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Old 12-11-2011, 02:28 AM   #1
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Nitrate and ammo spike?

I have had my tank running with fish and live rock for about a year. I tested my water about 3 days ago and suddenly my nitrates and ammonia have spiked pretty high for no apparent reason. Fish seem normal. Any reason for this? Water changes don't seem to be helping much, by morning there is still ammonia and nitrates.
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Old 12-11-2011, 02:33 AM   #2
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Have someone else check your water your test reagents may have gone funky
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:28 AM   #3
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If you have ammonia and nitrates, then you probably have nitrites as well. The first two are very toxic! Have you had anything die recently? I wouldn't perform water changes for elevated ammonia or Nitrite levels...let nature take its course. Water changes will be good for any other issue, such as elevated nitrates, phosphates, dissolved organics, terpenes, pH, alkalinity, salinity issues etc.
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:55 AM   #4
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Also make sure you are not over feeding since excessive left over food and waste causes ammonia and nitrate spike.

Check the condition of your tap water. The lowest level of nitrates is the level of your tap. You can add plants that will naturally consume ammonia and nitrates. Having some mts will also help.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:21 PM   #5
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how old are your test kits, and when was the last time you tested the water?
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
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If you have ammonia and nitrates, then you probably have nitrites as well. The first two are very toxic! Have you had anything die recently? I wouldn't perform water changes for elevated ammonia or Nitrite levels...let nature take its course. Water changes will be good for any other issue, such as elevated nitrates, phosphates, dissolved organics, terpenes, pH, alkalinity, salinity issues etc.

Why not do water changes for high amm??
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:41 AM   #7
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The test kits are less than 2 months old, and I just tested yesterday. Seems to be going down but not much. I also noticed the junk my protein skimmer is picking up is a lot nastier and darker than normal. Makes me wonder whats going on.... Nothing has died as far as I can tell, however, I just bought 2 new pieces of live rock and the two aiptasia on them died. Doesn't seem like a good sign to me when the impossible to kill pests are dying from obvious water quality issues fish and inverts are still normal though
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:21 PM   #8
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maybe it was the introduction of the 2 pieces of live rock. a lot of die off on them perhaps.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:21 PM   #9
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Why not do water changes for high amm??

Because if you have ammonia, that means that something has died. When doing a water change you are not really doing anything to help the situation, UNLESS the dead, decaying organism is removed. Water changes will just cause spikes in the ammonia level, ultimately not doing anything valuable, that is why when you cycle a tank you are NEVER suppose to perform a water change! Let nature take its place!
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:29 PM   #10
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ammonia is poisoning the fish. removing it can save them from torture and possible death. this tank is already cycled. a water change will not cause an ammonia spike. eventually, whatever the cause of the ammonia will dissolve, and then the source will be gone. in the meantime, if you can't pinpoint it, it's your only band aid, besides some ammonia lock perhaps.
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