Ah, thank you so much! The way you've stated things makes a lot more sense to me. I went ahead and performed a water change and added Seachem Prime. I also went ahead and added the Malaysian driftwood that's been soaking in treated water (Prime). Starting to really get excited with this new setup! Will check the water params again tomorrow and if all looks good, will go get the first set of fish (7 Neon Tetras and 3 Panda Gara).Your tank is cycled. that .25 and even a .25 reading is not accurate. You can not continually have an ammonia reading, even a low one and not get a nitrite reading that follows it.
If ammonia is at 0 and nitrite is also, then you have cycled tank. if something causes the ammonia to go up, it means there are not enough bacteria working to clear the ammonia and they will reproduce. The result is more nitrite gets produced as well- that is more nitrite than the nitrite bacteria can handle. So while the nitrite eaters are working and reproducing, you get some excess nitrite which would show up on the test.
While is has not been documented or scientifically researched, there are an increasing number of posts on the net about issues with the API test kit and ammonium chloride. On the surface it makes no sense this would be a problem, but apparently it is. i am working with somebody on another forum in the exact same situation. Nitrite acts right and ammonia wont go below .25 ppm.
At this point you have two options- to hold the cycle you dose about 4-5 drops every few days, or else do a water change and add a bunch of fish.
Forgive my newbishness but aren't those two different things (one being ammonia and the other being ammonium)? I only ask so I can learn. Dr Tims instructions for cycling with both Live Nitrifying Bacteria and Ammonium Chloride are different than cycling with just Ammonium Chloride... so he didn't have me test for Nitrates. However, I did anyways. Nitrate today was 5ppm. Hopefully that will come down by tomorrow since I did a PWC this evening. Fingers crossed!I'm not sure about the Dr. Tim products or instructions, but have recently gone through fishless cycling by adding household ammonia in both a 29gal and 10gal tank. Are you measuring for nitrates? I'm not sure how this tank could be cycled if you are not seeing any nitrates.
Thank you both for your helpful replies!