In my continuing efforts to join the ranks of the mass fish murders...
All my plants, mainly shade Jade and Philodendron(I think), which have been fine up til recently, are dying. Trying to figure out what it could be.
Looked at PH first, thought it was a little low so I added a cup of baking soda, bad choice. Next day the water was dark fish were all holed up on the bottom and refusing to eat. Did a little reading and found, raising PH makes ammonia more toxic.
So, every day since (last 3 days) ammonia is off the chart where nothing is supposed to live, PH is OK though so every day I've been changing half the water and it just doesn't get better.
Could I have killed my bio-filter?
Background: 1.5 yr old system; 72 - 1.25 yr old Tilapia; 150 gal FT; 50 gal barrel pump tank; ~200 gal total water volume; 9-10 cu ft gravel. All in a tiny garden shed w/a 400 watt Metal Halide.
Yea, a cup of baking soda would be too much. A spoon full at a time over several days would have been better. An extreme sudden change in pH can harm your bacteria, fish and plants.
However, you don't have nearly enough filtration for that number of fish (I would say that 9-10 cubic feet of gravel bed is enough to support 9-10 fish at 1 lb.) And 150 gallons of fish tank is a bit small as well.