I was given a hex tank, rocks, filter, decorations, heater, bubbler, etc. I rinsed it out a bit because it was previously used to raise a million snails. We then filled it, treated it, and I have rinsed my daughter's established filter in the tank several times. I added some driftwood because my pH is hovering at around 8ppm, but ammonia is hovering at .50ppm as well. I am using the API liquid test kit. I've never caught any nitrate/nitrite spikes, and I've been feeding the tank every day. I did a 20% water change yesterday, treated the new water, and tested again today, but the pH and ammonia readings are staying the same. Since it was a previously established system with some old debris, and I've been adding filter scrapings, am I just not going to see the nitrite/nitrate spikes? Its been cycling for 2 weeks, with only the ammonia level rising from 0 in the beginning to .50 now. I'm wondering if I should go ahead and add some neon tetras or danios to the tank to see if it is actually cycling. The driftwood has a fuzzy white mold growing on it, so I know something is going on in the tank. I don't want to kill any fish, just anxious to add something to the tank now, if it is really ready to start working. Adding a picture of the tank
Oh, it went through several days of a cloudy phase in the beginning that was probably a bacteria bloom, and has since cleared up, but I wasn't testing daily during that phase because I didn't have my test kit then. I'm wondering if I missed the nitrite/nitrates then.
Picture from today:
Picture from the bloom days earlier last week:
Thanks in advance for any advice!!