5.5 Catastrophe

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metropolis93fan

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I"ve had my 5.5 going for over a year with neocardina shrimp with nary a problem. I had surgery in September, then got long-term sick and let up on water changes and gravel washings mostly around the surgery point. I didn't realize how much matter was down in the gravel (and it was starting to affect my nitrate levels, too... got behind on checking THEM, too). THe fact my floaters kept dying should have been a clue... that I needed more aeration. Decided to try it in my 10 gallon betta tank and the floaters are THRIVING in there! So went out and bought another pump which just got in today. But it STINKS. My living room and kitchen both stink so much I'm living in my bedroom as of today (decided not to be breathing it in). I got.. well... two mystery snails yesterday but one was an escape artist... I SERIOUSLY didn't think either could get out of the tiny space in front of my light... yep. The smaller one is gone as of this morning. And the bigger one is more interested in the glass than the gravel. I have an air stone in there now. I have a HOB on the left (that I couldn't stand the sound of so always had the flow down then put a MAJOR baffle under so almost no flow... I've been doing this a few years now and never knew about aeration being necessary for so many things! ARH! Should the air stone be on the right or left? Does it matter?

Anyway, I have done two 2-gallon water changes (about 50% when you add the mass of gravel and decor). NOT a smart move with neos but I had to get this under control pronto. And no fatalities. Yay! I was fully expecting them... so that was a pleasant surprise. I've replaced the filter floss. I have charcoal sponge stuff in there and Purigen and it STILL reeks. There's not TOO much left in the gravel. Other than what I'm doing, any suggestions? I've considered burrowing snails but fear their dying under the gravel and then decaying and messing everything up. I've cleaned the filter... rinsed the sponge, rinsed the biostones. (In RO water) I plan on doing another water change tomorrow. I just started cycling a 10 gallon today with feeder material from my betta. I'm hoping to get it cycled quickly, and if the smell from the 5.5 just... can't get under control in that time from anything I do... transfer the little critters into the new tank (I'd wanted to do blue jellies in there but their little lives are more important) and just totally start over with the 5.5, probably getting a betta for it. It was originally a betta tank so safe decor. I have a lid on the tank so for it to be smelling out into the apartment... you KNOW something's gotta be bad. I'll take any suggestions. I thought at first it was java moss that I was having a problem with. Then thought the water spangles I had in there were the problem because they had a little mold on them (might have been contributing, but obviously not the whole problem). Now I'm realizing what it really is/was and I'm horrified.

I have maybe 6-10 neos in there. I have a full-grown java fern and a juvenile one, a VERY juvenile corkscrew val I'm just keeping going until I can transplant it elsewhere along with some full-grown stuff... and an anubias on a lava rock. I have SOME red root floaters... Expect that to get better with the aeration! There have been no other animals in there until yesterday with the mystery snails! I didn't THINK I overfed... I used to have more like 20 but some were full-grown when I got them, some didn't make it 24 hours past putting them in even with VERY slow drip acclimation. Back when I was at my peak I'd put 5 TINY pellets in the shrimp feeder in the morning and suck out the uneated that evening. One little stick pellet 1/4 cm long again, morning to evening... a green bean sometimes... a mulberry leaf occasionally. The leaves I would just leave in there... perhaps that was a bad thing to do? It IS cycled... don't know pH right off, but Ammonia/nitrite are 0, nitrates are now 0 or were yesterday, GH is 6, KH 3. After the last water change I got my nitrate parameters back. ammonia dn nitrite were zero BEFORE the water change, FYI. it IS cycled. What else can I do? I don't want to have to start this tank over. If I could only have it to do over again... famous last words. But now I need to deal with what I have. My betta is very vicious and would attack them if I put them in with him. I've seen it. That or they cower and hide in one corner of the tank which isn't living. So that's not an option so as to start that tank over... it's the only other cycled tank I have. So I need help. Thanks.



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The food sounds excessive for 6/10 neos. I would not feed for a week and continue to do daily water changes/ gravel cleans. When you restart feeding use just one pellet OR bean OR leaf every other day at most.

Could you add carbon to the filter?
 
The food sounds excessive for 6/10 neos. I would not feed for a week and continue to do daily water changes/ gravel cleans. When you restart feeding use just one pellet OR bean OR leaf every other day at most.

Could you add carbon to the filter?
That amount of food was when I had 20+... and I haven't fed for over a week, now. But plan on waiting another week and will do less when I do. Will keep up the water changes. Yesterday I did my betta and set up a 10 gallon. I just couldn't do any more lifting of water (Pelvic floor issues and back issues... I usually spread out my changes to avoid extra pain, which is usually not a problem if I stay ON it, heh). But will definitely restart today. Thanks for the advice..
 
Be careful not to disturb the gravel. What's in there can easily wipe out the neos. If you can't do water changes just don't feed. I had a bust shoulder and ribs last year and water changes were pretty much impossible. I never fed the shrimp tank (at all) for about 4 months and still have a healthy group now that I am able to do more regular w/cs.
 
Be careful not to disturb the gravel. What's in there can easily wipe out the neos. If you can't do water changes just don't feed. I had a bust shoulder and ribs last year and water changes were pretty much impossible. I never fed the shrimp tank (at all) for about 4 months and still have a healthy group now that I am able to do more regular w/cs.
If I don't disturb the gravel I can't get what's built up down on the bottom of the tank. so far they've lived through two tank CHANGES with disrupting it and several times of swirling it around so that the filter could suck some up... and pretty sure it's what is in the bottom of the gravel that's the problem.
 
Be careful not to disturb the gravel. What's in there can easily wipe out the neos. If you can't do water changes just don't feed. I had a bust shoulder and ribs last year and water changes were pretty much impossible. I never fed the shrimp tank (at all) for about 4 months and still have a healthy group now that I am able to do more regular w/cs.
I'm open to suggestions!
 

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