4ppm Ammonia / Cycle / Lesson Learned

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by xapoc, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. xapoc

    xapocValued MemberMember

    So over last few days I noticed my plants slowly began turning brown and sort of disintegrating. I recently donated my 10" common pleco to LFS, and 2 weeks ago did 10-15% cycle. was pooping more than rest of my fish put together and digging my plants out.

    I do most of time 20% cycle on my 55g tank, bi weekly and prior to cycle my ammonia always is around 0.5 ppm. Long story short I didn't anticipate 4ppm reading this fast, my nitrate was at 0 and nitrite at like 15, ph ~7

    So I did 50% cycle, cleaned all the nasty's from top and in gravel, dose it with seachem prime, also got some seachem flourish on the way to rejuvenate my plants.

    Going to check my ammonia again after 48h have passed. If not for the browning on plants I wouldn't have known about this till this coming weekend which could have been pretty bad for my fish.
  2. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Hmm, I've never had plants die from high ammonia. Are you sure it's not a lighting/ferts issue? Plants are usually fine with high ammonia, which is why they're fine in cycling tanks.

    Also, do you mean 15 nitrAtes and 0 nitrItes? Because 15 nitrItes will kill fish.
  3. FinFanatic

    FinFanaticValued MemberMember

    It does sound like your plants melted. How long have they been in the tank? TexasDomer is correct in that plants will consume the ammonia at really any level. Its often slightly more confusing to cycle a tank while you have live plants as they take all the ammonia and consume it. Just to check when you say "cycle" are you referring to a Water Change or are you using a product named Cycle at 20% or 50% dosage?

  4. AllieSten

    AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    Your plants melting will cause the ammonia spike. You need to get some Prime and do a couple back to back 75% water changes to get that ammonia down asap. Pull all the dead plants out. Hopefully your fish survive.

  5. OP

    xapocValued MemberMember

    I meant cycle as water change. Yes, its 0 nitrites and 15 nitrate. Got those 2 backwards.
    I also ordered the other day 2x 18" 6500k light bulbs for my marineland hood, my current one I think its rated around 4100k.
    Other possibility waste from pleco could have damaged it from the root? I have no fertilizer at the moment.
    I got Green Cabomba since June and Anacharis Elodea densa Egeria since May. plant.PNG

    Yes, I also plucked out all the dead plants. This picture is before I gave away pleco to LFS last Sunday.

    *I removed 6x 5gallon buckets of aquarium water so that 30 gallon total, also dosed each bucket with aquarium salt. This was last night.
    *Tomorrow going to get seachem flourish and check back the ammonia levels before I add flourish.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2017
  6. OP

    xapocValued MemberMember

    tested water last night, 2ppm, did another change about 45% + seachem prime and flourish
  7. OnTheFlyWell Known MemberMember

    I agree. I dose at 4ppm at least a few times during cycle and the plants don't care. Probably because ammonia/ammonium is plant food.
  8. OP

    xapocValued MemberMember

    I may just end up buying more plants, and get rid of all the ones that are in poor shape. Hopefully flourish will help them a little in recovery and the stronger bulbs I have coming next week.

    I also want to change my gravel one day to something more natural.
  9. OnTheFlyWell Known MemberMember

    Start with a few very easy plants. The plant thing takes a minute to figure out. I've killed plenty of them.
  10. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    I would try to figure out what's causing the deaths of these before potentially wasting money on more plants that might also suffer from the same issues.
  11. OP

    xapocValued MemberMember


    Tested water on Sunday, this time Ammonia was ~1.5. Did 50% water change, dosed with prime and 2ml of flourish, will check back on Tuesday.

    I also want to get pH control by API , since its around ~7.7, I'd like to lock it around 7 or less.

    Also installed new 6500k ligth bulbs.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  12. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    I wouldn't mess with your pH. It's fine for your fish and plants. Messing with it is a lot more harmful than leaving it where it is. A pH of 7 shouldn't be an ideal.
  13. OP

    xapocValued MemberMember

    Alright, thanks.
  14. OnTheFlyWell Known MemberMember

    It would create risk of trouble every time you do a water change, and no real benefit. Your 7.7 PH is a pretty good place to be. There are not many fish that can't thrive there.
  15. OP

    xapocValued MemberMember

    I think I know what is destroying my plants. Over a month ago I started using aquarium salt, I thought I read somewhere it would improve gill function and slime coat? Well today I found article how it can backfire affect plants. So there, my culprit.

    Looks like Im doing another water change tonight, ordering few plants, oh and did I mention 2 fish I got from LFS have ick ( not this nightmare again)
  16. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Yeah, aquarium salt is hardly every necessary, especially in healthy tanks.

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