Ammonia is a problem in any aquarium – it’s toxic to livestock and algae also thrives on it. Thankfully plants can consume it as well, but algae will enjoy any small amount it can get and doesn’t need much to start overgrowing a tank.
Ammonia is required for an aquarium to cycle. Bacteria colonies grow and convert it to nitrite, which more bacteria then convert into safe and usable nitrate (which plants love!). If you have planted out your tank from the beginning, a lot of this excess will thankfully be used up.
While the ammonia is peaking during this time you are likely to see algae. It’s nothing to worry about and should resolve on its own.
But ammonia can spike for other reasons. Significantly disturbing the substrate in an established tank or one using soil/aquasoil can release ammonia that was trapped into your water column. This can be easily resolved by performing water changes to reduce the excess.
It is also possible for your beneficial bacteria to die off, causing your “cycle” to crash/restart. Usually this is a result of some shock – overcleaning your filter, or cleaning your filter with water that hasn’t been dechlorinated, or a rapid change in water parameters. Usually when this happens, your cycle should re-establish quite quickly, as a decent amount of bacteria will still be active in your aquarium. You will just need to maintain water quality through changes while your cycle re-establishes.
From The LCA Team
Every Solution For Your Aquarium.