0.25 ammonia after filter transplant

newclassic1

Member
Hey guys!

So I recently bought a brand new Juwel Rio 180L aquarium with all the trimmings.

Instead of fishless cycling with ammonia, I decided I wanted my existing fish in right away. So I moved my established eheim filter and existing stock from my 54L across to the 180L to run both filters in parallel for a few weeks/months.

In theory, it should be instantly cycled as I didnt add any fish so bioload was same as the 54L. Just the tank volume increased to 180L.

However, I've noticed a week after this movement, I'm reading 0.25 ammonia on my API Test kit. Frustrating! Fish are behaving as normal. Even have corys laying eggs everywhere which was happening in the 54L.

I've checked numerous ways to see if it's a flaw (ive read the api ammonia test can show 0.25 as a false reading) like running ammonia test with same kit on my other cycled tank which comes back as 0, bright yellow. I also tried another ammonia test on the 180 with a separate brand new api ammonia test which came back again at 0.25. This was to prove that the liquid wasn't gone bad or expired.

I've done a 75% water change yesterday to try clear the 0.25. It worked! But tonight it's back with a vengeance.

What do people think this could be?

Same stock (bioload) + same cycled filter = instant cycle surely?

Could it be that I never brought the substrate or hardscape into the new tank? Surely that BB would be negligible?

Thanks!
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StarGirl

Member
Yes it could just be a mini cycle. The substrate and deco does have a small amount of bb on it. Keep up with the water changes and use Prime and it will catch up. Just don't add anything until it does. Then go slowly.
 

Flyfisha

Member
Hi newclassic1
You can add old ornaments wood or plants temporarily into the new tank.All hard surfaces have bacteria on them. Of course the gravel has a percentage of the bacteria. It’s a hard surface and it has food near it.

Daily water changes are required while the tank is having a mini cycle/ while the bacteria numbers get back to a number able to consume the daily bio load (poop load).
Do not add any new fish .
Do not clean the glass or any hard surfaces.
Do not deep clean the gravel.
 
  • Thread Starter

newclassic1

Member
Thanks for your replies. That's what I was thinking. I feel my eheim could have been close to or at max bioload in the old tank and the gravel and stuff was holding the cycle together haha with that part gone, all that's left is the sponge and same bioload so I guess it needs to adjust to being by itself?

I have a big bottle of prime and going to do another water change tonight to remove the 0.25 ammonia. The substrate is now sand so not going to disturb it or the media in both filters.

Won't be adding stock until this all stabilises and a good portion of bb lands on the juwel. So it will be a few weeks/months yet.

Thanks for your advice and for putting my mind somewhat at ease! Love this forum!
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mattgirl

Member
I agree. This is simply a mini-cycle. When making the move bacteria was left behind. To be perfectly honest I wouldn't be overly concerned about .25 ammonia. The bacteria will multiply and clear it out. Should it go any higher than .25 I will recommend a water change to get it back down but as long as it doesn't go any higher than it is right now I would just stick to my weekly water changes.
 
  • Thread Starter

newclassic1

Member
mattgirl said:
I agree. This is simply a mini-cycle. When making the move bacteria was left behind. To be perfectly honest I wouldn't be overly concerned about .25 ammonia. The bacteria will multiply and clear it out. Should it go any higher than .25 I will recommend a water change to get it back down but as long as it doesn't go any higher than it is right now I would just stick to my weekly water changes.
Cool. Good to know that! Will keep an eye on the 0.25 and if it creeps up I'll do a water change to remove. Treating with Prime daily now to keep things safe

Thanks for the help and peace of mind!
 

mattgirl

Member
newclassic1 said:
Cool. Good to know that! Will keep an eye on the 0.25 and if it creeps up I'll do a water change to remove. Treating with Prime daily now to keep things safe

Thanks for the help and peace of mind!
You are so very welcome I wouldn't be adding Prime daily. Maybe every other day would be better. Adding daily probably isn't a problem but my motto is "less is best" when it comes to adding anything to our tanks.
 
  • Thread Starter

newclassic1

Member
mattgirl said:
You are so very welcome I wouldn't be adding Prime daily. Maybe every other day would be better. Adding daily probably isn't a problem but my motto is "less is best" when it comes to adding anything to our tanks.
So I left things as they were at 0.25. Was away yesterday. Arrived back today and ran an ammonia test. 1ppm!!! those bacteria better hurry up and start multiplying quick haha I checked my filters for any possible signs, done a head count all 14 fish accounted for. I done an 80% water change and it came back to 0. I think it would be best to cut back on feeding now to once every 2nd day?

1ppm was a bit of a shock really. It's obviously really struggling to maintain my bioload. There must have been a lot in the gravel and decor on the old tank...
 

mattgirl

Member
newclassic1 said:
So I left things as they were at 0.25. Was away yesterday. Arrived back today and ran an ammonia test. 1ppm!!! those bacteria better hurry up and start multiplying quick haha I checked my filters for any possible signs, done a head count all 14 fish accounted for. I done an 80% water change and it came back to 0. I think it would be best to cut back on feeding now to once every 2nd day?

1ppm was a bit of a shock really. It's obviously really struggling to maintain my bioload. There must have been a lot in the gravel and decor on the old tank...
Every other day sounds like a good idea until this cycle catches back up. As you have found, when moving the cycle from one tank to another it really is best to move everything over since the bacteria grows on everything. The strongest colony is going to be on the filter media but once a tank is established it is growing on everything in the tank. Leaving behind what's growing on the glass normally doesn't cause a major glitch in the cycle but also leaving behind decor and substrate leaves a great deal of it behind.
 

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