Do Algae Wafers Cause Ammonia Spikes?

Last Updated on July 16, 2021 by cmoarz

You might have noticed a coincidental ammonia spike as you started feeding your aquarium algae wafers. 

The algae wafers are not directly responsible for this, But in a way, you could say they helped cause it.

Algae wafers on their own to not produce any ammonia.

Assuming they get eaten then the ammonia spike could simply be due to excess fish waste secretion.

Fish waste of course contains ammonia.

Another cause for an ammonia spike after introducing algae wafers is simply adding too much for your fish to eat.

Algae wafers begin to break up as soon as they hit the water. If you are feeding an excess and the fish aren’t able to finish them quickly enough, the wafer will break up and flow all around your tank.

Not only can this make your aquarium a bit foggy, but it also means that all that excess food is going to start decaying and producing ammonia.

So it is a good idea to start small and increase as needed. Break the wafers up into quarters and only feed what your fish will eat in 1 sitting.

Never leave an algae wafer in your aquarium for more than an hour or two.

Once you start feeding algae wafers, there’s no reason to stop feeding them as long as your fish like them and can eat them without a problem.

The risk of an ammonia spike is no more than if you were feeding regular fish food.

A propper cycled tank should have no issue for the most part in breaking down the ammonia into nitrites and later nitrates.

In fact, you are more likely to see an uptick in nitrates in a propper cycled tank with plentiful beneficial bacteria as the fish digest and poop out ammonia-rich waste.

If you do end up getting an ammonia spike, You should worry more about what could be causing the death or lack of beneficial bacteria in the first place.

All of these issues can be resolved with less feeding, a few water changes, and making sure your tank has cycled properly.

Thanks for reading!


Owner of and also owner of actual Aquarium Gravel believe it or not! ;). Setting up beautiful aquarium sceneries and habitats since I was very young. Enjoy!