult if not impossible.
I agree.


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Unread 07/08/2011, 06:35 PM   #7
Prairie Reef
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Thanks everyone! Well, water changes is the consensus (aside from the hind sight issue of fewer fish). I got the amquel - added per directions, plenty of aeration.

Am I understanding what I've read so far that the Ammonia test will still read the ammonia even though it is "locked" and that the bacterial filters will continue to use this ammonia and increase over time?

Also - re: the hypo, yea, I know it wasn't down there yet. I had read one place where they were suggesting 1.016, but I read the article (THANKS for the reference) at 1.009. Given my current issues and that they hypo was precautionary, I'll leave the salinity higher and just keep up on the water changes.

Thanks also on the product recommendation.


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Unread 07/08/2011, 07:24 PM   #8
geaux xman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkullV View Post
Your QT is way too small for that much fish. That is why your levels are spiking like that. It's going to take a lot of biofilter, and a pretty hefty skimmer to keep levels correct with 10" of marine fish in a 10g tank. I would recommend upgrading to at least a 20L QT if not a 29G if you wish to keep those fish in that tank for the duration of a 4 week hypo. Otherwise you are in for daily water changes which will make keeping the salinity a constant 1.009 difficult if not impossible.

+2

just go ahead and invest in a 20g or 29g from petco with the $1/gal sale. i'm using a couple of 29g to QT right now and it works out great.

it'll be very hard to keep the water quality up in a 10g for 4+ weeks. i certainly wouldnt try to hypo any fish in a 10g tank.


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Unread 07/09/2011, 01:02 PM   #9
Prairie Reef
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Thumbs up Update

All fish are alive and feeding/swimming. Ammonia reads zero this am and the nitrites are 1ppm. Did another 20% wc. Amquel is being used per directions.

I also realized in a bone head move that the cc I had in there was used. I had rinsed it till it was clear, but I bet there was still a good deal of dead stuff in there. Anyway, I assume my problem was multiple issues of un-cured cc and too many fish. I have a lead on some used biocubes I might get to separated the fish.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions!


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