After reading the feedback from you guys I went and looked at the dosing. And I think I may have found the issue. I believe I have been dosing too much ammonia. I was dosing 10ml of ammonia for 180L and It's possible I was ending up with 6ppm. So I spent a lot of time researching / looking at calculators to get the desired 5ppm...
And they vary in the required amount of ammonia needed...
I've found calculators that recommend dosing 6ml to 11ml. And so yesterday I adjusted the dosing to 8ppm but that only translated to 3ppm of ammonia for 180L. The good news is that my bacs converted 3ppm in under 12 hours. So today I've dosed 9ppm of ammonia. If I can get that converted in under 12 hours I think I might dance around the lounge.
Bad news: The above didn't work. At 9ppm I still had ammonia reading of 2ppm after 24hours
Good News: I think I've finally found the issue
I moved to a new house recently and like most of you, I tested my water as soon as I was settled in. I got the TDS, PH, Nitrate and other essential readings of my tap water. In every test the water was "better" and so I continued to dechlorinate the water in the exact same way I did at my previous address. I use Fluval Aqua+ dechlor,
5ml for every 40L
After the cycle still failing to convert at a decent rate I tested every water parameter I could again and suddenly thought that perhaps, just perhaps, there was more chlorine and other elements harmful to the bacs that I couldn't test for and so in short, I did a 100% water change and instead of dechlorinating at 5ml for every 40L I upped the measurement to 10ml for every 40L,
then added 8ml of ammonia. I tested again after 12 hours and 30ish minutes and got double zeros. 0ppm Ammonia!!! 0ppm Nitrite!!!
After 3 weeks of a stalled cycle I'm sure you can imagine that I jumped for joy. My guess is that the amount of dechlor I was using allowed the bacs to establish and grow but the conditions weren't optimal and that perhaps they were surviving instead of thriving. Converting at a subdued rate because I hadn't removed enough of the harmful elements.
API should bring out a chlorine test. This small oversight cost me 3 weeks of stress but I'm ecstatic to be past it.