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Re: Stuck in cycle with ammonia

Subject: Re: Stuck in cycle with ammonia
by fcmf on 5/1/2019 18:07:29

That's helpful, and the test kit is well in-date so that's not a problem.

The zero nitrates reading might well be accounted for by the similar reading of your tap water, so I wouldn't be overly concerned about that or that it necessarily indicates the tank hasn't cycled, now that we know this.

As for your water hardness, though, that's very helpful - it's slightly softer than my own water, and I had trouble cycling, even with limestone rock in the tank. I think it might be worth increasing the water hardness generally, done very carefully so as not to adversely affect/shock the fish, as this would help the cycling process if it's not complete but also help meet the requirements of your platies who thrive in hard water. This can be done by adding bicarbonate of soda, calcium blocks (e.g. Aqualibra, from Amazon), coral sand in a mesh/muslin bag in the filter or coral substrate; I don't have personal experience of any of these methods so you may need to do a bit of reading up on the various merits and potential downsides of each of these but the key is to ensure that you can control and minimise too much fluctuation.

I would keep going with the regular water changes, and a very gradual increase of your water hardness (you'll need KH and GH liquid-based test kits to monitor this, though) to see if ultimately the result stays at 0 - hopefully this might be achieved within a few weeks of gradually altering the water hardness.

Keep us posted.