Accidentally Added To Much Ammonia

TamiR

Valued Member
Messages
126
Reaction score
68
Points
38
Location
Parrish, FL
Experience
Just started
Hello, I am cycing my 5 gal tank. I am on Day 25. On Day 17,I had to restart my cycle with TSS as it had stalled (I did a water change and then restarted). I believe it stalled because I had added too much ammonia. Anyway, its been progressing well since the restart...this morning my readings were Am-.25 Nitrite-5.0 Nitrate between 10 and 20ppm (hard to tell the difference between the colors). I have been bumping the ammonia back up to 1.0 (initially started with 2.0 and was told to only add half once nitrites start showing). So this morning, after those readings I went to add my 3 drops to get it back to 1.0 and accidentally added a couple extra drops (apparently I squoze the bulb a little harder than usual). I just tested the water and the ammonia is between 1.0 and 2.0 (again, hard to tell between colors, but it is definitely not higher than 2.0). Will this be ok or am I about to stall the cycle again?? I will scream if this will kill the bb I have going!!! Thanx in advance!
 

FrostedFlakes

Well Known Member
Messages
939
Reaction score
550
Points
138
Experience
2 years
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
OP
TamiR

TamiR

Valued Member
Messages
126
Reaction score
68
Points
38
Location
Parrish, FL
Experience
Just started
2 ppm ammonia isn’t gonna stall a cycle. Don’t worry about it.
Thank you..that makes me feel better!!

https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/will-the-good-bacteria-die-at-high-ammonia-levels.97638/#post-1102139 Here is a good thread. I say you definitely don't have to worry. If it is only a littler over 2 ppm you're good. There is a way of cycling that requires 12 ppm and so on. How do you know your cycle stalled? Cycling really does take a while, after 17 days I wouldn't expect immense progress, if that is what lead you on.
Thank you!
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
OP
TamiR

TamiR

Valued Member
Messages
126
Reaction score
68
Points
38
Location
Parrish, FL
Experience
Just started
Thank you!
Oh I am sorry, I didnt notice you had asked me a question in there. The reason I thought my cycle had stalled was because I started the cycle with TSS and pretty much immediately I was getting nitrite and nitrate readings. What I think I did wrong was I kept adding the ammonia right back up to 2.0 instead of letting it drop down to.25 or 0 (so far I have never had the ammonia fully drop to 0, but I also have a good sized colony of bladder snails in the tank making waste all the time so I figure .25 might be as low as I get at the moment). I also accidentally added the ammonia to 4.0 and after that I wasnt getting any more nitrite readings at all and my nitrate readings did not budge off 5.0. The ammonia was going down gradually and no other readings were changing..so I assumed the cycle stalled. Once I did the water change and added the rest of the TSS...I was back to getting nitrite readings (again, almost immediately) and now my nitrite and nitrate readings are increasing daily.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore VIP
Messages
8,451
Reaction score
7,057
Points
608
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
Oh I am sorry, I didnt notice you had asked me a question in there. The reason I thought my cycle had stalled was because I started the cycle with TSS and pretty much immediately I was getting nitrite and nitrate readings. What I think I did wrong was I kept adding the ammonia right back up to 2.0 instead of letting it drop down to.25 or 0 (so far I have never had the ammonia fully drop to 0, but I also have a good sized colony of bladder snails in the tank making waste all the time so I figure .25 might be as low as I get at the moment). I also accidentally added the ammonia to 4.0 and after that I wasnt getting any more nitrite readings at all and my nitrate readings did not budge off 5.0. The ammonia was going down gradually and no other readings were changing..so I assumed the cycle stalled. Once I did the water change and added the rest of the TSS...I was back to getting nitrite readings (again, almost immediately) and now my nitrite and nitrate readings are increasing daily.
Don't be alarmed and think something is wrong when your nitrites start going down as your nitrates rise. That is what you want to happen. The cycle will be complete when it will process the ammonia you add back down to 0/.25 and you no longer see nitrites. Adding a bit too much ammonia is not going to hurt your cycle. It will just grow more of the bacteria you are trying to grow.

It is possible that your tank was doing exactly what it was supposed to be doing when your were no longer registering nitrites at one point. It is also possible that your nitrates were also so high the test for them defaulted back to 5. The water change lowered them and jump started the cycle.

Lots of folks that use the API master test kit report never seeing a true 0 reading for ammonia so if you continue seeing .25 just add more ammonia each time it gets down to that level.

what are your nitrite and nitrate levels right now?
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
OP
TamiR

TamiR

Valued Member
Messages
126
Reaction score
68
Points
38
Location
Parrish, FL
Experience
Just started
Don't be alarmed and think something is wrong when your nitrites start going down as your nitrates rise. That is what you want to happen. The cycle will be complete when it will process the ammonia you add back down to 0/.25 and you no longer see nitrites. Adding a bit too much ammonia is not going to hurt your cycle. It will just grow more of the bacteria you are trying to grow.

It is possible that your tank was doing exactly what it was supposed to be doing when your were no longer registering nitrites at one point. It is also possible that your nitrates were also so high the test for them defaulted back to 5. The water change lowered them and jump started the cycle.

Lots of folks that use the API master test kit report never seeing a true 0 reading for ammonia so if you continue seeing .25 just add more ammonia each time it gets down to that level.

what are your nitrite and nitrate levels right now?
When I tested this morning my nitrites were at 5.0 and my nitrates were between 10 and 20 (I couldnt tell a difference between the colors) my ammonia at that point was at .25
 

mattgirl

Fishlore VIP
Messages
8,451
Reaction score
7,057
Points
608
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
When I tested this morning my nitrites were at 5.0 and my nitrates were between 10 and 20 (I couldnt tell a difference between the colors) my ammonia at that point was at .25
I think if this were my tank I would do a 50% water change to try to get the nitrites down. If it is the darkest purple it is possible that your nitrites are well beyond 5. As long as you add a water conditioner to the water you are replacing if you have chlorine/chloramines in your source water and temp match it a water change will help speed this cycle along.

After the water change add enough ammonia to get it up to 2.0. If it goes back to .25 in 24 hours we know your cycle is working toward completion. You don't need to add ammonia every day. Every other day will be enough. In other words add 2ppm ammonia every 48 hours.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
OP
TamiR

TamiR

Valued Member
Messages
126
Reaction score
68
Points
38
Location
Parrish, FL
Experience
Just started
I think if this were my tank I would do a 50% water change to try to get the nitrites down. If it is the darkest purple it is possible that your nitrites are well beyond 5. As long as you add a water conditioner to the water you are replacing if you have chlorine/chloramines in your source water and temp match it a water change will help speed this cycle along.

After the water change add enough ammonia to get it up to 2.0. If it goes back to .25 in 24 hours we know your cycle is working toward completion. You don't need to add ammonia every day. Every other day will be enough. In other words add 2ppm ammonia every 48 hours.
The nitrites wont process into nitrates?
 

mattgirl

Fishlore VIP
Messages
8,451
Reaction score
7,057
Points
608
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
The nitrites wont process into nitrates?
Eventually but water changes will help you along. We know you have the ammonia eating bacteria because you have nitrites and we know you have the nitrite eating bacteria because you have nitrates. Water changes will help balance them out and help the cycle along.

You can just let it be and eventually it should balance but why wait if you can give them a helping hand.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
OP
TamiR

TamiR

Valued Member
Messages
126
Reaction score
68
Points
38
Location
Parrish, FL
Experience
Just started
Eventually but water changes will help you along. We know you have the ammonia eating bacteria because you have nitrites and we know you have the nitrite eating bacteria because you have nitrates. Water changes will help balance them out and help the cycle along.

You can just let it be and eventually it should balance but why wait if you can give them a helping hand.
Ok thank you so much for the advice...I will do that. I thought I had to wait for the nitrites to come down and nitrates to go up more..if doing a water change will speed that along I am happy to do it!
 

mattgirl

Fishlore VIP
Messages
8,451
Reaction score
7,057
Points
608
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
Ok thank you so much for the advice...I will do that. I thought I had to wait for the nitrites to come down and nitrates to go up more..if doing a water change will speed that along I am happy to do it!
You are so very welcome.

Lots of folks think water changes aren't necessary when doing a fishless cycle but they are. Not as many as would be needed when doing a fish in cycle but still help even when no lives are at stake.

Lots of time cycles stall without a water change. Things get so far out of balance the cycle struggles to finish up. More than once someone has come here and can't get their cycle to finish up. A big water change or two jump starts the process and most of the time they discover that their cycle is actually done but was so far out of balance it stalled.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
OP
TamiR

TamiR

Valued Member
Messages
126
Reaction score
68
Points
38
Location
Parrish, FL
Experience
Just started
You are so very welcome.

Lots of folks think water changes aren't necessary when doing a fishless cycle but they are. Not as many as would be needed when doing a fish in cycle but still help even when no lives are at stake.

Lots of time cycles stall without a water change. Things get so far out of balance the cycle struggles to finish up. More than once someone has come here and can't get their cycle to finish up. A big water change or two jump starts the process and most of the time they discover that their cycle is actually done but was so far out of balance it stalled.
So I did the 50% water change yesterday as you suggested...after the water change my readings were Am-1.0-2.0 (looked in between the colors), Nitrite-2.0....I tested today and my readings are Am-.50, Nitrite-5.0, Nitrate-10...should I do another water change or leave it be a day or two at this point?
 

mattgirl

Fishlore VIP
Messages
8,451
Reaction score
7,057
Points
608
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
So I did the 50% water change yesterday as you suggested...after the water change my readings were Am-1.0-2.0 (looked in between the colors), Nitrite-2.0....I tested today and my readings are Am-.50, Nitrite-5.0, Nitrate-10...should I do another water change or leave it be a day or two at this point?
I would just leave it for a day or two. The fresh water should help the cycle along. I had actually forgotten that you still have a snail in there. I don't think you need to add any extra ammonia at this point. The snail should add enough to finish up this cycle.

There won't be a big colony of bacteria with just the bio-load of one snail but it should be enough to finish up the cycle.
 

Morpheus1967

Well Known Member
Messages
920
Reaction score
710
Points
103
Location
Northfield, OH
Experience
5 to 10 years
I would just leave it for a day or two. The fresh water should help the cycle along. I had actually forgotten that you still have a snail in there. I don't think you need to add any extra ammonia at this point. The snail should add enough to finish up this cycle.

There won't be a big colony of bacteria with just the bio-load of one snail but it should be enough to finish up the cycle.
She said a good sized colony of snails, so I definitely agree no more ammonia needs to be added.
 

mattgirl

Fishlore VIP
Messages
8,451
Reaction score
7,057
Points
608
Location
Closer to Heaven every day but for now-Arkansas
Experience
More than 10 years
She said a good sized colony of snails, so I definitely agree no more ammonia needs to be added.
I read and reply to way too many threads. I should have taken the time to read back through this thread to refresh my memory. It was another tank that had just one snail.

I guess snails do add to the bio-load but just going by what is happening in my 2.5 gallon snail jar I have to think they don't produce a LOT of ammonia. This jar has no filter but does have an airstone and several well rooted Pothos cuttings growing out the top of it. There are lots of snails, both bladder and ramshorn in it. It never has had an ammonia reading. I check it every couple of weeks just to stay on top of it.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
OP
TamiR

TamiR

Valued Member
Messages
126
Reaction score
68
Points
38
Location
Parrish, FL
Experience
Just started
I would just leave it for a day or two. The fresh water should help the cycle along. I had actually forgotten that you still have a snail in there. I don't think you need to add any extra ammonia at this point. The snail should add enough to finish up this cycle.

There won't be a big colony of bacteria with just the bio-load of one snail but it should be enough to finish up the cycle.
Ok so leave it go and do not add any more ammonia at this point? And yes, I have a colony of bladder snails in there.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom