20 Gallon Tank Ammonia in cycled tank??

flopperfrog

my 20 gallon has been going for about 6 months now, i add some food every once in a while to feed the shrimps. a few days ago i added it two days in a row and a bit too much accidentally but i figured it was okay
yesterday a shrimp died and i tested the water. the ammonia was 0.25ppm, today i tested before i did a 40% water change, still 0.25, nitrite 0 and nitrate like 5. what is happening? i know the filter didnt dry out for sure. wouldnt there be enough BB to process the ammonia? why did a little bit more food cause a spike????
 

Dechi

Because there are only enough beneficial bacteria to feed on the bioload you currently have.

Adding extra food is like adding new fish. You must have added too much for your BB capacity. Just like throwing 10 pizzas for 3 people, there will be leftovers and it will take time to get rid of it.

This is a temporary setback, it will be better as soon as the ammonia gets taken care of by the BB.
 
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mattgirl

Adding more food than normal would have produced a bit more ammonia than the bacteria could take care of. If overfeeding one time causes this then I have to think your bacteria colony isn't as strong as it should be. By not feeding them regularly the ammonia normally produced is going to be low. The amount of ammonia produced determines the amount of bacteria there will be.
 
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flopperfrog

Adding more food than normal would have produced a bit more ammonia than the bacteria could take care of. If overfeeding one time causes this then I have to think your bacteria colony isn't as strong as it should be. By not feeding them regularly the ammonia normally produced is going to be low. The amount of ammonia produced determines the amount of bacteria there will be.
how should i make the bacteria stronger? my shrimp dont need very much food so i dont feed them a lot, so i think the bacteria colonies are very small
 
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mattgirl

how should i make the bacteria stronger? my shrimp dont need very much food so i dont feed them a lot, so i think the bacteria colonies are very small
I don't think you need to be concerned about growing more bacteria as long as you continue feeding them like you normally do. By feeding them more than normal there was more ammonia than normal and that is what caused the spike. The only way to grow more bacteria without causing a spike is to very gradually increase the amount of food you feed them.
 
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flopperfrog

I don't think you need to be concerned about growing more bacteria as long as you continue feeding them like you normally do. By feeding them more than normal there was more ammonia than normal and that is what caused the spike. The only way to grow more bacteria without causing a spike is to very gradually increase the amount of food you feed them.
ah, okay thanks
 
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