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Old 09-28-2011, 12:56 PM   #1
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Ammonia Spike After Adding Fish HELP!

So I just lost two clownfish because of a severe ammonia spike. I waited until my ammonia and nitrite were 0 before I added them. They both read 0 for a day or two before I added the fish, and the nitrate level was at 20. I made the mistake the first time around so the second time I waited till it was fully cycled.

They were doing fine for a couple of days, and I kept an eye on the ammonia. It was slowly climbing the first couple of days (never got above .25), but I just thought this was the "mini" spike people talk about that comes when you add fish combined with uneaten food. Then, just last night it jumped up close to 1.0.

I'm at wits end here. I don't know if my bacteria colony wasn't strong enough to break down the ammonia, and I don't know why the ammonia spiked so quick and strong. I guess I'm going to try this one more time, is it worth pretty much breaking the tank down, rinsing the gravel, risning the filter, etc?
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:02 PM   #2
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i wouldn't break anything down. what size tank is this that 2 clowns spiked it like that?
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:04 PM   #3
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60 gallons. That's why I'm so stumped. I fed them 3 times a day, but is was very, very small amounts. I used marine pellets and actually crushed them up so they were smaller pieces and I could put in smaller amounts. The two of them were pigs, rest their souls, so I don't believe there was a lot of decomposing food left sitting around...
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:12 PM   #4
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oh..well, there's your problem. there is no need to feed them 3 times a day. even if they consumed the food- it was still in the tank. i've been feeding a fully stocked reef tank 2 x a week for the last year or so and everything is fat and happy.
everything you put in the tank must be manually removed. even if it is eaten.
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:13 PM   #5
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Oh well there we go. I just read books and sites and they all reccomended 3 times a day. So what should me next step be? Wait it out, or should I do a massive water change?
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:01 PM   #6
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how much rock do you have in the tank? i would do a 20 gallon change if it was me. 3 times a day is crazy.
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