So my cycle has been going on.. for 7 months.. and I finally got it.. at least as close to make me happy. I just have to post about it because the fact it's not perfect bothers me but luckily it's not harming anything. So I've had this cycle (for those who haven't helped me/don't know already) that has been going on for 7 months (as mentioned) and I was recommended to buy a pre-seeded sponge filter (meaning it had already been in a well established tank for a month +) from this one website and so I bought that and added it with my 20 gallon HOB filter I have (150 gph I believe) that was already in there. I had to leave for vacation so I set that up, came back and my levels were cleared up. Now nitrates always stay at 20 it seems, sand is well vacuumed always and no left over food is there. Basically the whole tank is clean, just not sure why nitrates never go down. But that's another topic, now to my real issue. The only thing, (other than high nitrates) that is wrong with the cycle is my ammonia never goes lower than .25. And it never goes higher, so it's not getting dangerous or deadly but it still bothers me that .25 of ammonia is still there. I have a liquid test kit that isn't expired and .25 just won't budge. Now I do have .25 in my tap, but I would think that would be gone within 24 hours cause bacteria has eaten it. That's my only thing, not a big problem but it's just there and it doesn't move (it's been like that this whole cycle) and so I'm just coming here, and people will probably tell me I'm not cycled unless it's at 0 but with how long this cycle has taken and the fact I'm finally so close, I'm gonna take it as cycled lol. Other levels; Ammonia: .25 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 40-80 pH: 7.6/ish My tank is a 20 gallon long and I have 1 axolotl in it.