Established Tank Ammonia Spike?!?

  1. nataliagx3 Member Member

    Hi so I have an established 29 gal tank. It's been established for almost a year now. Ever since having my tank fully cycled I've never had an ammonia spike before. I usually do weekly water changes and about 70% water change. I've done this since my tank was first cycled. This morning all my fish seemed fine but when I got home at night one of my fish was laying on its side and some of the others were sluggish. I took a water sample and and immediately did a 75% water change. When I tested my ammonia it was at about 1 maybe 1.5 ppm. 0 Nitrites. About 20 ppm Nitrates. Any suggestions or reasons why this could happen???
  2. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Were all your fish accounted for? Do you have snails or shrimp that might have died unnoticed? Maybe some that got into the filter? Have you looked in the filter to see if debris (food, poop, bodies) got caught in there?

  3. nataliagx3 Member Member

    Yes all my fish are accounted for.

    Not that I could see while it's running.. the flow of the filter actually does seem to be clogged water flow is kind of dripping. Should I rinse some media? Also most of my fish are better after water change last night the one that was already laying on its side died during the night
  4. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Yes, if water flow is impaired then you need to do some maintenance. If the water can't flow through the media then the wastes in it won't be eaten by the bacteria. What kind of filter?

  5. nataliagx3 Member Member

    I have an aquaclear 50 filter. So should I only clean some of the media? I have the sponge carbon and biomax in there I also have some crushed coral on the top.
  6. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    The sponge will almost certainly need to be rinsed and squeezed clean. The Biomax you just swish in the water. Carbon is supposed to be replaced every so often anyway.

    Don't forget to use old tank water or dechlorinated tap water for the cleaning!!!