Where's the amonia spike? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-17-2012, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: New England
Posts: 51
Where's the amonia spike?

Hi all,

Been lurking for a couple of months learning a lot about freshwater nano tanks since I decided to buy the 6 gal fluval edge.

One of the things I've read about is the amonia spike that is expected during the first cycle. I'm on my 5th week and still no spike. I decided to cycle it with fish so I got 3 glo danio to help cycle. After 3 weeks, I purchased a small algae eater and after 4 weeks, I thres 3 ghost shrimp in also. I have three live plants, Japanese moss ball.

I've been doing 2 gal water changes each weekend and testing the water just prior. All tests have been in the normal range after 5 weeks. My amonia reading for the last 2 weeks has been a steady .25

Fish seem healthy & happy.

So, should I expect the amonia to spike? Am I changing water too often? Your thoughts?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-17-2012, 03:37 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Texarkana, TX
Posts: 77
Hmmm. The Fluval Edge has a built in filter right? You should not be reading any ammonia.

Ammonia even at low levels can be harmful to fish, and kill off less hardy species. I would say that you only need to do 15% water changes once a week, which I guess is close to what you're doing now.

Is the filtration working alright? You're not using any chemical agents are you?

Sometimes complete cycling can take a bit longer, but yours should be complete and you should not be reading any ammonia if the bacteria colonies are well established.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-17-2012, 04:02 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,116
There doesn't have to be a spike, The amount of ammonia in the tank is only ever going to be high as the source of the ammonia; left over food, dying plants, fish poop, dead fish, adding ammonia, etc. By doing water changes and not a huge bioload, you are never going to hit 8ppm or something. The problem is have any ammonia at all after 5 weeks. Ammonia should be gone by then and you should be testing for nitrites and nitrates to see how the cycle is truly going. Are you treating your water before water changes?

The chart shows what it should look like if you weren't changing water, starting with a fresh filter and had a constant large source of ammonia in the water.

20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

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