I for example used a raw shrimp for my fishless cycle like a lot of others do. While the source is still around giving off ammonia, it should read zero because the bacteria are doing their job converting it to nitrites. And then more bacteria to convert that to nitrates. So yeah, Ammonia and Nitrites 0, then big water change to get the Nitrates down to a level that fish can handle. At that point, slowly add fish to give the bacteria time to adjust to the bioload. Can you give some details, for example, tank size, sand depth, lbs of LR
, how much ammonia you are dosing to feed the cycle..etc.