Ammonia Spikes Each Week!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Swheaty, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. Swheaty

    SwheatyNew MemberMember

    Alright, so, each week for about a month now (since my melafix disaster!) has been causing ammonia spikes EACH WEEK! It's very annoying. My tank is 6.5 gallons and I have one betta fish, Duck.
    My parameters last week were:
    0 nitrite
    0 nitrate (is my tank even cycled?)
    4 ppm ammonia
    7.4 pH

    I did a 75% water change and cleaned EVERYTHING out. With the tank water. And cleaned the filter, all of it, with tank water, until it was between 0-.25 ppm and then it was such a hard time telling what the ammonia was that I figured it was not that harmful and I could check it soon. I did a few days later and it seemed stable.

    This week, my parameters are:
    0 nitrite
    0 nitrate
    1-2 ppm ammonia
    7.4 pH

    My ammonia is down to .25 but I'm not sure what else to do. I use seachem prime.

    There's a few ideas I have my mind wrapped around so far.
    Could I be adding the water with the seachem prime in it too early and the chlorine is killing off my good bacteria? is my tank re-cycling after a melafix disaster where I had to basically start over? Or is it because I have no live plants in my tank? I have live driftwood and I tried to see if that was rotting but it wasn't. I'm not sure which it could be.
  2. jaymethy

    jaymethyValued MemberMember


    So by deep cleaning your whole tank, filter and all, you are actually killing off the good bacteria that you want. So basically, you are accidentally causing your tank to cycle every week.

    I'd suggest getting a bottled bacteria, my suggestion would be seachem stability. And add that at double the direction for a week. Continue monitoring ammonia and nitrate/nitrite through this time. Any time there is presence of any of them, add seachem prime at double the directed dose. If the ammonia reaches above 1ppm, do enough of a water change to get the ammonia below 1ppm. For example, if you have 2ppm ammonia, do a 50% WC, if you have 3ppm ammonia then a 75% WC.
    Another option you could take is to get tetra safestart, and follow the directions on that to cycle your tank.

    Keep doing this without ever cleaning out your filter, even if it takes months. The filter is where the good bacteria is growing, and you do not want to disturb that.
  3. mattgirl

    mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    @jaymethy gave you some very good advice.

    I just wanted to add...

    Prime instantly neutralizes the chlorine so if you add the prime to the water before pouring it in the tank then the chlorine is gone and not a problem.
  4. OP

    SwheatyNew MemberMember

    I'm not taking out all of the tank water and I'm not harshly cleaning my filter. I've read that u can lightly rinse the filters with the tank water and it will be ok, which is what i've been doing, since I know not to try to harm my filter's. Is that's wrong someone can correct me since theres apparently a bunch of bad information everywhere, it makes fish keeping really hard. i'll get that seachem stability.
    (As a side note, I have only rinsed off the filters once since I've had them (for about a month or two)
  5. SFGiantsGuy

    SFGiantsGuyWell Known MemberMember

    Stability works very rapidly and works like a charm. Helped me out a LOT about 2 weeks ago. : ) And also, keep in mind that you can't really overdose on Stability, so don't worry too much about that.
  6. jaymethy

    jaymethyValued MemberMember

    Ok, you seem to be alright with rinsing the filter then. I still wouldn't advise it until you are completely cycled though, as a precaution against ruining the cycle (because cycling is such a pain).
    And I know what you mean about the bad information everywhere, with fishkeeping, you ask 10 people and get 11 opinions...
    Hopefully the stability will help! Or maybe someone else has a clue what is going on.
  7. SFGiantsGuy

    SFGiantsGuyWell Known MemberMember

    I always listen/read/watch Aquarium Co-O'ps YouTube videos and such. Cory, the store's owner is an absolute elite, professional and virtual genius when it comes to anything having to do with tanks etc. I'm a pro too, but he's light years ahead of me, to be completely honest. 5 stars. A+.
  8. sfsamm

    sfsammWell Known MemberMember

    I would vent earlier a guess that the Melafix disaster nuked your cycle. I'm not sure what happened but it does appear that you're cycling again. Keep up with Prime and when Ammonia reaches 1ppm do a 50% water change. You can dose prime daily (sounds like you already knew that) to detox the Ammonia in the tank so it doesn't hurt your betta. And add Stability daily with your prime and after water changes. Should be back in business in a couple weeks.