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Hello everyone,
I'm new to fish keeping and I'm cycling my first tank. It's a 10 gallon freshwater, filtered and heated at 78 degrees F, with no live plants. I'm doing a fishless cycle. I've been cycling since mid July, around 6 or 7 weeks total, and my tank is being very stubborn. I started with fish food as my ammonia source, but I could never even get my ammonia reading up to 1 ppm, so I switched to ACE ammonia around mid August. I got my ammonia up to 1 ppm. Before this, I had .5 ppm nitrites (I don't believe that they came from my tap because my tap water read 0) so I think my cycle was doing SOMETHING. Then, my levels were constant with no changes for days. I caved and bought API quick start. Within two days of adding that, my nitrites fell to 0, but my ammonia WOULD NOT fall. I contacted API and they said that it could be a low KH, but I tested that today and it's at least over 14 dKH. My pH has been quite high for most of my cycle, but I don't think it's ever gone over 8.2.
Update: Today was the first day in 2 weeks that my ammonia has dropped from 1 ppm to .5 ppm. Even though I've finally seen a slight change, I wanted to post this anyway in case it gets stuck again to see what I should be doing here. Today my nitrites remain at 0. My nitrates are at 5 ppm.
Any help would be very appreciated! I'm hoping I'm in the home stretch here but just in case, I'd be super grateful for tips or speculation.
 
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