Slight Ammonia Spike. Help! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2020, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Slight Ammonia Spike. Help!

My 49G tank was fully cycled for couple months now. Am 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10-20ppm. Last night, I did a 50% water change and a filter maintenance (external canister), rinsed the sponges as well as the bio media (seachem matrix) with the tank water. I did another water test earlier today (Am 0.25-0.5, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10-20ppm) so I did another 50% water change and added Prime + Stability. Should I do another water test right after a water change or should I wait 24 hours to get more accurate reading? Is it normal to have ammonia spike when cleaning a filter? How to prevent this problem happening again in the future?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2020, 02:50 PM
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It's not normal to get an ammonia spike after cleaning your filter, but it's far from unprecedented. It sounds like you either lost some good bacteria during your filter cleaning or ammonia level in your water source is higher than usual. The latter is not a shocker if you use tap water. Many municipalities tweak their treatment depending on rainfall and other conditions. I've had it happen and a few days later, the bacteria load grew neutralizing the Am. If you can get some Fritz Turbostart (sold refrigerated) and add pour it in the filter, it can speed up growth of the bacteria you're looking for.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2020, 05:01 PM
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You should test your source water for ammonia. Also, remember that if your municipality uses chloramine instead of chlorine, the ammonia in the chlorimine will be converted by Prime into ammonium which will test as ammonia with test kits.
Monitor you fish for any signs of distress but I'm betting you're okay.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2020, 05:11 PM
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Good point.
There are also free-ammonia calculators online that will give you peace of mind when you enter ph value and it shows you what amount of ammonia is actually harmful (hint: far less at <7 ph).

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-06-2020, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
You should test your source water for ammonia. Also, remember that if your municipality uses chloramine instead of chlorine, the ammonia in the chlorimine will be converted by Prime into ammonium which will test as ammonia with test kits.
Monitor you fish for any signs of distress but I'm betting you're okay.
No ammonica in my source water and the reading is getting worse. Ive been doing 60% water change daily for the past 3 days but the ammonia still 1ppm, nitrite 0, nitrate 10ppm. Im kinda frustrated now as what I did was clean the filter and rinse the sponges. Ive been adding prime and stabilty everyday but the am reading is still high. Should I keep doing the daily water change or keep adding prime and make am non-toxic without changing the water?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-06-2020, 03:17 PM
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How long before the water test did you feed?


If I do a test within a 30 mins of feeding, I get some ammonia reading.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-08-2020, 03:03 AM Thread Starter
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I'm pretty sure I killed most of BB in my canister filter when I cleaned it. I've been doing daily water changes for nearly a week now and so far no fish / shrimps / snails died (fingers crossed). I also bought another filter (HoB) to prevent this issue in the future.
-Day 1
Am 1ppm, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 40ppm then I did 60% water change + prime and stability. No feeding
-Day 2
Am 0.5ppm, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 40ppm then I did 50% water change + prime and stability and feed a small amount.
-Day 3
Am 2ppm, Nitrate 0.25ppm, Nitrate 20-30ppm then I did 75% water change + prime and stability. no feeding
-Day 4
Am 1ppm, nitrate 0, Nitrate 10ppm then I did 80% water change + prime and stability. no feeding
-Day 5
Am 0.25ppm-0.5ppm, nitrate 0, Nitrate 10-20ppm. I did 20% water change + prime and stability. no feeding
Im on day 6 now, just wondering if I should feed the fish today? How long can the fish survive without food? Also, how come the reading for nitrite is 0 and nitrate 10-20ppm? Does it mean that BB that convert nitrite to nitrate are still exist?

My stocks in 49 gallon are:
13 Lambchop Rasboras, 13 Neon Tetras, 7 CPDs, 9 Corydoras Habrasus, 4 Otos, 15 cherry shrimps and 4 nerite snails.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-08-2020, 01:28 PM
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Again, are you on a municipal water supply? Prime will break down chloramine and neutralize the ammonia by converting it to nearly harmless ammonium, which tests as ammonia with test kits. Like ammonia, given time, the BB will convert the ammonium into nitrites, then nitrates. In such a case, doing more water changes will not yield different results.

Tank On, Mike-
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10g, 29g, & 37g fry grow out tanks, 110g stock tank.


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