problem with fishless cycle

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ratty-the-rat

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5 gallon tank started on 25 April.as per article done a fishless cycle and feeding daily (nice layer of white fungus stuff on the bottom of tank ).in that period done 3 water changes to try and lower nitrates didn't touch the gravel or filter.Its a planted tank and looks like plants are dying.
readings as follows
ammonia - 0.1mg/l
nitrite     - 1.5mg/l
nitrate ( did the second test ) -300mg/l
Ph           -8.5
water temp  - 26 degrees

have i missed something or do these results look ok , do i continue feeding and leave for a couple of weeks or clean gravel with water change and start over.

i am determind to get this right as i have a empty 45g deep tank for a pair of discus later and bought a 150 gallon tank for marine also empty.

any help please
 

Gunnie

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It looks like you are about halfway through your cycle. I would see if I could lightly vacuum up the white crud off the top of the gravel. What are you feeding your bacteria with?
 
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ratty-the-rat

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normal fish food ( flakes) 2 pinches morning and night.and adding a 1/10 of a ml of bio start ( trizyme culture ) as per instructions on box, it says once Ive added fish but I'm not putting fish in till the cycle is complete.i think the bio start is for a fish cycle but lfs told me i need it so I'm using it.when i do put it in my water goes cloudy for a couple of days then clears.
 

Gunnie

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I think the fish food is causing the white crud over your gravel and the sky high nitrates before the cycle is completed. Can you get pure clear ammonia locally? That would probably keep your tank cleaner, and it would provide the ammonia quicker to your bacteria instead of waiting for the food to bread down.
 
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ratty-the-rat

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thanks.will try get some.i know what to look for.should i vacuum the gravel,strain the crud off and put the same water back , or do a complete water change as well.
 

Gunnie

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Just vacuum off the crud. Replace the water you take out with new water. Make sure the ammonia is plain ammonia with no additives in it or detergents.
 
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ratty-the-rat

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something strange has happened bought the ammonia ( its pure) added 5 drops in the morning took a reading later.all my levels dropped ,wanting a ammonia spike added another 5 drops in the evening and took reading again much later and the levels have dropped again.
my readings

Ammonia - 0.0 , nitrites - 0.1 , nitrates 25 , Ph 8.5
so i did more reading my tank is heavily planted is it possible that the plant are now eating the ammonia and nitrites cause they are clean with no mess on them.
 
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