I have had my tank set up for a very long time. I had my Oscar die over 2 month's ago and have let my tank sit with no fish since then. I recently got a bunch of live plants as well as 5 bristle nose plecos (which are still tiny babies).
I tested the water prior to getting the fish and the levels were fine. I went to put in my new rocks today (and take out my old ones) and it kicked up a bunch of crud and now my water is green and the levels are all off:
PH is around a 6
Ammonia is present (hard to tell the number, maybe at a 1?)
Nitrate is pretty darn high, between 20 and 80 (hard to tell it's so dark red)
NItrite is zero
I am currently still running my carbon filter but only because the levels are off and the water is dirty. I have a sponge filter I need to install but I'm waiting until the water is clear so I can find a good place in the tank for it.
I know the green cloud will lift over the next few days. I just want to make sure my fish will be ok and I want to make sure I get the levels down to what they should be. Keeping in mind this is a planted tank can you give me any advise?
I did a small water change (50%) but that is about it. I have also added a tiny amount baking soda to help increase the PH