Strips dont work, those things are very inaccurate.
I was told not to get the meter from my fish guys, its never accurate.
6-8 weeks is a normal cycling, what strips are you using? my jungles gave me majorly false readings, said I was 8.6+ on my Ph( got sand so its gona be high) took a water sample to em, 15 minutes later I had perfect water, the only thing I have been using is CYCLE.
Id invest in the real testing kit from doc
wellfish or someone else now.
the strips said my nitrites and nitrates and ammonia were basically all that made up the water, took them the sample and I got discus perfect water.
Is your LFS
independant or a chain?