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Son of a @#%&#! The bio filter crashed!

Posted By: Cybermeez <cybermeez@aol.com>
Date: Saturday, 28 July 2001, at 11:20 a.m.

The Ich in my tank MAY finally be gone but things seem to keep going from bad to worse. The biological filter in my main tank crashed AND I got laid off today.

After a couple weeks of Clear-Ich and extra water changes I think it was CopperSafe that finally pushed it over the edge, and boy when it went it went fast! The only reason the fish didn't die was because I had used AmmoLock2 as the dechlorinator in the water change I did on Tuesday while putting in the CopperSafe. I usually use AquaPlus but it neutralizes heavy metals and would have rendered the CopperSafe ineffective, or at the very least less effective.

While using anti-ich the medications I have been testing the water daily. On Thursday night as usual I tested the water for everything and the readings were:

I tested again last night (Friday) and the readings were:
Ammonia=8.0+ (off the scale)
Nitrite=5.0+ (off the scale)

I had put a sick White Cloud in my quarantine tank on Wednesday because after weeks of Ich related stress he had begun showing signs of dropsy. In the quarantine tank I reproduced the same water conditions as in the main tank using CopperSafe but also adding Maracyn 2 to fight the dropsy. The little guy wasn't long for this world and was dead within a few hours of moving him. By last night I hadn't had a chance to change the water in there since the minnow had died and it had also started to crash with elevated Nitrite levels (around .25-.5) as the first sign.

I did a massive emergency water change in both tanks. In the main tank (other than the usual AquaPlus and pH buffer) I added nothing extra to the water except AmmoLock2 and all the FritZyme 7 had on hand. In my Millennium filter I left the old floss filter pad and piggy backed a
Poly-Filter pad to take out the copper and what ever Ammonia it could soak up (don't know if it will take out Nitrites). In my Magnum H.O.T. I filled the previously empty media canister with fresh Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Research Grade Super Activated Carbon.

After the water change in the main tank I tested again and the readings were:
Nitrite=.5 and 1.0

Things in the quarantine tank were a bit better to start with so the water change was able to bring the Nitrites back down to zero and clean out the CopperSafe and Maracyn 2. I also added some Cycle since I had no more FritZyme. With conditions in the quarantine tank in the non-toxic range and better than the main tank, I moved everyone into there until the main tank can stabilize.

The quarantine tank remains stable this morning but since it's a 10-gallon and (not a 20-gallon like my main tank) it's a bit crowded with:
3 Clown Loaches
3 Corydoras Trilineatus
6 White Clouds
2 Zebra Plecos

Only one of the Corys (the biggest one of the 3) seems unhappy. She keeps swimming up and down against the glass almost like she's looking for more space or trying to get out.

So now there are 14 fish in a 10-gallon tank and I'm going to have to watch the water conditions like a hawk. Well, with no job now, I guess I'll have plenty of time too keep an eye on things.

One of the ways I've been learning fish keeping over the past year is through hearing about other aquarists' experiences. So I though I'd share with everyone what I've been dealing with in my main tank in the hopes that it may prevent headaches for others in the future.


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