Ammonia jump - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Ammonia jump

Recently set up a tank.38gal. My first go at a planted. It is currently low light until I get my medium light. Not a large amount of plants yet either. Anubias, water sprite, some grass and a sword(doing great despite the low light). When I was cycling the tank I gave it a jump start with a huge squeeze of a filter pad from my established tank. I also put in a used filter from another tank with the current filter. It converted ammonia very quickly. Tested daily - all good - added some fish, not a bunch; 13 neon tetras.
Tested today and ammonia is at 4. I use the api liquid test. Super green color. Tested other tanks to double check myself - good. Did a 50% change. I use prime. Fish seemed very normal. What gives? What can cause a spike like that?
I had an ammonia spike in a different tank before but that was from insufficient bacteria. I can't imagine 13 little tetras loaded up the tank. Any thoughts??
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 06:24 PM
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I guess I would recount the neons first off.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Still 13. That was the first thing I did.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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While im thinking about it... driftwood. I have a piece in there that was given to me out of a friend's tank. I scrubbed all the funk off it before putting it in. I did notice the water I took out was yellowish. So even though it was in a tank for years can it still discolor the water? Could ammonia be coming from it?
You think after 20 years of fish keeping I would have this down to a science.
Continue with daily wc?
Add ammonia detox on top off prime?
Add more established filter squeezes?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 12:33 AM
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Driftwood: Might and sounds like it did still have some tannins. Could have contributed some ammonia, but I sort of doubt it. Not out of the question, though.

How to handle a tank with high ammonia:
Boost the population of bacteria. Do not squeeze the filter media. The bacteria cling to surfaces, you are not transferring very many when you simply squeeze out the debris into the new tank. If your other tank(s) can spare some more bacteria, then add some filter media to the new tank. Do not take so much the donor tanks have problems. I have taken up to 25% of the filter media from established tanks to jump start the new tank.

Keep up the water changes. Keep the ammonia < .25 ppm. Keep the NO2 under 1.0 ppm.

Prime itself can lock up ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Read the label for the proper dose for ammonia. The regular dose ought to be enough if you can keep the ammonia under .25 ppm.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-11-2014, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks diana. Seems like its always something. My other tanks are a big 0 on ammonia. One tank has struggling nitrates. And another is perfect. This one is good on everything but ammonia. I guess if this was easy it wouldn't be such a fun hobby.
My other tank has 2 canisters on it and as a last resort thought about pulling one temporarily.
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