Just a quick update, as I tested my water again today. Well, the aquarium water… Not much has changed despite a little water change yesterday. I have a bucket of tap water getting up to room temperature, already de-chlorinated, so I will do another change tomorrow. Maybe this is my tank going through its real cycle after a fake start?!
According to the test instructions, a new aquarium can surge in levels of Ammonia to 4ppm or more, then fall rapidly as the biological filter becomes established. I’m not panicking over my result then. New aquarium Nitrate levels are supposed to gradually climb, with a reading of 40ppm or less recommended for freshwater aquariums. The pH should be ok as it varies even throughout one day and it is sudden changes that are most harmful to my fish. As long as the fish are looking healthy it shouldn’t be a problem to leave pH to its natural level.