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Old 01-08-2012, 03:14 PM   #1
xxbrandonoxx
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Help! Drastic overfeeding - Ammonia Spike in process


I have an autistic son who must have been watching me feed in the past and taken it upon himself this morning to give it a go when I wasn't looking today. He dumped about a 4 month supply of vegetarian pellets into the tank. (Ocean Nutrition - Formula TWO Marine Pellet)

I have a 55 gallon reef tank that is about a year old with a single yellow tang and two clowns as well as a small variety of coral.

I immediately did a 10g W/C and tried to suck up all the pellets that were gathered in piles. Unfortunately with the powerheads and the Live Rock, I'm sure I didn't get it all. I probably got at least 80% of it though as it gathered in a few common places.

It's been about 6 hours and the water is starting to get cloudy. I tested the ammonia and it came out at 1.0ppm.

My question is, Is there anything I can do?

Hourly water changes? I have a 5 gallon bucket of salt, so I could handle that I guess. I unfortunately have not tested ammonia in so long that I can't tell you what it was prior.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

-----

I can tell my coral are even acting wierd. I have some green star polyps that tagged along with some LR and they are all pulled in and hiding, never actually seen that.

My Yellow tang who is usually timid but always adventurous is also hiding in the back corner.

Last edited by xxbrandonoxx; 01-08-2012 at 03:17 PM.. Reason: Additional Information
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:23 PM   #2
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How close is your LFS? I would run ALOT of carbon (rinse it first) to remove the organics in the water column. Put it in a very high flow area in a sump or HOB filter.

The cloudiness is from a bacteria bloom. If you have an extra powerhead aim it at the surface of the tank because the bloom will starve the tank of oxygen.
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:26 PM   #3
xxbrandonoxx
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The system has been up and running for about a year. I finally got to the point where I felt it was established a few months ago - I would regularly see new little critters and existing coral started spreading.

I haven't been running carbon lately, but do have quite a stockpile, so I will fill a sock up and place it in the filter.

Thanks for the advice on the Powerhead, I do see gasping.
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:29 PM   #4
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There also is the option of making some saltwater and using it to put the livestock in and then letting your system re stabilize. The satlwater has to be more than a few hours old tho. New saltwater is caustic.
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:53 PM   #5
xxbrandonoxx
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I've started another batch of S/W. I have a 20 gallon tank that I might convert over. Currently it's hosting a small batch of dime-sized FW angelfish from a breeding, but it might be time to make that unfortunate decision.

I've also added 28 oz's of carbon into my filter - water pretty much has to pass through it.

Thanks again for the advice. I added an airstone as well just to help with the oxygen. Have to say I feel a bit helpless, kind of a wait and watch feeling.

Would you recommend against another water change, is it futile? My earlier water change was a 20%, I know in the freshwater world, 50-80% is a common oh-crap solution to a lot of similar types of issues.
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:58 PM   #6
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Yeah keep doing water changes it will help. Let the water circulate for a few hours each time to help oxygenate and get the right pH balance.
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:28 PM   #7
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yes keep and eye on Oxygen levels!

there are a few problems that this can cause later on, but the bacteria bloom is the immediate concern for sure!
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:05 PM   #8
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Buy some stability at your LFS. I had a similar problem and it locked the ammonia and eventually brought it down. Just dose like its a new tank and it will send your tank flying through the nitrogen cycle in 3 or 4 days.
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