This is a discussion on knocking the cycle down a rung within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; -->
welp, its been a few months now since my noob stylings fired up my 30gal for the first time and threw some fish in. ...
welp, its been a few months now since my noob stylings fired up my 30gal for the first time and threw some fish in. The cycle was JUST about perfect. I was doing water changes about 25% once a week and the ammonia was JUST hovering above 0. so i said to myself i says self, i says, im too impatient. I picked up some green severums to grow out until my 110gal tank is ready. I only added those 3 fish and they are all under 2.5". only thing else in the tank is 1 common pleco (also going in the 110) 8 glowlights 4 cory cats and 2 blue gourami.
once i added those 3 severums im doing the w/c every other day now, and the ammonia is spiking up between 2 and 4ppm again :( starting tonight after work im going to do the w/c every night.
my question is how bad did my impatience upset the cycle, and how long is it going to take to finish out now?
When you cycled your tank the quantity of digestion bacteria went from 0 to some value which I shall term X (unless you had some biological filtration media which you obtained from a functioning aquarium in which scenario you began with something like 0.1X or 0.2X which went to 1X).
When you added "that ton of fish" they generated like what would require 5X (my best guess) quantity of digestion bacteria due to increase in the bioload (and per your post I believe that this increase occurred instantaneously).
1X quantity of bacteria cannot digest the bioload which requires 5X.
Hence the ammonia and nitrite spikes.
If you have a sufficient quantity of biological filtration media (or way more than sufficient, as set forth previously in another post) the adverse transitory water conditions which you are observing will probably "go away within a week".
I recommend 20% daily WC's until the ammonia and nitrite concentrations stabilize at a measurable concentrations of zero.
anyone who gives you grief obviously doesn't fully comprehend what your knowledge (and the knowledge of others as dedicated as you) brings to the table, especially in this type of forum setting. I can't think of any time I have had a hard time understanding the message you were trying convey, nor your intent.
It's actually really refreshing to come to the forum with a legitimate concern or question and have someone explain the solution and/or the root of the problem in such detail. It's a great chance to not only find out what I need to do to solve the problem, but learn the whys and hows while I'm at it!
I checked my levels this morning, after doing a W/C last night, and my ammonia was OVER 4ppm. so im using seachem prime to help keep the ammonia levels not quite so toxic, and starting tonight when I get home from work im going to double up and do 2 smaller water changes a day.
BUT... im also recovering from what I suspect was a bacterial bloom. the water was cloudy as hell, a thick milky white. I cut down feedings to once a day, and its clearing up just fine, could that be contributing to the ammonia spike?