I have a 20 gallon long that is about 65-75% planted with lots of stems and some crypts, all low light. I started a fishless cycle on 1/23/16 and used Dr. Tim's Aquatic Ammonia and Dr. Tim's one and only live nitrifying bacteria. I measured ammonia every other day (or sometimes every day) and dosed back up to 2ppm as needed. On 1/31 I started dosing some seachem potassium and phosphorus. When I tested the water on 2/3, I had a reading of .5 Ammonia, Nitrate 5 and Nitrite of 2. I added some more ammonia to get it back up to 2ppm. On 2/5 it was .25 ammonia, Nitrite between 2 and 5 and Nitrate 5. Again I added more ammonia. I then started testing every day and since 2/7 I have 0 ammonia, Nitrate between 5 and 10 and Nitrites around .25. I keep adding enough ammonia to get back to 2ppm, and the next day it measures at 0 but I always have some Nitrite around .25. On 2/7 I also started to dose seachem equilibrum. I am using the API test kit and occasionally the nutrafin test kit for ammonia.
I assume my cycle is complete, but what about the .25 reading on the Nitrites every day since the 7th? Also, I expected my Nitrates to have been higher, but this whole time they have not gotten any more than 10. Is this because of the plants?
Finally, do I need to do a water change before adding fish? How long can I go after the water change before the fish have to be added? I have not done any water changes and have only needed to top of the tank (less than a gallon each time) two to three times during this process.