New Salt-water tank
Hope you are all well. I'm new to this hobby and this is my second year in fish keeping and first in setting up a saltwater tank.
I have a small tank (23 litre, fluval edge). I'm completely aware that it is not recommended to keep a small salterwater tank, however I do not wish to keep many fish (I might put in one), but mainly just want a set up consisting of live rock and soft coral and one shrimp.
Here's my question. I've basically have been cycling my tank for 6 weeks and one day. My water parameters (please check the attachment) is Ammonia - 0ppm, Nitrite- 0ppm, Nitrate-0ppm, pH- 8.0-8.2. However, I personally feel the tank hasn't even started cycling. One mistake I made was I didn't check the water parameters in the second week. I started checking in the third week (all parameters at 0ppm). I noticed more activity in the tank in the second week, and by the third week I had diatoms covering my live rock and a little at the back. It's now in the 7th week of cycling and basically, I've noticed a gradual reduction of diatoms on the rock. I'm doing 10% water changes every week (I started it after the third week - wanted to build up Ammonia initially to get the process going).
I've used de-chlorinated TAP water, which may suggest the growth of the diatoms ( due to the nitrates and silicates in the water). Therefore for these reasons I'm not sure if it has started. I noticed bubbles emerging from the sand bed and live rock, but I highly doubt that's nitrogen gas indicating end of the cycling. This is mainly because I didn't use Live sand (yes I know bad idea).
I just wanted your opinions. What you think I should do. Please note I'll be waiting for another 2 weeks (total of 8 weeks cycling) before I make my next decision. Attached is a picture of the tank and the, water parameters.