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Ammonia Spike


Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Nov 20, 2002
I noticed the past 2 days Gimpy was hanging out the the top of the tank, with part of his body above the water line. When I opened the lid, I smelled something disgusting. Turns out my ammonia level had spiked to a little over 1 and the poor thing was trying to get out of the ammonia...So last night I took the tank 1/2 down, today need to get some new carbon, maybe with ammonia chips and after my water change it was down to below .50. Still high, but Gimp was not trying to crawl out of the tank anymore. And what I wanted to bring to everyone's attention, was the abnormal behavior that signaled something was going wrong, hopefully before he suffered any ill affects......Keeping my fingers crossed!
Is the tank crashing? Had one happen to me last year when my bacteria bed went from aerobic to anaerobic in a day...what a stench that was (hardly use any sand at all now).
Keeping my fingers crossed down here too !!!!

My 180 crashed also, got rid of it and the sand. What filter media do you use? I once had a pet store owner tell me that the toxins that carbon remove would leech back into the water, if it wasn't changed out in a timely fashion. Wasn't sure how much I believe him, but it did raise some interesting questions, though. Did the smell resemble 'rotten eggs' or some sort of pungent sulfer base. If it did, then it's probally hydrogen sulfide. Well I've babbled enough.

I'll say a prayer to the great Kraken, and sacrifice a swarm of goldfish for you! Keep us posted.
I do have a thick sandbed, maybe 4". I run a large Eiheim, protein skimmer and a large bubble filter filled with carbon. Had many octos in this tank and this is the first ammonia spike I have ever had. It smelled like something had died, not real strong but strong enough to know I had to do something fast. As of this morning, he's back in his shell at the bottem of the tank with normal coloring.......Going to get that new carbon and check the level again tonight....Keeping fingers crossed.......
Yeah, I loved the look of the deep sand bed, but once that big tank crashed (and i mean crashed...everything died) I went to using a smaller substrate...my fault totally in my instance though...should have been better about vaccing...

Hope all is well !!!


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