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hi all! I just had a quick question about how to avoid or decrease ammonia spikes. I want to rescape my tank and move plants around, but I have live fauna and I am afraid they might die if I do a rescape and cause an ammonia spike. Any tips and tricks will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

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Ammonia Spikes

hi all! I just had a quick question about how to avoid or decrease ammonia spikes. I want to rescape my tank and move plants around, but I have live fauna and I am afraid they might die if I do a rescape and cause an ammonia spike. Any tips and tricks will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Hello n...

As long as you don't have too many fish in this tank, I don't think you have anything to worry about. It would be helpful to do a larger than normal water change prior to rescaping this tank. That way, you know the water chemistry is good prior to moving plants and disturbing the substrate.

B
 

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if u keep ur tank maintenance up, have good filtration. decent flow. u won't have an ammonia problem
people rescape all the time. if there is a small amount of flow through the substrate with decent oygen levels the bacteria there have already converted most if not all the debris into nitrates...


assuming there is a spike. if u've taken care of ur tank. it should be minimal around the .2 range or less. the filter will handle that quite rapidly
 

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+1 HD Blazingwolf with a caveat that filtration is of mechanical of nature with sufficient GPH flow. Cannisters and HOBs would be fine however sponge filters will not be able to buffer against a spike or leeching of ammonia/nitrates/nitrides.
 

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Additives that I use to help control ammonia spikes are:
Prime
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3978+4057&pcatid=4057
Microbe-Lift Nite-Out II
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3975+18390&pcatid=18390
Stability
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3975+12021&pcatid=12021
I use all three at the recommended dosages and times. Extra dose when adding fish. It's a heavy hitting combo and works amazing. They turned my water crystal clear too during my initial tank cycle. Still crystal
And for added security,
Seachem Ammonia Alert Device
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+4345+4387&pcatid=4387
It only displays toxic ammonia and lasts for one year
 

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A few things that can help:
Before: As thorough vacuum of the substrate as possible. (easy with sand or gravel, not with soil) Clean filter a week before so the bacteria can recover (not much happens with cleaning the filter, but just do not do it on the same day as the re-scape)

Day of:
Remove livestock to as many buckets as needed, do the re-scape.

If you had gravel substrate there is the maximum bacteria population in the top layer of the gravel. You can skim that (before you disturb anything) and store it in 3-4 mesh bags (nylon stockings work well). When the 'scape is done hang these in the tank where there is good water flow. Remove one per week.

You can add more plants, especially fast growing plants. Even if they are temporary, they will help with any ammonia spikes.

You can add more bacteria. Look for Nitrospira species.

Dose Prime or other dechlor that also controls ammonia and nitrite. Read the label for proper dosing.

Test, and be ready to do more water changes.
 
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