Ammonia Spike please help!

thisnthat

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So I have been in the hobby for about a month and a half now and I’ve been trying to cycle my 29 gal ever since. I have hit 0 ppm ammonia a couple weeks into the cycle and reaching a nitrite reading of 1 ppm at the same time ammonia hit 0. Couple day after I added Dr. Tim’s Eco balance which I realized will not help promote the bacteria cycling and will only prolong the cycle. Couple days after adding Eco Balance i got a bacteria bloom in my tank. I wanted to clear it with Dr. Tim’s waste away because I heard good things about it treating bacteria blooms and I know I’ve been dosing my tank with multiple bacteria products and this might be the problem. After putting this waste away in (half dose) it took about 2 days for it to clear the bloom and my ammonia has risen to .7 ppm ever since then. I did also add live rock before adding waste away to help the cycle. Should i add stress zyme as a band aid solution until I find the real problem? The temperature also rose to 80F. Here are my current parameters as of now Ammonia 1.0 Pmm, Nitrite .5 Pmm, Salinity 1.024, Temperature 80.1F, Nitrates 15 (low because of refugium and recent water change). I’m cycling with two clowns and have fed them what they can eat in the first couple of minutes for every day that I’ve had them (once a day) Sometimes I feed frozen brine shrimp. What do I do?
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Quit testing for ammonia using that kit, and don't test ammonia after all these doses and additives your issue is already fixed per this thread:



Your issue is a test misread. Post a full tank picture of your reef so we can compare to those others above

All the reactive additions are clouding up test read ability.

You need to do a simple decent water change matching temp and salinity to current water. The reason I'm not concerned about your cycle status is it's inferred by what you typed (live rock as a portion here) in terms of feed and bioload carry for days, while the reason for the alert status was a non digital test reading... fish loss or cloudy smelly water wasn't part of the description, so the alert is false.

Pics will tell the final tale. Adding fish and feed for a few days into an uncycled tank clouds up things and they die. That type of picture will be fish barely clinging for life, hovering near death, and cloudy water. Pics are how we determine ammonia problems not api reads
 
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thisnthat

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This is a photo of my tank. And yes, I have been using the api master saltwater testing kit and from reading those other threads leads me to believe that the seneye is a preferred option. No cloudy water, no dead animals and there is live rock on the right.
 

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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Very nice setup for sure. Even though the live rock is small component it still helps carry that easy bioload by itself


Then we factor in dilution, you didn't pack in tons of fish at all its perfectly balanced, and the bottle bac additives which are speed cycle additives

There really isn't a need to further test for ammonia here it's better for fish preservation to focus on selecting a fish disease prevention approach and run that, this cycle will handle itself just fine.

Still do the decent water change, you can proceed stocking as you planned.
 
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thisnthat

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Thank you my fish seem to be happy as well. I’ve been setting up a quarantine tank as a way to prevent fish disease spreading to my display before I’m ready to think about getting new fish (and I know I should avoid it) but I get them from Petco. I just have one more question if you don’t mind. For the quarantine tank do I cycle it with like a bio media brick and some nitrifying bacteria or do I do water changes often to keep the ammonia at bay because of the 0 sand 0 rock policy?
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Agreed those quarantine tanks are designed to run low on surface area and thats how they differ from the main tank


for sure on the qt set up if you’ll copy someone’s existing qt surface area, usually a hang on back filter setup or a bubbling sponge filter most common, then it’s certain to work for you when you cycle it to house fish temporarily. The non digital test kits won’t help much there either, so the ideal way to get the qt tank ready is to buy it and copy a known setup from another thread, use dr Tim’s cycling bac per the volume, add in two pinches of flake feed ground up and let that all swirl for ten days. Change water, the surfaces are cycled and zero testing is needed. It will work as long as the ratio of active surface area directly matches any other at setup for the fish planned to be housed.

one of the main ways new cycling science differs from old cycling science is that we already know the cycle completion date for all arrangements before they’re even built. That type of known start date vs open-ended wait is part of the science they use to begin 400 instant reefs at a marine aquarium convention on time, with no stalls, and the systems will run as long as they want to be set up. Not all tanks at the aqua shella Dallas event were wet rock transfers, several were demonstrating the power of bottle bac cycling using dry rock setups plus heavy bioload…they were able to start on time for the same reasons we do.


your qt tank could start before ten days, that’s just a little insurance wait time because there’s no hurry.

in any quarantine setting what you want to embellish is the surface area, not the dosed bacteria. If you want to be ultra strong in qt design, use two sponge filters, or a dual pad hang on back setup, surface area boosting is wiser than bottle bac overuse in quarantine setups.
 
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