Newbie Messed Up Bad Shame Me (kidding).....then Help Me (please)

hI everyone, newbie here. I have been reading a TON on this site since I joined the hobby ( 4 month ago). Love everything and have been taking in a ton so thank you all for that!!!

Unfortunately I find myself in potentially a bit of a , "oh heck I messed up" situation I have now read all too many of. So I figured id sign up and post a add for help.

ok, let me first get a few base lines out of the way and begin the story. Started my first tank (55g) on April 25th, fish less cycle with bio-s (BB that are supposed to cycle tank in 2 weeks,will confirm name/brand tonight) from a reputable lfs and cycled the tank for 2 weeks.....all looked good and cycled based on the no amm, and having a n03 reading. I then added in 3 rosy barbs and 2 tetra glofish. all was good. pwc and cleanings and all was still good.

Now fast forward to June 23. Mind you that I have become totally engrossed in the hobby. The tank was initially for my kids (glo fish tank) but I have always loved aquariums so I may have gotten a bit cocky and foolish because............I then added TSS and 5 glo danois, 3 more glo tetras and 6 glo tiger barbs.

I think....based on the apI test kit readings yesterday, that the TSS has failed. Friday was day 14 and the ammonia readings seemed to have been locked at about 1.5ppm (no n02, not much if any n03) for the entire two week period (yes I was testing.....I had to.....right? lol).

Saturday the ammonia seemed to spike to maybe 2ppm. last night to maybe 2.5/3. I tossed in another bottle of TSS last night in a panic and am just not sure what to do now. wait?

some details about the filtration and what I have on hand for options.

rena xp3 canister filter. ceramic rings and sponge filters and some carbon, nothing fancy pretty much stock. added in a smaller sponge filter on 7-2.

I have amquel ammonia remover, stability, another TSS....will do do whatever I need to but am just not sure and do not want to start dousing the tank in chemicals.

I may have pushed it too to any help, advice or constructive criticism that can hep educate me on where to go next.

HI and welcome! It doesn't sound on the face of it like you did anything wrong. Did you wait 24 hours after adding any products that lock up ammonia before adding the TSS? TSS itself can give you false readings so that could also be a source of confusion. Have you rinsed any of your media or replaced it? What's the pH in your tank and tap water? Do the fish look and act ok?
hi....and thanks!

yes...I actually waited 48 hours out of caution before adding TSS on 6/23. the ph is stable @ 7.0 (tap comes in neutral thankfully). the media and filter has been rinsed (in its own water) since starting it up also.

the fish also act fine......swimming around and doing fish type things lol. I did, what I think may have been a too aggressive gravel vac a few weeks ago right before adding the new stock and TSS. its just weird that on day 14 the ammonia starts to spike when it had been level. I mentioned in the rant, I had not seen any N02/N03 in any test in the last 2.5 weeks
There are no bottled bacteria that can help you cycle your tank.. as much as I belive... I preffer to borrow some stones from fully established aquarium.... and I prefer to add fishes 1 by 1.. giving 2-3 days gap between each addition.... not all at once...

I don't belive in chemicals... I preffer borrowing some stones from a well established tanks to cycle mine... It helps much better...
And I never load my tank all at once... I preffer adding 1 by 1.. giving 2-3 days gap...
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thank you manjit. I started fishless and wish I had someone locally I knew I could borrow some rocks or media from. sadly I did not have that luxury will keep that in mind for future tanks though
Wait, did you add an ammonia source while you were cycling? Don't worry, TSS has a good reputation for cycling tanks.
I'm going with too many fish too fast as stated by Manjit I would only ever add 2-3 fish at a time to my 330gal and that had plenty of water and 3 huge canister filters on it so it never ever registered a spike but slower is better. In my 55gal I would do no more than 2 fish a week and that is pretty heavy planted and has a canister and HOB
I did use a pure ammonia when cycling, the first time thinking I am going to dose the tank again in a few days with TSS. I found a FAQ that mentioned "adding another dose several days after the first dose if the ammonia level was between 2-3.5 ppm.
I got overly ambitious in trying to use TSS and fully stock the tank any suggestions on the best way to move forward? just let the TSS do its thing and check it in 14 days?

thanks for everyone's input on this
I got overly ambitious in trying to use TSS and fully stock the tank any suggestions on the best way to move forward? just let the TSS do its thing and check it in 14 days?

thanks for everyone's input on this

Keep dosing with prime to detoxify ammonia do more frequent water changes to keep levels under control and wait for the cycle to catch back up if you already have BB in your filter then it will happen quicker than the initial startup and hopefully a week or two and things will get back under control
I would suggest to carry on with partial water change... keep an eye on ammonia and nitrates as they spike up its again time for partial water change.... hopefull it will need a week to settle
Yeah, don't worry too much about the tetra safestart, you already had a biofilter going, you just likely overwhelmed it with bioload and it wil have to catch up. I would do water changes, as many as indicated. Keep ammonia under 1ppm, nitrite under 0.5 ppm if practical. The lower the better. Water changes won't stall your cycle IMO and will keep your fishies safe until the cycle catches up. Good luck!

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