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Old 05-28-2005, 03:19 PM   #1
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Ammonia spike?

Okay first off, my 29 gallon tank with wet/dry filter has been cycled for about 3 weeks now. I slowly introduced fish starting with a pair of false percs and a royal gramma a week and a half later. Additionally I have a few hermit crabs and turbo snails and I also have a decent amount of LR.

Background information: I started this tank originally to be freshwater so I had one of those penguin filters with the biowheel early on. I then bought the wet/dry and continued the cycle with 5 damsels and threw the biowheel in the wet/dry below the bioballs. I removed all other filtration (sponges) while the tank was cycling. I did many 25% water changes during the cycle for the benifit of the fish and was able to keep them all healthy and thriving (although it prolonged the cycle a bit).

When the cycle concluded I brought the damsels back to the LFS, did a pretty large water change and bought a pair of percs. My parameters have been good since then. A week and a half later I added the royal gramma. Everything was fine. Then a week later I did another good size water change (11 gallons) and I cleaned out all of the filters, removed the bio wheel, and got rid of all of the debris laying on the bottom of the filter. That's when it started. The next day I had an ammonia spike on my hands. Where it had been zero for a long while, it now rose to .5. I kept an eye on it but got nervous and added ammo lock to it. I did another partial water change the next day (8 gallons) and I'm still seeing .5 - 1.0 reading for ammonia. My nitrites are 0, nitrates are 5.0 or less and I also noticed today that my pH dropped a bit but I managed to bring that back up to 8.2. This really sucks because one of my clowns is starting to look a bit distressed. I'm on the verge of doing a 50% water change (mixed up new water a few hours ago) but a friend of mine who used to own a LFS told me that since I didn't touch the bioballs when cleaning, to wait it out and that my cycle should catch up. So what do you think? Should I do the change or just add biozyme, monitor the situation or what? I put the biowheel back in the filter but I'm not sure if this is the problem or not. I'm new at this and just freaked. Are my numbers that bad? Anyone? Thanks...
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Old 05-28-2005, 03:43 PM   #2
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First off 1.0 Ammonia is not that bad.

Your problem came along when you cleaned your filters.

You SHOULDVE had a problem because of the LR in there is your main bio filtration.

But since that accounts for a good amount of bio I bet that did you in.

From now on if you have to clean filters, wash one at a time, like one filter every few days or so until you have them all cleaned. This gives the bacteria a chance to start growing on the freshly washed ones, while the "old" ones are still running fine.

I have never been one to wash my filters in aquarium water, but I do not wash them thouroughly. I take them out when needed (I wait until they need it done, no sooner) was the crud off then put it back. I dont spend alot of time washing it, I just wash the stuff off that clogs it up, if that makes any since. In the end there is still lots of bacteria in the filter because I dont spend much time washing it off, just enough to unclog it.
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Old 05-28-2005, 03:57 PM   #3
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thanks zac...

but would you do another water change or just wait it out?
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Old 05-28-2005, 04:07 PM   #4
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Well IMO since all you have in there is hardy fish, you can wait it out if it doesnt get too high.

If it gets higher I would do a waterchange to keep it lower.


But otherwise what you have going right now is a mini-cycle.
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Old 05-28-2005, 04:17 PM   #5
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Thanks again!
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Old 05-28-2005, 04:43 PM   #6
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Do a couple of 20%ish water changes over the next week with well aged/aerated SW. Ammonia of any kind is not acceptable when there are animals in the tank. It leads to severe respiratory ailments (hyperplasia) and possible bacterial infections. It could easily be a false reading but it's best to be safe than sorry. Was the reading present before the biozyme was added?

Keep the ammonia as low as possible until the tank catch's up to the bioload. When adding new fish, it's best to wait several weeks before each new addition (not to mention quarantine) to allow the tank time to catch up to each new waste producing load. Are there bioballs in the wet/dry or LR in the main to replace the removed biowheel?

Cheers
Steve
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Old 05-28-2005, 05:09 PM   #7
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Thanks Steve.

Yes, the reading was present prior to adding biozyme.

There are bio balls that have been in the wet/dry since I switched over to it. There's no LR in the filter, only in the tank (20 to 30 lbs.).
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