amonia back up after nitrite spike

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by nikol, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. nikolNew MemberMember

    Can you help me? My aquarium can not cycle! I bought it on november 5th (almost two months ago). I had amonia spike , then the amonia started going down from 4 to 1, I went trough nitrite spike( I lost two fish during the nitrite spike) and now the nitrite are back to 0 -for more then a week. I test the water every day. The nitrate are at 0 but the amonia is back uo to 4 . So high amonia , no nitrite and nitrate. The ph is very law - 6 - this is the ph of my tap water too. I heart that law ph can kill all benefitiery bacteria. What can I do? I use only stress coat when I do water changes - 2,3 times a week.

    I forgot to say that my fish tank is 26 gl. Please if you have any idea what is going on with my tank, help me. I read everything about cycling aquarium and I don't understand why is the amonia rising if I already had high nitrites and they went back to 0.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2012
  2. shelliecaValued MemberMember

    Low Ph can crash a tank. If your tap is that low you will need to up your Ph which typically is not recommended but is necessary in some cases. Crushed coral in a mesh bag put into the filter will up it. If you can't put it in the filter you can use a veggie clip to hang it in the tank near the filter. Start with a small amount of crushed coral, test 24 hrs later, if ph isn't high enough, add a little more. You don't want to overdo it so up it slowly. Someone else may correct something I've said or have a different option.

  3. pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    I think that your low pH is causing a stall in the cycle. With such a low pH in your tap water you will need to buffer your water with some crushed coral to help raise the KH of the water to help stabilize the pH of it. This will also raise the pH slightly which will cause the cycle of the tank to complete.

    When the Nitrogen cycle happens after ammonia it turns to nitrite, in this area alot of the alkalinity (KH) is taken out of the water by the bacteria, this in turn lowers the pH. When the nitrite is converted to nitrate the alkalinity is released by the bacteria and the buffering ability of the water returns. In MOST cases there isnt an issue as there is enough KH in the water to not notice much of a difference durring this time. However with such a low starting point you will need to help things along a bit so that you can get a completed cycle.

  4. nikolNew MemberMember

    Thank you. I will try the crushed coral and let you know if it works. Are the sea shells ok too?

  5. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Hi nikol, welcome to FishLore!

    I recently had a pH crash that killed my cycled (after almost 5 years) and had to but a bag of crushed coral. Of course the only bag they had was a 15 pound bag! If you live near me, I'll give you some.
  6. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to the forum.

    As your tank has been running for about 2 months, I have to ask if you've done any filter maintenance during this time? Cleaned or replaced any media?

    With a fish in cycle you really should be doing daily water changes. This will help to keep the hardness elevated in a cycling tank. I too deal with very soft, low pH water. It can be a struggle, but the cycle will complete. Adding seashells to your tank is another way to help the carbonate.

    I also recommend increasing the volume of water being changed. With fish in the tank ammonia and nitrite should never be allowed to rise above 1 PPM. I recommend, for the safety of your fish, that you do a very large water change, 75% or larger. And as soon as the tank is filled immediately turn around and repeat this process. This drastic action is necessary to reduce the ammonia to avoid burning the fish and causing more death.

    Best of luck cycling your tank! It usually takes 8 weeks, often longer when dealing with soft water.
  7. nikolNew MemberMember

    I made the mistake to rinse the filter with tab water the thirth week after I set up the tank and to cycle the aquarium with fish in it. I guess I made a lot of mistakes. I haven't tuched the filter since then until today. I found a white mold in the filter this morning and I rinsed it in the bucket with tank water. I have no more hope that this aquarium will ever cycle.

    Does everyone think that the problem is from the law PH. Because somehow the amonia turned into nitrite and then the nitrite went back to 0. So there was some bacteria to turn the amonia to nitrite. I just don't understand . It is too complicated for me.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2012
  8. shelliecaValued MemberMember

    What test kit are you using? Low Ph can & will cause cycling problems. Why your parameters are bouncing back & forth I can't say for certain. How often are you testing & is it the same time of day each time?
  9. nikolNew MemberMember

    I use API master kit. I test every day but it is not the same time of the day.
  10. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    That makes a lot of sense!!!

    Your tank was cycling, but when the filter was rinsed in tap water you lost ground. Definitely rinse the filter media lightly in a bucket of tank water when needed. Don't beat yourself up over this. I think every one of us has made that mistake. Some of us more than others!!

    As your cycle is progressing I would continue to dose the ammonia and monitor it. My tanks run under 6.4 in pH and have no issue with the cycle. But, it did take some extra time to get them cycled. Sorry the conflicting advice is causing confusion. We all have had different experiences with this hobby and each of us have a different bag of tricks that works for us. You have to decide how you will proceed to cycle, and care, for your tank.

    If this were my tank, I would continue with daily water changes. Your fish need the fresh water to survive during this stressful period. And, I would test the water parameters just before each water change. Also, some of the test kits need to be thoroughly mixed, and sometimes even beaten against a hard surface, to get accurate test results. Make sure each reagent is mixed and beaten for at least a minute. Then, wait the amount of time.

    You will be able to cycle your tank. It is this lesson in patience that tries every one of us! If you survive this first lesson, then the rest is downhill :)
  11. nikolNew MemberMember

    Thank you so much. I just put some crushed shells from the beach in the filter(I leave on an island and there is no place that sells crushed coral-I ordered it online but it will come in a week). I boiled the shells first, I hope it will help my PH problem untill I get the coral.
  12. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    You are welcome. Those shells may be all you need! They will do the same thing that crushed coral will.
  13. nikolNew MemberMember

    Hi ,my aquarium is finally cycled thanks to your advices. I raised the ph and the cycling process completed. I have another problem now and I hope that you will be able to help me. I was away for 3 days and a friend of mine fed my fish. When I came back my tank had a lot of brown algae in it. Do you have any idea what happened and how can I get rid of it. My friend have fish so I am sure he didn't overfed them. He also turned the light on in the morning and off at night. I read that the brown algae has something to do with the lighting , if it wasn't enough lighting. I will appreciate any advice. Thank you
  14. escapayWell Known MemberMember

    Any chance you can get a photo?

    It might be diatoms, which happens to many.
  15. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    It sounds like Diatoms (also know as brown algae). It is very common for a newly cycled tank to have a diatom outbreak, While unsightly, it is totally harmless and will clear up on it's own eventually (could be a couple of weeks, could be months). Unlike green algae which grows more when light is present, diatoms grow better in the dark, so don't start limiting lights on time in an effort to get rid of them.
  16. nikolNew MemberMember

    thanks again

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice