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  1. #1

    Join Date
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    【ツ】 - korith first fish for your community tank! - Cyberra a friend for your other neon ;) - Cyberra tetra #3 ;) - Cyberra looks like you like neons.... i hope - genocidex 
    because sometimes they school - genocidex a good school of neons is 6 minimal !!!!! - genocidex for playing along, gift of my choice!!!! - genocidex These seem to be quite popular... - ~firefly~ ...so here's another one... - ~firefly~ 
    ...and for luck, one more. - ~firefly~ 
    Arthritis - Child Abuse - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - Dystonia - Education - Free Speech - Interstitial Cystitis - ME/CFIDS - Reye's Syndrome - Save the Music - Teens Against Smoking - Victim's Rights - Water Quality - Flyby Stardancer 

    Default Ack! Mystery ammonia spike!


    0 Not allowed!
    Okay, here's the setup.

    I have my 5 gallon tank. It's planted, with a single betta that I got last Friday. Before I got the fish, I cycled the tank fishlessly by adding pure ammonia to it. It cycled nicely, and after I added stem plants, the nitrates dropped off pretty sharply. For an idea of how well it cycled, I wasn't sure Friday if I would get fish or not, so I added ammonia in the morning like I had been, only I dosed Prime as well to detoxify it in case I did get a fish. I accidentally dosed an extra drop of ammonia then, as well. I did end up getting a fish and putting him in later that day, and when I tested the next morning, it was 0, 0, 0.

    Well, I had been getting consistent 0s over the course of the week, except the morning after my light timer malfunctioned, which I had about 1ppm nitrates. Well, I pulled water yesterday morning to test, and forgot to actually run the tests (I was rather tired, so not a morning person but the cats insist on early breakfast). I pulled water again this morning, but didn't test either until tonight. Apparently I got an ammonia spike somehow. Yesterday's test came up .5ppm ammonia, and today's .25ppm. As soon as I started to see a greenish hue to the test tube, I ran over and added a couple doses' worth of Prime to the tank. The nitrites and nitrates for both days were both 0.

    What could have happened?! I didn't add anything to the tank, there's not uneaten food rotting away... I just don't understand. :(
    1. 2. (No Picture)
    1: Planted Betta Tank 1, Grimsby (male betta)
    2: Planted Betta Tank 2
    3: Eclipse QT Tank

  2. #2

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Are you using new water pulled from the tank to test or are you letting it sit for hours? I'm not sure it would matter, but it is a thought.

    Is the tank heavily planted? Plants do use up nitrate but it takes a lot of them in relation to tank size and fish to drop nitrates to 0ppm. My point being are you sure the tank was actually cycled before you put in the fish?

    The only other thing I can think of is maybe the betta is producing more ammonia than the newly established bacteria can handle and this is a mini-cycle.
    When I go fishing I just place a sharp rock in the water and sit there waiting for all the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Brutal honesty will be shown on this screen.
    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Tolerance is a great thing to have, so is the ability to shut up.

    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.


  3. #3

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    +1 with all honey badgers comments - what kind of filter are you using? Sometimes, even when a tank is cycled completely, adding a fish will produce a little ammonia while more bacteria are growing to accommodate the new bioload (ammonia output) - if ammonia goes up then of course, you need to change the water to reduce it.
    46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
    5 gal QT
    Remember: Our job is to take care of the water our fish live in

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    【ツ】 - korith first fish for your community tank! - Cyberra a friend for your other neon ;) - Cyberra tetra #3 ;) - Cyberra looks like you like neons.... i hope - genocidex 
    because sometimes they school - genocidex a good school of neons is 6 minimal !!!!! - genocidex for playing along, gift of my choice!!!! - genocidex These seem to be quite popular... - ~firefly~ ...so here's another one... - ~firefly~ 
    ...and for luck, one more. - ~firefly~ 
    Arthritis - Child Abuse - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - Dystonia - Education - Free Speech - Interstitial Cystitis - ME/CFIDS - Reye's Syndrome - Save the Music - Teens Against Smoking - Victim's Rights - Water Quality - Flyby Stardancer 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Honey Badger 1 View Post
    Are you using new water pulled from the tank to test or are you letting it sit for hours? I'm not sure it would matter, but it is a thought.
    Normally I test right away, but this time the samples sat around. I can't see how it would matter, since I hadn't added anything to them before they sat.

    Is the tank heavily planted? Plants do use up nitrate but it takes a lot of them in relation to tank size and fish to drop nitrates to 0ppm. My point being are you sure the tank was actually cycled before you put in the fish?
    Nearly the entire floorspace of the tank is covered with plants. Mostly slow-growing species, but there is a mystery stem that through help from this forum I believe to be some sort of hygrophila. I was hoping but not expecting that the plants to completely absorb all the nitrates. There was only one day during the cycling process that I didn't test the water, because the nitrosomona bacteria grew faster than I expected. I used Eco Complete, which claims to instantly cycle the tank, but I didn't believe them. However, I can't deny that the initial 1ppm dose of ammonia had all been converted to nitrites when I tested the second day after dosing. I continued dosing .5ppm ammonia every day after that until the fish was in the tank, but the ammonia levels read 0 every day. The daily nitrites during the cycling process were as follows (starting with the first day I tested after adding the initial dose of ammonia): 2ppm, .5ppm, .5ppm, .25ppm, .2ppm, and then 0 every day since. Now, nitrates jumped up and hit a high of 40ppm after a couple days of growing nitrospira, but then started declining. There was a jump in nitrates about a week in, but I suspected that was caused by a stem melting, after trying to hang on for a week but just couldn't establish itself. After removing it, the nitrates continued to drop again. The tank read 0/0/dropping for 9 days before I added the fish.

    The only other thing I can think of is maybe the betta is producing more ammonia than the newly established bacteria can handle and this is a mini-cycle.
    Why a problem half a week after adding the fish? Especially since it seemed to handle an overdose of ammonia just fine the day I added the fish.

    Quote Originally Posted by imma24 View Post
    +1 with all honey badgers comments - what kind of filter are you using?
    The tank is an Aqueon Mini-bow 5 gallon, and I'm running the built-in Aqueon Quietflow that came with it, though I'm using a filter sponge instead of the cartridges made for it. I'm planning on adding a sponge to the intake tube and another sponge to baffle the outflow, since I think the current plastic bottle baffle might be damaging my betta's fins.

    Sometimes, even when a tank is cycled completely, adding a fish will produce a little ammonia while more bacteria are growing to accommodate the new bioload (ammonia output) - if ammonia goes up then of course, you need to change the water to reduce it.
    But why the delay? Wouldn't the accidental overload the day I added the fish have shown up in the next morning's test, instead of me getting 0/0/0 for that day (the first day of 0 nitrates)?

    Dosing Prime did more good than a water change would have. By the time I saw the ammonia spike, it had dropped down to the level that chloramines keep my tap water at, and lower nitrates than my tap. Don't get me wrong, I will be doing a water change. It's just not what would have immediately made the tank safer due to the ammonia.
    Last edited by Flyby Stardancer; 07-19-2013 at 02:35 PM.
    1. 2. (No Picture)
    1: Planted Betta Tank 1, Grimsby (male betta)
    2: Planted Betta Tank 2
    3: Eclipse QT Tank

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    【ツ】 - korith first fish for your community tank! - Cyberra a friend for your other neon ;) - Cyberra tetra #3 ;) - Cyberra looks like you like neons.... i hope - genocidex 
    because sometimes they school - genocidex a good school of neons is 6 minimal !!!!! - genocidex for playing along, gift of my choice!!!! - genocidex These seem to be quite popular... - ~firefly~ ...so here's another one... - ~firefly~ 
    ...and for luck, one more. - ~firefly~ 
    Arthritis - Child Abuse - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - Dystonia - Education - Free Speech - Interstitial Cystitis - ME/CFIDS - Reye's Syndrome - Save the Music - Teens Against Smoking - Victim's Rights - Water Quality - Flyby Stardancer 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Okay, to give a better understanding, I loaded my spreadsheet for water parameters to my Google Drive account. It can be viewed here. The tank in question is under the tab labeled "BF Restart". It gives as many tank parameters as I can test for, when I tested them, as well as additional notes that I added when they seemed important.

    I reserved some of the leftover water I dechlorinated last night for the QT water change, and I'll be testing that in a bit and I'll add that to the tap water tab once I do.
    1. 2. (No Picture)
    1: Planted Betta Tank 1, Grimsby (male betta)
    2: Planted Betta Tank 2
    3: Eclipse QT Tank

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Is it at all possible that you have been overfeeding and there was excess food rotting in the tank?
    46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
    5 gal QT
    Remember: Our job is to take care of the water our fish live in

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    【ツ】 - korith first fish for your community tank! - Cyberra a friend for your other neon ;) - Cyberra tetra #3 ;) - Cyberra looks like you like neons.... i hope - genocidex 
    because sometimes they school - genocidex a good school of neons is 6 minimal !!!!! - genocidex for playing along, gift of my choice!!!! - genocidex These seem to be quite popular... - ~firefly~ ...so here's another one... - ~firefly~ 
    ...and for luck, one more. - ~firefly~ 
    Arthritis - Child Abuse - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - Dystonia - Education - Free Speech - Interstitial Cystitis - ME/CFIDS - Reye's Syndrome - Save the Music - Teens Against Smoking - Victim's Rights - Water Quality - Flyby Stardancer 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    It might be possible. I try not to overfeed and watch him, but he doesn't show interest in pellets that sink too fast for him. Hmmm. I'll definitely be more careful about that.

    I did a 50% water change, and then feed him bloodworms afterwards. He liked those. :) I also changed the baffle and added half of an IAL. Even if the benefits of such an item in the tank are more placebo on my part, having the leaf floating on top and the tannins should make his home a little more comfy.
    1. 2. (No Picture)
    1: Planted Betta Tank 1, Grimsby (male betta)
    2: Planted Betta Tank 2
    3: Eclipse QT Tank

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    【ツ】 - korith first fish for your community tank! - Cyberra a friend for your other neon ;) - Cyberra tetra #3 ;) - Cyberra looks like you like neons.... i hope - genocidex 
    because sometimes they school - genocidex a good school of neons is 6 minimal !!!!! - genocidex for playing along, gift of my choice!!!! - genocidex These seem to be quite popular... - ~firefly~ ...so here's another one... - ~firefly~ 
    ...and for luck, one more. - ~firefly~ 
    Arthritis - Child Abuse - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - Dystonia - Education - Free Speech - Interstitial Cystitis - ME/CFIDS - Reye's Syndrome - Save the Music - Teens Against Smoking - Victim's Rights - Water Quality - Flyby Stardancer 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Okay, just tested my tap (and updated both spreadsheets). And it just reinforced the idea that adding Prime was a more immediate answer to the ammonia spike, compared to a water change. A water change, will also adding Prime, would have raised the ammonia levels.

    The tap tested .5ppm ammonia, and 20ppm nitrates. :/

    And when I went in to do the nitrates test on the tap, I noticed boyfish on the bottom with his fins pulled in... I immediately rinsed off the syringe I use to pull water... By the time I had the syringe and got back over to the tank, he was up in the middle of the tank and gave me a look like, "I wasn't clamped, you're crazy girl!" I still took another sample and ran an ammonia test, just to be sure. It's at .25ppm, which would correspond to the ammonia from the tap from the water change. (Detoxified with Prime before I added to the tank, of course.)
    1. 2. (No Picture)
    1: Planted Betta Tank 1, Grimsby (male betta)
    2: Planted Betta Tank 2
    3: Eclipse QT Tank

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    【ツ】 - korith first fish for your community tank! - Cyberra a friend for your other neon ;) - Cyberra tetra #3 ;) - Cyberra looks like you like neons.... i hope - genocidex 
    because sometimes they school - genocidex a good school of neons is 6 minimal !!!!! - genocidex for playing along, gift of my choice!!!! - genocidex These seem to be quite popular... - ~firefly~ ...so here's another one... - ~firefly~ 
    ...and for luck, one more. - ~firefly~ 
    Arthritis - Child Abuse - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - Dystonia - Education - Free Speech - Interstitial Cystitis - ME/CFIDS - Reye's Syndrome - Save the Music - Teens Against Smoking - Victim's Rights - Water Quality - Flyby Stardancer 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    So, I'm still struggling with water quality issues. My spreadsheet with the water quality tests is here, tab 2 for the tank in question. For some reason, the ammonia just won't go to zero! Soooo very frustrating.

    And a question. Prime says it's safe up to 5 doses... Does that mean up to 5 before you need to let it sit a day or two, or until you need to do water changes to get rid of it?
    1. 2. (No Picture)
    1: Planted Betta Tank 1, Grimsby (male betta)
    2: Planted Betta Tank 2
    3: Eclipse QT Tank

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    【ツ】 - korith first fish for your community tank! - Cyberra a friend for your other neon ;) - Cyberra tetra #3 ;) - Cyberra looks like you like neons.... i hope - genocidex 
    because sometimes they school - genocidex a good school of neons is 6 minimal !!!!! - genocidex for playing along, gift of my choice!!!! - genocidex These seem to be quite popular... - ~firefly~ ...so here's another one... - ~firefly~ 
    ...and for luck, one more. - ~firefly~ 
    Arthritis - Child Abuse - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - Dystonia - Education - Free Speech - Interstitial Cystitis - ME/CFIDS - Reye's Syndrome - Save the Music - Teens Against Smoking - Victim's Rights - Water Quality - Flyby Stardancer 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    So I was thinking and looking at my spreadsheet... I started having issues after I switched from the water bottle baffle to a sponge baffle. I cycled without any baffle whatsoever, so I didn't remove any significant portion of BB... And in fact, by switching to sponge baffles I added more space for BB to grow. So why aren't they keeping up???

    Ammonia was at .25ppm again this morning.
    1. 2. (No Picture)
    1: Planted Betta Tank 1, Grimsby (male betta)
    2: Planted Betta Tank 2
    3: Eclipse QT Tank

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