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Old 07-28-2006, 09:25 AM   #1
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Ammonia spike - what's up ??

This morning I noticed one of my guppies breathing a bit heavily. I ran tests and came up with ammonia of .25ppm (nitrite 0, nitrate 10).

Nothing new has been added to this tank for over a week. Nothing has been changed. I did a 45% water change 2 days ago.

The only "differences" that I can think of are:
1. the snails have been MUCH more active over the past couple of days and 2. I added two extra small sinking pellets to the tank the night before last to feed the snails thinking that their extra activity might be hunger related.

Do you think either of these two things could have caused my ammonia to rise ???
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2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 07-28-2006, 09:40 AM   #2
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An ammonia spike is usually a sign of decent sized organic matter decomposing. Is everyone accounted for? What was your last NH3 reading prior to the PWC?
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Old 07-28-2006, 09:54 AM   #3
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Yes, everyone is accounted for. I even removed and checked any snail that was not out and about and actively hanging onto a surface. Hate to admit, I didn't check the NH3 immediately prior to the water change since I had no reason to believe there was anything amiss. The last time I tested was a week ago, and it was 0.
I do have a few (note FEW - maybe four) decaying leaves of pennywort in the tank. And last night I smashed two small pond snails (had forgotten about that)
I even checked from under the tank (bottomless tank benefit LOL) to see if there was anything "odd" on the floor.

Generally the snails are the first indicators that something is wrong with the parameters, but oddly they're just fine right now. Only two were closed up and they both came out to see what the issue was when I put them into a small plate with a few drops of water.
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2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 07-28-2006, 10:47 AM   #4
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Amonia

It is possible it may have been a combination of things. I dont think 3 or 4 decaying leaves, but maybe between that, and left over food may have caused a little spike.

Joannde what kind of filter are you using on that tank? Did you check to make sure nothing was caught or cuilt up in it?
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Old 07-28-2006, 11:42 AM   #5
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I don't think it would be leaves, or sinking pellets, my first thought also was someone decomposing. I wouldn't be to worried about .25 ammonia, but I would be monitoring it for any further increases.

The smashed snails should have been quickly eaten. If not remove them.

This is in the 29G right. I'm guessing you already checked it again today.
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Old 07-28-2006, 11:47 AM   #6
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I'm using a Whisper 60 HOB. I actually vac'd it out a little during my last water change and I always rinse it in discard water when I do a PWC. I think you're right - its a combo of a whole bunch of things. I did a PWC and took another reading so the ammonia is nearly undectable now. I'll keep my eye on it. Since the snails went from super lazy to super active it could very well be an increase in excretion from them. I guess this all goes to show that sometimes it doesn't take very much to get a 29gallon tank out of balance.
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2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 07-28-2006, 03:10 PM   #7
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Amonnia Spike

I think you will be fine Joanne.

I disagree that .25 is nothing to worry about and I think you agree or you wouldn't have started this post. Any amonia in an established tank is cause for some concern and the need for some adjustment

Good Luck
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Old 07-28-2006, 03:29 PM   #8
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Something else to check is your filter. If it's been awhile since you gave it a thorough cleaning (not just rinsing/replacing the filterpad), there may be a lot of gunk that built up in it contributing to the ammonia spike. Take the time to take it apart and clean everywhere possible.
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Old 07-28-2006, 03:59 PM   #9
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Yes ,I suggested the same thing. Could be a factor.
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Old 07-29-2006, 12:07 PM   #10
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Hi- sorry for the delay in getting back. My cable service was down most of the day and all night (bad storm). I had just cleaned out the filter on Wednesday. After yesterdays water change ammonia was nearly undectable. Today it's 0. Never had a nitrite change which I was actually expecting, not that I'm complaining !
Doing another water change today as that one guppy still isn't eating - no other unusual behavior and nothing that looks out of the ordinary. We'll see - another water change isn't going to hurt any.
(ps - I took the .25ppm ammonia as "nothing to worry about" to mean its not lethal, not that it should be ignored )
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2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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