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It has been running about two weeks. Two days I let run to dechlorinate the water, I then added Maxicrop and tested the water. It showed 5ppm of ammonia, I tested today and it shows 0ppm. It is still showing nitrates, and nitrites. I was just wondering. 



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how much maxicrop did you put in?  there's not much ammonia in it to "start" the cycling..

generally, you want the ammonia and nitrites at 0 the day after dosing with ammonia

A half a cap full, would that be enough to show 5ppm at the first reading? I have not add any ammonia at all. I did put 32oz of water from my larger cycled system.

Your tests are wrong, or there's something you're not telling us. Maxicrop (liquid seaweed) is just micronutrients, and contains no ammonia. If you used one of their fish emulsion products, then you may get an ammonia reading. If you did in fact have ammonia, and it is gone, then you are cycling, or already cycled. The nitrite reading should drop to zero. Don't worry about nitrate, and if you already have plants growing the nitrate may never appear, as it is used up constantly.

Hi Robby,

Cycling has to be done with an initial ammonia source. This can also be done with live fish. A safer way would be utilizing a fishless cycling method, see here

I would think an 18 gal system would only need some bacteria from the local pet store then put in the fish.  I know I did that with my small aquarium systems with great results. I used some water conditioner and a bottle of bacteria.  Worked great for goldfish, Tilapia and Bluegill.  Within a week I had low requirement basil growing nicely in rafts.  Simple.  Now my bigger tanks...A few failures preceded success...

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