Ammonia Spike

Goghtherosetail

Member
hey all! I had a quick question regarding water parameters.

I just picked up the API freshwater master test kit because I've been using the test strips and was unsure if the strips were accurate. I noticed on both the strip and the glass vial for the ammonia it read 0.5 ppm. is this ammonia spike the beginning of the nitrogen cycle? this is my first tank I've ever done and I am doing a fish in cycle with my betta. I dosed my tank for 7 days ( 9/7-9/14) with Seachem Stability and only add 1.25 ml to my 5 gallon during a weekly water change. how do I curb this ammonia spike so it isn't harmful to my betta but I can allow the nitrogen cycle to take its course? do I need any ammonia lock products or should I do more water changes?
thank you so much in advance, I absolutely appreciate it ♡

water parameters:
pH: 6
ammonia: ~ 0.5 ppm
nitrite: 0 ppm
nitrate: 0 ppm
 

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Shambhalaubie

Member
I personally do not like the testing strips, not usually the most accurate. The master testing kit was definitely a good purchase!

I could be wrong but your nitrite looks to be 0.25 ppm based on the photo, which explains the heightened ammonia. Nitrites occuring in the aquarium is a part of the cycle, bacteria then convert the nitrite into nitrate, thereby rendering it mostly harmless.

The simplest first step in preventing nitrite build-up is to feed sparingly, especially because you have such a small aquarium - it's easier to control your water parameters with a larger aquarium. Secondly, carry out a partial water change (not exceeding 20% of the total volume) with fresh, conditioned water. You could also get some Seachem Prime and dose with that, which will detoxify the ammonia temporarily, while you complete the cycle.

Hopefully some of this helps, I'm sure someone else with more experience can correct me if I'm wrong or chime in with more advice.
 

mattgirl

Member
Goghtherosetail said:
hey all! I had a quick question regarding water parameters.

I just picked up the API freshwater master test kit because I've been using the test strips and was unsure if the strips were accurate. I noticed on both the strip and the glass vial for the ammonia it read 0.5 ppm. is this ammonia spike the beginning of the nitrogen cycle? this is my first tank I've ever done and I am doing a fish in cycle with my betta. I dosed my tank for 7 days ( 9/7-9/14) with Seachem Stability and only add 1.25 ml to my 5 gallon during a weekly water change. how do I curb this ammonia spike so it isn't harmful to my betta but I can allow the nitrogen cycle to take its course? do I need any ammonia lock products or should I do more water changes?
thank you so much in advance, I absolutely appreciate it ♡

water parameters:
pH: 6
ammonia: ~ 0.5 ppm
nitrite: 0 ppm
nitrate: 0 ppm
Right now with the pH being that low the ammonia you are seeing isn't as harmful to your little guy. The problem is the ammonia will just keep going up because bacteria isn't going to grow to eat it with the pH this low.

Run the all the tests on your tap water or whatever water you are using in this tank. If the pH is higher in that water than it is in the tank water changes will get and hopefully keep the pH up to at least 7.

The only product I recommend for detoxing the ammonia is Seachem Prime. It is first and foremost a water conditioner designed to remove chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals but it goes one step farther and detoxes low levels of ammonia. Keep in mind, it doesn't lock it up like some products and it doesn't remove it so if it is there it will still show up in your test tube. It wll just be in a safer form.

Fresh clean water is the very best thing you can add to this tank. First I would find out why the pH is so low and find a way to get and keep it up to no less than 7. I can help you with that if necessary.

Get and keep the ammonia level down as low as possible with water changes. Your first priority when doing a fish in cycle it the health and safety of the fish. The cycle is secondary. To be perfectly honest having a fully cycled tank is more for our benefit than for the fish. A fully cycled tank can go longer between water changes but if we will keep on top of the water changes it won't matter if this small tank never cycles. Water changes will do what the bacteria does.

With just the one little fish in this tank if you will commit to changing out half the water every week or more often should the ammonia spike it won't matter if this tank never actually cycles. If you have live plants in the tank they will also help remove the small amount of ammonia your one little guy is going to produce.
 
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