Hi again, everyone!
I've set up my 5 gal tank and am on day 11 of my first fishless cycle ever! Apologies in advance for this long post! :P I've looked over the HUGE amounts of info about fishless cycling online, but am mainly using the method from the article by James S. Koga, which I understand to be one of the premiere articles on this method (correct me if Iím wrong!):
Along with input from the method described on Nippyfish:
WHAT IíVE DONE:
-Set up taquarium, rinsing tank/gravel/accessories in untreated tap water
-Filled tank with water + Prime
-Installed heater + thermometer (at opposite ends of tank from each other)
-Added ammonia (ingredients: water and ammonium hydroxide) until reading of 1.5PPM registered 45 mins after ammonia added
-On day 2, after reading the article by Koga, turned on the heater and raised the tank from the ambient temp. of approx. 80 degrees to the new temp. of approx. 88 degrees (which temperature will be lowered again before fish are added)
-Since adding ammonia + Stability on Day 1, have done nothing but test water every 24 hrs.
On day two, the day after the ammonia was added, the PH raised from about 7.3 to at least 7.6 (the upper limit of my test kit) or possibly higher, but then came back down quickly.
After initially adding the ammonia on day 1, my plan had been to wait until the ammonia reading went down to a near zero level, and then to add a bit more ammonia each day from then on (one method I saw suggested taking the number of drops added initially, dividing that amount by the number of days it took the ammonia to drop to zero, and then adding that amount daily until nitrites spiked and then fell again). HoweverÖ the ammonia seemed to have stalled at the 1 ppm mark and had sat there for several days. Below is a graph of my ammonia/nitrite/PH progress up to day 10.
Today, on day 11, I decided to spike the ammonia to 2PPM again to see if I could get things going.
-Should I be adding ammonia daily to keep the ammonia level at 2PPM until I see nitrites, or should I allow the ammonia to drop to zero and then spike it to 2PPM again?
-Could my cycle really have stalled with ammonia at 1PPM or is that normal for a beginning cycle?
-What should I do if my cycle stalls again?
-How should I modify my ammonia dosing when nitrites appear?
Any input on what Iíve done or should do from here would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again for the support of everyone on the forum, so glad I found it (as is my little betta)!