Iím relatively new to this hobby but Iíve been trying my best to do a lot of research.
Iím on Day 36 (Iíve been documenting almost every day) and everything just seems to not be moving forward.
I read on many forums that TSS works fishless so I decided to try it. I have a 20 gal
for my axolotl (rescued; currently in quarantine tub). I dechlorinated tap, had it sit for 26 hrs, then started with up to 2ppm Pure Ammonia and a little over half bottle of the 250 mL Tetra SafeStart. In the beginning, all seemed pretty good as Nitrate was showing up fast, and I hadnít seen any signs of Nitrite. I let Ammonia fall before adding back up. Iíve been religiously checking water parameters and some days it lowers, others itís higher even without dosing.
Water params usually read:
pH 7.4-7.7 (stable)
Nitrite 0 (consistently 0; have never seen any nitrite yet)
Ammonia started building up without me adding any form of Ammonia to the tank. Eventually it got to the point I thought that maybe Tetra couldnít handle it, and I was advised not to do water changes. On day 23, I opted to using Microbe Lift (Nite-Out II), and the next day the water became really cloudy. I understand that blooms are normal during cycling, but Iíd like to mention that my concern is that itís been about 2 weeks like this) Ammonia lowered from 4 to 3 after a day, but then came back up and has been consistently 4ppm... I try lowering this from time to time w WC
but it goes back up.
Iím using Aqueon filter cartridges along with some cut up sponges (both airy and dense).
Iím really unsure of what to do. I refrained from water changes during the cycling with just TSS
but topped off (as I have a bubbler+fan, along with a HOB
filter that needs the level up a certain point to run). I have only been topping off and doing WC
due to high ammonia since adding Microbe Lift (and I think the evaporation got my nitrates from 10 to now 7). Do I continue to wait things out? Should I wash everything out and restart, or would it be a waste since I have nitrates in already? I see a lot swear by the Stability+Prime combo too. Very confused at this pointÖ sorry if itís hard to read all this. Appreciate any suggestions.