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post #1 of 3 Old 12-04-2011, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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adding ammonia to established tank...

For the sake of discussion....

Nitrofying bacteria is always a good thing, the more available in the tank the faster Ammonia and nitrites are gotten rid of and turn into the less deadly Nitrates...

lets assume you have a tank that's fully stocked, 4 female 1 male guppy in a 20 gallon, its already cycled and taking care of the small ammonia these fish are putting out...now these are live bearing fish so soon enough there will be fry floating around everywhere

Now onto my question:

Would it make sense to add ammonia, maybe an extra 1-2ppm a week to this tank and a couple spongefilers to build up extra nitrofying bacteria to prepare for the ammonia spike that will happen with the birth of fry?

will the already cycled tank be able to deal with the extra ammonia quickly and create more bacteria? or will i be risking the guppies?
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post #2 of 3 Old 12-04-2011, 06:19 PM
That tanks not fully stocked, its barely stocked lol. Adding ammonia is going to harm the fish period. Fry when born produce so little ammonia its not even worth considering. The filter bacteria will grow and adjust much faster then the fry grow. Just realize fry eat very little. Also if you don't have good cover for them the parents are likely to eat them.

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post #3 of 3 Old 12-04-2011, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridewithme38 View Post
For the sake of discussion....

Nitrofying bacteria is always a good thing, the more available in the tank the faster Ammonia and nitrites are gotten rid of and turn into the less deadly Nitrates...

lets assume you have a tank that's fully stocked, 4 female 1 male guppy in a 20 gallon, its already cycled and taking care of the small ammonia these fish are putting out...now these are live bearing fish so soon enough there will be fry floating around everywhere

Now onto my question:

Would it make sense to add ammonia, maybe an extra 1-2ppm a week to this tank and a couple spongefilers to build up extra nitrofying bacteria to prepare for the ammonia spike that will happen with the birth of fry?

will the already cycled tank be able to deal with the extra ammonia quickly and create more bacteria? or will i be risking the guppies?
I think you may have a bit of a misunderstanding of how the nitrifying bacteria work. Nitrifying bacteria once established will only exist actively at the level required for the available ammonia/nitrite respectively. And the bacteria divide if the ammonia/nitrite increases to handle it. So it is not of any value to add ammonia to keep them at a higher level, they can only handle the ammonia/nitrite present. And as Mikaila said, adding ammonia with fish present is asking for trouble; ammonia and nitrite is highly toxic to all life forms.

Live plants influence this by grabbing more of the ammonia/ammonium initially, and they are faster than bacteria at doing this. Which is why in well-planted tanks, the actual number of nitrifying bacteria will be less than if no plants were present. And this for the reason mentioned above, the bacteria will be at the level needed to handle the available ammonia/nitrite. With plants grabbing most of it, little is left for bacteria.

You might find this article useful, it goes into more detail on the nitrifying bacteria as well as other bacteria that are equally important, perhaps even moreso at least in planted tanks.
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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