I've been following very closely the guide posted by eco23 here: https://www.aquariumadvice.com/forum...ng-148283.html
for my small 6 gallon tank.
I set up my tank with decorations/water/sponge filter/heater about 4 days before my ammonia arrived (Dr Tim's Aquatics Ammonia). The water started out completely clear. About 1 day before the ammonia arrived for me to be able to start the fishless cycling, during which time I'd been running the filter and heater at 78 degrees, the water became slightly clouded, but not very much so. Research seemed to indicated this was a typical initial bacterial bloom. At this point I added the ammonia to reach 4ppm and followed the guide.
I am now 6 days into the fishless cycling process, first raised the ammonia to 4 ppm
on the 13th , yesterday the ammonia was down to 1ppm so raised it back to 4ppm as the guide indicated. My Nitrites are slowly raising at this point, yesterday morning they were 0.25ppm, this afternoon they were 0.50ppm.
Tonight I noticed my sponge filter was sounding strange and not moving water, and upon squeezing the sponge lightly to move the filter a very large amount of cloudy, translucent saliva like slime and particles came from it, and I also notice that same clearish slime and floating clear white particles were visible and there was a small jelly like mass on the gravel of the same material. I squeezed out the sponge (but didn't rinse it, as I had read you should keep the beneficial bacteria there) as it was not moving water at all in its current state. It is the type of sponge filter that has a small container of ceramic media balls attached to it, they seem to look fine and unclogged. The filter runs again after squeezing it out, but the tank is currently extremely cloudy and fully of slimy particles. I only added a tiny pinch of ground fish food once at the beginning of the process. (step 7F in the guide).
I am wondering if this is a normal reaction to the fishless cycling process, and if it will clear up in the later parts of the process when I do water changes once the Nitrites and Nitrates are off the chart as the guide says.
This tank will be for shrimp and other small invertebrates, I don't plan to have any fish.
Thank you very much for any advice.