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CichlidChick 04-06-2010 11:30 AM

Ammonia spike yesterday - gone today?
Yesterday I tested my water and saw that I had an ammonia spike after I changed the carbon in my filter, I did an immediate water change and tested again today and ammonia is barely there and no nitrites. Am I in the clear or should I do another small water change just in case?
25 gallon with 3 male guppies and i baby oto cat. The tank has been cycled for a month already and it was the first time I changed the carbon and was scared this would happen. :-(

JMILLER 04-06-2010 11:35 AM

What do you mean by "change the carbon"? What kind of filter do you have and what media is in it?

kelly528 04-06-2010 11:38 AM

My best theory is that in the abscence of bacteria (assuming you removed all the media and replaced it with new stuff) ammonia built up in a few hours before the carbon kicked in.

What kind of fitler are you running? I don't really recommend carbon, it's quite expensive and becomes 'full' of the compounds it absorbs in a matter of days, making it useless after only a short period of use. Much better simply to replace it with biomedia, IMO.

CichlidChick 04-06-2010 01:17 PM

I was on a budget and picked up Tetra Advanced Filtration 20-40, along with a box of extra cartridges. I'm still a newbie and thought I was doing great LOL, then I found out that buy completely changing the filter cartridge you get rid of the bacteria. So I cut into the floss and dumped the old carbon out and put in fresh stuff from a new cartridge ( i figured it would work )
I can't afford one of the great filter systems yet so am doing the best with what I got, learn as you go I guess.

JMILLER 04-06-2010 02:17 PM

With your current stock level being so low that filter is just fine. The only thing you need to do is when you do a water change take the filter out and remove any large particles stuck to it and gently "swish" it around in the tank water you are about to throw out and then put it back in. Once it gets to the point of falling apart only then do you put in a new one. The last time I had to do it I cut the floss part out and stuck it with the new filter for the first month.

What type of water conditioner and testing system are you using? If your using strips they can give false readings and certain conditioners (Prime) will show an ammonia reading after it converts ammonia to ammonium.

CichlidChick 04-06-2010 03:36 PM

I'm using prime and tetra aquasafe and the nutrafin master test kit.

JMILLER 04-06-2010 10:13 PM

Some test kits (API) will show ammonia readings that are actually ammonium, which is what Prime does. It took months for someone to finally tell me that. I was doing 50-75% water changes every other day to try and get rid of it. :lol:

CichlidChick 04-07-2010 12:17 AM

So its all ok? Am I just being paranoid? I was hoping to pick up my plays this week and don't want to upset the tank. It felt like forever waiting for the tank to cycle and now that it has I'm afraid whatever I do will wreck it LOL

iamntbatman 04-07-2010 02:36 AM

Sounds like you're on the right track to me.

1077 04-07-2010 03:23 AM


Originally Posted by iamntbatman (Post 358684)
Sounds like you're on the right track to me.

+one. Do keep in mind that the available bacteria you have is in direct proportion to the amount of waste created by the three guppies and the Oto. With this in mind, I would add Platy's ? no more than three at a time to allow the bacteria to catch up with the waste created by the new fishes. After a week to ten days,perhaps another two or three and so on until you have the desired numbers.
Too many at once will almost certainly result in elevated ammonia and nitrite levels until the bacteria can develop accordingly.;-)

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