Tank won't cycle - need help


Broke Reefer!

It's been a long time since I've been here - missed you all! Long story short, I am in the process of breaking down my 90g tank (forced to remove it from my office). Over the last several months I've been moving small fish to smaller tanks at home and getting rid of my larger fish. I've been given a deadline of the end of October to break it down.

Most of my smaller fish are going to go into my 42hex tank at home. This tank was set up several years ago, then crashed after a move. Over the summer I finally bleached and sun-dried the rocks and have been in the process of setting this tank back up for the fish. I started cycling it in early September - mostly dry bleached rock plus one small live rock from another tank. I initiated the cycle with a small piece of fresh scallop from the grocery store. It took a while to cycle - almost a month, with barely a spike in nitrite. Once both ammonia and nitrite were at 0, I moved my clownfish pair into the tank. 2 days later, they were behaving strangely - vibrating right next to each other on the bottom and almost laying down. I checked the water chemistry - ammonia had spiked - I quickly moved them to another tank and they were immediately better. That was about 3 weeks ago and the ammonia level has yet to come back down. I thought the tank would have recycled by now, but my ammonia is sky high and 0 nitrite. I should also note that I re-arranged the rocks right before I put the clownfish in the tank to epoxy them - several rocks ended up being out of water for more than 30 minutes during this process - I assume this is what caused the tank to recycle due to bacteria die off during that time. I just don't understand why it won't re-cycle now. I am using API for testing.

Anyone have ideas? I still have two fish at work that need to come home, but I really don't have a good tank for them - the other tanks are fully stocked!

Oh, one other piece of info - I don't want to move the rocks from my 90 to the hex - I had a massive aptasia outbreak in the 90g and don't want to bring the aiptasia with me to the hex.
Looks like your piece of fresh scallop somehow just doesn't have the necessary nitrifying bacteria to seed the tank. I would get a live rock from someone else and/or buy a bottle of the bacteria to re-seed the tank.