Hmmmm. I think maybe before bed I'll try the other test tube to see if its because the sample keeps leaking out when I shake the tube. I can never shake it for the full 30 seconds the instructions say to do without losing most of it, so that might be why I can't get a reading.
Yesterday after my water test I added enough ammonia to bring it JUST up to 2.0ppm (3 drops total).
Ammonia: About 1.5ppm
I'm about to do a partial water change and I'm crossing my fingers hoping that won't stall the cycle! I've waited too long for this! I'm also gonna try to bump up the water temp a little to see if that helps keep things on course.
Ah, when I say they're leaky I mean 2 of the caps/tubes that came with the kit seem to be defective, because the caps just won't sit on the tubes right. The other 2 tubes are fine, but the defective ones just get water EVERYWHERE when I try to shake them, and its definitely from the sample because the water level inside will be substantially lower.
I have a waterfall style, and its been left unbaffled while I cycle.
After taking out about a gallon of water last night, I didn't add anything else like Prime or ammonia, not until I was sure everything was settled again. Today my levels are:
I'm wondering what to do now. Should I just wait until the ammonia goes all the way back down to 0 or should I add enough to bring it back up to 2ppm?
My nitrite spike in my bucket cycle using SafeStart (filter now moved a 55g tank) lasted less than 24 hours.. I was testing morning and evening (and any other time I just couldn't resist).. it was off the charts (not just purple, but almost a dark maroon) as quickly as it was back to reading 0 again.. and it happened VERY fast, one afternoon/evening I had nitrites off the chart and then in the morning they had dropped a lot, and by lunchtime they were 0. If I had stuck to testing once a day I probably would have missed it.