Ammonia Spike

  • Zakhari
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Zakhari created the topic: Ammonia Spike

Hi, My tank was cycled but at the start of the week I noticed that the ammonia levels had risen to 1.0 but not sure why. I have immediately done a 50% water change and checked both filters were working ( which they are). The levels have dropped and I am monitoring with an API master test kit. I can only assume that I may have inadvertently been a bit too eager in my gravel clean and removed too much good bacteria. However I'm now concerned as my one LFS has told me doing such a large water change was wrong I I should do 10% max every other day. Which is the correct method and is there anything else which may have caused the tank to cycle again. It is a 160 gallon long tank with two oscars ( one about 4inch the other 6 inch) with two large cannister filters with UV. Both fish seem fine.

Thanks for your help.
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DRACO replied the topic: Ammonia Spike

how did you clean the gravel?
most good bacteria thrives in the filter.
perhaps, ammonia spike was triggered when you stir the gravel releasing the gas trapped in there.
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Zakhari replied the topic: Ammonia Spike

I did rearrange some of the gravel so that could have happened. Did I do the right thing in doing a 50% water change or should I have kept the change smaller as the Lfs suggested?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Ammonia Spike

Be wary taking advice from that particular lfs. They are 100% wrong. 10% every other day water change wont even keep nitrate under control, let alone lower it. You can change water 5x a day, total volume each time and not affect the bacteria, because as DRACO indicated its your filter bio media that holds the bacteria. Very minimal amounts cling to substrate and deco, maybe 5% of the total. Insignificant amounts. At your fish's size you should be doing a minimum once weekly large volume change, 75%ish. When the fish are adults, they will need same volume every 4-5 days. Are you using a conditioner/dechlorinator?


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Suprd71 replied the topic: Ammonia Spike

Another issue may be the thickness of your gravel. Large waste producers like Oscars need only enough to cover the bottom glass. Any more is just a crap trap and will indeed hold pockets of ammonia. A thorough substrate vac should be a part of every water change


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Zakhari replied the topic: Ammonia Spike

Thanks for the advice. I have 2 cm of gravel max on the bottom. I will continue to do the large water changes. I do use a dechlorinator when I do the changes.
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DRACO replied the topic: Ammonia Spike

Zakhari wrote: Thanks for the advice. I have 2 cm of gravel max on the bottom. I will continue to do the large water changes. I do use a dechlorinator when I do the changes.


how often do you vacuum the substrate? as stated, substrate could trapped ammonia gases and become source of ammonia spike when stirred... dechlorinator is to neutralize the chlorine ... nothing to do with high ammonia and nitrite...
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Zakhari replied the topic: Ammonia Spike

I tend to vacuum the gravel one a week. I've been testing the water daily and it is now back to normal. Fortunately my fish appear unaffected by it all.

Thanks for the help and advice.
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Shaun70 replied the topic: Ammonia Spike

Hi, when you carried out your maintenance, did you shut down your filters and for how long ?? It is possible to get a very small Mini Spike if they were down for a half an hour or more. In my tank, I have never had a spike from upsetting the substrate due to vacuuming, although my current substrate is very very course so this would tend not to trap any gas etc.
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DRACO replied the topic: Ammonia Spike

course substrate is not a guarantee of "no trap gas" under... but regular vacuuming is...
30 minutes off filter will not harm the bb in there unless you allow the media to dries up..
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