Can Cholla wood cause an ammonia spike?

HenryC

I've had my 40 gallon breeder stable for the past year. A week ago I added several cholla wood peices to it, and during my routine parameter check I noticed my ammonia has a 2ppm and I even had a bit of nitrite (test kit barely detected it, but it is there.)


Did the cholla wood cause an ammonia spike? I boiled it for an hour before putting it here. Also, I decided to take them away and when I plucked them out of the substrate (had them vertically placed and buried about an inch on the substrate) bubbles came out of the substrate and wondered if those were ammonia pockets? I quickly dosed prime to neutralize the ammonia, and am currently doing a 50% water change.

Any suggestions guys? Thanks!
 

Blueberrybetta

I don't believe wood can cause ammonia but since you have nitrites , it seems like you're in a cycle. What is your current stocking?
 

H Farnsworth

How deep is the substrate
 

HenryC

I don't believe wood can cause ammonia but since you have nitrites , it seems like you're in a cycle. What is your current stocking?

I wonder is something happened to my bio filtration? Like crashing or something, for some reason.
It's a heavily planted 40 gallon breeder with:

Fluval 406 canister
Sponge filter +airpump
10 neon tetras
6 rummynose
6 cardinal tetras
6 Glowlight tetras
6 Black Neon tetras
6 Serpae tetras
8 Albino cories
3 juvenile angelfish (about quarter coin size)

Not sure if I'm overstocked, but I believe I am at 90% stocking according to aqadvisor (I know, not reliable, but I guess good starting point). I've never had any problems and do regular weekly water changes of 30-40%. I was blaming the cholla because this just happened now that I added it. I also added maracyn 2 weeks ago due to one cardenal fish seeming to have developed popeye (moved him to aquarantine but treated the tank just in case).

Anyways, just in case I'm gonna transfer some tetras to another 20 gallon tank that I have.

Also, I just did 50% water change, applied prime, removed the cholla and did maintenance on my canister (rinsed media in tank water, applied new polyfilter and more coarse sponge).

How deep is the substrate
About 3 inch substrate (intert).
 

wishuponafish

A piece of cholla wood crashed my ph in a 6 gallon from 7.6 to below 6 in a day, so while it wouldn't be as bad in a 40g, it could have crashed your cycle.
 

H Farnsworth

Could be ammonia bubbles coming from the bottom of the substrate
 

HenryC

A piece of cholla wood crashed my ph in a 6 gallon from 7.6 to below 6 in a day, so while it wouldn't be as bad in a 40 gallon, it could have crashed your cycle.
Hmm wonder if that happened, didn;t test for pH, will test today. I added about 7 peices though .


Could be ammonia bubbles coming from the bottom of the substrate
Could be, but when I buried the cholla, none came out, if there were ammonia pockets in the substrate, I guess they would've been released from the beginning right? They only got released after I removed the cholla. Plus I never get any ammonia bubbles when I do my weekly gravel vacs.

Ahh I hpe my fish are alright. I checked them this morning and they seemed to be ok. Hopefully they'll be ok when I come back from work. I moved more cycled sponge filters from my other tanks in case it is needed.
 

H Farnsworth

As far as I can tell spikes up to 2.0ppm kill already weakened fish in a day but you'd have to neglect the tank for several days for the healthy fish to die. Above 2.0ppm I have no experience but I'm confident its not what you want.
Long story short they will likely be fine when you get home just keep up on the water changes.
 

HenryC

As far as I can tell spikes up to 2.0ppm kill already weakened fish in a day but you'd have to neglect the tank for several days for the healthy fish to die. Above 2.0ppm I have no experience but I'm confident its not what you want.
Long story short they will likely be fine when you get home just keep up on the water changes.
This is really weird, I removed the cholla and did the water change, placed an extra sponge filter and I still get a reading of 2ppm. My fish seem ok, haven't lost a single one, not even a fragile neon, no red gills, nothing out of the ordinary, they eat, they breath normally. I'm puzzled! To make things weirder, the same test kit reads 0 ammonia on my other 3 tanks.

EDIT: ammonia is down a bit, mayhe 1.2-1.5ppm. Have no idea what happened to my tank, haven't done anything out of the ordinary that could crash my cycle other than add cholla.
 

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