My cycled betta tank is no longer cycled. I probably would have found this out sooner if I had tested more often, but I got complacent.
I'm thinking it overheated because the winter sun started hitting the tank for several hours a day and raised the temp pretty high. I've since blocked the sun and will move the tank once I no longer have to do frequent water changes. It's not a problem in the summer since the leaves are on the trees and block the sun.
Once I blocked the sun, the nitrates started rebounding, so I'm hoping it will recover quickly. I'm doing small frequent water changes to keep levels in check. Mr. Betta still seems spunky.
Unfortunately, I had pulled water and substrate from the betta tank, thinking it was cycled, to start a new tank for my snail. After testing today after a 25% water change, there is just ammonia in the snail tank (.5) a tiny bit of nitrites (not enough to read the next level up from 0, but not 0) and no nitrates.
I've really become attached to this golden apple snail (brigs) and I want to keep him as comfortable as possible during the cycling process. I don't mind a long cycle and frequent small water changes. I feel bad that messed this up.
What is the maximum ammonia and nitrite level I should shoot for during the cycle so that the bacteria have a chance to grow but will minimize the stress on the snail?