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Ammonia spike

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by barbarossa4122, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    :confused:

    Hi,

    I did a 75% wc on both my tanks and I noticed this morning that my ammonia levels are up to 1 from 0. These 2 tanks are fully cycled and I never had this problem before. I washed/cleaned all the filters before the wc. I do clean my filters every 4 to 5 weeks. Anyway, I did 70% wcs back to back and ammonia is back to 0. All the other water parameters are OK.
    No dead critters in the tanks and I am wondering where the ammonia spike comes from. One more thing, both tanks have bio-wheels and cleaning the filters should not cause this, I think. I will appreciate any help on this.:)
     
    #1 barbarossa4122, Apr 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2010
  2. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    In a densely planted tank, NH4 from stock/food alone isn't likely to cause problems. The most common place to get NH4 problems is from the substrate.
     
  3. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Dan,

    I have had this substrate from the beginning and never a problem. Maybe I been cleaning the filters too good and too often. Also , I replaced/clean the mechanical media every week. Somehow, something killed my good bacteria but, what? Can the dry ferts cause this? Very strange.
     
    #3 barbarossa4122, Apr 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2010
  4. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    Did you replace/clean all of it at the same time? You may have wiped out the bacteria yourself.
     
  5. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Hi csmith,

    Yep, I did clean/replaced all at the same time knowing that I have bacteria on my bio-wheels. From now on I am going to alternate cleaning/replacing and see what happens. Can I add Prime every couple of days to keep ammonia in check until the weekly wc? I hope the bacteria will be back soon. I hate this.
     
  6. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    I had a bio-wheel and assumed the same thing you did. It went bad. 50% change/replacement at a time.

    I'm not sure about the Prime, I think it's possible to overdose it.
     
  7. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Hi,

    OK. Do not rely on the bio-wheel and save the Prime. Thank you:)
     
  8. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Oh, one more moronic think I did was cleaning the
    Ehfisubstrat Pro too, with tap warm water.:eek: I used to clean it with tank water before but, lately I relied too much on the bio-wheels.
     
    #8 barbarossa4122, Apr 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2010
  9. TheKillHaa

    TheKillHaa Prolific Poster

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    i dont trust too much on biowheels, i rather use ceramic or the round stuff from Eheim. but my guess, is that very few bacteria lives on them on dense planted acuaria, as plants will win the NH3-NH4 to the tiny critteres... imo.
     
  10. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    Always change half of the filter media..rinse in tank water as well as you have found......Or if two filters alternate weeks....

    Bacteria colonies can easily be wiped out by overcleaning.....

    I usually add some sponges to tanks and just hide them behind stuff.... they get loaded with bacteria and make a nice backup....let them float around. good for starting a new tank as well.
     
  11. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    No Brain No Pain Why Does It Hurt To Think?

    Hi,

    What Dan and Gerry said… :)

    Additional, perhaps incoherent thoughts, I am living proof one need not have a brain to have thoughts. :eek:

    First, if you are using SeaChem’s Prime, the ammonia is probably in a non-toxic form that is still read by most Ammonia test kits. (Yes, you can overdose Prime, but it is something like seven times the label dose.)

    Second, it is the season when water treatment plants start significantly increasing the chlorine or chloramines. Chloramines have ammonia.

    Third, if your tank is under six months old it really is not fully cycled. Enriched substrates as Dan points out are great sources of ammonia.

    What Gerry said about sponges is dead on, as we would expect from Gerry. :cool:

    Biollante
     
  12. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    Would it be absolute overkill to treat all new substrate like worm castings? Well, maybe not so much flourite or those similar that are purely iron enriched, but as for the others couldn't they all be boiled/soaked and the ammonia problems bypassed?

    In fact, I apologize for the momentary thread heist but this somewhat deals with Barbarossa's issue. Would it be realistic to do a 100% substrate change while ensuring your sponges/filter/etc. are cared for properly (ensuring maximum retention of bacteria) and expect to not have ammonia issues? Would too much bacteria be removed via the substrate to combat the ammonia?
     
  13. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Bio.

    The tanks are 9 months old, also I checked the tap water and it shows 0 ammonia. Anyway , this morning I tested again and is back to 0 :) Gave me a little bit of a scare but, it looks OK now. Thanks guys for your advice. :)
     
  14. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Apalling, Just Apalling

    Hi,

    I really do not think boiling inert materials will accomplish much unless there is some kind of wonky smell. :gw

    I confess I lay a lot of stuff out in the sun and tend to keep stuff soaking in buckets, pails and tubs all over the place. It may be that is the equivalent of boiling. :confused:

    It is indeed fairly easy to keep filter material alive and well for changeovers, if you have more than one tank it is a breeze. :cool:

    {Additional Disclaimer}
    With the exception of a bag of Laterilite and a couple of bags of Fluorite, purchased at a garage sale, I have never purchased or used a commercial substrate.}
    And just let me self-righteously say that I am appalled by this thread hijack and I am so pleased that I am not the kind that would ever hijack a thread! [Unless of course there were, well, er, serious extenuating circumstances.] :eek:

    Biollante
     
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