Should I start over?
I've had my tank set up for over 5 weeks now with fish and I haven't had any readings besides ammonia. No nitrites or nitrates at all. Ever. Do you think I should should break it all down and start all over with a fishless cycle? I'm getting very frustrated...
Don't break it down and do NOT get frustrated!!!
For one, each & ever tank cycles differently, I have had multi set ups in my houses for years (same source water) and God know each & every tank you see in my aquarium log here cycled in their own ways.
Secondly: If you have live plants int he tank that also influences having (or not having) NO readings.
Has your Ammonia begun to drop already?
No...no live plants. Should I get some?
The ammonia when I first started testing was up to a max of 1.5- maybe 2. After doing all the water changes with AmQuel+ it went down to .5 for a while but since I've been changing water every day to two days it has gone back up to around 1. I can keep it down to .5 with daily changes but I never get a nit. reading. If I would see that part I don't think it would be as annoying. It just hasn't done anything at all since setup!
You know, I also started the tank setup with bottled spring water (suggested by no-so-smart-LFS-person). Would that have anything to do with cycling?
If you can add live plants, anything will be better then non, most ideal new set up is 0% plant cover in the tank (not only for your water, but mainly to be natural for your fish). You can gladly look at my tanks here on the left tap that say's "Aquarium"
AmQuel detoxifies ammonia and transforms it in to a NON toxic ammonium for fish. You WILL still get the ammonia reading on your test kit but the water itself is safe for fish! So that's a BIG plus knowing you're using it!!!!
You may as well test your tap water, poor a cup at night, let it sit and test it in the AM. A lot locations around the US have ammonia in their tap water. If that's the case with you, then with each water exchange you detoxify it but you would then always get readings. So check up on that end too!
Bottled water is RO (reversed osmosis) water and thou its a clear liquid looking like water, it has zero minerals in it compared to your tap, so its not really helpful but (unless used in excess) also not harmful to my knowledge. And I donno what size tank you have there, but with all these water changes that's been long out of the tank's system :-)
So test your tap and do not give up!!!!
DON'T start over, if you think its annoying thus far do you really want to RESTART everything? Make sure you're not rinsing the filter in tap water. Don't rinse the filter at all for now. Do you have gravel? Keep up with the water changes, you'll be very happy after the cycle finishes.
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