The whys of tank crashing - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 08-12-2008, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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The whys of tank crashing

I'm curious to know what tank crashing means. I've looked in past posts and I'm not sure I understand what it means or why a tank *crashes*. I know this may be an idiotic question but would like to know exactly what it means. Biological filter dies? Thanks in advance for educating a complete and total newbie- kym
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post #2 of 3 Old 08-13-2008, 04:00 PM
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I'll give this a shot. A tank "crashes" when the bio-load of a tank (bio-load = fish waste and uneaten food that decomposes) becomes too great and overwhelms the "good" bactria in the tank that was consuming the ammonia that's produced by this bio-load. When that happens, you get an ammonia spike that quickly kills off all your fish - thus, the term "crash". A tank can crash for a number of reasons, but I think the most likely culprit is adding too many fish too early in a new tank, before it's fully cycled - thus resulting in a crash and lots of floating fish.
Here are two EXCELLENT summaries of tank cycling that discusses in more detail these concepts:

Freshwater 75 gal:
2 Turquoise Severum - juvies, 2 inches
1Firemouth (4.5 inches)
3 Silver Dollars (4 inches)
1 Green Phantom Pleco (4 inches)
3 Polka-Dot Loaches
4 Barilius Bernatziki
TWO Penguin 350s plus a Eheim Classic 2215

Freshwater 75 Gal:
6 Giant Dainos
2 Satanoperca Jurupari (Geophagus?)
2 Acarichthys Heckelii (Thread Finned Acara)
1 Jack Dempsey (4 inches)
3 Leporinus fasciatus (7 inches)
Two Penguin 350s plus a Rena xP3
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post #3 of 3 Old 08-13-2008, 05:04 PM
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It can also be caused by adding chemicals that shouldn't have been added (happens a lot with pH chemicals), and so what happens is when the chemical levels try to change back the massive swing usually kills off everything in the tank and makes a mess out of all the parameters. Main reason why you shouldn't use any of the chemicals the petstore sells besides dechlorinator unless you've got an excellent grip on what will happen.

This is the song that never ends...
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