Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: San Gabriel Valley, Southern California
What are you using for seed bacteria? Thanks to modern, state of the art sanitation, your tap or hose water has nearly none.
For most people, its the bacteria on the plant or fish they bring home from the store, but this won't work for you
You can buy prepackaged beneficial bacterial made by any of the big names in fish supply; Marineland, Tetra, API, Fin, etc Your local fish store will have some options.
What I've done before is to bring an empty disposable bottle (drinking water) to an LFS and asked them to fill it from their sump or from any of their tanks.
You can get it from also any flowing creek, stream (I don't like standing pond/lake water, or slow large rivers). You can use a larger bucket and fill it part way for that.
I assume you used Prime or some brand of dechlorinator?