I am new here! I have been trying to fishless cycle for months now and for a reason that I cannot figure out, I have not been able to get it to work.
I originally bought a fish tank in August and followed the "The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling." I have a 20 gallon fish tank and am using Dr. Timís Aquatics Ammonium Chloride, Seachem Prime Conditioner, and an API test kit. I also have a heater, bubble wand and a filter that came with the tank. I originally bought multiple plants from petco and after months of constantly checking all the conditions (and only seeing 4 ppm
ammonia) decided to try to restart my cycle. I suspected that maybe the plants had some bad bacteria that wasn't allowing the cycle to begin.
I threw away the plants, took everything apart, washed it thoroughly, and put it all back together. I restarted my cycle mid February and this time around also purchased API quick start. I again dosed up to 4 ppm
and have been checking water conditions every 3 days. In mid March the ammonia levels seemed to have dropped all the way to 1 ppm
so I dosed back up to 4 ppm
. I have been checking levels since and have seen no signs of nitrates or nitrites since. My pH has also been around 7.6 for the last month or so.
I am at a complete loss of what to do at this point. The only thing I suspect could be causing this is that my filter seems to stop flowing through the foam pad and goes around it on the right side (I have attached an image of this as well).
Any help would be greatly appreciated!