Help me diagnose my ammonia spike

Wills

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To be fair it regularly amazes me that no one has ever reffered any aquatics business to trading standards... I think the reason they get away with this aspect of it is that the bacteria growing process will eventually mean things become stable naturally and the majority of people wouldnt question it or assume it was their mistake as they are new to the hobby.

We regularly criticise LFS employees for lacking knowledge but I bet the same is present in the R&D, product development etc teams of the companies that create these products too. A lot of best intentions and scientific knowledge but a bit off the pulse of the hobby.
 
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jonnyc88

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Did another 70% water change today and also swapped out the filter for a Fluval 307. Wow, the flow is very good on this.

Fed fish as they are bit stressed with all the activity and did a water test.

Parameters look ok:
pH : 6.8
Nitrite : 0ppm
Nitrates : 20ppm
Ammonia : 0.25ppm or just under 0.5ppm hard to tell

Also swapped background from planted picture to plain black and definitely makes the tank stand out more.

Definitely learnt a lot from past 2 months as I’m total beginner. I definitely love keeping fish and will improve myself over time.

I’ve made few mistakes such as not cutting the filter pipes to length, over feeding and stocking fish too quickly which probably led to the filter being filthy and causing constant cloudiness (bacterial bloom) in tank. This finally led to the ammonia spike finale.

Do I still need to change water everyday or could I revert to perhaps 3 days?

78DC9008-F9FB-4B7D-A6DF-AE5F1D8DC719.jpeg
 

essjay

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Be guided by the ammonia and nitrite readings. Test every day to check.

At pH 7.2, 0.25 ppm ammonia isn't a problem as most of it is naturally in the non-toxic ammonium form. But do a water change if it gets higher than 0.25 ppm.

But there is no safe form of nitrite. If you have any reading other than zero, you need to do a water change.
 
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jonnyc88

jonnyc88

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Be guided by the ammonia and nitrite readings. Test every day to check.

At pH 7.2, 0.25 ppm ammonia isn't a problem as most of it is naturally in the non-toxic ammonium form. But do a water change if it gets higher than 0.25 ppm.

But there is no safe form of nitrite. If you have any reading other than zero, you need to do a water change.
Cheers bud. I’ll test water everyday and will change if ammonia or nitrite levels are above expected parameters.
 
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jonnyc88

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Tested today and looks like nitrite is slowly climbing.
Nitrite: 0.25ppm
Ammonia : 0.50ppm

I will do a 50% water change however wondering if I should also add some API Quick Start this time?
 

Byron

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Tested today and looks like nitrite is slowly climbing.
Nitrite: 0.25ppm
Ammonia : 0.50ppm

I will do a 50% water change however wondering if I should also add some API Quick Start this time?
It can't hurt. Might cause some cloudiness, depending, but it will not harm fish.

I really cannot understand these numbers; with those plants that you said are showing signs of growth, the few (relatively) fish cannot possibly produce ammonia beyond what they can assimilate, and nitrite should not even be a factor.
 
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Retired Viking

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It looks like you may have enough plants to do a planted/silent cycle but like @Byron indicated your numbers do not add up. How many fish do you have in the tank and what types?
 
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jonnyc88

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It can't hurt. Might cause some cloudiness, depending, but it will not harm fish.

I really cannot understand these numbers; with those plants that you said are showing signs of growth, the few (relatively) fish cannot possibly produce ammonia beyond what they can assimilate, and nitrite should not even be a factor.
Thanks @Byron . I’ve got a new filter in yesterday so perhaps some API Quick Start would help kick start the cycle.
 

JuiceBox52

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Nowhere you need to know

Naughts

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I have done a bit of searching on-line, and these two articles may surprise everyone.



Well I for one will never buy an ammonia binding product.
Reasons:
1. these articles,
2. a very good article where the scientist (who replied on this forum) explained how using Prime etc. Leads to a surge of ammonia if you have chloramine because it creates ammonia when dechlorinating then released another load when un-binding after 24 hours
3. anecdotes like @Jancavalier where people use a lot of Prime and tanks lose their cycle and are really hard to re-establish
4. Most compelling - it's not needed! In my cycled tanks I have never seen a reading of ammonia over 0.25 in API tests or 0.0 on other tests. So why waste money?
 
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jonnyc88

jonnyc88

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It looks like you may have enough plants to do a planted/silent cycle but like @Byron indicated your numbers do not add up. How many fish do you have in the tank and what types?
x16 Corydoras, x15 neon tetras, x10 cardinals and x10 Odessa Barbs.
 
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jonnyc88

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