Weird Readings during Cycle!!!

Fireguy

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Hey everyone, so currently I'm on week 2 1/2 of cycling my tank before getting my axolotl and I'm very confused with my readings. I am currently using distilled water and adding the minerals afterwards. I added Dr Tim's Ammonia and after two weeks, the ammonia still isn't gone. Yet nitrites and nitrates are present!

I remember seeing a graph a few days ago showing the approximate time stamps for when ammonia/nitrites/nitrates should climb or drop but it's hard to tell if any of it corresponds well.

(Graph: http://fins.actwin.com/mirror/begin-cycling.html)

Anyways, here's a pic of my tests. Is it possible that I might have added too much ammonia? But then there wouldn't be any nitrites then? Am I on the right path?

Ammonia seems to be around 4. Nitrites seem to be around 5 (the highest peak) and nitrates are between 10 and 20 ppm (can't quite see the difference between both shades of orange lol)
 

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Hayleyy

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Have you been doing any water changes or just letting the tank do its thing? Since the ammonia particularly is high I would do some small water changes maybe once or twice a week just to bring them down a bit. Too high ammonia can kill off the beneficial bacteria which may be why it's taking a while, but you are on the right path. Some tanks take weeks to months to cycle so it's hard determining how long it should take, but that graph is a good guide showing the relationship in the cycle . The Nitrates are at a good level so keep water changes small, just enough to start bringing down the ammonia and nitrite. Goodluck :)
 

Fireguy

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I did a 20% water change a few days ago because I was scared as well that the ammonia was too high. Some sites said to cycle with 2ppm and some said to do it with 4ppm. But anyways the Dr Tim's Ammonia bottle I got lied to me I think as it said to put 4 drops per gallon (so 20x4=80) for a 2ppm reading but it gave me above 4ppm lol.

But yeah anyways I did a water change a few days ago and I don't see a significant difference. Should I try a bigger change?

Also, if the ammonia was killing off the bacteria, wouldn't that mean I shouldn't be getting nitrites and nitrates?
 

Hayleyy

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The ammonia may be killing off some of the bacteria, not all which is why you're still getting nitrites/nitrates. Keep the water changes small, but more frequently. You could do a bigger water change to see if that makes a bigger impact, but then follow up with smaller ones. What water conditioner are you using? Have you tested your water supply for ammonia/etc before adding conditioner? It's good to do so you know what your starting with :)
 

Fireguy

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I'm using distilled water that showed up as 0 on the tests. I use Kent's (I think that's the name of the brand) Liquid RO to give the water hardness. I'm also using bacteria quick start.

I did another 30% water yesterday and the readings haven't changed at all. I'm very confused.

Thank you for replying by the way, I'm really trying to get to the bottom of what's going on
 

Hayleyy

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Does the liquid RO add all the necessary minerals back into the water? I haven't used it before so am not familiar with it. Distilled water lacks all the minerals the axies need so you have to add some manually. You can probably find more info on this on here if you need more.
Are you able to use your local water supply as a water source instead of the distilled water to see if this makes a difference?
 

Fireguy

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No, I live on a well system so it passes through a water softener, WAY too much salt. We do have a hose that bypasses the water softener machine but it's the middle of winter outside and the pipe is frozen shut.

The Liquid RO by Kent has fantastic reviews online and my water hardness is within the acceptable range for an axolotl.
 

Hayleyy

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Okay good, just checking! Keep doing small regular water changes to see if it makes an impact, it might just need a few changes before you see the results. I don't really have any other suggestions :/
 
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