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Discussion Starter #1
Yes, this is another "am I stalled" post.

I am currently fishless cycling a 10 gallon with Black Diamond grit (sand) substrate and a 10g rated sponge filter. I have a thermometer and a marimo moss ball in the tank but it is currently otherwise empty. (My heater is in transit.) I've been cycling for about four weeks now. Last week my tank would process 4 ppm of ammonia in 24 to 36 hours. I had a nitrite spike, off the charts, and 80ppm nitrates. I am using ACE hardware 10% non-sudsing ammonia.

This week when I dose to 5ppm it is taken 48 hours, and I still have about 2ppm ammonia, nitrate and nitrate are both off the scale.

PH is above 7 but not quite 7.5.

I am considering a water change so I can see if nitrates and nitrates are still increasing, is that a good idea, or would I be just another impatient newbie poking a tank when I should be waiting for it to cycle?
 

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The only ways to really remove nitrates is via water changes and plants. Its recommend to plant as heavily as you can afford if your doing a planted tank so that the plants can get a jump and out compete algae for nutrients. If your not doing plants you will have to remove nitrates via water changes. I generally never change any water during a cycle because there is no life to worry about. Its been stated that bacteria actually grow slower when toxic levels are high and the thermostat is set in the 70s.
 

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High nitrite can definitely slow or stall a cycle. Change water to keep it below 5.0ppm. The same caution applies to ammonia.

Don't worry about nitrate. You'll be doing enough wc's for other reasons that your nitrate will remain under control. Usually only heavily-stocked setups have nitrate problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Did a water change, and now it isn't processing ammonia at all :( I don't know for sure what killed it, but I'm pretty sure my cycle is totally crashed. I'm betting there was antibacterial "medicine" in the merimo moss ball I got from the local pet store. Only thing I can think of that has changed.

I think I'm going to run carbon for a little while, then do another pwc if running carbon doesn't help anything.
 
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