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Surprise Ammonia Spike....


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Chris here... I thought to start a thread on this since my cycle has been so fragile... :(

I did a 100% WC yesterday... water testing prior to change showed: PH 8.0, Ammonia 0-.25, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5-10... I have been doing a 100% WCs every Tuesday since 9/27... My tank was over stock until Monday 10/17, when the 2 fatties were moved to the no tell motel for the for see able future to deal with their floatiness. So all that is in the tank are Hindenburg and Nautilus both are small babies. Their body length from nose to beginning of tails are 2 inches... Both fish are being their usual self... No behavioral changes...

Tank size is 40g. Filters: 2 AC70s, running at 75% each, one DIY water skimmer. 1 air stone, 1- 24 inch bubble wand...

Both filters wer rinsed back on the 10/11 WC...

Added a heater yesterday to bring the tank up to 75 degrees... the tank without heat was typically 69-70 degrees..

Added a wonder shell this morning after today's water test...

Today's water testing: PH 8.0, Ammonia .50, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0

In response to the spike I added a complete dose of Pime.

If there is something I'm missing, please advise...

Thanks so much... :hummm

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What do you mean by rinsed the filters? What did you do with the bio media?

Hi Mickey! I used a bucket of tank water, placed all the media (sponges and bio) in the bucket while doing the water change... I then gently rinsed the all the media to remove the gunky stuff and replace it into the the filter chambers... I also rinsed the take up tube covers (which were loaded with poo and cleaned the take up tubes. All in tank water... but again that was done on the previous WC to this one... and the cycle was fine between the two... :)

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I don't like 100% water changes in a cycled tank.  I know some people swear by them, but to me they seem to mess with the goal of having a stable ecosystem.  You might consider Two 60% changes a week instead.  Any substantial gunk a week after a full water change strongly suggests overfeeding.  If you took the two larger fish out of the tank and cut the amount you fed that tank in half, that would constitute overfeeding.  

 

Why did you raise the tank temperature?

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I don't like 100% water changes in a cycled tank.  I know some people swear by them, but to me they seem to mess with the goal of having a stable ecosystem.  You might consider Two 60% changes a week instead.  Any substantial gunk a week after a full water change strongly suggests overfeeding.  If you took the two larger fish out of the tank and cut the amount you fed that tank in half, that would constitute overfeeding.  

 

Why did you raise the tank temperature?

Hi Shakaho, The filter cleaning was done on the previous wc... what I did discover is that a month with the take up tubes having the sponge covers; the filter media is not near as nasty as in previous cleanings... :)

I have absolutely cut the feeding way down... the babies get one bite of repashy soilent green and about 10 small pellets to share twice a day....

It's just really frustrating to get an ammonia reading the day after the water change...I cannot figure out what caused it... :tantrum

The reason for adding the heater is that my tap cold water even on cooler days is between 78 and 82 on the warmest days.... It takes a couple of hours of cooling the water before I can put the fish back in the tank... it is my intention to shorten that part of the WC process.... according to the reading I done 75 degrees is considered a very healthy temp for the fatties to thrive in....

If you see that I should be doing anything different please advise... Thank you so much!!! :D

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So you aren't cleaning the filters with every water change? A weekly rinse keeps the filter clean and effective.

 

If you aren't doing 100% water changes, you can simply siphon the new water into the tank using 1/4 inch tubing to make the water temperature change gradually.  Or you can just add the new water a gallon at a time.

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So you aren't cleaning the filters with every water change? A weekly rinse keeps the filter clean and effective.

 

If you aren't doing 100% water changes, you can simply siphon the new water into the tank using 1/4 inch tubing to make the water temperature change gradually.  Or you can just add the new water a gallon at a time.

No, I clean the filters once a month, but I do look closely at them at each water change to make sure nothing is looking off... the take up tubes covers are thoroughly rinsed at each WC there is a lot of particles and poo collected there...

The 12 to 15 degree tank and tap difference has always been a challenge for me and the 100% WCs once a week have not interfered with my cycle since I had upgraded from the 20 to the 40... I test the tank pretty much daily since I have a history of a fragile cycle...

I don't believe fish are phased by a small increase in temp.

I don't believe fish are phased by a small increase in temp.

Hi DieselPower, thanks for your response... I'm hoping to close the gap from tank and tap so my water changes are not so challenging... yesterday the tap was the coolest it had been since May... 78 degrees, so dropping the temp the 6 to 7 degrees to get with in the at least 3 degrees of the 70 degrees of the tank prior the the WC was a much easier 1 hour vs 2-3 hours I have been dealing with... :wall

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Actually we now have a lot of research showing that goldfish (and fish in general) do best it they experience the natural daily cycle of warming during the day and cooling at night.  Outdoors, this often involves a swing of 10-15oF over 12 hours, depending on the climate.

 

I strongly recommend a weekly filter clean.  Clean the sponges or other mechanical filters vigorously, getting as much crud out as possible.  Just rinse the detritus from the biomedium.  

 

The detritus collected in the filter feeds decomposing bacteria.  These use oxygen to release ammonia from nitrogen-containing material and oxidize organic molecules to carbon dioxide.  The nitrifiers would be happy to oxidize that ammonia, but they need oxygen to do so.  The more crud in the filter, the more oxygenated water needed to keep nitrification working optimally, but the more crud in the filter, the slower the flow.  Clean filters work better.

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Actually we now have a lot of research showing that goldfish (and fish in general) do best it they experience the natural daily cycle of warming during the day and cooling at night.  Outdoors, this often involves a swing of 10-15oF over 12 hours, depending on the climate.

 

I strongly recommend a weekly filter clean.  Clean the sponges or other mechanical filters vigorously, getting as much crud out as possible.  Just rinse the detritus from the biomedium.  

 

The detritus collected in the filter feeds decomposing bacteria.  These use oxygen to release ammonia from nitrogen-containing material and oxidize organic molecules to carbon dioxide.  The nitrifiers would be happy to oxidize that ammonia, but they need oxygen to do so.  The more crud in the filter, the more oxygenated water needed to keep nitrification working optimally, but the more crud in the filter, the slower the flow.  Clean filters work better.

This is very well put Sharon and a good and motivating reason to clean filters weekly :)

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Actually we now have a lot of research showing that goldfish (and fish in general) do best it they experience the natural daily cycle of warming during the day and cooling at night.  Outdoors, this often involves a swing of 10-15oF over 12 hours, depending on the climate.

 

I strongly recommend a weekly filter clean.  Clean the sponges or other mechanical filters vigorously, getting as much crud out as possible.  Just rinse the detritus from the biomedium.  

 

The detritus collected in the filter feeds decomposing bacteria.  These use oxygen to release ammonia from nitrogen-containing material and oxidize organic molecules to carbon dioxide.  The nitrifiers would be happy to oxidize that ammonia, but they need oxygen to do so.  The more crud in the filter, the more oxygenated water needed to keep nitrification working optimally, but the more crud in the filter, the slower the flow.  Clean filters work better.

Thank you Sharon... I will start a weekly cleaning of the filters... Hopefully my cycle won't take a hit... I'll keep testing daily to keep a close eye on the water quality... :)

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Chris here... today's water test... better results, but not where they should be two days after a water change... Added prime...

PH 8.0, Ammonia 0-.25, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0+

:)

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