Cycle stalled, what to do next?

Leeoc91

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Hi all, I'm new to fish keeping and I bought a 28 Gallon (105L) saltwater tank.

I'm really finding it hard to complete a fishless cycle. I started off by 'ghost' feeding the tank every day with food but I think I put way too much in as it wasn't decomposing so I decided to stop that and did a full water change & tank clean.

Then I purchased household ammonia which I miscalculated and put in too much so I did an 80% water change which got the levels up to 5ppm which is what most people seemed to recommend online. It's been 2 months now and the ammonia level is the same with nitrate at 0.5ppm and nitrate 0ppm.

I bought API Quick Start and added that to the tank according to the instructions but that didn't have any effect on any of the levels.

I'm not sure what I should do next, any advice by more experienced members would be appreciated! :)

Thanks!
 

LightBrownPillow

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Did you check your household ammonia for surfactants? If you shake the bottle and the liquid inside foams up, then it has surfactants and is not a good ammonia to use for aquariums. Unfortunately I don't know a good brand to use.

For my fishless cycles, I bought a jar of pure ammonium chloride powder for ~$15 and it worked great. You are correct to dose to 4-5 ppm initially and let that come down, and once you see nitrites producing you'll want to dose up to 2-3 ppm to keep everything fed.

I'd recommend doing some big water changes, maybe even 100%, getting a new ammonia source and trying again. If you have any friends with tanks, you can get some of their filter media to jump-start the bacteria colony. The local fish store might give you some too if you ask.
 
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Leeoc91

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Yes the ammonia I got was purchased carefully and other people on the reviews had used the same one to successfully cycle their tank so I'm confident that it's a good source. Do you think it's worth doing maybe 60-80% water change to bring the ammonia down to 2/3ppm?

Thanks!
 

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