High Nitrates - Scratching my head
I have been trying to revive my 29 gal as you may know. I am waiting on more tests to come in but I have a KH, pH and Nitrate kit that I picked up local. I raised my KH to about 5 or 5.5 (doesn't completely change at 5 drops) and with the CO2 the PH runs about 6.8 to 7.0 (going down as bottle fades). The thing that is bothering me though is that the nitrate keeps turning deep red. It's hard to tell the color but it is clearly more than 80 PPM! I have been doing some small (5 to 10 gallon) water changes but it hasn't moved if anything it is getting redder. There is NO algae in my tank and the plants are starting to really take off with the CO2 and improved lighting. The fish are very normal and seem happy.
Should I wait for the Nitrates to come down naturally when new plants come and the plants grow more or should I keep doing the water changes? Am I right in thinking that maybe Phosphates are probably zero and that is stopping the algea?
BTW I tested the kit on some tap water it showed no Nitrates. I ordered GH, Phosphate, and a red sea nitrate kit but seems like they are taking forever to get here.