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Old 09-27-2011, 12:06 PM   #1
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Ammonia spike

So I test the water today and see a spike 2ppm. Tonight I will be doing a pwc. I do believe I'm overfeeding, just have not gotten a feel of how much yet. I was doing 2x a day then I went to 1x. I have two very small clowns, a purple Firefish and a very small kole. I did recently change the carbon media in the filter on Sunday could that have helped lead to the spike, or is it just my over feeding? Also my nitrites have always been zero. I have been fighting my nitrates usually between 20-40. Any thoughts?
Thanks in advance
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:47 PM   #2
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Nitrates is generally caused by over feeding. Don't forget whatever they eat they poop out :P Generally you would feed your fish just enough to fill their stomach. You can clearly see their bulgy stomachs after they eat.

Do you target feed your fish? I hand feed all of my fish insuring they eat all their food and none of it is left floating around the tank. This way I know each fishy was feed. If they are afraid of your hand just be patient. They will eventually learn hand = food. The only problem is they will probably start biting your figures expecting food :P

As for ammonia do you have lots of surface movement? Sometimes ammonia can build up if there isn't enough surface movement trapping the ammonia in the tank.

I don't think it would be your carbon since it is recommend to replace your carbon every 3 months (this varies depending on the brand)
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:18 PM   #3
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Surface movement Is great. Hand feeding fish! I would not have thought that would bee possible. They eat good just think I'm putting too much in. I know overfeeding leads to high nitrates but doesn't that start with ammonia then nitrites? Either way I'm gonna do a PWC today and got some more water working for tomorrow.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:31 PM   #4
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It is very easy to hand feed fish ^^ just hold the food in your hand and make them come to you. I hope it all works out ^^
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:29 PM   #5
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Well I may have messed up my ammonia test. I brought some water to the LFS last night and they get .25 for ammonia. I did the change and this morning I get between .25-.50, just couldn't decide on the color.
Now my concern is nitrates. Is it possible that my HOB filter could be contributing to my higher number. I am now starting to notice a bloom showing up on my sand. I clean the filter with each PWC, and it is usually pretty messy. I am in the process of trying to get a protein skimmer. Will that also help. Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:50 PM   #6
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How big is this tank? The HOB filter shouldn't be giving you high nitrates. When you do your maintenance on the filter are you replacing any cartridges or sponges?

Skimmer will depend on size of tank in my opinion. Also, how often are you doing pwc's and how much?
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:05 PM   #7
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Tank is a 44 gal pent. Last Thurs I did a PWC and I cleaned my sponge in the old water before putting it back in. All I did was squeeze it out a few times. Did not see much in the way of particulate matter but it did have a bunch of sludge. Put it back in. On the same day I also switched out the activated carbon media. Three days later I'm getting .25-.50 ammonia. My nitrates are always 20-40. I wish I had the space for a sump but it's out of the question. I up in the air about the skimmer/refugium. Both must be HOB but I considering the combo from CPR. I'm also looking at the aqua c remora and the red sea prizim. I have to consider space because of my awkward dimensions.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:14 PM   #8
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First off, to get it out of the way, that Kole tang should be in a bigger tank.

Do you run biomedia in your filter like little rings or anything like that? What kind of filter are you running anyway? lol

Some thoughts....are you using ro/di water and have you tested your water source for ammonia and nitrates? Sometimes you are fighting a losing battle if your water isnt A-OK. Are you doing weekly water changes and how much do you take out and replace gallon wise?

I have the remora and I like it alot. But you should be able to forgo a skimmer on that size tank if you maintain properly. At least in my opinion. lol

If youre doing weekly water changes and have slimey build up in your filter then something is amiss. How often and what do you feed? How did you cycle and what did you use for an ammonia source? How long did your cycle last?

Yep, lots of questions, but we need the full picture to figure out if theres something you can do to win your trates and ammonia battle.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:46 PM   #9
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Oh I know about the tang. I"ll make it worse though it was supposed to be a kole thats what I wanted, don't know why I wrote that, its actually a hippo and its moving on to a much bigger tank in the next few months.
The filter is a Fluval C4 Fluval C4 Hang On Tank Five Stage Power Filter To 70 Gallons 14003 I does have bio media. By the way the I would not consider the buildup in the filter to be slimey just gunky(is that even a word) not think though.
The only water that is available around me besides tap is at the various LFS's and they all have RO only. I have not gotten to the point of buying a system yet and just RO is better then tap. I did not test it though. Will do that.
My cycle seemed to go relitivly fast. About 2 weeks. I started with all fully cured live rock. One of my LFS recommended that because i was usuing cured LR that I would prob be able to start up right away. I did wait. I did tests each day and when I finall got Amm-0, Nitrite-0, Nitrate-10 I went to 2 different LFS's and both tested and said I was ready to go.
My nitrites are always 0 and my ammonia has been 0 until Sunday.
My nitrates are my biggest # just wated to get them down but now im looking at this ammonia.
I think I have been definatly overfeeding. When I do feed I just dont think the get enough. The heads blow all that food around and it seems like they never get any except for the firefish, he never misses. I tried to go once a day, but believe it or not whenever I walk in the room the clowns swin right up to the top and bob up and dow, its like thier waiting.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:59 PM   #10
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LOL, I know how tough it is to NOT feed alot, I always think they are still hungry. But that is most likely contributing to your nitrate issues. Do you feed flake food? that has more phosphates and generates more nitrates.

i would for sure test the LFS water, I had a store selling me ro/di water that had nitrates and phosphates in it. :-(

The strength of your cycle might also be an issue. When you add ammonia or a dead shrimp you are making the bacteria that much more powerful and plentiful and able to handle just about anything. Going with just the live rock I'm guessing you never had a really high spike in ammonia or nitrites. That spike is what you need to get a strong biological filter going well.

For now, I would keep on the water changes, maybe even do 10g a week and you should see some results. It seems youre adding more trates than you are exporting so it's bound to build up. Just cut back on the feeding, really, LOL, it will help too.

Really glad to hear that the blue tang is going on his way soon, the Kole would have been good in a 75g but that blue guy needs at least a 6 foot tank to be fully happy and healthy.

As a side note you can get a cheap ro/di unit for like $65. here's the link below. You won't believe how much easier and cheaper it is to have one. And the one below is portable so you can hook it up to a garden hose or a faucet and put it away when youre done.

eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices
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