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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I have a 54 bowfront natural tank that's been running for nearly 2 years. All was going well. Then I saw this white patch on my clown pleco and thought it might be columnaris. I treated the whole tank with furan 2 and kanaplex. I didn't know that the meth blue in the furan was bad for plants. My val has completely melted and of course, my ammonia went up to about 1.0 ppm. So I have plants coming in today and tomorrow. i've cleaned as much of the melted val as possible. I did a water change last night, am dosing seachem Safe to neutralize the ammonia until I can get the plants reestablished and I put a bag of charcoal in. There are 2 powerheads circling the water and I have a fluval 3.0 on a siesta timer (5:4:5).
So my tank today is so cloudy with mulm and debris I don't know what to do. It wasn't like that after the water change. I have a hearty mulm layer but for some reason it's just everywhere today. I don't know what to do. Any help? I have more floaters from a friend coming to help soak up ammonia. I have an order of plants coming tomorrow. more val, some dwarf parrot feather, moss. I don't want to do a change and suck up too much of the mulm because the tank is now about 2 years old and I know the mulm layer refertilizes the tank. I'm struggling. So far the fish are ok, no flashing or lethargy or gasping for air. I'm checking ammonia daily (nitrites have been 0 thankfully) and dosing Safe as needed.

Thanks,
Christina
 

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You’ll have to do daily water changes to reduce the ammonia and clean the mulm. The antibiotics probably wiped out the nitrifying bacteria. I’d leave the lights off and not worry about an algae bloom until the tank has settled and cycled.
 

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Bummer! Try using activated carbon or Purigen in the filter, and do lots of water changes. I had a similar experience after medicating a tank with Seachem Neoplex. The vallisneria slowly came back from the roots, but I lost several species of crytocorynes.
 

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I don't want to do a change and suck up too much of the mulm because the tank is now about 2 years old and I know the mulm layer refertilizes the tank. I'm struggling. So far the fish are ok, no flashing or lethargy or gasping for air. I'm checking ammonia daily (nitrites have been 0 thankfully) and dosing Safe as needed.
I would clean the tank, get carbon in the filter, and hope for the best. Tank is having a substrate meltdown as bacteria, nematodes, and plant roots die and begin decomposing. Their death will make substrate even more anaerobic causing more upheaval. I would vacuum out the mulm.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok so just to be clear with what everyone is saying:
Add carbon -- I did this
Clean out all the mulm --> will this hurt my already established plants?
Lights out --> don't I need the lights to start the O2/CO2 cycle?
filter --> this tank has no filter so I have no backup anyway. All my other tanks are 10gal or below.

Coming home this evening, the mulm has settled again. So far it looks like only one rooted plant has actually died, the dwarf lotus. I was feeling around and definitely found the squishy bulb. What val I did actually pull up (accidently) had white roots. New plants are coming in tomorrow and new floaters are going in tonight.

Thanks for all the help!!
 

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See my comments in bold below.

Ok so just to be clear with what everyone is saying:
Add carbon -- I did this
If you don't have a filter or some other way to circulate the water through the carbon, it won't be effective.

Clean out all the mulm --> will this hurt my already established plants?
No. You are having a massive die off and you need to remove any dead organic matter.

Lights out --> don't I need the lights to start the O2/CO2 cycle?
If there are any living plants in the tank, leave the lights on. You could reduce the photoperiod until the plants resume growth.

filter --> this tank has no filter so I have no backup anyway. All my other tanks are 10gal or below.
You may need to get a cheap filter just to have a place to put the carbon.

Coming home this evening, the mulm has settled again. So far it looks like only one rooted plant has actually died, the dwarf lotus. I was feeling around and definitely found the squishy bulb. What val I did actually pull up (accidently) had white roots. New plants are coming in tomorrow and new floaters are going in tonight.

Thanks for all the help!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks. I have powerheads that move the water so the bag of carbon is hanging and in the water movement. I can tell its working because the water is clearer and less yellow.
The only plants that died are the vals. The crypts, swords, dwarf sag, moss, anubias, and Java fern are still alive.
New floating plants were put in last night. My new val came in today so im gonna put them in. I'll clear the mulm from that area before I put them in

See my comments in bold below.

Ok so just to be clear with what everyone is saying:
Add carbon -- I did this
If you don't have a filter or some other way to circulate the water through the carbon, it won't be effective.

Clean out all the mulm --> will this hurt my already established plants?
No. You are having a massive die off and you need to remove any dead organic matter.

Lights out --> don't I need the lights to start the O2/CO2 cycle?
If there are any living plants in the tank, leave the lights on. You could reduce the photoperiod until the plants resume growth.

filter --> this tank has no filter so I have no backup anyway. All my other tanks are 10gal or below.
You may need to get a cheap filter just to have a place to put the carbon.

Coming home this evening, the mulm has settled again. So far it looks like only one rooted plant has actually died, the dwarf lotus. I was feeling around and definitely found the squishy bulb. What val I did actually pull up (accidently) had white roots. New plants are coming in tomorrow and new floaters are going in tonight.

Thanks for all the help!!
 
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