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Old 08-12-2005, 08:59 PM   #1
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Amonia is on the rise. What gives?

Ok. Tank is about one month old. I exchanged a Bio WHeel with the LFS in order to proliferate my tank with good bacteria as they said. Added a few fish, then watched as the Amonia and nitrite levels dropped after maybe one week. The Nitrates stayed at 0. All tested ok two days ago 0,0,0. Then today, tested as .25ppm amonia. What gives? The LFS recommended against a water change in order to facilitate the cycle. However, they also said the cycle should be complete by now. Any suggestions now. Should I have used Bio Spira, or should I use that now?
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Old 08-12-2005, 10:51 PM   #2
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I'd try to get ahold of the Biro-Spira.
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Old 08-12-2005, 11:32 PM   #3
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I'd try to get ahold of the Biro-Spira.
Sorry, don't waste your money on this stuff. Sounds like your tank was not completely cycled. Give it more time. If you have livestock in the tank either return them or control the NH3 with water changes. This will prolong the cycle but be less stressful on any livestock. This is a pretty common problem with new tanks. Don't sweat it, just slow down a bit and wait it out.
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Added a few fish,
This was the problem. Too much new bioload for the biological filteration to handle. What size tank and what is a "few" fish?
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Old 08-13-2005, 09:15 AM   #4
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Sorry, I should have included this info. It is a 58 Gallon tank. Upon the recommendation of the LFS, I added a Pair of Amphiprion ocellaris (false percs) and One Chrysiptera parasema. (Yellowtail Damsel) This was in order to feed the flourishing bacteria provided by their Bio Wheel swap out program. I thought it worked as the tank had been running for about 3 weeks prior to that and amonia was at .25 the entire time. About 7 days after adding the wheel and fish, amonia dropped to 0. Then two days later, .25 again. I just don't want the fish to be stressed. I will do a water change and if it does not subside, I will take them back. Thanks.
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Old 08-13-2005, 09:23 AM   #5
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I don't understand the bio-wheel swap program... The biowheel itself is a bio-filter, and if you used it from one of their tanks in order to "propogate" your own tank and then removed it you would NORMALLY have a ammonia spike.

What kind of circulation are you using? What kind of filtration and do you have LR and if so how much?

I wouldn't buy the biro-spira. I would watch the ammonia and use prime or something to help the fish survive this ammonia spike though if the ammonia gets higher.
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Old 08-13-2005, 02:15 PM   #6
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I will administer prime immediately. I have around 50 pounds of LR and Base rock. My circulation/filtration is provided by one Maxi Jet 900, the Emperor 400 with Phosphoguard and carbon, and an AquaC Remora for skimming (just breaking that in) The bio wheel swap out program works like this: The LFS keeps a vat full of these bio wheels running on emp 400's with an amonia drip in order to proliferate them with Denitrifiying bacteria. I went in to buy the Bio SPira and the lfs guy said that trading one of their wheels for my own wheel will do the same thing cheaper. Allegedly, the wheel they gave me was to propagate my tank with the good bacteria quickly. I had to add fish in order to not starve the bacteria. (from what they recommended) It seemed to have worked as my Amonia went to zero about 7 days after the wheel swap. However, 2 days after that, the amonia is back. No changes after the wheel swap.
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Old 08-14-2005, 03:26 PM   #7
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Ok. Here's an update. This morning I awoke to a .50 Amonia reading. 8O Did a 20% water change and brought it back to .25ish. Went to the same LFS today, Sunday. I told them of my odd amonia spike. He guessed the cause was a Chemical indroduced to the system. Such as: Antibacterial Soap, Antibacterial Air Freshener etc... All of which I use by the way. Dadgumit. I have never heard of that. ANyway, bought some Bio-Spira and he gave me some Poly Fill to filter out the antibacterial stuff. Hope this works. Thanks for all the input by the way.
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Old 08-15-2005, 08:34 AM   #8
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For a 58 gallon tank you need at least 580 gph. With your ph you have 230 and your emperor probably put out around 100 gph. I would get at least another maxijet (1200) for circulation.

I doubt very seriously that your ammonia spike was due to a chemical introduction (unless you were cleaning seriously around or in your tank). I have used windex to clean my tank (sprayed onto a cloth and then wiping glass). 7 Days is very quick for a cycle, and you did cycle. My guess would be that a change occurred disrupting your bio load (added fish? changing biowheels back to lfs? change in feeding habits?).

I haven't heard of a SURE thing quick cycle, it takes time to build up the beneficial bacteria to sufficient numbers in order to maintain a healthy tank.
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Old 08-15-2005, 09:15 AM   #9
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I understand the LFS thinking with the biowheel swap and it is a good idea if done properly. Adding 3 fish to a tank that is not cycled is a Bad idea. If your not going to take the fish back while the tank cycles then keep up on the water changes and test daily for amm. It will take longer to cycle like this but who cares as long as you keep levels low for the fish to stay alive. Is it the best way, no but will work.
As far as the antibacterial soap ect. I think that LFS is smoking some good stuff and we need to find out what it is... the tank was not cycled properly and he gave you bad advice now instead of him steping up and saying "hey I screwed up selling you 3 fish for a new tank" he turns it around to make you the fall guy. And then sells you more things that you don't need.

Keep testing water daily
Keep up on WC
Stop using additives (quick fix) to the tank that you don't need. I hope they help?
Just ride it out at this point and all will be well if you stay on top of it.
If you get a lagre spike you may want to take the fish out and add a shrimp to finish the cycle.
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Old 08-15-2005, 09:18 AM   #10
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Thanks for the reply Mj. 580 gph? Does the Protien skimmer count in that respect when looking at gph of circulation? I was under the impression that the Emeror was 400 GPH and the SKimmer is around 100 GPH. Not positive though. The guy at the LFS seemed to think it was antibacterial soap that caused the problem. Yes, the tank cycled. It had allready been running for about a month. I didn't return the bio wheels by the way. Nor did I add fish. Just plain not sure what happened. Well, wish me luck in this new Bio Spira endeavor. Thanks again.
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