Weird spikes!

  1. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    So I've had my tank going for about 3 weeks or so. It's a 10 gallon planted and the stocking is,
    1 Betta
    3 Amano Shrimp
    2 Nerite Snails.

    I thought it was starting to settle into a cycle but last couple days I've gotten ammonia build up to 1ppm even though I did water change every other day. The readings were like
    Am-1 Ni-.25 Na-0
    And then today my reading was
    Am-2 Ni-2 Na-0
    I'm not sure if I should do something or just continue with my habit of a water change every other day, and using Prime every 24 hours, letting nature take its course and eventually they'll drop into a Nitrate spike? I've never gotten a nitrate reading before. For a while I had
    All 0s, which was why I thought it was cycled. I thought maybe I just had a small bioload and the plants were devouring the nitrates. To me, it looks like this means it's just still cycling and the end of this spike should mark the cycling of my tank.

    Thank you for any feedback!!!
     
  2. omordn Member Member

    If you've never seen any nitrate readings in your tank then your tank was never cycled. An established tank will have some nitrate readings, preferably between 5 ppm ~ 20 ppm.

    Continue doing your water changes so that the ammonia is not toxic for your betta and invetebrates. Prime will help for up to 1ppm of ammonia for 24 hours.
     

  3. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    Thanks! Figured this would be the plan.
     
  4. omordn Member Member

    You're welcome. Keep us posted on your progress.

    I also forgot to mention that since your ammonia is at 2.0 ppm right now, try to do as much of a water change as you can so that you can lower it to 0 ppm if possible. If not, try to aim for 0.25 ppm.

    Then, test your water again in 24 hours. Be mindful as well as to how much you are feeding your betta (try not to overfeed).
     

  5. el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    How large are your water changes? Is the ph of 7.6 from your profile correct? If so, I would do a couple of large water changes of at least 50% back to back to get that ammonia down asap since the ammonia at 2 is highly toxic to your fish. Prime is not going to detox that amt and it won't just go down on its own.

    Have you tested your tap for ammonia? Have you at any point rinsed your filter media under tap water or replaced it all? Wondering if that is why you've never seen nitrates.
     
  6. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    Nope, only rinse filter cartridge in tank water during water change if it's looking particularly gunked up. Ph is correct though I just put a piece of driftwood in there so I expect it to slowly drop a little. My tap water has .25 ammonia.

    I'll do the water changes now.
     
  7. el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    You'll have to do daily water changes to cycle this tank or pick up a bacteria supplement like Tetra SafeStart Plus or Seachem Stability to help cycle it faster. But first you want to get that ammonia down as close to 0 as possible. :)
     

  8. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    I do have stability! I stopped using it after about 2 weeks. I'll start using it again! Got my ammonia back down to .25 for now. I'll keep you posted, thanks!
     
  9. omordn Member Member

    I'd listen to el337, she's helped me with a few cycles of my own. :)
     
  10. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    today ammonia is 1 and nitrites shot up to 5, looks like the ammonia is definitely processing very well, next, NITRATES. Still 0 right now.

    Water changes, awaaaay!
     

  11. el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    Good idea. :)
     
  12. axel Well Known Member Member

    when i cycle my first tank, i try using SEACHEM stability...and within 1-3 days there nitrite and nitrate spike..on the 5th day my tank is cycled
     
  13. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    I think it may have had something to do with my bioload? For a long time I had just a Betta in the whole 10 gallon, WITH plants. Now that I've added shrimp and snails I'm seeing spikes, which I never got before. Perhaps that has something to do with why my tank didn't cycle before? Anyways, next tank I do I'll probably do a fishless cycle and use ammonia to keep the ammonia high so that the bacteria has a lot to eat.
     
  14. axel Well Known Member Member

    it might,your bioload seems small..SEACHEM stability increase ammonia nitrite and nitrate in my tank..my nitrtite and nitrate spikes about 2ppm and 40 ppm(sign of cycle almost finish...my cories and neon have to suffer for 1 week including me (i did water change everyday)...in my opinion,since your tank is planted,if u got increase in nitrate reading it will cycled soon enough..also did you use soil for your tank?im not sure if shrimp and snail have anything to do with that (not experience with those)..
     
  15. el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    While they do produce waste, I don't think they would cause that high of an ammonia spike since their bioload really is negligible compared to the betta. Perhaps you're overfeeding and possibly dead plant matter that's contributing to the rising ammonia?
     
  16. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    It could be dead plant matter or something, I try not to feed too much. I put a piece of zucchini for shrimp but don't leave it long enough to rot, and I feed the Betta a small amount every other day.
     
  17. axel Well Known Member Member

    maybe your soil leach ammonia?
     
  18. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    I'm not sure if the substrate is leaching anything. It's brand new, thoroughly rinsed before being put in.

    Today's reading,
    Am-.25 Ni-2 Na-5
    Nitrates! All going according to plan.
    el337
    Should I do a water change today or wait for the rest of the nitrites to turn to nitrate?
     
  19. el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    Yes I would do a couple of large water changes since your nitrites are still high.
     
  20. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    Will do!