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Old 09-17-2010, 12:14 AM   #1 
TharBePirates
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Ammonia

I had a serious ammonia spike between yesterday and today. Tonight I realized how lethargic Gyarados was and decided to test the water to make sure everything was alright.

0.5 was the reading.

I suspected the spike when I saw him, because there had been a change in his environment yesterday that I removed earlier today. Still, 0.5 freaked me out. I took out everything and washed his rocks, filter and gravel in hot water, and let him sit in a salt bath. I did a 100% water change.

Am doing this right?

specs of the tank.
2.5 gal
filtered
cycled
planted (anubis, java ferns, duckweed and a large carpet of crystalwort)
light with a daylight CFL
heated to 78
1 betta
2 shrimp
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:18 AM   #2 
Adastra
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If you're getting such high ammonia readings, then your tank is not cycled, or the cycle died somehow. I suggest putting off cycling the tank again until your fish is doing better--until that point I would keep doing 100% water changes every 4 days. Once he is fully recovered, you can attempt to recover your bacterial colony using either the fishless method (what I always use) or the fish-in method--if you use the latter, you should test every day to make sure your ammonia/nitrite levels don't exceed .25ppm and do partial changes as necessary to maintain that ammonia level.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:57 AM   #3 
TharBePirates
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If you're getting such high ammonia readings, then your tank is not cycled, or the cycle died somehow. I suggest putting off cycling the tank again until your fish is doing better--until that point I would keep doing 100% water changes every 4 days. Once he is fully recovered, you can attempt to recover your bacterial colony using either the fishless method (what I always use) or the fish-in method--if you use the latter, you should test every day to make sure your ammonia/nitrite levels don't exceed .25ppm and do partial changes as necessary to maintain that ammonia level.
Thanks for the info, but I know for a fact that it's not a case of my cycle crashing. I know my ammonia spiked because I had a very errornous, very short, case of overstocking with some otos. I was persueded into getting them (and like a noob I had a bad feeling but was roped in) yesterday, but early this morning I quickly returned the otos and got what I had originally wanted, two shrimp. I knew that the otos had stressed Gyrados (small space and very zippy little fish), but after his introductions with the shrimp (he seemed to enjoy having them) he looked worse this evening. I immediately thought of a possible ammonia spike because of the overstocking and checked.

I understand that the spike (and the onset of stress on my fish) is my fault (and trust me, I feel very guilty). I'm trying to fix it as quickly as possible. I just checked my levels and my Ph is an even 7.0 and the ammonia is back down to 0.

Is there anything else I need to do? I'll be doing Ph and ammonia checks for a few days here on out, and watching Gyarados closely.
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Old 09-17-2010, 04:51 AM   #4 
karlhague
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pH Will NOT affect your fish unless its constantly changing.

Be Carefull with your shrimp and high ammonia, shrimp seem to be especially affected by Ammonia spikes.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:56 PM   #5 
Neelie
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2.5g IMO cant be properly cycled. they are just too small...
i think your cycle has crashed... either start again from zero or just do water changes every week. changing water in a 2.5g is easy peasy....
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:11 PM   #6 
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OFL said in another thread somewhere that a 2.5 gallon can be properly cycled. You'd just be doing like two 25% changes a week instead of a 50% and a 100%.

However, by doing that 100% WC, you did probably kill your cycle, especially since you rinsed your gravel and filter in non-tank water.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:15 PM   #7 
Neelie
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However, by doing that 100% WC, you did probably kill your cycle, especially since you rinsed your gravel and filter in non-tank water.
did the water change after the spike which was totally correct as it would have killed the fish.

tbh i think a cycled 2.5g is too unstable....
5g is minimum for cycling, just my opinion...
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Old 09-17-2010, 02:15 PM   #8 
TharBePirates
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Thanks everyone for the information. While I did wash the filter and gravel in non-tank water, I didn't however wash the 2 inch layer of sand I have under that thin layer of gravel. I don't know if that helps or not.

At any rate, Gyarados is doing MUCH better. He's napping on his anacharis, which is far better than the hugging the top side of the tank, fins drooped, gasping at the surface he was doing yesterday. Unfortunately, I think last night he ate the shrimp (I guess he liked them a little too much). I'm a little bummed over that, because they were fun little additions during the several hours they were in there.
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:39 PM   #9 
TharBePirates
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Tested again tonight, it was back up to .25. Yikes. I set up a gallon to declorinate and tossed some Seachem's Neutral Regulator into the tank to see if it will help a little while the change water sets for a bit. It takes some time for our water to be ready, SF has a high ammonia reading in the tap water. After I put this water in I'll give the tank a dose of the Special Blend Micro Lift to help the bacteria.

Also if anyone else is curious, I also tested my roommates' 2 gal unfiltered cookie tub that hasn't had a water change in a week. It's absolutely perfect in Ph and ammonia.

Oh the irony....
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:16 AM   #10 
JorgeBurrito
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You killed a lot of your beneficial bacteria by scrubbing everything in tap water and likely killed your cycle. The sand shouldd of retained its bacteria which will help you recycle that tank (should take a week or two versus months). In the mean time you need to be doing frequent water changes.
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