ammonia levels spiking
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ammonia levels spiking

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ammonia levels spiking
Old 04-04-2011, 04:26 AM   #1
 
ammonia levels spiking

Hi guys, first post and new proud owner of my own aquarium :)

I was testing my ammonia levels today, and they jumped from 0 ppm to 1 ppm. My tank is about 2 weeks old, and it has 3 panda corys in it. Its a 5 gallon tank, a bit small, but from what I read about pandas a 5 gallon should be sufficient. It's been about 3 days, soon to be 4 since I added them to the tank. Up until day 3 the ammonia levels were at 0, then went up to .25, and on day 4 it is between .50 and 1 ppm. I have been feeding sparingly the past few days, with just 1 sinking wafer each day except for one time when I put in half a small block of frozen blood worms. As of now I have stopped feeding them to see if ammonia levels will drop.

I added the fish about a week after I set the tank up, from which my ammonia levels went up to 1 ppm and then to 0 ppm. I made sure the ammonia levels stayed constant for 2 days at 0 ppm, and then added the fish. pH levels currently are between 7.0 and 7.5, with nitrite and nitrAte levels at 0. I'm concerned due to the sudden spike in ammonia levels. I did 2 partial water changes, one yesterday and one today. However, the ammonia levels stayed the same.

The fish themselves seem to be ok for now, and are actually more active now since I got them but I don't want to take any chances. I was wondering if the sudden spike was due to the nature of cycling, and if I should ride it out and keep doing partial water changes each day, and use Seachem stability to help with growing the bacteria. I was also wondering if I should change my filter media, as its been in use for a while now *the aquarium+media filter was a hand-me-down from my parents, who used it for about a month before shelving it* or if I should just rinse it off via swishing in old aquarium water when I do a water change. Water temperature has been constant, usually between 77-80 degrees F.

Thanks for the help in advance!
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:56 AM   #2
 
Hi,

Sounds like you've added fish before the tank was fully cycled - its cycled when nitrates are present and ammonia and nitrite are zero.

Panda cories are quite sensitive to water quality and are therefore not a great fish to continue the cycle with - but you've got them now, so you'll have to carry on.

Keep doing water changes to keep the ammonia down and DO NOT clean the filter at this stage. The beneficial cycling bacteria live in the filter (as well as all over the substrate and decor in the tank) and you don't want to disturb them from becoming established.

You're right to reduce feeding to a minimum so less ammonia is produced.

Full info on cycling is here: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:52 AM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sik80 View Post
Hi,

Sounds like you've added fish before the tank was fully cycled - its cycled when nitrates are present and ammonia and nitrite are zero.

Panda cories are quite sensitive to water quality and are therefore not a great fish to continue the cycle with - but you've got them now, so you'll have to carry on.

Keep doing water changes to keep the ammonia down and DO NOT clean the filter at this stage. The beneficial cycling bacteria live in the filter (as well as all over the substrate and decor in the tank) and you don't want to disturb them from becoming established.

You're right to reduce feeding to a minimum so less ammonia is produced.

Full info on cycling is here: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/
+1 to add on here were it me i would do 50% water changes every other day and feed on the opposing day to get things settled .... this is just what i would do.... also be sure to use your water conditioner at each change to keep the water good for your fish .....
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:19 AM   #4
 
Thanks guys. I got the fish partly cause my fish store said as long as ammonia levels were at 0 it was good to go. No mention of nitAtes needing to be present :( Thanks again guys! And any brand suggestions for water conditioners? I'm currently using tetra safe.

*edit* And it seems my ammonia levels are not at 1 ppm exactly, but between .50 and 1 ppm.

Last edited by excal88; 04-04-2011 at 11:33 AM..
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:32 AM   #5
 
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yeah thats a common issue with fish store advice they figure if they make the sale and the fish dies you will keep buying more and then get into all the chemicals and other non-sense that they like to try and sell you .. all of which is not really needed and most of which creates more issues LOL
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:36 AM   #6
 
True. I'm generalising but the advice given on here is usually spot on. The advice given in stores that people report here is frequently questionable or wrong
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:56 AM   #7
 
Hey guys, sorry to bump an old post, but just had a few questions. So I lost 1 cory catfish *sad face* a few days ago. He had a yellow belly, so I was wondering if that was due to ammonia poisoning, or if it was something else. He was a little odd when I bought him, always staying by himself and not moving much.

Update on the tank, nitrite and nitrate lvls are still at 0, pH is between 7.0 and 7.5, and ammonia levels are fluctuating between .25 and .50, sometimes 1.0 *but rarely. I try to keep it at or under .50 via partial water changes each day, and if it spikes to 1.0 I immediately do a 50% water change* However, the other 2 cory catfish are pretty much chugging along, no signs of stress, and from what I've seen no sign of ammonia poisoning. Gills aren't inflamed, eyes aren't red, no black spots on body, not lethargic, not gasping for breath or going to surface for air. In fact it seems that since my ammonia levels went up to .25 or so they've been more active ._O Swimming, playing with each other, and actively shifting for food. Their appetite also went up; when I first got them they barely touched the sinking wafers. Now they eat and devour it within 10 minutes *keeping the feeding to once a day, 1 wafer for the 2 of em to keep ammonia levels down* So I'm a little weirded out as they should show some signs of stress, but seem more active and...happy?

But I got a second tank, a 12 gallon one so I just set that one up and started a fish-less cycle via 5 sinking wafers, seeding with some plastic plants and my rock I had in my little 5 gallon. Hopefully things will go better for the bigger tank, and hopefully my little guys *named M and Tinz* will survive long enough for me to transfer them to the bigger tank and add some more friends. Thanks in advance!
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