Fish are on their way & ammonia has spiked!

Gianna123

Member
So I am not new to the fish world entirely, I do have freshwater tanks but recently I just got my first ever salt water tank. I have a 20gallon tank with live rock and live sand I believe it was called. I started my cycling process with Microbe-Lift Nite-out 2 Starter bacteria, and Microbe-Lift special blend water care. I read the instructions as follows and dosed my tank accordingly. I tested the water daily to constantly check the levels of everything. About a month later, I tested my water and it appeared to be cycled. Ph was at an 8.0, ammonia was at 0ppm, nitrite was at 0ppm and nitrate was at 10ppm. (I read that is was safe so I wasn’t worried) So I ordered 2 Ocellaris Clownfish as a starter fish because they are hardy fish and we’re easy to care for. Well the day before my fish are to arrive, my ammonia had spiked to 1.00ppm. What should I do??? They come tomorrow!!
 

Wouldratherwatchaquarium

Member
I'm not salt water knowledgeable but I'm guessing a large maybe 80% water change?

Check water and repeat with smaller % water changes daily.

Not sure what could of started the spike. Has anything died in there like coral or the rock cultures?
 

Dechi

Member
Did you use an ammonia source to cycle or just the Microbe lift ? Without an ammonia source, you’re not cycled and you’re going to have to do water changes until you are.

In any case with that level ammonia, you need to do a big water change before the fish get here. What caused the spike ?
 
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Gianna123

Member
Dechi said:
Did you use an ammonia source to cycle or just the Microbe lift ? Without an ammonia source, you’re not cycled and you’re going to have to do water changes until you are.

In any case with that level ammonia, you need to do a big water change before the fish get here. What caused the spike ?
Yes, I did ghost feeding. I don’t know what happened. My levels were looking good this whole week, so I ordered my fish and now my ammonia is out of wack
 

Dechi

Member
Gianna123 said:
Yes, I did ghost feeding. I don’t know what happened. My levels were looking good this whole week, so I ordered my fish and now my ammonia is out of wack
Ghost feeding isn’t as reliable as using Dr Tim’s ammonia or another such source.

You’re in for many water changes. Hopefully it’s just a brief set back.

eta : I just saw you used live rocks. You should have been cycled almost instantly. Did you vacuum the substrate or mess with the sponges or media ?
 

Jesterrace

Member
Live Rock generally cycles faster but it definitely won't cycle instantly unless you directly transfer it from one tank to another. The amount of time it takes to cycle all depends on how much of the bacteria, etc. dies off after it leaves the water.

@ the OP are you using RODI Water?
 

ZachG

Member
Gianna123 said:
So I am not new to the fish world entirely, I do have freshwater tanks but recently I just got my first ever salt water tank. I have a 20gallon tank with live rock and live sand I believe it was called. I started my cycling process with Microbe-Lift Nite-out 2 Starter bacteria, and Microbe-Lift special blend water care. I read the instructions as follows and dosed my tank accordingly. I tested the water daily to constantly check the levels of everything. About a month later, I tested my water and it appeared to be cycled. Ph was at an 8.0, ammonia was at 0ppm, nitrite was at 0ppm and nitrate was at 10ppm. (I read that is was safe so I wasn’t worried) So I ordered 2 Ocellaris Clownfish as a starter fish because they are hardy fish and we’re easy to care for. Well the day before my fish are to arrive, my ammonia had spiked to 1.00ppm. What should I do??? They come tomorrow!!
I also have never done salt water but I use seachem prime to detoxify the water
 

Jesterrace

Member
ZachG said:
I also have never done salt water but I use seachem prime to detoxify the water
It's a good solution for a small spike in a freshwater tank, but it is a heck of a gamble with marine fish with that high of a spike, particularly when it appears a cycle has just begun. I would only recommend that as a last resort in a saltwater tank, but given his circumstances it may come down to that if he can't find a temporary home for his fish.
 
  • Thread Starter

Gianna123

Member
Dechi said:
Ghost feeding isn’t as reliable as using Dr Tim’s ammonia or another such source.

You’re in for many water changes. Hopefully it’s just a brief set back.

eta : I just saw you used live rocks. You should have been cycled almost instantly. Did you vacuum the substrate or mess with the sponges or media ?
I didn’t mess with anything, I just let it do it’s thing and tested the water frequently :/ but I watched a lot of YouTube videos suggesting to do a 50-80% water change and use prime, so that’s what I’m going to try
 

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