Ammonia spike.

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by Airth, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. Airth

    AirthValued MemberMember

    Last couple of days I noticed my ammonia spiked. My tank has been cycled for about a month or so.

    I've been doing 50% PWC starting yesterday when I noticed the ammonia. Before wc it reads .25 and after it still reads .25. -.-
    Other readings are as follows:
    Nitrite: 0ppm
    Nitrates: 0ppm*
    pH: 7.4
    Slightly alkaline and hard water.

    None of my other tanks are having problems so it's not the water or the test kit. I use API master kit (*also have yet to get a nitrate reading on anything. . . maybe I'm not smacking the bottles hard enough?).

    Head count checks out with 3 mollies, 5 cherry barbs (was going to up them to 8 on Tuesday but not happening until I get the water resolved), 4 adf, 2 mysteries, and about 10 or so ghost shrimp.

    Tank is planted and my filter is a tetra whisper 40i. I'm planning on putting a sponge filter in there too in the near future.

    The only thing that's changed lately is I trimmed my hornwort and removed the trimmings to try and get them to grow faster via natural sun light. I've put them back today in hopes it'll help.

    No one seems stressed or otherwise bothered by the ammonia; no prolonged gasping at the surface, no lethargy, no pink gills, no loss of appetite, etc.

    Aside from the daily 50% water changes, I've also cut back on feeding. Today is also their fasting day.

    What else, if anything, can I do to get the ammonia levels back to zero?
  2. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    What size tank? Are any of the inhabitants recent additions over the past week?

    And you're getting nitrate readings on your other tanks? I'd try re-testing your nitrates and really banging that #2 bottle really hard against the counter.
  3. OP

    AirthValued MemberMember

    29 gallon tank. I added 2 of the mollies and the 2 snails last Tuesday and water params were safe Wednesday - Friday.

    No nitrates on any of my tanks at all. I've tried banging the bottle but maybe not hard enough. I'll try again. Thank you. =)

    Retested everything on the 29 tank and took pics of results. The ammonia tube on the left is from today's earlier test, the one on the right is from just now.

    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  4. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    It's possible the ammonia spikes are now showing because of the addition of the 2 mollies which are pretty high waste producers. The above reading looks like 1ppm ammonia to me. I'd do at least a 50% water change today. Do you use Prime? If so, I'd dose that daily til your BB catches up and then do a water change any time ammonia creeps up to 1 again.

    The zero nitrates on your tanks are a bit concerning. Are you heavily planted? Are you rinsing your media under tap water or replacing them at all?
  5. OP

    AirthValued MemberMember

    I knew they were fairly large waste producers but I didn't think it would spike that much. I'll watch better for that in future.

    I rinse them in tank water when I do my changes only. When I have to replace them, I leave some of the old floss in with the new cartridge to make sure the cycle doesn't crash. They're due to be changed this coming Wednesday, as they're starting to fall apart, which is my usual day for water changes.

    None of the stores in my area have Prime on the shelves when I've looked for it so I'm stuck with water changes. I'll see if I can find another ammonia remover/ detoxifier of some type. Until then, I'll be keeping up with the daily 50 % water changes.

    I know my tanks have nitrate in them. I tried test strips (as inaccurate as they are) and get readings of about 10 ppm. There can't be that big of a difference in readings, can there?

    I banged the #2 bottle for about 5 minutes on the table with cap up and down before testing. to me it looks like there is a slight orange tinge on that tube. . . it doesn't look as yellow as previous tests anyway. Maybe wishful thinking on my part.

    Think I will try a 75% change tomorrow since the 50% changes don't appear to be helping much.
  6. el337

    el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Sounds like a good plan. Maybe you have expired or faulty nitrate bottles?
  7. OP

    AirthValued MemberMember

    Not expired. Just got this test kit last month and all bottles say they expire in 2020. Maybe faulty though.

    Everyone's still looking alright so far so I'm going to continue with the WCs and try not to worry or stress too much.

    Thank you for the advice and help el337. =) Still very much learning about the hobby.

    Finally managed to get ammonia down to .50ppm from 1ppm. I did lose a frog but everyone else is looking ok and acting normally. Hoping it doesn't take yet another week of 50% WCs to get it to 0 again. ._.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  8. Lady Monster

    Lady MonsterWell Known MemberMember

    Yea i have 3 adults and 1fry, they just eat and poop! All day! I gave them deshelled pea and they pooped a lot more lol. Every time i see them.... Poop! they make a lot of mess. I do up to 50% water change twice a week since its a new aquarium (well it's about 3 weeks old).
  9. OP

    AirthValued MemberMember

    lol I knew they were messy but didn't think it would mess up my cycle. Luckily my ammonia is back to normal and my nitrites spiked and dropped to zero again within a day. Everyone's doing good and seem to have not been bothered by the spikes. =)

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