Sourdough Starter Lost Mojo

So I'm using Peter Reinhart's sourdough starter recipe which involves making a "seed culture" over four or five days and then converting that into a starter that gets refreshed.

The first couple 24 hour periods for the seed culture went great. The thing bubbled and rose like crazy. But then something strange started to less and less virile. While it's supposed to rise more and more, it is doing so less and less. While it rose probably 50% the 2nd night, it rose MAYBE a SLIVER last night.

Should I just go ahead and make the starter anyway and see what happens? And what could have happened to it? Soap residue on a mixing bowl or something? I'm worried this is going to be a futile process for me and slightly peeved that things seemed to going so well early on just to completely stall like this.

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