What would cause a rise in ammonia?

heifetz17

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I have a 60 gallon with 4 fantail goldfish and a Whisper ex70 filter. It's fully cycled and has been up and running for a little over a month now with perfect water parameters (0,0,10-20).

Just within the last few days I've noticed the ammonia level rising to 1 every 24 hours, so right now I'm doing daily 25% water changes to keep it under control. I've reduced their feedings to 1-2 sinking granules per fish per day with no change. The water is crystal clear, has 0 nitrites, and only about 5 nitrates with all the water changes I'm doing.

I would add a large bottle of TSS, but I use Prime for my water changes, so after waiting the required 24 hours, my ammonia would be right back up to 1ppm.

Any ideas?


 

Dom90

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You can use Seachem Stability. It works as much as 3 ppm of ammonia and since you already have fish in there. With TSS, you can't do water change for 2 weeks, another flaw. With Stability, it doesn't matter.


 

DanB80TTS

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You didnt do a filter cleaning or anything right before you noticed the rise in ammonia? You sound like you know to clean using tank water only.

Strange for a cycled aquarium to suddenly show ammonia like that unless the bioload had suddenly increased of the beneficial bacteria had decreased for some reason.
 

Bijou88

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Do you have any plants or anything that could be breaking down?

I also like stability. There is some debate about whether or not you need to wait a certain amount of time after adding conditioner before using it (like you would with TSS), I haven't waited personally and it worked pretty well for me.

 

felix

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Death fish, some times I give cucumber to my pleco and if I forget to take it out in time it starts to rot.

 
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heifetz17

heifetz17

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Thanks guys. I did rinse the filters a few weeks ago in old tank water while doing a water change, but other than that nothing else. I've vacuumed the gravel and there's nothing that could be rotting and causing it. Does rinsing the filters kill off bacteria?

I have to run to petsmart today because I'm just about out of prime, so I'll pick up some stability as well.


 

CindiL

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Rinsing your filters in tank water or dechlorinated tap will not hurt your beneficial bacteria in a well established tank, i.e., I thoroughly rinse my filters weekly, but in a new cycle sometimes an aggressive cleaning will give you a bump. It should catch back up. It also helps if you have more than one filter and then clean them on different days. Can't go wrong with more filtration with four goldies.

And yeah, stability is a good idea for where you're at.
 

Dom90

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Bijou88 said:
Do you have any plants or anything that could be breaking down?

I also like stability. There is some debate about whether or not you need to wait a certain amount of time after adding conditioner before using it (like you would with TSS), I haven't waited personally and it worked pretty well for me.
I emailed Seachem support once asking about that. They said you can use Stability as soon as 30 minutes after using a water conditioner such as Prime.


 
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heifetz17

heifetz17

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Ok cool. I cleaned both filter pads at once so maybe that's what caused it. Maybe I'll pick up another ex70 and have more filtration, too. Thanks!


 

Bijou88

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Dom90 said:
I emailed Seachem support once asking about that. They said you can use Stability as soon as 30 minutes after using a water conditioner such as Prime.
30 minutes is about how long I waited.

 

Et tu

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All of the above posters gave some excellent advise, will add that a tank isn't fully stable until it's been up and running with out issues for at least 3 months. You might look into adding more bio filtration via a canister or hob aquaclear stuffed with bio media.
 

Dom90

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To the OP, what filter(s) are you running again?
 

Dom90

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Your filter is underrated for 60 gallons, you should have at least 480-600 GPH.


 
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heifetz17

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According to the research I've done, the filter should put out 4-5 times the tank capacity, so for a 60 gallon, 240-300 gph should do. My whisper does 340. You're saying I need up to 10 times the capacity of my tank?

I can certainly get another ex70 if need be.


 

Dom90

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Yes, ask anybody on this forum. Recommended is 8-10x for HOBs or 5-6 for canisters.


 
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heifetz17

heifetz17

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Ok I'll pick up another ex70. Will that work, or do I need to replace my current filter with a higher rated one?


 

Dom90

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I would recommend an AquaClear HOB, much better brand than Tetra.


 

Et tu

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Dom90 said:
I would recommend an AquaClear HOB, much better brand than Tetra.
I agree 100% with the aquaclear. Keep the whisper on it also.
 

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