*starts laffin* Cycling guru...oi *grin*
Coupla things stew:
For now, if I were you I'd water change whenever there were measureable levels of ammonia and nitrite. I do water changes on my QT tank every days or 2; as soon as nitrite levels reach .25 ppm
I'm doing 20-30% changes (theres no ammonia).
Its different with my mature tanks. Since every mature tank is different, frequency and amount of changes will be different. As long as there is no ammonia or nitrates, let the amounts of nitrate to be your guide. 40 ppm
and up are really not recommended levels on nitrate; you want it to be lower.
For example, my 55g gets a 20% water change once a week. Thats when my nitrate levels start hitting around 20 ppm
and I prefer less nitrates in my tank. My planted tank gets a 20% change every week and a half to 2 weeks; the plants eat a lot of the nitrogen waste so the nitrate levels don't rise so quickly. When I was setting up my 55g, and my bigger guys were in a 25g, I was water changing 2-3 times a week to keep the nitrate levels to where I was comfortable.
So definitely get a nitrate test *grin*
As for temps, I just match temps at the tap; I use a Python so the water goes straight from the tap to the tank. Heh, dunno if I'm a pro (just a guru
) but it works for me!