Disturbing the substrate - ammonia

johnt11

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I did the first vacuum of my tank yesterday (2 months old) which resulted in a 25% PWC.

Just tested my water and the ammonia levels are at 0.25. My ammonia level is usually flat 0. Nitrites is 0 and nitrates are within the acceptable range.

Could this ammonia spike be due to the substrate being disturbed?

Is it something to worry about?
 
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johnt11

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I have never checked but I have also never had much of an ammonia reading since about two weeks in despite doing regular water changes.

Will test the tap water.
 

el337

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If you haven't vacuumed your substrate in 2 months, the ammonia may have been from that. I would stick with regular vacs during your water changes and also rinse your filter media in old tank water or in dechlorinated tap water to dislodge any excess gunk. After doing this, test to see if the ammonia goes away.
 

el337

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What do your nitrates get to weekly before a scheduled water change? I can't imagine that you should be doing less than 50% weekly w/ gravel vacs considering the bioload you have (if your profile is accurate).
 
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johnt11

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They never get that high. 10ppm is high for me.

The pleco I have is timy
 
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el337

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I wouldn't do less than 30% weekly.

Your rainbow shark isn't suitable for your tank size and neither is your pleco especially if it's a common pleco.
 
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johnt11

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It's a marbled pleco (according to others on here) and surely it's ok until it gets bigger?

I agree the shark is an issue but that was down to lack of experience and research. Learning from my mistakes.
 
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el337

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I would start looking to rehome them now since bigger fish are harder to rehome later.
 
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johnt11

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I think I am going to try but not sure how easy it will be. Might go back to the place I got them.

Wish I had come on here before I bought them. Wanted something to assist with the algae.
 

el337

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I think I am going to try but not sure how easy it will be. Might go back to the place I got them.

Wish I had come on here before I bought them. Wanted something to assist with the algae.
Most LFS take them with or without a credit/refund. If not, you could look up your local aquarium club.

We've all been there as far as getting fish and then realizing afterwards that they don't work with our setup. You could always get some amano shrimp and/or nerite snails as they produce very little bioload. They're excellent at eating brown algae if that's what you have.
 
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johnt11

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The shark is going back to the shop tomorrow. The pleco is staying. For now. Shop owner says I can take him back whenever. Currently inch and a half/two inches.
 
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