I started the cycling process last week in my 5 gallon tank, using seed material from my goldfish tank. (Quinn's biosponge looked like it couldn't handle losing much of it's growth. Most of the bacteria is in the terra-cotta pots in that tank anyway.) When I first started, I had between 4-5 ppm ammonia, 0 nitrItes, 10 ppm nitrAtes. (There's residual from my tap water.) After the first few days, it looked good. Ammo dropped from 5 to 2 ppm, and nitrAtes rose to about 20 ppm. Now I'm at a stall. No change whatsoever. To top it all off, my water has become "dusty". I notice it mostly with the heater light, when it gets scattered. Is there any correlation?
I've asked on other forums and the only answer I get is "Just wait." I know it takes time, but with the seed material, and plenty of places to grow, the bacteria should have made a dent by now. I've always had awesome luck with cycling. Quinn's finished cycling after a week and a half, pumping out 3ppm of ammonia to nitrates in 24 hours.
Last question. I keep being told to add more pure ammonia to the mix. I don't understand why. I know the bacteria needs food, but the food is already there, and it's not converting. Why do I need to add more?