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Old 11-16-2013, 01:35 PM   #1
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ammonia spike, please help

I have a 37 gallon tank, finished cycling about 2 weeks ago. I added 2 juvenile occellaris clowns on Thur am (they have been in qt over 3 weeks). These are the first fish in the tank.
I have a cuc, including a fire shrimp and a peppermint shrimp, that have been in there for a few weeks.
I have been testing daily since I put the clowns in. This morning, the peppermint shrimp was dead (not a molt). I immediately took it out and tested. My ammonia is reading somehwere between 0 and .25 with API test, trites 0, trates between 10-20. PH is 8.0
I am going to do a water change to get the ammonia down, but how much of a water change is safe to do?
37 gallon tank, apx 40 lbs of rock. I was thinking 5 gallons now, and another 5 either tonight or tomorrow am and add prime. Is this too much at once?
Please let me know what is/isnt safe, I want to do what is best for the fish.
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Old 11-16-2013, 01:57 PM   #2
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First how long did the tank cycle ?

did you add all your stock at same time

adding to a new tank should be done slow adding to fast will cause a spike

do you have a sump or a hob filter

Are you sure it wasn't a molt , I raise shrimp and they can fool you easy

.25 isn't really a big spike how long after feeding did you notice it ? or after adding stock

as for water change a 5g water change should correct it

I average anywhere from 5g to 15g in both my tanks one 37g the other a 40g
but that depends on if I'm blowing off all the rock or not and I do that once a month weekly but for normal maintenance 5g is fine
I use skimmers on both and hob filters that I pack out every 2 weeks with macro algae that helps cut nitrates and ammonia naturally I also love macro's in the display , I don't use any type of chemicals in my tanks every thing I use is natural
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:40 PM   #3
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The tank took about 5 weeks to fully cycle using 30 lbs base rock and 10+ lbs cured live rock with the shrimp method.

The cuc was added slowly, 2 crabs and a snail that came with the lr, more snails and shrimp added weekly over the last 3 weeks. There are also all kinds of critters from the lr.

The clowns were added at the same time, but they are very small. I bought them together and quarentined them together. I probably should have added each fish seperately, but these two are pretty much inseperable already and I didnt want to split them up and have them not pair up again later.

I just did a 5 gallon water change, everyone seems ok. How long should I wait to test again?
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Old 11-16-2013, 03:27 PM   #4
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let it run at least 8 hrs before you check again just so all the water gets good circulation
you can check right away but that reading probably wouldn't be accurate
just remember take things slow don't rush things you already have a nice start
your tank is still very young so you will see small spikes when adding any stock
I always allowed 2 weeks between fish when I started and never lost a fish it's a little over 2 years now and many more tanks since
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:40 PM   #5
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Thanks. I will keep a close eye on it and definitely try to go slow. My next fish will be here this week, but will be in QT at least a month, so it should hopefully give my tank time to catch up with the bioload.
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