Ammonia Spike - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-20-2012, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Great Britain
Posts: 14
Ammonia Spike

Hello all,
My Ammonia has shot up to 0.25ppm which has sadly caused 2 of my guppies to die before I could realise it increased. I'm definitely not over feeding and there is only 8 full grown Guppies -I do also have fry in the tank but their impossible to count properly!
I'm wondering could I need to replace my filter sponges? I got given the filter by a friend of mine around 4 months ago. I have no idea when he last changed them, still waiting to hear back from him.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-20-2012, 01:36 PM
Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
Do not change media. Clean and reuse. There are a lot of beneficial bacteria living on the sponges, and pretty much all the surfaces in the filter and in the tank. Clean the sponges in water that has been removed from the tank for a water change.

Do as thorough a vacuum as you can, removing as much fallen debris as possible. Do more water changes, and make sure the dechlorinator will lock up ammonia.

For a few days, quit feeding.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-20-2012, 01:37 PM
Planted Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 288
I wouldn't touch the filters, you'll be throwing away any bacteria that you have potentially making the spikes worse. .25 isn't lethal for most fish particularly if your PH is low. What test kit are you using? What size tank and what fish do you have? Had you made any changes to the tank (removing anything, adding fish, etc)? I'm assuming the parameters were stable prior to this? Perhaps a fish died and caused the spike? I've had unexplained spikes before, usually it evens itself out as long as there isn't a cause somewhere (dead fish, etc). Do some extra water changes with dechlorinator and see if things even out again.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-20-2012, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Great Britain
Posts: 14
Just did a water change and I was due to gently clean the sponges anyway and do some vacuming, I just did it a bit more thorough then usual.
Tank is 20 gallons, I used API's master test kit, I have guppies. I've added Co2 to the tank but it's producing a bubble slow enough to not make much of an effect. The PH did used to be 8 but since the Co2 it's slowly come down.
I will say that the fish have had Velvet in the past and i'm not 100% its gone, they've stopped flicking but the males still have a golden look when a torch is shone on them. The females do not have this though.
Is there anything else you would like to know?
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