Question Tank Finally Cycled - Ammonia Spike After Adding Fish

RiffRanger

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I finally got my tank cycled (2ppm of Dr. Tim’s dropped to zero within 24 hours - fishless cycle) and did a 90% water change to clean out the nitrates. They still read over 20ppm so I did another ~25% change which got them down under 5. I went to the LPS and they recommended I get three marigold wag Platys to start. I added them on Saturday afternoon. All tests were good yesterday. 0 ammonia and nitrites, 5 nitrates. I tested again today (24 hours later) and ammonia had risen to .25, nitrites still 0, and nitrates up to 10. It’s very low so I’m not overly concerned just yet but it took me three months to cycle the tank and I’d really hate for it to have been a waste. The fish seem fine - no signs of distress - but I dosed some Ammo Lock to be safe. Is it normal to have a small ammonia spike like this? I’ll test again tonight and in the morning to make sure it’s not rising more.
 

DuaneV

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Totally normal. You added fish that produce waste. Itll happen every time you add new fish (thats why its recommended to add only a few small ones at a time and only once every 2-3 weeks to stock the tank) but if your tank IS cycled, it'll clear itself up. Test it again tomorrow and see what happens.
 

Skavatar

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when cycling a tank, only enough bacteria grow to nitrify the amount of ammonia you put in. if your new bioload exceeds that then you'll get a spike in ammonia
 

mattgirl

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Personally I would put the ammo-lock way back in the back corner of your supply cabinet or better yet I would toss it in the trash can and get a bottle of Prime. Prime is first and foremost a water conditioner but has the added benefit of detoxing low amounts of ammonia but still leaving it available as food for your bacteria.

I could be way off base here but I have read of too many folks having ammonia problems while using the product. I think it locks up the ammonia thus making it unuseable for the ammonia eating bacteria. It binds it up and just keeps the numbers rising because the bacteria can't use it..
 
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