Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Return the ammonia to 3 ppm once a day. It may drop to 0 ppm every day, too. That is OK. But keep on feeding the bacteria.
Do enough water changes to keep the nitrite under 5 ppm. The bacteria you are growing do not do so well when the nitrite is higher. Yes, it seems to stall at this point, about 1.5 weeks in. Seems there is no change for a week or more. It really is changing, but you cannot tell from the tests. The 2 groups of bacteria are still growing, but about at the same rate: The ammonia removing bacteria are generating nitrite at the same rate the nitrite removing bacteria are removing it. So you see steady nitrite.
When you buy bacteria in a bottle read the label. You want Nitrospiros species of bacteria. All other products are the wrong species of bacteria.
Adding media from a cycled tank is a very good way to jump start the cycle.