Hi fish friends, I've been doing a fishless cycle for a few weeks. However, I just can't seem to get it started. Unfortunately I have no way to get used filter media or anything of that nature that would help start my bacterial colony. I've only done 2 doses of ammonia because it has stayed at 3ppm since and has not changed. It has been a week since I last did the ammonia dose. I know people have mixed feelings on whether bottled bacterial type products work. I have been using a live bacteria liquid from a national fish store chain (Big Al's). Is there anything else I can do, or do I just have to wait? Also, I have added some beautiful driftwood and it has really helped bring down the pH as our tap water has a pH of 9.2 But the water is so full of the tannins that it looks like someone had diarrhea in the tank. Sorry, that's the only way to describe it. If I do a water change am I going to kill any progress I have made with starting the cycle? I was thinking of doing about a 15% water change twice a week just to help with the water colour and clarity. And last, I am being gifted a huge gorgeous sword plant. I don't know what type yet. It's from a friend taking biological science classes at university who grew it as part of her course. With the water parameters being bad and since they will hopefully change so much over the next few weeks, should I keep it somewhere else? I have a large clear Rubbermaid container and an old 5 gallon tank hood and light. So I was thinking it might be better to get it set up in there for the time being. Thanks in advance!