Ammonia issues

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BuddyBonButt

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I set my tank up, (90 gal with 20 gal sump) about 3 months ago. To start my cycle I bought 96 oz of Fritz zyme 900 which is equivalent to 120 gallons of water and poured it in. The expiration date was not anywhere near when I poured it. As far as I know the bacteria has been taken care of in the bottle before I purchased it.

When I first dosed ammonia I overdid it and it was reading around 8 ppm because the doctor Tim's ammonia bottle is severely off. Over time I got it to go down to almost zero but have yet to read zero. It stays around 0.25

I was having ammonia issues up for about 2 months and I finally began to see some algae growing. Very little amounts but growing.

2 months in i noticed my tank had a slight crack in it from Manufacturing. I mean very slight. So I have the tank rma'd and I got the tank replaced in about 2 weeks. The entire time my rock work has stayed underwater. Even during the transferring process.

Cut to a month later, just to be safe I purchase 60 gallons worth of dr. Tims one and only and poured it in. Now I have been having ammonia issues where I have yet to read zero it will take about two days for 1 ppm of ammonia to break down into niTRITE. Although I'm always reading 0 NITRITE.

At this point I have poured in about 180 gallons worth of bacteria and I'm still having trouble with ammonia.

I have turned off all flow when I first poured it in. My skimmer has been off and removed from the tank, and when I first poured it, I had removed the filter sock.

My current tank is standing at:
Ammonia: .25
niTRITE 0
niTRATE: can't read until ammonia is gone
pH: 8.0

Using red sea coral pro salt
Rodi water
No fish no inverts

I will attach pictures as well.

20220531_221757.jpg
 
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fishski13

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I set my tank up, (90 gal with 20 gal sump) about 3 months ago. To start my cycle I bought 96 oz of Fritz zyme 900 which is equivalent to 120 gallons of water and poured it in. The expiration date was not anywhere near when I poured it. As far as I know the bacteria has been taken care of in the bottle before I purchased it.

When I first dosed ammonia I overdid it and it was reading around 8 ppm because the doctor Tim's ammonia bottle is severely off. Over time I got it to go down to almost zero but have yet to read zero. It stays around 0.25

I was having ammonia issues up for about 2 months and I finally began to see some algae growing. Very little amounts but growing.

2 months in i noticed my tank had a slight crack in it from Manufacturing. I mean very slight. So I have the tank rma'd and I got the tank replaced in about 2 weeks. The entire time my rock work has stayed underwater. Even during the transferring process.

Cut to a month later, just to be safe I purchase 60 gallons worth of dr. Tims one and only and poured it in. Now I have been having ammonia issues where I have yet to read zero it will take about two days for 1 ppm of ammonia to break down into niTRITE. Although I'm always reading 0 NITRITE.

At this point I have poured in about 180 gallons worth of bacteria and I'm still having trouble with ammonia.

I have turned off all flow when I first poured it in. My skimmer has been off and removed from the tank, and when I first poured it, I had removed the filter sock.

My current tank is standing at:
Ammonia: .25
niTRITE 0
niTRATE: can't read until ammonia is gone
pH: 8.0

Using red sea coral pro salt
Rodi water
No fish no inverts

I will attach pictures as well.

20220531_221757.jpg
Ok so what test kits are you using? If you are using an API test kit, the ammonia test is often false in its readings and hard to tell.

Also, bacteria in a bottle is notorious for not being anywhere as good as live rock. Although the expiration date says one thing, who knows if the bottle was sitting in a hot warehouse or in a box in the sun during shipping. There is multiple things that could have gone wrong. So I get your frustration.

If this doesnt resolve soon, I would try to get a piece of live rock from some where to help electrify the nitryfying bacteria.

And just a note, hows your sump looking? Do you have any rock or bio/porous media in there? The more of that in the sump the better bio filtration you have to keep ammonia and nitrite at 0
 
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BuddyBonButt

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Ok so what test kits are you using? If you are using an API test kit, the ammonia test is often false in its readings and hard to tell.

Also, bacteria in a bottle is notorious for not being anywhere as good as live rock. Although the expiration date says one thing, who knows if the bottle was sitting in a hot warehouse or in a box in the sun during shipping. There is multiple things that could have gone wrong. So I get your frustration.

If this doesnt resolve soon, I would try to get a piece of live rock from some where to help electrify the nitryfying bacteria.

And just a note, hows your sump looking? Do you have any rock or bio/porous media in there? The more of that in the sump the better bio filtration you have to keep ammonia and nitrite at 0
Sump is empty. Never got around to adding that. Api but I did cross check it with 3 other kits and the tank at the store makes it read 0. So I feel mine is accurate.

I really didn't want to do live rock so I was avoiding it. Think it'd be a bad idea to Toss two ocellaris in there? I have been extremely patient and the last thing I want to do is hurt my fish but if I can do it I'd like to
 
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fishski13

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Sump is empty. Never got around to adding that. Api but I did cross check it with 3 other kits and the tank at the store makes it read 0. So I feel mine is accurate.

I really didn't want to do live rock so I was avoiding it. Think it'd be a bad idea to Toss two ocellaris in there? I have been extremely patient and the last thing I want to do is hurt my fish but if I can do it I'd like to
Ok, well I would recommend putting something in the sump. With such a big volume of water, and not too much rock in the display, adding additional rock and bio media will definitely help.

I would not add clownfish or anything into the tank. If you are still reading ammonia, this also means nitrite will be read soon. And having the fishes health in mind, ammonia and nitrite poisoning and very much a likely possibility right now.

You have waited the couple months already, its better to wait the extra time and do it right and now rush anything
 
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BuddyBonButt

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Ok, well I would recommend putting something in the sump. With such a big volume of water, and not too much rock in the display, adding additional rock and bio media will definitely help.

I would not add clownfish or anything into the tank. If you are still reading ammonia, this also means nitrite will be read soon. And having the fishes health in mind, ammonia and nitrite poisoning and very much a likely possibility right now.

You have waited the couple months already, its better to wait the extra time and do it right and now rush anything
No, I'm reading 0 nitrite I've dosed the tank a few times now it just takes a little longer for the tank to get rid of the ammonia but once it gets turned to nitrite it gets converted very quickly.
 

fishski13

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No, I'm reading 0 nitrite I've dosed the tank a few times now it just takes a little longer for the tank to get rid of the ammonia but once it gets turned to nitrite it gets converted very quickly.
Yeah I get that, but ammonia is still there, and ammonia turns into nitrite.

Since you mentioned nitrite is 0, ammonia should also be technically be 0 hence thats why I mentioned a false test with the ammonia using the API test would be the most likely reason.

And test for nitrates, you can still test with ammonia in the tank. If you have nitrate this just proves that the ammonia test is false.
 
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BuddyBonButt

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Yeah I get that, but ammonia is still there, and ammonia turns into nitrite.

Since you mentioned nitrite is 0, ammonia should also be technically be 0 hence thats why I mentioned a false test with the ammonia using the API test would be the most likely reason.

And test for nitrates, you can still test with ammonia in the tank. If you have nitrate this just proves that the ammonia test is false.
Even though it's been cross tested with 3 other kits? This is annoying...
 
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fishski13

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Well then how do I get an accurate reading if they are all inaccurate
Test for nitrate and see what the readings says. Having nitrate levels and 0 nitrite is an indication that ammonia is 0.

Also look for other signs that the cycle is done. You mentioned you began to see algae which is often a common sign the cycle is done
 
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BuddyBonButt

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Test for nitrate and see what the readings says. Having nitrate levels and 0 nitrite is an indication that ammonia is 0.

Also look for other signs that the cycle is done. You mentioned you began to see algae which is often a common sign the cycle is done
I saw algae before switching tanks. Not now
 
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Sump is empty. Never got around to adding that. Api but I did cross check it with 3 other kits and the tank at the store makes it read 0. So I feel mine is accurate.

I really didn't want to do live rock so I was avoiding it. Think it'd be a bad idea to Toss two ocellaris in there? I have been extremely patient and the last thing I want to do is hurt my fish but if I can do it I'd like to
If your set on a fish in cycle- try saltwater acclimated mollies. Cheaper, easier.
 

Erin1971Texas

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I agree with the advice in the above posts (except for the comment about nitrites being harmful in saltwater). If it were me -- and I admit I'm very cautious -- I would buy a bottle of Fritz Turbo Start (little bottle in the LFS refrigerator), some media like Matrix, and a filter bag. Add the container of media to the bag and put in your sump. Add the Turbo Start to the tank. DON'T add any more ammonia, but do ghost feed a small amount of fish food for 3 days... Then test for ammonia and nitrATE. If you're still using API, understand that, once you've started cycling a tank, if you get a color that's slightly greenish (basically between 0 and .25) you can consider the reading as 0 ammonia. If you have nitrATEs at this time, I would consider the tank safe for 1 or 2 fish.

Hope this helps :)
 
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BuddyBonButt

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I agree with the advice in the above posts (except for the comment about nitrites being harmful in saltwater). If it were me -- and I admit I'm very cautious -- I would buy a bottle of Fritz Turbo Start (little bottle in the LFS refrigerator), some media like Matrix, and a filter bag. Add the container of media to the bag and put in your sump. Add the Turbo Start to the tank. DON'T add any more ammonia, but do ghost feed a small amount of fish food for 3 days... Then test for ammonia and nitrATE. If you're still using API, understand that, once you've started cycling a tank, if you get a color that's slightly greenish (basically between 0 and .25) you can consider the reading as 0 ammonia. If you have nitrATEs at this time, I would consider the tank safe for 1 or 2 fish.

Hope this helps :)
Ok so, I had to get a new nitrite test from api because mine was off. When I get this kit and I read 0 nitrite and then read nitrate you think I'm good to go?

If api is so inaccurate what test kit should I be looking into that's more accurate?
 
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