Nephew put seashellsinto FW tank....hmmm.
Sooooo. I took my nephews to Cape Canaveral....and they are sneaky little kids. they put several shells and rocks into my FW tank.
THis is an empty tank that was pretty much at the end of the cycle. But after the exposure to a few rocks and shells.... it immediately clouded up like crazy. Ammonia was between 0.25 and 0.5 based on an API test. the nitrites were at 0.35 and I can not recall what the nitrates were, but with the ammonia up and the clouding.
While I probably should have done an entire water change, I did a 50% water change and the water seems to have cleared somewhat. I probably need to do an entire water change to get it right.
AM I going to have to cycle all over? What was the effect the stuff on the shells or the shells and rocks themselves?
I'm glad there were no fish involved....but a little disappointed as I was so pleased to have done the cycle....
well that sorta stinks, but i would think its not all that bad, since no fish were involved to be stressed out.......IMO, i wouldnt take anymore water out until you test for a few more days......If your tank was nearing the cycle end, it might recover rather quickly......Taking the rocks and shells out would probably be a good idea too........you can test their impact in a bucket of water to see how much they will effect your tank while the tank corrects iteself......These are the steps i would take if this happened to me, hope fully other members chime in to add there knowledge
I would do same. Remove the rocks and pour a little vinegar over them. If they begin to bubble or fizz ,,I would not use them. The sea shells ,could cause water to become more alkaline over time ,and this could, (would) cause pH to rise. Depending on the fish you plan on keeping.. this might not be wanted. You can run a bucket of water from tap assuming you are using tapwater,,and test the pH after the bucket has set for 12 hours. Then place the rocks and shells in that bucket and after another 12 hours test the Ph once more. If there is a significant difference,, I would not use either.;-)
The rocks and shells may have had other substances on/in them that leeched into the water. Where did they come from?
The cycle should not have been affected by this (unless of course somthing got into the water from the rocks/shells to kill the bacteria) provided the ammonia was maintained throughout in the tank.
They are out, as I didnt really want them. water has cleared, but I think I am going to have to do another water change shortly....
and I think because of all the cloudiness, I willtreat the tank completely with cycle before I add the fish as well. I know its sort of a shortcut, but in this case, I am thinking of it as an insurance policy....
The rocks and shells probably added salt to the water as well, but your water changes should handle that. Except for certain fish that prefer or tolerate brackish water, I am opposed to salt in a freshwater aquarium except as a medication when necessary. It is too stressful on fish whose internal salinity has to match the external salinity of the water, and that causes all sorts of problems for the fish that are not brackish-water or tolerant of the same.
Add "Cycle" when you add the first fish, not before unless you have a source of ammonia in the tank. it is live bacteria that needs food (ammonia, then nitrite) so it will be useless if none is present. I always dose a new tank with Cycle when the first fish goes in, and never a problem.
Nephews are now back safely with their parents, I am still having a lot of ammonia,but it seems to be going down with water change and such.
I can not wait to have some fish in the tank...
Remember that ammonia must be handled by bacteria, not water changes, in order to cycle the tank. I didn't see mnetion in this thread of how you were cycling this tank before, except it was not with fsh, so keep adding the ammonia source and take daily readings; the tank is cycled when both ammonia and nitrite are "0" for several consecutive days. Then you can begin adding fish, few at first (depends upon your tank size and the fish).
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