I have been cycling my 29 gallon tank for 21 days. Started with seeding material from my 10 gallon. I have been following the fish ess cycle instructions from this website. Three days ago I got my first zero ammonia reading after dosing the day before. The next day same thing after dosing up to 4 ppm
. So I did a massive water change of 25 gallons. Rinsed the filter out in tank water. I added 6 java fern that I had just gotten and checked the water again. Got a .25 ammonia reading, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0. Before the water change my readings where 0 ammonia, Nitrite 5 ppm
, Nitrate 160 ppm
. I freaked out and rechecked the Nitrate level gathering water that was coming directly out of the filter and got a reading of 20 ppm
. I know that the bacteria lives on the filter and tank decor not in the water itself so I figured everything was okay. I added my ghost shrimp. I should add that my tap water was reading .25 ammonia before I conditioned it to add to the tank.
Today I checked and the ghost shrimp are fine. My water tests today showed Ammonia .50, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0. I redid the Nitrate test gathering water sample from filter flow. 0 Nitrate again. What is going on? Did I kill my bacteria colony somehow? I treated the water with a chlorine, chloramine, and heavy metal water treatment. The cycling instructions said that a massive water change at the end of a cycle was a good thing so what happened? I was planning on moving my two Mollies over and putting my 10 gallon filter in the 29 to keep the bacteria alive but now I don't know what to do. I am going to a pet store tomorrow and wanted to buy more fish to quarantine so I can start stocking my 29 gallon tank.