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Having recently, last Thursday (yesterday) had a major ammonia spike freak out, on advice I did a 50% water change.

Refilled with dechlorinated water plus lots of Prime and Stability.

Canister filter cleaned from previous green gunk and new bio media added in; also running an Eheim 2008 internal to keep that water flowing.

No casualties to date, and fish look like they are holding in there. Swimming about. Bottom dwellers back down on gravel.

Now some forum members have suggested that I do another water change - 30% worth tomorrow (Saturday).

But, Trevor from my local aquarium shop says no - I am not letting the tank cycle and build up the necessary bacteria. Give the filters a chance to breed bacteria.

Too many water changes will slow down and disrupt the cycling process of my filters (given I have added in plenty of Prime and Stability).

Two conflicting suggestions !!! What sayeth the wise members of the qldaf to this conundrum.

I'll toss and turn all night if I don't get this resolved. :help:

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I would suggest you test your water for Ammonia before you do a water change... if there is no Ammonia reading there would be no need to do a water change, your LFS is correct you need to allow bacteria to establish.... but if the colony is not properly established ammonia will spike and WILL harm your fish. Have a read of this..... Beginner FAQ: The Nitrogen Cycle

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Yep, keep an eye on your ammonia and nitrite.

If either spike towards toxic levels, you need to water change to save the fish.

Took sample of water into Gawler Aquariums. Test results: ammonia bright green <8ppm - nitrites pale blue and safe. Definite ammonia spike. No wonder my fishies were gasping for air.

The canister was choked and full of foul smelling green matter with slime. Stinks like sulphur.

The power point for the aquarium filters was turned off accidentally Monday night and not discovered and turned back on until Tuesday morning.

If that was yesterday...... 8ppm ammonia

then 50% water change...... 4ppm ammonia

what is ammonia and nitrite now?

If its past 1ppm I would be water changing.

I dont like 1ppm at the best of times.......... but past it is getting dangerous.

Dosing dechlorinators like prime every 24 hours or so, usually keeps it under control.

But its playing with fire if you dont test to discover disaster approaching and then water change to avert it.

Different fish species will tolerate different levels of ammonia/nitrite.

But once you have test results you can use tables like these to USE the data to make simple sensible choices on whether or not to water change.



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If it were my tank I'd be doing regular water changes of greater than 30%. Yes you can monitor test kits but depending on how regularly you are doing it - and their accuracy - you could find a problem too late. Your fish have already been stressed out majorly. I'd do the water changes - leave the gravel and filters alone. My 2 cents

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Wouldn't some quickstart help things along?

It sure would......

but if ammonia/nitrite are close to toxic levels, you really want to dilute them before adding the quickstart.

Otherwise if it continues to spike........ and you need to drastic water change......... you just water changed out most the quickstart you just added!

I test because I am lazy.

Its a roll of the dice tho, as if it comes up bad....... then ya have to bloody do the water change XD

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OK the collective wisdom prevails - water changes it is. Or as Yoda would say "the water, change will I."

It does make sense if I am only changing water and I don't squish out the filters, the bacteria colonies should remain and flourish.

Happy am I, and I can sleep tonight. :dance:

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i have 3 fairly heavy stock systems i do 15 to 25% weekly depending on how much time i have. i call let it go two weeks but try not too. i make sure i do one larger one every month.

when i get an ammonia/nitrate spike i will do daily water changes for 3 days.

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NO CASUALTIES no dead fish floating despite ammonia greater that 8ppm !!! Do not underestimate the power of prayer. :amen:

Did 50% water change this morning and squished out the filters from the other tank into this.

Four Gouramies, one Giant Danio (the others jumped out), one tetra, four Peppered Cories and two adult Bristlenoses; with driftwood and plants ALL in a 2 foot, 67litre tank !!!

Filtration: one 800lph canister + one Eheim 2008 + double sponge air driven filter.

But I have just a new 90 litre tank for my pets to give them a bit more elbow (or is than fin) room. :hug:

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