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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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aquarium crash?

I have an established 75 gallon, heavily planted. Had hundreds of cherry shrimp breeding like cockroaches, handful of amanos. Assassin snails, nerite snails and a pest snail problem kept bearable by the assassins.

fish: 3 otos, 6 threadfins, 3 dwarf neon rainboes, 8 rasboras and 8 mixed tetras.

high tech system with injected co2, 204w total t5ho, 12 hour light cycle

2 days ago, my kid dumped an obsene amount of food in the tank. Scooped out what I could, but I had to go to work.

yesterday, nitrites still low but did 30-40% water change to get the rest of the food out (a lot had broken down, the rest had been eaten by shrimp).

Went to work. This morning, all amanos and nerites dead. Pest snails dead. Assassins chilling at the top the tank (presumably alive) over half my cherries dead, rest at the top including shrimplets. All fish alive but gasping.

did tests. Nitrates 5pp, ammonia spikes at 2ppm and nitrite at 3 ppm (estimated based off change-- cards went missing).

Co2 is fine-- the thing had just turned on and my kh is 5, ph 7.2.

wth???? Any ideas folks? I dosed 4x amount with prime (instructions say can do 5x but I played it safe), so should be neutralized. I haven't dug all the casualties out yet cause it just happened. It's gonna take me all day...

ideas?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 03:00 PM
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Prime is not invertebrate safe is it. My guess is the overdosing of Prime killed the shrimp and inverts.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmf3460 View Post
Prime is not invertebrate safe is it. My guess is the overdosing of Prime killed the shrimp and inverts.
Prime is completely invert save. It dechlorinates as well as neutralizes ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. If you'd read the post, I used this after noting the spikes and deaths. It came after, not before and therefore could not possibly be a factor.

I used a different conditioner when I did the water change (one that I've used before, from this bottle in fact)-- API Stress coat. Because my tank is heavily planted, I typically don't use Prime-- I keep it around in case of emergencies such as this.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 03:49 PM
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Prime is invert safe. Tons of people use it. The problem with using Prime to help with Ammonia or Nitrite problems is that the fix is temporary. The bond to Prime begins to break down after 24 hours. Also, there are some issues with conditioners like Stress-Coat with Prime that I can't remember at the moment. The temporary nature of Prime's ammonia-binding properties needs to be seen as just that and it just buys you time t oget everything back in order so that the tank's biologocal filtration can handle the increased load.

I feel your pain. About 20 years ago, my middle one and a pal (TWO 5 year olds) did much the same thing. Actually, no it was much worse. Meds, foods, ferts, everything got dumped in one tank. I've never seen tank water that color.

Angelo

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 04:03 PM
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Sorry for your lost shrimps/snails.
My best guess is that the fish food eventually decomposed, produced unusually high amounts of ammonia (more than the system is used to processing). Then I think the ammonia consuming bacteria began working overtime, creating high nitrites. At this point your water is toxic containing ammonia and nitrite; both deadly to more sensitive creatures.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 04:14 PM
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+1, most likely rotting food that got down into the cracks in the gravel.

General advice going forward:

- clean your filters (which may have a lot of food trapped in their mechanical media)
- do water changes as much as you dare with shrimp involved.
- when doing w/c's, gravel vac as best you can to suck up any remnants (which you've done once, but you may get more)
- Prime dosing is a good 24-hour bandaid.
- A shot of good bottle bacteria, ie: tetra safestart, should help break down the ammonia/nitrites and help stabilize things.
- Keep on top of removing the dead... they'll rot to, causing a cascading problem.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-13-2015, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, the prime dose was just an emergency stop gap until I get it resolved. Had to do something. Out water supply is treated with chloramine so the ammonia boost from another big water change was out of the question to.leave it just as that.

I don't have gravel- straight sand so it's not down deep. I think the big culprit is the massive amounts of Java moss I have. There's probably a lot of food still here and now dead shrimp as well. Going to go pick up.mote so surviving shrimp can still hide, pull all plants, water change and then replant. Hopefully then I can get to most of the deaf shrimp and snails better that way too.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 02:34 AM
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Prime is GOOD for treating chloramine water -- that's what you should be using with your water changes. Don't be afraid of big water changes as long as you treat it with Prime and are otherwise consistent with the things you add to it.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 03:26 AM
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Hi lauritastlouis,
Sounds like you have the issue covered. I too have a heavily planted tank that's larger. Just wanted to jump in and add info and perhaps a suggestion. I find snails in my planted tank helpful keeping waste clear. After going through the stage of learning how to control populations I find these snails do a lot for removing decaying debri. They eat decaying organic matter such as leaves, stems, and left over foods. I think I am upto 3-4 different types of snails now in my larger tank. That's just me and my system. Depending on the work load for your assassin snails the left over carcass of the half eaten snails can contribute to bioload. Depending on filter and circulation these factors could have already pushed your filtration system to the limit.

Reading your fish list I notice you do not have bottom dwelling catfish on your list. A healthy sized school of Cory cats, perhaps a South American bumblebee cat, and of course a must have for every larger planted tank one or two Bristlenosed plecos. This fish combo will ensure any food that falls to the substrate will not stay there for long.

Long read, sorry. Just wanted to jump in.

140 gallon FW planted
29 gallon FW planted
17 gallon FW planted
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 03:29 AM
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+1, your water may have chloramine, but it really shouldn't be so much that your biofilter can't handle it before the prime wears off....

So, while you are adding some ammonia, you're also removing ammonia/nitrite/nitrate from the water... that's important if any of those parameters are getting high...

The maximum legal dose of monochloramine is 4ppm, which is 1.38ppm NH2, which can be readily made to about the same in NH3 (ammonia)..

If your ammonia is at or above 1.4ppm, or your nitrites are nonzero, or your nitrates are high, you're better off doing a w/c at this stage.

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