Yes, I have read about every post I can find about the cycle. I had the cycle. The cycle worked for me. Twice this year I had to leave for extended time frames and I used feeding pyramids. Lesson learned. Afterward I had a green water bloom. I started doing massive water changes. The last trip was in September. After two months of this, I went to the LFS and he said I was crashing the tank. 10% a week, so I did. I have tested the water for two weeks. 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates, 0 phosphates. Lights on 12 hours a day, plants doing great. I stopped CO2 injection a week ago and started injecting Seachem Stability. At this point I am close to throwing the plants out, changing all the water and starting over. From Feb (tank setup) until July it was CRYSTAL clear. Gorgeous. I have five platties, and three neons. The tank is so cloudy at some point one of the platties 1) got pregnant, 2) gave birth, and 3) the fry survived undetected. The water doesn't smell.