Ammonia Spike After Power Outage

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by ClearEyes, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. ClearEyes

    ClearEyesWell Known MemberMember

    Yesterday morning, I woke up at 8 AM, saw my power was out, and immediately ran to my fish tank, scooped some tank water into a bucket and put my filter cartridge into it to keep it wet. I have no idea how long the power was out...I had gone to bed the night before at 3 AM, and I still had power at the time. Power came back on around 9:30 AM. So...max, 6 or so hour outage.

    Anyway, I put the filter back in, let it run for a couple of hours before doing my weekly 25% water change.

    This afternoon, I tested the water. .50 ppm ammonia, higher than I've ever seen in my tank before! I just did a 50% water change about an hour ago. Just tested it again and it's back to 0 ammonia again. Nitrites and Nitrates same as usual (0 and 20).

    Did a few hours of power outage really spike ammonia that much? Or did I do something wrong in dealing with it?
  2. Butterfly

    ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    As long as the filter has water in it I would leave it on the tank. We frequently have power outages so I do a large water change after one as a matter of course.

  3. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    If that ever happens again, I recommend putting the filter media directly into the aquarium. This way the bacteria will come into contact with at least some ammonia & nitrites helping to keep those levels lower and also helping to keep the bacteria fed.
  4. Nympxzie

    NympxzieValued MemberMember

    If you are ever gone or asleep when an outtage occurs just test your tanks when you get back (like you did).

    If the weather is ever terrible and I'm at work I call my home phone a few times ever couple hours to make sure the power didn't go out. That way if it does I can make an excuse to get home and float my filter media.

    I think the outage spiked your ammonia, sounds like you handled it properly.
  5. leftswerve

    leftswerveWell Known MemberMember

    The water didn't move, so the tank couldn't work on dissipating the ammonia, as soon as movement started again, it was able to work on it.