(HELP) Ammonia spike in cycled tank

GoldenToaster3300
Member
Tank
What is the water volume of the tank?
7 gallons
How long has the tank been running?
3-4 years
Does it have a filter?
Yes.
Does it have a heater?
No I live in a tropical country.
What is the water temperature?
80 degrees fahrenheit
What is the entire stocking of this tank?
3 dwarf puffers
2 Amano shrimp
? Bladder snails

Maintenance
How often do you change the water?
One to two times a week
How much of the water do you change?
50%
What do you use to treat your water?
API StressCoat+
API QuickStart
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
Both.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
Yes
What do you use to test the water?
API liquid tests
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia:
0.25ppm
Nitrite: 0.25ppm (I didn't check the ammonia is bad enough)
Nitrate: 20ppm (usually as mentioned I only tested ammonia
pH: 7

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish?
Twice a day
How much do you feed your fish?
10 or so grindal worms, one or two snails
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
Live foods only, no branding.
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?
Nope

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
6 days
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
Yesterday
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
Fish breathing heavily at surface, basically ammonia poisening
Have you started any treatment for the illness?
Yes
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
One of them is rather skinny and probably has parasites but none of this is related or the current problem
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
All three fish are breathing heavily at the surface.

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)
I first done a water change 2 days ago. The next day I did a water test after noticing the weakest puffer was breathing heavily at the surface and found 0.25 ppm ammonia. I immediately did a 50% water change. I tested immediately after the water change but the ammonia level was still at 0.25 ppm. I at the time assumed it would take a while for the ammonia to dissipate. The fish seemed to be more active which placated me. I believe that spike happened because I did not add any API QuickStart the previous day. The next day, I cleaned the jar where I was rasing snails and found an extraordinary amount of waste and decided to dispose of the water. However, before I did, I used a pipette to suck up as many snail eggs as I could, transferring much of the dirty waste water, probably filled with ammonia, into the main tank. I immediately noticed a ammonia spike and did a third water change, but the levels of ammonia did not go down. I am beginning to suspect that I did not add sufficient dechlorinator before pouring the water into the tank, killing all of my nitrifying bacteria. Now all three fish are sickly and breathing hard from the surface. Please help!
 
  • Moderator
jdhef
Moderator
Member
Welcome to FishLore!

When I hear someone say that they had .25ppm ammonia, did a 50% water change and still have .25 ammonia, I think...I wonder if their tap water has .25ppm ammonia in it. So for a start I'd say, test your tap water for ammonia.
 
Dechi
Member
Either that or you misread the test and had 0.50 ppm, not 0.25 ppm.
 
jtjgg
Member
do you have Seachem Prime?

what filter do you have and what filter media is in it? a 7g seems small even for 3 dwarf puffers. i would assume its a small filter as well.
 
  • Thread Starter
GoldenToaster3300
Member
jtjgg said:
do you have Seachem Prime?

what filter do you have and what filter media is in it? a 7g seems small even for 3 dwarf puffers. i would assume its a small filter as well.
I managed to sort everything out by myself. I temporarily moved them to my sister's 2.5 gallon betta tank and cleaned out debris on the filter so it can run faster. I put them back, it has been 24 hours and they're still eating and not sick or anything. Filter runs 96 gallons an hour FYI.
jdhef said:
Welcome to FishLore!

When I hear someone say that they had .25ppm ammonia, did a 50% water change and still have .25 ammonia, I think...I wonder if their tap water has .25ppm ammonia in it. So for a start I'd say, test your tap water for ammonia.
Nope, there's no ammonia no nitrites, nothing.
 

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