Ammonia spike?
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Ammonia spike?

This is a discussion on Ammonia spike? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> 10gallon 2-platies 2-mollies Current readings: Ph - 7.6-7.8 (I have well water and this is the Ph of it also) Nitrite - 0 Nitrate ...

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Old 02-17-2013, 12:31 PM   #1
 
Ammonia spike?

10gallon
2-platies
2-mollies
Current readings:
Ph - 7.6-7.8 (I have well water and this is the Ph of it also)
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0
Ammonia - 4

I know nothing about keeping an aquarium and I'm learning as I go. I've had it up an running, with fish, since mid January. Everything has been fine up until last week. Wednesday, I tested my water and the ammonia was off the chart. Overnight the tank clouded. Thursday night, I replaced 50-75% of the water. All readings were good Friday night and the water was much clearer. Today (Sunday), my water test are listed above. Why is my ammonia so high? I feed them very little twice a day.

Is this part of the cycle the tank goes through? Do I need to replace the water again because the ammonia is so high? Should I change the filter?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:52 PM   #2
 
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Why are you feeding twice a day? adult fish should be fed once a day.

do not replace your filter media. if you toss it the cycle will start all over again. It sounds as tho the cycle is starting.

I suggest another partial water change. The ammonia can several injure or ill your fish. Keep doing partial changes until ammonia reaches 0.

Last edited by FishyFishy89; 02-17-2013 at 12:55 PM..
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:28 PM   #3
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FishyFishy89 View Post
Why are you feeding twice a day? adult fish should be fed once a day.
Seems most of what I have read says to feed twice a day. I give them 3-5 flakes twice a day. I will start feeding only once a day.


OK, so this is completely normal. What a relief.


When and how do I change my filter? I thought I was supposed to change it once a month.


Will I go through all of this again when I do change the filter?
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:37 PM   #4
 
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you've been changing the media once a month? What media are you using? Sponge or carbon? I would recommend sponge/ceramic medias. These medias hold onto beneficial bacteria. These medias should also not be replaced unless they have started falling apart. To which you should add the new media with the old media to for a few weeks. Once the new media is seeded you can toss the old media.

Unless your fish are juvenile fish, they should only been fed once a day.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:47 PM   #5
 
I have NOT changed the filter yet. I set the tank up in mid January. I am using caarbon filters. The directions on the box says to change the filter every 3-4 weeks and I've been told by a few people to change it that often as well.

Thank you Fishy for your help :)
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:23 PM   #6
 
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No problem. If you're going to continue using carbon filters it should be replaced as the carbon expires after a while and isn't no good. But sponges and ceramic medias are the best ones. Especially since they just sit there and do their thing until they fall apart. They last very long and are the biggest bang for your buck ;)
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:36 PM   #7
 
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Hey mate and welcome. Ok sounds like the tank has begun cycling. I assume running for a month.
As fishy says sponges and ceramic are the best. Carbon filters remove chemicals from the water and not much else. I understand you are learning as you go. Do you use a water conditioner when you change water. The reason I ask is that products like prime will declorinate the water and detoxify ammonia. For a few days anyway. I could suggest some live plants, especially fast growing stem plants as they will use ammonia for their nitrogen source. Can't recommend plants as I don't know your current lighting.
Definately reduce feeding until the tank is cycled. This will reduce the amount of waste generated.
With fish in cycle I would recommend checking water every morning and night. If its above 1ppm then do a waterchange. Until it drops to zero. Repeat for nitrite until reading zero and hey presto cycle complete.
One more thing. Not insulting your intelligence but rinse your filter media in old tank water always. Chlorine from the tap will kill bacteria and prolong the cycle until the tank surface has enough bacteria to cope.

Good luck

TitanTDH
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Last edited by TitanTDH; 02-17-2013 at 03:39 PM..
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:26 PM   #8
 
I do use water conditioner when I change the water. I have well water so chlorine is not an issue. The ammonia reading this afternoon was about 4, so I did a 40-50% water change and the reading has went down to 1.

Sounds like I will be checking and changing water pretty often for a little while. After doing much more research, I have a better understanding of the water cycle.

After the cycling is complete, at that point should I place a new carbon filter behind the old one to start the process of building the beneficial bacteria on this filter?
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:37 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmecon View Post
I do use water conditioner when I change the water. I have well water so chlorine is not an issue. The ammonia reading this afternoon was about 4, so I did a 40-50% water change and the reading has went down to 1.

Sounds like I will be checking and changing water pretty often for a little while. After doing much more research, I have a better understanding of the water cycle.

After the cycling is complete, at that point should I place a new carbon filter behind the old one to start the process of building the beneficial bacteria on this filter?

It depends if you use carbon then replace it when it is supposed to be used, honestly though using carbon is a waste of time and money if your filter uses pre-packaged carbon just use a knife or some scissors to take out the carbon your filters will last way longer and it willl be more beneficial for your fish. If you use this method you just need to take the pad out rinse it out in the aquarium water you took out from the water change and put it back in. This helps keep costs down by using the same pad again, helps keep your beneficial bacteria in place, and carbon is only useful when removing escess chemicals or medicine from the water.
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:37 PM   #10
 
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Hey mate. I'm not sure why you are using carbon filters, unless there is a pollutant problem in your well water. But yes the carbon will need to be changed every 4 weeks. is it a combined carbon sponge filter like aqua one produces. Another option if you have the space is get the ceramic noodles and sponge filter media. Place underneath your carbon filter and then the other media just needs to be rinsed every week. Bacteria will colonise the ceramic noodles and the carbon filter can just be changed.
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