There are many reasons why an ammonia spike can occur in your aquarium. One of the most common is that the tank is new and has not been cycled (If you have a newly setup aquarium and arent sure about cycling, give our short book a try, FREE on kindle).
Whatever the reason for the ammonia spike, it needs to be dealt with quickly. Ammonia is highly toxic, so it won’t be long until you find you have very ill or dead fish.
Kev over at Kaveman aquatics has put this quick video together on his top tips for dealing with an ammonia spike, so if you have this issue, or are unsure about how to deal with it, it is well worth 7 minutes of your time to learn his method of dealing with an ammonia spike:
Here are Kev’s comments on his video:
Fish Tank Ammonia is the number 1 killer of fish, especially in a new tank. If you have a fish tank ammonia spike let me help you…Here’s how to fix the problem today!!
There are many reasons why you could have ammonia in your tank but this video is about how to fix ammonia in fish tank right now. But I’ll also go over some of those reasons why you might have ammonia later in the video so it doesn’t continue to happen.
Seachem Prime is a water conditioner that removes harmful chlorine from tap water. It is said to have the added bonus of detoxifying ammonia and nitrite too, so in the case of an ammonia spike, it could be key to saving your fish’ lives.
(Please note that this claim from Seachem is not yet proven).
Seahem Prime is a great Water conditioner to use, as well as its extra claimed functions, it is highly concentrated. Therefore it lasts longer, as you only have to use a small amount in comparison to other products.
A great alternative to Prime, which is even more concentrated and even cheaper, is Quantum water primer.
Here is the official statement on Seachem prime, from Seachem themselves:
Nearly all pet aquatics companies manufacture a product that removes chlorine. None of those, however, can compare in quality, concentration, or effectiveness to Seachem’s flagship product: Prime®.
Prime® is the complete and concentrated conditioner for both fresh and saltwater. Prime® removes chlorine, chloramine and detoxifies ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. It is non-acidic and will not impact pH. A further bonus for the reef hobbyist—Prime® will not over-activate skimmers.
Prime® may be used during tank cycling to alleviate ammonia/nitrite toxicity. It contains a binder which renders ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate non-toxic, allowing the biofilter to more efficiently remove them. It will also detoxify any heavy metals found in the tap water at typical concentration levels. Use at start-up and whenever adding or replacing water.
Seachem Stability is a water conditioner that contains live bacteria, in order to rapidly establish a bacteria colony in your aquarium filter. Whilst I do not recommend the use of bottled bacteria when cycling, in an emergency situation, such as an ammonia spike, it is certainly worth adding to your tank. If I was going to recommend one, it would be Seachem, as their products are tried and tested top quality.
Here’s the official description on Seachem Stability:
Stability® will rapidly and safely establish the aquarium biofilter in freshwater and marine systems, thereby preventing the #1 cause of fish death: “new tank syndrome”. Stability® is formulated specifically for the aquarium and contains a synergistic blend of aerobic, anaerobic, and facultative bacteria which facilitate the breakdown of waste organics, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. The bacteria employed by Stability® are non-sulfur fixing and will not produce toxic hydrogen sulfide. Stability® is completely harmless to all aquatic organisms as well as aquatic plants, thus there is no danger of over use.
Ammonia spike solved?
Whilst there are other ways to deal with an ammonia spike, this route should be pretty effective. IF you are dealing with an ammonia spike then I sincerely hope that you are able to resolve it without the loss of any of your fish.
Got another way to resolve an ammonia spike?
Let us know in the comments, or if you fancy writing it up, send it in via the link on the blog tab and we’ll publish it for all to read.
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