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"what the heck"

I don't think that loss of biofilter would result in this. When I've killed my biofilter in past, water has shown def signs first, then fish health has deteriorated. Perhaps Eric M. s explanation on carbon absorbing whatever acid buffer to cause quick increase in pH is best explanation. Nitrate/ites should'nt have been affected (increased)by addition of carbon (?). I've only seen rapid fish death like that with ammonia spikes though, so it is curious. The rapid increase in pH may have caused normal ammonia(or ium?) levels in tank to become toxic at the new higher pH level. Sim to prob with newly arrived fish in low pH high ammonia water when added to higher pH water.
Correct me if I am misexplaining this.
love to know the results, tough situation to learn from though.

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