Ammonia/nitrites rising, advice?

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Echostatic

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No, just spot cleaned the gravel with heavy buildup, where the food was sitting. I vacuumed maybe 1/5th of the gravel, and not all the way to the bottom glass. Maybe those were the spots that ended up holding the most bacteria...
 

Girlsbeforefish

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Im thinking you didnt clean up enough of the rotten food. Did you do any cleaning prior to the one you did before buying fish?

In the future if you plan on cycling with fish food, putting the fish food into a mesh sack or a panty hose and then into your tank will save you the trouble of cleaning up the food as you can just take out the sack of food.
 
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Echostatic

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Ya I'm wishing I had kept it all together. I did no cleaning before the one I did before buying fish. I didn't see any rotten food anywhere afterwards, it looked like the snails had eaten much of it before I cleaned.
 
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Echostatic

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ammonia 0 ppm
nitrites 2 ppm
nitrates 10 ppm

Nitrites haven't changed since yesterday. Gonna keep up the water changes... The dwarf gourami hasn't eaten this morning or now to my knowledge, it just keeps swimming all over the tank. It has eaten flake food before, but mostly ignored it today. It did follow a piece of algae wafer I dropped for my snails and shrimp, but it was too hard and dry to eat.
 
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Echostatic

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ammonia 0 ppm
nitrites .5 ppm
nitrates 5 ppm (so hard to tell sometimes)

It looks like my nitrites are finally dropping. The dwarf gourami was much calmer when I got home, and ate a flake of food, which is more than can be said for yesterday. It's gone back to swimming all over the glass now, though. I don't know what that's all about. Maybe it's just a little "odd".
 
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Echostatic

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ammonia .25 ppm
nitrites 0 ppm
nitrates 5 ppm

Awesome, as soon as the nitrites go back to normal, the ammonia starts rising again. I don't see how. I have no decomposing food lying around, I haven't added anything new except for a piece of cuttlebone yesterday... I'm baffled.
 

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Fish are constantly excreting waste plus the decomposing matter caught in your gravel and filter will also contribute to ammonia build up. Levels might fluctuate as the bacteria come back into balance. Just keep up the water changes, monitoring, and prime/amquel+ treatment and things should go back to normal soon enough.

-Bass master
 
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Echostatic

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Nitrites are FINALLY at 0, today and yesterday. Ammonia continues to hold at .25 ppm.
 

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Woohoo! I'm happy to hear that nitrites are finally at zero. Hopefully the ammonia will drop within the next few days. I have my fingers crossed
 
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Echostatic

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It's possible I was overfeeding. I read it's one of the most common mistakes to make, and was trying not to, but I think I still did. I was pretty good about flakes for the DG, but I wanted to make sure the snails and shrimp got enough food, so I was adding an algae wafer a day. Apparently they don't need that much. I've started adding 1/2 a wafer every 2 days, hopefully that'll do the trick.
 

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Half a wafer a day sounds like a better idea. Like you said, overfeeding is the number one mistake. It takes time to learn and gain experience
 
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I'm not sure if you misread, or are saying 1/2 a wafer a day is better than 1/2 a wafer every 2 days. (I don't want to underfeed either!) It'll be so nice when I don't have to add amquel plus every day >.>
 

James95

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Echostatic said:
I'm not sure if you misread, or are saying 1/2 a wafer a day is better than 1/2 a wafer every 2 days. (I don't want to underfeed either!) It'll be so nice when I don't have to add amquel plus every day >.>
I did misread. Good catch. How many shrimp and snails are you feeding? If it's only a couple, then every other day is probably enough. You could also switch to feeding 1/4 wafer per day.
 
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Echostatic

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Nitrites are still zeroed out, but ammonia has spiked to 1 ppm despite a 30% water change yesterday. I don't understand what could *possibly* be causing this. Between this and 0 ppm KH despite daily calcium carbonate additions, this tank is so confusing...
 
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