Ammonia Spikes


Piscesorkillerwhale

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I keep have ammonia spikes in my established tank. I had a JD and a pleco in and my water levels were great. I traded in my JD for a dwarf grommie and a rainbow fork tail. My water spiked to 2ppm i did a big water change it went to 1ppm i did another big water change the next day yesterday it was down to .5ppm and today it is climbing back up to 1ppm. What could be causing this?

I lost my grommie this morning.

I also added good bacteria during these big water changes.

26 gallon tank
Bio wheel 150
Api liquid test kit

1 pleco
1 forktail rainbow
 

Piscesorkillerwhale

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I hate to say this but one should never see an ammonia spike in an established tank.

How long has this tank been up and running? How did you cycle it? You say big water changes. How big and did you add a water conditioner each time?
Tanks been running over a month now. I seeded from a friends tank who no longer wanted hers. I got her entire filter system, 75% water, decor, and JD. I did about 75% water changes this thursday and friday.
 

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Tanks been running over a month now. I seeded from a friends tank who o long wanted hers. I got her entire filter system, 75% water, decor, and JD. I did about 75% water changes.
That should have been enough to cycle this tank. I know you are seeing ammonia...have you run all the other tests on both tank and tap water? We need those numbers to try to get to the bottom of this.
 

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That should have been enough to cycle this tank. I know you are seeing ammonia...have you run all the other tests on both tank and tap water? We need those numbers to try to get to the bottom of this.
My tap is zero for everything except ph. My tank is 7.0pH 1ppm ammonia 0 nitrite and just recently has dropped to 0 nitrate it was around 20
 

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My tap is zero for everything except ph. My tank is 7.0pH 1ppm ammonia 0 nitrite and just recently has dropped to 0 nitrate it was around 20
Well shoot. It sounds like something has happened to your cycle. I know you are lightly stocked but there should still be at least a low reading for nitrates.

Is this tank heavily planted? If so and with the 75% water changes it might be the reason for no nitrates.

Can you think of anything you have done lately to have had a mass kill off of bacteria. Maybe over cleaning the tank and the media? Our tanks are to one thing in our homes that we want to allow to get dirty.
 

Piscesorkillerwhale

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Well shoot. It sounds like something has happened to your cycle. I know you are lightly stocked but there should still be at least a low reading for nitrates.

Is this tank heavily planted? If so and with the 75% water changes it might be the reason for no nitrates.

Can you think of anything you have done lately to have had a mass kill off of bacteria. Maybe over cleaning the tank and the media? Our tanks are to one thing in our homes that we want to allow to get dirty.
Ive just had to do a lot of water changes since this tank started. The water i seeded was at over 600 in nitrate but the JD had been living like that for 2 years. But i havent changed or cleaned the filter i havent cleaned the decor i got with it. Just vacuum the gravel and water changes. I didnt do big ones for about 3 weeks when the water leveled off. All of this happened when i put those new fish in. No live plants in tank. I am buying some today though.
 

Piscesorkillerwhale

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Well shoot. It sounds like something has happened to your cycle. I know you are lightly stocked but there should still be at least a low reading for nitrates.

Is this tank heavily planted? If so and with the 75% water changes it might be the reason for no nitrates.

Can you think of anything you have done lately to have had a mass kill off of bacteria. Maybe over cleaning the tank and the media? Our tanks are to one thing in our homes that we want to allow to get dirty.
Should i stop doing water changes? I was going to do a 50% today. I found my fish dead within 30 minutes of it dying so i not too worried if i should leave the water go
 

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Ive just had to do a lot of water changes since this tank started. The water i seeded was at over 600 in nitrate but the JD had been living like that for 2 years. But i havent changed or cleaned the filter i havent cleaned the decor i got with it. Just vacuum the gravel and water changes. I didnt do big ones for about 3 weeks when the water leveled off. All of this happened when i put those new fish in. No live plants in tank. I am buying some today though.
I think I am coming in the middle of this. Am I understanding that this tank has been set up for a long time but had been neglected?

You say you haven't cleaned the filter. Is this a new filter or is it one that has been in the tank for years? If that is the case I would think it needs to be cleaned. Just be sure to do it with tank water or at least fresh dechlorinated water.

What water conditioner are you using. I highly recommend Prime as long as you are seeing ammonia readings.
 

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I think I am coming in the middle of this. Am I understanding that this tank has been set up for a long time but had been neglected?

You say you haven't cleaned the filter. Is this a new filter or is it one that has been in the tank for years? If that is the case I would think it needs to be cleaned. Just be sure to do it with tank water or at least fresh dechlorinated water.

What water conditioner are you using. I highly recommend Prime as long as you are seeing ammonia readings.
Jd was rescued from a highly neglected tank. I have the whole filter system all i cleaned on it was the intake i got the **** off that waas stuck and clogging the bottom. The new filter cartridge was put in 2 weeks before i moved to my tank. Im using api stress coat as my conditoner. I moved filter and some decor to my empty new tank. That was over a month ago though
 

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You cleaned the intake tube but did you clean the buildup inside the filter housing? What kind of filter is it? Is it a hang on back? What kind of filter media is in it?
No i didnt. Marineland bio wheel 150.

I added a sponge filter for up to 40gal. Got poly fill to shove behind my hob cartridge. Bought prime and stability.

I also added 7 live plants to my tank.

I did a 50% water change and totally redid my tank. I hope it balances out and stays that way now.
 

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Sounds like you are doing everything right. I am just wondering since you've not actually cleaned out the filter housing itself if there might be a build up of waste in there that might be messing with your numbers.

I clean mine out a couple of times a year.
 

Piscesorkillerwhale

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Sounds like you are doing everything right. I am just wondering since you've not actually cleaned out the filter housing itself if there might be a build up of waste in there that might be messing with your numbers.

I clean mine out a couple of times a year.
Once my sponge filter runs for 2 weeks or so i will give the hob a good rinsing. I checked my numbers tonight and my ammonia is .25 and nitrates are around 10.
 

Piscesorkillerwhale

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Sounds like you are doing everything right. I am just wondering since you've not actually cleaned out the filter housing itself if there might be a build up of waste in there that might be messing with your numbers.

I clean mine out a couple of times a year.
Ammonia is back up to .5 i have no idea why its climbing. 2 fish in a 26gal
 

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Once my sponge filter runs for 2 weeks or so i will give the hob a good rinsing. I checked my numbers tonight and my ammonia is .25 and nitrates are around 10.
Of course you can wait but as long as you don't use untreated water to clean it you shouldn't hurt it. It may not even be necessary. If you can look in there and not see a lot of built up waste it might not be adding to the rising ammonia levels. I was just throwing stuff out there trying to find what is causing the problem.
 

Piscesorkillerwhale

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Of course you can wait but as long as you don't use untreated water to clean it you shouldn't hurt it. It may not even be necessary. If you can look in there and not see a lot of built up waste it might not be adding to the rising ammonia levels. I was just throwing stuff out there trying to find what is causing the problem.
My fish seem okay for now. I think im not going to do any water changes this week and let it run. Ill keep testing the ammonia though. I added more prime to the tank. Maybe i didnt wait long enough to get an accurate reading?
 

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My fish seem okay for now. I think im not going to do any water changes this week and let it run. Ill keep testing the ammonia though. I added more prime to the tank. Maybe i didnt wait long enough to get an accurate reading?
If there is ammonia there it will still show up in the test. Prime doesn't remove it. It just makes it less toxic for the fish but still leaves it there to feed the cycle. As long as your ammonia reading is less that one Prime will detox it. As long as you are getting a low reading you can redose prime daily to protect your little guys.

If the ammonia goes up to one or above you need to do a water change to get it back below one and again add prime to detox what is left.
 




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