So I thought perhaps my tank had somehow cycled without me even noticing. For 3 weeks I noticed 0 change in nitrite and nitrate. I switched from semi-daily 20% water changes to weekly.
All of a sudden now almost finishing week 4, I have had a nitrite spike. No more than 1ppm as far as I can tell (yes, I still have the crappy test strips).
I have gone back to doing semi-daily water changes. My Betta seems to be a bit stressed for sure. I can't tell if he is ticked or just begging for food half the time. I do not want to feed him more as I know this would hinder the nitrite cycle, or at least make it worse for him.
I recently started using API Leaf Zone. Only 1ml per week. Could this be causing any problems?