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Old 03-23-2008, 09:47 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by cmor1701d View Post
Any ammonia is too high for fish. It burns their gills. During cycling with uncured LR my ammonia went off the charts (8.0+).

If using fully cured LR you may never see a reading above 0 if you have enough of it to cover your bioload. The fact that you are seeing an increase in ammonia means that a) you don't have enouhg fully cured LR to cover the bioload of 1 fish; b) the LR was not fully cured.

OR, do you still not have any LR in the tank, just the live sand?

Why don't you post listing everything you have in the tank including all the equipment you have. Please post real number for the water parameters too.

What size is your tank?
How old is your tank ? This a a 20 gallon, right?
How much LR, a/o LS is in the tank? 20 pounds of LS, but no LR yet?
Is the LR cured ? (when)
How did you cycle your tank and when? Still cycling, correct?
What inhabitants do you have ?
What filter are you running ?
What PHs are you running? (power heads used for water movement)
What kind of H20 are you using ? Distilled , tap , RO/DI ?
Are you using any additives?
What are your water parameters ?
Ammonia
NitrIte
NItrAte
PH
SG
Temp

Tank size: 20 gal
Age: one week
LR/LS: no live rock, only live sand 10 lbs
inhabitants: one damselfish (4 striped)
Filter: biowheel with filter
pH: 8.2-8.4
Water: tap (I topped off with distilled and did a single PWC - a negligable 10% change)
Additives: none
Temp: 80 degrees
Ammonia: 0.5
Nitrites: 0.2
Nitrates: 5.0
Spec. grav: 1.024
(all measures as of yesterday)

What am I doing wrong? I don't see ammonia spiking.
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Old 03-24-2008, 03:01 AM   #22
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You're probably not doing anything wrong. (Well... except for keeping that fish in there. ) An ammonia "spike" is a relative thing. You'll know what it was after the cycle is over. The actual number isn't important, just how it's progressing. My guess is that you won't see much high ammonia levels. Seems like it's leveled off and your nitrites are starting to climb. The fact that you have nitrates means that either (1) your original tap/tank water had nitrates or (2) your cycle is progressing and some of those nitrites are being converted to nitrates. Evenutally, those ammonia and nitrites levels will drop to 0, and you nitrates will probably be around 20 or so.

Regarding ammonia "spikes", my quarantine tank (10g) "spiked" at 6.0 ppm when I cycled it. (Too much shrimp!) But my main tank (46g) "spiked" somewhere between 0.25 and 0.5ppm and only stayed that way for a couple days. (Fully cured rock). Both fully cycled though, and are just fine.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:14 AM   #23
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I agree with Kurt. You are still cycling. The biowheel takes a couple of weeks to grow enough bacteria to become effective. If you decide to add LR now and don't return the fish, you need to make sure it is fully cured, and then keep an out for an ammonia spike.
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:16 PM   #24
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I appreciate your help guys. I know I sound really uneducated, but I actually am very excited about this hobby and want to make sure I am doing everything right. I think what I'll do tonight is bring a sample of the water to my LFS and have them test it for me. It's been a solid 8 days now and I've seen only a small ammonia increase. I doubt I am doing my sample testing incorrectly, but then again, I've been known to screw up! LOL

I guess most of all, I need some peace of mind that I am not messing up or overlooking something obvious. My fish is eating normally and seems to be behaving rather normally, although he spends his entire day behind the filter intake and out of sight.
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:43 PM   #25
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It's been a solid 8 days now and I've seen only a small ammonia increase
not to worry, my tank has been cycling now for 5 weeks almost and ammonia levels have been steady at .25 It takes time....
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Old 03-24-2008, 03:31 PM   #26
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My cycling fish has been darting downward lately. Not very often, but it does seem to shoot downward and back up quickly a few times. I can best describe it as almost like a "sneezing" motion, where your head goes forward with a sneeze and then right back up, except of course, this is the whole fish doing it. Does he have a parasite or something he's trying to lose? he's also been hovering near the surface, but I think he's looking for food.
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Old 03-24-2008, 04:17 PM   #27
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OH no! My fish always seem to hover near the surface and have troubl swimming/swim erratically before they die. I hope teh fish pulls through, but it doesn't sound like it's acting normally.
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Old 03-24-2008, 07:40 PM   #28
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Check your water parameters again. It could be a sign of distress. A pwc may help if it's not too bad. Do you have a pail or tub for mixing your sw in? Are you letting it aerate overnight (ideally 24 hours) before doing the pwc? That would be best. You can use a small powerhead or an airstone in the paik to keep the sw mixing and aerating. Doing pwc's will lengthen the time it takes to cycle the tank, but will help the fish. Is taking the fish back to the lfs still an option?
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