There isn't really a good place to put this question, so here seems the best place.
I understand the nitrogen cycle pretty well, but I've run into something that has me stumped.
First the question: Is there a direct relationship between KH and the growth of Nitrifying Bacteria?
Here's why I ask: I am cycling a tank at the moment with ammonia. I have a starting point of 5ppm ammonia concentration in the water.
The starting water parameters are PH 7.9, KH 1dK and temp 78-80 degrees.
I have seeded the tank with Bacteria, a couple of different products actually (Seachem Stability for 7 days, then Nutrafin Safe Start Plus on day 8). After 9 days, I am seeing no movement whatsoever either in ammonia or nitrite levels. I've used tests by API and Nutrafin each time I measure to be sure I am getting accurate measurements. The tank I cycled previously showed nitrites on day 3 after seeding the tank, and I am stumped as to why nothing is happening in this tank.
Someone suggested to me that my low kH levels are inhibit nitrifying bacteria growth and function. I know that as PH values lessen, nitrifying bacteria growth and function slow and eventually stop altogether at around PH 6, and that there is a direct relationship between PH and KH. As my starting kH is so low, this comment piqued my interest.
The only problem is I can find nothing on the internet that corroborates a relationship between kh and these bacteria. Only about PH. Now I know that nitrifying bacteria use (among other things) carbon in the water to do their thing, so does that mean if the carbon source in the water is either very limited or non existent, they stop working or fail to grow at all?
Of course I may be missing the boat entirely, in which case, I'd love to know what is going on. There you have it. Your comments and experience are welcome.