Originally Posted by LizzyP
This post will explain everything: Water testing issues
I'm doing everything I can, and my ammonia test is still reading. I even do 100% changes, wash everything in scalding hot water, rinse filter, gravel, EVERYTHING and I still get ammonia readings!
Could washing everything be part of the problem? I think that the good bacteria that helps to eat the ammonia lives on the plants, gravel, and filter, and rinsing with tap water will kill that bacteria because of the chlorine in the tap water.
I know on here there seems to be a disinclination to use the bottled bacteria that you can add to the tanks, but the other part of this site, the Topical Fish Keeping boards have several people who recommend it. I've not done it, so I can't say for sure, but maybe you could try that? I'm only on my first cycled tank, so I have absolutely no good advice other than parroting what I've seen from others with more experience on this board and the TFK boards associated with it. :)
Good luck to you though!