Ammonia spike in my tank, help!!!!!! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-22-2011, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Ammonia spike in my tank, help!!!!!!

My tank was doing ok, low levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate but I decided to place a UV filter along with my normal filter and from one day to another the color of my water turned dark and my angel fish started dying. Should I take the UV filter away or what should I do? I'm already doing a huge water change but I just wanna know what should I do.

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post #2 of 17 Old 12-22-2011, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by DuskDarkVoid View Post
My tank was doing ok, low levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate but I decided to place a UV filter along with my normal filter and from one day to another the color of my water turned dark and my angel fish started dying. Should I take the UV filter away or what should I do? I'm already doing a huge water change but I just wanna know what should I do.
With fish in the tank ,I would perform 50 percent water change each day until the tank has cycled which can take four to six weeks.
Believe this tank was started on 11/27 which indicates that it is less than four weeks old .
Would feed fish once only, every two day's, and would not replace or clean filter material for next couple weeks.
If you don't overfeed ,the filter should not need cleaning unless the flow from filter is reduced to a trickle.
Cleaning filter material should be done by swishing the cartridge,pad,sponge around in old aquarium water you take out during water change.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #3 of 17 Old 12-22-2011, 09:00 AM
If the dates are right, 1077 is correct - even with a bio-seed an ammonia spike often does not occur until the 3rd or 4th week. Water changes are the answer to bring the ammonia levels down. If you had a lot of algae the UV sterilizer may indirectly be blamed as it would kill algae and cause it to decay, increasing the bio-load on the system. You might want to discontinue it's use until after the tank is cycled.
So as 1077 suggests, do 50% water changes daily as/if necessary until ammonia levels come down (and your nitrates go up) and you should be good. Once your sure the tank is cycled, you can begin using the UV sterilizer again.

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post #4 of 17 Old 12-22-2011, 09:36 AM
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If the dates are right, 1077 is correct - even with a bio-seed an ammonia spike often does not occur until the 3rd or 4th week. Water changes are the answer to bring the ammonia levels down. If you had a lot of algae the UV sterilizer may indirectly be blamed as it would kill algae and cause it to decay, increasing the bio-load on the system. You might want to discontinue it's use until after the tank is cycled.
So as 1077 suggests, do 50% water changes daily as/if necessary until ammonia levels come down (and your nitrates go up) and you should be good. Once your sure the tank is cycled, you can begin using the UV sterilizer again.
AHH Yes,, that is very good point with respect to sudden algae die off.
I was spitballin without knowing how many Angelfish, or frequency of feeding's, but you caught what I did not so this is good.
Never saw the need for UV myself, and would prefer to determine the cause of algae,green water.

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post #5 of 17 Old 12-22-2011, 12:06 PM
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AHH Yes,, that is very good point with respect to sudden algae die off.
I was spitballin without knowing how many Angelfish, or frequency of feeding's, but you caught what I did not so this is good.
Never saw the need for UV myself, and would prefer to determine the cause of algae,green water.
Thanks. Actually, I'm a bit surprised that the OP has green algae water after only 3-4 weeks with a new tank. I guess we might conclude that the lights are on too long and/or some other negative such as over feeding/excess detritus or insufficient water changes may enter into the equation here?

I have never used a UV sterilizer either. I tend to think that some algae growth, like having some snails, is a very good thing, but I have never been over-run with algae or had green water either. In theory, I suppose a UV sterilizer, in addition to 'cleaning' green water, could minimize or prevent fungus and parasite like critters in the water column. We'd likely agree this could be a good thing if the evil got past our other defenses.

AD

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post #6 of 17 Old 12-22-2011, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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The tank has been up for about a month like you guys said and the fish were fed once in the morning and once at night. I got the UV filter because I wanted to add a discus to the tank and the store I bought it from had one in every tank with angel fish and discus. I did a huge water change last night and I checked the water for the ammonia, nitrate and nitrite and the levels were at the lowest with nitrate being undetectable. I will do another water change tonight and feed the fish once every 2 days like 1077 suggested. It was just weird that from one day to another the water turned from a clear color to a dark color. The UV filter is off right now and I'm kinda scared to turn it on again but I do like the fact that it kills the bacteria that causes fish infections and algae.

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post #7 of 17 Old 12-22-2011, 06:50 PM
So the water turned dark with the presumption it did because of the UV device? Did you really have green water from algae? Is there wood in the tank?

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post #8 of 17 Old 12-22-2011, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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The tank has driftwood and cholla cactus, sandstone rocks and the substrate is sand. After I put in the UV filter at night the next morning the water was dark and the next couple of days it kept getting darker.

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post #9 of 17 Old 12-22-2011, 08:29 PM
I was asking because driftwood often tea stains water as tannins are released. So did you have green water before starting to use the UV device or is it possible that the dark water is from the wood???

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post #10 of 17 Old 12-22-2011, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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The thing is, the wood was in the tank since I set it up and it never stained the tank, the color of the water changed after I put in the UV filter.

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