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New to this hobby and forum. I have been trying to cycle my 17 gallon aquarium for the last 3 weeks now. I have Amazonia substrate and live plants and rocks with driftwood. I have been doing 1/3 water changes every other day as per instructions from the shop I bought the aquarium. I haven't added any fish yet. They have me adding ADA Brighty K for the plants and AmQuel for the water treatment. Also had me add Fluval Cycle Biological Enhancer.

Now the Problem. My ammonia reads have remained at 2.0ppm with Nitrite and Nitrate at 0ppm. I went to another fish store yesterday and was told the Ammonia was 6.0ppm and to empty the water twice in the next 3 days then bring back for another test. Also, my plants seem to be getting algae on the leaves and starting to loose leaves. At this point I am a little confused at what to do. I did the water change once so far and cleaned the filter and hoses. Any suggestions on how to get the cycle going?
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Pretty Tank.... You can use Seachem Stabilize, API Quick Start, or any other Aquarium Bacteria Starter ... Here's a link:


Once you've added that a pinch of fish food every day until you get your fish in there.
 

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I would stop adding chemicals (brightly k, amquell) and see what happens to ammonia.

my .02
 
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