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Old 09-02-2014, 01:30 AM   #1
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Ammonia Spike in year old tank help

Tank has been up and running for about a year, never had any water issues, don't really test for anything except nitrates & phosphates but today o decided to run all tests and have over .5 ppm of ammonia???? What could be the cause as i have not really changed anything, have noticed my red cherry shrimp are missing but i thought my clown loach might have had a snack but now I'm thinking my ammonia as i hear some invertebrates don't like any type of ammonia.

Here is my full tests, all with API test kits:
Ammonia between .5-1.0 ppm
Nitrite, copper- no detectable amount
Nitrate 20 ppm
Phosphate 2 ppm
Kh 3 dkh

Any advice would greatly be appreciated, thx



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Old 09-02-2014, 01:45 AM   #2
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You might want to check the tap water for ammonia.


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Old 09-02-2014, 01:53 AM   #3
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You might want to check the tap water for ammonia.


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I use ro water but i will check it just in case


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Old 09-02-2014, 05:13 AM   #4
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Thats very nutrient deficient water which isnt particularly healthy for well... anything. The shrimp in particular need a bit more in their water.

My first thought is old tank syndrome. How do you manage your water changes? How often and do you vac the substrate?
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:34 AM   #5
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Your Tank

Hello dr...

I change a lot of tank water weekly, so I don't test it. Could be you need a bit more water treatment. I use Seachem's "Safe". I dose a bit more than recommended to make sure all the chemicals the public water people put into the tap water are removed. It will work for ammonia.

I also use a cut to fit poly fiber medium from Acurel that removes ammonia. The product is inexpensive and very thick. It will last quite a while before you need to replace it. It should work for most filter equipment.

I would go with a good floating plant too. I prefer Hornwort. It will use up the nitrogen in the tank water and keep things a bit cleaner between water changes.

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Old 09-02-2014, 11:38 AM   #6
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Ammonia Spike in year old tank help

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Thats very nutrient deficient water which isnt particularly healthy for well... anything. The shrimp in particular need a bit more in their water.

My first thought is old tank syndrome. How do you manage your water changes? How often and do you vac the substrate?

I do about 50%weekly, i use Seachem Equilibrium to replenish all minerals into my ro water plus i use about 2-3 gallons of waste water just in case to make sure their is enough minerals in the tank for the plants. Every second week i clean with old tank water either my fluval 205 or my AC70. I have mostly a sand substrate but vac it once a week when doing water changes.

What am i missing in this puzzle?


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Old 09-02-2014, 11:45 AM   #7
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Hello dr...

I change a lot of tank water weekly, so I don't test it. Could be you need a bit more water treatment. I use Seachem's "Safe". I dose a bit more than recommended to make sure all the chemicals the public water people put into the tap water are removed. It will work for ammonia.

I also use a cut to fit poly fiber medium from Acurel that removes ammonia. The product is inexpensive and very thick. It will last quite a while before you need to replace it. It should work for most filter equipment.

I would go with a good floating plant too. I prefer Hornwort. It will use up the nitrogen in the tank water and keep things a bit cleaner between water changes.

B

I don't use water treatment since i have been using ro water, is Safe like Prime? So i should look for some ammonia media and use it? I guess if i need to i will but am a bit concerned on what caused it in the first place.

I used to have Hornwort in my tank, grew like a weed and had to prune it weekly, i may have to go back to it. I did take a lot of plants out last week as they were getting too thick, could this have caused an issue?


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Old 09-03-2014, 02:58 AM   #8
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I'm in the same boat. Ammonia spike on an established tank and I also removed a bunch of plants. Following along here to see what people have to say.
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:59 AM   #9
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Certainly a possibility the correlation of the plants being removed.

If the plants are taking up the waste materials in the water then there could be less BB in the filter so you may have had a mini cycle due to the fact the filter wasn't doing all the work of cleaning the water the plants were helping a lot.

It could take a few weeks to get the BB to catch up.

Do a few pwc over the next few days and reduce feeding for the next few weeks.
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Old 09-03-2014, 01:50 PM   #10
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Certainly a possibility the correlation of the plants being removed.

If the plants are taking up the waste materials in the water then there could be less BB in the filter so you may have had a mini cycle due to the fact the filter wasn't doing all the work of cleaning the water the plants were helping a lot.

It could take a few weeks to get the BB to catch up.

Do a few pwc over the next few days and reduce feeding for the next few weeks.

I guess anything is possible but thinking out loud a tank that is a year old shouldn't rely on plants to handle the bio load?

Will do a series of pwc, add Prime to tank water just in case & go from there. Need to run tests again just to make sure its still an issue


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Old 09-03-2014, 01:54 PM   #11
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Think of it as more a cause and effect relationship rather than reliance.

Due to a large amoung of plants in a tank it weakens the bio filter due to less available ammonia. The bb in a tank adjusts to the bio load and if the plants canceled out some of that bio load then removing plants would be no different than adding a bunch of fish or changing a filter cartridge.
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:22 PM   #12
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I think it is simply a matter of the plants using the ammonia and because of that there isn't as much for the BB grow from or multiply from. A issue of supply and demand.

If you had, had no plants in the tank there would have been additional BB, growth based on the amount of waste from fish food and poop from a day to day, feeding, consumption and waste situation.

In this case the plants were the consumer. Your tank had the balance until you took out a bunch of plants. imho.
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:08 PM   #13
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Well my ammonia is now sky high, im thinking of doing daily water changes until i figure out what to do or the bb catches us, strange that i still have no nitrites & nitrates are just under 20 ppm.... Im very confussed!!!


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Old 09-04-2014, 11:00 PM   #14
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I lost 5 fish to ammonia that was at 0.5 It was recommended I do multiple changes per day. I did and it helped so you might want to try that depending on how high your ammonia is.

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