40 Gallon Tank Rising Ammonia levels after cycling

Gnome3G

I started a new 45 Gallon tank recently and I used filter media from my old tank as well as ammonia pads, ammo chips, and nitrite pads. The tank contains 4 medium sized discus. The tank went through the whole ammonia rise and nitrite rise and then eventually reached zero for both. Shortly after cycling the tank the ammonia levels started going up again but the nitrite level has not increased at all. I’ve been trying to detoxify it and also add more stuff from my other cycled tank but ammonia keeps rising no matter what. Nitrite always 0. Not sure if it’s relevant but my tank has developed a greenish haze in the water. Last time I cycled a tank with old media it only took 3 days so I’m very confused.

Size: 45 gallons
fish: 4 discus
pH 6.5-7.3 (pH seems to rise when ammonia rises)
KH 0-30ppm
GH: 75ppm
Temperature: 84F
Ammonia .25-1ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 5-10ppm
Filter: Fluval 207 and 407
 

Hugooo

I can't really help you, but I just wanted to point out one thing. I noticed you are using the API Master Test Kit. With that test kit, ammonia readings can commonly be seen as 0.25 ppm when they are actually 0 ppm; it's super common, even I have that problem. Could you insert a picture of your results? Of course, there may actually be ammonia. I'm sure others with more cycling experience can help you out more, unfortunately I don't have much. Good luck!
 
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Gnome3G

I can't really help you, but I just wanted to point out one thing. I noticed you are using the API Master Test Kit. With that test kit, ammonia readings can commonly be seen as 0.25 ppm when they are actually 0 ppm; it's super common, even I have that problem. Could you insert a picture of your results? Of course, there may actually be ammonia. I'm sure others with more cycling experience can help you out more, unfortunately I don't have much. Good luck!

here’s my latest test result. Looks 0.5ppm to me
 

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Hugooo

here’s my latest test result. Looks 0.5ppm to me
Hmm, yeah that does look a little too green to be considered 0.25 ppm. mattgirl , could you help out?
 
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HolyKamikaziBetta

There’s this stuff that pet stores sell with good bacteria in it... it’s like a pouch...
I’ve had this issue before. Do a 50-75% water change and add the bacteria to the filter and it’ll help out a lot. It did me, anyway.
min going to assume the spike is because of the fishyou added. It has extra bio load now. It happens.
 
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Gnome3G

There’s this stuff that pet stores sell with good bacteria in it... it’s like a pouch...
I’ve had this issue before. Do a 50-75% water change and add the bacteria to the filter and it’ll help out a lot. It did me, anyway.
min going to assume the spike is because of the fishyou added. It has extra bio load now. It happens.

Fish were in there during the cycle so there is no extra bio load
 
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HolyKamikaziBetta

Ahh ok.
yeah just try that pouch of bacteria
I had this issue when I first started in my 60. I discovered the pouch and it’s magical. Lol.
I think it’s tetra brand...
 
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Gnome3G

Hmm, yeah that does look a little too green to be considered 0.25 ppm. mattgirl , could you help out?

Is it possible that the ammonia could be in some sort of form that the bacteria could not process? Maybe because of the Ammo-Chips? When I use strip tests, the ammonia reads zero, but the liquid test always reads somewhere around 0.5ppm
 
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Hugooo

Ahh ok.
yeah just try that pouch of bacteria
I had this issue when I first started in my 60. I discovered the pouch and it’s magical. Lol.
I think it’s tetra brand...
Tetra SafeStart?
Is it possible that the ammonia could be in some sort of form that the bacteria could not process? Maybe because of the Ammo-Chips? When I use strip tests, the ammonia reads zero, but the liquid test always reads somewhere around 0.5ppm
I'm really sorry, but I can't help you I have very limited experience with cycling, sorry to disappoint you. Although I do know that test strips are known to be inaccurate, so they may be wrong.
 
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HolyKamikaziBetta

That’s possible.
I mean in my opinion those api liquid tests always say there’s a bit of ammonia.
It’s what I use as well. It’s usually at .25 which to me means... no ammonia. So maybe yours is actually at a lower level.
do your fish seem stressed or anything?
what do the levels say upon water change?
 
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HolyKamikaziBetta

Tetra SafeStart?

I'm really sorry, but I can't help you I have very limited experience with cycling, sorry to disappoint you. Although I do know that test strips are known to be inaccurate, so they may be wrong.
Yes! Tetra safestart.
It’s magic
 
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Gnome3G

That’s possible.
I mean in my opinion those api liquid tests always say there’s a bit of ammonia.
It’s what I use as well. It’s usually at .25 which to me means... no ammonia. So maybe yours is actually at a lower level.
do your fish seem stressed or anything?
what do the levels say upon water change?

the fish seen a little more stressed. I’ll do a water change and see what it reads. In my other tanks, my tests are the bright yellow of 0ppm.
 
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HolyKamikaziBetta

If you have a nearby Walmart they’ll have the tetra stuff. Tetra safestart.
try it and see if it works for you
 
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HolyKamikaziBetta

Yes, try TSS and if that doesn't work, try API Quick Start and/or Seachem Stability. Not sure if those will be at Walmart, but definitely at pet stores and Amazon.
Yeah those aren’t at Walmart.
Only reason I know the tetra is... is because my closest pet store is an hour and a half away and I needed an emergency fix. Lol.
 
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mattgirl

remove the ammonia pads and ammo chips. Specifically the ammo-chips. You don't want to have something in there pulling out the ammonia the bacteria needs. It is possible one or both out them are no longer working and that is why you are getting an ammonia spike. Pull them out of there, do a water change to get the ammonia level down and then add more media from a cycled tank.
 
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Gnome3G

Yeah those aren’t at Walmart.
Only reason I know the tetra is... is because my closest pet store is an hour and a half away and I needed an emergency fix. Lol.

does the tetra stuff work better than media from a cycled tank?
 
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Gnome3G

remove the ammonia pads and ammo chips. Specifically the ammo-chips. You don't want to have something in there pulling out the ammonia the bacteria needs. It is possible one or both out them are no longer working and that is why you are getting an ammonia spike. Pull them out of there, do a water change to get the ammonia level down and then add more media from a cycled tank.

I pulled the ammo chips out. Guess I’ll take the pads out too. I added some more cycled media around 12 hours before I took the ammo chips out. Would that have killed the bacteria on that media. The ammonia test was reading 0.5ppm through all of this.
 
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mattgirl

does the tetra stuff work better than media from a cycled tank?
No. Seeded media is the best thing you can use to jump start another tank.
I pulled the ammo chips out. Guess I’ll take the pads out too. I added some more cycled media around 12 hours before I took the ammo chips out. Would that have killed the bacteria on that media. The ammonia test was reading 0.5ppm through all of this.
I don't think it would have killed the bacteria. I just have to think it isn't getting all the food it needs to get the job done. I do have to ask though. Are there more fish in this tank than in the tank you are getting the seeded media from? If so there won't be as much bacteria on the media as you will need to handle the bio-load in this tank. It will take time for the tank to grow enough bacteria to take care of the excess ammonia.

Water changes and time should get this tank on track.
 
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HolyKamikaziBetta

does the tetra stuff work better than media from a cycled tank?
I don’t think it works “better”.
You’re just adding bacteria to your filter. It certainly helps when you have an ammonia spike because you don’t know if your bacteria in your used media has crashed or what. It’s just a little boost, and I think it works excellently. When I used it I did a 75% water change and added the stuff and the next day everything was fine... I didn’t have a spike again.
 
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Cherryshrimp420

Cycling a tank with discus in them???!! That's crazy!!
 
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Gnome3G

Cycling a tank with discus in them???!! That's crazy!!

was supposed to be an instant cycle. The discus have been in good health the whole time and are very friendly to people.
 
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Gnome3G

No. Seeded media is the best thing you can use to jump start another tank.

I don't think it would have killed the bacteria. I just have to think it isn't getting all the food it needs to get the job done. I do have to ask though. Are there more fish in this tank than in the tank you are getting the seeded media from? If so there won't be as much bacteria on the media as you will need to handle the bio-load in this tank. It will take time for the tank to grow enough bacteria to take care of the excess ammonia.

Water changes and time should get this tank on track.

the tank it comes from is a 40 gal with A bunch of young plecos and three juvenile angelfish. That tank seems to produce way more waste than my discus tank. Plecos are dirty.

This morning I gave the tank a dose of Amquel plus and have been monitoring the ammonia since then. As of 14 hours later it still reads a very solid 0ppm on the API master kit. Does this mean the tank is cycled? Where did the ammonia go that was taken by Amquel and will it come back?
 
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mattgirl

the tank it comes from is a 40 gal with A bunch of young plecos and three juvenile angelfish. That tank seems to produce way more waste than my discus tank. Plecos are dirty.

This morning I gave the tank a dose of Amquel plus and have been monitoring the ammonia since then. As of 14 hours later it still reads a very solid 0ppm on the API master kit. Does this mean the tank is cycled? Where did the ammonia go that was taken by Amquel and will it come back?
It is very possible adding the well seeded media did the trick. I'm just glad to hear the ammonia is now gone.
 
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Gnome3G

It is very possible adding the well seeded media did the trick. I'm just glad to hear the ammonia is now gone.

Yes it is now 24 hours later and the ammonia still reads zero. Thanks for the help!!
 
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mattgirl

Yes it is now 24 hours later and the ammonia still reads zero. Thanks for the help!!
That is very good news. Just keep a close eye on the numbers for a while longer. I think you are out of the woods now but it pays to be on the safe side when it comes to the safety of our water pets.
 
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