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Old 10-14-2016, 02:56 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 2
Greetings from Seattle!

Hello there! Akrilliks here. There is a typhoon on the way and I have a physical chemistry exam tomorrow but wanted to take a break from all of that to say hello!

I actually joined because I've been reading threads about fishless cycling here and couldn't find a solution to the problem I have been having, but I'll get into that in just a moment!

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the fall. I am the proud owner of a 10 gallon planted freshwater tank. I believe most of this is in my details on my profile but I will also put it here!
The tank has two anubias plants, and 3 marimo moss balls. Sand as substrate, and a 40g sponge filter. My goal is to make this a home for an axolotl! I already have a chiller to keep the tank at 16 C when it is done cycling!

The base parameters are
pH of 7.4-7.8 (I keep a handful of crushed coral in a aquarium safe mesh bag to help with this, as my tap is 6.8, it also helps with water hardness)
0 Ammonia
0 NitrItes and 0 NitrAtes

On to where I am stuck...
I have been trying to fishless cycle the tank with household ammonia, specifically austin's clear ammonia which I have made sure is safe for use. It takes about 56 drops to get to 3 ppm, which is the amount I have been dosing!

Now I have been trying to get this tank cycled for almost two months now and I am stuck...
As of today (after dosing 3 ppm ammonia last night)
pH = 7.4-7.8
0 Ammonia
Off the chart NitrItes
Off the chart NitrAtes

I've read off the chart trItes/trAtes cause a cycle to stall...so I have been doing regular water changes to try and keep it down. My problem is, one dose of ammonia causes both to go off the chart the next day! And I haven't seen any changes from that for about 2 weeks now, and can't seem to find the answer. So help there would be appreciated!

Aside from that, thanks for having me and hearing me out. I hope to gain more knowledge as I go and one day be a helpful member of the hobby/community here.

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Old 10-14-2016, 05:18 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: scotland
Posts: 4,194
Hi, welcome to the forum

70 gallon elephant nose tank, Gonzo the elephant nose and inverts.
30gallon borara merah and brigittae green, red longfin bristlenose, shrimp, ninja, taiwan,bamboo, and snails.
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Old 10-14-2016, 05:59 AM   #3
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Welcome to AA
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:28 AM   #4
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Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 11,447
Hi, welcome to the forum

I can't remember what some of the limits are but it looks like your processing to nitrates, it's a little odd on your nitrites.

I would cut the ammonia dosing back to say 1ppm every second day just so you can get some decent readings that are not off scale. And some large water changes to reset the tank.

Also FYI below in case useful.

1 ppm ammonia --> 2.7 ppm nitrite --> 3.6 ppm nitrate.

For every gram of ammonia oxidised into nitrate 4.8 grams of oxygen is used, 7.14 grams of calcium carbonate is used (now you know why pH crash can occur in tanks with to little buffering capacity).
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Old 10-15-2016, 12:34 AM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Seattle, Washington
Posts: 2
Thank you all for the warm welcome! Delapool I will definitely try your advice!
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