Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 04-23-2022, 11:13 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 2
Ammonia Spike from New Plants

Hi,

I have a Ciano Aqua 60 tank (60L) thatís been set up since July 2021. Until recently it held approx. 10 guppies, 2 electric blue rams, 2 black phantom tetra, 3 neon tetra, 6 chequerboard cichlids, , 4 African dwarf frogs, 2 hillstream loaches and 4 amano shrimp.

It had been perfectly healthy for months, then I added in a few new live plants. Within 12 hours the 4 amano shrimp and 2 hillstream loaches were dead. Everything else seems healthy except for the guppies being at the surface a lot. I have discovered the ammonia levels are around 0.2-0.5 so I guess the oxygen depletion is why the guppies are at the surface.

Iím trying to fix this by doing daily ~50% water changes and adding in beneficial bacteria. I donít understand how adding in live plants has caused this spike, but 6 deaths in 12 hours and nothing either side of that is too much to be a coincidence. Any idea what it could be and how it could be fixed without having to remove the plants?

Thanks.

__________________
ls1875 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2022, 03:37 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 4,231
Its possible that plant melt, which is normal for newly introduced plants could cause a little ammonia. Or possibly the action of planting them in the substrate might have stirred up something which is causing the ammonia you are seeing.

However ammonia at that level is of no harm to your fish. Ammonia just isnt that toxic and needs much higher levels to kill fish.

I dont understand how you equate adding plants to causing oxygen depletion. Can you explain that?

Perhaps you brought some chemical into the tank when you added plants? Maybe something on your hands? Or did you wash the plants in something before you added them?
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2022, 07:49 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 2
Thanks.

I was told that the presence of ammonia causes oxygen depletion, and my problems only started when the plants were added, so it could’ve been the substrate stirring up or chemicals when adding them in, but symptoms of ammonia showed very quickly after adding the plants.

If the plants are melting, are they safe to leave in?

What would you recommend that I do to try and bring the oxygen levels back up so that the guppies don’t stay at the surface? Can that be done without adding an air pump, would rather avoid that if possibly because of the noise.

Thanks
__________________
ls1875 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2022, 09:50 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
Community Moderator
 
Aiken Drum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 4,231
Its not that ammonia depletes oxygen, but the nitrogen cycle uses some oxygen to turn ammonia into nitrate, but not enough to deplete oxygen to a noticable degree. The other link between ammonia and oxygen is that too much ammonia will burn fishes gills so they dont work as well and fish cant then extract O2 from the water properly. But it would take much higher ammonia levels than you are seeing to do this.

Unless you've had much higher levels of ammonia in your tank than the low levels you are reporting, ammonia isnt a health for your fish. Its obviously possible though that ammonia spiked much higher than what your testing is showing now though. Did you see any sypmtoms of ammonia poisoning?

- Red or bleeding gills.
- Changes in the fishes colouration including red streaks.
- Gasping at the surface for air.
- Damaged fins.
- Lethargic swimming at the bottom.

While seeing ammonia at the level you are seeing is not an immediate concern and not a significant health risk, it is a sign your tank isnt cycling out waste properly.

If your tanks filter causes surface agitation i wouldnt worry about O2. Plants will help with oxygenation if you dont want to add an airstone. Dropping the water level slightly should cause more surface agitation from your filter. Water changes are great for adding O2 short term too.

Before you started your daily water changes, what was a normal water change schedule? Do you see an improvement in your fish now you are changing plenty of water? Do you know your water hardness? If not specifically, do you know if you live in an area with hard or soft water?

Plant melt is perfectly normal when new plants are introduced to an aquarium. They will have been cultivated above water with ready access to CO2 from the atmosphere. You put the plant under water, CO2 is largely cut off, and the plant needs to adapt to its new environment and the original growth may die off or melt. New growth is more tolerant of its new environment with a different leaf structure able to extract CO2 from the water. Old growth die off will add some ammonia into the water, and could explain what you are seeing in your test, but doesn't explain why your fish died. If you see significant plant melt, remove the dying growth. This will stop it contributing to poor water quality and the plant can concentrate its resources on new healthy growth rather than trying to heal poor, unhealthy growth.
__________________
Aiken Drum
Community Moderator
Aiken Drum is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ammonia, ammonia spike, new plants, plant, plants, spike

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Does Rearranging Plants Cause an Ammonia Spike? DeirdreHoyle Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 8 06-21-2014 10:36 AM
Help! Added fish & plants & now have Ammonia spike thursyanna Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 4 02-05-2013 11:31 PM
Allowable ammonia spike for new fish bjtaylor Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 8 11-13-2011 10:12 AM
help amo. spike nitrite spike but nitrate went to zero bmw325cic Saltwater Fish Only & FOWLR 1 03-02-2011 11:07 PM
New Tank/Bio-Spira/Ammonia Spike 8.0ppm = Normal? Legacy Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 13 11-02-2005 12:39 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.