Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
The presence of ammonia (it came from the tap water) is a start toward the fishless cycle. The bacteria that remove ammonia grow fairly fast, so in a few days you ought to see the ammonia level dropping. You might see some nitrite showing up as the ammonia drops.
Add ammonia to keep on feeding the bacteria.
Did you get tests for GH and KH? API sells 1 box with both tests.
Even with the pH so high (8.2) the GH and KH might not be very high, or else the test strips could be right.
These minerals are good for growing the nitrifying bacteria.