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Stalled Cycle? 22g planted tank, using MicroBacter start xlf

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Hi all, I'm trying to start up a low tech planted tank. Most of my surface area is planted and I've thrown in a bunch of frogbit and hornwort. Keeping tank at 78 degrees F.
I've been using MicroBacter start xlf - I'd read positive reviews on this. I was seeing around 1ppm of ammonia and significant Nitrate/Nitrates for about the first week. Last two days, though, I've seen my Nitrites drop to 0 while still seeing about 1ppm ammonia. Still seeing about 5ppm Nitrates.

3 days ago (8 days into cycle), I:
  • Changed to a new filter. I carefully just moved my sponge media from the old to the new HOB. Didn't rinse media or anything.
  • Started dosing with Seachem Flourish Excel at 1/2 recommended dose
Starting to get worried, reading some reports of Excel killing BB. I was underdosing, but is it possible that I killed my nitrifying bacteria with this product? Or does this product contain ammonium, throwing off my ammonia test, and my tank is actually cycled?

Any thoughts and recommendations on where to go from here would be appreciated!
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hi all - any thoughts on this? I haven't dosed Excel since seeing this issue and did about a 15% water change. Ammonia is still reading 1ppm, still no nitrites. Still adding bacteria supplement. Just tested my tap water again - no ammonia there.
Plants and (unwanted) snails seem to be doing fine.
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