Ammonia spike

Discussion in 'Cloudy Aquarium Water' started by Kronic, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. KronicNew MemberMember

    Hey, my 40gal tank has crashed :( its been established for months, went away for a week leaving kids to feed the fish, I'm thinking they may have overfeed fish as tank started to look a little cloudy when I got back, i tested for ammonia and it was around 0.5ppm at most but ph has crashed to 6.0.. I did a 40% water change but 24 hours later the tank was very cloudy and ammonia was nearer 2ppm. I did another water change of 30% but the ammonia has still gone up.. Ph is stable again.

    I am using ammo lock..

    Question, should I be doing big water changes every day or 2 or standard weekly changes leaving tank to recycle again?

  2. Et tuValued MemberMember

    Oh the joys of overfeeding fish, hopefully with daily water changes the bio media can play catch up and rapidly multiply while you monitor the ammonia/nitrite.Any clue as to why the ph dropped, are you using water with very little buffering ( soft or ro )?

  3. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Agreed. I would suggest daily water changes until your readings are back to 0,0, under 20 (under 40 Nitrates not so bad).

    Too, once you finish the bottle of Ammo Lock, I would recommend switching to Prime Water Conditioner. More economical and it's like an all in one water conditioner:



  4. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    My guess is if your ph dropped to 6.0, this caused a lot of your beneficial bacteria to die off. What is your normal ph? What is your kh?

    I would pick up a bottle of prime or amquel Plus now to help keep your fish safe during this period. Ammolock will not protect from ammonia and nitrites. Both Prime and Amquel will protect up to about 1.0

    Would do back to back 50% water changes to get your ammonia down and then after that, if using Prime, when it gets over .5 would do 50% again.

  5. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    I have also heard of beneficial bacteria dying off if pH drops to 6 or lower. In addition to above suggestions, I would advise you to get a bottle of Seachem Stability to expedite the bacteria catch up. Stability can handle up to 3 ppm of ammonia without becoming ineffective.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  6. KronicNew MemberMember

    Hi, my ph is norm pretty stable around 6.8.. Can over feeding cause ammonia spike and ph crash? Im not sure what went wrong, nothing had changed other then maybe over feeding. Seems like bacteria may have been killed off other wise after the first water change and light vacume of substrate surface and filter the bacteria should have been catching up by now? Can heavy water changes of 50% kill off backteria?

    I use tap water with stress coat to remove any chlorine and heavy metals etc..

    To my understanding ammo lock is formulated to detixifie ammonia?

  7. Et tuValued MemberMember

    With lower ph ( below 7 ) ammonia is in a less or non toxic form so that bacteria that process ammonia are not as abundant. It may take a while for them to multiply, in ideal conditions something like doubling every 24/48 hours. It will happen... just may take a bit longer. Just be careful not to let the ph dip any lower. Over feeding can cause a ammonia spike that triggers the ph to crash due to the biological process nitrification.
  8. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    How did you clean your filter? did you throw anything out? Did you clean in dechlorinated or old tank water?

    The over feeding shouldn't have caused your ph crash, though could explain the ammonia. Yes, you're right, ammo lock would detoxify ammonia though it doesn't say anything about nitrites.

    PH that is unstable is due in general to low KH (carbonate hardness). If you're on public water you should be able to look this number up either as carbonate hardness or alkalinity with your water supplier. If you're on a private well it would be worth your while to get a KH test.

    Sent from my iPad using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  9. KronicNew MemberMember

    Hey, filter clean was very light rinse in tank water just to remove some of the waste etc.. Still unsure about daily 50% water changes or just detoxify the water and do standard water changes?

    Do large water changes kill off bacteria or are they safe to perform from time to time?

  10. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    No, large water changes won't kill off bacteria as most of it resides in your filter, then substrate and other surfaces of the tank.

    The thing to be careful about with large water changes is to make sure and match the ph between the tap and tank though. Make sure, no more than a net .5 difference.
  11. KronicNew MemberMember

    Hi, thanks for the responces.. I will continue larger more regular water changes till readings come right..

    Why do people only change 10 to 30% of water weekly when you could be changing 50% with out bacteria loss keeping water more pristine?

  12. Bijou88Well Known MemberMember

    I sometimes only change out 25-30% because I can leave my hobs running when I only take out that much. It just depends on what my nitrate reading is how much I change. I usually do 50% but some days I just don't have it in me to haul those extra 20 gallons of water and restart my filters.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  13. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    I think a lot of people do change out 50%. Probably depends on their ease of getting water to and from their aquariums :) If you have a python or other water changer then its easy. And also if you're not in a drought (like California).
    Also, those with more heavily planted tanks maintain pristine water with the "filtering" aspects of their plants.
  14. LiterallyHydroWell Known MemberMember

    The reason for doing smaller water changes really depends on the circumstances.

    Aqueon or Python water changers make the job much easier, so I usually do 50% water changes. In some areas, there's water a water shortage like in California, so they should try to preserve water while still maintaining a nitrate below 40ppm.

    If you don't have a Python or Aqueon water changer, going from 10-30% to 50% can be pretty drastic on a large aquarium. I don't think any of us like to haul around 5 gallon buckets getting the floor wet constantly.
  15. Bijou88Well Known MemberMember

    I use 10g trash cans to lug water from the bathroom to the living room, on a 40b, it gets exhausting very quickly.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  16. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    40B tank... $40
    Aqueon water changer 25ft... $50
    Not having to lug water buckets around on a weekly basis... Priceless!

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  17. Bijou88Well Known MemberMember

    Yeah, it's that pesky $50 I'm having problems with atm, had lots of unexpected expenses lately :/ at least I'm getting a workout, lol.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  18. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Lol funny you mention that, I'm at the gym right now and looking here in between sets...

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  19. GeoffWell Known MemberMember

    Oh geez. Really? Haha. Addict. ;)
  20. CindiLFishlore LegendMember

    I just bought this because I moved my tank to a new location, it will hold about 12 gallons of water. I use a pond pump to pump it up to the tank.
    Here are a couple of links:

    Suncast yard cart with wheels (priceless):

    This is the pump. I just attach a garden hose to it and it pumps it up from the cart into the tank :)

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