Can an ammonia spike kill my filter? - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-06-2016, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 4
Can an ammonia spike kill my filter?

Ive been adding a few cups of aquasoil to my tank each day in preparation for replanting it. Then I got impatient 2 days ago and tipped the lot in. As expected ammonia spiked 12 hours later, but it went off the chart; > 10mg/L according to my test kit. Since then I've done a couple of 70% water changes, and it is coming down.

I'm worried now that I killed the bacteria in my filter and have to go through a full cycle. Is this possible? Fish and shrimp are still active and ph is low.
MIchaelC_1981 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-06-2016, 12:33 PM
Planted Member
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: NY
Posts: 152
When pH is low, depending how low, most to nearly all ammonia is in non toxic form.
Mango is offline  
post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-06-2016, 01:12 PM
Planted Tank Guru
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
I think the nitrifying bacteria will be OK, but it will be a good idea to monitor the situation. Good on the prompt removal, keep it up. If you are suspicious that the nitrifying bacteria need to be replaced or supplemented look for a product with Nitrospira species of bacteria. When they are first added to the water it would be best if the ammonia is as low as possible (so another big water change) then give them a day or two (read the label) to get attached to things before doing another water change.

Had the bacteria been keeping up with your small additions of soil?

The 'non toxic' aspect of ammonium is not that it really is non toxic, but that fish can exclude charged particles from their cells. Ammonium is NH4+, a charged molecule. I have no idea if bacteria can do the same, but I would suspect they can.
Diana is offline  
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-06-2016, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 4
Thanks for the feedback. Yeah the small soil additions didn't cause a blip on the radar. PH is 6.7. I'll change water again after work, then see if the tank can start to reduce it on its own.
MIchaelC_1981 is offline  


Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome