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FAQs on Freshwater Aquariums & Ammonia:

Related Articles: Ammonia, Freshwater Aquarium Water Quality, pH, alkalinity, acidityTreating Tap Water, Freshwater MaintenanceFrequent Partial Water Changes Establishing Cycling, Freshwater Filtration, Know Your Filter Media, A Concise Guide to Your Options by Neale Monks, Setting up a Freshwater Aquarium, Tips for Beginners

Related FAQs: Freshwater Ammonia 1, Freshwater Ammonia 2, Freshwater Ammonia 3, & FAQs on FW Ammonia: Importance, Science, Measure, Control, Chemical Filtrants, Troubleshooting/Fixing, & Freshwater Nutrient Cycling, FW H2O Quality 1, Aquarium MaintenanceEnvironmental Disease, Treating Tap Water for Aquarium Use, pH, Alkalinity, Acidity, Biological Filtration, Nitrogen Cycling, Establishing Cycling 1, Nitrite, Nitrate, Freshwater Algae Control, Algae Control, Foods, Feeding, Aquatic Nutrition, Disease

Mmm, from water sanitizer (Chloramines), sometimes bad conditioners, a breakdown (die-off or metabolic check of microbial denitrifiers), fish wastes, and any type of protein in foods. Unless a system is well-established, cycled, it can suffer "bottle necks" in nitrification, resulting in a deadly accumulation of ammonia (and nitrite, nitrate...)

Can't get ammonia under control       8/10/15
Hi Crew! Your site is fantastic and very helpful. Thank you! I am hoping you wouldn't mind helping me with an ammonia spike that has lasted for the last 3 days. I'm getting a 4.0 ppm
reading in my 29 gallon freshwater tank
using the API master test kit. The NH3 is at 0.2 (so I assume this means the spiked reading is caused by NH4).
<? What is the pH of the water here?>
Nitrites are 0, nitrates are just under 40 ppm.
<Too high by twice. WATER CHANGES for now>

Up until this point I was just about to complete the cycling process(ammonia and nitrites were consistently down to 0.25, nitrates at 20). I should note that I was using SeaChem stability to help speed the process, but recently cut down on the frequency.
<Good; stop period now>

I may have jumped ahead of myself thinking the tank was "as good as cycled", and added 3 kuhli loaches just 3 days before the sudden ammonia spike. Along with the loaches I have 7 Corydoras, 6 tetras and 3 danios.
<Do NOT feed these fishes.... change half the water... with conditioned new, and be patient: WAIT till there is NO, ZERO, ZIP Ammonia>

The tank has mostly live plants and sand substrate. There's an internal filter that (supposedly) filters 144 gallons per hour. I added an additional sponge filter yesterday. I do small water changes every other day of about 10-25%. I siphon visible detritus almost daily. Even after changing about 60% of the water, the ammonia was still at 2.0 ppm. The loaches are pretty good at hiding and I've only been able to spot 2 at one time for a while now. I searched the tank but couldn't find the 3rd (dead or alive, however there isn't a fish in the tank with a mouth big enough to have eaten him). In the last 2 days I've
raked the sand, cleaned the filter, treated the water with prime and stability. Still got an ammonia reading of 4.0 ppm today. Forgot to mention
that pH stays at a steady 7.8.

What am I missing??
<I fully suspect your API test kit is "off"... inaccurate here. Else at this high pH ALL your fishes would be dead. DO "check the checker"... i.e., have the water tested with another kit... likely a friendly LFS will do this for you. In the meanwhile.... water change and no food>
Thanks in advance!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Can't get ammonia under control         8/11/15

Hi Bob,
Thank you for the prompt response and advice. I will stop feeding and continue water changes.

The test kit is in fact working
correctly(unfortunately)! I also have a 20 gallon tank for my apple snails.
When testing their water with the same kit I am getting ammonia - 0,
nitrites - 0, nitrates - 20, and a pH of 7.6. These are the same steady parameters this tank has had since I started it.
Back to my 29 gallon community tank with the outrageous ammonia reading, the pH has always been at 7.8 in this tank. It started to descend at one point, reaching 7.2, but with water changes it gradually climbed back up to 7.8. I added a medium sized piece of driftwood a week ago. Could this have anything to do with the ammonia?
<Yes! I would remove it (but keep it underwater somewhere else and check the water chemistry there over time). It could be decomposing, causing issues>

Thanks again.
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Can't get ammonia under control         8/11/15

Just to clear up any possible confusion - the reason my snail tank has been stable since I started it is because it was branched off of the 29 gallon community tank. I borrowed some filter media, a bit of sand, water, etc.
Both tanks remained stable and then suddenly the 29 gallon took a turn for the worst. Thanks
<Good technique (moving media, sand, water...). Bob>

Bio Spira, Prime, Ammonia, tap water question  - 09/23/06 Hello, crew, <<Hello, Marissa. Tom>> I've read your FAQs on Ammonia (particularly those on ammonia present in tap water), but I feel that I need more clarification.  Apologies for this long email. <<And my apologies if this winds up creating more questions than it answers. :)>> Here's the scenario: I basically let the ammonia levels in my 25 gallon tank (which has been set up for 5 years) get out of control recently.  :-(     Not enough or thorough enough water changes and overfeeding my begging gouramis did the job.  I only noticed a problem when one of my Raphael catfish died (looked like a nasty skin disease, I'm assuming bacterial).    <<Sorry to hear about your pet.>> Then I tested my tank (on 9/13) and my levels were frightening: Ammonia 4.0 Nitrites .25 Nitrates 10 pH 6.6 <<Thank you for these. Would that everyone was in the habit of including their parameters with their posts!>> Livestock at the time:  2 three-inch Raphael "talking" catfish (the third had died), 2 four-inch blue gouramis (Yet, would you believe my male Gourami had actually built a bubble nest and spawned with the female in that filthy tank?   How did they not get sick?) <<Perhaps because your parameters weren't as bad as the readings would indicate.>> Anyway, I did some aggressive water changes immediately (50-60% the first day) and over the next 4 or 5 days I continued with 50% changes.   After I got the ammonia level down to 1 and Nitrites were at 0 (in addition: Nitrates 5, pH 6.4) the LFS suggested that I needed to establish a new cycle in this tank.  Therefore, I was told to hold on the water changes for now and to just wait this cycle out.  They told me watch my ammonia levels and to watch my fish's behavior for any changes and do water changes if necessary.     <<Stick with these folks. I'm not sure that this is, or ever was, the problem but the advice is very sound, nonetheless.>> My fish have seemed fine, including the catfish.  The ammonia had been holding at 1 since Sunday the 17th.   I still didn't like this.    (OH...I've hardly fed my fish at all during this period.  The gouramis got a whopping 1 fish flake each over 4 days--I'm weak.) <<Tsk, tsk. :)>> After reading your website, I decided to help out my fish friends by buying Bio Spira.  I thought this would take care of that last 1 ppm.    I bought Bio Spira refrigerated, wrapped it in newspaper to insulate it for the trip back, refrigerated it for about 20 minutes when I got home, and then followed the directions, using about 1ml/gal for the 25gal. tank.   It was a "fresh" packet with no bad smell. <<Good.>> That was 2 days ago, but my ammonia levels have not budged and are still at 1.   I thought this was odd and called the company.  They were surprised too, and said that the ammonia should have come down almost immediately.    They suggested a 25% change and adding more of the Bio Spira, which I have done. <<Again, sound advice but I've come to think that something else is at play here.>> Any thoughts? <<A couple but let's continue so they will make as much sense as is possible.>> Could the fact that my tap water contains ammonia contribute to this problem?  Before I added the Bio Spira I tested my tap water (using an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals test) and it read 1!    I got scared, called the city, and they tested my tap water.  Their test of my water read .48 (I was told that the city tries to keep their levels between .35 and .45).    <<This isn't uncommon, Marissa. Municipalities have taken to adding ammonia with chlorine to form chloramine, which is less "volatile" (meaning it doesn't dissipate as quickly) than chlorine alone. While we very prudently use water conditioners during water changes, a pail of water would be "dechlorinated" just as effectively by leaving it stand overnight. That's how quickly chlorine dissipates. (Not so with chloramine, however, so stick with the conditioner!)>> Regardless, I treat my tap water with Prime.  However,  I did read on the Seachem website that their Prime product can cause a "false positive" reading for ammonia.   I bought their (Seachem) ammonia test, which tests for Free and Total ammonia out of curiosity.    My tank water tested this morning at 1 (with the Aq. Pharm. test) but the Seachem test on my tank produced a "Free" ammonia reading of about .02, and a "Total" of about 1.    Is this "1" coming from my Prime-conditioned tap water?   Either way, isn't this a bad thing? <<"Free" ammonia, chemically, is NH3. "Total" ammonia is a combination of ammonia (NH3) and ammonium (NH4+). (Ammonium is non-toxic to fish.) The two naturally exist in a type of equilibrium depending on pH and temperature - with temperature playing the smaller role here. The lower the pH and temperature, the greater the concentration of ammonium. As pH and temperature rise, ammonia has the greater presence. Your Aquarium Pharmaceutical test kit - which is the kit I, personally, use - tests for "total" ammonia. However, due to the low pH of your tank water, at the time of your first test, I would calculate that the "free" ammonia (the bad stuff) in your tank was <0.01 ppm, assuming a tank temperature of around 79 degrees F. In short, you didn't have an emergency or, at the very least, your Raphael catfish didn't expire due to ammonia/nitrite poisoning. Now, could this have quickly, and fatally, reversed itself? Oh, you betcha! A sudden increase in pH would have converted the ammonium to ammonia and you probably could have used your aquarium water as a household cleaner. Well, not that bad but you get the picture. Okay, so why didn't the BIO-Spira do the trick? First, you had reduced the total ammonia/nitrites through massive water changes. Second, Prime converts ammonia to ammonium (typical of products that "de-toxify" ammonia) and it also de-toxifies nitrites and nitrates. Third, I don't believe you "lost" your biological filtration capability or, at least to the extent that it appeared like it was lost. My thinking here is that the BIO-Spira likely supplemented what little may have been lost of your bio-colonies and there was nothing more it could do in this regard.>> Ultimately, I'm confused. Can you offer any advice on getting rid of this 1ppm? I'm going to wait and see if the second dose of Bio Spira does anything. The Seachem company does state that Prime won't interrupt the establishment of a cycle, for what it's worth. <<Marissa, I'm going to offer a hypothesis "outside of the box", so to speak. Since your bio-filter has, almost certainly, been successfully re-established, there would seem to be no "logical" explanation for your ammonia levels to be "stuck" at 1.0 ppm unless there were a continuing supply of ammonia/ammonium "balancing" the scale between what's being nitrified by the beneficial bacteria and what's being "produced" by your fish, either directly or indirectly, i.e. uneaten food/detritus. I don't think the latter is really the case since tanks more heavily stocked than yours can maintain ammonia levels at zero. A possibility? De-nitrifying bacteria. I don't suggest that this isn't stretching the thought process to the breaking point but, we don't, as hobbyists, think about the reversal of the nitrifying process. In fact, our "good" bacteria make up only a very small portion of the bacteria present in our aquariums. De-nitrifying bacteria are far more plentiful. The process goes something like this: (NO3-) (nitrate) -> (NO2-) (nitrite) -> (NO) -> (N2O) -> (N2) (di-nitrogen gas). Water with low pH (yours, for instance) has a relatively high concentration of H+ ions. While I'm not qualified to definitively state that N2 in the presence of H+ ions will form bonds resulting in the formation of NH3 and/or NH4+, this might offer a plausible explanation as to why you continue to detect ammonia in your aquarium. What you might try is to increase the aeration of your tank. If there's any merit whatsoever to my "hypothesis", the de-nitrification process will be curtailed by the increase in oxygen. That is, the de-nitrifying bacteria I've referred to will utilize oxygen introduced into the tank rather than the oxygen bonded to the nitrogen in the nitrates.>> Thank you for your time in answering my question. Marissa    <<As I've suggested, Marissa, the latter part of my response is a "stretch" but one that I believe offers a possible explanation where no other reason "jumps out" at us. Best of luck to you. Tom>>
Re: Bio Spira, Prime, Ammonia, tap water question
<<Hi, again, Marissa.>> Thanks for the advice! I've increased the aeration and will let you know if this solves the "problem." <<I'd appreciate this if you would be so kind. I'm less interested in being "right" than I am in knowing, with some certainty, if there's a "dynamic" going on in our aquariums that might be of help to other folks, as well.>> Marissa <<Tom>>
Re: Bio Spira, Prime, Ammonia, tap water question  9/28/06
Hi, Crew (or Tom, if you're available) <BobF now> (I've included my email exchanges with Tom at the end of this email for reference) <Good> To help with my mysterious lingering ammonia level of "1", per your advice, I've increased my aeration in my tank since Saturday the 23rd.   I've been checking my parameters daily and I thought I'd mention a change I noticed yesterday--an increase in nitrites.    <A good sign/indication that the ammonia is being "cycled" along> Until yesterday, my numbers with the additional aeration were: Ammonia = 1 Nitrite = 0 Nitrate = 5 pH = 6.6 Then, Tuesday morning my numbers were: Ammonia = .50  (Yay!  The aeration is working?) Nitrite = .25  (bleah...but is this probably form the ammonia breaking down?) <Mmm, yes... being converted... a good thing> Nitrate = 10   (from the increase in nitrites?) <Likely so, yes> pH = 6.6 (I did resume giving them a little more food the day before, but I still kept it very sparse, just enough for them to eat in a minute.   Maybe that was a bad idea.  After I saw the nitrites yesterday, I did not feed them at all). <Good> I did a 25% water change and checked the water Tuesday evening: Amm = .50 Nitrite = 0 to  .25 (the color was not quite a light blue, yet not quite a light purple either) Nitrate = 10 pH = 6.8 <I would take care to not allow the pH to rise much... at all. Nitrogenous metabolites are MUCH more toxic at higher pHs> This morning, the numbers were about the same as Tuesday morning:  (Am. .50, Nitrite .25, Nitrate 10, pH 6.8) <... takes a while> The fish are acting quite normally and are not straining at the surface to breathe.   No rapid breathing either.     I don't want to give them any more food and I'll do another 25% change now. Any thoughts?   Should I stick with the daily water changes until this cycle works itself out? <I would try to not do water changes... unless ammonia or nitrite exceeded 1.0 ppm... such changes forestall the establishment of full cycling>    Could this mean that the extra aeration is working? <Possibly, but it is a good idea in all cases> Thanks! Marissa <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

I need help with ammonia spikes, Or Avoiding Them... Contaminated Conditioner?    8/7/06 Hi! I have read through many of the questions regarding cycling, and I am familiar with the entire process. <Good> I can't find anything that even gives me a clue as to what's happening with my tanks, so let me explain. And I apologize in advance, as this is a bit long.    <No worries>   I moved into a new apartment in May (it is now August). I brought with me 3 Bettas who each live in their own uncycled, unfiltered, 2.5 gallon tanks. They are healthy and vibrant, eat well and what not, and for a long time have had 100% water changes about every 2 weeks. Since this has been our schedule, <You'll learn, are learning... the tap is not consistent...> I rarely test their water anymore, though I realize now I should have as soon as we moved to the new place.    <Ah, yes>   I then bought a fourth Betta almost two weeks ago, and moved him into an uncycled, unfiltered 5 gallon tank. The plan was to keep him on the same schedule as the others, and if the water changes were a pain, then to cycle his tank when I could get my hands on some BioSpira.      One week after he moved in, I noticed a cloudy area near the bottom of his tank, pulled him out and started vacuuming the gravel, until anaerobic/methane smelling gas bubbles started coming up. (yuck!) <Indeed> I was not trying to cycle his tank, but after I cleaned out the whole thing and replaced it, I added a filter and BioSpira to cycle it, and put him back in. I then decided to test the three smaller tanks: .50ppm ammonia on them - but their water changes were almost due, so I thought maybe that had something to do with it.    <Maybe...>   After asking around, I also: 1) threw out all their old Betta food and bought new stuff, 2) tested my tap water for ammonia (0ppm), 3) set out a cup of treated water (appropriate proportions of Novaqua, Amquel, and aquarium salt, which I've always used) for a week <Very good> with nothing else in it, and then tested ammonia (1.0ppm) <Bingo... one of the Novalek products has "gone bad"... is actually a source of ammonia here. Happens> , 4) tested some untreated tap water that had been in a capped bottle for a week (0ppm), 5) tested the three smaller tanks one week after water changes (.25ppm), 6) tested (after one week of sitting) tap water left out (1ppm), water with Novaqua only/Amquel only/salt only, left out (each at 1.0ppm), and water run through a Brita water filter sitting in a fridge (0ppm). Actually the last round was more like 4 or 5 days as I was getting impatient.      And, after just under two weeks, the 5 gallon cycled with BioSpira is testing at .50ppm with no sign of nitrite or nitrate. Grr!    <Mmm, could be residual from the Amquel/Novaqua or produced by the Betta, food... bacterial metabolism>   Sorry this is so long, but I need help. What I basically have narrowed it all down to is that there is something in my AIR, or something in my water that reacts to my air to create ammonia but doesn't allow the cycle, or my test kit is whacked (Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater Master test kit.)    <All good speculations... tis the water conditioner... The way this scenarios (can) go, is that the product "gets old"... and the PVP component (organic... carbon), gets to becoming a substrate/food for bacteria... producing ammonia...>   I am taking a water sample to my fish store today to see if he gets the same results, and I am also going to leave out one more cup of spring water to test in a week, since I figure that will tell me definitively whether it's the air or the water.    <Do take the water conditioning products as well... Often one can actually smell the difference twixt contaminated and non/new...>   The reason I suspect my air is this: ever since I moved in here there is a strong smell of something weird - not all the time, but occasionally when I walk in the house I notice it. It smells vaguely like natural gas, though when I go near the gas stove I smell a slight smell of that and this is different. <Interesting... I too have a varying sensitivity, sensation such as this... particularly when about the "Hawaii house" in Holualoa... have thought it must be a gas leak, but am more and more convinced it is something in the way of a plant/decomposition musty smell... Nonetheless, such sources, possible sources of ammonia rarely result in aquarium-kit measurable titers of free ammonia> I even had the building manager turn off the gas going to my heater. At first I thought maybe it was the smell of the varnish on the hardwood floors, but I still smell it after 3 months. Then I thought it was some strange thing the downstairs neighbors were cooking, since I can sometimes smell more recognizable dishes from them... But now, I don't know, it's just a thought. Is there something airborne that would cause ammonia to spike like this?    <There is/are... most notably are very dirty cat-litter boxes nearby... But as stated, these situations are quite rare>   Can you suggest anything? <Yes... tis almost assuredly the Kordon/Novalek product/s... this is a fine company, and good formulations by and large... but do "get old" and bacterially bad with exposure, time...> I have a 40 gallon I've been wanting to set up as a tropical, but I'm afraid to start until I have this figured out, especially since the 5 gallon didn't cycle. I may try to fishless cycle the 40 to see if it will be more stable... I don't know. Thanks so much in advance!  -Shannon <Thank you for writing so well, thoroughly. I do hope you solve this mystery, and do please write us back re. Bob Fenner>

Ammonia in Tap water   7/2/06 Hi Bob, <<Hello, Anthony. Tom with you.>> I seem to have ammonia in my tap water! I live in  New Jersey and my water company seems to add ammonia to my tap water to combat bacteria and other pathogens (I contacted them!) <<Anthony, at first reading, many would find this shocking (in the extreme). However, it's not quite as bad as all that - though we "fishkeepers" might disagree - since many municipalities treat their potable water with Chloramine vs. Chlorine since Chlorine tends to break down rather quickly. The difference? Chloramine is a combination of Chlorine and Ammonia. If the dechlorinator you use  for water changes is intended for Chlorine only, bingo! You're left with the Ammonia.>> My liquid test kit shows a  steady reading of .3 ppm. This may not seem like much, but for my cardinal  tetras, and the discus I plan to purchase, this is very harmful, as  you know! I recently lost nearly 20 cardinals from this amount of ammonia in my  tap water! How can I remove this ammonia? <<Many water conditioning products now treat for both Chlorine and Chloramine. AmQuel Plus (Kordon's) also removes Ammonia from water (likely via the same chemical process as those products that treat the Chloramine).>> I really can not afford/have the time for an RO setup, and buying water by the jug is also too expensive/time  consuming. <<An RO system is, admittedly, a sweet luxury to have but, let's get real, it isn't cheap. On the other side of the coin, we don't advocate using distilled bottle water due to it's lack of beneficial elements.>> I planned on doing 25% water changes every two weeks for the discus and cardinals. Is this sufficient for them? <<Since Discus are so fussy about water conditions, I might consider smaller (10%-15%) every week. This might be up for some experimentation, though.>> But then again, if I change this  amount of water, won't that add too much ammonia? <<It will if you can't get rid of it.>> Will aeration  remove ammonia? Or Zeolite? Or Carbon? <<Aeration? No. Zeolite? Yes. Carbon? Possibly. The latter two methods have been debated in some circles particularly in the area of Zeolite since there are many varieties of this, including man-made types, and not all break down nitrogen compounds (such as Ammonia) equally, if at all.>> I would rather not set up another container with water for water changes. Is there a product/method that will help me overcome this problem? <<Here I would refer you back to the water conditioners I've already suggested. As an aside, some of our readers may be asking themselves why I would suggest AmQuel for you but not for them. The reason, which I've tried to clarify when recommending "against" it, is that many have used the product during the cycling process to eliminate Ammonia from the aquarium. This is counter-productive to the process since it starves the bio-colonies that they're trying hard to establish. In an established/cycled tank, however, the fish will provide enough Ammonia to keep the colonies "fed". Apples and oranges, if you will.>> Thanks, Anthony <<Glad to help, Anthony. My best. Tom>>
Re: Attn: Tom - Ammonia in Tap water
 - 07/03/04 Tom, <<Hey, Anthony.>> Thank you for your reply. I currently use Tetra's Aqua-safe. It states on the bottle that it treats Chlorine and Chloramines, as well as ammonia. It does   have a side note stating it will not remove ammonia from cycling or fish waste.  Will this do the job? <<Don't see why not, Anthony. Sounds like just the right type of product for you.>> Should I contact tetra and ask them this? <<I like your thinking here but, if you consider it, a simple do-it-yourself check would probably satisfy you more than getting the potential "company line", if you will, over the telephone or through the mail. The product should speak for itself.>> If not, when  using AmQuel Plus, do I need to treat the water in a separate container, or can I put it right in the tank during water changes? <<AmQuel Plus is made to go directly into the tank however, this would entail putting the new water - containing the ammonia - directly in, as well. Not the way I'd like to see you go and here's why. I've run across several, if not more, articles that cite problems, if you can call them that, with treatment plants maintaining stable chlorine/chloramine levels in tap water, particularly during the summer months. Perfectly safe for us human people but you could find that the 0.3 ppm of Ammonia you've been detecting at higher levels than that. Remember that if you can detect it, it's toxic. Why risk it?>> Thanks again, Anthony <<Any time, Anthony. Hope it all works well for you. Tom>>

Recycling I have a 39 gallon tank with 5 bleeding heart tetras and a recently added juvenile 1 inch Ancistrus catfish. Before I bought the cat fish, my tank had been stable and cycled for several months (I have a freshwater master kit and the ammo was o, nitrite o nitrate between 20-30), but the tank developed a horrible algae problem. I bought the catfish, put it into quarantine in a 10 gallon tank with small sponge filter that I had been keeping in the main tank. In the meantime, I cleaned out the algae by scrubbing the sides and the ornaments and fake plants with a scraper, rinsed out the HOT filter in tank water, and did a 50 percent after change. One week later, I tested the water pre change and found that the ammo had gone up to .25, nitrites still o , nitrates still 20-30. Strangely enough, the quarantine tank had also begun to cycle, the ammo was up to 1.0, nitrites were high also (can't remember the reading). I took the catfish out of quarantine and placed it in the main tank after I did a 75 percent water change. One week later, I checked the water in the main tank, ammo now up to .5 but nitrites are 0 and nitrates around 10. Another water change, 50 percent and I added Bio Spira. I checked the water  1 day later and the parameters are now ammo 0, nitrites 0. The pH remained 8.4 , as it is usually, through out all of this. My question is, what happened? Why did the main tank start to cycle after being stable for several months? Why was the quarantine tank cycling even with the sponge filter that had been seeded in the main tank. I didn't add any chemicals or medicine to my tanks. I would like to add a few more fish, but I'm quite concerned that this will happen again. Thanks for your help in advance. <When you removed the sponge filter from the main you also removed a good deal of the bacteria that control the water quality. You got a small ammonia spike until the bacteria became more strongly established in other parts of your tank and filter to compensate for that lose. The Bio Spira was a good move, but I don't think it was needed. A few water changes and all would come into balance again. It's not as clear why you got a bigger spike in the QT. It could be that the change stressed the bacterial colony. Again, a little time and a few water changes and all should be well. Don>

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