Originally Posted by shift
So i did a water test last night (hopefully not mixing up the nitrate/nitrite viles..!)
Is it worth picking up some ammonia and putting a drop or two in the tank to speed it up or does it look like its doing fine in its cycle?
I gave the filter from the main tank a few good squeezes in the water and have been adding the hagen cycle bacteria in a bottle as well.
Thats great! Ammonia is where you want it, of course, nitrite is high (higher than 0) and nitrates are low which is good for fish. You shouldn't add any fish until nitrites are 0. Add stem plants or any fast-growing plants - they consume the most ammonia. As I recall from your pic, you need some tall plants like Anachris. You should look through a plant and pick out some more plants that grow fast and that you like, and whose water needs match or nearly match your tank's parameters.
In addition, the light to me looks a little weak. If it looks like that to you, get a clamp-on desk light and put a 10 watt 6500K ("Daylight") Compact Fluorescent Light You can adjust the actual wattage later if necessary.
Ammonia, in small amounts per day, like 3 mL, is good. You just have to get someone who knows to tell you how to do it or google it. This is if you think you can handly very smal quantities and measure right without any spills. Honestly, I'm not too up on Ammonia cycling.
My thrust in all of this is to get you used to the idea that enough growing plants will handle all or nearly all the ammonia in the tank. They eat nitrites and then nitrites too. Maybe you should hold off on the ammonia for a little while and let the plants take care of the toxic nitrates. Then, introduce a small number (or a shoal of shoaling fish). Please check the lighting. I'm sure Hoppy, a guy who really knows his stuff, would be glad to help you figure the lighting part,