Will a whole sheet of api root tabs cause an ammonia spike in my 60 gallon cube?

ZeroSum
Member
I used a whole sheet of api root tabs in a 60 gallon cube 24x24x24 and now im haveing crazy ammonia and nitrate spikes even though im doing 50% water changes and just changed my filter media, the week before the filter maintinence i did a water change and ran chlorinated water in my tank before using prime on the tank, but i also used a sheet of api root tabs because i miss read the size per tab in the tanks substrate. Plus some may have not been deep enough. Ive heard rumors that root tabs can cause this problem for a myriad of reasons?
 
Dechi
Member
For sure fertilizers will cause nitrates to rise. Now that you’ve added so much (I don’t know what a sheet is but it seems a lot), it’s even worse.

I’ve never heard of fertilizers causing ammonia spike though.

I would find a way to remove the roots tabs completely and wait maybe a week or two before you add a reasonable amount.
 
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ZeroSum
Member
Dechi said:
For sure fertilizers will cause nitrates to rise. Now that you’ve added so much (I don’t know what a sheet is but it seems a lot), it’s even worse.

I’ve never heard of fertilizers causing ammonia spike though.

I would find a way to remove the roots tabs completely and wait maybe a week or two before you add a reasonable amount.
The whole sheet was about 15 Tabs or so of api freshwater root tabs and they dissolved way to quick to remove. And funny yoy should mention nitrites because when i first did a water change I disturbed the substrate a bit and the next few days the tank was cloudy and nitrites and nitrates where sky high. Then they dropped to 0 ppm each. Then a week if 0, 0, 0 and now ammonia is suoer high and ive had to do water changes to bring it down. Dont know where or who to go to for helo on the matter because im not entirely shure of what the problem is, i also while cleaning had forgot to unplugg the filter and I cycled chlorinated water through the filter. Wasnt to sure if i killed my filter bacteria or now ti many root tabs -_- .
 
Dechi
Member
ZeroSum said:
And funny yoy should mention nitrites because when i first did a water change I disturbed the substrate a bit and the next few days the tank was cloudy and nitrites and nitrates where sky high
I was talking about nitrates, not nitrites.

I’m really confused about what the problem is. Can you test your water and post your exact results for each test ? A picture is best.

By disturbing the substrate, if you had never done it in a long time, you might have killed some BB that lived in it, causing an ammonia spike. But usually this resolves fast, as the BB living in the filter will quickly take over.

But yeah, please post your test results. Then we can help.
 
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ZeroSum
Member
Dechi said:
I was talking about nitrates, not nitrites.

I’m really confused about what the problem is. Can you test your water and post your exact results for each test ? A picture is best.

By disturbing the substrate, if you had never done it in a long time, you might have killed some BB that lived in it, causing an ammonia spike. But usually this resolves fast, as the BB living in the filter will quickly take over.

But yeah, please post your test results. Then we can help.
This is my water test for today. What happend was about two weeks ago i did a monthly water change(my parameters since cycling my tank where 0,0,0 and my corys clean up so i figured i can ease back on water changes) and i forgot to unplug my filter, my tap water which i filled with is chlorinated and usually ill treat the tank with prime before filling and then alittle more when filled, before i plug my filter back in. The day after this when i checked parameters my nitrates and nitrites where super HIGH. Like 2.0 ppm nitrites and 40ppm nitrates. I treated with prime and api quickstart thinking i nuked my bacteria in my tank with chlorinated water. After i treated it the paramters dropped to 0 again and stayed that way. A week later of 0 readings my ammonia spikes to 2.0ppm and everything else has been 0 until today. Now i did a 50% water change yesterday and my ammonia after was .25-.50ppm today its back between 1.0-2.0ppm and my nitrites are up -_-. Im super worried about my fish. Should also mention ph has stayed constand at 7.0 this whole time. And my tank temp is a constant 78°
 
Chanyi
Member
ZeroSum said:
now im haveing crazy ammonia and nitrate spikes even though im doing 50% water changes and just changed my filter media, the week before the filter maintinence i did a water change and ran chlorinated water in my tank before using prime on the tank,
Did you changed your filter media completely?
You ran chlorinated water in the tank prior to adding Prime?
Was the tank cycled / how old is the tank?

Those tabs are mostly inert filler material and contain very little nitrogen, so it was not the tabs that are causing your parameters to spike.
 
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ZeroSum
Member
Chanyi said:
Did you changed your filter media completely?
You ran chlorinated water in the tank prior to adding Prime?
Was the tank cycled / how old is the tank?

Those tabs are mostly inert filler material and contain very little nitrogen, so it was not the tabs that are causing your parameters to spike.
No Chanyi i only changed the white floss pads and the carbon. I did the filter a week after i did the water change. I washed the bio balls and ceramic rings with clean tank water then replaced the carbon bags. Before i refilled the tank again i added another half dose of api quickstart and a half dose of prime.( i take out about 5 gallons of tank water to wash so i replace it with a too off. Thr bucket i use it strictly for water changes and is used for nothing else)
Chanyi said:
Did you changed your filter media completely?
You ran chlorinated water in the tank prior to adding Prime?
Was the tank cycled / how old is the tank?

Those tabs are mostly inert filler material and contain very little nitrogen, so it was not the tabs that are causing your parameters to spike.
Sorry forgot other pertinant info. The tank is about 3 months old and it was cycled after about two weeks. Used marineland biospira to help get a jump on it and tested daily until all parameters dropped to 0. And i never change all my media completely. The black pads in the bottomr stage of my marineland 360c cannister says to not change those more than once every 6 months. White pads and carbon are monthly. Ceramic rings and bio balls are only if theyre gunked up or broken and even then no more than 1/3 of thr total media can be changed at a time otherwise bye bye good bacteria
 
Chanyi
Member
Okay, so it's likely a small, mini cycle caused by cleaning the filter / disturbing the bacteria / disturbing organics in the system.

It's not from the root tabs.
 
Dechi
Member
I agree roots tabs aren’t the cause, except for elevated nitrates.

Manufacturers want you to change filter pads, carbon and bio rings because they want to make money.

First, carbon is not needed except in very specific situations, such as removing meds from the water, or chemicals, or bad smell, etc. And when it’s done, you remove it. Filter pads don’t need to be changed unless they are falling apart and no longer usable. Bio rings can be used for life. And don’t need rinsing, really, except if they are completely covered in mush.

I think you are overdoing it with the cleaning and replacement of filter media. And that caused a decrease of BB and a mini-spike.

When maintaining your filter, remember : less is better.

For now keep testing and doing your WC until your BB colony repairs itself. And no more cleaning. :)
 
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ZeroSum
Member
How often should i do the filter then if not monthly? Bi monthly perhaps? And thank you both for all your help!
 
Dechi
Member
ZeroSum said:
How often should i do the filter then if not monthly? Bi monthly perhaps? And thank you both for all your help!
Monthly should be okay. Maybe you’re just cleaning it too much. In fact it’s not really cleaning, more gentle rinsing.

You did vacuum the substrate also if I remember correctly. This could have been the cause of it as well. Either you vacuum regularly (at least once every 4 weeks), or you don’t. Or, you could vacuum very lightly once in a while. The problem is if you go in very deep in the substrate and haven’t done it in a very long time. This is likely to cause an ammonia spike.

So in your case, probably a little bit of both conditions were met to cause the spike.
 
Chanyi
Member
When we say "clean the filter" we really mean remove all the free floating organic material in the mechanical media (sponges) and gently rinse off any biomedia in old tank water to free up more surface area the organic material is plugging up.

The only thing that should be replaced or replenished are filter floss / chemical media like Purigen if you are using that.
 
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ZeroSum
Member
Chanyi said:
When we say "clean the filter" we really mean remove all the free floating organic material in the mechanical media (sponges) and gently rinse off any biomedia in old tank water to free up more surface area the organic material is plugging up.

The only thing that should be replaced or replenished are filter floss / chemical media like Purigen if you are using that.
Dechi, thank you. It might be good to say i have fine black sand for substrate so i dont go deep i just vaccum over it to get stuff sitting on top. Usually its plant material, sincr i feed every other day usually by next feeding the bottom will be about 100% clean of food. Rotting plant matter is mabey the most prevelent thing. I thank both you chanyi and dechi for your help! Ive been mulling over what the cause could be and how to prevent it again. I figured since my tap water is alittle chlorinated and i ran my filter the whole time i refilled the tank and because i didnt use prime their was mabey a good 15 min of the filter cycling the new tank water with chlorine and my marineland 360c magnum cycles the tank every 12 min or so..... since its 360gph and my tank is a 60gallon cube. I rinse with tank water when i change the media. Im glad I can do alittle less on filter maintinence the bioballs and ceramic rings have only ever been alittle dirty, in any case ill grab a clean glass and scoop tank water from my bucket qnd gentle rinse everything over a kiddy pool i set up in my living room to catch water lol. Thank you both again greatly!
 
Chanyi
Member
ZeroSum said:
It might be good to say i have fine black sand for substrate so i dont go deep i just vaccum over it to get stuff sitting on top. Usually its plant material, sincr i feed every other day usually by next feeding the bottom will be about 100% clean of food. Rotting plant matter is mabey the most prevelent thing.
Yes, it's best to try and remove all the dead plant tissue any chance you get.
 
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