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.
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.
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 http://theaquaponicsource.com/2012/05/15/aquaponics-fishless-cyclin...
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...