Tank Crashed

The forum for puffers that either live or start in brackish biotopes: GSPs, F8s, Ceylons & more.
Jivenjune
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Tank Crashed

Post by Jivenjune »

My tank crashed during my last 50 percent water change. I'm guessing I unintentionally added too much salt; I thought I was measuring fairly accurately. My nitrites shot up through the roof. It went from 0 to 3. I overdosed on prime and was able to get it down to .25. After I got it that low, I did in additional 50 percent water change while maintaining my salinity at exactly 1.016. When my nitrites were at 3.0, my fat heads looked like they were choking or struggling to breath. They were laying on the bottom with their little fish lungs pumping as fast as I've ever seen them. They've calmed down a bit now and are now swimming about peacefully with their white bellies. Anyway, I'm still uncomfortable with the thought of having any nitrites.

What is considered somewhat stressful to being too dangerous when it comes to reading nitrites in digits?

(I'm planning to buy some bio-spira soon. I'll likely just convert the tank to full marine salinity since it seems a bit more difficult to do water changes with high end brackish than full marine).
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omplmpa3
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Re: Tank Crashed

Post by omplmpa3 »

As far as puffers, I think the presences of any nitrites can be dangerous. You can wait for an expert opinion, but maybe in the meantime keep doing water changes until your tests read 0 for nitrites. If you use the strips for testing, set them aside and go buy APIs nitrite test. If they are done correctly, I will take APIs tests over the strip tests any day. You want their water to be especially immaculate right now, I don't think too many water changes will hurt them, exposure to nitrites is far more dangerous. Defiantly remove any uneaten food ASAP. You may want to add some Vitachem or other supplement to the water to help strengthen their immune system, but maybe wait for any expert to suggest which ones.

Good luck, I'm glad they are doing better!
Jivenjune
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Re: Tank Crashed

Post by Jivenjune »

I got the tank to re-cycle itself. Ammonia is at 0, nitrites are at 0 and nitrates are below 20.

When I first tested it after noticing that something was wrong, my ammonia was at 0, nitrites at 3.0 and nitrates were below 20.

I immediately began by overdosing prime. This reduced my nitrites from 3.0 to .25. Immediately afterward, I followed up with a 50 percent water change making sure that my salinity was exactly at 1.016 with absolutely no fluctuations in salinity level. My nitrites remained at about .25 even after the water change; it stayed this way for about 6 hours. When I siphoned the tank, I moved all of their decorations (while keeping them in the water) to remove any waste, uneaten food, detritus and any chaeto bits they didn't completely consume. I also threw in a ton of those blue bacto balls that came with the Rena Filstar that I can't get to operate correctly. It's now 12:20 AM, and my nitrites are showing up as 0. I've added an extra dosage of vitamins in their water to make sure their immune systems stay functioning. My poor buddies have gone through so much today :( I feel horrible since it was my fault for not measuring their salinity correctly and crashing the tank.

What a horrifying day.
Jivenjune
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My Puffers: (2) GSPs in a 60 gallon.
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Re: Tank Crashed

Post by Jivenjune »

Well, it turns out the tank didn't cycle. I forgot to add two drops into the vial, and this messed up my nitrite readings. They are still at .25, maybe marginally lower. Anyway, I felt uncomfortable with this as I heard any increase in nitrites can cause permanent damage to sensitive fish. I've currently quarantined them in a clean 5 gallon bucket with some media from their tank (some gravel, a piece of dried coral that I used for decoration). They have a heater set to 80 degrees and a air bubbler to provide them with oxygen.

I'm not sure if this was the right thing to do, but I kind of panicked. Both their bellies were white--they were breathing a lot better than they were before but still a tad fast. I didn't want to cause them any permanent damage by leaving them in the 60 gallon though.

Will my 60 gallon tank still cycle with my fish quarantined? I believe there should still be scraps of uneaten food and fecal matter in the tank (you can't always get it all out).

Should I put my fish back in their 60 gallon tank?

I'm not really sure what to do right now.
pufferfreak
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Re: Tank Crashed

Post by pufferfreak »

I would work really hard to find some filter media with established bacteria. In the mean time as long as the puffers are fine in the 5.5 it will be easier to take care of water fluctuations so i would keep them in there.
Jivenjune
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Re: Tank Crashed

Post by Jivenjune »

pufferfreak wrote:I would work really hard to find some filter media with established bacteria. In the mean time as long as the puffers are fine in the 5.5 it will be easier to take care of water fluctuations so i would keep them in there.
My salinity is at 1.016. It's pretty difficult to find other people with filter media within .002 above or below of my current salinity, so this isn't really an option at this point.
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Re: Tank Crashed

Post by pufferfreak »

If your planning on going full marine get an established marine filter than acclimate the puffers using the drip method. Unless you feel otherwise.
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Dadof4
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Re: Tank Crashed

Post by Dadof4 »

Jivenjune, I agree with going full marine right away. Get the cured live rock, set up a sump, and add fish. Even at the SG you're at it may be difficult for Biospira to work, I'm not sure at what SG the bacteria is targeted.
"Darwin swings...annnnnnd a miss. Boy Jim, Chuck's suffered at the plate tonight. He's 0 for 3 and I'm not sure he's recovered from that shoulder pull a few weeks ago. I'll bet the front office is re-thinking that contract."
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Re: Tank Crashed

Post by Pufferpunk »

I have rescued crashed high BW systems 3x, with Bio-Spira.
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"
Jivenjune
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Re: Tank Crashed

Post by Jivenjune »

Pufferpunk wrote:I have rescued crashed high BW systems 3x, with Bio-Spira.
I don't get paid until Tuesday, so funds are a bit tight at the moment. The tank didn't fully crashed--it's just a partial crash. Ammonia is at 0, Nitrites went back up to 1, Nitrates are at about 15 or lower (the colors mesh). I currently have my two GSPs in a 5 gallon tub. There is a little aggression in a tank that small, but the tub is at least cycled in contrast to my tank. I have my filters and everything still on in my main tank; I'm hoping my nitrites will go down eventually so that I can put my pals back in. I figure if I give it enough time, it'll reestablish itself. I'm just trying to be patient, but I can't stand looking at them when they're cramped in a 5 gallon.
Jivenjune
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Re: Tank Crashed

Post by Jivenjune »

Any idea if Dr. Tim's saltwater formula will work on high end brackish?
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Re: Tank Crashed

Post by Pufferpunk »

How big is their tank? If you remove the fish from the tank, how is it to cycle? Are you adding ammonia? How did you cycle the 5g? IMO, they are better off in their tank than 5g.
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"
Jivenjune
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Re: Tank Crashed

Post by Jivenjune »

Pufferpunk wrote:How big is their tank? If you remove the fish from the tank, how is it to cycle? Are you adding ammonia? How did you cycle the 5g? IMO, they are better off in their tank than 5g.
They have a 60 gallon tank. I figure that any remaining fecal matter that I haven't been able to get out will give off continuous supplies of ammonia to feed the bacteria. The tank didn't fully crash, so I took out media from the 60 gallon and put it into the 5 gallon. I've checked the water parameters and ammonia and nitrites are at 0. Nitrates are between 10-15. The nitrites in my 60 gallon are between .25 to .75. I'm having a hard time differentiating the color on the vials.

Would they be better off in a 60 gallon with nitrites or in a temporary 5 gallon with normal water parameters?
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Pufferpunk
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Re: Tank Crashed

Post by Pufferpunk »

That 5g isn't going to be able to support their bioload for long. Remember, "The solution to pollution is dilution". Keep doing WC on the 60g with the puffs in there.
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"
Jivenjune
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Re: Tank Crashed

Post by Jivenjune »

Pufferpunk wrote:That 5g isn't going to be able to support their bioload for long. Remember, "The solution to pollution is dilution". Keep doing WC on the 60g with the puffs in there.
I used the last of the salt on that 5 gallon bucket. I honestly don't have a penny to spare until Tuesday when I get paid. At the moment, this is the best I can do for my pals. I'll keep monitoring their water quality.
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