Ammonia spike-Definition

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by anz, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. anzValued MemberMember

    Hi everyone!
    I have a question related to the nitrogen cycle. When I read that during the nitrogen cycle, the ammonia in the tank will spike, what exactly does this mean? Does it mean that the ammonia will gradually increase over several days or weeks? Does it mean that the ammonia will increase rapidly, say overnight go from 0 ppm to 4 ppm? Does spike mean it hit a certain ppm, e.g. 4.0 ppm?
    Is the same definition of spike used when describing the nitrite and nitrate spike.
    Someone please explain exactly what this means and what I should be looking for. Thanks.
  2. Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    That is a very good question. Everyone uses the term, but it is really not defined. I would say that a ammonia or nitrite spike is the appearance of ammonia and nitrite where there used to be none.
  3. LucyModeratorModerator Member

    Hi anz, in relation to cycling the spike would be whatever the highest reading was before it started to drop.
    This number can vary depending on how you were cycling.

    The rate in which it spikes also depends on things like waste production of you're cycing with fish.
    Like your ammonia will go up faster with a high waste producing fish like a goldfish compared to a few neons.

    If you're cycling without fish using:
    Ammonia: It will spike right away because you added the ammonia.
    But, it will take time to decrease since you're waiting for bacteria to grow.

    Fish food or raw shrimp: It will go up slowly as the food or shrimp needs time to break down and create the ammonia.

    Hope that made sense :)
  4. anzValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the info.

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