I have a few questions about cycling a tank. My journal can be found here
I have a 10g dirted (miracle grow organic) top with Flouramax.
powerhead for circulation
2 20w CFL 16" from substrate
I have it moderately planted now to abate some of the algae.
I wanted to leave the Ammonia and nitrite in to accelerate the development of bacteria. Sounds like a good idea, more food better growth. The water became quite stained, I understand it's a dirt tank, the nitrites off the scale as well as phosphates. The water smelled foul like a swamp pond. Changed 95% of the water.
Now it seems 2 days later I'm back to where I started. I had a growth of Rhizoclonium. I decided to do a 3 blackout and 1ml excel/day. I'm not sure why my phosphates are off the scale. My only thought is that it is the soil. I wonder if high phosphates are one of the reasons I have such bad brown algae.
I'm afraid I am going to have to change the water again. I did a 95% two days ago. The water is stained and smells like a pond. I'm at a loss at this point any ideas? Keep changing the water until phosphates are 2ppm? Below are charts for my water qualities. Remember I did a water change on 3/3/13. The initial Nitrate spike was KNO3 I added mistakenly rather than traces.