I'm in the early stages of cycling my tank with 5 africans (about the 6th Day) and have been taking reading twice a day. According to the posts regarding Tank cycling the following should be happening, Ammonia will increase as the fish do their thing if and perform a 20% water change if the fish show signs of distress, After a while Nitrites should increase while ammonia should be falling as the bacteria start doing its thing. in the final stages Nitrites should start to decrease while nitrates start to increase. I hope I have the stages down correctly. My tank readings are a little different, please let me know what you guys think.
Hardness = Very soft
PH = 7.0
Ammonia = .25 mg
Nitrite = 0 mg
Nitrate = 12.5 mg
Shouldn't the nitrates at this early stage be 0 mg
/l ? I think i may have been changing the water to frequently trying to keep the Ammonia level lower which i believe was a mistake (20%). How high should i let ammonia level go before performing a water change?