Help! Cycling process is not going good. Lost

Gordon15

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Started 75g fishless saltwater cycle with Dr. Tim’s on Aug. 11th Followed the instructions except for adding fish due to high ammonia. So after the days on the instructions I did not feed the bacteria with more ammonia. Once I learned that days later my nitrate went from 40s to none. Started dosing ammonia again and found that my tank processes it to nitrite the next day. So about ten days later I have 0 reading of nitrate even after adding ammonia each day 12.5ml. I waited until my number hit 0 and added 4 mollies today 9/14. 3/4 died in 5 hours. Found them in the circulating pump. The last one is having around the top. Not sure if he will make it. Did I stall and kill the bacteria when I stopped dosing? Should I start over? Is a water change a must if starting the cycle over when my reads for NI/NA and ammonia are 0?

thanks in advance I’m at a loss on what to do. I thought I knew what I was doing and I don’t.
 
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Tamberav

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When I added mollies I acclimated them over several days.

You can’t kill bacteria by stopping dosing. It doesn’t need you to live or fish. I can live on the dust and skin particles in the air even. If you put rock in a bin with flow but no light or food for a year. It would still be alive a year later.

Similarly if you put rock in a bin with flow and didn’t ever dose or add ammonia or any food source. It would STILL cycle. Just may take a bit longer.

No different then leaving some clean water out or a ATO bin getting slimy. Bacteria is all over in the air and everywhere and it will colonize with or without your help.
 
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Gordon15

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I mean why not just add clownfishes. They’re super hardy and a tank like yours they would had no harm in the first place. Why the experiment?
My go to fish store is an hour away. No salt water fish stores closer. 3 bucks compared to 15-25 and a drive. I wasn’t positive with being cycled seeing no nitrate readings. But everything did convert.
 
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