In a fishless cycle since August, Ammonia still off chart high? Nitrites present

Akeath

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I am really confused about the results for this tank, the Ammonia will not go down, but remains off the chart even though its been cycling since late August. Nitrites are also off the chart high. I put in enough ammonia to raise it to 5 ppm, but for some reason it is off the charts.
Why isn't the ammonia going down? Why did it get so high in the first place? And what can I do to get this cycle going? Is it possible that there isn't enough filter media?

Background explanations:
First off, the aquarium isn't mine, it was a gift from me to my boyfriend, meant to be an upgrade for his Betta.
It is a 5 gallon minibow aquarium kit, it comes with a rather strange filter that is very small, and only allows room for a thin pad of foam in the filter. In fact, when it came I didn't even realize the filter was a filter at first, its so small. I bought typical aquarium gravel and a hydor minI heater to fit in the tank, it came with a hood and light.
In the middle of August, around the 16th or 17th I believe, I set up the tank, filling it with water treated with Aquasafe and getting everything set up. I told my boyfriend he would need to get Ace Hardware 10% Ammonia - Janitorial strength, and put in 1 ml to raise the 5 gallons of water to 5 ppm ammonia.
I was sure of the amount, because I've used the same stuff to do a fishless cycle in my 75 gallon, 10 gallon, and 5 gallon aquariums.
For some reason, he left the tank without ammonia, but running for about a week. He wanted to bring the ammonia I had to his tank (he lives 1/2 an hour away from me) and use it there instead of buying his own. However, I had just started cycling a 5 gallon of my own, which, by the way, has already cycled normally and had the Betta occupant in there for a while. So I said I needed the container as a whole to stay at my house, and measured out 1 ml of the ammonia, putting it in the small tube they sometimes put the stems of flowers in for transport.
He said he put it in the tank right away.
When I came to test it a few days later, I found the ammonia not at the 5 ppm it should have been brought to by the amount of ammonia I'd given him, but off the chart high. And it has stayed like that all the way from late August to early November. there has been absolutely no change in the ridiculously high amount of Ammonia.
However, for the last few weeks there has been an off the chart high reading of Nitrites as well, so I know some ammonia is being processed. But no matter how many times I test, I get the same thing - off the chart high for both of them. My test kits are fine, they measure my tanks as all 0 nitrite and 0 ammonia, which is where they should be. I even tested my tanks with another ammonia test from a different company, but got the same results as my API test kits. I also checked to see if they were expired, but no.
We have topped off the tank with more water treated with Aquasafe, by the way.
Does anyone know what is going on, and how to fix it?
 

Tony G.

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Did your boyfriend add it to the tank? Maybe he added a little too much
 
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Akeath

Akeath

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He couldn't have added too much, because I measured it out for him.
Just thinking, could the water have evaporated, leaving more concentrated ammonia? Or something...
 

Tony G.

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Oh. Did you add the ammonia only once? or have you been adding it daily? Once you start seeing nitrites you need to half dose ammonia...
 

Lucy

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If I haven't said it before, welcome to FishLore

Just curious, what size tank did he have that he added the vile of ammonia?
It could be more diluted in more water.
Sounds to me like you've added way too much ammonia.

If it were my tank, I'd probably do a 50-75% water change and get the ammonia and nitrites down to readable levels.

Or, just scratch the whole thing and let the filter from your 5 gallon run in one of your established tanks for at least 2 weeks. That should seed it with enough bacteria to immediately stock your 5g.

Isn't cycling frustrating?
Good luck, I have to admire your patience if you've been waiting since August.
 

jgon_

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Okay doing the math on a napkin...

Your ammonia is 10% concentration so 1mL contains .1mL (.1ml/mL)
5 Gallons is about 19 litres, so 20L for simplification.
20L = 20,000 mL.
So you added .1mL ammonia to 20,000mL water or 1/200,000. That's quite a bit larger then 5/1,000,000 (5ppm).
 

Lucy

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jgon_ said:
Okay doing the math on a napkin...

Your ammonia is 10% concentration so 1mL contains .1mL (.1ml/mL)
5 Gallons is about 19 litres, so 20L for simplification.
20L = 20,000 mL.
So you added .1mL ammonia to 20,000mL water or 1/200,000. That's quite a bit larger then 5/1,000,000 (5ppm).
That made my head hurt.
 

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