We've inhereted a 55 gallon tank with two 10 year old fish (silver dollar & kissing gourami). As it was my mother in laws who enjoyed watching these fish with my 3 year old son, I am determined to keep these fish going for my son now that grandma is gone.
First off, I don't believe this tank was ever maintained on a regular basis as I have seen it quite dirty on some visits. I don't even think the water was checked on a regular basis.
We didn't have much time to plan the tank transport so I drained 25% of the existing water into fish bags and discarded another 25% of the tank water. The fish were transported directly in the tank and we started setting it back up same day of move.
I followed directions from a family member who had been the one maintaining the tank and prior to the move we removed and changed a very thick and dirty filter. I don't believe the tank had been cleaned in some time as the filter case was thick with green algae and slime and the remaining tank water was very grey and dirty upon arriving at new home.
The bagged water was added to tank and the water level was maintained using temperature controlled tap water over a 4 hour period. The gravel had been very dirty and all debris has settled into and onto the gravel.
It has been 4 days since the move and I have been doing daily water checks as the ammonia and nitrate levels have been in the harmful stage. We've added stress coat, stress zyme and Ammo-carb with no change in both levels. The water is very clear now but there is a film of debris still on the gravel.
As I am a beginner, I am unsure what should be done. I was told to wait a few days and then clean the gravel but after reading up on the topic I am not sure this is the proper thing to do. With the filter already replaced I think to clean the gravel now would remove too much debris.
Any assistance would be appreciated as the last thing I need is to lose these two beautiful fish.