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Old 06-04-2005, 09:47 AM   #1
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Why is my ammonia soaring?

I've tried good size water changes and nothing seems to be helping. My ammonia numbers are climbing every day. Here's a synopsis of what went wrong:

Tank was cycled with 6 damsels, I brought them back to the LFS, bought a pair of false percs, waited a week and a half, bought a royal gramma, a week later overcleaned my filters (not bioballs), did a 20% water change, ammonia starts to show up. It's been over a week and I'm thinking that any mini cycle should be winding down before now.

The tank is a 29 gallon with wet/dry. I have a sand bed with about 20-30 lbs. of LR. The tank was fine and the numbers were all good for 4 weeks until this episode.

Is there anything else I might be missing here? Nothing that I'm aware of died in the tank except maybe a hermit crab or snail. Would that cause this? Also I noticed some really dark (close to black) color on a piece of LR but that rock was pretty much cured when I put it in the tank 4 weeks ago. Could some sort of latent die off be causing the numbers to rise. Oh by the way, the ammonia this morning jumped to above 2.0. I did use ammo lock if this might be messing with the readings, I don't know. I haven't been overfeeding the fish. It's getting to the point where out of fear for the fish, I'm ready to move them out of the tank. But to where, I don't know...

Also, since this is a relatively newly cycled tank (a month or so since it was fully cycled) perhaps is this thing going through something more like a full cycle instead of just a mini cycle?

This sucks. Sorry for whining...

Thanks.
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Old 06-04-2005, 10:09 AM   #2
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Quote:
Tank was cycled with 6 damsels, I brought them back to the LFS, bought a pair of false percs, waited a week and a half, bought a royal gramma, a week later overcleaned my filters (not bioballs), did a 20% water change, ammonia starts to show up
You likely destroyed the biological filtration when you "over-cleaned" the filter. Now, with livestock in the tank, it can not keep up with the bioload demand. Essentialy, you are cycling again. I would suggest taking the back and letting the tank cycle again. This could be an endless game of catch-up.
Quote:
Nothing that I'm aware of died in the tank except maybe a hermit crab or snail.
This is another possibility. If you do not have enough algea for the snails to eat they will die. One dead snail can foul a tank in no time.
Once NH3 and NO2 have fallen again you can start adding your livestock back to the tank, slowy. add a fish and wait 3-4 weeks before adding another one. This will give the tank's biological filtration time to catch up with the increase in bioload. Good luck.
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Old 06-04-2005, 10:19 AM   #3
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Do you think I should set up a QT and house the fish in some fresh SW while this thing clears itself up?
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Old 06-04-2005, 10:22 AM   #4
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I would see if the LFS will hold them for you for acouple of weeks. IF you hae a QT tank that is fine to, just keep an eye on water parameters. This could be an "out of the pan and into the fire" situation.
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