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Nitrogen Cycle Spike


Neos in Woodstock
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Although I read that most shrimp keepers/breeders do so in a shrimp only tank, I wanted to try keeping them with fancy guppies. Unfortunately, as a newbie I think I overfed and now have had a spike in the nitrogen cycle. A few days ago, I cut back on the feeding to the detriment of the newborn guppy fry as they became dinner for the adults, and performed 50% water changes while also adding Seachem Stability. Does anyone have any other suggestions that will lower the ammonia and nitrites/nitrates faster? All seems good at the moment but I have to keep adding Stability to bind the ammonia etc while my sponge filters pick up the difference.

Also, how often should I be rinsing out the sponges in aquarium water? Once a month? Less or more often? They never look very dirty.

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4 hours ago, Neos in Woodstock said:

how often should I be rinsing out the sponges in aquarium water? Once a month? Less or more often? They never look very dirty.

I would not clean my sponge filters unless they are visibly clogged with dirt. There is no specific timeframe. Just squeeze it clean only when you see a lot of dirt clogging the sponge.

 

4 hours ago, Neos in Woodstock said:

Does anyone have any other suggestions that will lower the ammonia and nitrites/nitrates faster?

Have more than one sponge filter going, in a separate tank. When this happens, you transfer that into the tank.

Or wash the filter from another tank straight into this tank. Yes, it will be dirty, but you seed the tank with millions of beneficial bacteria. The dirt can be removed later once the tank is back under control.

 

4 hours ago, Neos in Woodstock said:

I think I overfed and now have had a spike in the nitrogen cycle.

ammonia spike don't just happen, unless there was so much food uneaten that caused the issue.

Care to share your tank parameters with us to see if we can spot in issue? Temps, pH, TDS, KH are primary parameters that will determine the health of the bacteria. If you have ammonia test kits, take a reading as well, since that is what is being suspected here.

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Keeping shrimps esp the more expensive finicky ones in a grow out tank for fry is going to be very complicated. Dry grow out would need multiple feedings, water changes where as shrimps would need more stable parameters.


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Thanks for all of the info guys. All three of my tanks have neocaridina.

Yes, I know that fry will be lost without multiple feedings daily because the adults will be hungry. And shrimplets will be lost too whenever the parameters are good enough for them to be born. I have excessive plantings (dwarf sagittaria and water wisteria) and water column plants (hornwart, frogbit, and java moss) as well as a lot of rocky (dragon stone) and Malaysian Driftwood crevices for the shrimp and mystery snails to hide.

The parameters yesterday of all three tanks are: TDS-220-225; Temp-71.8-76.3; PH-7.5-7.6, GH-9, and KH-4. Ammonia has been spiking up to 1.0, Nitrite to .25, and in one tank the Nitrates were elevated to 3. 

If I understand correctly, even "bound ammonia and nitrites" (using Seachem Stability) will show up in the API Master Test Kit where as they don't with test strips.

In all three tanks I have multiple (2) sponge filters and in the two larger ones I also have HOB filters running very slowly that came with the aquariums.

 

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20 hours ago, Neos in Woodstock said:

The parameters yesterday of all three tanks are: TDS-220-225; Temp-71.8-76.3; PH-7.5-7.6, GH-9, and KH-4. Ammonia has been spiking up to 1.0, Nitrite to .25,

Are you saying all 3 tanks are showing readings of ammonia and nitrite?

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No. Just two of them.

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13 minutes ago, Neos in Woodstock said:

No. Just two of them.

Have you washed your filter media/sponge from the good tank into the ones having ammonia issues?

If you do that, you will add beneficial bacteria back in.

Your tank parameters look fine for both shrimp and the bacteria, so any bacteria added to the tank now will survive.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi everyone. I've been keeping caridinas and neocaridinas in the same tank for about 2 months now. My neocaridinas were doing very well. Everyone was molting at their own pace and was breeding like crazy. Then I did a stupid thing of leaving raw chicken bits. While my shrimps ate the chicken, 2-3 of them died after that. And now my tank is totally haywire. I've tried doing water changes, tried vacuuming the substrate. My tank parameters are also REALLY REALLY bad. 

Nitrates 40

Nitrite 1

Gh >7

Kh 0

PH 6.8

CL 0

CO2 <15

My ammonia is <0.02ppm

My tank contents are aragonite sand, black active substrate(in a glass container), coral chips, coral stones, cholla wood, fissiden moss, duckweed, Indian almond leaf, java fern, a money plant, marimo moss ball. 

What can I do to make the nitrates and nitrites go away? And is my kh and gh making any sense? I tried adding coral stone, egg shells to increase my kh but it's not working. 

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I suspect the coral and egg shells have caused the GH to increase so I would just take those out and do a 50% slow water change! You will need to do water changes anyway whilst you're trying to re-cycle the tank, the treatments you used may have killed some of the beneficial bacteria, or it could just have been the chicken as you state?

If the neocaridina were doing fine without the KH then it would be better to return to that set up, at least until you get it back to normal and stable. The important thing is not to make and big/sudden changes to the water parameters, the CRS will be more delicate than the neocaridina, but all shrimp are fragile creatures!

Simon

 

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On 6/12/2021 at 4:39 PM, sdlTBfanUK said:

I suspect the coral and egg shells have caused the GH to increase so I would just take those out and do a 50% slow water change! You will need to do water changes anyway whilst you're trying to re-cycle the tank, the treatments you used may have killed some of the beneficial bacteria, or it could just have been the chicken as you state?

If the neocaridina were doing fine without the KH then it would be better to return to that set up, at least until you get it back to normal and stable. The important thing is not to make and big/sudden changes to the water parameters, the CRS will be more delicate than the neocaridina, but all shrimp are fragile creatures!

Simon

 

Hi Simon

I've tried to remove the coral chips and coral stones. I removed about 30% of the water and I even put seachem prime with the salty bee mineral to my RO water. The water parameters just got worse. My nitrates spiked from 25 to 75. I'm literally panicking and not sure what else to do. Help!! 😭😭

 

Screenshot_20210615-221218_JBL PROSCAN.jpg

It's even causing my crystal to molt weirdly. I can tell its super stressed. Its causing me so much anxiety cause I feel like the tank parameters is currently like a ticking time bomb. Everything keeps increasing. 🤯😰

20210615_222449.jpg

Edited by ShrimpNoob9
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9 hours ago, ShrimpNoob9 said:

I've tried to remove the coral chips and coral stones. I removed about 30% of the water and I even put seachem prime with the salty bee mineral to my RO water. The water parameters just got worse. My nitrates spiked from 25 to 75.

It's clear your tank is going through a cycling process. Nitrites is up and what bacteria you have in the tank is working overtime converting it to Nitrates. Hence why your Nitrates are sky rocketing.
Whatever is causing the ammonia in the tank (apart from the shrimps) has not been completely removed. Have you tried vacuuming the gravel? Pieces of chicken could be lodged in the substrate and is releasing ammonia.

Do you only have a single sponge filter in the tank?

It looks like the single sponge filter does not have enough capacity to house enough bacteria to deal with an ammonia spike. That's one reason all my tanks have an external canister filter. A canister filter will house enough bacteria to handle an ammonia spike.

If you have any bacteria, I would put some of that in immediately. Either bacteria in a bottle or squeeze filter media from another tank into this one.

You HAVE to get that Ammonia and Nitrite under control asap.

Edited by jayc
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5 hours ago, jayc said:

It's clear your tank is going through a cycling process. Nitrites is up and what bacteria you have in the tank is working overtime converting it to Nitrates. Hence why your Nitrates are sky rocketing.
Whatever is causing the ammonia in the tank (apart from the shrimps) has not been completely removed. Have you tried vacuuming the gravel? Pieces of chicken could be lodged in the substrate and is releasing ammonia.

Do you only have a single sponge filter in the tank?

It looks like the single sponge filter does not have enough capacity to house enough bacteria to deal with an ammonia spike. That's one reason all my tanks have an external canister filter. A canister filter will house enough bacteria to handle an ammonia spike.

If you have any bacteria, I would put some of that in immediately. Either bacteria in a bottle or squeeze filter media from another tank into this one.

You HAVE to get that Ammonia and Nitrite under control asap.

Yeah I only have one sponge filter. Will add in another one today. Do you have any recommendations of any brands that sells bacteria in a bottle? Those I can get at the shop. Seachem or jbl? Yeah I've tried gravelling areas where the chicken bits were. But I don't know if I got them all. Should I remove everything in the tank and gravel again? Cause I have a lot of small frys. Don't know if I can remove everyone 

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I uderstand your concern, it is concerning!

You are probably just going to have to ride this out, as JayC, add another filter and bacteria, the bacteria you will just have to buy what the shop has and give that ago? Do as thorough vac as you can, moving things out of the way where you can. Keep up with water changes as well as that will reduce the ammonia etc, but add new water slowly.

Simon

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