Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Montgomery Village (back to NYC soon!)
Very nice; I like this layout.
Good call on removing the tetras, and as stated, as long as you have something in there (snails, shrimp, etc.), then your tank will continue to cycle.
Your levels are not that high; I have seen them much higher in cycling tanks with fish showing no untoward affects. Since the Nitrate is the end product of the cycle it is going to remain high unless it is removed through water changes or plant utilization.