Congrats! It was a long road! Did you ever try the bio-pellets. There are newer ones on the market that are even smaller, giving them a larger surface area. Less of the portential sticking problem.
My nitrates are consistently under 2 and look just like your photo above. I call that as a 1 - 2 range instead of 0 as looking from the side I can see a tinge of pink.
My phosphates (PO4
) have been consistently under 2 also, usually in the .06 - .08 range.
Good luck keeping them down. Stay vigilant. And again CONGRATULATIONS on sticking with this till you got there.