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Old 25th December 2015   #1
theKobus
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Default Slow cycle -- and mysterious slime

We're attempting to set up a bigger, better tank for our 1-year-old axie -- but we're having problems starting our cycle. Here's what we're working with and have done so far:

SPECS:
-It's a 22gal tank kept at 18șC. (I've heard cycles start better at higher temperatures, but I'm scared of starting one at a temperature it won't actually be expected to work it. I'd hate for it to crash)

-The tank has both a double sponge filter and an airstone running at all times.

-The tap water here is not chlorinated

-We use Tetra liquid tests for ammonia

-The ammonia we used is pure 10% ammonia solution from the pharmacy

PROCESS:
-We added 30 drops of ammonia on the first day (Oct. 12th) until the water tested at 3.0mg/l

-After 5 weeks (Nov. 16th) of no change in the ammonia levels, we did a 10% water change to see if that would help move it along and the tests read 2.5mg/l

-On Dec. 4th we added some starter bacteria we bought from an aquarium store to try to jump-start the cycle, but that doesn't seem to be doing anything either.

-Since then (today is Dec. 25th) the ammonia level hasn't changed at all. (still 2.5mg/l) However, mysterious little balls of white-ish slime have started appearing on the bottom of the tank, and I have zero idea what they are or what it means for the cycle.

I'm attaching pictures of the slime balls and a picture of the bottle of bacteria we used. (sorry it's in Japanese. Hopefully someone might still recognize it, though?)
For some reason the pictures of the slimes are upside-down. Sorry about that. They look pretty much the same right-side-up though...

For almost 11 weeks we've been trying to start this cycle and have made no progress. Please help!
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