Can I dose nitrifying bacteria to keep ammonia down?

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SharkRacer

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What you didn't mention was the auto feeder and the flakes. ;)

Leave it be. All you need to do is kill the auto feeder and go back to what you were doing before. I wouldn't do any more water changes for a week or so and then, do about 20%. The cycle will catch up.

By changing 80% yesterday, you have undoubtedly removed not only most of the ammonia, but also most of the leftover food that caused the spike to begin with. The fish that have survived so far will be fine now that the ammonia is down.

Again, fast changes do more harm than good. The tank will settle on its own.
I’ve moved the fish to the display (they are very happy!) and When I did the water change I removed all the QT tank contents to suck up all the detritus and extra food.

I’m going to see how things go now that I’ve done the big water change and added the extra bio media. Thanks for all the advice!
 
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Rmckoy

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AANNNDDDD there we have the elephant in the room. Out of town, overfeeding, no water changes, ammonia spike, dead fish. End of story.
The part of the comment that concerns me is the synthetic rock added for medicating if need be .

I would recommend strongly against any future medication within the display tank .
 

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hey everyone thank you for all the great feedback! A couple points of clarification:

1) I forgot to mention that my assumption about what caused the ammonia spike waf that I had the tank on auto feeder for 10 days (and stupidly I had added flakes to this as I was worried the fish would be underfed if it were just pellets)

2) that white “rock” is synthetic, specifically chosen so I can medicate this tank if needed
For future reference, if your fish are well fed to begin with, they can survive short trips (a weekend) without added food, and a longer trip being fed every 2-3 days. I really don't like auto feeders for small tanks because of the potential for over feeding.

An amazing thing about a reef tank (provided it's been up for 4 months or so) is that there is a ton of life for fish to pick off of the rocks. Unless you have a mandarin or a six line, chances are you have more amphipods and copepods than you think, and chances are good that omnivores can find some microalgae to chow down on.

When I have a person feed my tank while I am gone, I pre-measure the food. You can use one of those pill containers with the day on it.

When I am not there to keep track of things, feeding is to keep fish from starving, not to fatten them up.
 
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The part of the comment that concerns me is the synthetic rock added for medicating if need be .

I would recommend strongly against any future medication within the display tank .
This 13.5 is my QT / observation tank and is where the synthetic decor is. My display is a 55 gallon and has ~40lbs live rock.

From the sound of it, I should remove the synthetic stuff and use something that has no chance in leaching anything into the water (or absorbing meds)
 

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This 13.5 is my QT / observation tank and is where the synthetic decor is. My display is a 55 gallon and has ~40lbs live rock.

From the sound of it, I should remove the synthetic stuff and use something that has no chance in leaching anything into the water (or absorbing meds)
I assumed it was a display tank
but nothing used in a quarantine should come in contact with a display .
everything from rocks , sand , filters or media
 

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