Extremely high levels in newly cycled tank

Cameronwals

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 20, 2019
Messages
2
Reaction score
2
HI all, this is my first time posting here. I am completely perplexed at what is going on with my tank right now. I have a 48 gallon bow front tank that had been cycling for about 6 weeks. I put 2 bottles of fritz zyme 9 in to help jump start the cycle. I monitored it as the nitrogen cycle did its thing. Once the levels all reached zero ppm I took a sample of my water to my LFS to confirm that the levels were indeed at zero, and he assured me that the tank was cycled. I put in 5 nassarius snails, 2 hermits, 5 trochus, and 1 conch. They were in the tank about a week and everything was fine as they started to clean up the tank. A few trochus snails died for reasons unknown. Maybe they just didn't acclimate well, but I took them out immediately.

I should mention that the water was kind of milky at this stage but the levels still read zero. I believe it was a bacterial bloom, so I put in a UV sterilizer for 24 hours and it cleared it right up. Since my levels were at zero I went ahead and put in 2 clownfish and a mandarin. I woke up the next morning and tested the levels and the Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate were through the roof. Like 8.0 ppm for ammonia, 5.0 ppm for Nitrite, and 60 ppm for Nitrate. I've tried water changes, Prime, Stability. Its been almost a week and the levels are still high. I have know clue what happened? all the snails are still alive, So I have absolutely no clue where this massive amount of ammonia is coming from. Even my LFS is confused on whats going on. Anyone ever experience something like this? How do I get these levels to go down. is it possible that my tank is going through another cycle?
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

P-Dub

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 30, 2017
Messages
2,432
Reaction score
7,113
Location
Western Pacific
HI all, this is my first time posting here. I am completely perplexed at what is going on with my tank right now. I have a 48 gallon bow front tank that had been cycling for about 6 weeks. I put 2 bottles of fritz zyme 9 in to help jump start the cycle. I monitored it as the nitrogen cycle did its thing. Once the levels all reached zero ppm I took a sample of my water to my LFS to confirm that the levels were indeed at zero, and he assured me that the tank was cycled. I put in 5 nassarius snails, 2 hermits, 5 trochus, and 1 conch. They were in the tank about a week and everything was fine as they started to clean up the tank. A few trochus snails died for reasons unknown. Maybe they just didn't acclimate well, but I took them out immediately.

I should mention that the water was kind of milky at this stage but the levels still read zero. I believe it was a bacterial bloom, so I put in a UV sterilizer for 24 hours and it cleared it right up. Since my levels were at zero I went ahead and put in 2 clownfish and a mandarin. I woke up the next morning and tested the levels and the Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate were through the roof. Like 8.0 ppm for ammonia, 5.0 ppm for Nitrite, and 60 ppm for Nitrate. I've tried water changes, Prime, Stability. Its been almost a week and the levels are still high. I have know clue what happened? all the snails are still alive, So I have absolutely no clue where this massive amount of ammonia is coming from. Even my LFS is confused on whats going on. Anyone ever experience something like this? How do I get these levels to go down. is it possible that my tank is going through another cycle?
Were you monitoring your levels regularly while it was cycling? There might have been a drop in nutrient levels for a period that was insufficient to sustain the bacteria population that built up and then later you have a new source of nutrients creating more than the remaining bacteria population can handle, that might explain your current situation. If that is the case then you just might be having a secondary cycle.
 
OP
C

Cameronwals

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 20, 2019
Messages
2
Reaction score
2
Were you monitoring your levels regularly while it was cycling? There might have been a drop in nutrient levels for a period that was insufficient to sustain the bacteria population that built up and then later you have a new source of nutrients creating more than the remaining bacteria population can handle, that might explain your current situation. If that is the case then you just might be having a secondary cycle.
Yeah I monitored the levels daily. First the ammonia showed up, then the nitrite showed up, then the nitrate showed up. all the levels fell down to zero by themselves(except nitrate) had to do a water change to bring the nitrate into the safe zone, but once I added the fish. They became super high within 24 hours and have been this way for a little over a week now. The LFS said it will all stabilize and to not do any water changes during this time. so Im just dosing with prime and stability.
 

Brian barranco

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 20, 2019
Messages
187
Reaction score
46
Prime is negative thing to add when cycling a tank... it blinds the ammonia, nitrites to the bacteria. My best bet is too stop dosing prime and do a water change and then add bio spira or a bacteria source to slowly lower ammonia. Prolly stalled the cycle since ammonia is 8ppm. And nitrites are at 5ppm
 

GravaD Reefing

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 31, 2018
Messages
138
Reaction score
92
Location
Rockford
I would say to do a large (~50%) water changes to get everything down. Check your new mix to make sure the water isn’t contaminated with ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. What was your ammonia source for the cycle?
 

Rjukan

Day Dreamer
View Badges
Joined
Sep 4, 2018
Messages
585
Reaction score
2,122
Location
Staten Island
Just curious, when you cycled the tank and put the bacteria in, what did you use for a initial ammonia source? It sounds like you didn't introduce enough ammonia to get the cycle really going, and when the fish were added they became the ammonia source.
 

Do consider yourself a successful reef keeper?

  • Yes (tell us in the thread what it takes to keep a healthy reef)

    Votes: 104 39.0%
  • No I wouldn't consider myself successful yet

    Votes: 138 51.7%
  • Not sure.

    Votes: 25 9.4%

Online statistics

Members online
2,061
Guests online
5,291
Total visitors
7,352
Top