Originally Posted by JakeTheAquariumSnake
Readings tonight read:
Ammonia- about .50 ppm but my Seachem ammonia alert is in the “safe” area which is <0.02ppm
Nitrate- below 5.0 ppm
Since you started another thread on this, you are obviously concerned about your ammonia readings and are assuming that they indicate that you are not cycled. As I mentioned, I think you are/were cycled, given your persistently high nitrate readings. However, let's look at your readings.
Since you have never added ammonia and you have no animals in your tank, what is/was the ammonia source? The only other thing I can think of is rotting plant matter or mulm collecting in your filter or substrate.
What test kit are you using to test ammonia? The Seachem indicator is saying that you have no ammonia (or very little) and i have found that indicator to be reliable. While the presence of nitrates is evidence of ammonia existence, I'm wondering if nitrates are from an initial ammonia level that no longer exists. After you test your ammonia, perform an 80% water change and test both ammonia and nitrates again, then see if they build. What test kit do you use to test nitrates?
At this point, if there really is no ammonia being created and it is actually not there, you could be stalling/killing your BB cycle and may have to start over.