Cloudy water and dying fish

ga_Anna

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I have a 55gallon tank that has been established for over a year. I decided Saturday to redecorate. Added new gravel, plants and decor. Everything was rinsed. I done a 50% water change also. I left the fish in the tank. I couldn't catch them, so to avoid stressing them anymore I left them alone. The water was cloudy Saturday night. I did treat the water because we have city water, and I didn't fill the tank all the way up just enough to get my filter going. Woke up Sunday and the fish had begun to slowly die. This morning my Pleco was fine. I did not see my 2 corydoras but I did see their 1 baby. What did I do wrong? Is there anything I can do to fix the water? Thanks
 

Oblio

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Welcome to TFF!

Sorry about your losses.

Do you have a test kit? If so, what are your parameter metrics?

On the assumption that your cycle crashed and you have an ammonia spike ...
Drain your water to 20% of full and fill to top with treated water ASAP.
 
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ga_Anna

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I'll try that. And no, I don't have a test kit. I'm picking one up after work today.
 

Rocky998

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Try to get the API liquid test kit. It's really accurate compared to the strip tests. I also think I know why your fish died but we will wait to test the water before making guesses
 

Oblio

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FTR - I'm thinking the removal of substrate and decorations left too little BB (Beneficial Bacteria) in the filter to handle the Ammonia. It didn't help to not fill the tank as that would increase the ammonia ppm compared to full.
 

Oblio

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This interests me because at some point I want to replace my substrate with sand for my Corys.
 

Rocky998

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FTR - I'm thinking the removal of substrate and decorations left too little BB (Beneficial Bacteria) in the filter to handle the Ammonia. It didn't help to not fill the tank as that would increase the ammonia ppm compared to full.
That is exactly what I was thinking but I wanted to wait for the tests to come through
 

Valkyrie_Lips

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This interests me because at some point I want to replace my substrate with sand for my Corys.

As long as you have lots of well established filter media you should be able to change out your substrate without any issues. I switched from gravel to sand in one go and found that it didn't affect my cycle at all. I also rinsed the heck out of the sand and didn't have cloudy water either. The key is to be really careful pouring water back in as not to displace the new sand. I added a cup to the bottom and poured new water back into the cup so it didn't hit the sand and kick it up.
 

Oblio

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I've got a AC 110 with a pre-filter, bio-sponge, and ceramics, 125 gal tank. About 24 fish - Black Skirts, Buenos Aries, Corys. Hopefully that is enough non-substrate media.
 

connorlindeman

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I've got a AC 110 with a pre-filter, bio-sponge, and ceramics, 125 gal tank. About 24 fish - Black Skirts, Buenos Aries, Corys. Hopefully that is enough non-substrate media.
You should be fine. I changed form gravel to sand about 4 months ago with no issues.
 

Oblio

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You should be fine. I changed form gravel to sand about 4 months ago with no issues.
I'm more apprehensive about relocating the fish to a temp home while I change the substrate. I might actually get a smaller tank, perhaps 55 gallon. While I have a large house, the 125 takes a lot of space and limits where I can place it.
 
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ga_Anna

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I've got the liquid test kit ordered. And that's probably true about removing too much BB. I did take out a lot of the river rock gravel. Washed the decor I had in there. Washed out my filter it was nasty. I thought I was doing good by not filling it all the way back up but that does make sense. I've never changed out that much water before. But I knew it really needed a good cleaning. I've still got some learning to do!
 

Alice B

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using tank water to clean filters reduces bacteria loss. I rarely do 50% water changes but if I do I don't clean the filter the same day. I do it a couple of days before or after
 

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