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Old 09-18-2012, 12:02 PM   #1 
Sowman
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Super High Ammonia-Help

Hello All,
So this morning I notices that little Caviar was not moving around as much and wouldn't eat. I tested the water and the Ammonia was at 8.0 ppm. I started to freak! All I could do was do a 90% water change and rush to work (already late at this time). The tank has been up and running for about a year now and I added live plants about 2 months ago. I cleaned out a lot of dead plants on Sunday. My filter was also a bit clogged so I cleaned it out and without thinking about it I cleaned the filter under running tap water (I know that was bad). I did also rearrange some of the plants this Sunday. I have never had any problems with this betta or this tank before and I take really good care of this little guy.

Could cleaning the filter and moving the plants around have caused such a high ammonia spike and what should I do?

Thank you all very much for your help.



Housing :
What size is your tank? 5G
What temperature is your tank? 78-80
Does your tank have a filter? Yes
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? None

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Pellets
How often do you feed your betta fish? 3-4 Pellets once a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? once a week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? 10-25%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? Standard conditioner

Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:8
Nitrite:0
Nitrate:0
pH: 6.8
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? not changed
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? not moving much and not eating
When did you start noticing the symptoms? today
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? just water changes
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No, first time
How old is your fish (approximately)? I don't know, I got his from someone who couldn't take care of him.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:25 PM   #2 
clopez1
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Killed the bacteria when you cleaned the filter media with tap water..mini cycle.
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:13 PM   #3 
sarahspins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sowman View Post
Could cleaning the filter and moving the plants around have caused such a high ammonia spike and what should I do?
Yep, rinsing the filter pad in tap water likely killed most of your BB leaving your tank uncycled.

A 90% water change would bring your ammonia down a lot, but it's still going to be high.. you should be treating your tank as if you're cycling it again, and with fish in the tank you need to bring that ammonia down below .25, so keep changing water until it's below that, and then keep changing as needed to keep it there.

Watch your nitrItes and nitrAtes as well.. you may or may not see a nitrite spike depending on how much of your BB colony was damaged, but once you start seeing nitrates and your ammonia stays at 0 (or very close to it) you can go back to weekly water changes, but I'd suggest changing more like 50% of your water - a 5g tank doesn't allow much room for things to go wrong if they do, and I would imagine that your ammonia didn't get to 8ppm in just a few days - did you test the water on Sunday?
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:35 PM   #4 
Sowman
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No I didnt test it on Sunday, just today. I usually one test my water ever 3 weeks or so. Okay, I'll do large water changes everyday and monitor all water conditions each day and see what happens. Should I move my betta to a QT while this is happening to the tank?
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:37 PM   #5 
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if you get SUPER high ammonia, or just high ammonia, my advice is to change the water
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:37 PM   #6 
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As long as you can keep the ammonia at reasonable levels there's no need to remove him.
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:37 PM   #7 
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You can leave him in there unless you want to do a fishless cycle..He'll be fine as long as you keep up the water changes and tests till cycled again.
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:39 PM   #8 
Sowman
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Thanks a lot everyone, I test again once I get home and do another water change if needed.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:32 AM   #9 
efg321
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sounds like a mini-cycle happening all over again, due to washing filter media...lots of water changes till cycle catches back up! hope all worked out!
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:47 AM   #10 
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Since you restarted your cycle by running the sponge under tap water (next time just use the bucket of old water during a change) you're going to have to go back to testing daily for ammonia and nitrite and do a 50% change any time you see any show up. It shouldn't take as long to finish as it did the first time but it could still take a few weeks.

Your ammonia is still going to be pretty high.. maybe as much as 1ppm. Do another test and change when you get home. You may need to do a series of 50% changes 2-3 more times to get it gone.

Watch him really carefully.. if he doesn't perk up a whole lot by tonight I'd remove him in QT until you can get water under control again.
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